I’ve often been left feeling confused about the second confiteor, and have trawled through a few posts on the WDTPRS site regarding this issue.
However, I find it that much more difficult a position to be in being a server at Mass, when our Priest expects me to say it.
I believe in holy obedience, but which way do I go? Obedience to Pope John XXIII’s Rubricarum Instructum (where it is omitted), or obedience to my Priest, who expects me to recite it again?
… Or would you suggest I not serve any more (which won’t necessarily stop the 2nd Confiteor from being recited again at these Masses)?
Your thoughts please?
I will not suggest that you do not serve. I am sure it is helpful for the priest and, spiritually, for you.
If there is an expectation that you start the Second Confiteor, then do it.
The provisions of Ecclesia Dei adflicta and Summorum Pontificum are for the use of the 1962 Missale Romanum. By the time of the 1962MR the Second Confiteor had disappeared from the rubrics (except for Good Friday, before Communion – that section had been plugged in from an earlier edition – but I digress). So, in a technical sense, there is no call for the Second Confiteor and it should not be done. As I have been known to write, we have permission for the 1962MR, not an earlier edition.
On the other hand, one hears there are indications received from the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” that, in some communities, it is okay to use it. Furthermore, there is a long custom of saying the Second Confiteor. There is a strong expectation from many in the congregation that there should be one. There is often strong puzzlement when there isn’t one.
This is one of those situations in which I think we have to have a little flexibility and allowances for local usage. Also, this is a practice which as a really long pedigree. It isn’t as if the Second Confiteor is an importation from the Novus Ordo. It isn’t as if it is something profane. It isn’t as it isn’t in the 1962 Roman Missal at all.
When I travel and I say the older Mass in some parish, I do not ask about the Second Confiteor before Mass begins. If the server or the deacon begins it, I simply go along and do my part, turning to give the absolution. If the server or the deacon doesn’t begin it, I simply go ahead with my part, preparing for the Ecce Agnus Dei.
When I have been asked about it before Mass, I make the point that the rubrics no longer call for it, but I will do what they are used to doing. This is important especially when the servers/deacons are used to doing it. You don’t throw hard curves immediately before Mass unless there is a matter of serious liturgical abuse. Saying the Second Confiteor is, technically, a bit offshore, but isn’t anywhere near the Island of Liturgical Abuses.
I warmly urge that this not become a point of contention. If you have discussions about the Second Confiteor, let them be amicable and brief. In the end, serve as the priest desires. This is not in the category of violation of some rubric or principle which constitutes a liturgical abuse.
You can unclench about this one, I think. If you can’t, well… you are free to serve or not to serve.