Cardinal Koch on Pope Benedict on Liturgical Reform

Pope’s ‘reform of the reform’ in liturgy to continue, cardinal says
Catholic News Service  

By John Thavis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI’s easing of restrictions on use of the 1962 Roman Missal, known as the Tridentine rite, is just the first step in a “reform of the reform” in liturgy, the Vatican’s top ecumenist said.

The pope’s long-term aim is not simply to allow the old and new rites to coexist, but to move toward a “common rite” that is shaped by the mutual enrichment of the two Mass forms, Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said May 14.

In effect, the pope is launching a new liturgical reform movement, the cardinal said. Those who resist it, including “rigid” progressives, mistakenly view the Second Vatican Council as a rupture with the church’s liturgical tradition, he said.

Cardinal Koch made the remarks at a Rome conference on “Summorum Pontificum,” Pope Benedict’s 2007 apostolic letter that offered wider latitude for use of the Tridentine rite. The cardinal’s text was published the same day by L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.

Cardinal Koch said Pope Benedict thinks the post-Vatican II liturgical changes have brought “many positive fruits” but also problems, including a focus on purely practical matters and a neglect of the paschal mystery in the Eucharistic celebration. The cardinal said it was legitimate to ask whether liturgical innovators had intentionally gone beyond the council’s stated intentions.

He said this explains why Pope Benedict has introduced a new reform movement, beginning with “Summorum Pontificum.” The aim, he said, is to revisit Vatican II’s teachings in liturgy and strengthen certain elements, including the Christological and sacrificial dimensions of the Mass.

Cardinal Koch said “Summorum Pontificum” is “only the beginning of this new liturgical movement.”

“In fact, Pope Benedict knows well that, in the long term, we cannot stop at a coexistence between the ordinary form and the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, but that in the future the church naturally will once again need a common rite,” he said.

“However, because a new liturgical reform cannot be decided theoretically, but requires a process of growth and purification, the pope for the moment is underlining above all that the two forms of the Roman rite can and should enrich each other,” he said.

Cardinal Koch said those who oppose this new reform movement and see it as a step back from Vatican II lack a proper understanding of the post-Vatican II liturgical changes. As the pope has emphasized, Vatican II was not a break or rupture with tradition but part of an organic process of growth, he said.

On the final day of the conference, participants attended a Mass celebrated according to the Tridentine rite at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica. Cardinal Walter Brandmuller presided over the liturgy. It was the first time in several decades that the old rite was celebrated at the altar. –CNS

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130 comments

  1. How sad.
    Almost exactly as feared by many of us.
    Perhaps legitimizing the 4% extreme view is the worst part.
    “The cardinal said it was legitimate to ask whether liturgical innovators had intentionally gone beyond the council’s stated intentions.”

    The word “intentionally” is a particular smear against a generation of scholars no longer around to defend themselves. I hope the few remaining express their outrage over this smear loudly and get the support they deserve.

    1. The word “intentionally” is a particular smear against a generation of scholars no longer around to defend themselves.

      Setting this as the standard for speech, that the scholars be able to defend themselves against the criticismk, would silence the majority of historical criticism and critique.

    2. I think Pope Benedict opened the flood gates with his
      motu proprio and the the latest sequel to it. He’s going to get more than he bargained for. If, as the cardinal says, he’s started a liturgical movement, and I think he’s right, there will be no stopping liturgical experimentation from all quarters of the Church.

      The canonists can legislate and quote the GIRM to their
      heart’s content, but a wonderful chaos will reign because of it. So, let’s make the best of it.

      1. Please, nothing more than pushing an agenda and rewriting history. John 23 and Paul 6 must be rolling in their graves.

        At one point, I thought a “Society of Paul VI” was a cute idea. Currently, I would have little problem joining if it existed.

  2. It’s easy for Cardinal Koch to say “those who oppose this new reform movement . . . lack a proper understanding of the post-Vatican II liturgical changes.”

    That’s like saying: “If you don’t agree with me, you just don’t understand.”

    Well, I wish he (and they) would explain, so that (maybe) I would understand.

  3. The only thing that is actually disturbing in this to me is the vagueness. I mean, it could mean no big deal, or it could mean a turning of our backs on everything we know. This is why this stuff worries me. When people talk about liturgical “abuses,” they never say what they mean. What exactly are you calling “abuses”? This article never uses that word, and frankly the quotes themselves don’t look particularly objectionable to me. It’s just that discussions like these are left so vague that people can interpret them however they want. Of course, that’ how the documents are worded, too.

    1. The only thing that is actually disturbing in this to me is the vagueness. I mean, it could mean no big deal, or it could mean a turning of our backs on everything we know.

      It doesn’t seem particularly vague to me as part of the ongoing discussion of a “reform of the reform” and a “New Liturgical Movement”, but the full text of the Cardinal’s commentary is here.

      When people talk about liturgical “abuses,” they never say what they mean. What exactly are you calling “abuses”? This article never uses that word, and frankly the quotes themselves don’t look particularly objectionable to me. It’s just that discussions like these are left so vague that people can interpret them however they want. Of course, that’ how the documents are worded, too.

      I’m not clear what you are referring to. As you note, the article isn’t about abuses. (Though, since I can provide both curial and commentarial sources that have lots of specifics about abuses going back a couple hundred years, I’m don’t agree that they’re never specific about abuses.)

    2. Kathleen;

      It’s difficult in the current atmosphere to tell the difference between “turning back” and “moving forward”. It’s important, and I mean this sincerely, ….it’s important to understand that the great majority of those who support Summorum Pontificum and the Pope’s more general direction see this as a continuation of development rather than as a reverse of development. Of course, those who oppose this direction claim that it is exactly that… a reverse of development. But it is difficult to make an effective argument when the foundational claim that those who support this direction want to go back or turn back the clock or whatever, is clearly not the case. You may feel that it is true, but those to whom you are ascribing the view DON’T. The question is not whether we should go back to the pre-Vatican II Church, because that question isn’t being asked by anybody seriously (OK…yes there are such voices out there, but they are not what is going on here).

      The question is whether to continue moving forward with the same vision of the Church as has been adopted since Vatican II (but not necessarily as is envisioned by that Council), or to begin moving forward with a different vision of the Church which is considered to be more in conformity with what is put forth in the documents and writings of the Council. Honesty dictates that it has to be admitted that these are two very different things…what was SAID and WRITTEN and what was eventually DONE. That’s the question… with which vision do we go forward? It’s not useful to continue the line that this is a matter of “going back”. It isn’t.

  4. “There is only one Lord of the Ring, only one who can bend it to his will. And he does not share power.”

  5. I have been celebrating or assisting at the Roman Catholic liturgy for 60 years. While I have often been disheartened by the routine nature of celebrations, I have very rarely noted anything that I could call an abuse. The whole topic of abuses seems to be an invention of those who want to trun the clock back. I see no evidence whatever that abuses are a problem of the Cathoilc liturgy.

    1. Joe;

      Thank you for your many years of service! You are indeed fortunate to have not seen much of what you would consider “abuse”. But don’t imagine that your lack of personal witness means it doesn’t exist. It does, in varied forms and in large enough numbers to be a serious issue. And I’m not talking about the Priest not holding his hands far enough apart or failing to hold his fingers together or some such nonsense. There is the intentional disregard for liturgical norms such as omitting parts of the Mass or “summarizing” them with made up texts to save time, there are homilies that are more like comedy routines than anything else (I worked for one particular priest who had to tell at least 4 or 5 jokes during a homily, unrelated to the topic and often more than slightly off-color. Sure, people would laugh, but is that what a homily is supposed to be?). There are the just plain bad judgment calls, allowing tatooed slightly clad individuals to “dance” the offertory (this happened just a few months back at a liturgy with our Bishop, so this isn’t something being dredged up from the early 70’s or something). There was the “Penance Service” for Lent given by a visiting Priest for our Parish Mission during which we confessed our sins to the person seated next to us and then were given “general absolution” by the Priest… yes there are abuses and they still happen.

      The “Clown Mass” characterizations, while based in fact are probably not found any longer save for a few isolated places (You Tube will bear out that they do happen, but even I will admit they are truly an anomaly).

      Again, consider yourself blessed if you have not had to endure such things.

  6. “Intentionally gone beyond the Council’s stated intentions” — this is the standard smear against Paul VI.

  7. Another entry in the age-old Curial game of “I Am The Pope’s Mouthpiece”. Until it’s in writing, they ain’t.

  8. And what does Koch comments have to do with “promoting Christian unity?” – that is his department? Two forms of one rite will help achieve unity?

    Comment from Fr. Komonchack:

    “The Tradi-links are expressing their disappointment that the Pope has not proceeded to the “reform of the reform” they had hoped he would effect. And the speech he recently gave at the Pontifical Institute of Liturgy at San Anselmo on its 50th anniversary gave them little reason to rejoice. He said nothing about reforming the reform that members of that institute had a large role in. You can find his speech at: http://www.zenit.org/article-32508?l=english

    Per another blogger defending Koch’s statement: “I’m trying to say, the Pope is once again referring to the hermeneutic of continuity. You’re saying it’s inconsistent because he changed one thing. I’m saying, his idea of reform would allow for this “inconsistency.” In fact, he has been explicit that reform means both continuity and change.”

    This use of “hermeneutic” is circular and nonsense – it means that B16 can twist, tweak, or change anything and make his hermeneutic fit his change.

    Read his San Anselmo talk – he focuses on the core meaning of eucharist and states that other changes are secondary. He quotes from both Paul VI and SC. He ends by saying:

    “Dear friends, I trust that this Faculty of Sacred Liturgy will continue its service to the Church with renewed impetus, in full fidelity to the rich and valuable liturgical tradition and the reform desired by Vatican II, according to the guidelines of “Sacrosanctum Concilium” and the pronouncements of the magisterium. The Christian liturgy is the liturgy of the promise realized in Christ, but it is also the liturgy of hope, of pilgrimage toward the transformation of the world, which will take place when God is all in all (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:28).”

    “Yet, he sees no inconsistency with encouraging another form (isn’t this a secondary change) – seems that this will only create confusion rather than a core mentality?

    Given Romanita – let’s see what happens.

      1. As long as the liturgy is celebrated in the EF or the OF
        in a manner that invites widespread criticism, ridicule and the celebrations become a butt of jokes, we have a real problem with the Orthodox most of all. Anyone involved in efforts to achieve greater Christian unity, has to be concerned that his/her job is made that much harder by this.

        I’ve followed Orthodox opinion on this subject informally for some years. They continue to bash us over the head for that lack of mystery and reverence they associate with the post- Vatican II liturgy. I think they somewhat exaggerate the extent of this condition and often pick up on the rantings from extreme traditionalists, but, unfortunately, many Orthodox see the revival of the EF as the ONLY solution to reversing these trends. I don’t agree with that view, but I can understand why Orthodox critics hold it.

      2. What I find interesting is that when some of the Orthodox allowed for a “western” rite to come into use, they adapted the EF (branding it the “Liturgy of St Gregory”) and an adaptation of the Book of Common Prayer, but seemingly have not allowed for anything like the OF. You can find some YouTube videos of some of these (often small) Masses – they are especially interesting because they give an idea of what a vernacular EF could be like.

        IMO, something critics of the EF should keep in mind is that many of the things they dislike about the EF are things that characterize the rites of the Orthodox Churches

  9. Cardinal Koch’s adress is published in full. It is hardly understandable, why people even react ( and in a totally emotional way by using words like “smear” ) to an newspaper article instead of dealing with the cardinal’s relatively complicated reflection. People who have at least a little knowledge about this Cardinals past as bishop of the diocese of Basel and as a theologian would be much more careful with quite a few of the statements that can be read on this blog … In very difficult times of the Church aren’t we dismissing far too easily considerations that might not at first glance fit into our prefabricated convictions?

  10. “The liturgy of the Church goes beyond the “conciliar reform” itself (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 1), whose objective, in fact, was not primarily to change the rites and gestures, but rather to renew mentalities and to put at the center of Christian life and ministry the celebration of the paschal mystery of Christ. Unfortunately, perhaps, also for us pastors and experts, the liturgy was taken more as an object to be reformed rather than a subject capable of renewing Christian life, from the moment that “a very close and organic bond exists between the renewal of the Liturgy and the renewal of the whole life of the Church.” The Church takes from the liturgy the strength for life.””

    It seems to me that the creative impetus given by SC and enacted in all creative Catholic liturgy since corresponds to these merits. It is unjust to say that the Vatican II church treated the liturgy as an object to be tampered with. Also false is the insinuation that Vatican II envisaged no drastic practical reforms.

  11. Certainly SC led to the form of the Mass we have now and I doubt that Pope Paul VI would have approved it if he thought it would change the Faith of the Church. But we shouldn’t deny that implementing it over the years as led to some rather unusual expressions of it and the iconoclasm of many pre-Vatican II churches under the guise that this is what Vatican II “wanted.” It was what liturgists who had a particular interpretation of Vatican II wanted and they sold their ideas very well to bishops, priests and parish liturgy committees.
    Today’s problems are not so much with super creativity, but with banal, lifeless celebrations that “appear” to the many participants to be less reverent, unrehearsed and too casual. That’s not built into the OF Mass but rather a manipulation of the OF. But there are many fine examples of the OF and I think in general the landscape is much better today than it was in the 70’s and 80’s independent of SP and the EF.

    1. Today’s problems are not so much with super creativity, but with banal, lifeless celebrations that “appear” to the many participants to be less reverent, unrehearsed and too casual.

      In all fairness, Fr. Allan, that same criticism — including too casual, viz. disengaged, rote serving or celebrating that comes across as sloppy — can be lodged against the EF.

      1. Yes, that is true, but because less people are involved in the EF and the the priest is facing the same direction and speaking a language that is different than the vernacular, it is not as noticeable and still came off as “reverent” to the congregation, but I was really referring to the OF which is the Mass that most Catholic priests celebrate most of the time and many times on Sunday including me. The EF isn’t our primary focus in other words.

      2. that same criticism — including too casual, viz. disengaged, rote serving or celebrating that comes across as sloppy — can be lodged against the EF.

        They can be? Can or should? Is that today or in 1950? Is this based on your experience with EF communities? It hasn’t been my experience that they have lifeless celebrations, has it been yours?

      3. Samuel at 11:15;

        It has definitely NOT been my experience. The effort and enthusiasm, both “behind the scenes” and during the liturgy at our EF Parish is easily discernable by anyone attending. I’m not sure what some commenters are commenting on when they characterize today’s EF celebrations as “cold” or “mechanical” or other such descriptions. Not my experience at all.

  12. Sean Whelan :

    Please, nothing more than pushing an agenda and rewriting history. John 23 and Paul 6 must be rolling in their graves.
    At one point, I thought a “Society of Paul VI” was a cute idea. Currently, I would have little problem joining if it existed.

    A ‘Society of Paul VI’ sounds excellent if it means they will offer the Mass according to the words and rubrics of the Roman Missal in accordance with Tradition and the hermeneutic of continuity rather than rupture. That would be a wonderful endeavour.

      1. If you serisouly think the 3rd edition can be considered a rupture, then you don’t know the definition of rupture. Hopefully you were just being funny.

  13. Fr. Allan J. McDonald :

    Yes, that is true, but because less people are involved in the EF and the the priest is facing the same direction and speaking a language that is different than the vernacular, it is not as noticeable and still came off as “reverent” to the congregation, but I was really referring to the OF which is the Mass that most Catholic priests celebrate most of the time and many times on Sunday including me. The EF isn’t our primary focus in other words.

    Remarkable… In the EF, the priest could be blasting through the prayers, speed reading the Eucharistic Prayer, but the assembly is still nurtured by this “reverent” experience.

    I get disgusted quickly when we get into this reverence business. How do you measure reverence?

    1. You know what I meant, the poor celebrations were/are obscured in the EF. When prayers are silent, you don’t know the priest is racing through them and if you can’t see his face, you don’t know his demeanor. If it is a language you don’t understand, you don’t know if he is doing it right or wrong. If you have fewer people to train, i.e. no lectors, no Extraordinary Minister and only altar boys, there is less to go wrong. I’m not advocating removing any ministries of the OF Mass, only advocating doing them well. I’d also advocate doing the EF well. Reverence is perception and in the eye of the beholder.

      1. Yeah fine, we’re all for reverence, but has anyone noticed that in the reality of parish life, it’s generally impossible to do the ‘slow motion devotion’ thing with the Old Mass AND clear the carpark in time for the next Mass crowd to get in? And it always was.

        Yet another reason why the world’s bishops decided in Council in the 1960s to reform the liturgy.

        I suppose now that the carparks are emptier, and will (in Pope Benedict’s “leaner, meaner” Church) get emptier still, it’s OK to do things (like the Old Mass) that take longer.

        Meanwhile, the reality of the Old Mass (to which people are allegedly attached and that’s – on paper but not in reality – why Summorum Pontificum and its attendant documents have been issued) is that it was very rarely celebrated as reverently as Allan McDonald, his “veri probati” and the cheerleaders for the Maryknoll Missal translation of the 1962 Missal would have us believe.

      2. You are correct that the vast majority of people prefer the OF, so I am perplexed why you show such concern for minority who do wish to have it. Leave them alone and they won’t bother you. It’s really no big deal.

      3. I agree that we should be generous with the small group that, for whatever reason, is attached to the rite not reformed by Vatican II.

        But the way to do this, which we had under JP2, is to offer an indult. This makes it clear that the old rite is not the mind of the church as expressed at the ecumenical council, it’s not the liturgy of the church, it doesn’t express our understanding of what the church is, but we can be generous with those who haven’t yet accepted the council.

        This isn’t what Pope Benedict is doing. Make no mistake about it: he intends to undermine the reform, and he and his people are fairly honest and explicit about it. The generous use of the old rite, the great reverence we’re to hold for it, and so forth – all this is because the reform was a mistake, there shouldn’t have been a rupture, and so forth.

        Those who support Vatican II and the reverent, worthy, traditional celebration of the rite of Paul VI (as I do – preferably with some Latin chant etc.), have had the rug pulled out from under them. We no longer can be confident about what we’re doing. We can only wonder how long before it is undone – probably not entirely, but certainly in large part.

        And now Cardinal Koch says explicitly that there should be one form of the rite again at some point – some sort of merger between 1962 and the missal of Paul VI. There it is: the liturgy we’re all celebrating every Sunday is defective, it’s temporary, and it will need to be redone at some point.

        Not a good way to run the church. How is my lex orandi supposed to inform my lex credendi when the leadership is telling me that the lex orandi is temporary?

        This isn’t about what a few people do at the fringes. It’s about undermining what the vast majority are doing every Sunday – because the Pope doesn’t like it.

        awr

      4. And now Cardinal Koch says explicitly that there should be one form of the rite again at some point – some sort of merger between 1962 and the missal of Paul VI. There it is: the liturgy we’re all celebrating every Sunday is defective, it’s temporary, and it will need to be redone at some point.

        If your argument is valid and this is a bad way to run the Church, it applies mutatis mutandis to the post-Vatican II reform. The fact that it was a council and not just a pope doesn’t really change things, since, without the Pope’s approval, the Council couldn’t have acted.

        How is my lex orandi supposed to inform my lex credendi when the leadership is telling me that the lex orandi is temporary?

        This could be a quotation from Archbishop Lefebvre.

        Also, to say “because the Pope doesn’t like it” seems to pretty clearly distort what’s going on. It’s his judgment of what’s good for the Church, not just his personal preference. John XXIII didn’t convene Vatican II because he liked the idea of having a Council. He didn’t approve S.C. because he liked it.

        This makes it clear that the old rite is not the mind of the church as expressed at the ecumenical council,

        An ecumenical council, not the Council. And a council’s disciplinary norms don’t bind the Church forever, as we’ve discussed.

        it’s not the liturgy of the church,

        Of course it’s the liturgy of the Church. To say it’s not the liturgy of the Church is a pretty outrageous claim, by the way. What is it if it’s not the liturgy of the Church? An imitation of liturgy? Not an act of worship? Even under an indult it’s the liturgy of the Church.

        it doesn’t express our understanding of what the church is

        So people who use it are what then? Heretics? Dissenters?

        but we can be generous with those who haven’t yet accepted the council.

        One can accept the Council and still be attached to the old rite. This fact has been confirmed by every Pope since Vatican II.

      5. Samuel said, in response to my “How is my lex orandi supposed to inform my lex credendi when the leadership is telling me that the lex orandi is temporary?”, “This could be a quotation from Archbishop Lefebvre.”

        Exactly.

        The rupture-within-continuity that Vatican II (imho) called for and Paul VI carried out is an exceptional event, made necessary by the Church’s unfortunate decision since Trent to freeze things liturgically. (Now there’s a violation of the laws of organic development!) Vatican II gave us a renewed understanding of lex orandi and lex credendi. It was such a huge step forward, such a ‘rupture,’ because we had to catch up for 400 lost years. The oddity of Trent brought forth the oddity of Vatican II.

        So the question is: do we accept Vatican II? Do we except the renewed (i.e. changed) understanding of lex orandi/lex credendi?

        I do. Lefebvre doesn’t. I’m not sure, frankly, about Pope Benedict.

        awr

      6. made necessary by the Church’s unfortunate decision since Trent to freeze things liturgically.

        Trent’s decision to centralize liturgical decision-making for the Roman Rite may or may not have been a good idea (I’m not entirely decided), but it’s false to say that the liturgy was “frozen”. We can name lots of stuff that changed between Trent and 1962. Neither was an ecumenical council neccesary as an exceptional event to make even drastic changes in the rites, as both Divino Afflatu and the Holy Week reforms of the 1950’s prove, to name just two examples.

      7. Fr. Ruff said: “Those who support Vatican II and the reverent, worthy, traditional celebration of the rite of Paul VI (as I do – preferably with some Latin chant etc.), have had the rug pulled out from under them.”

        This would be a legitimate argument if the majority of mass-goer actually experienced the Paul VI rite as you do. The problem is that most do not. I can’t find an OF anywhere around that celebrates in a traditional manner that includes chant. I hear strumming folk guitars and drums a lot. Maybe that is the reason why people are becoming so interested in the EF mass. They are discovering the church’s heritage at the EF, since it has been completely stripped from the majority of OF masses.

        I direct a choir at a small parish that sung nothing but the standard 1970s and 80s repertoire before I was hired. I’ve introduced english chant and polyphony to some extent and the feedback was overwhelming. “We’ve never heard the choir sing so beautifully. We love having you here to direct the music program.” People are craving tradition, especially since society is going the opposite way. If the OF can become what it was truly meant to be, there would be no demand for the EF. But in the meantime, as long as the OF remains loosey-goosey and uninspiring in far too many places, people will continue to find refuge at the EF. I personally love both forms, but I wish the OF was more like the EF in many respects. No one can seriously say that the OF we have today is at all what was envisioned at VII. So, let’s continue moving forward and fully implementing what the council really said.

      8. Brad, Good point. – I’m in an academic/monastic setting where we do traditional music and celebrate by the book in a pretty reverent, traditional manner. Maybe I don’t realize how ‘bad’ it is it there, and if I did, I wouldn’t be so quick to defend Vat II-Paul VI and criticize the unreformed rite.

        But: the issues (problems) you raise are mostly cultural/spiritual, and changing the ritual won’t necessarily help anything.

        I could imagine (though I dread it) some future mix of 1962 and V2/P6 with only EP I, a one-year lectionary, perhaps with addition of OT reading, new cycle of Resp Pss matching the gradual psalms of the GR … and every issue (problem) of yours remains untouched. Tacky architecture looks like a ski lodge, cantor for the resp ps is over-amplified, the vestments are gaudy (stole over the chausible, no doubt) and so forth.

        I could also imagine (and it’s what I strive for) a more worthy celebration of Paul VI with more Latin chant, more incense, higher quality architecture and music, graceful (not prissy or affected) ritual with expanded processions at entrance and Gospel, etc.

        I also would not have a problem, though it’s not my path, to offer, for pastoral reasons, V2/P6 in a robustly traditional manner for those who have difficulty accepting V2 and are drawn to 1962: Latin EP (out loud, I hope!), eastward orientation, only Latin or English propers rather than metrical hymns, and so forth. I would hope that these Masses have communion under both forms, female lectors and acolyte, and worship aids helping the congregation participate as a community, but these are local pastoral questions in part.

        The way forward is to unify everyone around V2/P6, and continue to inculturate this rite to match the pastoral needs of every situation and every culture – and that might mean all in Latin, or all contemporary ‘folk’ music, or well-done liturgical dance, or monastic restraint, or drums, or…

        awr

      9. I traced this up to my post so I could post this one. I agree with all you said Fr. Anthony. What Brad says is true. The experience of the OF Mass in so many places is abysmal and allows for too many options in music and other things. But the monastic ones you celebrate and fashion are far from that and even in a ultra modern facility.
        In my previous parish, I had a once a month Latin Mass with a schola at our Vigil Mass on Saturday. It was beautiful but it was an OF Mass, but entirely in Latin, except the Liturgy of the Word and the schola sang the Latin Introit and Offertory and Communion antiphons. There were no hymns.
        People came from all over for it and those who didn’t like the Latin went to another Mass that weekend.
        I’m not wedded to Latin though and would prefer better English music. So I miss not having the OF Mass in Latin as it does afford more flexibility with the vernacular for the changing parts of the Mass; it can be a hybrid in that sense while the EF cannot be “technically” right now. And facing ad orientem I doubt that most people would know that it isn’t an EF.

      10. Fr. Ruff: I am one of “Those who support Vatican II and the reverent, worthy, traditional celebration of the rite of Paul VI “, and I don’t see how anyone can justifiably criticize the OF as Pope Benedict celebrates it.

        In my local parish both the OF and the EF are offered daily. I attend the OF at least twice as often as the EF, generally preferring a gorgeous sung high EF to a somewhat noisy and less reverent OF on Sunday, but a reverent OF to a low EF on weekdays. I appreciate the richness of the new collects and prefaces in the OF–of which I am admittedly a devotee, printing out the new translations daily and carrying them around with me to use both at OF Mass and as collects with the LOTH–and the greater flexibility of the newer form regarding variable degrees of solemnity and different proportions of vernacular and Latin, chant and recitation.

        Entirely apart from my appreciation for the older form, and specifically from the viewpoint of the OF which the vast majority of Catholics attend (and will continue to), I feel deeply grateful to Pope Benedict for SP and the reform of the reform–which I take to be intended for the rescue of the post-Vatican II liturgy rather than for the restoration of pre-Vatican II liturgy.

      11. Fr. Ruff, if the V2/P6 celebrated in the robustly traditional manner you mention above became the norm, I would lay my last dollar on the fact that the EF mass would disappear almost completely (at least for those who accept VII but wish for more tradition). I would love to think that this is what B16 is pushing for, although I wish he would just mandate it and stop tinkering around with the two seperate forms.

        I’ve been to an EF numerous times. I am always excited to go, but I always leave wishing there was “more” to it. The more I am referring to is hearing the priest pray (whether it be Latin or English). I like to stay engaged, even if I don’t undertstand everything he says. The readings should always be in English, but I like the Liturgy of the Eucharist to be in Latin, and ad orientem since we all know what is being said and done generally speaking. I don’t mind traditional hymns for the processional and recessional, but I also like the propers for offertory and communion. I personally think we should kneel for communion, but that is often a point of contention. I’m sure there is no perfect formula, but the enrichment of the OF with EF elements just seems like the future to me.

    2. Having served many times at EF masses before the Council,
      many priests did indeed race through their masses,
      including the canon. One of the reasons why I think the EP should be recited out loud or sung.

      One elderly Jesuit I knew many years ago was so outraged at the idea of using English, he translated all the common
      parts of his private mass into koine Greek, including the
      Roman anaphora, and was very proud to tell his colleagues in the Jesuit community and his law students that he had done so. This illustrates the mischief one can create through silence.
      Reverence isn’t the absence of sloppiness. It shines through when the celebrant is himself reverent. He can’t practice being respectful, in awe, “worshipful” with choreography alone.
      Like any actor on stage, you must believe your part or
      role and your actions must show it, or the audience will be on to you as a phony very quickly.

      As for silence in the mass, so many traditionalists love it, but it also masks an opportunity for the very mischief they fear and abhore. You can mumble whole chapters from the writings of Zwingli and Calvin’s teachings on the eucharist and nobody is the wiser. The early Church realized this all to well when fear of “heresy” tainting the liturgy was rampant.

      What’s more, I think a chanted , or partially chanted canon, beats a silent Roman canon or any other eucharistic prayer any day of the week. Pope Benedict himself recited and chanted EP3 on Maundy Thursday a few years ago and it was very moving, beautifully done. The most reverent celebrations of the anaphora I’ve ever seen have always been at OF masses.
      praying of the EP I’ve ever seen was in OP

      1. As for silence in the mass, so many traditionalists love it, but it also masks an opportunity for the very mischief they fear and abhore. You can mumble whole chapters from the writings of Zwingli and Calvin’s teachings on the eucharist and nobody is the wiser. The early Church realized this all to well when fear of “heresy” tainting the liturgy was rampant.

        This is not a good reason for a canon out loud, because saying the words is no guarantee of validity. You have to trust the priest, because if he says the words without the proper intention, it won’t matter that he said the words.

      2. If what you mean is that the Church supplies and the sacrament is valid despite the lack of the proper intention of the celebrant, that’s not the Roman Catholic doctrine.

      3. I’ll never forget the senior curate at the “Irish” church in town who used to tell the funeral directors (my Dad’s friends), when he met the body at the door, “Don’t wander, boyos, I’ll be done in 15!”

      4. In Alphonse Daudet’s Christmas story “Les trois messes basses“, dom Balaguère, a priest who likes good food, is tempted by the devil who describes to him the menu of the feast that will follow as soon as the three Chrismas Masses are over. The priest is so eager to eat that he rushes through each Mass, faster and faster, skipping more and more of the rubrics. Here is a short excerpt (in French, sorry. In context it’s quite comical, but it’s hard to translate it.)

        Frénétiquement il se baisse, se relève, esquisse les signes de croix, les génuflexions, raccourcit tous ses gestes pour avoir plus tôt fini. A peine s’il étend ses bras à l’Évangile, s’il frappe sa poitrine au Confiteor. Entre le clerc et lui c’est à qui bredouillera le plus vite. Versets et répons se précipitent, se bousculent. Les mots à moitié prononcés, sans ouvrir la bouche, ce qui prendrait trop de temps, s’achèvent en murmures incompréhensibles.

        Oremus ps… ps… ps…

        Mea culpa…pa…pa…

        http://www.papa-noel.be/contes-de-noel/conte-de-noel-1.htm

        http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/6120/
        for an English translation, but I’m not sure it’s very good.

      5. Samuel, I’m quite aware that the intention of the priest must be to do what the church intends to do, even if only habitually. But you yourself make the point that we must trust that the intention is there. On the odd occasion when it is not, due to a lack of faith or whatever other reason, do you really believe that God withholds the grace of the sacraments? Or could it be that, despite the defect of intention on the part of a particular priest, the intention of the church suffices to work the work?

      6. I would not mind if the Canon were said aloud or sung during the EF, especially during solemn Mass. This is a worthy innovation. Certainly, the silent Canon does not have its origins in the apostolic era. I do not, however, favor the translation of the Canon into the vernacular.

        The best solution to the “silent Canon” issue is no solution. Byzantine Christians, both Eastern Catholic and Orthodox, are all over the map on this question. I’ve been to Divine Liturgies where the anaphora was completely silent or partially silent depending on church and ethnic tradition. Why not simply permit a celebrant to recite silently, recite aloud, or sing the Canon at his discretion?

        Like many EF Catholics, I love the silent Canon. Still, it’s time to allow for some diversity. Most EF Catholics I know are now fine with vernacular readings at Low Mass. A revised EF missal edition with the new rubrics, some of the OF prefaces, tones for the Canon, and a revised sanctoral calendar would be a big advancement.

        It’s time to push the EF comfort zone a bit further. Some in the EF want no change. Why can’t we embrace slow change? It’s not like a few incremental changes will usher in a Folk Mass the next Sunday.

      7. That’s not what “Ecclesia supplet” means in its ordinary sense.

        See, for instance, Dr. Ed Peters discussion here. The Church supplies jurisdiction when neccessary, not matter, form, or intention.

        We might, and I think I would, hold Dr. Peters suggested doctrine, Deus providet, that no one acting in good faith would be punished because of such a circumstance. But, as Dr. Peters also points out, one way God provides is by informing people when the form of a sacrament is lacking and giving them other priests to go to who will administer it properly.

        The fathers of Trent actually cite such a situation with regards to internal intention writing:

        the penitent ought not so to confide in his own personal faith, as to think that,–even though there be no contrition on his part, or no intention on the part of the priest of acting seriously and absolving truly,–he is nevertheless truly and in God’s sight absolved, on account of his faith alone. For neither would faith without penance bestow any remission of sins; nor would he be otherwise than most careless of his own salvation, who, knowing that a priest but absolved him in jest, should not care fully seek for another who would act in earnest. (Sess. XIV, cap.6)

        That the sacraments are valid despite the lack of interior intention of the minister based on their external form and therefore external intention was condemned in the case of baptism

        by Alexander VIII (1690) against the proposition that “Baptism is valid if conferred by a minister who observes the whole external rite and form of the Sacrament, but interiorly in his heart says: I do not intend to do what the Church does.”

        See Pohle and Preuss, The Sacraments: A Dogmatic Treatise, Vol. 1, (Herder, 1915) pg. 175 and following, available on Google Books.

      8. Also, the defect of internal intention is the reason for many anullments granted by the Catholic Church, so for that reason it would seem that the Church does not adopt the doctrine as its own.

        All this is to say that, yes, God may supply the grace in a case where interior intention is lacking, but He doesn’t supply the Sacrament, which is a different thing.

        Also, I don’t think habitual intention is commonly held to be sufficient for the confection of a sacrament by Roman authors (indeed, it is held not to be sufficient), but the virtual intention.

      9. The deeper question is whether these theories and documents accord with the God revealed by Jesus in the Gospels – an absurdly generous and compassionate God. Jesus was critical of the temple priesthood, and he was critical of formal, legal, external ritual requirements, and he cared mostly about where the heart is.

        So if ecclesia supplet doesn’t apply, maybe Deus caritatis supplet does.

        I mean this seriously. The effectiveness of God’s grace is not dependent upon our rules or our theories.

        awr

      10. So what’s your opinion Fr. Anthony? Do the teachings of the Council of Trent accord with the teachings of Christ? Had the Church so far defected from the teaching of Christ that its teachings on what is and is not a sacrament were untrue? Do you really not have an opinion on this question? It seems like your raising a question in order to cast aspersions without doing so directly.

        “So if ecclesia supplet doesn’t apply, maybe Deus caritatis supplet does.”

        Since I wrote almost the same thing, it seems like we could discuss the issue without rhetorically invoking questions as to whether a whole stream of theology, approved by the Church was contrary to the teaching of Christ.

        “I mean this seriously. The effectiveness of God’s grace is not dependent upon our rules or our theories.”

        It’s difficult to see how you’re not intentionally missing the point. No one has denied this. The effectiveness of the sacraments, however, which are God’s ordinary means of conveying sacramental graces are dependent on God’s ordinances: how He has set the “rules” for how they work.

        (Your comment appears to have an open italic tag which is making the rest of the page italic.)

  14. Now I’m getting curious. I really have to go to the EF some day, to see for myself what’s so extraordinary about it. If I happen to have a chance to go to one during my travels, is there an easy way to tell whether they’re the schismatic kind (Lefebvrist) or the legal kind? Or does it not matter — do I get the same experience regardless?

    1. is there an easy way to tell whether they’re the schismatic kind (Lefebvrist) or the legal kind?

      If the Church is run by the SSPX, that will be obvious. If the Church is run by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter or the Institute of Christ the King, that will also be obvious (those groups are both in good standing with Rome). If they also offer the reformed liturgy, they’re not SSPX, but diocesan. (That covers almost everyone expcept a few outliers, like St. Joseph’s in Richmond, a parish staffed by Benedictine monks, which is 1962 only.)

    2. http://www.ecclesiadei.org/masses.cfm

      -Has a listing of approved Masses and

      http://web2.airmail.net/carlsch/MaterDei/churches.htm

      also lists Masses.

      Most groups in “irregular” situations will usually indicate so on the outside of the Church (Society of St Pius, “independent,” etc) – they also tend to be stricter (with official dress codes – women in skirts and headcoverings, men in ties). I also doubt they would actively call the Mass they celebrate the “Extraordinary Form,” but don’t know for sure since I really have no involvement with such groups.

    3. Claire it’s mainly “extraordinary” because it’s still being done nearly 50 years after it was abrogated!

  15. I’m not clairvoyant, but apart from the Penitential Rite, the revised preparation rite and unification of the priests and people’s “Lord I am not worthy,” and the requirement of the official introit, offertory and communion antiphons and then the peripheral ad orientem and Latin, the two Masses are not that different. If you added the new Lectionary and calendar to the EF Mass, allowed for lectors and EM’s where there is need, it would have the post Vatican II ethos.
    I don’t see anything wrong with either form of the Mass celebrated well. What a third form that is a combination remains to be seen, but I think it will be more in keeping with the current OF than with the current EF, but I could be wrong.

    1. Wrong?

      You couldn’t be wronger.

      You (and plenty of others) miss out on one very important thing: what happened at the Council and afterwards was not just a tinkering with the penitential rite or anything else – it was a complete reform, a total return to the sources, a stripping away of the accretions of centuries, and not just in the externals.

      To say, as you have, that it was just a few word changes here and there, displays a lack of understanding of the liturgical movement and the Council (and what followed, implemented by the Council Fathers) that even you should know something about. It wasn’t about tinkering with liturgy – it was about ecclesiology.

      You’re obviously a better clairvoyant than you are a lturgist or theologian!

      1. I’ve heard this drum banging before; we all know that the reform of the Mass and the renewed ecclesiology of the Church goes back to the sources. But you know what this isn’t AD 100 and it isn’t 1950. Most parishes I know strive to follow post-Vatican II teaching regarding ecclesiology and there are armies of people involved in the life of the parish and its ministries.These same people collaborate with the bishop and pastor on tons of time consuming pastoral councils, finance councils, stewardship councils and an array of committees and sub committees. There are more lay people working for the Church and certainly the liturgy shows forth the Church not only as the Bride of Christ, but also His Body with Jesus as the head. It also shows forth the priestly character of the baptized people of God from whom God chooses men to the ministerial priesthood. In the liturgy celebrated today, either OF or EF, these recovered sensibilities and a post Vatican II understanding of the Church as the baptized people of God can be shown forth and indeed is being shown forth, unless you think the person participating in the pew, actively, consciously and vocally, as well as internally, is inferior to those who lector, sing in the choir and serve the altar and bring Holy Communion to the faithful in Church at home-bound. The most important parish based, laity based renewal that I know of is Catholic Stewardship where the laity are taking seriously God’s call to give their time to God in prayer, share their talents in building up their homes as miniature churches and serving the needs of their church, family and community by bringing their faith to their talents and by supporting the Church with their treasure, some making huge sacrifices and in a mature and grateful way.

  16. I’m very tired of this tilting at windmills – this imagined battle against an unidentified group who supposedly favour, as a matter of principle, a ‘hermeneutic of discontinuity’. Who are they?

    The liturgical reform was, to my mind, planned and executed with great respect for liturgical tradition. There will inevitably be differences of opinion as to what precisely are “elements subject to change” (cf SC 21), and how they should be changed. But change does not necessarily mean, to use Cardinal Koch’s emotive word, ‘rottura’ (‘break’). Using such language is a scare tactic.

    A modification to or development of a feature from the long tradition of Christian liturgy is a change but not a break. I’d call it organic growth (cf SC 23).

      1. Well, as much as I respect Fr Ruff, that was a mistake on his part. The whole business about “hermeneutic of continuity” and “continuity” vs “rupture” is a silly nonsense, one that ignores the amazing work on liturgy that gathered momentum not long after the First Vatican Council.

      2. I put it in quotation marks (the second time), and the first time I didn’t write “rupture,” but rather rupture-within-continuity, which I thought people would catch as a play on B16’s phrase, “discontinuity within continuity.” Sorry if I threw people off.

        I think I agree with Jonathon Day that all this argument about rupture and continuity is silliness. The terms are too broad to be of any use. There is something like continuity in Vatican II, and there is something like discontinuity or rupture. If I understand the Pope right, he seems to be saying it is not possible that there be rupture, but the problem which requires introducing the unreformed Mass is that a rupture happened. That doesn’t quite make sense, so I’m not sure what he means.

        Whatever you call it, a lot of change happened with Vatican II. I dislike these grand theories (of Reid and others) about whether that can or should happen – it did. So it can happen. And I think all the change was made necessary by mistakes the Church made at Trent – indeed, by mistakes the Church made throughout the Middle Ages.

        I know that’s anathema to some Catholics. I would think, though, that we Christians would be masters at admitting we made mistakes. It’s kind of central to the Gospel.

        awr

      3. Fr Ruff said: “Whatever you call it, a lot of change happened with Vatican II. I dislike these grand theories (of Reid and others) about whether that can or should happen – it did. So it can happen. And I think all the change was made necessary by mistakes the Church made at Trent – indeed, by mistakes the Church made throughout the Middle Ages.”

        Couldn’t one view SP the same way you view Vatican II? SP and UE happened, and were necessary by mistakes the Church made during the liturgical renewal of the 1960/70’s. I don’t care for endless debates about whether or not the Bishops at the council envisioned the 1962 Missal remaining in use, or whether or not they envisioned two forms of the Roman Rite, or whether or not the missal was abrogated on paper (it certainly never was abrogated in practice).

  17. Vatican II brought about a new mentality in the Catholic Church. In both Lumen Gentium and Sacrosanctum Concilium, the church took steps toward reintegrating the ecclesiology of its first thousand years. Most notably this document restored the balance lost at Vatican 1 by stating clearly that the college of bishops, in union with the successor of Peter, is responsible for the governance of the universal church. It was the actions of the bishops with the pope that brought about the liturgical reforms and their implementation over the course of many years following the council. The Novus Ordo and all the revised sacramental rites represent the mind of Christ as expressed by the Shepherds of the Church.

    These rites differ significantly in mentality from the ones which went before. In the former rites, the priest (as alter Christus) is the agent and the people are recipients of the sacramental graces. In the new rites, Christ is the agent acting in and through both the ordained and baptized members of the church. The people are both subjects and objects of worship. That huge difference is immediately apparent in how the differing rites are celebrated. It is not a question of whether one or the other is “more” valid, it’s a question of how effective each is in achieving their objective. In both “forms”, for instance, it’s obvious that the consecration is of supreme importance. But in the older rite, it seems like its the only thing of importance. The real presence of Christ in the assembly and in the proclaimed Word is far less evident. But the real presence in the priest and the consecrated species is front and center. At his last supper, Jesus was not simply transmitting power to transform bread and wine, but to transform themselves and his flock into “one body, one spirit” in him.

    In the new mentality, the reformed rites continue–as all along–to effect what they signify, but they do so in a way that calls both priest and people to forge a deeper connection between sanctuary and daily living.

  18. In other news, today’s Wall Street Journal — note, this is neither The Tablet nor The New York Times — reported on the sex abuse crisis:

    Throughout the crisis, Vatican officials have argued that the pope’s respect for the authority of local bishops has prevented him from taking a heavier hand in dictating how individual dioceses should handle abuse cases. In calling Monday for bishops to set local guidelines, the Vatican again appeared to tiptoe around the bishops’ authority.

    I would like everyone to walk out of the room quietly, now, without any wisecracks.

  19. Touche’, Jonathan…you win the booby prize!

    Cardinal Newman is supposed to have raised concerns about Pius and 25 years in the papacy as too long of a papal reign creating a type of atrophy. On another blog, one of our commentors suggested that the age of a pope might also raise this same type of atrophy.

    1. I think, Bill, the Newman quote you’re looking for goes something like this:

      ‘We have come to a climax of tyranny. It is not good for a pope to live twenty years. He becomes a god, has no one to contradict him, does not know facts and does cruel things without meaning it.’

      Why do people wonder why Wojtyla didn’t beatify Newman?!

  20. Allan McDonald, you cannot have it both ways.

    You wrote above:

    apart from the Penitential Rite, the revised preparation rite and unification of the priests and people’s “Lord I am not worthy,” and the requirement of the official introit, offertory and communion antiphons and then the peripheral ad orientem and Latin, the two Masses are not that different

    You’re wrong. The only person “banging a drum” here is you, and, as usual, you’re out of step.

    1. In my parish, they are not that different. Please share your present day experiences of parish life and liturgy, because just as you really are extremely ignorant of my experiences so am I of yours.

      1. Allan, I’m not talking about “present day experiences of parish life and liturgy” – I’m talking about what you wrote above. Your assertion:

        apart from the Penitential Rite, the revised preparation rite and unification of the priests and people’s “Lord I am not worthy,” and the requirement of the official introit, offertory and communion antiphons and then the peripheral ad orientem and Latin, the two Masses are not that different

        is just plain wrong (and I said why in an earlier comment), and ALL the comparisons in the world of your “present day experiences of parish life and liturgy” and mine won’t change that fact.

      2. If they really aren’t all that different, what’s the deal? Why can’t these upset few put their personal desires aside and act obediently? It’s not like Paul VI said we had a choice in the 60’s. If they are so close, these folk need to pray in the NORMAL fashion that the Universal Church prays.

  21. Fr Allan wrote that In the liturgy celebrated today, either OF or EF, these recovered sensibilities and a post Vatican II understanding of the Church as the baptized people of God can be shown forth and indeed is being shown forth, unless you think the person participating in the pew, actively, consciously and vocally, as well as internally, is inferior to those who lector, sing in the choir and serve the altar and bring Holy Communion to the faithful in Church at home-bound.

    Fr Allan, I sure would like to believe this. I remind myself almost daily that blogs are not the same as parishes, that the Internet brings out unfortunate tendencies in all of us – the quick move to irony, a strident tone. I remind myself that many devotees of the EF felt abused and pushed aside after Vatican II, unfortunately leading to militant and triumphalistic language from time to time.

    Even discounting all those things, I can’t see the same sensibilities in the EF communities that I have experienced. They seem to claim a fundamentally different understanding of matters like the baptismal priesthood, the place of women and the role of the laity, not only in the liturgy but in church governance and proclamation of the gospel.

    The ‘derogation’ clause in UE does not help. Where the EF and OF co-exist in one parish, what happens when a female EMHC ministers a chalice at an OF Mass, a chalice which is subsequently used by a priest at an EF Mass? Does the chalice need to be re-blessed? In the ‘one rite’ that we celebrate in two forms, how can something be acceptable in the ordinary form, a ‘liturigcal abuse’, almost a sacrilege, in the extraordinary?

    As much as I want to believe the picture you’ve painted, it feels like we are slipping faster and faster into a weird sort of relativism.

    1. what happens when a female EMHC ministers a chalice at an OF Mass, a chalice which is subsequently used by a priest at an EF Mass? Does the chalice need to be re-blessed?

      Jonathan, the problem is easiest solved by not allowing women near chalices or anything else.

    2. Each parishioner and each priest can only speak for himself. We are a parish that is exclusively OF except for a once a month Latin High Mass at a separate time on Sunday, a once a week daily Mass at a separate time and an occasional special EF Mass. To be quite honest with you my parishioners are more preoccupied about the rest of their week apart from their one hour at Mass on Sunday–the churchy politics of us professionals and academics is off the radar screen for 99.9% of them. I think most of my faithful parishioners would be aghast at the politics and rhetoric, not to mention carping found on blogs whether it is this one or others. And yes using it to vet things that should be done privately first does seem to add another dimension to what is so nasty about the Church today, whether in the EF, OF, New Translation, Old Translation, the one that didn’t make it or the wishful thinking one.
      We use the same vestments, same chalice, same altar and same priest for both forms of the Mass and in many ways, the same parishioners for both. They’ve adapted quite readily.
      Again, I can only speak of my experience over the last four years and introducing the EF has been a blessing, not a curse and in no way divisive. That might not be the case elsewhere.

      1. None of which, Allan, makes your assertion

        apart from the Penitential Rite, the revised preparation rite and unification of the priests and people’s “Lord I am not worthy,” and the requirement of the official introit, offertory and communion antiphons and then the peripheral ad orientem and Latin, the two Masses are not that different

        true!

    3. Where the EF and OF co-exist in one parish, what happens when a female EMHC ministers a chalice at an OF Mass, a chalice which is subsequently used by a priest at an EF Mass? Does the chalice need to be re-blessed?

      And why would it? What is the point of asking random questions with no basis in fact?

    4. Jonathan:In the ‘one rite’ that we celebrate in two forms, how can something be acceptable in the ordinary form, a ‘liturigcal abuse’, almost a sacrilege, in the extraordinary?

      I understand where you’re coming from with the chalice question. I never ask these questions at Mass. The only time I will avoid any Mass or church is when a priest repeatedly pronounces the consecration wrong. Other than that, it’s Mass despite any extraneous commentary a priest might insert into the liturgy.

      As for the different EF and OF worldviews: let’s all try to be patient. I’ve been mean here many times. You are right that blogs bring out the worst in people. This is especially true when two noticeably divergent hermeneutics are battling for their voices to be heard. The practical divergence between OF and EF proponents will not be settled by instructions. I am convinced that the Roman Rite is merging towards another council to reconcile the two post-V2 schools. Will this happen in my lifetime? Perhaps not. It will, and it might make a greater impact than V2.

  22. A traditionalist commenter on the Rorate Caeli blog nailed it, I think. Even though I sharply disagree with his view that the aftermath of Vatican II was negative, I think his analysis of the current Vatican language is spot on.

    I simply do not have high hopes for the Summorum Pontificum or its “clarifications.”

    In Benedict we have a pope who is conflicted on the one hand by a binding sense of commitment to the fruit of the council in which he played a key role, and on the other hand by a genuine understanding of the appalling events which have unravelled over five decades, largely as a result of that council. His contribution as pope is likely to be a series of clever but brittle rhetorical devices concocted to explain this conflict – reform of the reform … ordinary and extraordinary “forms” … hermeneutics of rupture and continuity – which will be found in the end not to bear the weight of careful and honest analysis.

    Benedict’s version of fifty years of Church history requires us to believe that the council which aspired to set the course of Mother Church from 1964 forward has no legitimate relation to the depradations [sic] which followed in the late sixties and seventies, and which continue to the present day.

  23. Within the context of active participation both forms have the following in common:
    Kyrie
    Gloria
    Collect
    Liturgy of the Word
    Offertory/preparation
    Preface dialogue
    Preface
    Sanctus
    Roman Canon
    Amen
    Our Father
    Agnus Dei
    Communion of the priest
    Communion of the people
    Prayer after Communion
    Dismissal

    Difference:
    Latin v. vernacular
    prayers at foot of altar v. penitential rite
    Simple one year lectionary, v. three year cycle and an added reading
    more complicated offertory prayers v. simplified preparation prayers
    more rubrical v. less rubrical
    use of maniple v. no maniple
    duplication of “Lord, I am not worthy” v. amalgamation of such for priest and laity
    no lay lectors/communion ministers, but commentator allowed v. lector, communion minister, commentator;
    dismissal and blessing and last gospel, v. blessing, dismissal and no last gospel.

    The second list is peripheral, the first list is the core.

    1. Your whole argument is peripheral, Allan, and continues to ignore your incorrect assertion that

      apart from the Penitential Rite, the revised preparation rite and unification of the priests and people’s “Lord I am not worthy,” and the requirement of the official introit, offertory and communion antiphons and then the peripheral ad orientem and Latin, the two Masses are not that different.

      1. So the “core” issue is latin vs. vernacular. And since the two rites are so similar, as Fr. Allen says, then just offer the OF in Latin.

        As it’s the priest who sets this “reverent” tone to the liturgy, these folks who are so upset with …clown Masses and whatever else… instead of working charitably with the priest and liturgy council… instead of communicating with the bishops, instead of expecting more liturgical/art of presiding instruction at seminary, these folks throw a hissy-fit, claim that two other popes and the entire college of bishops among many of the laypersons never intended to have only one rite, and create this rupture in the Church that will have far-reaching and destructive results. No bones about it (what the heck does that mean, anyway?), divisions will increase further, much more us vs. them mentalities and who knows… maybe even breakaway groups.

        The world is suffering, people are suffering, poverty, war, hatred, violence… and all we’re doing is causing chaos at the Eucharistic Table that is supposed to be the highlight of people’s week. Ubi caritas? Sure, but on my terms!

        Have mercy on us, O God, have mercy.

      2. Sean, there is only chaos when folks like you throw “hissy-fits” about the EF even existing. The EF is rightly part of the heritage of the church. Why is it so offensive to you that someone may just like that form of worship?

  24. Jordan Zarembo :
    I would not mind if the Canon were said aloud or sung during the EF, especially during solemn Mass. This is a worthy innovation. Certainly, the silent Canon is not of the apostolic era by any means. I do not, however, favor the translation of the Canon.
    The best solution to the “silent Canon” issue is no solution. Byzantine Christians. both Eastern Catholic and Orthodox, are all over the map on this question. I’ve been to Divine Liturgies where the anaphora was completely silent or partially silent depending on church and ethnic tradition. Why not simply permit a celebrants to recite silently, recite aloud, or sing the Canon at his discretion?
    Like many EF Catholics, I love the silent Canon. It’s time to allow for some diversity. Most EF Catholics I know are now fine with vernacular readings at Low Mass. It’s time to push the comfort zone a bit further. A revised missal with the new rubrical options and some of the OF prefaces, maybe Canon chants from the OF, and a revised sanctoral calendar would be a big advancement.

    Yeah, and why stop there? Let’s have women priests, too, and recognise Anglican and Lutheran orders, and while we’re at it, retire Bernie Law . . . .

  25. Jordan Zarembo :

    I would not mind if the Canon were said aloud or sung during the EF, especially during solemn Mass. This is a worthy innovation. Certainly, the silent Canon does not have its origins in the apostolic era. I do not, however, favor the translation of the Canon into the vernacular.

    I do not understand your dislike of having the Eucharistic Prayer in the vernacular. Is that not what it was when Latin was introduced?

  26. per Fr. Allan
    “Most parishes I know strive to follow post-Vatican II teaching regarding ecclesiology and there are armies of people involved in the life of the parish and its ministries.These same people collaborate with the bishop and pastor on tons of time consuming pastoral councils, finance councils, stewardship councils and an array of committees and sub committees.”

    Perhaps this is off topic, but one thing which concerns me is the question of what is the objective of all these groups?

    It seems possible that we spend more time at most levels of the RCC in administering the institution and its property than we do in learning how better to live as Jesus taught.

    In the US, much of this seems to derive from RC history as a community of immigrants which set up parallel institutions to support a denomination of Christianity which was opposed by those in power.

    What kind of Christians could we become if those committee hours were spent in studying the social justice teachings of the RCC? What if we omitted all the parallel social structures to those available in civil society and spent more time with Scripture in small groups asking how it applied in business, politics, recreation?

    I love liturgy. It is my specialty, but most people in most parishes have so much to learn and experience differently to get beyond going to Mass on Sunday and reaching instead participation in the communal celebration of the Word and the Eucharist.

    Most of what I try to do as a liturgist is just working on the edges, trying to make more feasible the fuller, more conscious participation which can get more people from mere attendance to actually praying together.

  27. Tom, I’m not convinced that the Roman Canon is written in the same register as colloquial Latin/vulgar proto-romance languages. The Canon’s clever literary devices and meter suggests that the eucharistic prayer was a deliberate work of prose crafted over a span of time. While the genesis of the Roman Canon might have been in an oral prayer tradition, a well-defined literary form of the eucharistic prayer had been well established by the Middle Ages.

    Language is never linear in development. The 1st c. author of the Gospel of Mark and the 2nd c. historian Lucian both lived within a similar Hellenistic world. Mark’s Greek is quite simple and perhaps colloquial. Lucian’s polished Greek consciously desires to imitate Attic prose. It’s quite possible that the Roman Canon textual tradition developed from the same cultural era but within a distinctive language register.

    The Canon must remain in Latin not only because its celebration is an act of unity with the Universal Church throughout history. Immersion in the Canon is an immersion in a textual space above our present day and time. The Canon in its original language reminds us that we conform ourselves to redemption through the living cross. The Holy Sacrifice need not conform to our expectations or desires apart from a desire for redemption and sacramental grace.

  28. Jordan, you are certainly right that vulgar Latin and classical Latin and high medieval Latin are quite different things, but I do not think it is relevant to what I am asking.

    The church spread originally in common languages, most obviously in Greek. When celebrations moved into Latin it was for the purpose intelligibility. Why should Christian celebrations not be intelligible now? I think that the only mysteries which Jesus taught had to do with how mysterious divinity is to humanity.

    I do not think it is true that the Roman Canon relates to the church “throughout history” since its own source goes only to about 800 CE. It shares in sources before that, but so do all the other EPs of the OF. The original languages of Christianity were Aramaic and Greek, not Latin. I think your argument would have more substance if it were on behalf of Koine Greek so that we are using the original Scripture text language when we reference them.

    I think that it is interesting to occasionally immerse myself in a “textual space”, but I am more interested in getting out of my personal space, which I can enter in private, and entering into communal prayer during liturgy. I think that by its nature the Mass connects us to the cross and the sacrifice of Jesus. I do not want to make Mass conform to my expectations but to what it claims to be doing on the surface, nourishing us with communal sharing in Scripture and Eucharist. The many meditative and reflective possibilities in the Mass are worth pursuing in private prayer, but the Mass itself is participatory and communal. I think it is the historic loss of these senses which SC was trying to restore in light of the immediately previous historic focus on doctrinal, mystical, and hierarchic elements.

  29. Tom Poelker: I do not think it is true that the Roman Canon relates to the church “throughout history” since its own source goes only to about 800 CE.

    Quite true. It would be more accurate to say that the Canon has been with the Roman rite for more than a millennium. It is quite a durable prayer, given that the changes made to it over much of the previous millennium were often restricted to the inclusion of local saints in the intersessions and prayers for temporal rulers.

    Tom: The church spread originally in common languages, most obviously in Greek. When celebrations moved into Latin it was for the purpose intelligibility.

    This will be the major focus of my research for the next few years. I intend to continue and elaborate on Christine Mohrmann’s observations about registers, vocabulary, and the interface between Roman pagan and Christian observance in early Latin prayer.

    I am not at all convinced that early Popes undertook the change to Latin prayer in Rome for the sake of “intelligibility” in the egalitarian sense often attached to the word today. Perhaps it is better to question the nature of the social group(s) that nurtured the early authors. I strongly suspect that the topography of churches and congregations in the late imperial Rome displayed a wide variety of socio-economic strata and complex relationships between freed and slave peoples. These variables question the notion of one intelligible expression for all Roman Christians.

    I don’t mind referencing Greek when needed. It’s not necessary to do so in this particular discussion. Many here would do a much better job at scriptural exegesis than I would as a person trained in classics. Maybe PT could have a discussion of New Testament composition styles. I don’t think this is the blog’s mission, though.

    1. I think we should follow it all (everything you said AND the apparent “mens” of the Pope who now only prays the Eucharistic Prayer exclusively in Latin) through to its natural conclusion and make a rule that contributions from Latinists have to be in Latin; you, however, may contribute in Greek.

      1. So what’s the deal with Pentecost anyway?? Why all that gift of tongue to speak the language of the people? Honestly, what was going on with the Teacher that day??

      2. Honestly, what was going on with the Teacher that day??

        Peter’s Pentecost address wasn’t liturgy. The Mass is not a didactic event, and its chief audience is not you.

      3. Chris, I just got back from reading Augustine’s De Trinitate with a group of self-taught Latinists. My family’s parish hosts courses and reading groups in Latin, New Testament Greek, and Hebrew. For real. My friends have made awesome progress since I last saw them two years ago. They exhibit a real joy and love for the sacral language of the Roman Rite. Their yearning to understand patristics and the historical liturgy through Latin study is unquenchable.

        The Latin of the Mass and Office is not a burden. Rather, our liturgical heritage is a joy and a gift to be lived in gratitude. I am quite willing to start a similar informal Latin instruction and reading group. Once people’s eyes are opened to our awesome Latin liturgical heritage, there is often a great desire to learn anything and everything that will give them insight into a rich expression of prayer.

        Instead of lowering liturgy to a common denominator, why not lift Catholics up into an understanding of Latin? What could be a greater “active participation” than immersion in centuries of richly complex prayer, chant, and musical accompaniment? Our hearts should yearn for this beauty rather than reject Latin as anachronistic and inimical to progressive interests.

        Latin is our heritage, our sacral language, for progressive and traditional Catholics alike.

  30. Fr. Allan J. McDonald :

    Is there chaos in your parish over the EF?

    Is it not painfully obvious that there is a great wound in the Church now due to the encouragement of the EF? Perhaps, Padre, you’re parish is a liturgical utopia of the old and new, but it’s not the norm. Just visit other blogs to see how “good Catholics” outright bash the liturgy, composers, musicians and priests. What form of charity is that?

    The one parish in this diocese that offers the EF (led by a priest who was ordained 4 years ago and was a convert – never experienced the EF) is very close to my parish. Chaos? No. Continual jabs at music, ignoring posture of the assembly, suggestions on how to redecorate the worship space… and all quite vocal.

    I wonder how they’d like it if I attended an EF Mass at their parish and responded in the vernacular, stood for Communion, received standing up and on the hand… ooh I bet I’d get put in my place!

    1. I recognize the mudslinging goes both ways, just read comments here and in other places. Who’s going to put an end to it and then recognize we are a Church now with two forms of the one Roman Rite? There is a variety in the Church today and if you live in a big city with many parishes or a parish with many Masses hopefully you will be respected at the one you choose to attend.

      1. That’s the thing though. I never see mudslinging on sites like this as I do on the “conservative Catholic” sites. Pure, outright hatred and vitriol spewed at Marty Haugen, David Haas… and the musicians and congregations who like to sing their music. Sure there are snarky comments here, but nowhere near the level at other sites.

        Funny you mention city size. The parish that offers the EF here is in a very small town. It’s a small Polish parish. Families with roots of over one hundred years in the community are up and leaving because of how they are treated and how their parish building is treated. And no, they are not going to other Catholic churches. The evangelical church down the road is rejoicing in the EF though.

      2. Fr. McDonald, the “mudslinging” I see is at web sites (both left and right) rather than in parishes.
        I sometimes wonder whether these constantly carping folks are actual Christian worshipers in any rite.

        For years I have attended two parishes, one suburban and generally liberal, the other urban and generally conservative. Both have EF Masses (daily at one, Sundays at the other) as well as OF Masses in both English and Spanish. I know both parishes well, worshiping privately or publicly in one or the other almost every day, and in neither have ever heard any rancor over differences in rites. So far as I can see, both exhibit, as apparently your own parish does, not only tolerance but the welcoming unity that the Vicar of Christ calls us all to.

      3. Henry, very nicely stated. In many parishes in our rural areas, Spanish is becoming predominant and so parishes are now bi-lingual. They must get along! I would say the same about EF and OF.

      4. Mudslinging is sometimes hard to see when you agree with the one slinging mud – perhaps those who only see Traditionalist mudslinging give too much slack to those who sling it from their side and are too quick to write it off as “biting wit.”

      1. Ah, indeed, only, the response given by those who attend our parish who kneel during Communion, even though the bishop has clearly stated that our posture is to stand throughout, is that it’s more reverent. It’s their time to pray.

      2. “… while this Congregation gave the recognitio to the norm desired by the Bishops’ Conference of your country that people stand for Holy Communion, this was done on the condition that communicants who choose to kneel are not to be denied Holy Communion on these grounds. Indeed, the faithful should not be imposed upon nor accused of disobedience and of acting illicitly when they kneel to receive Holy Communion”.

  31. Jack Wayne :

    They are obedient – the 1962 Missal is, and has been, allowed.

    Revisionist history. Why the Missal didn’t include the line from the Introduction to the Liturgy of the Hours (paraphrasing here – “For those priests due to age, would find learning the new format difficult, may continue to use the previous Breviary. That is the sole exception and the new LofH fully replaces the previous edition.) – but I guess few ever would have imagined it would be an issue. Whoops.

    1. There was an indult and now we have SP. That is the practical reality regardless of whether there was an intent to keep the 1962 Missal around. Those attending the EF under those terms were indeed obedient – no revisionist history at all.

      1. If you don’t know the terms of the indult, then how can you speak of people being disobedient? I’m not knowledgeable of the indult’s entire history (other than it beginning more as a temporary provision for those of old age and being widened over time – most notably in the 1980s).

        Also, one simply cannot speak of those who celebrate the 1962 Missal today as being disobedient – it is generously allowed for under the terms of SP.

  32. Jack Wayne :

    If you don’t know the terms of the indult, then how can you speak of people being disobedient? I’m not knowledgeable of the indult’s entire history (other than it beginning more as a temporary provision for those of old age and being widened over time – most notably in the 1980s).
    Also, one simply cannot speak of those who celebrate the 1962 Missal today as being disobedient – it is generously allowed for under the terms of SP.

    I’m asking YOU what the terms of the indult where. Sure, they have permission to freely do it now, but was that what the original indult proposed?

    1. I’m not the one arguing that those who celebrated the Mass under the old indult were being disobedient (or that those celebrating it now are) – if people violated the terms of the old indult, then it is on you to prove it. I would assume that if a bishop gave permission for a congregation to use the 1962 Missal that it was done according to the conditions of the indult.

  33. Robert B. Ramirez :

    “… while this Congregation gave the recognitio to the norm desired by the Bishops’ Conference of your country that people stand for Holy Communion, this was done on the condition that communicants who choose to kneel are not to be denied Holy Communion on these grounds. Indeed, the faithful should not be imposed upon nor accused of disobedience and of acting illicitly when they kneel to receive Holy Communion”.

    I mean kneeling DURING the Communion Procession, not to receive. (Though the GIRM does say that pastors should talk with those folk who do). In the Diocese of Gaylord, we remain standing from the conclusion of the Great Amen until the last communicant has received. Well, most of us anyway.

    1. Sean, why does posture bother you so?

      In my experience EF Catholics, at least at Low Mass, permit all sorts of postures. Few mind if a person wishes to kneel throughout the entire Mass. Nor do many mind if a person chooses to sit, stand, and kneel according to the practice for sung Mass. Solemn Mass tends towards uniformity, but not out of rubrical force or ideological pressure.

      So what if people are not forming the exact same postures at Mass? One salutary aspect of the EF is its apathy to personal devotion, so long as a certain level of decorum and reverence is preserved. This “laxity” of posture is even more pronounced in Eastern liturgies, where people will venerate icons and light votive candles during the Divine Liturgy! The post-conciliar notion that everyone must act in uniformity contradicts centuries-old freedom of personal posture expression during Mass. The obsession with uniform and synchronous posture is yet another example of the “liturgical engineering” of the post-conciliar liturgical movement according to academic ideals rather than lived experience.

      1. Because we are one body. We are unified in our posture, our song, our actions. How does personal, private devotion fit in with the Communion Procession? COMMUNION! And if all that is ignored, it is the instruction mandated by the bishop of this diocese.

      2. To a lot of people, communion means more than just community with fellow worshippers. Not that community is not important, but I can see why private devotion at this pivotal point in the mass would also be important to these individuals.

  34. The indult permission has now been replaced by positive promotion of the EF, for no good reason. Bishops are right to drag their feet.

    1. Positive promotion of approved liturgies is the only type there should be. I find it disturbing when people feel that the way the EF was treated during the indult days was actually healthy or good – it promoted extremism and division that now has to be dealt with and was anything but pastoral. Bishops are wrong to drag their feet and abuse their power.

  35. Keep in mind — as some do not — that ALL of the changes in the post-VII liturgy were approved by competent ecclesiastical authorities. In those days, they were the people who in fact WERE present at VII. Sometimes they were even approved by curial officials who were very cautious, even skeptical about the changes. But they WERE approved. The celebration of the liturgy in the vernacular, the Head gathered with in communion with his members, in fellowship and commitment to the Kingdom of God, has been cited over and over by the Bishops of the world as A Good Thing, one of the most productive gifts of the Spirit to come out of the Council. Not something imposed on those poor bishops by self-important scholars.

    So don’t go all “gone beyond the intent of the Council” on me. That’s a literal, fundamentalist reading of the documents. The overwhelming use of the vernacular and of various music forms were indeed “organic developments” from the implementation of SC
    .
    As Fr Anthony notes — how could there be anything like “organic development” when the uniformity following Trent, and the centralization of ecclesial authority in the Vatican in the 19th century, prevented precisely that?

    1. The VII documents couldn’t be any clearer on certain issues that have been ignored to a large extent by the majority of those in charge of liturgy. There were many good things that came out of VII, as you mentioned above. The use of vernacular was allowed, but complete disregard for latin in any form was absolutely not called for. Various musical forms were allowed, but complete disregard for gregorian chant was clearly against the will of these documents. If reading what is actually written in the documents constitutes fundamentalism, then I would be proud to be a fundamentalist.

      The “spirit of the council” has been used by people to justify many unjustifiable liturgical practices that were neither intended nor foreseen by the council. Organic development can not be so if it is a result of legislative power. The council decided vernacular was permitted…it was not organically developed over time. If you maintain this is organic development, then I submit that these developments established by B16 are also organic.

    2. As Fr Anthony notes — how could there be anything like “organic development” when the uniformity following Trent, and the centralization of ecclesial authority in the Vatican in the 19th century, prevented precisely that?

      He and others may maintain that, but it doesn’t make it true. There’s all sorts of devlopment between Trent and 1962. Here are some examples:
      1) The spread of the Missa Cantata with Incense
      2) The Turbae Choruses during the Singing of the Passion
      3) The reform of Holy Week
      4) The reordering of the office Psalms by Pius X
      5) The failure of the Pian psalter to catch on when people were given the option of using it or the previous version
      7) The development of orchestral Mass settings
      8.) Contrawise, the restoration of Gregorian Chant
      9) Urban VIII’s revision of the office hymns
      10) The replacement of the housling cloth with the communion paten
      11) The abbreviation of vestments and then the reintroduction of fuller forms.
      12) The introduction of lace decoration of vesture
      etc.

    3. Perhaps one reason to quit looking back and arguing about the intent of Vatican II, and instead to look forward and embrace the organic development that Pope Benedict calls for, is that the Council took place fifty years ago in a different time, and now we may have different needs and the benefit of the past half century of experience to help meet them. Even though our pontiff’s intent now may still be a authentic implementation of what Vatican II called for then.

  36. Jordan Zarembo :

    Instead of lowering liturgy to a common denominator, why not lift Catholics up into an understanding of Latin? What could be a greater “active participation” than immersion in centuries of richly complex prayer, chant, and musical accompaniment? Our hearts should yearn for this beauty rather than reject Latin as anachronistic and inimical to progressive interests.
    Latin is our heritage, our sacral language, for progressive and traditional Catholics alike.

    Why is learning Latin lifting people “up”? Why is it a better language? Why make people learn a new language to receive what the church is communicating? Are not most “sacral” languages secrets of their priesthoods? Why should Christians have a separate “sacral” language instead of learning to hear from and speak to God in their own languages? I think we would accomplish a lot more to run classes in formal English grammar and vocabulary which would also help people in their job skills, rather than take time to train them in a language that has evolved into modern Romance languages.

  37. This is the same K.Koch whose government department aided and abetted the department of A.Cañizares Llovera, to force Patrick Kelly to rescind his decision to allow Liverpool RC cathedral be used for Methodist ordinations.

    Ought we to be surprised?

    I wonder what W. Kasper thinks of the decision.

  38. I am very concerned with respect to the comments by Cardinal Koch regarding a reform of the liturgy. I am 66 years old and immediately fell in love with the Mass after Vatican II when spoken in English. Many of the words resonanted deeply within me and allowed me to draw closer to the Presence of Jesus, both in the Eucharist and in the Bodyof Christ. I do not consider myself a “rigid progressive ” by any means; the daily rosary is part of my prayer life. Yet, this action must be taken in context with other actions recently by Benedict, such as the dismassal of the bishop in Australia for mentioning the value of considering women for ordination. Quite frankly, the actions of the Roman hierarcy and the US bishops do not appear to me to be driven by the Spirit. They actually are distracting from my sense of spirituality and I am considering the Episcopal Church at this point in my life.

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