O’Malley on Faggioli on Liturgical Reform… and why some people are attracted to the old missal

True Reform: Liturgy and Ecclesiology in Sacrosanctum Concilium
by Massimo Faggioli

Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2012

Reviewed by Timothy O’Malley, reprinted with permission from the Fall 2012 issue of Church Life: A Journal for the New Evangelization, pp. 94-96.

In the subsequent years since the Second Vatican Council, interpretations of the four major constitutionshave tended to isolate theological treatments of the Church to either Lumen gentium (the Constitutuion on the Church) or Gaudium et spes (the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World). Such an approach, as Massimo Faggioli (an assistant professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul) ably argues, fails to acknowledge the centrality of ecclesiology in the liturgical document Sacrosanctum Concilium. Faggioli writes, “only a hermeneutic based on the liturgy and the Eucharist, as developed in the liturgical constitution, can preserve the riches of the overall ecclesiology of Vatican II without getting lost in the technicalities of a ‘theological jurisprudence’” (16). Sacrosanctum Concilium makes available to the Church a Eucharistic ecclesiology, one that manifests the true genius of the Second Vatican Council.

Faggioli’s unfolding of this argument is a work of solid scholarship, attentive to a vast array of Italian, English, German, and French literature. According to Faggioli, the liturgical reforms enacted by the Council are not simply aesthetic but rather a return to liturgical sources intended “to reset the cultural and ideological garment of Catholicism in the modern world in order to start over from the core essence of Christianity, closer to the ancient liturgical traditions of the Eastern Churches and of the Roman Church” (57). Sacrosanctum Concilium was fundamentally a “conservative” document, restoring “the simplicity and the splendor of the rites on the basis of a more biblical set of readings and a patristic concept of celebration” (47). The reforms are not antiquarian but instead are an exercise in listening to the Fathers, one that influences the present work of liturgical renewal.

The liturgical reforms enacted by the liturgical constitution also offered a specific theology of the Church. Faggioli comments:

It is therefore clear that the ecclesiology of Sacrosanctum Concilium does not contradict but ushers in and anticipates the communion ecclesiology of Vatican II as a pillar of the liturgical reform: the Church as a communion of life thanks to the grace, the expression of the communion in the life of the Trinity; the power of the grace, received in faith and through the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, that unifies Christians as the people of God and Mystical Body of Christ; a people of God, walking toward the kingdom of God, but also active witnesses of Christ in the world, visible in its ecclesial institutions and led by the bishops in the local churches and the pope (84-85).

Importantly, Sacrosanctum Concilium does not succumb to a stark differentiation between a “people of God” and “mystical Body” ecclesiology, but rather presents a vision of the Church as a sacrament of Christ’s own Eucharistic love for the life of the world, especially within the context of the local Church. Such a liturgical ecclesiology affects the Church’s own understanding of her relationship to the world, ecumenism, and Judaism itself (chapter 3).

Therefore (as Faggioli concludes) the recent arguments against the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council are not simply aesthetic in structure but an implicit dismissal of the ecclesiology enacted by the Council (chapters 4 and 5 in particular). In some sense, Faggioli is correct. The liturgical rites renewed by the Second Vatican Council offer a performed vision of the Church’s ecclesiology, including “a new life for lay ministers in the Church, a new discovery of the liturgical assembly, concelebration as a sign of unity in the priesthood, the new role for the Word of God in the eucharistic celebration” (143). Those that argue for a reform of the reform, understood as an exclusive restoration of the 1963 Missal of John XXIII at the expense of the Missal of Paul VI, are inattentive to the ecclesiology implicit in the reformed rites. Revisionist narratives of the Council (such as found in Nicola Bux’s Benedict XVI’s Reform: The Liturgy Between Innovation and Tradition) ignore the rites promulgated through the Second Vatican Council. And such revisionists often employ a naïve use of history itself, whereby the purpose of liturgical reform is to “re-enact” what has occurred in the past, rather than to think with the Fathers about how liturgical prayer can function in the present (see John Baldovin, Reforming the Liturg y: A Response to the Critics, 135).

Yet, is it really the case that many of those attracted to the 1963 Missal of John XVIII (the extraordinary form) are dismissive of the ecclesiology brought about by the Second Vatican Council? Or is it not often true that those fascinated by “the reform of the reform” are disenchanted with certain features of the implementation of the reform itself? Liturgical rites and music, which focus almost exclusively upon the community gathered in a particular space but are blind to the interrupting and transcendent presence of the Triune God. Liturgical spaces that look more like gymnasiums than places of worship. A desperate fear of silence in liturgy, in addition to preaching that focuses almost exclusively upon the priest’s own narrative at the expense of the Gospel. A wide swath of undergraduates at the University of Notre Dame (whose liturgical sensibilities ranged from the now classical repertoire of folk music to Renaissance polyphony) recently expressed to me the fear that Eucharistic celebrations in the dorm are so centered upon the community, upon entertaining music, upon the charism of the priest, upon a sign of peace that lasts ten minutes, that students have grown forgetful about the remarkable encounter with Christ that takes place in receiving the Eucharist itself. Remarking upon this phenomenon, Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) notes:

True liturgical education cannot consist in learning and experimenting with external activities. Instead one must be led toward the essential actio that makes the liturgy what it is, toward the transforming power of God, who wants, through what happens in the liturgy, to transform us and the world” (The Spirit of the Liturg y, 175).

I have found that undergraduates in particular, who begin to attend the extraordinary form of the Eucharist, do not do so out of a disdain for local councils of bishops, for lay forms of ministry, but rather because they experience within the extraordinary form “the transforming power of God”. Is not such diversity of liturgical rites itself a consequence of the ecclesiology of the Second Vatican Council? If the extraordinary form of the Eucharist is practiced in a different theological and cultural environment, will it necessarily communicate the same theological vision to the participant as it once did? These are questions which are not treated by Faggioli.

Thus, Faggioli’s work is important for discerning the subtle and theologically pivotal function of the Church in Sacrosanctum Concilium, as well as the manner in which the ecclesiology of this document comes to inform later conciliar developments. Simultaneously, it is an articulate, clear response to those that seek to reject the liturgical renewal of the Council as inauthentic, antiquarian, and modernist. Nonetheless, the work is not always attentive to the various gradations of liturgical critique, and the ecclesiological consequences of these concerns. Despite this gap, Faggioli’s text is a must read for all those seeking a deeper understanding of the Second Vatican Council and the liturgical renewal of the Church.

Timothy P. O’Malley is director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy. His doctoral dissertation, presently being revised for publication, is titled “Practicing Worshipful Wisdom:  An Augustinian Approach to Mystagogical Formation.” He is founding editor of the journal Church Life: a Journal for the New Evangelization.

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107 comments

  1. This is a great book, but I think it is a great mistake to review it in the context of the EF.

    1. Faggioli’claims that the ecclesiology in SC is a different and better ecclesiology than that found in LG, that SC more than LG should be the central document of Vatican II. Even more he seems to see that SC and DV together are the way forward.

    2. For Faggioli the role of the bishops is the ancient role that of forming the liturgy for their own culture. For me this is a far better role than either being teachers or politicians.

    3. Faggioli argues that SC was the best done document of Vatican II because it was most solidly based on scripture, patristics, and the teachings of councils.

    All these things have very profound implications for us even if the EF disappears with the next Pope.

    This book is a great book to think about Vatican II in a new way that I do not think fits neatly into the culture wars, or a lot of our recent issues. I would strongly recomment that people of all viewpoints leave their prejudices behind when reading this book and certainly don’t develop them about this book before reading it.

  2. When one celebrates the Ordinary Form by the book in an extraordinary form sort of way, this does not mean as Faggioli makes clear that those who desire a reform of the reform wish to go all the way back to the 1962 missal but rather want the Missal of Pope Paul VI to have solemnity, dignity and music that is worthy of what he describes SC desired. The problem with the Missal of Paul VI isn’t the missal but the sloppy, banal celebrations of it that emphasizes the horizontal to the detriment of the reason for the Mass, the Vertical who alone invites us into His holiness and salvation.

    The following is well articulated: “Or is it not often true that those fascinated by “the reform of the reform” are disenchanted with certain features of the implementation of the reform itself? Liturgical rites and music, which focus almost exclusively upon the community gathered in a particular space but are blind to the interrupting and transcendent presence of the Triune God. Liturgical spaces that look more like gymnasiums than places of worship. A desperate fear of silence in liturgy, in addition to preaching that focuses almost exclusively upon the priest’s own narrative at the expense of the Gospel.”

    “Read the black and do the red” implies doing what the Missal of Pope Paul VI asks us to do from its General Instruction imbued with the principles of SC to its rubrics as well as its music. In doing so it is a confirmation of the Vatican II Mass and making it what it is meant to be and not making it into what it never was intended to be.

  3. Interesting – will Mr. O’Malley be responding to questions, replies, etc.?
    Having read Faggioli’s True Reform a number of times – not sure I picked up the same elements he has chosen to focus on? Would also suggest that True Reform needs to be placed in a context with Faggioli’s earlier work, “Vatican II: The Battle for Meaning”.

    Interesting – he briefly quotes B16:
    “True liturgical education cannot consist in learning and experimenting with external activities. Instead one must be led toward the essential actio that makes the liturgy what it is….”

    But, my conclusion from this is not delivering an MP on the pre-VII liturgy but rather, realizing that liturgy expresses and shapes ecclesiology and vice versa. (EF feels more like his statement…..*can NOT consist in learning and experimenting with external activities* as is O’Malley’s *gradations* as if we can drag in some 1962 rubrics to somehow attain the vertical)

    My experience with undergraduates is very different from O’Malley’s. Agree that their attendance is not motivated by his list of dissents but rather curiosity, something new, etc. But, have rarely experienced undergraduates who continue – the newness wears off (this is also part of the popular culture – something new!); even undergraduates look to build community and liturgy expresses their communal relationships and want to contribute and give something in the liturgy (not just receive – even they know the difference between their liturgy/ritual and attendance at a new movie – another part of the popular culture).

    O’Malley states – “Is not such diversity of liturgical rites itself a consequence of the ecclesiology of the Second Vatican Council? If the extraordinary form of the Eucharist is practiced in a different theological and cultural environment…..questions not addressed by Faggioli”

    Would suggest that Faggioli did ask these questions and for him the connectedness between ecclesiology and liturgy in VII documents esp. SC means that you would not have two forms of the one rite – this weakens ecclesiology. Would also include Faggioli’s inclusions of the works of Dossetti and Pottmeyer which appear to argue differently from O’Malley’s opinions e.g. Dossetti shows that SC was interconnected to VD, LG and that preliminary documents show their interdependence – you can’t separate them in isolation; Pottmeyer’s views that VII is a beginning; not an end and that like Trent, VII ended before it was completed.

    (BTW – Allan, have you read Faggioli’s works? There is no mention of STBDTR; there is no section on horizontal vs. vertical. In fact, his thesis is to reject that approach. We had sloppy, banal celebrations of the 1962 missal – biographical notes indicate that this was an essential driver of the council fathers in reforming the liturgy. Just repeating your hobbyhorses again?)

    1. @Bill deHaas – comment #3:

      Bill: My experience with undergraduates is very different from O’Malley’s. Agree that their attendance is not motivated by his list of dissents but rather curiosity, something new, etc. But, have rarely experienced undergraduates who continue – the newness wears off (this is also part of the popular culture – something new!); even undergraduates look to build community and liturgy expresses their communal relationships and want to contribute and give something in the liturgy

      Bill, I attended my first Tridentine Mass at 15. As soon as I learned to drive a few years later I attended the then “indult Masses” every Sunday and holy day. Yes, even throughout my undergraduate years and beyond, I have heard hundreds of EF Masses. I am 32 years young and hope to hear thousands of EF Masses before I die.

      Perhaps not a few younger men and women consider the EF a novelty. Many more still, including the EF adherents who post here on PTB, thrive on traditional worship. I do hope that one day you would attend an EF Mass, perhaps one in a large city. You will be surprised by the number of young persons and young families in attendance. Smiling, singing Catholics so very happy to worship in this fashion. Here one finds joyful young Catholics, eager to give their time and tithe to the parish. These young persons and families actively support those called to the priesthood and religious life.

      I find your evaluation of young people and the EF to be quite condescending. And yet, condescension is a cross those who live on the margins of the reformed liturgy or even reject the reformed liturgical project must sometimes endure. I have made my best to learn and apply reformed liturgical concepts to my life. Yet, many might well agree that one cannot be Tridentine and reformed at once.

      1. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #4:
        Jordan – Jack has responded well….served many a Tridentine mass until my 20s – including grade school, high school seminary, and even side altar masses at novitiate and college seminary. Dealt with any number of priests as part of a religious community provincial leadership team who rejected VII, its liturgy, etc. and made community life & their assignments difficult at best. So, my experiences may have left me with a very different outlook.

        Sorry if you find my comments to be condescending…my experience of folks such as Allan is the exact reverse – condescending, judgmental, dismissive, legalistic, etc. And that was my experience in active ministry – sadly, too often traditionalists could only play the role of *temple police* based upon their own biases, ideologies, fear, and frankly ignorance.

        O’Malley provided his experience of undergraduates – that is not and was not my experience. Is that condescending? or just two different statements of personal experience (you appear to have read into them? in fact, began with a question and would love to dialogue with O’Malley)

        I did make a valid attempt to respond to the posted O’Malley piece – did you?

        I do find that your comments are temperate and you bend over backwards to see all sides. Appears that my opinion and comment set something off? And yes, would agree that one can not be Tridentine and reformed at the same time.

      2. @Bill deHaas – comment #7:

        Bill: I do find that your comments are temperate and you bend over backwards to see all sides. Appears that my opinion and comment set something off?

        I apologize for the outburst. I am not always rational unfortunately. Even so, I have often perceived that not a few on PTB characterize either explicitly or implicitly many EF adherents as revanchist weirdos. Timothy O’Malley’s experiences of Mass at Notre Dame illustrates two reasons in particular why I prefer to worship at the EF or a “reform of the reform” church: the priestly personality cult sometimes fostered by versus populum worship as well as the “love bombing”-like aspect of some Masses (the ten minute pax O’Malley references.) I have no problem with socialization before or after Mass — in fact, this socialization is necessary to build a parish. During Mass liturgically conservative Catholics assemble for the serious business of worship, not to create a saccharine environment of platitudes.

        I agree with you that traditionalists often appear legalistic and judgmental. However, the examples of ministry which O’Malley cites, as well as the “lay ministerization” of simple tasks (you’re not an “usher”, you’re a “hospitality minister”), not infrequently turns away people who are interested in sober, studied, and even highly intellectualized liturgy. When O’Malley speaks of young people who seek out the EF to find ““the transforming power of God”, I interpret this to mean that some young people are tired of the anthropocentric and therapeutic focus of not a few OF Masses.

        There are certainly times and places for pastoral care — in the confessional or during spiritual direction, for example. Mass should not be conflated with these valuable means of counseling.

      3. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #14:
        Thanks, Jordan.

        Allow me to add some additional thoughts:
        – *extraordinary* as used in B16 or JPII’s motu proprios (on their own initiatives). Would strongly suggest that this word is used in the definitional sense of *exception*; *out of the ordinary structure*; *not commonplace*; *used only for valid reasons*. IMO, it does not mean what some traditionalists harp on – extraordinary as *special, more heightened, more sacral, more vertical than horizontal, more prayerful, etc. You find these caricatures frequently (see Allan’s blog) which, at their core, imply that the EF is better, higher, etc. and that the OF and the council fathers *manufactured* a liturgy that is banal, pedestrian, not ritualized enough, too horizontal, etc. And this lends credence to the *mutual enrichment* projections.

        Sorry, no reading of Vatican II or even the early indults from Paul VI onwards implied or stated these interpretations; even less, these as directives. This is where Faggioli’s work really hits home – because of the interconnectedness between ecclesiology, scripture, and liturgy, the EF as Jonathan well states above, is a cultural dinosaur. Faggioli and others show how VII shifted both Trent and VI so that they are no longer the Tradition but are being critiqued, revised, and changed because of Tradition. The ecclesiological/theological/historical foundation is no longer the Tridentine mindset – it is the full and complete Tradition of the Church.

        One caution in terms of what you say – the *transforming power of God*, etc. Suggest that the council fathers believed in sacramental symbols – all grace is mediated; grace builds on nature; rituals are human actions and symbols of God’s power. They reformed liturgy because the *vertical* had become *personal piety* with loss of a sense of community, mission, eucharistic fellowship, eucharistic meal of sacrifice, etc. Communal actions are not pieties. (this individualistic drive is part of today’s youth culture; also has roots in anthropology and therapy – but is that liturgy?)

        You and I will just have to agree to disagree on the Tridentine hermeneutic. Also, don’t agree with your approach on the Roman canon – it fails to be a comprehensive, historical interpretation of the church’s eucharistic prayer history and experience.

        Finally, will again also surface my continued sadness (frustration) over PTB commenters who immediately post some EF experience, belief (true or otherwise), etc. to any topic that is posted on PTB. The first reaction is to compare everything to the EF – whether it is applicable or not. Appears that this skews all comments in one direction; does not allow folks to address the actual post; etc. As Jack said well above, everything devolves to EF vs. OF while 2/3rds of the church blissfully goes on about its mission – we ignore developments (even liturgically) in Africa, Asia, South America, Oceania; we ignore advances in ecumenism, Muslim relations, tensions with church structures/abuse/role of women/moral issues – or, they quickly sink back to EF vs. OF arguments.

      4. @Bill deHaas – comment #16:

        Bill: Also, don’t agree with your approach on the Roman canon – it fails to be a comprehensive, historical interpretation of the church’s eucharistic prayer history and experience.

        What other anaphora is more characteristic of the western tradition than the Roman Canon? The Roman Canon has changed little from the early medieval period to today, save perhaps for the mention of a monarch along with the local bishop in the te igitur or changes in the specific saints included in the litanies. The constituent prayers of the Roman Canon are even older than the eventually more-or-less codified version recited even to this day.

        One could spend his or her entire life studying this five minute catechism of our salvation which has been recited billions of times over the centuries. Yet, so many Catholics have tossed the Roman Canon into the dustbin of history. The role of younger, tradition-minded Catholic clergy is not only to protect the Roman Canon from neglect, but pray this anaphora often. I greatly admire (often) younger priests who recite the Canon at least daily or even at every Mass. Many of these priests celebrate both forms of the Roman rite. This syncretism is another example of “Tridentine but reformed”: ancient aspects of the Mass such as the Roman Canon are crossing over to amplify the reformed rite. The rediscovery of the Canon is a fine example of a new hermeneutic of reform in action.

      5. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #21:
        As you say: “….The Roman Canon has changed little from the early medieval period to today….”

        VII and the experts prior to VII ressourced including apostolic and patristic periods…..not just the early medieval period. (thus, my comment about comprehensive and complete history)

        We can argue about the historical roots or paternity of Hippolytus or whomever and EPII…suffice to say that it suggests much more variety than just the Roman Canon.

        Sorry, IMO, the council fathers reformed and ressourced – this understanding opens up Tradition (with capital T) so that you realize our western tradition is not just Roman – it was alive, on mission long before it was over-identified as Roman; it posits a historical understanding that the church has undergone changes, reform, development…to borrow from Rahner:
        – first significant shift was the Jerusalem Council (from Jewish concepts to a Jewish-Gentile church including language)
        – second significant shift was from Jerusalem, Antioch, etc. to Rome center solidified at the time of Constantine
        – split of East and West
        – third shift (VII seen as a beginning) shift from a Roman or Western Church to a world wide church that encompasses diverse cultures, languages, peoples, and expressions

        Thus, you see that the Roman, Medieval, Trentan view is just one of many traditions (with a small t); not to be codified or canonized as *the* catholic Tradition. (Faggioli does an excellent job on this in his Battle of Meaning book). Syncretism – yes, by all means, but it is not isolated to the Roman Canon or Rite….it absorbs, borrows from, and develops from multiple Catholic traditions (even just in the West).

        Sorry, your last paragraph elevates the Roman Canon to a level that it just doesn’t have….our liturgy is not centered on one canon or cultural expression – we are a church always in reform and development – thus, always changing. (new hermeneutic of reform in action sounds like an Allan anachronism)

      6. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #21:
        Jordan

        Just remember that, for most the Canon’s history, it catechized relatively few people. (Moreover, it preceded the actual communion of relatively few people for most of that time, too.)I think that considering the prayer abstractly on its own, with little regard for how it was actually experienced by most people most of the time, is profoundly anachronistic. Even “recovering” it as you seem to appreciate it is arguably more part of a hermeneutic of rupture (not necessarily in a bad way) than of continuity.

      7. @Karl Liam Saur – comment #23:

        Your point is well taken, Karl. Yet, I do not consider it anachronistic to consider the Roman Canon from a number of standpoints: philological, theological, and liturgical. It is true that for a very long time few laypersons even knew what the Canon was, save that it contained “the consecration” and the priest-celebrant recited it quietly. Even if a server could hear the priest, the Canon was not infrequently rushed and garbled. This is certainly a very great shame. as the spoken Canon is a masterpiece of alliteration, assonance, and literary parallelism.

        I also realize that there is no truly satisfactory way to translate or interpret the Roman Canon into English that is both catechetical and comprehensible. The 1967 paraphrase of the Roman Canon explained the theological content of the eucharistic prayer well, but took great liberties with the Latin text to arrive at its aim. The 2010 translation of the Roman Canon is very faithful to the Latin. However, if I did not know Latin, I would be bewildered by what is essentially English language word pudding.

        It is quite anachronistic and myopic to consider the history and impact of the Roman Canon solely from a philological aspect and not the perspective of assemblies. Even so, I find distressing the postconciliar tendency to frame every experience from the perspective of the lay assembly. Surely we must not forget that “the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath” (Mk 2:27 KJV) Did not our Lord also step forward in the Nazareth synagogue to read the haftarah from Isaiah (Lk 4:16 — 21)? Jesus proclaimed his ministry through reverence to the prophet. Similarly, Catholics should not shy even from Latin prayer, for it is through this prayer combined with catechism and preaching, and not an absolute insistence on vernacularization or paraphrasing, that the assembly will be truly edified by ancient prayer.

      8. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #24:
        Happy New Year, all.

        Jordan,

        I would underscore that we need to be much more honest that appreciating the Canon in that way is more rupture than continuity. I believe the worst dimension of the Canon as formerly practised (aside from the monumentally wrong praxis of rare communion for most of the faithful) was how it lapsed into the “silent’ canon in the early Middle Ages (not without strong objections), though some have gotten very attached to the post-hoc rationalizations for that lapse.

    2. @Bill deHaas – comment #3:
      Bill, sorry I haven’t checked on replies. My wife and I are in the hospital with our new born son.

      I don’t disagree with much of what you said (it should be said that I don’t primarily pray according to the 1962 Missal of Paul VI) and would love to dialogue more My point relative to Faggioli is that liturgical scholarship needs a more nuanced understanding of how liturgical celebrations shape ecclesiology (in fact, specific theological notions in general). As a theologian, who encounters undergraduates on a regular enough basis in the classroom at Notre Dame, undergraduates who frequently attend the reformed rites of the Second Vatican Council, I find that they have very little sense of ecclesiology to begin with (the Church is there as a kind of free-floating signified and that seems adequate).

      In other words, liturgical celebration does not seem to be communicating to them a nuanced ecclesiology to begin with; so we shouldn’t be surprised that people participate in a wide variety of rites, for a vast number of reasons.

      Sorry to be perhaps extraordinarily unclear. Again, many thanks–for the dialogue.

      1. @Tim O’Malley – comment #17:
        thanks for taking the time to reply and congrats on your new born son – kids are truly gifts from God and you will just love the roller coaster ride they bring to life.

        Don’t disagree with what you have said – in fact, you say well that liturgical celebrations shape ecclesiology (that is why I question the two forms of one rite theories). And, like you, do not find many celebrations, parishes, or universities that communicate a nuanced ecclesiology for innumerable reasons. (actually, have had better experiences at university settings).

        You were not unclear – and this helps clarify my understanding of what you stated well. Thanks.

  4. As someone who participated in the Tridentine Liturgy for the first twenty some years of my life in various parish locations, in a Jesuit Novitiate and a Benedictine university, I find people who prize their participation in the EF today often rather condescending to us experienced old people.

    What special knowledge and experiences do these people think they now have that I might not have from my long and varied experience? Why would anyone think that I might need to go to an EF liturgy today? or be interested in the EF today? .

    As a social scientist I question the continuity between the EF experience today and the Tridentine Liturgy of my youth which was a “catholic” experience in a wide variety of Catholic communities.

    There are some aspects of EF “ideology” which I just cannot relate to my Tridentine experience.

    For example “Ad orientem.” Yes the priests all faced the altar but they did not face the east. The parish of my baptism was oriented toward the South east and the parish where I grew up toward the South west. I grew up in a bending river valley where roads paralleled the river. Never was anything ever said about “ad orientem.”

    Yes there were six candles on the altar redos; but they were not on the altar. The priest would have yelled at me if I put them on the altar! So I can’t see the big thing about the Benedictine arrangement

    I am very glad that I grew up when I did and had all the experiences with the Tridentine Liturgy that I had. But all my experiences of Eastern liturgies during that time (including English) had prepared me for Vatican II even before it was announced. When I read Gueranger in Saint Vincent’s library during my adolescence I was saddened about all the Western ritual diversity that was lost after Trent.

    As for the young people today, those in the parishes around here are all interested in “contemporary Christian music” which I find dull and boring. Fortunately I have found a parish with a sung EP which is far better than the silent EF canon.

    1. @Jack Rakosky – comment #5:
      I must admit to feeling the same when those who prize the OF go on about its superiority as if I don’t have experience with it. I attended the OF exclusively – with no knowledge of the EF whatsoever – until my early 20s (indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if most current EF attendees had grown up with the OF). Like your childhood with the EF, it was a catholic experience at a number of parishes in several states so I know very well how it is celebrated and how actively the people participate at one. What was done at the OF was never explained in any meaningful way – it was what it was and as far as I knew, it was how things had always been (though I had been told by my parents that the Mass had been in Latin).

      Of course, I know my modern-day experience with the EF is different than what people would have known in the 1950s or 60s when it was the only form of Mass (and I do think the average OF with music is an improvement over the “silent” EF Low Mass, but that doesn’t really have anything to do with the substance of the new Mass). But I also know the OF “warts and all” and know it isn’t as participatory or community-centered as some would have us believe.

  5. Jack Rakosky : For example “Ad orientem.” Yes the priests all faced the altar but they did not face the east. The parish of my baptism was oriented toward the South east and the parish where I grew up toward the South west. I grew up in a bending river valley where roads paralleled the river. Never was anything ever said about “ad orientem.”

    The end where the altar is is always the “east” end liturgically; never mind geographic location.

  6. I don’t get the vertical vs horizontal business. God is both transcendent and imminent. He lives outside time and wherever his will is done on earth as it is in heaven. When the liturgy is celebrated, Jesus Christ, present in the priest and in the assembly, renews his once and for all offering in the church’s sacrifice of praise. The primary role of the priest is to animate the faithful through prayer and preaching so that all may participate–interiorally and exteriorly—fully, consciously and actively. The Mass should not appear to be some kind of divine drama in which the priest plays all the parts. I have no doubt that there are Catholics who are moved and inspired by the EF Mass. But there are people who love opera and hate musicals and people who are deliriously caught up at football games while thinking of baseball fans as idiots. Just saying.

  7. The vast majority of the Tridentine Masses of my youth (like the vast majority of OF Masses since things went into English) were dull and boring.

    The Low Masses of my childhood were terrible; I hated going to catechism class. However, I fell in love with Gregorian Chant when the seminarians who taught us summer school gathered together some of us boys to sing the Mass each morning. I became an altar boy fascinated with liturgy. However all the morning daily Masses where chanted terribly by an elderly woman who played the organ. The Sunday High Mass by the men’s choir was not much better. My interest in liturgy was maintained more by the discovery of the Divine Office than by the Mass. Without the Divine Office I would likely have drifted away from Catholicism. It, not the clerical Mass, remains the center of my life.

    I regularly repeat on this blog the findings of the Vibrant Parish Life study namely that although the people say that Liturgy and community are their two top priorities, both are half way down the list on being well done.

    So the basic problem isn’t liturgy or community but mediocrity. We Catholics are very satisfied with mediocrity in our selves and our priests. And the priests are probably the “happiest men in the world” since we put up with the mediocrity of our priests and bishops. Even something as terrible as the sexual abuse scandal was unable to shake average Catholics out of their mediocrity and their great tolerance of the mediocrity of their clergy.

    As a social scientist I regard the EF as in the same category as the NeoCatechumal Way, small peripheral movements within the Catholic Church that enjoy some support here and there among Bishops and the Curia, and show up in very small groups from time to time here and there in my diocese .I regard them both as distractions from the confronting the problems of parish life.

    Frankly it completely baffles me why this blog spends so much time on the EF when it spends little time on the NeoCatechumal Way and completely ignores much larger movements like African American Catholics (as many of them as there are Episcopalians, and look how much time we spend on Episcopalians) and Hispanic Catholics (our future). Like most of the American media this blog appears stuck in the issues (e.g. like the culture wars) of the future White minority in both our nation and our American church. When will White Catholics and the Republic Party wake up to reality beyond tired old White men?

    Gosh, Faggioli (and Vatican II) takes us far beyond the culture wars if we would let him and it.

  8. Jack asks why PTB spends so much time debating the Tridentine Mass. The reason, I think, is cultural; Massimo Faggioli casts considerable light on that. Discovering his work has been one of the intellectual joys of 2012 for me. It is clear and edifying, and historically well grounded.

    It is worth reading the debate in the National Catholic Reporter between Faggioli, Fr Ron Schmitt and Michael Sean Winters. And there are several recordings of Faggioli’s lectures – go to Youtube and search “My talks interviews Massimo Faggioli” for a collection.

    He describes the Councils of Trent and Vatican I as promoting a culture that was European, anti-modern and anti-ecumenical:

    – Democracy was an evil fruit of modernity; in an ideal world, nations would be ruled by kings, who would themselves be ruled by the Church.

    – Religious freedom was a serious error.

    – The Jews were Christ-killers, Protestants were heretics, Orthodox were schismatics; all were to be shunned..

    – Women were, as a group, intellectually inferior to men, and thus naturally subject to men, in whom reason predominates.

    – The anti-modernist purge – still underway as the Council opened – was a good and healthy thing. There was no value at all in freedom of academic enquiry.

    – Ultramontanism was very strong (Faggioli refers to “the papacy on steroids”).

    – Catholics were not to participate in any ecumenical gathering, of any kind whatsoever (liturgical, theological, political, cultural).

    – The Index of Forbidden Books was kept well up to date.

    Vatican II, says Faggioli, sought to place the Church in a culture that was more ecumenical, more global, more open to dialogue and far more grounded in scripture.

    I don’t think he is at all starry-eyed about the problems of modern culture. But he does try to confront the historical reality of the Church in the early 20th century.

    Continued in a second comment because of the character limit.

  9. Now, as several commenters here have noted, it is surely a mistake to associate all adherents of the Tridentine Mass with the anti-modern positions set out above. I hope that there are plenty of Tridentine enthusiasts, perhaps younger ones, who embrace the genuine changes that Vatican II brought about on these issues.

    But – for reasons I don’t entirely understand, an astonishing number of “Tridentinists” are also bloggers. And, in many cases, the positions they espouse “in the public square” come very close to those that Faggioli lists – in particular, calling for purges of theology faculties, restoration of the anti-modernist oath and assertion of the supremacy of European culture.

    Here in the UK, public “Tridentinists” often take on a triumphalist, combative tone, laced with sarcasm. I think this goes back to Wiseman’s 1850 pastoral letter, “Out of the Flaminian Gate of Rome”; it continued with polemicists such as Belloc and Chesterton, and it continues in an army of priest and lay bloggers.

    Again, and for the avoidance of doubt: I am not asserting that “trads” are ideological whilst “modernists” are not. Ideology is everywhere. There is much to worry about in modernist ideology.

    But Faggioli – and John O’Malley before him – have shown that the near-unanimous goal of the fathers of Vatican II was a therapeutic “opening” of the Church to the modern world. Not a rupture, but a genuine change nonetheless.

    Perhaps the Tridentine Mass can be embraced without also rejecting this broader therapeutic goal of the Council. I hope so. But, with very few exceptions, those who advocate the return of this Mass tend to downplay these changes, and hence to advocate the restoration of the values I listed in the first comment. In the case of the lunatic fringe (the SSPX and beyond), this is very explicit. But it is just below the surface even in mainstream advocates of the Tridentine Mass.

    Hence I think it is wise to be thoughtful and somewhat cautious in bringing it back. Cultural assumptions are astonishingly resilient. And, as they say, lex orandi statuat lex credendi.

    1. @Jonathan Day – comment #12:
      I don’t think there should be any hysteria about the Extraordinary Form of the Mass becoming the Ordinary Form once again. My clairvoyance tells me that it ain’t going to happen. It will remain the liturgy for a strong minority in the parishes and dioceses and may well produce more vocations to the priesthood and religious life as do other intentional communities or new movements in the Church including the neo-cathecumenal way, Charismatic covenant communities and the like.
      The recovery of the EF Mass in parishes, where it is offered regularly but on an extraordinary basis brings the two forms of the Mass to more people and they see that attending either form is the “new normal.” This has certainly happened in my parish but the vast majority would never want the Extraordinary Form Mass all the time. However, it has shown all of us that the Ordinary Form Mass can approximate the EF Mass in beauty, solemnity and ethos by simply doing a few minor attention to details sorts of things. Our regularly scheduled 12:10 PM Sunday Mass has the Liturgy of the Eucharist ad orientem but all else is as we celebrate the OF Mass and the music for it is the same for all the other Masses, there is absolutely no difference except in the direction the priest is facing for the Liturgy of the Eucharist only–this is clearly permitted even if the EF Mass were forbidden.
      So the honest question we have to ask is why there is such negative rhetoric and vitriol toward those of us who want every bit of the Ordinary Form as it is allowed to be celebrated with all its post-Vatican II GIRM, rubrics and options and why there is such hysteria towards us in this regard when this Mass is legitimately celebrated with sacred chant, bells and smells, ad orientem and completely in the vernacular with lay lectors, boy and girl servers and Extraordinary Ministers of Communion, with the option of kneeling to receive and by way of intinction, which is clearly allowed in the updated GIRM which is based upon Vatican II theology and ecclesiology?

      1. @Alan Griffiths – comment #26:
        I had to look up ‘legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi’ and my internet search led me to one of my favorite liturgical theologians, Fr. Aidan Kavanagh and an article he wrote, which is rather lengthy but very good and I link it below this quote from it:

        “Yet traditional Christian discourse has been far more rich, complex, and flat-footedly objective than any individual mind can comprehend. Its discourse is sacramental because it is symbolic, and it is this sort of discourse necessarily. I take this therefore to be utterly primary, basic, and fundamental for ecclesiology. This sacramental discourse transcends and subordinates the discourse of academic theological reflection on the Church, just as the law of worship transcends and subordinates the law of belief: lex supplicandi legem statuat credendi, [The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The Church’s faith precedes the faith of the believer who is invited to adhere to it. When the Church celebrates the sacraments, she confesses the faith received from the apostles – whence the ancient saying: lex orandi, lex credendi (or: legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi, according to Prosper of Aquitaine). The law of prayer is the law of faith: the Church believes as she prays. Liturgy is a constitutive element of the holy and living Tradition.”] a civil and worldly statement if ever there was one.”

        The entire article is here:
        http://payingattentiontothesky.com/tag/legem-credendi-lex-statuat-supplicandi/

        A blessed 2013 in our Lord!

      2. @Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #27:

        Pius XII in Mediator Dei 48:

        Hence the well-known and venerable maxim, “Legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi” – let the rule for prayer determine the rule of belief. The sacred liturgy, consequently, does not decide or determine independently and of itself what is of Catholic faith. More properly, since the liturgy is also a profession of eternal truths, and subject, as such, to the supreme teaching authority of the Church, it can supply proofs and testimony, quite clearly, of no little value, towards the determination of a particular point of Christian doctrine. But if one desires to differentiate and describe the relationship between faith and the sacred liturgy in absolute and general terms, it is perfectly correct to say, “Lex credendi legem statuat supplicandi” – let the rule of belief determine the rule of prayer. The same holds true for the other theological virtues also, “In . . . fide, spe, caritate continuato desiderio semper oramus” – we pray always, with constant yearning in faith, hope and charity.

      3. @Jim McKay – comment #33:
        Thanks, Jim….just additional evidence of another *hobbyhorse* and mantra biting the dust as quoted here – “.The Law of Prayer is the Law of Faith. If the law is compromised as it was in the spirit of Vatican II the faith too is seriously compromised.”

        Always helps to compare rash opinion with actual historical facts and experience. When that doesn’t happen, faith is seriously compromised.

        VII did *reform* the liturgy as Fr. Ruff constantly reminds us.

      4. @Alan Griffiths – comment #26:
        (Note: It was Jonathan Day in #12 that used the phrase.)

        “Lex orandi, lex credendi” has been used by dozens of times by dozens of commenters on this blog. However, Dr. Daniel van Slyke wrote an article for Josephinum Journal of Theology (Volume 11, Number 2 [Summer/Fall 2004]: 130-151) entitled Lex orandi lex credendi: Liturgy as Locus Theologicus in the Fifth Century? that calls into question the popular understanding of Prosper of Aquitaine’s expression “ut legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi”.

        His conclusion (spoiler alert!) is that “the axiom as it is commonly worded (‘lex orandi lex credendi’) and understood is not a tradition handed down from early Christianity, but rather a recent theological invention of dubious merit.”

    2. @Jonathan Day – comment #12:

      Now, as several commenters here have noted, it is surely a mistake to associate all adherents of the Tridentine Mass with the anti-modern positions set out above. I hope that there are plenty of Tridentine enthusiasts, perhaps younger ones, who embrace the genuine changes that Vatican II brought about on these issues.

      As Jonathan notes, it is a mistake to consider most EF adherents as crypto-Lefebvrists, set on destroying any aspect of reform. Most EF adherents do not have a framed picture of Marcel on their mantels. Indeed, many younger non-schismatic EF adherents tend to not hold any of the positions which Jonathan lists. I certainly hold none of the positions Jonathan lists.

      To name two points: Jonathan once noted that EF Passion Sunday and Good Friday should not be celebrated due to anti-Semitic content; I certainly agree and would extend the ban to all Passiontide and Holy Week. In time, I am convinced that MR 1962 will receive some revision according to OF texts in accord with Nostra Aetate, even if doing so might cause internal discord. In addition, I would not jump out of my pew if women were to serve the EF, as has been the case at Cambridge.

      @Bill deHaas – comment #7:

      And yes, would agree that one can not be Tridentine and reformed at the same time.

      I surely disagree. I am Tridentine in liturgy and reformed in intellectual perspective as well as hermeneutical outlook. To be “Tridentine and reformed” is to accept and even celebrate certain aspects of the OF while fostering a different path for liturgical renewal. The OF contains many great advances: a greater wealth of often ancient and rediscovered propers and prefaces as well as a much more rich lectionary. Other reforms broke with deep Roman liturgical folkways: the introduction of de novo eucharistic prayers has resulted in the almost complete abandonment of the ancient Roman Canon, and especially the original Latin recension. The Canon is a singular thread which throughout millennia has held together the diverse rites of the West. Now, each celebration of the OF Mass can be individualized, with no absolute commonality between them.

  10. – *extraordinary* as used in B16 or JPII’s motu proprios (on their own initiatives)

    This word is not used in JPII’s motu proprio in this context.

    And this lends credence to the *mutual enrichment* projections.

    The call for mutual enrichment is not a “projection” but a quotation from Pope Benedict: “For that matter, the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching…”

    Finally, will again also surface my continued sadness (frustration) over PTB commenters who immediately post some EF experience, belief (true or otherwise), etc. to any topic that is posted on PTB.

    Perhaps you should find other things to talk about then? The best way to overcome it would be to find other interesting things to say instead of rehashing your opinions of the EF.

  11. I’m curious as to how PrayTell is supposed to avoid EF vs OF discussions. Any discussion of SC will naturally invite EF discussion, as will comparisons between the lectionaries and texts of the two rites. The topic we are discussing right now mentions the EF in its title, and people here who dislike the EF are always speculating why anyone would want to attend it (always ignoring positive or obvious reasons, I might add).

  12. @Bill & @Jordan (re: the Canon in the patristic period):

    There are excerpts of an earlier version of parts of it in (pseudo-?)Ambrose’s De Sacramentis IV: the Quam oblationis [as Fac nobis], the Qui pridie, the Unde et memores [as Ergo memores], and the Supra quae and Supplices te [as Et petimus et praecamur].

    Pope Damasus (d. 384) was thought by some to have had a hand in the Canon’s composition. Pope Innocent I (d. 417) and Jerome attest to the Canon circa 415; Innocent was responsible for part of the intercessions. Pope Leo I (d. 461) added the words following “Melchisedech”. Pope Gelasius I (d. 496) is believed to be responsible for the Mementos of the living and of the dead, as well as some saints’ names. Pope Symmachus (d. 514) may have been responsible for the shaping of the Nobis quoque. Pope Vigilius (d. 555) stressed the Canon’s relative changelessness in his day. And of course Pope Gregory I (d. 604) is responsible for the Hanc igitur.

    @Karl (re: “for most of the Canon’s history…”)

    So should we punish the Canon for the faults of the Church that prayed with it (however inadequately)? For me, that’s too close to Todd’s recent comment that the 1962 Missal “has been a tool of schismatics”.

    As for anachronism, much of the Missal could be considered anachronistic, if only because (as Todd points out often enough) its orations do not match our present Lectionary; but it goes beyond that, of course. One could go so far as to argue that the matter and form of the sacraments is out-of-date, and only feels contemporary due to continual use. In some cultures (like the modern US) the forced formality of the liturgy is anachronistic. That’s why the priest has to say “Good morning” after (or maybe instead of) the liturgical greeting.

  13. So should we punish the Canon for the faults of the Church that prayed with it (however inadequately)?

    This seems to me to invest the Canon with an authority as a revelation separate from and above the Church which comes very close to giving it the status of Scripture among Protestants.

    One could spend his or her entire life studying this five minute catechism of our salvation which has been recited billions of times over the centuries….The rediscovery of the Canon is a fine example of a new hermeneutic of reform in action.

    Again the Canon is being given an authority as a revelation that it simply does not have. At least Jordon recognizes that this rediscovery is a modern invention of the “reform of the reform” movement.

    During the Tridentine period of my life (when the old Missal was in use throughout the Church) I never regarded the Canon in this fashion. To me the authoritative book was the entire Latin-English Missal. It was praying the whole thing that counted. Moreover I had also discovered the Breviary. I felt that I was praying with Church when I was praying like the priest prayed by praying both the Missal and Breviary. If I had encountered this exaggerated spirituality of the Canon then I would have regarded as an odd personal piety not as praying with the Church.

    The EF today, like the NeoCatechumal Way, is a new movement of modern spirituality. They are movements within the Church that have the support of some bishops and the Curia. Perhaps they will take a place with a lot of other spiritualities with good track records. However as Catholics we are not obliged to like all spiritualities. I happened to like some rather diverse ones: the desert solitaries, Benedictines and Jesuits. But I do not find the spirituality of John of the Cross very attractive. As Catholics we have the right to be wary of new spiritualities even if they are approved by the Church. Some like that of the Legionnaires may be built on sand.

    The thing I am beginning to resent most about EF advocates is their implicit denigration of the Tridentine experience of my early years as if they only have the key to interpreting that period and its spiritualities. It ruptures the continuity that I experience in my life. Since I pray the Office as a solitary I use today the old Roman Breviary, the Monastic Office, the LOH and the Byzantine Office as I please in great continuity with one another. The setting of things against one another in this blog appears very weird to me.

    1. @Jack Rakosky – comment #29:
      Agreed! especially about spiritualities in today’s Church. As for the EF, what I dislike is its denigration as some who rewrite history seem to impose upon that history. This Mass made saints and martyrs and strong Catholics with strong Catholic families and strong Catholic youth with the 1950’s being somewhat of an exaggerated apex of that in the USA. I remember the Tridentine Mass with great appreciation and love and saw first hand the kinds of Catholics it formed and in large numbers who were very committed to the Church. It is now back for new generations who may well apply some of the theology of participation to it that Vatican II envisioned for it in SC or they might celebrate it as many did in a previous era and so what if they do! If they are there at Mass if only physically it is far better than the so many who aren’t at any Mass period, what we now call the “nones.” Let God sort out the drag net of people hauled in by the various liturgies of the Church, East and West.

    2. @Jack Rakosky – comment #29:
      “So should we punish the Canon for the faults of the Church that prayed with it (however inadequately)?”

      This seems to me to invest the Canon with an authority as a revelation separate from and above the Church which comes very close to giving it the status of Scripture among Protestants.

      I’m making no such investment. I’m simply saying we mustn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. Perhaps if you or Karl could explain the role the Canon (in its contents, not its manner of delivery) had in the crippling of the faithful for centuries, I would understand your positions better. Why must the Canon be cast aside because of the Church that prayed by it?

      1. @Jeffrey Pinyan – comment #35:

        Why must the Canon be cast aside because of the Church that prayed by it?

        I am certainly not throwing out the “Canon” just saying that in my experience and those whom I know well it did not play the role prior to Vatican II that you would like it to have done.

        You are creating a new “spirituality of the Canon.” If that helps you, fine. Just don’t try to impose that spirituality on other people.

        That is where all the modern spiritualities get into trouble, e.g. spirituality of the poor, feminist spirituality. They try to make themselves into universal theologies that distort Christianity rather than simply helping some people to approach the Christian mystery from an certain angle.

        If your work can help us to better understand the Roman Canon, that is find. Just don’t be offended when we skeptics ask questions like about the “silent Canon” from our experience with out loud Canons (Byzantine and Modern) and our experience with the Tridentine Mass.

        Incidentally I just finishing reading Peter Brown’s new book THROUGH THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-550 AD. which covers the time of the formation of the Canon. You may find it interesting.

        It might be interesting to look at the Canon in terms of the debates about wealth that took place at this time, e.g. things like monasticism, Pelagianism, and the changing roles of bishops and clergy were all linked to changes in attitudes toward wealth.

        One important change was that from the ancient ideal that wealthy people donated to the city (buildings, games) in exchange for honor (civic offices and the power that went with them, and acclamations). For example at the Offertory procession the names of wealthy donors were read out to the cheers of the people.

        The replacement ideology was giving wealth to the poor (and the church) in order to find treasure in heaven (earthy wealth transformed into heavenly wealth). And it did not matter how much wealth you had. And it did not matter who you were (the money issue underneath Pelagius who emphasized the natural nobility of the wealthy rather than their wealth).

        At the end of this development comes the idea of stewardship. Augustine and a lot of bishops began to own a lot in traditional Roman legal terms but in a completely different way. One of the new ideas was that the Church held wealth on behalf of the poor.
        .

      2. @Jack Rakosky – comment #39:
        [The Canon] did not play the role prior to Vatican II that you would like it to have done. You are creating a new “spirituality of the Canon.” … Just don’t be offended when we skeptics ask questions like about the “silent Canon”

        Are you attributing to me remarks and intentions of others? All I’ve said is that the Roman Canon was the anaphora by which the Roman Rite of the Church prayed with for centuries. I didn’t say anything about the role it played, nor have I spoken of its silent recitation. I don’t even know what spirituality of the Canon I’m developing.

        My intention is to look at the words of the Eucharistic Prayers and their sources, offering insights of my own and of other scholars, to help the reader find a way to internalize each EP, so that the EP is not simply a time of listening to the priest pray, or following along in a missal, but an active intelligent spiritual participation along with the priest in the EP.

        I’ll look into the book you recommended; thank you for the suggestion!

  14. This Mass made saints and martyrs and strong Catholics with strong Catholic families and strong Catholic youth with the 1950′s being somewhat of an exaggerated apex of that in the USA.

    No, the Mass did not form them in that matter.

    My mother and all the women of my family had strong personal prayer lives outside of Mass and even devotions such as the rosary. Even today far more Catholics and Christians pray daily than attend worship weekly. That personal prayer life is the center of their relationship to God and to others (prayer for others and their needs form a very important part of their lives).

    The Mass and devotions were something that built on top of this solid prayer and Christian life. For example my Lithuanian grandmother rarely got to Mass except on really major feasts because they milked the cows twice a day. Yet we all recognized grandma as the saintly head of the family who said the prayers at meals; one of her daughters has succeed to that role. Although they have often extended to me the invitation to lead the prayers, I have always declined. My Christian faith comes from the faith of my family not from my elitist knowledge and experience of liturgy.

    This relationship can also be seen in my own life. I was bored with Mass and Catechism as a kid although I was taught my prayers and the rosary by my mother. The experience of Gregorian chant with seminarians during summer school caused me to look differently at Mass. However my mothers example of personal prayer was still primary. When I took up my best friend’s pleas to become an altar boy we practiced “playing Mass” at our home Marian shrines. Although I knew we could not say Mass, I become convinced that there was a way to pray “worthily” at my home Marian shrine. I begin to assemble “ceremonies” from prayer books. Actually many of these such as the Gloria, Te Deum and Magnificat were closely related to the Divine Office but I had no idea that it existed. Until one day in the course for looking for new prayer books at the local Catholic book store, I came across the Short Breviary. When I read the introduction I realized I could stop reinventing the wheel.

    The Holy Spirit forms us. Yes with the help of the Mass, and devotion, etc. But more importantly with the help of others, parents, grandparents. and ultimately from our prayer life and spiritual experiences. That is why I was very careful in talking about “spiritualities” in the plural and don’t assume that there was only one spirituality anytime in the history of the Church.

    1. @Jack Rakosky – comment #31:
      No Jack it is all grace both merited and in all the ways you describe especially through the holy family of the Church and her sacraments.

  15. I slink to the back of the classroom, ashamed to have used a nominative object (lex) with a transitive verb (statuat). My bad.

  16. Back on Massimo Faggioli: the following essay is well worth a look:

    http://www.academia.edu/994026/_Council_Vatican_II_Bibliographical_Overview_2007-2010_

    It is titled “Council Vatican II: Bibliographical overview 2007-2010” and it was published in 2011 in Cristianesimo nella Storia (Christianity in History). The English could use a bit of editing. The piece seems to form the core of his 2012 book, Vatican II: The Battle for Meaning.

    The bibliography offfers an enormous amount of material on the history of Vatican II and on the history of the history. But the essay is far more. Faggioli doesn’t avoid the elephant in the room: the role of Pope Benedict XVI in reinterpreting the Council. It is one thing for the pope to teach the world theology — that is his job and his special charism. But along the way he has also sought to teach the world lessons in history. Well, he is an academic, after all, though a theologian more than a historian. But, as Faggioli shows, his teaching authority as pope has clearly been mixed up with his authority as a historian and historiographer. The first isn’t really subject to challenge by the Church. The second — historical teaching — enters into the academic debate, and should carry no privilege from Benedict’s ecclesiastical office. Faggioli deals with this in a courageous yet respectful manner. For example:

    The result of the first five years of Benedict XVI’s pontificate has seen a new wave of studies on Vatican II, but also a scaling back of  the scope of many studies attempting to save the heritage and the reception of the council from the attacks of the willing supporters of an hermeneutic of a strict continuity.
    In particular, the narrow reception of Benedict XVI’s speech of December 2005 is evident, as well as the violent impact on the ecclesial debate of the sharp distinction between “continuity” and “discontinuity” – a distinction that, diffdifferently from the idea of “reform” – is foreign to a correct historical-theological understanding of Church history and of the history of the ecumenical councils.

    Go check it out. You won’t be wasting your time.

    1. @Jonathan Day – comment #37:
      Thanks, Jonathon – your quote and article really does introduce the book’s narrative in a more dramatic fashion.

      The other piece of the narrative that drew my attention (and touches on the Roman canon discussion above) was his quote from Pottmeyer:

      “Like Vatican I, VII was unable to complete its work. The work of VII has remained a *building site*. Alongside the old edifice of 19th-20th century Vatican centralization arise the four mighty supporting columns of a renewed church and eccelsiology: church as people of God; church as sacrament of the Kingdom of God in today’s world; college of bishops, and ecumenism. While the building erected by centralization awaits demolition (just as the old St. Peter’s Basilica in its day), the four supporting pillars of a renewed church/ecclesiology wait to be crowned by the dome that draws them into unity.”

      He goes on to state that this *tired* either-or approach to VII is another way to describe the opposition between conceiving of Catholicism as dominated by a specific culture (Greco-Roman, European, Western) or as a *communion* guided by the Spirit and able to transcend and enlighten every particular culture.

  17. Jeffrey, Karl seems pretty clear on this question, particularly if you add his comment on its slipping into silence

    Karl Liam Saur : @Jordan Zarembo – comment #21: Jordan Just remember that, for most the Canon’s history, it catechized relatively few people. (Moreover, it preceded the actual communion of relatively few people for most of that time, too.)I think that considering the prayer abstractly on its own, with little regard for how it was actually experienced by most people most of the time, is profoundly anachronistic. Even “recovering” it as you seem to appreciate it is arguably more part of a hermeneutic of rupture (not necessarily in a bad way) than of continuity.

    1. @Jim McKay – comment #38:
      I don’t see how Karl’s remark is a clear answer to my question; merely repeating it won’t help. Why did the Canon catechize few people? Is it because it was prayed quietly and people were unaware of its content? Or is there something intrinsic to the Canon that is not conducive to teaching?

      Can the Canon, prayed aloud among people who are aware of its contents, catechize?

      1. @Jeffrey Pinyan – comment #48:
        Because it was prayed inaudibly in a language that was no longer the mother tongue (and at a rhetorical level that was very different from the bits of Latin that common people did understand).

        The Canon can indeed catechize people when prayed aloud among people who are aware of its contents*, but that is a relatively new role for it in terms of the faithful at large (the conventual communities of yore were not the faithful at large). That would not be continuity in any meaningful sense (and that shows the limits of continuity as a useful hermeneutic), and I just want that acknowledged rather than elided.

        * And, at least importantly, that such an experience occurs in a culture of frequent rather than rare communion. The Canon ought not be neatly separated from the culture of sacramental participation.

      2. @Karl Liam Saur – comment #50:
        The Canon can indeed catechize people … but that is a relatively new role for it [and] that would not be continuity in any meaningful sense.

        I agree; I perceive this as a good development. I agree it’s not an example of “continuity”, but I would hesitate to call it “rupture”. Surely there can be a development that is a happy medium between “continuity” and “rupture”. (Perhaps I am over-reacting to a perceived negative connotation of “rupture”.)

        It is indeed a break from the past, as you’ve explained: the Canon was not a source of catechesis for the faithful. They didn’t meditate on it; they meditated on something else. But I don’t think it was composed and organized to be an impenetrable wall for most people (despite the language, rhetoric, and silence); I don’t think I’m breaking any rules or betraying the disciplina arcani in helping people approach the Canon in this “new” way.

      3. @Jeffrey Pinyan – comment #53:

        I think you are still missing the point. The form of the prayer has remained constant, and propagated to many countries and cultures. The use of Latin and silence are signs of its anachronism, its continued alienation from the people praying.

        Originally the Canon was not an anachronism. It was written in the vernacular Latin rather than using the sacral languages of Greek or Hebrew. It used the imagery of its day regarding wealth and patronage and a host of other ideas.

        To remain true to that “original” canon, a modern version should use the vernacular with modern economic, social and cultural imagery. For a variety of reasons that has not happened for 1500 years, with people allowing the prayer to become an anachronism that no one could hear. It can be used well if people are taught what it means, but that is the evangelization, not the praying of it. Few uncatechized individuals will be able to learn the faith from hearing the prayer without explanation, so it would not be much more of a catechesis than it has been over the years. A catechist could use it, but that is much different.

        I may be going beyond what Karl meant, but I think this is implied in his original remark. But don’t hold him liable for my conclusions.

      4. @Jim McKay – comment #62:
        with modern economic, social and cultural imagery

        What should we do with ancient prayers like the Agnus Dei, for what does “lamb of God” mean to a cosmopolitan American? Should we replace “kingdom (of God/heaven)” with “society”? Why are we still saying that Jesus “came down from heaven” in the Creed?

        How far do we go with injecting modern terminology into these old prayers?

      5. @Jeffrey Pinyan – comment #64:

        If you want to use prayer to evangelize, you have to express the prayers in a way that will foster a conversion to Christ in the hearts of those who hear them.

        If you want a formal repetition of a prayer, without a concern that it touch attendees, then leave the prayer in Latin and say it silently.

        If you want something in between, do a mix of things.

        Just be aware that the shift from one purpose to another is as much a rupture as changing the language or rearranging the altar space. Saying “Kingdom of God” is not the same in Jerusalem in 100, Rome in 1000, and Paris in 1790. The form has remained the same, but the responses will be very different. Sometimes the real rupture comes by remaining the same.

      6. @Jim McKay – comment #62:
        Jim

        That does go beyond what I was getting at. The anachronism is not that something is old; it is that we project back into the deep past how we wish to engage it today, and elide the non-continuity. It’s a form of self-deception. Very very common in discussions of liturgical history.

  18. # 13 Father Allan McDonald

    ” I don’t think there should be any hysteria about the Extraordinary Form of the Mass becoming the Ordinary Form once again. My clairvoyance tells me that it ain’t going to happen.”

    What I see from some is that the new translation is only another step in the reform of the reform. I read comments from some who will not be satisfied until, brick by brick, all liturgical changes since the 1960s are reversed.

  19. Hello Jordan,

    Just driving by:

    To name two points: Jonathan once noted that EF Passion Sunday and Good Friday should not be celebrated due to anti-Semitic content; I certainly agree and would extend the ban to all Passiontide and Holy Week. In time, I am convinced that MR 1962 will receive some revision according to OF texts in accord with Nostra Aetate, even if doing so might cause internal discord.

    But Pope Benedict already did so – in 2008: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2008-03-21 Is the contention that even this revised prayer is still not congruent with Nostra Aetate? Because it seems clear that Pope Benedict thinks that it is.

    It is true that even this revised Good Friday prayer has been met with disapproval by some Jewish groups. But I don’t know how they would be satisfied short of some endorsement of dual covenant theology – and that’s just not in the cards. Otherwise, the most that they could hope for is that the prayer is dropped altogether.

    In addition, I would not jump out of my pew if women were to serve the EF, as has been the case at Cambridge.

    Well, *you* might not – but virtually every other regular TLM attendee would!

    1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #43:

      Richard, I just think that Pope Benedict should have wholesale transplanted the typical Latin bidding prayers from the 1970 missal into the 1962 missal. There’s nothing theologically amiss about the 1970 Good Friday prayers. The tone of the 1970 prayers are much more conciliatory than even 2008. Not everything 1970 is bad. There are many “innovations” from the reformed liturgy which have proven over time to be provident.

      As for women serving the EF, it’s licit. Okay, maybe many in the EF movement would prefer only male servers. Servers aren’t clerics; they’re stand-in helpers. Yes, at one time servers were supposed to have a minor order. That is no longer true canonically and by common sense. I’d be more concerned that the women knew how to serve Mass rather than be concerned about their gender. It’s time we all just chill.

      1. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #45:
        Jordan, Richard may be right here — from Universae Ecclesiae:

        28. Furthermore, by virtue of its character of special law, within its own area, the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum derogates from those provisions of law, connected with the sacred Rites, promulgated from 1962 onwards and incompatible with the rubrics of the liturgical books in effect in 1962.

        Praeterea, cum sane de lege speciali agitur, quoad materiam propriam, Litterae Apostolicae Summorum Pontificum derogant omnibus legibus liturgicis, sacrorum rituum propriis, exinde ab anno 1962 promulgatis, et cum rubricis librorum liturgicorum anni 1962 non congruentibus.

        The idea is that liturgical laws promulgated after 1962 don’t apply to the Tridentine Mass if they conflict with the rules that were in effect in 1962.

        This strikes me as thoroughly goofy: Susie can’t be an altar server for the 9.30 Tridentine Mass, in fact she can’t even enter the sanctuary. Perhaps she can’t touch the chalice — I don’t know the 1962 rules here. But, a few minutes later, she can serve at the altar for the 11.00 Novus Ordo, or act as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, or read a lesson.

        At a recent coffee hour after a Novus Ordo Mass, a “trad” from another parish strode up to a woman who had served at the altar, and said, very much in her face, “In my rite you wouldn’t be allowed to do what you did.” I resisted the temptation to talk about “one rite, two forms”, etc.

        But others don’t seem bothered by this apparent conflict. Maybe I’m missing something.

        Also agree with you about the Good Friday prayers. The 2008 version is still supersessonist. And the unrevised prayers about “heretics and schismatics” (Protestants and Orthodox) and the “conversion of pagans” don’t serve the Church well. Meanwhile, the Latin Mass Society finds the 1970 prayer for the Jews “ambiguous” and wants it replaced, in the normative rite, with the 2008 version!

  20. “Liturgical rites and music, which focus almost exclusively upon the community gathered in a particular space but are blind to the interrupting and transcendent presence of the Triune God.”

    Isn’t “the community gathered in a particular space” precisely the incarnation of “the interrupting and transcendent presence of the Triune God”? I’m surprised that someone as astute as Dr. O’Malley doesn’t recognize this. I’m not surprised by the fact that younger practicing Catholics don’t get this because they have been indoctrinated in a reform of the reform which is uncomfortable with both the ecclesiology of Vatican II and the central principle of the Incarnation.

    1. @David Warren – comment #44:
      a reform of the reform which is uncomfortable with … the central principle of the Incarnation

      That sounds like a caricature to me. I do not think the issue is the local community in its space, but rather the “almost exclusive focus” on the same, as O’Malley stated.

  21. Jeffrey

    I am not arguing the Canon must be cast aside. I am merely pointing out there are limits to making it the sine qua non of the Roman Rite, that certain arguments in favor of that position ignore certain realities. If we’re going to be anachronistic*, let’s be forthrightly so and embrace the reality of rupture that requires.

    * I mean this in the more technical sense, not the conversational sense. As in imagining that our understanding and experience of the Roman Canon today is very similar to how it was most widely understood and experienced during most of its history.

    1. @Karl Liam Saur – comment #46:
      imagining that our understanding and experience of the Roman Canon today is very similar to how it was most widely understood and experienced during most of its history

      I’m not doing that; at least, I’m not trying to. I’m trying to understand how we can appreciate it and learn from it and authentically pray it today without changing it from its present form. (Whether it requires change is another matter altogether. We were saved the anachronism of the wholesale importation of the so-called Hippolytan anaphora; it was amended and enhanced to give us EP II. Still, some of the changes made deprived the original prayer of some of its theological emphases that did not need, in my opinion, to be abandoned.)

  22. Hello Jonathan,

    My initial inclination was to think that it wasn’t strictly forbidden, just highly ill-advised. But Ecclesia Dei seems to agree with your assessment of UE 28:

    In this regard, the Circular Letter of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments of 1994 (cf. Notitiae 30 [1994] 333-335) permitted female altar servers, does not apply to the Extraordinary Form.

    (Letter signed by Secretary Msgr. Guido Pozzo, 2011)

    At a recent coffee hour after a Novus Ordo Mass, a “trad” from another parish strode up to a woman who had served at the altar, and said, very much in her face, “In my rite you wouldn’t be allowed to do what you did.”

    As someone with real traditional sympathies (as I think all here know), I find this kind of thing extraordinarily rude and self-defeating. This is not the way to win hearts and minds. It is a good way to win new enemies. A few trads, unfortunately, can be their own worst enemies.

    And is the EF a separate rite? It seems hard not to think so, and that the Holy Father’s position is a polite judicial fiction. If so, however, it is a fiction we are bound by. And it will create some oddities of the sort you flag here while we are.

    1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #54:
      No, Richard, this IS a judicial fiction of the worst kind.

      The 1994 authentic interpretation of law did not create a new law at that time. Rather, it said that, since the promulgation of the revised Code of Canon Law in 1983, there is no law prohibiting females from serving at the altar.

      The 1983 Code of Canon Law is proper to the entire Latin Church.

      Monsignor Pozzo has no claim to being the, or a, “lawgiver” in the Latin Church (or even being an authentic interpreter of the law). Only Pope Benedict XVI can make that claim. If he wishes to prohibit females from serving at EF Masses, he needs to promulgate that as law. Otherwise, there IS no law at present making that general prohibition.

      1. @Fr. Ron Krisman – comment #55:
        Thanks, Fr. Krisman – Richard’s intemperate remarks and inaccurate understanding of both canon law and history is also on display on the other PTB post – for example:

        “I am personally happy to trust generations of the Roman Rite’s liturgical tradition, formed by holy men (however apparently less credentialed than Archbishop Bugnini’s experts) and the Holy Spirit. I am personally happy not to treat the entire tradition of the Roman Rite after the early patristic period with a hermeneutic of suspicion.

        So are we to speak of “unparalleled arrogance?” Then let us speak of the unparalleled arrogance of a committee of liturgical experts who believed they had the right to treat the ancient rite of the Latin Church as an exercise in personal creativity, and then railroad Pope Paul VI into imposing it on the entire Roman Rite world as quickly as possible, with little chance for review or input by anyone outside. And let us speak of the unparalleled arrogance of such experts – and their apologists in the Diocese of Portsmouth and beyond – who believe that the letters after their name and the lengths of their c.v.’s gave them the right to assemble an entirely new missal, with threadbare justification of the practice of the ancient Church by cherrypicking (and the “Spirit” which can always be counted on to justify any new idea or experiment, so long as it is in accord with the spirit of the age) selected scraps of archaeological evidence.

        I don’t care if these experts could recite Hippolytus from memory -in Greek. Ancient prayers sanctified by the worship of dozens of generations cannot be set aside so easily.”

        Would have to say that these opinions are harsh, abusive, and slanderous – yes, a new low has been reached. These opinions, to borrow from Fr. Ron’s narrative, ARE an historical fiction of the worst kind.

        The council fathers reformed the liturgy – this in no way means that *ancient prayers sanctified by the worship of dozens of generations were set aside”. Reminds me of some of the things you hear from folks when events occur and a parish church is closed and sold – they believe that every sacrament that ever happened in that building is now at risk, jeopardized, etc. Nothing like making the grace of God and the sacramental actions of the community into *objects* that can bought and sold or destroyed.

    2. @Richard Malcolm – comment #54:
      I agree that the person you refer to was rude and that “trads” can be “their own worst enemies”.
      But of course, the same is true of progressives. How many times have devout parishioners been told that they must not say or hold their rosaries during Mass and how many times have people been told not to kneel to receive holy communion despite clear contemporary directives to the contrary?
      People just need to relax and allow the diversity of spiritualities and pieties in our Roman Church flourish without worrying about what other people do or don’t do. Celebrate the EF and offer the OF in the same parish. Let people stand or use prie-dieus as they wish for communion, let people hold hands or not during the “Pater noster”. Use Latin for the ordinaries or use the vernacular rotating from one to the other on different Sundays allowing the people to become familiar with them both, use traditional and contemporary hymns at the same celebration (even the EF). Offer communion by intinction and the chalice – be as liberally accomodating in all these things as the Church herself is. Applying this kind of generosity would leave us little to debate beyond the best way to apply our passtoral generosity.

  23. Why are some people attracted to the ‘old missal’?
    As Catholics, why, pray tell, should they not be?
    A disclaimer is in order: I am not. I’m not at all attracted to it.
    In fact, I am put off by it. Well, not exactly ‘it’ per se, but the cultural aura, the stiffling of spirit, the emotional castration that attends its celebration. When I am around zealous advocates of the Extra-ordinary Form and ultra-montane Caholics, I realise why there was a reformation, and give thanks that I was born Anglican and became Anglo-Catholic as soon as I discovered that there was such a thing. Sensing the ultimate futility of any meaningful future in my beloved church, I became Catholic in the hope and belief that, some day, there would be an Anglican Use within the Roman Church.
    And, Deo gratias, I am now (30 years later) fulfilled as a completely orthodox Catholic who has the good fortune to belong to the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter.
    One of the obstacles to my ‘conversion’ many years ago was liturgy. Not so much the ‘bloated claims of the papacy’. Not so much Mary. But a percieved inauthenticity of worship. If one reflects on the ‘type’ of mass and music that attends Anglo-Catholic worship he or she can readily surmise why one so blessed would shrink from a liturgical culture that was worse even than the lowest of ‘low church’. Plus clergy who, if they were not in league with a street music ethos that just took over after the council, they stood sheepishly by and did nothing with all their almighty clerical authority to stop it. Well, things are beginning slowly to change here and there… in parishes and dioceses that remain, yet, a minority. Thanks be to God for even that minority. This leaves those who thirst, and thirst mightliy, for authenticity in their worship; who seek a sense of the ineffable, the unbelievably sacred, for reverence, and are (rightly!) scandalised by masses that sound like pop concerts ‘presided’ over by priests who have…

    1. @M. Jackson Osborn – comment #56 and comment #57:

      The Anglicans have developed a Divine Office that is clearly superior to the that the Tridentine Breviary, the Monastic Office, and the Byzantine Office by

      1: Reducing the hours to Morning and Evening Prayer.
      2. Spreading the Psalter over a month and providing a variety of chants that cover a range from very choral to polyphony that can be sung by the people.
      3. Providing scripture readings from both the OT and NT.
      4. Providing hymns, again with a range from the very choral to those that can by sung by the people.
      5. Keeping a prominent place for the Canticles
      6. Retaining a prominent place for litanies and prayers.

      This is great evidence for the value of giving the task of shaping the liturgy over to national churches and letting them develop suitable rites based upon the breadth of traditions and practices found in a variety of historic rites rather than being based upon translations of Roman liturgical books.

      All this is very relevant to the basic issue of Faggioli’s book, i.e. the ecclesiologies (plural) of Vatican II and why he wants to ground the ecclesiology of Vatican II in Sacrosanctum Concilium as central and interpret Lumen Gentium in terms of it rather than follow the interpretations of even liberals which have tried to make the ecclesiology of Lumen Gentium the center of things.

      MJO, if you haven’t read this book, get it. And if you have it, read and think it through carefully, I see it as a solid basis for articulating your experience.

      I would challenge other traditionalists who want a genuine development of the liturgy and not just a return to the EF to read this book and think it through carefully. It says a lot of things that challenge the conventional wisdom of liberals as well as traditionalists.

      1. @Jack Rakosky – comment #78:
        JR –
        Many thanks for your remarks. One has noted often that there are many Catholics who admire Anglican liturgy and, to an extent, Anglican spirituality and the writings of the Anglican divines, etc. Then, too, no less than J.H. Newman sprang from Anglican roots. In spite of these warm feelings for our liturgical and literary patrimony, there has been, rather ironically, almost no influence on Catholic praxis. The Pastoral Provision of JPII and the Ordinariates of BXVI are, in light of this, nothing short of miraculous! Indeed, Anglo-phone Catholicism went deliberately out of its way after the council to avoid any such influence. I knew Catholic choirmasters at the time of the council who were full of joyful hope that ‘now WE can have beautiful solemn high masses in English like the ANglicans’. But it was not to be. There are not words to describe the piteous wreckage wrought by willful and implacable foes of any and all continuity – liturgical Robespierres.

        I will, indeed, read Faggioli’s book, and thank you for recommending it.

  24. less liturgical decorum and gravitas than Ed Sullivan. It is a terrible sadness that, for most Catholics, these are the choices. Someone recently said on the Musica Sacra Forum that at some high Anglican churches we see what the Novus Ordo might have been, or was meant to be. I should hope that this is in the future of it, because I shouldn’t want for the Tridentine mass to be my only alternative if I didn’t have the Anglican Use. It’s not just that the Extra-Ordinary Form stilfles my spirit, it’s that wherever it is one gets the feeling that Vatican II never happened.

  25. For what it’s worth, I have two views on this.

    First, as Bill notes, many aspects of the Mass changed before Vatican II; as but one example I think of the Easter Vigil being restored to its ancient time of celebration. John Baldovin, the Jesuit liturgy scholar, cites many other examples in his book Reforming the Liturgy, which is as temperate a discussion of liturgical reform as I have seen. It simply isn’t the case that everything stayed the same from the late patristic period until the 1960s.

    Second, as Richard says (and this is partly from memory, as one who grew up in the late 1950s and early 1960s), after the Council a lot of things changed very quickly. I don’t for a moment believe in the fables about Bugnini being a communist/Masonic conspirator, Paul VI being bullied into accepting a liturgy he didn’t want, or the liturgy being forced on unwilling bishops. Given Richard’s thoughtful views on this blog, I doubt he really thinks that the reformers viewed “the entire tradition of the Roman Rite after the early patristic period with a hermeneutic of suspicion.” I hope I am right about that.

    Nonetheless the pace of change was fast everywhere: in technology, sexual mores, commerce and in the Church. The liturgy seemed to change drastically, all at once. The Mass went into English. Priests turned to face the people, who started to receive communion in both kinds and to offer the Peace to one another.

    Except for the sedevacantists and the Lefebvrists, I think most of us would agree that the Church herself promulgated the liturgical reforms — the pope, the bishops, the people of God working together. That doesn’t mean the reforms are perfect or that their implementation was perfect. It doesn’t mean we can’t be critical of them. It does imply, in my view, that there is little point in concocting fables of their origin being sinister.

    I would say the same thing, by the way, about the new translation and about Liturgiam Authenticam. Flawed (especially LA), but it’s what we’ve been given, the work of God’s Church.

    1. @Jonathan Day – comment #59:
      Thanks, Jonathan. Without questioning motivations (or conspiracy theories), would suggest that your last paragraph goes too far for these reasons:
      – Council Fathers, Paul VI set up Consilium (consisting of experts/periti/bishops from VII). The Consilium split would not occur until 1972 – thus, following SC’s principle that episcopal conferences/bishops make liturigical decisions. It affirms your statement that the people of God worked together. In addition, conferences drove reform, timelines with papal confirmation and the reforms were documented with worldwide input.

      – contrast that with LA and the new translation. Bp. Maurice Taylor’s book tells the story of inside curial politics, power plays, and ideology at play as did PTB in 2011. There really is no comparison (as John Robert Francis can attest)….Mendez refused to act on the approved episcopal conferences 1998 translations; in secret developed LA (basically allowed to continue by JPII but without ever making a papal statement on this – version of a papal recess appointment – lowest level of authority). US conference was basically threatened by George so they would pass this translation. This whole process rejected what SC laid out in liturgical principles and decision making (think one could use the term *railroading* here).
      The process was in secret; translators were anonymous; Vox Clara came out of nowhere; no documentation; little to no consultation or feedback; no testing of the *end product* unlike what Consilium did; no episcopal conferences were pushing to implement LA/2011 (unlike VII reforms). You skip over the fact that english episcopal conferences confirmed the 2008 translation – somewhere in this process, unkown folks gave us the 2011 version (no confirmation; only implementation). Thus, comparing the two – one came from a council under the leadership of the pope (highest level of authority); the other appears to be an inside curial movement of power. (which, unfortunately, does lend itself to thoughts of conspiracy, etc.). We don’t really know how this will play out. To date, only the english translation is in force; other major language groups and episcopal conferences are pushing back; delaying, etc. There have already surfaced significant issues with the LA process in terms of languages in Asia and Africa.

      (another difference between the VII reforms and LA/2011 – VII reforms were welcomed across all language groups, regions, continents).

      Understand your efforts to turn down the heat but one reason PTB is different from most blogs is that it provides and has provided actual historical facts from actual participants….it would be sad to dismiss these facts and experiences in order to achieve some type of temporary cessation of whatever. (and to continue above to accuse Bugnini of being a Mason is just another extreme that serves the traditionalist position negatively).

      Jonathon – along these lines you might want to ask Fr. Ruff to cite his Dec. 14th presentation and his recommendations in terms of LA/2011. From a note-taker:

      “o The 1998 Missal was properly (legitimately) developed and approved according to Vatican II.
      o The 1998 Missal followed the 1969 translation rules, which were still in effect (until replaced by the 2001 rules).
      o What about the 1998 missal not being “certified” by Rome (as required by Vatican II)? Remember: Rome’s “confirming” basically means acknowledging that the translations were prepared & approved by legitimate bishops’ conferences, according to official translation rules — it does not mean that Rome created the texts.
      o Since some Roman authorities subverted the legitimate procedures established and approved in Vatican II’s Liturgy Constitution — usurping the bishops’ responsibilities for creating & approving vernacular translations (by unilaterally engineering and mandating the new missal), changing the translation rules of 2001 secretly and without consultation (thereby disregarding Vatican II’s principle of “collegiality” – shared authority/responsibility between bishops and the pope):
      I propose that these actions (by Rome), namely: the “trashing” of the 1998 missal without “due process” along with the subsequent re-engineering of the new missal and its imposition, represent an abuse of authority; a misuse of power — blatantly at variance with the letter and spirit of Vatican II and detrimental to the vitality of the whole body of the church in the spirit of the Gospel. As I see it, such actions discredit – or dare I say “nullify”? – the resulting process responsible for the new missal.
      Therefore, I believe that sound pastoral judgement would justify the use of the 1998 missal – along side of, or in place of the 2011 missal.”

  26. Hello Fr. Krisman,

    Only Pope Benedict XVI can make that claim. If he wishes to prohibit females from serving at EF Masses, he needs to promulgate that as law.

    Well, with respect, that is what – as far as I can see – the Pope *did* do when he issued the instruction Universae Ecclesiae on 30 April, 2011. Which is what Jonathan was quoting from.

    The letter from Msgr Pozzo last year was responding to an inquiry asking if, indeed, UE 28’s derogation of post-1962 liturgical laws in the celebration of the 1962 missal also applied to the use of girls serving at altar. Ecclesia Dei is specifically authorized to make that clarification by the Pope in Summorum Pontificum. The Pope did not want to make a laundry list of every single post-1962 law incompatible with the 1962 books; he covered the question with a blanket derogation.

    It should be clear that female altar servers remain licit in the celebration of the ordinary form, if the local ordinary permits it (as virtually all do).

    1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #60:
      Richard, I continue to think that this leaves us in a very odd place, at least from a pastoral perspective:

      – For a parish that uses both the normative and Tridentine forms of the Mass, how do you explain to an intelligent and faithful woman that she can serve at the altar for one, but not the other, if the two are in fact “forms of the one Mass”? My tongue stumbles on saying “It’s a polite judicial fiction”.

      – And why should local ordinaries even (etiam) be allowed to forbid female altar servers for the normative Mass, especially given that the pope himself seems to accept them in papal Masses? As you say, the vast majority go with the pope on this. But a few do not. Why is the matter even in question? In a similar way, I would say that no ordinary should forbid someone who wants to kneel for communion, given that this is allowed in papal Masses.

      I understand the arguments about vocations, boys not wanting to serve with girls, etc., including the following truly idiotic comment from a traditionalist blog: … the young boys at our local Traditional Latin Mass loathe putting on their long black cassocks and smelling perfume, obviously from when a girl wore them when serving the Ordinary Form Mass. Yes, well, they can offer it up.

      Isn’t there a principle of being as generous as possible, odiosa restringenda and all that?

      1. @Jonathan Day – comment #61:
        Jonathan,

        I agree with what you wrote above about the reform not being sinister in its early days or today. I also believe that when the liturgy of venerable Paul VI is implimented within the great tradition of our rite, interest in the EF as the only authentic bastion of orthodxy subsides. In my view, pastorally, this is where many progressives fail. For example, I think it less difficult to explain to an intelligent & faithful woman why she does not serve at the altar at an EF celebration than it is to explain to an intelligent & faithful woman or man (a “thinking Catholic”) why they hear no Latin ordinaries during their OF celebration when Vatican II’s SC clearly directs that they should.
        This principle of “odiosa restringenda” is why most parishes should seek to offer at least one EF celebration on Sundays and holy days, even if a low Mass. The Byzantine rite has two forms, we can enjoy two forms as well.

    2. @Richard Malcolm – comment #60:
      Richard,

      I did not see your January 2 response until last night I had driven from Kansas City to Chicago on that day. Since I had left a somewhat provocative comment on this thread the night before that, I should have checked subsequent comments more carefully. I apologize for that.

      I am in agreement with you about the content of the pertinent law under discussion, namely Pope Benedict XVI’s derogation “from those provisions of law, connected with the sacred Rites, promulgated from 1962 onwards and incompatible with the rubrics of the liturgical books in effect in 1962.” Of course, Benedict has the authority to decree such derogation from law.

      From your posts, I take it that you agree that, in the ius vigens of the Latin Church, there is no prohibition of females serving at Mass. However, it appears that you misunderstand when this prohibition was lifted, since in your comment #54, you repeat the common misstatement that it was in 1994 that the CDWDS permitted female altar servers. Actually, the CDWDS did no such thing. Rather, what happened in 1994 was this: the pontifical commission for the correct interpretation of legislative texts issued an authentic interpretation of law stating, in effect, that there was no longer a prohibition against females serving at Mass, and this prohibition ceased with the promulgation of the 1983 Code of Canon Law eleven years earlier. Numerous canonical experts from 1983 onward had given this same interpretation of the law. The 1994 authentic interpretation in effect was saying that this interpretation of expert commentators was, in fact, the right one.

      In your comment #60, concerning the prohibition of female servers at present-day EF Masses, you note that Msgr. Pozzo stated, “Ecclesia Dei is specifically authorized to make that clarification.” That may be the case, but such clarification, in no way, is an “authentic interpretation of law.” Such is true, as well, for the statements of several officials of the CDWDS who incorrectly interpreted the law concerning female servers for all or most of the 11 years from 1983 to 1994 when the dicastery sent hundreds of letters to diocesan bishops who had correctly understood the 1983 CIC’s lifting the prohibition against female altar servers and, accordingly, permitting that practice in their dioceses.

      Now, as to the actual rubric in the 1962 Missale Romanum that prohibits female altar servers, as far as I can determine IT DOES NOT EXIST. Perhaps many folks, Pope Benedict XVI included, think that surely there must be a rubric in the 1962 Missale Romanum prohibiting female servers, because anyone who can remember back to that time knows that such was certainly the liturgical practice. However, I think the prohibition is only contained in canon 813, 2, of the 1917 Codex Iuris Canonici, but not in the rubrics of the 1962 Missale Romanum.

      Pope Benedict decreed a derogation only from some present-day laws contrary to laws contained in the rubrics of the liturgical books in use in 1962. He did not derogate from present-day laws which are contrary to laws contained in the 1917 Codex Iuris Canonici, if such laws were, in fact, abrogated with the promulgation of the 1983 CIC – which is the case with female servers.

  27. Jonathan Day : @Richard Malcolm – comment #60: Richard, I continue to think that this leaves us in a very odd place, at least from a pastoral perspective: – For a parish that uses both the normative and Tridentine forms of the Mass, how do you explain to an intelligent and faithful woman that she can serve at the altar for one, but not the other, if the two are in fact “forms of the one Mass”? My tongue stumbles on saying “It’s a polite judicial fiction”. – And why should local ordinaries even (etiam) be allowed to forbid female altar servers for the normative Mass, especially given that the pope himself seems to accept them in papal Masses? As you say, the vast majority go with the pope on this. But a few do not. Why is the matter even in question? In a similar way, I would say that no ordinary should forbid someone who wants to kneel for communion, given that this is allowed in papal Masses.

    Hello Jonathan,

    On your first point – I think your point is not unreasonable. If it really *is* the same rite…these different rubrics can seem odd. Or even inconsistent.

    I’m not aware that it has caused such frictions so far, which is not to say that it couldn’t. To the extent that there are any frictions in such parishes, it seems to be the result of the entire panoply of attitudes and understandings that seem to accompany each “form.”

    To me, they seem like different rites. The Pope says they are not. I assent to this judgment. And that is where we are now.

    As for your second point: The preference remains for males over females, which was presumably the only way the Pope would give the permission. It seems like a theoretical concern, given that only one US diocese opts to forbid it. Perhaps that will change in the future, in which case your concern would become more concrete.

  28. Hello Daniel,

    But of course, the same is true of progressives. How many times have devout parishioners been told that they must not say or hold their rosaries during Mass and how many times have people been told not to kneel to receive holy communion despite clear contemporary directives to the contrary?

    Sure. That sort of thing has happened to *me*, unfortunately, and a fair number of people I know. (I think it is happening less now.) To the extent that some traddies can be flinty or defensive, I can understand how they got that way, I’m afraid.

    But two wrongs do not make a right. I don’t think many traditionalists are this way, but I have met a few that are.

  29. Daniel, I broadly agree in your prescription for pastoral generosity.

    In my experience nobody — cleric or lay — in a mainstream London parish would dare tell someone else at Mass not to say or hold a rosary during the liturgy, or not to kneel at communion, or to raise their hands for the Our Father. Generally speaking, the generosity you describe is what I have lived with for many years. In my parish people kneel or stand to receive, on the tongue or in the hand. The diocese forbids self-intinction, so that isn’t allowed. But I know that this experience is atypical.

    Whether every parish should offer the Tridentine Mass every Sunday is another question. Given the priest shortage, and the pressure under which priests operate, it seems to me that this would depend on demand for this Mass and on the availability of the older Mass within a short distance of the church. Not all churches are set up for the altar arrangements of the older Mass.

    Faced with a personal choice, I would give greater priority to offering the normative Mass with Latin ordinary, at least for parts such as the Gloria, Creed, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, etc.

    Fortunately these are decisions for others to make!

    1. @Jonathan Day – comment #67:

      The diocese forbids self-intinction, so that isn’t allowed.

      Jonathan,

      On a small point of fact, it isn’t the diocese that forbids self-intinction but the Church. Self-service Communion is not permitted (cf. Inaestimabile Donum 9) and self-intinction counts as self-service Communion in the eyes of the Church.

    2. @Jonathan Day – comment #68:
      Thanks, Jonathan.
      Would re-echo others’ comments that Summorum Pontificum needs to be read in light of pastoral need….the goal is not to enshrine two forms of the one rite. Currently in Western Europe, North America – there appears to be less than 10% of catholics who request this *exception* and very little desire in the southern hemisphere where 2/3rds of catholics continue to grow/increase.

      Daniel says: “People just need to relax and allow the diversity of spiritualities and pieties in our Roman Church flourish without worrying about what other people do or don’t do. Celebrate the EF and offer the OF in the same parish.” This ignores ecclesiology, ignores the laws of liturgy; and makes spirituality/personal piety as more important that what the church does as a community at liturgy.

      Fr. Komonchak’s 4th Sunday of Advent homily lays out the difference between Jewish/OT cultic liturgy and what Jesus and the 1st century Pauline church believed: http://jakomonchak.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/new-priesthood-new-sacrifice/#more-984

      Points:
      – “What is really going on here is a new interpretation of both priesthood and sacrifice. They are taken out of the Temple and brought out into the world. Sacrifice was not something Christ did in a building, with the dead bodies of animals. Sacrifice was what Christ was about in his life, his daily life, and especially in the surrender of his life: it was something he did with his own will, and “by this ‘will’ we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
      Would suggest that this is also why VII reformed the liturgy.- the Trentan form had become *cultic*.

  30. Hello Jonathan (again),

    Second, as Richard says (and this is partly from memory, as one who grew up in the late 1950s and early 1960s), after the Council a lot of things changed very quickly. I don’t for a moment believe in the fables about Bugnini being a communist/Masonic conspirator, Paul VI being bullied into accepting a liturgy he didn’t want, or the liturgy being forced on unwilling bishops. Given Richard’s thoughtful views on this blog, I doubt he really thinks that the reformers viewed “the entire tradition of the Roman Rite after the early patristic period with a hermeneutic of suspicion.” I hope I am right about that.

    Thank you for your observations on my comments, as always.

    Just a few points:

    1) I prescind from any judgment on ++Bugnini being a mason; I didn’t want to get into that, and I do not have the means to prove it anyway. Whether he was or was not doesn’t really reach the substance of the Consilium’s reforms, for good or ill. In passing, I think Michael Davies uncovered enough to plausibly suggest that *Paul VI* thought he had seen sufficient evidence that there was something to the charges…but that is a rabbit hole left for another discussion (not likely to occur at PTB). It’s beside the point.

    2) I was vexed when I wrote that post, as was surely obvious. I didn’t mean to suggest that Paul VI had no responsibility for the new mass. He plainly wanted a major reform in the liturgy. And, plainly, so did most Council Fathers. I find all that regrettable, even as I understand the legitimate motives that drove those desires. Reading Bugnini’s own book, he seems proud of the way in which he was able maneuver acceptance of changes he hoped to make. Is “railroad” too strong a word? Perhaps. But I think the Pope was more passive than active.

    But as I said, even if some changes were desirable, I don’t think it is unreasonable to express the concern that too much was done too fast. Liturgy is not frozen in amber, but there is good reason why it happens slowly.

  31. “I don’t think it is unreasonable to express the concern that too much was done too fast.”

    And let’s be clear that many people also are concerned not enough was done. Useful forms for the Liturgy of the Hours, Reconciliation form III, allowing extraordinary ministers for anointing of the sick, a Lectinary-Missal harmonization for Ordinary Time, to name a few.

  32. Hello Todd,

    And let’s be clear that many people also are concerned not enough was done.

    Oh, I know that well enough…

    Nonetheless, it is fair to ask why liturgical change has come slowly in the Church – at least until recently.

    allowing extraordinary ministers for anointing of the sick…

    I’ve heard of such proposals, but not in detail. Would this be by proxy? The minister of the sacrament has always been the priest.

    1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #75:
      Let’s also acknowledge that we are painting in *broad strokes*. In reality, the VII reforms were often dictated by specific bishops and even pastors. Thus, it was not unusual to find a diocese that had not introduced communion from the cup until the 1980s or specific pastors who delayed any or most VII reforms. This has created a negative impact on those dioceses and on those parishes – confusing folks; sending mixed messages, poor catechesis, poor liturgical and sacramental practices. It is rarely an all of nothing event.
      e.g. some of Ireland’s dioceses are only now introducing the diaconate

      The minister of the sacrament has always been the priest – really? what about deacons doing baptisms, matrimony? Why can’t deacons do the anointing of the sick? In some dioceses, confirmation is done with baptism – thus, a deacon does both. Again, it is difficult to paint with a single brush.

    2. @Richard Malcolm – comment #75:
      “Oh, I know that well enough …”

      As long as we realize that there is a middle ground in liturgical reform, and we are nowhere near the most rash and/or progressive of the orthodox visions set forth in the prior century.

      “The minister of the sacrament has always been the priest.”

      Not always. For centuries, lay people brought blessed oil home and used it to aniont.

      I spent two years working in the rural Midwest. We saw a priest in our town of 3,000 people and 600 Catholics one day a week and about two hours on weekends. My parishioners and I did about 90% of the hospital visits and probably more of the homebound visits. Having recourse to the sacraments is a great poverty in the US–and that doesn’t touch mission lands.

  33. It must be tough being pope nowadays.

    Innocent III (1160 – 1216) launched a crusade and used the interdict to boss around European kings. He claimed that he had “not only the Universal Church but the whole world to govern” and that as pope he was “set between God and man, lower than God but higher than man … he judges all and is judged by no one … Just as the moon derives its light from the sun and is indeed lower than it in quantity and quality, in position and in power, so too the royal power derives the splendor of its dignity from the pontifical authority.”

    Those were the days.

    Even Benedict XVI, famed as a “rottweiler” when a cardinal, seems to have moved cautiously on liturgical matters. He brings back the Tridentine Mass, but then gives it the odd name “extraordinary form”, embeds it in the “juridical fiction” that Richard describes and seems entirely reluctant to celebrate it himself in public. He clearly favours celebration with the priest facing the apse and communion given on the tongue, but doesn’t do the former in public Masses and doesn’t insist on the latter across the Church. He made overtures to the SSPX, but — thank God — didn’t abandon the Council in order to bring them back into normal relations with the Church.

    Perhaps Paul VI had some of the same limits to his freedom. I think it may be a very good thing that popes can no longer do what Innocent did. The cost, though, is that they can end up disappointing “progressives” and “trads” alike. This seems to have happened both to Paul VI and, to some extent, Benedict as well.

    1. @Jonathan Day – comment #76:
      Jonathan – one of the criticisms of Paul VI’s leadership was his pattern of appointing a *liberal* to a position; then, when he replaced that person for whatever reason, he would appoint a *conservative*. Some have said that this was his attempt at balancing and achieving a both/and approach. Unfortunately, it often resulted, as you intimate, in poor leadership decisions; departments that went one way and then suddenly did a 180 degree turn.

      What you don’t address is the final years of a long papacy esp. if that pope is in poor health. That *inter-regnum* seems to create a vacuum that is more negative than positive and leads to curial intrigue.

  34. Hello Bill,

    The minister of the sacrament has always been the priest – really? what about deacons doing baptisms, matrimony? Why can’t deacons do the anointing of the sick?

    Well, they are not permitted to, and never have been. (There has been a little scholarly discussion of the possibility that deacons may have been authorized to do so in extreme cases, in my understanding. But I will readily admit that the diaconate is not an area of expertise for me.)

    As for confirmation…no, that must be performed by a bishop or a priest. The baptism part – certainly, a deacon could do that; when baptisms and confirmations are done together, I have always seen the priest or bishop performing the confirmation. Deacons (transitional or permanent) can baptize and witness marriages. But that’s it as far as sacraments are concerned (as opposed to sacramentals).

    1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #81:

      The baptism part – certainly, a deacon could do that; when baptisms and confirmations are done together

      Actually no. This question often arises for the Easter Vigil, when deacons understandably want to baptize people they have had a leading role in preparing for baptism. But in law (a) deacons only have the faculty to baptize infants, not adults. Additionally, at the Vigil (b) the priest may not confirm anyone he has not himself baptized at the same celebration, and in any case (c) canonically the Bishop does not delegate the faculty to baptize at the Vigil to deacons, only to priests. This in turn means that a deacon may not baptize infants at the Vigil, even if he has been responsible for preparing the parents.

      Similarly, even if a deacon has been responsible for or involved with the preparation of a candidate to be received into the full communion of the Church, he himself may not carry out the reception, since only priests are delegated by the bishop to carry this out and to confirm the candidates that they receive.

      It may seem pastorally harsh, but that’s the reality. In my diocese we recommend that deacons make sure that, at the Vigil, they are the ones who present those they have prepared to the priest at the appropriate points in the Vigil, and they they are the ones who give First Holy Communion from the chalice to the newly-baptized that they have prepared.

    2. @Richard Malcolm – comment #81:
      Let’s be clear – your initial statement cited priest only for all sacraments. That citation was incorrect.

      From the perspective of church tradition – sacraments start with the church, not from the priest. East has always joined baptism/confirmation (by priest); students I taught currently serving in Africa, Cuba, Central America, baptize/confirm infants as standard practice.

      Baptims, matrimony have been performed by permanent deacons since VII.

      At one time, there were serious discussions about the sacrament of the sick and deacons + others.

      One thing that needs to be considered is the practice of multiplying auxiliary bishops to do confirmations in large urban dioceses – why? And what happens if the West adopts the East practice?

      1. @Bill deHaas – comment #94:
        your initial statement cited priest only for all sacraments

        I don’t think it did. The immediate context was “allowing extraordinary ministers for anointing of the sick”, and Richard said “I’ve heard of such proposals, but not in detail. Would this be by proxy? The minister of the sacrament has always been the priest.”

        I read “the sacrament” to mean “the sacrament just referred to”. I do not think Richard meant to say (nor believes) that the only a priest can administer any sacrament.

  35. Hello Todd,

    Not always. For centuries, lay people brought blessed oil home and used it to anoint.

    If this is what I am thinking of, wasn’t that merely considered a sacramental, rather than extreme unction per se?

    I spent two years working in the rural Midwest. We saw a priest in our town of 3,000 people and 600 Catholics one day a week and about two hours on weekends. My parishioners and I did about 90% of the hospital visits and probably more of the homebound visits. Having recourse to the sacraments is a great poverty in the US–and that doesn’t touch mission lands.

    That is certainly a valid concern. The priest shortage hurts us in many ways, and not just this one. When I was in for my one operation, I had difficulty getting a priest in time – ultimately, I had to do without.

    The real solution is: more vocations – we are a sacramental Church. We can’t change that. But that is part of the larger crisis in the Church.

  36. “The real solution is: more vocations – we are a sacramental Church.”

    Of course, some of us might suggest we have the vocations we need and the institution doesn’t recognize them. If lay people anointed centuries before Trent, why not today?

    “We can’t change that. But that is part of the larger crisis in the Church.”

    I wouldn’t want to change it. But I’m not so sure the so-called crisis is, in part, one of the hierarchy’s own making, and a denial of the sacramental Church–when it doesn’t concern them.

    At any rate, reform should be pointed to sacramental and pastoral need. Not the comfort level of bureaucrats or their sometimes monied supporters.

    Ministry to the sick was a priority of the Lord himself, is founded in the New Testament, and has a history much longer than a Tridentine practice of confusion with Viaticum. But that would be but one example of where needed reform doesn’t seem to be on the institutional radar these days.

  37. Re: Deacons and administration of baptism and matrimony

    Remember, too, that (1) any person, Christian or not, can validly baptize, not just a member of the clergy (my sister, born three months prematurely, was baptized by a Jewish obstetrician, the first person to see her frail state); (2) the couple being married is the minister of the sacrament, and the member of the clergy at the wedding — priest, deacon, or even protestant minister if form is dispensed by the bishop — are mere witnesses and do not administer the sacrament.

  38. Hello Paul,

    But in law (a) deacons only have the faculty to baptize infants, not adults.

    Yes, that’s Canon 863. I suppose what I had in mind was baptism of infants and children (at least up to age 14) by deacons as the ordinary minister of baptism.

    But it’s not clear to me that the ordinary may not be deputed to a deacon if he so warrants – at least there is nothing in canons 861-864 to forbid it, on my reading.

  39. “I knew Catholic choirmasters at the time of the council who were full of joyful hope that ‘now WE can have beautiful solemn high masses in English like the Anglicans’. But it was not to be.”

    The seed of the frustration is within.

    Nobody was preventing anyone from developing an excellent music program/ministry from the late 60’s onward. However, it seems that all too many Catholics (of all ideologies) were waiting for someone else to do the grunt work for them.

    My observation is that many Catholics have a sense of entitlement. They should ordain women. They should kick the clowns and dancers out on their ***es. We deserve this. This is our right. On and on.

    The truth of it is that the modern Roman Rite accommodates much, and it is up to the complainers (among others) to roll up their sleeves and get the work done. You want an “Anglican High Mass”? It’s up to the music director to recruit a choir, build the repertoire, and make the case to the pastor and community. B16 won’t legislate it for you. And it may take you a whole generation.

    I find many Catholics expect it all to be done for them, and they lament everyone from the pope to the janitor and those in between. Maybe it’s a particularly American flaw, this hermeneutic of entitlement. But it hamstrings us in areas beyond liturgy, as well as within it.

    On the other hand, maybe this hermeneutic is an essential flaw of the TLM, not the US. When liturgy is “performed” on behalf of a community, not “celebrated” by it, perhaps it is difficult to escape the sense of entitlements, rights, and demands. And the bitterness that comes with their unfulfillment.

    That may be one of the best arguments against the 1962 Missal–it is inherently incompatible with taking personal responsibility for our religious and spiritual lives. After all, when the prayer is prayed by one or a few, then living the faith will be that much more difficult for the many. Or the all.

    1. @Todd Flowerday – comment #89:

      Who said n response to MJO’s comment
      “I knew Catholic choirmasters at the time of the council who were full of joyful hope that ‘now WE can have beautiful solemn high masses in English like the Anglicans’. But it was not to be.”

      The seed of the frustration is within.

      I agree but with some twists. It takes a long time and many people to build a musical liturgical culture.

      We did not have that in place before Vatican II. The weekday High Masses in my parish were sung by an elderly women with a terrible voice. The Sunday High Masses by the men’s choir were not much better. My positive Tridentine experiences of chant were as a Jesuit Novice and a student at John’s during the Council not in the parishes.

      The Anglican model simply was not on my radar screen until the past decade or two, and I suspect is not on the radar screen of many pastors or music directors in parishes. Someone has to do it locally and show it attracts people.

      Part of the problem is the very low level of musical culture among pastors. When progress occurs it is almost by accident. One local pastor admits that one of his best decisions was going to paid musical leadership but that was not obvious at the time he did it. Over the past couple of decades there has been slow but definite progress in this diocese in moving toward paid musical leadership in the parishes.

      Part of the problem is the low level of musical culture among musicians. This happens because a lot of that is voluntary. The same parish has a good pipe organ that stands unused, largely because there is no one to play it. Of course it was in bad shape. A few years ago the parish did find someone to play it and I plunked down a thousand dollars to help get it in shape. The person disappeared within a year, and the organ is silent.

      So putting together the pastoral leadership (in a changing world of pastors) and the musical leadership (in a changing world of musicians) and the parish support (in a changing world of parish members) is very challenging. It is not going to happened because of decrees from the Vatican, or the chancery office, or even the parish office for that matter.

      My favorite parish started off with good musical culture among the people(although it was largely inspired by the charismatic movement promoted by a choir director and pastor who got married). A new pastor buiilt on that through a series of paid music directors with great though differing musical talents.

    2. @Todd Flowerday – comment #89:
      I’m not clear, Todd, that frustration over a lack of articulated direction comes solely from within we practitioners after the council documents were put into effect. However, you are absolutely correct about the lack of restraint upon initiative at the time. And unfortunately you may have found the stinging nerve center that “vexes” us all, what you’ve dubbed the “entitlement culture” here and likely elsewhere.
      The flip side of the coin whose one side’s façade does accommodate much is that over two plus generations of liturgical leadership in this country has failed to provide clear imagery of the opposite side’s engraved symbolism. The word “standard” comes to mind as very important in coinage, emblems and signage. And though, as you say, individuals have maintained or improved standards locally, many more parishes (already likely not moored before V2) were let even more adrift (see Steinfels) afterwards. Your oft and well-mantra’d argument not to blame the Repps, SLJ’s and Haas/Haugen/Hurd for filling this vacuum of leadership is apt and should be recognized as having anchored wayward programs to, at least, a minimalist ethos of practice during a long storm where not one soul could agree with another on what FACP actually is.
      And you aren’t the first to notice or lament that the PIPs’ lack of engagement, commitment or, heaven forbid, obligation to help remedy this malaise is now inbred in all areas, as you state. CMAA author Mary Jane Ballou wrote a rose scented yet scathing indictment of this in 2007, and as recently as last week CMAA VP Buchholz was on record for lamenting the obvious decline in congregational participation in the singing of Christmas CAROLS, for literally crying out loud! OTOH, many congregations under diverse leadership that spans philosophies as divergent led by the Mahrts, Salamunovich’s, Cooney’s, Cortez’s, Bartlett’s, Ruff’s, Flowerday’s, etc. that do span at least one generation prove that engagement and transformation has little to do with the OF/EF axis of concerns. But the other “they’s and we’s” still clamor for standards rather than methods of relief for banality or ugliness. And the inclination to complain rather than join the campaign bitterly metastasizes worse than ever.
      I cannot, however, agree with your reductive argument about the TLM being incompatible with remedying entitlement to passivity unless proponents of wide spread use of the TLM can only agree upon the Low Mass solution as the panacea.
      That’s why I pray we’re hopefully at the edge of a literally new frontier of worship: offering our finest gifts and expressions at the altar of sacrifice under rites that are sanctioned as one and equal in measure of fit praise to God.

      1. @Charles Culbreth – comment #93:
        Charles – IMO, your paragraph: “….cannot, however, agree with your reductive argument about the TLM being incompatible with remedying entitlement to passivity unless proponents of wide spread use of the TLM can only agree upon the Low Mass solution as the panacea.” is not a solution; but rather, creates conflict because of both sacramental theology and ecclesiology. Do not agree that it is a *reductive argument*? In fact, IMO, your approach is the reductive argument.

        Faggioli’s True Reform lays out a well researched argument for why your approach is the reductive one. “…edge of a new frontier of worship…” – sorry, my intuition and experience tells me we are on a new frontier of division and two ecclesiologies/theologies.

      2. @Bill deHaas – comment #95
        Fr. Bill, I’m not sure that I really advanced an approach or particular solution. The only caveat I offered regarding the efficacy of the TLM as a restorative solution centered upon a sort of resignation mentality that the Low Mass, or Missa Lecta seems to suffice for a significant contingency of EF advocates. That is an unacceptable option IMO. Other than that, I don’t see that much difference between applying performance and material standards to Missa Cantatas or Solemn High Masses that could also be of great benefit to their OF counterpart (and the subtle, un-qualified gradations within that umbrella.)
        Perhaps you could explain what you thought my solution or approach amounted to?

        @Todd and what stands between us and singing at Mass.
        I remember that saying, but I think the culture’s moved passed the nostalgia that compels Chris Christie to wave his smartphone while singing at MSG with the Boss. And that includes singing when they have something to sing about. The mitigating factor that I acknowledge is what makes an aggregation of people an “intentional” congregation, and is that intention sufficient propulsion to inculcate a “need” to sing as an integral part of that circumstance.
        In my experience, such intentional communities include (obviously) professed religious, daily Mass communicants, folks who show up at Masses of Opportunity/Obligation, such as on January 1st, Thanksgiving Day, Triduum, (not Easter or Ash Wednesday!) and such. Others such as Rocco Palmo might argue for Our Lady of Guadalupe, or Simbang Gabi for Filipino OLPH folk and other culturally-based congregational customs, but I’ve never found such liturgies as being universally edifying to the liturgical expression for obvious reasons, no matter how well performed. However, that’s not to declare it impossible for such mutli-cultural celebrations evolve into viable traditions in certain situations over, as you say, generations. Perhaps in my old Oakland stomping grounds vestigial local celebrations have actually taken root, I dunno.
        Let me just sum it up thusly, similar to what my colleague Horst Buchholz observed in St. Louis this last Christmas: in my reckoning the per capita percentage of actual singing congregants at Mary, Mother of God, a non-Holy Day in our diocese, was significantly greater than I experienced on Christmas morning Masses with a large proportion of twice a year Catholics in attendance.

  40. Todd Flowerday : “The real solution is: more vocations – we are a sacramental Church.” Of course, some of us might suggest we have the vocations we need and the institution doesn’t recognize them. If lay people anointed centuries before Trent, why not today?

    We have many vocations that the Church has turned away, alas. But that is fodder for another discussion.

    But as for this issue: even setting aside Trent, I don’t see how you can square allowing laypeople to minister extreme unction/annointing without running into the injunction of James 5:14 (“Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests (πρεσβυτέρους) of the church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.”). When we’ve seen laity annointing permitted (as with Innocent I), it was a sacramental, not what James is referring to.

  41. Hello Todd (again),

    The truth of it is that the modern Roman Rite accommodates much, and it is up to the complainers (among others) to roll up their sleeves and get the work done.

    That’s an excellent point, Todd.

    The same thing applies to groups requesting a TLM. You could help father out by providing the trained servers, the missal, altar cards, even subsidize the training and vestments. Do the footwork to assemble a proper schola. Even the dreaded Fr. Z has made this point repeatedly.

    The same is true for more traditional celebrations of the Pauline missal, if you like. That chant schola won’t build itself. (Of course, if the parish music director and/or pastor are hostile to such things (as has often been the case), you will have to work much harder (and smarter) to get it. Institutional opposition over the last five decades to such liturgy cannot simply be dismissed.)

    So well said, Todd. Until you get to this:

    That may be one of the best arguments against the 1962 Missal–it is inherently incompatible with taking personal responsibility for our religious and spiritual lives.

    Except that this is not reflective of the experience of many (most) traditional communities, who had to work hard to build what they do have. Because they’ve had no choice. Even if they could find a willing priest – and, pre-2007, permission of the ordinary (often not forthcoming) – much else had to be done besides. Servers had to be found and trained, materials obtained, choirs obtained. In this respect, the TLM as celebrated today really is a different affair from what obtained (with rare exceptions) in the 50’s: The priests celebrating and the laity supporting it *really* want it, and want to see it done well, and have to sacrifice to get it. As a result, TLM communities are often some of the most highly mobilized and self-starting communities I’ve encountered in the Church. The same is true, by the way, for the Ordinariate communities I have had contact with.

  42. Thanks for the replies.

    I stand by my indictment of the TLM, at least as a large-scale expression of liturgical prayer in the model of the priest and other semi-priests doing things on behalf (or instead) of the assembly.

    As for the secular sphere, we are two significant movements away from just gathering around the piano and singing our hearts out. First, the advent of hi-fi stereo systems mitigated against the need for people to actually learn how to play instruments and entertain themselves at home. And second, the MTV moment which has shifted us away from listening to music to watching it as a spectacle. My family was watching a number of things on tv/YouTube recently, especially on New Year’s Eve. Nice costumes, lights, effects, and probably lip-synching while hopping up and down. In contrast, the Sandy relief concert that featured a MSG growd that certainly sang along when prompted by Bruce, and others.

    Who was it who said that people will sing when they have something to sing about? Conry? Gene Walsh? Anyway, the whole thing is in God’s hands, and a matter of grace. The expectation that people will sing must be at the forefront of what we do. Christmas morning, the songleader left the (un-mic’ed) piano area to receive Communion. People kept singing.

    Some people are attracted to the Old Missal because, even in the High Mass, it demands little of nothing of them. It’s a better fit for the current Western milieu: countercultural enough by the style of music, but not insistent that people open their mouths and sing along–like this is some melismatic, unaccompanied kumbaya moment.

  43. Hello Bill,

    Let’s be clear – your initial statement cited priest only for all sacraments. That citation was incorrect.

    There’s no need to be tendentious here, Bill. Unfortunately, all your posts to me of late have been just that. It’s unfortunate. I’ve tried to be respectful here.

    My statement was not intended to be exhaustive or complete.

    From the perspective of church tradition – sacraments start with the church, not from the priest.

    True enough. But it *is* a sacramental Church, and that means it needs a sacramental priesthood. There are some things that only a priest can do. This doesn’t make priests “better” or superior people – indeed, I’ve long suspected that hell has an ample population of priests. They carry a heavier burden, and some fail to look after their flocks.

    …my intuition and experience tells me we are on a new frontier of division and two ecclesiologies/theologies.

    That seems tantamount to suggesting that the Council – or at least the Church in the wake of the Council – imposed a new theology and a new ecclesiology fundamentally different from that which existed before. Or do you mean to say the “traditionalist” ecclesiology emerging is distinct not only from that which emerged after the Council, but also from that which prevailed before the 60’s as well?

    1. @Richard Malcolm – comment #97:
      “Imposition” seems a strong word.

      Is Catholicism rich enough to include many “theologies,” if by that term we mean a fundamental direction for the life of faith? Can we say there is a Jesuit theology? A Benedictine theology? And so on? If so, I think we can say the Church has been struggling with a “new” theology as a result of Vatican II. Some are unprepared for it and want to run away and take as much of a supportive flock as they can carry.

      “There are some things that only a priest can do.”

      Sure. But that has changed over time. Priests were not always able to preside at the Eucharist, to reconcile penitents, and to do quite a number of things in the sacramental and liturgical sphere. But things change.

  44. Hello Todd,

    Some people are attracted to the Old Missal because, even in the High Mass, it demands little of nothing of them.

    I can’t speak to other’s motives, but I’d like to highlight your observation because I think it takes us back to O’Malley’s original observations about the TLM at the outset of the thread.

    The easy layup here is that nothing about the TLM in recent years has been “undemanding.” If you want to worship at at TLM, you usually have to go well out of your way, even now. It’s often a lot of work to that far out of your to attend a mass that, well, “demands little or nothing” of you. At the FSSP parish in KCK, for example, I knew of families that drove for almost three hours each way each Sunday, because there was no (licit) TLM closer. Such stories could be greatly multiplied.

    But I know that this is not really a sufficient answer. It goes back to the discussions we have had here about what participatio actuosa really means – what it should mean. For my part, I find the TLM demands more of me, even when I am not serving. I must pay closer attention to follow along. I must *focus* on the prayers. Yes, I could just quietly pray my rosary, and I know some have done that over the years.

    But not all are alike in this regard, perhaps. There are other liturgical models in Church history. Obviously, the Byzantine liturgy demands much more in the way of exterior participation, even as it seals off more definitively the sanctuary. Even in the Roman Rite, dialogue mass long predates the Pauline missal. There is room for diversity here, even in the celebration of the TLM.

    Back to the question: Why am I attracted to the TLM? There are the aspects that O’Malley cites, which are indeed what drew me initially after many years of exclusive NO worship. Ultimately, however, for me it is the prayers of the old rite – esp. collects and propers. They are less anthropocentric. They are more focused on the Four Last Things. And that makes for a real difference.

  45. Hello Jeffrey,

    I read “the sacrament” to mean “the sacrament just referred to”. I do not think Richard meant to say (nor believes) that the only a priest can administer any sacrament.

    I wasn’t intending to make an exhaustive description of ministry of sacraments (even this one), but – you’re correct. That’s all I was referring to.

  46. Thanks, Charles – you are correct in your assumptions.

    My only thought is why much of the CMAA energy, etc. can’t be used to continue to improve the current reformed mass – so many seem to see it only through a TLM lense? Why?

    1. @Bill deHaas – comment #3:
      May I return the compliment, Fr. Bill, thanks.
      I think the key word in your inquiry is “seem.” But the short answers I offer are that a great deal of CMAA energy is, in fact, spent on “brick by brick” gradations of reform at the local level, some so miniscule it’s like those in the Alamo v. 5000 of Santa Ana’s forces, you can’t see how they’ll make it. There is an expectation of progress that will build upon this “reformed” foundation, but some wonder if this progress only delays the inevitable objective which could be summed up most likely in the mix of ritual offerings found at St. John Cantius, or utlimately to a Pius X vision of the M. Cantata or Solemnis. Others in CMAA aren’t so conflicted about such deliniations, among those I would include myself and Jeffrey Tucker (as I’ve heard this from his own voice.) I think whatever else I think about all this would detract from the topic, except that CMAA also has its requisite amount of strident voices who always come off as intractable at first blush, and leave an impression that is hard to overcome for the rest of the membership. But even among these voices are quite sensible, dedicated folk who do grapple with the same realities we all do each week and Sundays.

  47. Charles – in an effort to be totally forthcoming, my active clerical days are well past (1988 to be exact). Yes, am a father which my 23/20 year old kids would attest to. My 23 year old son does call me *father* in his attempt at humoring the *old man*.

  48. I think we’ve discussed this before, but it is not the case that an authentic intepretation always explains the way the law was from the time of it’s initial promulgation. An authentic intepretation can also extend or restrict a law in a way that “is not retroactive” (Can. 16 Section 2).

    The 1975 GIRM at article 70 had forbidden the use of female altar servers:

    “Ministries which are performed outside of the presbyterium (sanctuary) may be entrusted also to women according to the prudent judgment of the rector of the church. The conference of bishops may permit that a qualified woman proclaim the readings before the Gospel and announce the intentions of the general intercessions. The conference may also more precisely designate a suitable place from which a woman may proclaim the word of God in the liturgical assembly.”

    This was not one of the provisions changed by the 1983 revisions (see The General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 1969-2002: A Commentary By Dennis Chester Smolarski, pg. 25).

    This was confirmed by Inaestimabile Donum, in 1980. “Nevertheless, it is not permitted to women to fulfil the function of acolyte, that is, of serving at the altar.”

    Thus the PCILT decision of 1992 and the subsequent changes to the liturgical law of the CDWS revise the rules previously in place.

    As Beale, et al. write in the New Commentary (pg. 300), “”However, in 1994 a general permission for the use of female altar servers was granted, …” and “The CDWDS decision to grant general permission…” This language points to the fact that this was extensive intepretation. Authentic intepretation “is legislative power” and can “”broaden the meaning and applicability of the law beyond what is included in the text” (Beale, et al., pg. 71.)

    (This of course means that people who complain that the PCILT decision wasn’t in accord with the previous wording of the law are not making a particularly relevant point.)

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