Pope Francis’ Liturgical Revolution

Here’s my list of what Pope Francis has done with ceremonial and ritual. It’s been quite a ride since his election!

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Two days before the conclave, José Manuel Vidal asked whether Bergoglio could be the new Roncalli – Pope John XXIII, the old transitional pope elected in 1958 who convened the Second Vatican Council.

So far it doesn’t look like it: I don’t believe John XXIII changed this much in his first few days in office!?

As I said to the National Catholic Reporter, “Make no mistake about it — this is a liturgical revolution.”

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On the morning of his first full day in office, Pope Francis made an unannounced visit to the Church of St. Mary Major to spend a half hour in prayer before the Blessed Virgin Mary. He also prayed at the tomb of Pope St. Pius V, the reformer pope who issued the so-called “Tridentine Missal” in 1570, which was mostly a codification of the late medieval Roman rite.

What thoughts do you suppose ran through Pope Francis’ mind as he prayed at the tomb of Pius V? Was he thinking about reform of the curia, or reform of the entire church? Was he thinking about liturgically renewal, about those attached to the “Tridentine Mass” who have difficulty accepting the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council? Was he thinking about reconciliation and overcoming liturgy divisions?

We’ll probably never know. It’s hard to tell how much Francis really thinks about liturgy. This 2012 video from Argentina shows him wearing the pallium over his cope, which I guess is a no-no. And this video shows him preaching and presiding at a diocesan youth Mass, complete with puppets during the homily – but bishops get roped into all kinds of events and aren’t responsible for all the planning.

When the list of sudden liturgical changes at the beginning of a pontificate is this long, though, it seems as if Pope Francis has thought much about the liturgy, knows exactly how he wants it done, and is not shy about making it happen. He’s certainly doing more to change the liturgy than Pope Benedict ever did in such a short time.

I’d like to think that Pope Francis was praying at the tomb of Pius V for liturgical unity. It’s what I’m praying for. Liturgy has been too divisive in the Catholic Church for way too long. Official policies (think new English Missal, for example) have been demoralizing for way too many people.

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His choice of name, “Francis,” is brilliant. To take “Paul VII” or “John XXIV” (some of us wished for that, I admit), would have been too partisan. It would have been to take sides in postconciliar battles about the meaning of Vatican II, about whether the liturgical reforms under Paul VI were too much of a rupture. By going back to the simple, holy man of the 12th and 13th century, he is placing his radical reforms deep within Catholic tradition. Already some conservative blog sides are noting this, and finding their way toward supporting their new pope despite their misgivings.

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Will Pope Francis’ humble and self-effacing style translates into a humbler curia that listens to others and cooperates with the world’s bishop, or even into a humbler magisterium that enters into dialogue with theologians? Will there be real structural reforms, with transparency, accountability, checks and balances? As hopeful as I am by the pope’s new style and his take-charge attitude, I’m not presuming anything. It all remains to be seen.

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But it’s great fun to dream. Maybe a decree Auctoritatis ecclesiasticae territorialis (cf. article 36 of the Vatican II liturgy constitution Sacrosanctum conilium) could give to bishops’ conferences final approval of liturgical translations, with the role of the Holy See being merely to certify these decisions, as Vatican II stated? Advisory bodies to the Holy See such as Vox clara would be dissolved with immediate effectiveness. Auctoritatis could state that all translation work is suspended for three years (unless if conferences decide otherwise) for a time of review, evaluation, and renewed cooperation between bishops, clergy, liturgists, and translation experts. The wise counsel of Liturgiam authenticam, building as it does upon Comme le prévoit, would be commended to translators, especially the direction at no. 25 that translations be “easily understandable.” The legal provisions for the approval process in Liturgiam would be withdrawn, and conferences would be free to elaborate their own procedures.

Probably not, eh?

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Another dream: a decree Nobili simplicitate (cf. Sacrosanctum conilium 34) would return to diocesan bishops the authority to regulate celebration of the liturgy according to the 1962 (pre-Vatican II) liturgical books. Bishops would be advised to show generous solicitude to those who do not yet accept the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council, even as they strive to lead all their people to greater understanding of the reason behind the council’s liturgical reforms. Bishops would be advised to witness to exemplary celebration of the reformed liturgy, refraining from celebrating themselves the preconciliar form of liturgy, lest confusion be sown and a sort of “parallel church” arise.

Probably not, eh?

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Some of us are (to use necessary but sometime unhelpful labels) rather “traditional” when it comes to liturgy. I always follow the book when I celebrate, including all the genuflections. I’ve increased considerably the amount of Latin chant at St. John’s Abbey, eg. including four Latin Mass ordinaries (where there had been one) in our choir stall binders in conjunction with implementation of the new English Missal. I pushed for (and got) incense at Mass every Sunday when the new Missal came. I was about to push for a dress code for readers and other liturgical ministers (no jeans, etc.) in our School of Theology•Seminary, until this new pope came along and my case got weakened.

As much as I appreciate the pope’s simpler style and his throwing overboard all these archaic and irrelevant signs of monarchical and aristocratic power, I admit to mixed feelings about it all. Simplicity is good, but tackiness isn’t. Will that be the unfortunate consequence of his liturgical revolution? Will there be an aesthetic price?

Pope Benedict put before us the importance of beauty in the church’s life. Alas, his style of celebrating the liturgy, as beautiful as it was, had a rather narrow notion of beauty. It was too Eurocentric, too archaic, too fussy and precious, too aristocratic, too clericalist. I fear that not much of his vision will last. And that’s a shame. In my ideal world, we would draw on Pope Benedict’s inspiration as we find new ways to integrate the artistic riches of our heritage into the very changed conditions of the world we live in.

I also wonder whether Pope Francis isn’t doing too much all at once. Is this hurting some people’s feelings? (Yes, judging from the blogosphere.) Is it confusing some people? (Yes, judging from my conversation with theology students, including some I wouldn’t call “conservative.”) I hope Pope Francis proves to be a uniter and not a divider.

That’s my prayer. Pope St. Pius V, pray for us.

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157 comments

  1. Perhaps he will be surprisingly inconsistent so as to teach all of us how to be more indifferent to our liturgical desiderata and more attached to God and other souls.

    1. @Karl Liam Saur – comment #1:
      I appreciate that thought! Contra Anthony, I do not believe that Pope Francis has “thought much about liturgy” at all. What he has thought much about is how to live the Gospel in community with the poor. And when established papal ritual violates, occluded, or hinders this commitment of his, he will choose to follow what he sees as the call of the Gospel. I love him for that. We have enough folks in our church who think liturgy is the center of the universe.

      1. @Teresa Berger – comment #6:
        First, liturgy is part of the Gospel. Second, a disordered desire to serve the poor can get in the way of the gospel, just like a disordered desire for liturgy. Serving the poor is not our final end and it is not the final end of the gospel. Serving the poor is part of the gospel, like the liturgy, and it is simply a means to attain our final end beatitude.

      2. @Louis Veuillot – comment #12:
        Please. The “danger” of serving the poor doesn’t seem to have affected Matthew’s account of the final judgment. “Whenever you did this for the least of these, you did it for me…” He doesn’t say, “Whenever you properly ordered your desires so that you never served the poor except so that you could serve God, you did it for me.”

        Yes, I know, I know, it offends you that some people may get into heaven who don’t care about liturgy but DO about the homeless person in the street. But that’s the parable. In Matthew 25, they are surprised too.

      3. @Rita Ferrone – comment #13:
        Please. I think that you should try reading another text from scripture. The catholic way of reading the scripture is to read one passage in relation to the rest of the canon.

        If I read scripture the way you do, then apparently I would not have to do anything but help the poor in order to please Christ. I could just retort with another passage about the where the scriptures tie some activity to salvation and say see since this passage ties salvation only to this act then I do not have to do anything else. Mark 16 only ties belief and baptism to salvation. Do I therefore not have to help the poor? You really could try to be a little more sophisticated in your reading of scripture. The point that I made was that both helping the poor and liturgy are necessary.

        Do you think that Matthew’s point is that only helping the poor is necessary? Are you arguing that as long as one helps the poor, one could beat rich women senseless, and they will be received into paradise?

      4. @Louis Veuillot – comment #28:
        no one would say that Matthew’s point is that “only helping the poor is necessary” (of course, even Paul reminds the Galatians that “the only thing that counts is faith expressing it self through love” 5;6) but tradition sees the amazing point of Matthew’s parable being not so much what we do, but the one to who recieves the service…the LORD himself. Blessed Charles de Foucauld states this well in his journal when he wrote that no part of the New Testament had a great effect on his life that when he realized that it was the same Lord who said “this is my body” who also said “you did it unto me.”

      5. @Louis Veuillot – comment #12:
        While an excess of virtue can turn into vice, I’d like to probe that false equivalence you set up to ask: what are the proper elements to discern a disordered desire to serve the poor, as opposed a rationalization of how to reduce the duty to serve the poor? After all, wouldn’t Lucifer object that God the Son had a disordered desire to serve human creatures over the angelic order?

      6. @Karl Liam Saur – comment #14:
        Actually, if one is a Thomist at least, you can never have too much of the virtue of charity. It is the one virtue that does not observe a mean.

      7. @Karl Liam Saur – comment #14:
        First, by definition one cannot have an excess of virtue. If it is a virtue then it is the mean between excess and deficiency.

        Second, helping the poor is not always virtuous. The object of the act may be good but either the circumstances or the intention can render the moral act of helping the poor sinful. For example, I could help the poor with the intention to be regarded more highly (here I do not mean to be seen as a witness to Christ) or in order to eventually defraud an NGO. My intention has then vitiated the moral act. Second, my circumstances may render my act sinful. For example, I could spend my days helping the poor but in so doing I neglect my other duties. I may be so poor myself that my children starve as a result of me giving all of my money to the poor. So this is not a false rationalization.

        As Christians we have many duties and all of these duties must be met (according to our own circumstances). We must pray, believe, help the poor, care for the environment, etc. One of these duties is engage in liturgy.

  2. I always though +Piero Marini usually hit the mark balancing a reformed liturgy with attention to aesthetic issues (though not all liked contemporary arts in the service of the liturgy as foreseen by SC); I fear that Guido only knows opera and all will quickly degrade into frump. Now more than ever there must be a papal master of ceremonies that can handle a terse aesthetic yet keep it fresh and respond to Papa’s spiritual agenda. One can look to many of the celebrations of Paul VI which had a very austere execution. This may be Francis’ s way forward liturgically.

    And I echo your sentiment of acceding to the National Conferences their legitimate authority in liturgical matters. I can’t help but think during all this papal changeover, that if the curia didn’t try to micromanage the universal church an elderly pope wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed and out of touch and feel incapable of being pontiff in old age.

    Overall I think the shock is good however. A long overdue reforming Gestalt therapy might help us get our ecclesiology and liturgy in order without all the imposed excesses of late.

  3. Most of the comments being made about Francis’ liturgical sensibilities are at this point quite silly. The delight that people take in the undoing Benedict’s efforts is for the most part deeply hypocritical. Not one month ago most of these individuals would have complained about Benedict being dictatorial, now these same people want Francis to impose some new reform on the church and wipe away Benedict’s reform.

    If one goes back to pre-Benedict days, the liturgy in the US was virtually devoid of traditional elements and was often conducted according to the personal piety of the celebrant. If one desired a more traditional liturgy, one was roundly criticized for being too rigid. The reality is that Benedict did not do anything except give people more freedom. One can now say or attend the EF. He only asked that the liturgy be celebrated according to the rite of the church. In the US we got a new translation which while not perfect was simply what most of the rest of the world had.

    There is simply no evidence that Francis has thought “deeply” about the liturgy, there is evidence that Benedict did.

  4. Great conclusion Fr Ruff. What happens to children when their parents or guardians exhibit sudden behavior changes? They get insecure. Well, it’s the same here, but on a much larger scale. There’s over a billion people looking to the Pope for a lead and he’s behaving like a prize nutcase.

    1. @Tom East – comment #4:
      I was a little surprised and rather offended to read that, only a few days after the installation Mass, Pope Francis has been called “a prize nutcase,” right here on PTB.
      Let’s see–is it the abandonment of the red shoes or ermine cape that makes him nutty? perhaps stopping to greet the disabled person? Or maybe it was the homily from Tuesday’s Mass, during which we asked us all to care for one another and all of God’s creation?
      I hang out with Catholics from all points on the spectrum, and Pope Francis does not seem to have made them insecure. In fact, the word I would use for them is happy.
      Yes. Happy. Just like me. And pretty reinvigorated to be part of this Universal Church.

  5. Calm down Father – In the great scheme of things very little has happened.

    This is all going to seem a little silly in a few months time – Lets us wait for a little perspective.

    And perhaps let the Pope speak for himself, rather than projecting our hopes and fears onto him, which everyone on the catholic blogsphere seems to be doing at the moment.

  6. Scott Smith : This is all going to seem a little silly in a few months time – Lets us wait for a little perspective. And perhaps let the Pope speak for himself, rather than projecting our hopes and fears onto him, which everyone on the catholic blogsphere seems to be doing at the moment.

    It’s going to seem silly when he runs out of gimmicks – I’d be surprised if it takes months to do that. If Francis has an ounce of self-awareness he will realise that his actions are open to interpretation, and that observation will be particularly keen in the first days and weeks of office. Benedict spent this time praising JPII and assuring us all that he would follow in his footsteps. Francis comes over like he’s been let out of the asylum by accident. The onus of responsibility is on him, not us – after all, he’s the Pope – he just doesn’t seem to realise it!

    1. @Tom East – comment #8:
      These don’t seem in the least like gimmicks to me. They seem authentic, natural, and the result of judgment based on the intrinsic good of the situation, not on playing games.

      “Let out of the asylum”? Well, that’s a pretty crude way to put it, but you’ve said what you honestly believe here. Namely, that anyone who breaks the precedents of the papal court is insane.

      I would disagree.

  7. Benedict, Pontiff emeritus was a man of substance and of style. Pope Francis has his own style which is more pedestrian and that’s fine, but I hope for some substance too and it seems that a bit was offered today and it was indeed within the context of the hermeneutic of continuity with Benedict and the dictatorship of relativism and individualism. I wouldn’t classify either Benedict or Francis as relativists, but in style they both seem to be into individualism but Benedict’s more in harmony with the office than the individual as I really think that as an individual, Benedict is a simple, introverted person.

  8. Oh and Anthony, my friend: please stop invoking this as a liturgical revolution! It is really not about liturgy, for once, I am convinced. I think it is something more profound (ha!) It is about someone struggling to continue to live true to a vision of the Gospel that centers on us being beggars before God, on us living in solidarity with those marginalized, on walking through life in simplicity, openness, and joy.
    High ceremonial can (quite easily, really) stand in the way of this.

  9. For all the talk about how pastoral Francis is, I must say his behavior is a little surprising. Pope Benedict did very little in the first year. It is cutomary in Bavaria that one takes over a new parish not to do anything for the year. This is generally taught in American seminaries. As the expression goes, “in the first year you only paint the front door.” One has to asses the pastoral situation of the parish. Francis simply does not know enough either about the needs of the Roman church or the universal church to make these types of decisions.

  10. You can’t seperate liturgy from humility, liturgy from solidarity with the poor, liturgy with private prayer. Liturgy is the source and summit of the Christian life (sc, lg, ccc). Ones proper ordering of things is always in some way related to liturgy. Liturgy is the proper setting for communal prayer, for the scriptures, for instruction, for unity and above all else is the proper setting for encountering God and receiving the grace of the Cross in a normative way. Ones ability to truly be open to all of this not only depends on ones dispensation but also their ability to use the signs and symbols to understand what is taking place sacramentally. Hopefully none of this is too surprising since it is straight from the catechism. The solemn liturgy only gets in the way if you are liturgically illiterate but the solemn elements help one properly understand the Gospel. Once again, not my own theology- theology of the Church.

  11. I am not saying I agree with the article but demonstrating that the liturgy is in fact the center of Christian life. And is either the source, summit or both of all that we do. As V2 and the Catechism remind us it is not the sole activity if the church but rather is its source of charity and its summit.

  12. Returning to the days of having the bishop control the EF would be most unfortunate, especially since what you propose would lead people to treat those who attend the EF as inferiors to be looked on with pity for supposedly not getting why the OF is an improvement (and for Bishops to send a clear message they do not serve the faithful who attend the EF by not ever participating in it). We had forty years of that and it failed miserably. What you seem to hope for is more liturgical division and conflict (to put it very very nicely).

  13. Fr. Ruff, with regard to Nobili simplicitate: as Jack Wayne [March 22, 2013 – 6:43 pm] has observed, the idea that ordinaries, instead of the CDWDS in the name of the Holy See, regulate use of the older missal has failed miserably and caused misery for some of the faithful. I remember when my childhood diocese had two low Masses once a month, each 100 mi away. This caused great sacrifice and hardship for a small but faithful minority (fuel and travel costs, time, vehicle wear, etc.) I can’t imagine why anyone would advocate for a return to that situation unless he or she truly disliked the Tridentine liturgy and its adherents. I don’t believe that you dislike the traditionalist faithful, Fr. Ruff, and I admire your call for unity within a fractured rite. Yet, the unreformed will never be reformed. It’s best to let the old believer flock go on their way to serve the Lord, perhaps imperfectly, in their distinctive piety and culture.

    Two options remain: either the Holy See provides semi-autonomy for traditionalists (Ordinariate, perhaps), or effectively expels traditionalists from the liturgical legislation of the Roman rite (personal prelature? There cannot be a the pope as legislator of the Roman rite and a sui juris Tridentine patriarch at the same time. I defend my earlier apology for pontifex maximus.) The only way to defend unity in the reformed liturgy is, sadly, to divide the reformed from the unreformed.

    1. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #24:
      Thank you. I feel I should expand upon why limiting the EF is a bad idea, and would achieve the opposite of what Fr Ruff would want it to:

      It creates a parallel ghetto church with an outcast/outsider mentality. The scenario proposed above treats the adherents of the EF as if there is something wrong with them that needs to be either fixed or swept under the rug until that glorious day when they aren’t around anymore. Their very existence and how they are treated hinges upon how much the current Bishop likes the EF, making him their master rather than a servant-leader. Older Catholics I know who lived through the indult years don’t trust Church leadership as a result of being treated like they are a backwards embarrassment by the Bishop. They were, over time, made more and more resentful and suspicious of the OF and the mainstream Church and are far less likely to want anything to do with the Second Vatican Council.

  14. Guess what? Outside of the world of European/North American Catholicism there exists a world where the demand, exigencies of the pastoral/missionary situation see all sorts of “strange” things happen in the celebration/administration of the sacraments. I won’t bother to list the situations I’ve been in during my some 35 plus years here in Japan where “the book” is more a hindrance than a help.
    If any of the contributors had the years of experience that Pope Francis has in Argentina, in schools and in the favellas, and were also formed in the spirituality influenced by St Ignatius, they’d realize that he is just doing what comes naturally, what common sense, a belief that people and embracing them, reaching out to them, in the name of Jesus, the name of the Gospel is what matters.
    Whether he needs to learn, “the Roman way”, learn to do things that, so called, established tradtion and protocol expects and demands, is really secondary. As long as he preaches and witnesses to the Gospel he will be fulfilling his role as successor to St Peter. Peter is his role model, not Papal court tradition of the last five hundred years.

    1. @Brendan Kelleher svd – comment #25:
      First, there is absolutely no evidence that St. Ignatius saw any contradiciton between the EF and reaching out to people.

      Second, Francis is the not the pope of Argentina, he is the pope of the catholic church.

  15. Teresa Berger : @Karl Liam Saur – comment #1: We have enough folks in our church who think liturgy is the center of the universe.

    Or at least the source and summit of the Christian life! 🙂

    Seriously, I see your point. Is it not possible to see doctrinal and cultic “resourcement” during the last two papacies (at least) in continuity with the apparent “missionary resourcement” emerging in this one? I’m not so sure this is revolution as much as another chapter in the story of the Church renewing itself. Hard to really know from my low perch.

    1. @Kevin Vogt – comment #26:
      Yes, i know Vatican II declared the liturgy to be the source and summit of the church’s life. I also know that people are dying of hunger in our world, face inhuman living conditions, are terrorized by domestic violence, etc. Surely, the first truth has to be rendered intelligible and open for the second truth. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer is reported to have said: Do not sing alleluia without also shouting for the Jews.

  16. The problem with phasing out the extraordinary form of the mass is that there are seminaries, monasteries, parishes, orders, and a diocese in brazil, all of which use this missal. In order to eliminate the EF mass, these communities would have to be destroyed. I can’t imagine Pope Francis doing that, especially with Benedict still alive. Besides, he has bigger fish to fry. If he carries out the liturgical revolution it will be to further the notion that liturgical practices are arbitrary and up to the whim of whomever has power.

  17. Just reading the comments on this post alone speaks volumes! I love it! Stand by Church! It’s gonna get interesting!

    But really – two things. He needs to act, and do it now. The Church is in disrepair. We’ve all but lost our credibility because NO ONE is being held accountable. It’s pathetic. Bishop after bishop has covered up this or that, been caught, and what? Moved to a cushy place in Rome like Law? Or just left in his position like Finn? How insane is that? I used to get annoyed by the media’s constant dwelling on the topic, but I understand it now. Actually, it’s a good thing they do – someone needs to keep the spotlight on this evil behavior.

    Second – this group that can’t accept the OF as what was intended to be the sole rite following V2… it’s clear this was the intent, lest we create factions in the Church, and guess what, it has now. Most OF folk aren’t keen on the EF, and the EF by their very inability to “accept” the OF look down upon us. Had the EF simply been allowed for extreme cases for folks who truly couldn’t accept the changes, or people of very advanced years where it would be a great burden to learn the OF, fine. But now, it’s back, and people are recruiting new EF devotees. The one parish in our diocese that offers the EF – you want to talk about outsider mentality… the non denominational church down the road is sure thanking BXVI since half the parish goes there now. A long-established parish, with deep family roots, offering an average OF Mass until the MP. Call them luke-warm, or uncharitable or whatever else, but things were going fine. Maybe if I make a big enough fuss, I can go back to the Sacramentary… I mean really, this 2010 fiasco has been a hardship. Why can’t I have special permission to use that text?
    Oh well, I’m sure a few on here will tear this post apart, but that’s fine. Maybe a little tough love is what’s needed now to prevent a much bigger problem down the road. I truly cannot envision how the Church will handle two rites. Maybe the HS is…

  18. ” I hope Pope Francis proves to be a uniter and not a divider.” (AWR)
    “I truly cannot envision how the Church will handle two rites.” (SW #32)

    Fr Ruff, your suggestion that a move by Pope Francis to discourage further spread of the usus antiquior would be divisive exasperated me. You fail to mention the fact that the MP Summorum Pontificum established an instant opportunity for those priests who wished for wider use of Tridentine liturgy to act contrary to the declared pastoral plans of their bishops. The ‘clarification’ and expansion of SP by the letter Universae Ecclesiae (published on the feast of St Pius V – hardly a coincidence) further strengthened the growing gulf between OF and EF.
    There may be priests who are happy and comfortable with either form; they are then able to minister to both wings in their congregation. But when an EFdedicated priest is obliged, unwillingly, to celebrate OF for “the many,” it can cause him acute anguish, and his tension is inevitably communicated through his OF Mass. The congregation may or may not realise the cause of the discomfort that they “pick up” but they also suffer.

    I have personal experience and intimate observation of a parish and priest so conflicted. The priest is certain that his liturgical preference is the only really Catholic ootion, and until the past 5 weeks knew that the Pope supported his stance against the Bishop. Now he awaits developments, but continues to strive to have his preference prevail. He intends to transform the parish into a thriving centre of EF liturgy. To achieve this he has stated to other priests that he will encourage opponents to worship elsewhere, or will in the course of nature bury them – or will convert them to his view that Vatican 2 was no council and Trent rules OK.

    I know a dyed-in-the-wool Catholic who says sometimes she just cannot bring herself to receive Holy Communion at his Mass, but leaves in quiet tears of confusion. Others still turn up and go through the motions. As some Catholics will…

  19. Talk of hopes to limit the EF because its adherents don’t understand the real meaning of Catholicism is telling and , if serious, shows the liturgical progressives are just like the traditionists but in sneakier clothing. They ‘get it’, the others are groping the truth.

    I attend the OF on most Sundays. If there were serious action against the freedom of celebrating the EF I would have to consider supporting the EF exclusively, even if it’s not quite my crowd.

  20. Having heard how terrible it is to be ultra-montane, it is interesting to see so many experiencing a conversion to such. Thus far I like some of the contrasts (continuity and rupture) that Pope Francis has shown the world. Yesterday he had a simple Mass with the forgotten people of the Vatican, the “help” as it were. Then he met with the highfaluting diplomatic core. Nice contrast and that it isn’t either/or but both/and. Then on Holy Thursday, I suspect there will be a splendid Chrism Mass in the Vatican Basilica for all the priests of Rome to renew their priestly promises and bring the “oils of Christ” to their parishes. I suspect this liturgy will be all Marini that morning, then the Holy Father will go to that mixed prison for youth and have a simple “Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper” and show that the Sacrificial priesthood of the Catholic Church is indeed in continuity with the sacrificial priesthood of the Old Testament but in terms of service their is discontinuity or rupture as the Holy Father models for the priests of the world that one needs to enter into “ritual impurity” to wash the feet of others to make the cultic, ministerial priesthood service oriented also. So we have the splendor of the Vatican Basilica Liturgy earlier in the day and the squalor of the prison liturgy later in the day. Very nice contrasts.
    And before this short papacy, in continuity with Benedict, which will be shown today, is over, this pope may well concelebrate some Eastern Rite liturgies as well as celebrate a low EF Mass, (I say low because he can’t sing a lick and thus can’t do a “high”) but of course foregoing lace but wearing a Roman Chasuble to show that he is the Bishop of Rome, no longer the Bishop of Buenos Aires. His ministry starts in Rome and then to the world. When one is the Bishop of Rome, “Euro-centricity” is necessary but then there should be a rupture from that too, to the world.

    1. @Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #35:

      Allan, I lost you at “the Holy Father models for the priests of the world that one needs to enter into ‘ritual impurity’ to wash the feet of others.” (To be honest, I lost you at “continuity with the sacrificial priesthood of the Old Testament,” but I don’t want to open that can of worms.) Does a priest enter into “ritual impurity” by the very act of washing feet during the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper? Or are you referring to the Pope washing feet at a juvenile penal institute? I suspect you mean the latter, since you contrast the “splendor of the Vatican Basilica liturgy earlier in the day” (Mass of Chrism) with the “squalor of the prison liturgy later in the day.” “Squalor” seems an odd choice of words. Pope Francis will be washing feet at Casal del Marmo juvenile detention facility, not the Asylum of Charenton. And even if the conditions at the local juvie hall are squalid, since when are categories of purity and impurity a consideration when celebrating the liturgy? I thought the veil of the Temple had been torn down the middle?

      1. @Damian LaPorte – comment #54:
        Damian – this continues the typical *traddie* refrains you can find currently. In fact, if you read the USCCB directives for liturgy, Holy Week, etc; you will find that the preference is for the Chrism Mass to be held before Holy Thursday; that the focus on priesthood is a recent development that is not supported by church history, liturgy, or by the gospels; that the notion of priesthood as defined by VII is a servant ministry (not a cultic priesthood – thus, no concept of ritual impurity – really?); USCCB since 1987 has granted pastors permission to wash anyone’s feet (not gender specific nor aligned with *retired priests*); and, although the GIRM says that the Holy Thursday mandatum is *optional* – that really minimizes the signs and meanings of Holy Thursday; thus, blogs are going wild over the decision to do this at a juvenile prison – and yet that choice reinforces the *servant ministry* theology behind the Holy Thursday liturgy (rather than some type of Basilica liturgy at the Latern or wherever (i.e. court ceremonials).

        Good point – the Temple veil was torn down the middle but obviously not for some. It goes along with the pre-VII emphasis on eucharist as total sacrifice; as total atonement; Jesus dying for our sins; etc. VII theology ressourced this so that a more balanced and scriptural understanding was brought forward – best seen in this link to the gospels Passion accounts: http://ncronline.org/blogs/spiritual-reflections/seeing-others-first

      2. @Damian LaPorte – comment #54:
        I’m not speaking in the Christian sense, but in the sense of Judaism in the day of Jesus and the priests of the Jewish temple. Remember the priests who drove by the man on the side of the road.
        For us Catholics, our priesthood, ministerial or otherwise is all pure, Jesus does away with the concept of being “unclean” due to illness, dirt, blood or whatever. Jesus turns that upside down try as some who want just a temple priesthood of the Old Testament.

  21. Unless I am mistaken, the patron saint of animals, the humble founder of the Franciscan order, he who cared for the lowly and is our new holy father’s name-sake, was rather insistently ‘high church’ in his views about the appropriateness of liturgical splendour and the care and beauty of the Lord’s house. While I stand to be corrected, I will, while so standing, offer the observation that there is, then, a glaring inconsistency between the actual-or-hoped-for low church innovations of Holy Father Francis’ liturgical praxis and the firm admonitions of St Francis of Assisi. Perhaps some of those who hope to see a studied undoing of Pope Emeritus Benedict’s legacy would be happier if our holy father had chosen Martin as his name-sake!?

    I do, though, stand solidly with those who think that the effectual revival of the Tridentine mass was unfortunate. That energy could far more profitably for the Church have been channeled into a more appropriate aesthesis applied to the Novus Ordo. Thusly am I ever so grateful for the Anglican ordinariates!

    Other concerns expressed here seem to me rather strangely out of touch with how liturgical history has unfolded in the years since VII. I haven’t noticed any strictures on regional interpretations and implementation of the council. In observing the music, the girl servers, the general informality of the celebratory manner of priests, and the all-but-universally undisguised disdain for any vestige of heritage in music, art, or liturgical praxis on the part of people, priests and prelates, one is rather benumbed to imagine that any more liberty from Rome, or freedom allowed to wanton regional authority could be thought wanting. Perhaps those who remain yet displeased would be happier if the Bishop of Rome became the Catholic equivalent of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Church itself had a more congregational structure. (But then, it wouldn’t be the Catholic Church, would it?)

    1. @M. Jackson Osborn – comment #36:

      My recollection is that Francis initially interpreted the injunction to “Re-build my church” as a literal instruction, and restored an abandoned building. He later went on the “re-build my Church” by instructing people to follow the Gospel, sharing what they had, living simply, appreciating Creation.
      Also – how “high church” was it when he arranged for Christmas Mass to be held in a cave in the presence of a live ox and donkey?

  22. If, for the sake of argument, there is a revolution in the making, perhaps it can be described as “foot by foot”.

  23. Francis has a difficult job in dealing with the harm caused by Benedict. When he reversed the liturgical policies of the previous three Popes Benedict caused a serious break in continuity. He undermined the way that the spirit of Vat II had been implemented, and fomented discord from the small minority who want to turn the clock back and “Reform the reform.”

    We know that Francis putting us back on the path established by Paul VI and pursued by John Paul I and John Paul II, will be opposed by reactionaries, but let it be understood that the odd man out was Benedict. Ratzinger was chosen to be a Pope of continuity, since he was an old man who had been so close to his predecessor for so long: but instead, by breaking with the previous fifty years, he has left his successor a mess to clear up.

  24. A point concerning liturgy and Pope Francis which has not been mentioned so far is that he was the “Ordinary for the Eastern Catholics” in Argentina. The Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholics, Sviatoslav Shevchuk, was in effect the ‘auxiliary for Eastern Catholics’ in Argentina before being elected as the Major Archbishop. He speaks quite highly of the work of Pope Francis with the Eastern Catholics (and the Orthodox too) and that he learned and celebrated Divine Liturgy in the Byzantine Usage. Perhaps Pope Francis’ actions concerning the Roman/Western/Latin liturgy and even his gathering with the Eastern Patriarchs (both Catholic and Orthodox) at the beginning of his ‘installation as Bishop of Rome’ could/should be read with this context in mind. This is a person who has personally ‘served the liturgy’ in ‘both lungs of the Church’. Perhaps he would have an insight into the commonalities of the liturgy on both sides of the Church, and also the ‘communion ecclesiology’ which exists in both ways of celebration — but is not so evident in the EP form, and is sometimes obscured by ignorance in the NO form.

  25. There is certainly a “court ceremonial” revolution going on. Most of Anthony’s list is more about court ceremonies than liturgy.

    Hopefully the “court ceremonial” revolution is the beginning of a real revolution, the abolition of the Curia and the beginning of modes of governance more appropriate to global Catholicism. Only time will tell. However the Cardinals made clear they want a least a reform of the Curia, and shaking up the court ceremonial is certainly a sign that Pope Francis intends to do something. He is certainly against careerism, and that may be more than the cardinals were asking for.

    In regard to liturgy, I saw little evidence of any effect of Benedict’s example (e.g. the Benedictine altar arrangement) on the average parish even though it obviously encouraged the minority of priests who are in agreement with Benedict. Similarly I expect little effect of Francis upon the average parish except that it will encourage the minority of priests who are already into “informality” in the name of being good pastors.

    The major effects of the Papacy on parishes were in terms of the GIRM and the New Missal. It remains to be seen whether the reform of the Curia will undo those real changes.

    Personally I enjoy court ceremonial, e.g. royal weddings. However I don’t mistake them for liturgy, i.e. the worship of God by the people of God.

    1. @Jack Rakosky – comment #41:
      Agree: it’s mostly about “court ceremonial.” I think this is a semantic difference, whether we call it “court ceremonial” revolution or “liturgical revolution” as Francis strips this stuff from papal life including papal liturgy.

      Agree also, B16s liturgical program had almost no impact in most parishes. However, it did energize a whole group of movers and shakers (liturgy and music organizations, conferences, journals, blogs) who thought the future was theirs. And it was starting to ‘trickle down’ into some liturgies of bishops and in seminaries. And most importantly, B16 packed the CDW with many advisors who are pro-Tridentine.

      So: the effects of B16’s liturgical program were minimal so far, but he was laying the groundwork for pretty massive future changes. That all has been called into question now, and it’s anybody’s guess what will come next.

      awr

      1. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #44:
        I appreciate the distinction between court ceremonial changes, and liturgical revolution. To me, there is a profound difference, at least theologically, between the two. And I look forward to this Pope rendering that profound difference more and more visible.

      2. @Teresa Berger – comment #45:
        +1

        I embrace what many might consider a “high” liturgical aesthetic. But I have very little positive regard for court ceremonial. Frankly, I think a high liturgical aesthetic gains spiritual power by a lower court ceremonial.

  26. Courtesy of Rocco, here are the photos of the Mass for the employees of the Vatican. There are actually 521 photos, mostly of the employees at the end of the Mass. Be sure you find the controls to see them all.

    http://www.photovat.com/PHOTOVAT/FRANCESCO/2013/2013/MARZO%202013/22032013_MESSA-SANTAMARTA/index.html

    I was impressed by the Mass. It was even more impressive that the Pope (and the people) spent some time after Mass in prayer before the reception in the entry area. Most of the “conservative” people in the parishes that I know would be very impressed by this. They want a “prayerful” pastor and would be absolutely delighted in one who did this, joining them in private prayer after Mass before greeting them.

    The women in the photos are very interesting. It is a little difficult to tell how many of them are nuns. I suspect some are simply wearing veils as is traditional with the Pope.

    Some of these women look like they are giving the Pope things to read. Wonder what that is about? Guess that is what happens when you have informality.

    I liked the last two woman who were dressed in white, almost like the Pope. Especially the next to last one with her handbag! Maybe the new Pope can get one of those handbags to carry his papers and electronic devices? Maybe the dress lovers can become papal hand bag lovers?

  27. I’m with Professor Berger. Labeling this a “liturgical revolution” may mislead us to believe these actions are first and foremost about liturgy when it may be about service to the poor (I want to avoid the pitfall of setting up a false opposition of ‘high liturgy’ and charity) and ‘evangelical joy’ (to use the theme of his letter to the catechists of Argentina).
    He strikes me as a gregarious man, and as such, perhaps quite sensitive to the feeling of isolation leaders can develop (I think Benedict was undoubtedly an introvert), and perhaps that alone explains his less formal liturgical style.

    What strikes me as odd about the comments so far is the sense that whatever the Pope is doing should be interpreted as exemplary and there is some sort of social pressure to imitate him. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen this at work. The parish I attend has a ‘solemn’ mass every Sunday, using incense, a large choir (which sings the gregorian introit and communion antiphon, and often polyphony – but the congregation usually gets in a good 3 or 4 hymns, and responses, too). I’m not sure it qualifies as reform of reform (I’m not sure I know what that means exactly – though I’ve read much of Benedict’s writings on the liturgy), and I’m not certain, but I imagine it has been like that for more than 8 years and I can’t imagine it changing because Pope Francis has set a “revolutionary” new tone. The parishes in my and my wife’s hometowns likewise remain resolutely fixed in their established Marty Haugen, David Haas aesthetic – even through the dark days of Benedict XVI and the new translation.

    Perhaps I’m too out of the loop, but outside of establishing definite policy, does the Pope have that much of an affect on liturgical style in the parish?

    1. @Brendan McInerny – comment #46:
      Thank you, Brendan and Teresa for all of your comments. Found Fr. Ruff’s long post to be off target and missing the point (but the clarification of court ceremonials helps – again, all church is local; as Fr. Komonchak repeatedly states, the pope is not the church; the church is not the pope. We need to stop the cult of personality around the office. Some of the comments are the usual tangents.

      Here is a better summary that highlights Teresa’s first comment and Brendan and Jack comments….may I add that John Francis Robert had the best description – Francis celebrates as the typical Vatican II parish priest. Liturgy expresses what and who the community is (it is not some disembodied *summit of perfect worship* that is detached from the local community).

      http://ncronline.org/node/48176

      Key points:
      – ‘John Paul II’s notions of heroic priesthood lay in tatters, his episcopal appointments too often a collection of hot-blooded and imprudent ideologues who love to parade around in yards of silk and fine lace. Eight years ago the gathered cardinals would have smirked at talk of a church in crisis; this year they spoke of it themselves.

      The 34 years of Wojtyla and Ratzinger comprised a three-and-a-half-decade attempt to rein in the impulses of the Second Vatican Council. The first 15 post-conciliar years were alive with a rich, if at times messy and excessive, enthusiasm for the possibilities of this Christian community called Catholic. Wojtyla and Ratzinger set out to re-square the corners and redraw the lines. What once was so outward-looking became inward and withdrawn, in Francis’ term, “self-referential.”

      The ROTR was a *rupture* that Benedict tried to justify with his own created hermeneutic. The cardinals did not buy into this nor did most episcopal conferences.

      As David Gibson says well:

      “Chief among the critics are the liturgical traditionalists who reveled in Benedict’s exaltation of old-fashioned ways, and are now watching in horror as Francis rejects the extravagant vestments and high-church rituals that were in en vogue for the past eight years.”

      BTW – Jesuit custom is to wait 100 days as a new superior so you can listen to the people before making decisions.

      1. @Bill deHaas – comment #48:
        Bill (and all),

        OK, thanks for your comment. I still think we’re all pretty muich on the same page, and I like the NCR piece a lot and agree with all of it – but I’m sure I’m off target on some things.

        I think we all agree that there’s a huge shift in signs and symbols with Francis. I agree with Teresa that this is a “court ceremonial” revolution more than anything else. But to the extent that the Roman liturgy, and especially the papal liturgy, has been so heavily filled with court ceremonial, the revolution ends up affecting liturgy also.

        I also agree with you that the pope is not the church. I suppose I’m over-emphasizing all of Pope Francis’ changes because I’m so excited about the welcome change. But I agree with you, “church” is at the local and diocesan level first. The pope has had outsized influence through ultramontanism, and now he has that through modern mass communication.

        Blessed Holy Week to you and all!

        awr

  28. The left / progressive’s de-facto focus on the poor (and the catch all, “disenfranchised”) appear to be the only acceptable moral maxims by which the faithful can be shamed.

    The typical diocese (my experience being across the whole of CA, of course) from Sunday to Sunday preaches God’s mercy, the general need for reconciliation, and our need to service the poor, etc with *never* any focus on specific, traditional moral teachings of the Church, let alone the Ten Commandments. Wholesale heresy is not taught, but neither is any real catechesis, either. No wonder the modern Church is in total disarray, with widespread doubt of the real presence, 90%+ use of contraception, loose moral norms, etc.

  29. One important item that I did not notice on Fr. Ruff’s list above is the new Holy Father’s use of intinction for Holy Communion. I did enjoy reading about some of the liturgical reforms at his abbey and only wonder whether or how SP has been implemented at St. Johns. I’m not sure if a priest monk would need the abbot’s permission to celebrate the EF. It did surprise me a little to learn that the use of incense on a Sunday Mass had ever been lost there, especially among Benedictines. To learn that following the rubrics of the Mass identifies a cleric as “traditional” is indicative to me of just how far liturgical praxis has declined in those places most invested in the post V2 renewal. It also implies that the status quo at St. John’s is at a very different place than most of the rest of the Church where “traditional” means something else altogether.
    To Bill who writes above that “(Holy Father) Francis celebrates as the typical Vatican II parish priest…” I’m please to agree there and hope you apply that to his use of intinction for Holy Communion, his Benedictine altar set, and his wide use of Latin during the Mass.

    1. @Daniel McKernan – comment #50:
      I suspect the reason he employed intinction on this occasion was the Byzantine deacon who proclaimed the Gospel, and who was the last of the deacons to receive; it would have been awkward to have different practice among the deacons, and so the Byzantine practice was chosen as simplest.

      1. @Karl Liam Saur – comment #53:
        I doubt that was the reason, last sunday he also used intinction in giving communion to the deacons and they were all latin rite.

      2. @Bill deHaas – comment #59:
        Wrong Bill, the pope did distribute by intinction to the deacons both times. As much as I would love it to be so, I don’t think that communion by intinction is used everywhere in the local Archdiocese of Rome.
        Karl, intinction as given at the two Masses referred to here followed the practice of the Roman Church not the Byzantine which uses a spoon. Intinction has been included in the Roman Missal for many years now.

      3. @Daniel McKernan – comment #62:

        Daniel seems to be implying that intinction is a recent development which has, however, been in the Roman Missal for a number of years. In fact it is has been the occasional practice of the church for over a millennium — but the word to emphasize is “occasional”.

        The major problem with intinction is that it automatically imposes communion on the tongue on the communicant, whereas the majority of communicants across the world prefer to receive in the hand, following the earlier tradition testified to by Cyril of Jerusalem and others and reintroduced by Paul VI.

        A secondary problem with intinction is one of safety. The number of instances of pieces of soggy host falling to the ground (or onto a communion plate) continue to astound. Why would we want to do something so risky and so disedifying?

        Thirdly, at an anthropological level, when was the last time you had someone put food into your mouth? Probably not since you were a very young person, and it will not happen again until you are a very old person. The action of placing food in another’s mouth is both discomforting and demeaning for normal people.

      4. @Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #75:
        Paul – where does one start with this comment?

        Let’s see:
        – historically, communion was in the hand and from the cup
        – even the council of Trent tried to legislate the use of the cup again
        – washing of feet – specific to one celebration in the church’s liturgy and connected to the theology of service and ministry (would not say that this sign is demeaning rather it shows humility, service to the poor in what happens to the minister)
        – putting food in one’s mouth – as you say, Paul, anthropologically it says a lot but not it is very different from a *once a year washing of feet* – we do eucharist and communion at least 55+ times a year. OTOH, washing of feet during retreats, etc. can be a powerful symbol
        -finally, the VII theology of eucharist is take, break, eat, and go forth from the Lucan Emmaus story (don’t think that they put food in each other’s mouth)
        Thus, you take bread and break; you take the cup and share it. Two signs; very powerful; nothing in scripture about *dipping*

        This is like comparing apples to oranges. Really??

      5. @Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #75:

        I would not agree that having someone wash your feet is demeaning in the slightest. It is a great gesture of service and respect for the one whose feet are being washed. If it is at all demeaning, it is demeaning to the person doing the washing. The comparison is pointless.

      6. @Karl Liam Saur – comment #53:
        In the Byzantine Divine Liturgy a deacon receives the Body of Christ on his right hand, it being placed there by the principal celebrant. The hand is then lifted to the mouth and the Body of Christ is consumed. The principal celebrant holds the chalice by the node and the deacon holds the base of the chalice and tips it to his mouth and receives the Blood of Christ. It is the laity that receive by intinction.

    2. @Daniel McKernan – comment #50:
      Daniel,

      We’ve implemented SP like most places by far have – by ignoring it completely. Which of course is totally within our rights since there is no obligation for anyone to celebrate according to the unreformed books since SP.

      “Traditional” means a lot of different things, I agree with you, probably along a spectrum. So I that sense, I and St. John’s Abbey are “traditional” but that might be a use of the term that you don’t lock.

      As to what has declined or not, here or anywhere else, you might want to visit a place and attend liturgy there before you make too many judgments about it. But if your judgment of us is different than ours, that’s OK too.

      awr

      1. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #64:

        We’ve implemented SP like most places by far have – by ignoring it completely. Which of course is totally within our rights since there is no obligation for anyone to celebrate according to the unreformed books since SP.

        This is not entirely true. You are perfectly within your rights to do nothing provided nobody is asking for EF liturgies.

        SP enshrines a right that groups of those who ask for liturgies in the older rite be accommodated, be that by the pastor himself, or by the bishop appointing a priest to serve the requesting group(s) in the diocese (even if this means bringing in a priest of the FSSP, ICRSS, FFI, or some other outside group). Those who request and are refused or ignored by the pastor (and/or by the bishop) can seek proper hierarchical recourse.

        While it is true that no individual priest should be obliged, the bishop is obliged to provide care for them, provided they meet the requirements set in SP and UE.

        The bishop does not have the right to “stonewall” groups that request liturgies in the EF — as was happening (or was perceived to be happening) in many dioceses under Ecclesia Dei and Quattuor abhinc annos.

        I could very easily see it happening again if your hypothetical Nobili simplicitate, especially considering that such a document presupposes the EF to be ONLY for “those who do not yet accept the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council”. That is a horribly distorted perspective of the faithful who are attached to the EF, but one that unfortunately remains persistent among too many of the clergy and faithful.

      2. @Matthew Morelli – comment #68:
        The bishop, the bishop, the bishop…
        but we don’t have one here. We’re an abbey.
        The obligation is with the bishop of the diocese we’re in, not with us.
        🙂
        awr

      3. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #70:

        Is it not a priest from the abbey that administers the diocesan parish in Collegeville?

        In any case, the requests start locally — the initial obligation rests on the pastor (SP Art. 5 S. 1), with the bishop only overseeing. The bishop is only expected to become directly involved when the pastor is unable or unwilling to fulfill the request (SP Art. 7).

        If everything is working as envisioned in SP, the role of the diocesan bishop is minimal.

  30. Francis certainly understands the rhetorical use of the Papal example, probably better than both JP2 and B16.

    The problem is that he needs to make some changes that future Popes cannot easily undo. JP2 and B16 effectively undid national bishops conferences. The USA conference has begun electing cardinals as presidents a sure sign that the conference is merely a papal rubber stamp. And of course, effective international Synods of Bishops have never existed. If this Pope establishes effective national and international conferences, the career path for bishops will be significantly altered. It will become more rational to remain in your diocese and become the president of a national or international bishops conference than to move to a big diocese, and become a cardinal, and then move to the curia.

    The new Pope has a substantial mandate from the cardinals to reform the Curia. He could do this by not only substantially reducing the Curia’s powers and distributing them to national and international bishops conferences but also by reforming the college of cardinals. Europe and Italy are over-represented; the rest of the world underrepresented. There is no reason why the Pope could not appoint bishops of small dioceses, heads of religious orders, even lay men and women as cardinals. There is no reason why the Pope has to keep the present number of cardinals, or the present age of mandatory retirement from being a cardinal elector. With only seven years B16 was able to appoint half of the electors. If this Pope reforms the college of cardinals, in the same time he could appoint the overwhelming majority of cardinals.

    Vatican II already provides much of rational for reform; the Pope really just needs to implement it not only by rhetoric but by institutions and personnel appointments.

    Incidentally he had a very animated conversation with the head of the Congregation of Bishops at the end of the reception of cardinals. The head said afterwards that the Pope had already given him some tasks and this concerned the appointment dossiers.

  31. As someone born in 1960 I first consciously experienced the Mass as the Tridentine mass in English complete with propers etc. I vividly remember my first experience of the new mass on a weekday in 1971 when I and some other classmates were taken to sing for the jubilee of the elderly brother who was our teacher. Afterwards we all commented about how much had gone. No “I will go to the altar of God”; only two lord have mercies instead of 3; no saints in the I confess – no through my fault 3x – only one Lord I am not worthy – which referred to I instead of our souls: the immediate sense was of diminishment. Almost everyone of my age can recite the opening of the Old Mass in English and I would say still misses it. I have often wondered what would happen if the old mass was allowed in English. Now, I understand more of what was intended but I see no need to sit around wishing for the suppression and devastation of liturgy which is not to my personal or political taste and feel no problem at either form of Mass – and have had unpleasant to me – albeit different in nature – aesthetic experiences at either kind.
    On the issue of noble simplicity versus a so-called aristocratic liturgy I would argue that noble simplicity is in fact an aristocratic concept that frequently manifests itself as severity particularly if expressed in a neoclassical architectural context. As such the concept has little to offer most of us who look forward to the liturgy providing us with an emotional connection taking us out of the oppression of daily concerns and reminding us of the gaudium immensum spoken of in the Ubi Caritas of Holy Thursday – one of the most relevant Christian texts to this discussion (with its prayer to let rancor cease) and one which many will never hear this coming Thursday thanks to the more creative impulses of their local liturgy committees.

  32. I’m curious what impact Pope Francis could have on the revised translations of the Liturgy of the Hours that was proposed (I maybe sketchy on the progress of that task, so forgive me if I have misspoken).

  33. Take and dip, for this is my body and blood given up for you? Intinction is permitted. In the East it is customary. In view of best sign value practice, it is off the mark.

  34. Brigid Rauch : @M. Jackson Osborn – comment #36: My recollection is that Francis initially interpreted the injunction to “Re-build my church” as a literal instruction, and restored an abandoned building. He later went on the “re-build my Church” by instructing people to follow the Gospel, sharing what they had, living simply, appreciating Creation. Also – how “high church” was it when he arranged for Christmas Mass to be held in a cave in the presence of a live ox and donkey?

    I bet one could be way more high church in a cave with animals than you’d think. High church has more to do with how Mass is celebrated rather than the style of vestments and church building. Besides, you need a lot of incense to cover up those animal smells.

  35. “those who do not yet accept the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council”. That is a horribly distorted perspective of the faithful who are attached to the EF, but one that unfortunately remains persistent among too many of the clergy and faithful.

    Then really, what is it for? Just so these folks can attend a Mass in the style they prefer???? Fine – I want the Church to allow me to pray using the 75 text. And I also want the Church to allow liturgies like the early Christians – agape meals. Why NOT allow me, while others who complain get to use the EF??

    This EF business is just going to create two arms of the Catholic Church. How can it not?

    1. @Sean Whelan – comment #73:
      If they didn’t want ‘two arms’ of the Church they should not have created a rite so radically altered from its predecessor. Rupture divides. The stronger the sense of discontinuity, the more likely people are to feel torn. Never had the Roman rite been so perceptibly altered. We can’t tell people just to shut up and accept the change- that’s the very attitude the Council wanted to reform.

      It wouldn’t be ‘two arms’ of the Church anyway. The number of people who want the EF is much smaller and I imagine always will be.

      1. @Jordan DeJonge – comment #74:

        Radical??? Radical would be changing the format – but it’s always been Gathering/Word/Meal/Sending – in some form or another.

        I’m not trying to be snarky or create a fuss – I truly don’t understand this situation. If we had kept the EF going only for those who TRULY couldn’t handle?? the changes, we would no longer need it this day as those people would have gone on to their reward. But now, here it is offered as a second option. And there is recruitment going on too. Now we have a greater amount of people who were not even born at the time of the OF implementation who have become “attached” to it. Mind-boggling.

        I continue to say it – this new translation is so radically altered that I want the option to use the old. Why can’t my demand be met?

      2. @Sean Whelan – comment #76:
        Sam = +111 – refer to Rita Ferrone’s separate post where she remarks about the *unintended consequences*:

        “Nevertheless, (B16’s) pontificate accelerated a dynamic of divisiveness around liturgical subjects. Whether referred to under the rubric of the “reform of the reform” or “liturgical restoration” or “revisionist history” with respect to the effects of Vatican II, Pope Benedict’s pontificate was known for his agenda of change in light of his critical appraisal of Vatican II. Perhaps his greatest change was the announcement, in his motu proprio, Summorum pontificum, that there are “two forms” of the Roman Rite, the ordinary and the extraordinary form—something never before heard of.”

        Talk about the hermeneutic of rupture!

      3. @Sean Whelan – comment #76:

        No one recruited me for the EF. I “was recruited” when I found a missal among family miscellanea. One of the main reasons I learned how to drive a car was to drive myself to four-hymn Low Mass. 🙂 Neither my parents at that time or my siblings to this day care for the EF. Perhaps EF adherents should lock up their missals into safes in their twilight years so that teenagers can’t find these missals and desire to go to the EF. Who would know that an Tridentine missal of all things is a dangerous and corrupting temptation for youth!

        Sean, I would not care if Pope Francis permitted ad libitum use of the Sacramentary. Given Pope Francis’s liturgical persuasion, soon might be the time to petition for a motu proprio (give him a year or two to settle in). I know of not a few parishes which would revert to the older English translation. Fine by me. However, do know that I was already disenchanted with the Sacramentary Mass by age fifteen. Perhaps I should have focused on reading Gallic Wars in high school, but I was actually enchanted with the many profound prayers which were removed for “noble simplicity”. So what if the suscipe sancte pater of the old offertory was actually cribbed from Charles the Bald’s prayerbook and not a patristic source? Inspiration and enlightenment arrives in whatever vehicle available.

        So, why would you wish to impede my liberties if I am willing to respect yours?

      4. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #80:

        So, why would you wish to impede my liberties if I am willing to respect yours?

        Well said. I think this is a healthy approach to the matter, and perhaps the only way maintaining peace: Ecclesial Unity by Liturgical Diversity.

        As a side note, I am another who was not recruited in any way. I found out about the TLM as a college student – and struggled for a number of years to understand how the true Catholic Church could destroy a patrimony so beautiful. Then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s Spirit of the Liturgy was one of the resources that helped me out of that struggle.

      5. @Sean Whelan – comment #76:
        What’s truly mind-boggling is your attitude towards those who attend the EF. It doesn’t promote unity or spread the Gospel.

        If the 75 translation were allowed again, would you be happy and support those who desire the EF? You seem to blame and envy EF folks because you don’t have your way and need to take it out on someone. I stopped caring about the 1970s translation when the EF became readily available, and would have no problem with it returning as an option.

        The more I think about it, the more I think Vatican II got it all wrong, they should have allowed more liturgical diversity than they did, but always allowed a slightly revised EF to serve as a traditional default liturgy. Perhaps the Roman Canon and a common lectionary could have served to then unify all the variations.

      6. @Jack Wayne – comment #82:
        “The more I think about it, the more I think Vatican II got it all wrong”

        See, “got it ALL WRONG” that’s why many are very suspicious of those who follow the EF. I’m very tired about hearing some priests who celebrate the EF call it the “mass of the ages” or the 2000 yr old Tridentine mass whereas the OF is something totally new, a complete rupture that is 40 yrs old. Succinctly, I’m tired of their lies.

      7. @Sean Whelan – comment #76:

        Sean, probably your “demand” could be met. The Anglo-Catholics seem to do fine with no central authority approving their books. Somehow, they generally maintain tasteful worship while drawing from a variety of editions and books and sources. If we had a “free market” on liturgy where the default was permission, and particular things were only stopped or over-ruled if bishops actively stepped in, I think that would work great.

        But who are you to be mind-boggled that people born after the Roman Rite was destroyed (like myself and most of the 20-something Catholics I happen to know, although I know they are not a “representative” group) have become attached to it. You can’t hide beauty. I’d be attached to it even if it had been entirely suppressed, as I became attached to it before ever seeing it, just from reading and seeing pictures. What, will you have all the old missals burned just so that no one can ever know that things used to be better? Yes, we’re recruiting. Why do you care? If you don’t want to be recruited, don’t be. But don’t get mad that other people are being exposed and hearing the message and responding positively.

        I think the EF’s appeal will generally remain limited unless they allow vernacular translations of it. Further, as long as it is disadvantaged by not being the “default” and needing to be requested specially (finding a priest willing, a place in the schedule, etc etc), it will likewise remain small, so don’t worry. But if there was a way to entirely level the playing field between the two and have people choose compare in a way that compared apples-to-apples…I think you would be the one who was disappointed. There’s nothing inherent in the text or ars celebranding people like better about the Novus Ordo except that its familiar and vernacular.

        In general, though, your average person gets starry-eyed at pretty cloth and buildings and florid prose. In general, private devotions seem to still very much be “Tridentine.” The “beige” is not the reason people “prefer” the NO.

    2. @Sean Whelan – comment #73:
      The reason for allowing the EF was to appease the Lefebvrites. And yes, they do not accept the teachings of Vatican II. This of course does not apply to all who celebrate the EF.

  36. What if, Francis is just going on with the tradition, that goes back to at least John Paul I, where each new pope tweaks the outer appearance of the papacy to his own personality?

  37. Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity have an affinity for the Extraordinary Form; the great saints of the past knew nothing else for centuries; surely it is possible to be humble, to care for the poor, and to have a charism that includes the liturgical traditions of the Church. The “wreckovrations” after Vatican II, the modernist churches, the electric technicolor chasubles…none of this came cheap. On the other hand, traditional vestments, vessels, buildings do not require more expensive materials than modernist ones do; what they require is craftsmanship, catechesis and communal effort and concern

    1. @Ivan Kamenski – comment #85:
      It may seem like a minor semantic point but it’s important theologically and liturgically:

      The great saints of the past did not know the “Extraordinary Form” because there was no such thing. They only knew the Ordinary Form, whether that was the missal of 1570 or 1911. It is that Ordinary Form which was reformed by Paul VI and Bugnini. The innovation – rupture, really – is that a prior version of the Ordinary Form was then revived alongside the official form. When great saints of the past went to the Roman Rite Mass, they went to the same rite used by their bishop and by the pope every day. This is not true with today’s so-called Extraordinary Form.

      awr

      1. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #95:
        I think this is an important point. Whatever the merits of demerits of the EF or OF, the idea of having an Extraordinary Form to accommodate the liturgical preferences of people is, in terms of the history of the liturgy. . . well. . . extraordinary.

        It strikes me as one more sign that, try as we might, we cannot escape being modern people, wedded to such modern notions as preference and choice.

      2. @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #97:

        With all of this care for the ”Extraordinary Form” one can not help but being reminded of the “Old Believers groups” in Russia and elsewhere around the world among the Orthodox believers.

      3. @Philip Sandstrom – comment #56:

        If so, a fortunate comparison for traditionalists, for the Old Believers have been proven right on the facts, their recension was older than the then-current Greek usages imposed in the Nikonian reforms. Scholars question the motives of the Tsar and the Patriarchate in carrying out the persecution that followed. Today, groups of Old Believers are back in communion with the Russian Orthodox Church without giving up their rite (and the rite has been permitted to Russian Catholics, though I’m not certain if anyone is currently using it) and lots of people (even those not Old Beleivers or even Orthodox see the division caused by the imposition of the Nikonian reforms as a tragic and pointless mistake.

      4. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #95:
        What about the 200 year recognized by Trent? Many saints knew a different form of the Roman rite than what was used in Rome including the usages of the religous orders. Now we have the EF which will probably blend with the OF over time, the Anglican usage and the revived usages of some religious orders. Diversity can be wonderful.

      5. @Daniel McKernan – comment #1:

        Exactly: Trent recognized 200 years. Vatican II didn’t. It’s a change.

        Saints in the past: not the same thing. This point is oftentimes confused, as if the historical liturgical diversity of the church catholic justifies two forms of the Roman rite, ordinary and extraordinary.

        In the past, priests of any rite or usage (Roman, Dominican, Ambrosian, etc.) celebrated the same form of the rite as their ordinary or superior. Only one version of it. You didn’t have two Dominican versions for those who liked an earlier version, or two Ambrosian versions for those who didn’t accept the latest official version.

        Utterly without precedent is two versions of the same rite, the current one and the previous one, being in simultaneous use under one and the same ordinary, so that a priest might celebrate a rite differing from that of his ordinary or religious superior. Historically, the diveristy would be that, for example, a Dominican priest would celebrate the one and only Dominican rite in a diocese in which the bishop was Roman rite. But what we have now with Summorum pontificum, this is the innovation – the rupture, I would say.

        awr

      6. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #3:
        Vatican II makes it clear that it reaffirms the Council of Trent in many places and the 30 & 200 year rule seems implicit in SC#4. I think it can be argued that the usages of the religious orders are variants of the one Roman rite as are the EF, the usage of Zaire, & the Anglican usage. Aside from that of the religious orders, don’t we agree that the only version of the EF under discussion is that of the 1962 RM? I wonder if this seeming desire for liturgical uniformity will lead some to seek the elimination of other variants of the one Roman rite including that of Zaire or the Anglican usage?

      7. @Thomas Dalby – comment #11:
        Thomas, I don’t understand your question. What do you mean by “uses”? Are you referring to Carthusian or Dominican? I don’t believe Vatican II referred to them.
        awr

      8. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #19:
        Fr Anthony

        Yes, Dominican, Carthusian, Sarum, York, Carmelite. Are these Uses suppressed or do we still live in a world where there is a plurality of forms of the Roman Rite? If the Council didn’t refer to them, are we to assume that there are already a number of permitted forms of the Roman Rite?

        If that is the case, why are a number of commentators getting upset about the survival of a form of the Roman Rite that clearly supplies a need not met by the Pauline books? Why is pluralism such a bad thing?

  38. Some of you might be interested to know that the Archbishop of Vaduz, according to the Rorate Caeli blog, has decided to celebrate his Chrism Mass according to the so-called restoration of Holy Week of 1955 (Pius XII/Bugnini). Irony on so many levels! Love it!

  39. Time for a small amount of levity which, if it is germane, is so only in some torturedly oblique manner; and a warning that you may never guess unless you are familiar with Anglican culture surrounding Easter Day. So here it is: What does one get when one pours hot water down a rabbit hole?

  40. For our newly converted ultramontane posters and commenters, what I find amusing is that no one has taken exception to the two major things that Pope Francis has not done liturgically at any of his papal Masses (although I don’t know about the one with the “help.”)
    He has not had an offertory procession and he has not distributed Holy Communion to the laity.
    Now, I suspect some of these new ultramontane converts would have filled the com boxes with negative comments about this if it had been newly elected Pope Benedict doing away with these sacred cows, but I might be wrong because certainly I could misjudge the situation.
    Finally, Pope Francis does seem to be sending a signal about the role of deacons as the principle deacons are now taking the principle positions in distributing Holy Communion to the faithful, who continue to kneel and receive on the tongue at these principle stations directly in front of the altar. I suspect some would find that quite demeaning to the laity. Why hand them their Holy Communion at all as they are made to kneel? Let them do self service and wash their own feet.

  41. Christopher Douglas : Some of you might be interested to know that the Archbishop of Vaduz, according to the Rorate Caeli blog, has decided to celebrate his Chrism Mass according to the so-called restoration of Holy Week of 1955 (Pius XII/Bugnini). Irony on so many levels! Love it!

    The bishop has decided to use the approved liturgical books – the Bugnini Holy Week comes with that.

    I highly doubt you found positive evidence that the bishop “chose” it simply because it was the “restored” rite — It would be akin to saying that all of the English speaking parishes in the world ‘chose’ to use the Vox Clara translation of the MR3 (when in fact it is being used because it is the current approved liturgical text).

    That said as the EF rites continue to be used, I think the Bugnini Holy Week will fall into desuetude in most places in favor of the 1951 or pre-1951 rites.

  42. Yet suppressing a rite of great antiquity is also extraordinary. Was Trent bowing to personal preferences when books older than 300 years were allowed to continue?

    And is Dale kidding when he responded to my post above? Maybe he could read the rest of what I wrote. If anything were to show me Vatican II go it all wrong in the way he imagined I meant it, it would be the example of people like Dale. It’s my time participating at PrayTell that made me come to the conclusion that there should be more liturgical diversity than what followed Vatican II, which is what I was talking about when I said maybe Vatican II got it all wrong. There is such a thing as context when you read.

    1. @Jack Wayne – comment #98:
      I agree with Jack. Vatican II was extraordinary in the scope of its liturgical reforms, within the context of the scope of all its reforms in all areas.

      Those who try to downplay the innovation/rupture and overemphasize the continuity in interpreting Vatican II are missing what really happened. There was both continuity and rupture, with plenty of the latter.

      awr

      1. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #100:
        A very good analysis (IMHO!) is by Thomas O’Loughlin in New Blackfriars Volume 91, July 2010: “Eucharistic Celebrations: the Chasm between Idea and Action”. He writes: “While widely perceived as simply changes in texts and ritual details, it was in fact a paradigm shift from a liturgy that emphasised the event of the change in bread and wine into present of Christ, to a theology that focused on the action of the whole Christ in offering thanks to the Father…” A lot of other stimulating analysis – worth taking time.
        The article can be found on line at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1741-2005.2009.01322.x/pdf.

      2. @Padraig McCarthy – comment #4:
        Fr. McCarthy – opened and read O’Loughlin’s analysis – EXCELLENT. Thanks for this – appreciate his points and wonder if those commenting above have read this. It gets to the liturgical reform and principles of VII such that we are NOT talking about various legacy, cultural RITES but rather the rupture created by one rite with TWO FORMS. Some of his points:

        a) Chasm between IDEA and ACTION – paradigm shift between pre-Conciliar and today; the theology of Eucharist and Church was reformed/changed (SP/EF rejects this shift or does not understand it or tries to paper over it)

        b) Tridentine approach – example of multiple side altars with multiple masses with priest saying *his* mass and telling people that they can receive communion at the main altar because his mass will be over soon. So, theologians enamored with the EF & say the *beauty of this unreformed rite* or *how it formed many in holiness* (following the above example) need to explain their theology to support the above approach?

        c) “the old rite was abandoned because it was seriously faulty; not because we needed an *update* (this doesn’t mean that the piety of some was not enhanced); change doesn’t happen perfectly at one exact moment; folks hear/understand over time; and those who long for *restoration* exhibit a typical *fundamentalist* attitude that fears the contemporary situtation and states the the holy is out of reach. (which seems to doubt thereality of the incarnation and confuses the mystique of ignorance with the mystery of faith)

        d) he speaks about the principles behind the reformed liturgy’s actions – meal, community, loaf, and cup. (this addresses some of the comments around intinction; table, chalice, tabernacle that PTB seems to thrive on)

        e) his comments about Vox Clara and LA as *half-way house* attempts to control liturgy but really only *factionalize* liturgy; his explinations about current GIRM rubrics or even 1983 canon law liturgical directives that limit the reformed liturgy’s principles

  43. Paul wrote: “the majority of communicants across the world prefer to receive in the hand…”
    Don’t think that’s been demonstrated especially if we consider the whole Latin Catholic Church, all the other liturgical rites and the Eastern/Oriental Orthodox.
    Paul adds: “(intinction risks frequent) soggy host falling to the ground (or onto a communion plate) continue to astound.”
    Pope Francis had no difficluty with this nor do the parishes I know where intinction is regularly used. Practice makes perfect. Problems are likely with communion in the hand including other risks of profination i.e. host in pocket, dropping it later, etc….
    Paul also writes: “when was the last time you had someone put food into your mouth” Answer: for millions of Catholics and other Christians every Sunday.
    Paul then adds something that strikes me as unpastoral when he discusses the legitimate options of giving Holy Communion. Paul wrote above that “The action of placing food in another’s mouth is both discomforting and demeaning for normal people”
    “Normal” people Paul? Really? This comment strikes me as both unpastoral and unecumenical.

  44. For the record, Pius V’s missal dates from 1570. By 1580 Gregory XIII, (Buoncompagni), he of the reform of the calendar fame, was in situ.

  45. The original ideal for the Church of England was one use for the whole realm but that lasted for a week or so. I say this because priests immediately incorporated elements from the Sarum to supplement the rather sober HC service. The Scots had their unique service and then the Americans. The Oxford Movement introduced a plethora of Missals Then other provinces introduced their books and then newer translations ad infinitum.

    Through it all there has always been some je ne sais quoi uniting element of Anglicanitas. Mutatis mutandis the same could apply to the concept of Romanitas as a uniting element for all members of the Latin rite. Of course the major uniting element is the Pope who really has to provide for ALL his followers. Something not done until Benedict.

  46. Anthony Ruff, OSB : @Ivan Kamenski – comment #85: It may seem like a minor semantic point but it’s important theologically and liturgically: The great saints of the past did not know the “Extraordinary Form” because there was no such thing. They only knew the Ordinary Form, whether that was the missal of 1580 or 1911. It is that Ordinary Form which was reformed by Paul VI and Bugnini. The innovation – rupture, really – is that a prior version of the Ordinary Form was then revived alongside the official form. When great saints of the past went to the Roman Rite Mass, they went to the same rite used by their bishop and by the pope every day. This is not true with today’s so-called Extraordinary Form. awr

    Thanks, awr, this is a great point!

  47. Talk about cafeteria-Catholicism. “I just prefer the EF.” “Vatican II went too far.” “I recruit even though SP said not to.” “Who are YOU to talk since you weren’t even born!” Amazing. How the entire body of Bishops under the guidance of the Holy Spirit went too far… wow.

    The division will only get worse – this is year 3 of SP? Maybe the best thing in the long run is to just restate now that we are a one rite Church – the OF. If people cannot accept the work of the Spirit through the entire gathering of bishops, then other venues other than the Roman Catholic Church should be explored.

  48. Ambrosian, Mozarabic, Benedictine, Franciscan, Carthusian… these were just some of the variants of the Latin Rite in the past. The idea that there must be one and only one rite followed by every single Western Catholic is very recent. Consequently, there is nothing bizzarre about two forms coexisting in the Church at one time. If anything, two are too few, and the Church should permit more broadly and encourage the rediscovery of some of the other traditional rites.

      1. @Thomas Dalby – comment #13:
        THere has been a revival of the traditional rites, it is true, especially since Summorum Pontificum. The Dominican Rite has been revived, as has the Franciscan Rite, by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate; but these have been baby steps. If the traditional Carthusian Rite–rather than some Carthusian version of the Pauline Rite–has been revived, that is wonderful news.

    1. @Ivan Kamenski – comment #12:

      Ivan,

      There have of course been, and continue to be, numerous variants of the Latin Rite, but they each have their own unique and singular form. That is no argument. What we are talking about is two forms of the Roman Rite, not the Latin Rite. Two forms of one rite — that is what is unheard of. That was the point of Anthony’s post about what the martyrs died for, and that is why some people say that what was said in SP was nothing more than an invented fiction.

  49. “When great saints of the past went to the Roman Rite Mass, they went to the same rite used by their bishop and by the pope every day.”

    Not if they belonged to a diocese or order with its own rite; in that case, the Roman Rite was not followed.

    1. @Ivan Kamenski – comment #14I
      Ivan,

      People get around, even back then, they aren’t always locked in their order.

      Not to be too logically tautological, but I’m pretty sure that when they went to the Roman rite, it was the Roman rite they went to!

      🙂
      awr

  50. Stanislaus Kosala : What if, Francis is just going on with the tradition, that goes back to at least John Paul I, where each new pope tweaks the outer appearance of the papacy to his own personality?

    I’m not sure that observation is an accurate one.

    It seems to me that, beginning in the mid-1960s, Pope Paul VI transitioned the image of the papacy from the standard which he inherited to a new standard that he rather adeptly crafted. The pre-Conciliar prince-bishop image of the pope was transformed by Paul into a much simplified but very pleasing image which emphasized the pope’s role as shepherd and minimized his role as prince. This transformation affected not only the simplification of the papal court, but his own vesture and style.

    The new papal style which Paul fashioned was maintained, almost exactly, by Popes John Paul I and John Paul II. No change to the new standard was seen until Benedict XVI appeared one day in blue and yellow tye-dyed vestments, at which point it seemed that the papacy was determined to morph Paul’s standardized papal look into something rather more progressive and avante-garde. And then, all of a sudden, all sorts of papal looks began to emerge, reflecting looks from many different eras. Old vestments and papal garments appeared for the first time since Paul abandoned them, and new vestments of an anachronistic bent were created for Benedict hearkening back to several different eras. But new contemporary-style vestments were commissioned as well, and the pope’s look was suddenly all over the place. There was no longer a standard look for the pope.

    Now it seem that Francis may be returning to the new standard ushered in by Pope Paul. I do note with surprise, however, that it seems to be the case that expensive new vestments are being created to accomodate Francis’ own version of it.

    1. @James Murphy – comment #18:

      I think you are right on in your assessment. I don’t know if I’d single out the Marian vestments as a turning point though – while they were colorful, yes, it was still the basic design used by JPII – ample cut chasuble and restrained miter. It was good to see the pope wear blue, too!

      Regarding Francis’ vestments – are you sure they are being made currently? To me, it seems like he’s just using what’s already in the closet, though it’s clearly the more nobly simple vestiture.

  51. The Franciscan Rite was a distinct form of the Roman Rite. The GLagolitic Rite was a non-Latin variant of the Roman Rite. The point is that there have always existed multiple Latin rites and that has included multiple forms of the Roman Rite. When viewed from the perspective of the history of the Church, tere is nothing “extraordinary” about having two forms of the Roman Rite. What’s extraordinary is that such a thing is thought to be extraordinary. It is an irony of history that Vatican II has resulted in a centralization and uniformity that never existed in the past.

    1. @Ivan Kamenski – comment #22:
      No, these are two different things.

      Dominican, Carthusian were another form or usage (or whatever you want to call it), not an earlier version of the Roman rite.

      Surely you’re not claiming there was an ordinary and extraordinary form of the Roman rite in the past? That’s what I’m talking about, that’s the innovation. This is entirely different from Dominican and the other things.

      What is the precedent for liturgical books being reformed, and permission being given for the earlier, unreformed version OF THAT RITE? None that I know of.

      awr

      1. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #25:

        Methinks Ivan could be in denial….

        Adding to what you (Anthony) said, it is still apparent that those who are proponents of the EF have still not taken on board that Extra-ordinary means abnormal, not normative, exceptional, and that having a parallel usage of that nature is not part of the Church’s previous history. And that saying something was not abrogated does not mean that it wasn’t, when the canonists tell us that it quite clearly was abrogated.

        It really is time that the adjective Extra-ordinary is interpreted correctly, instead of perpetuating what is nothing more than a late 20th-century myth.

        In answer to Thomas Dalby, #23, the reason for not allowing a prior form to survive is precisely, as predicted by the French and English Bishops’ Conferences, that it has proved to be extremely divisive, rather than unitive which is what BXVI had hoped for. It is nothing to do with the merits or otherwise of the form that has been allowed to continue. The fact that we are having this debate is clear evidence that the unrealistic desires behind SP have not in fact worked. It has created increased polarization where one might have expected the dichotomy to have resolved itself naturally over a period of time. The only apparent solution to this ongoing problem is another papal initiative.

      2. @Paul Inwood – comment #26:
        I’m wondering why you continue to claim that parallel usage is unprecedented when it isn’t. I repeat: the idea that there can be one and only one form of the Latin Rite or even the Roman Rite is itself new and unprecedented. It was not uncommon for multiple forms of the Latin Rite and the Roman Rite to be in use at one time. However, even if were unprecedented, what would that prove? Can you please cite a law of the Church that requires all Catholics to use one and only one rite? There is much in the post-VII liturgy that is unprecedented; surely you wouldn’t claim that it is, therefore, illicit?

      3. @Ivan Kamenski – comment #30:
        Ivan – you appear to confuse history and the church’s experience. There have been & are currently multiple rites in the Western Church (all approved). But, this is different from Benedict’s MP that took the one, current Roman Rite and gave permission for valid reasons to be practiced in two forms.

        Ambrosian, Dominican, etc. are not different forms of the Roman Rite – they are different rites, period. What I do detect in some comments is a push to set up the EF as another Rite or taking SC’s articles on enculturation and using those to justify setting up the EF as a separate Rite. Again, as others have stated, this has not been done before in our history – it is truly a rupture.

        And, on another note, many compare VII and Trent and liturgical reforms. Per O’Malley’s recent work on Trent, he lays out some interesting comparisons and contrasts:
        – council of Trent never had more than 30% of bishops attend and all were European; pope did not attend
        – council of Trent did address a few liturgical issues which spoke to the Reformation e.g. communion from the cup (which they approved); vernacular (which they approved via local bishop’s request to Rome). Beyond that, the council ran out of time and merely directed that Rome implement reform
        – subsequent to the Trent council (the second pope after Trent ended) Pius V and his curia instituted the Congregation of Rites and this body went on the set up and implement what we have come to call the Tridentine Rite (literally, 30-50 years after the end of the council). With a few exceptions, vernacular was never really requested; given the Hus controversy, communion from the cup fell by the wayside – overemphasis on the fact that receiving the bread alone is receiving Christ completely. The Congregation of Rites did suppress some local rites and customs (unlike VII) – these local rites were associated with the politics of the time; identified with kings/queens creating disunity and confusion.

        Contrast:

        – Vatican II actually developed and overwhelmingly approved SC, liturgical document first
        – more than 60% of all bishops attended VII and many were from global/missionary areas and eastern church
        – yes, SC did direct the pope to implement SC (but this is very different from what happened at the end of the Trent council)
        – SC laid down the principle of collegiality and episcopal conferences approving and making liturgy decisions

      4. @Ivan Kamenski – comment #30:

        Ivan is correct that there is something unprecedented in Vatican II. But does that make it illicit? No, not if you accept Vatican II (as I do).

        Ivan then argues that since there are these unprecedented aspects of Vatican II, therefore it must be OK that we have the unprecedented case of an ordinary and extraordinary form of the same rite. But one lack of precedent doesn’t justify the other.

        The real question here is, what is our standard for judging which unprecedented things are legimiate, which are questionable, and which are illegitimate.

        I think the unprecedented ruptures that came after Vatican II are legitimate because the Pope approved them and because they are in accord with (the pope’s interpretation of) the meaning of Vatican II.

        I think the later rupture under Benedict, the innovation of having ordinary and extraordinary form, is ‘legitimate’ in the sense that it’s legal and approved by the pope. But it’s also highly questionable because Vatican Ii certainly never intended it. And I don’t see any precedent for allowing those who don’t accept a legitimate reform to go back and used an unreformed version from an earlier period. In this case, the lack of precedent is disturbing to me. In other cases referred to above, lack of precedent seems to be in accord with the spirit of Vatican II.

        awr

      5. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #25:
        Fr. Ruff,

        If Vatican II itself was such a drastic change with the past, then why is it a problem that having two forms of one rite is without precedent?

        I think what makes it easier to accept that there are two forms is that in many places the reformed mass is celebrated with such great difference from parish to parish,(both in terms of approved and unapproved modifications), that the notion of a single Roman rite has already deteriorated.

      6. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #25:
        The Dominican and Carthusian rites were non-Roman rites; but the Franciscan and Glagolitic were both forms of the Roman Rite.

        The Novus Ordo can hardly be called a reformed version of the Roman Rite. It was an entirely new form of the Roman Rite, perhaps best characterized as the “Pauline” rite, in contrast with the “Tridentine” or “Gregorian.” That it was one form of the Roman Rite rather than the unique form of the Roman Rite is proved by the fact that the Tridentine Rite continued to be celebrated even after the Pauline Rite was imposed.

        The Franciscan form of the Roman Rite was a variant on an already-existing form of the Roman Rite, so it does fit your criterion. There is nothing in the history of the Western liturgy that would justify the characterization of the coexistence of two forms of the Roman Rite as “unprecedented;” nor is there any warrant for the suggestion that the existence of more than one rite or more than one form of a rite is a violation of some categorical imperative of Catholic liturgical law.

        Even at that unique period in Church history, post-VII, when liturgical uniformity became the great obsession of those promoting the merciless suppression of the 1962 missal, the Eastern Rites continued to exist.

      7. @Ivan Kamenski – comment #29:

        You write:
        “The Novus Ordo can hardly be called a reformed version of the Roman Rite. It was an entirely new form of the Roman Rite, perhaps best characterized as the “Pauline” rite, in contrast with the ‘Tridentine’ or ‘Gregorian’.”

        Your argument, then, isn’t with me. It’s with the pope. Pope Paul VI always presented the 1969 missal (he generally didn’t call it “Novus Ordo,” by the way) as a reform of the preconciliar (i.e. 1962) rite, and he repeatedly said that all this was done according to the wishes of Vatican II. He later ordered the revision of the General Instruction to state explicity that it was all in accord with Catholic tradition.

        I agree with Pope Paul VI. You don’t. I think we can leave it at that.

        awr

  52. Sean Whelan : @James Murphy – comment #18: I think you are right on in your assessment. I don’t know if I’d single out the Marian vestments as a turning point though – while they were colorful, yes, it was still the basic design used by JPII – ample cut chasuble and restrained miter. It was good to see the pope wear blue, too! Regarding Francis’ vestments – are you sure they are being made currently? To me, it seems like he’s just using what’s already in the closet, though it’s clearly the more nobly simple vestiture.

    I would have thought for sure that, in consideration of all the papal vestments available at St. Peter’s before Pope Benedict’s pontificate, and given the wide variety of new vestments commissioned during Benedict’s eight years, Francis would have put the kibosh on commissions for new papal vestments. It seems to me that there is so much to select from, now, in so many different styles, that not another penny would need to be spent on papal vestments for 100 years (if not longer).

    I was surprised, therefore, when I read in articles from a number of different news sources that new vestments had been commissioned from Serpone of Milan for the installation Mass of Pope Francis. Each article I read featured pictures of the newly-commissioned vestments and explained that they were fashioned to reflect Francis’ preference for simplicity. I was very surprised, then, when Francis appeared at his inauguration vested, not in the vestments commissioned by Serpone for the event, but in another set, entirely, designed to match his miter (complete with matching dalmatics for his deacons). Now, today, Palm Sunday, we saw revealed what seems to be yet another new set of vestments, in a cut and style similar to his inaugural vestments.

  53. “But it’s also highly questionable because Vatican Ii certainly never intended it.”

    Why does it matter if Vatican II never intended it? This was not the Council For All Time. Things can develop after a Council. In fact, Father Anthony appears to be rejoicing constantly that things are developing in his favour day by day. Does Vatican II dismantle the Papal Court?

  54. Fr. Ruff says that V2 “certainly never intended” having an OF alongside an EF. I’m not certain we can presume that V2 ever “intended” the OF as we now experience it. Indeed, it seems to me that one should question whether V2 intended an all vernacular Mass. SC 4 would seem to give more credence to the EF’s enriching continuance alongside the Pauline rite than SC’s references to an expanded vernacular give (albeit very weak) support to an all vernacular liturgy because SC literally states the opposite.
    It seems to me that rather than paint adherants of the EF as persons who do not accept V2 reforms we should admit that they actually implement significant aspects of V2’s teaching on the liturgy more fully than many OF celebrations do including an appreciation for organic development, pride of place for chant, and the regular use of Latin ordinaries. Given the love for the liturgy we see among so many EF adherants I think it is difficult to hold that these are not reformed minded Catholics who follow the spirit of the liturgical movement.

  55. Once again, there have always been several forms of the Roman Rite. THe Franciscan Rite was a variant of the ROman Rite. It was the Roman Rite, changed in a variety of ways for Franciscan use. The same is true of the Glagolotic Rite: it was the Roman Rite, in a slavonic language, with missals written in Glagolitic script, and various departures from the Roman Rite that gave it the character of a distinct form. These variants of the Roman Rite are to be distinguished from variants of the Latin Rite (Roman, Ambrosian, Mosarabic, Dominican, Carthusian, etc.)

    One can find no basis whatsoever in Church liturgical norms for the claim that there is something problematic–pastorally, liturgically, canonically, or in any other way–about the coexistence of two or more variants of the Roman Rite. I have benefitted immensly from learning both forms of the Roman Rite along with the Byzantine Liturgy. However, if someone is not enriched by such an experience, it is easy to avoid. There seem to be two extremes in the Church; on the one side you have those who would like to suppress the newer form of the Roman Rite, on the other those who would like to suppress the older form. It is those two extreme attitudes rather than the coexistence of two rites that is divisive and a source of strife.

    1. @Ivan Kamenski – comment #37:
      It may be helpful to differentiate between two forms of development/diversity, which may be illustrated by couples such as these: geographical and historical, regional and chronological, spatial and temporal.

      The first type of development, geographical, regional or spatial refers to diversity which arose because of a difference of place or region. So you have the Mozarabic, Sarum, Dominican, Ambrosian rites, etc., all within the Latin Church and co-existing at various times.

      The other form of development is chronological, or historical or temporal. There are for example, the apostolic, patristic, early, high and late medieval, baroque, classical, and modern periods, where development is linear. In this schema, one form is replaced by another.

      What is unprecedented is the notion encouraged by SP that a form of a rite from one period in history, which was subsequently reformed, could be reintroduced and permitted to co-exist with the reformed version. That was and is a recipe for division.

  56. Of course the same pope that expanded the 1962 missal into one of the two legitimate forms of the one Latin Rite, also has given us two popes of the one Catholic Church, an emeritus one and a novus one. At least Benedict is consistent in his so called novelties not supposedly foreseen by Vatican II some 50 long years ago before half the current world was born and thus ancient history!

  57. ANNOUNCEMENT

    We’ve exhausted the topic of what Vatican II intended, whether the “ordinary form” is in accord with Vatican II, and whether it is good or legitimate to have an ordinary and extraordinary form of the same rite. Everything has been said, in my view. (And said many times before at this blog.)

    Comments are closed on this topic and further comments on this topic will be deleted.

    Comments on the original post are still welcome.

    awr

  58. Interestingly, the list that Fr. Anthony put together contains a very minimal number of items that Pope Francis has “changed” that are strictly “liturgical” — many of them have nothing to do with liturgy (cancelling his paper or riding the bus back to the Domus Santa Marta).

    The minimal number of “changes” that have something to do with liturgy in any sense could quite easily be viewed as decisions that Pope Francis has made that mesh with the very humble mannerisms that he brought into the papacy, and not something that would bind future Pontiffs. (This is not unlike many of Pope Benedict’s decisions that reflect his background steeped in the Bavarian Baroque of his upbringing — which Pope Francis obviously does not see as binding. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander). Likewise, the only bishops who will imitate this example are the ones who are disposed to it (just as not all of them imitated Pope Benedict’s example).

    In considering this a “liturgical revolution”, Fr. Anthony has fallen into the same trap as many of the traditionalists — except that instead of recoiling in horror at the choices the Holy Father has made, Fr. Anthony is revelling in them.

    As for Pope Francis implementing some of Fr. Anthony’s “dreams” — as the lengthy (and now closed) discussion here has evidenced, any attempts to revoke the rights given by Pope Benedict to various groups (as in Anglicanorum Coetibus and Summorum Pontificum) would do nothing but foster disunity. Such measures might foster liturgical uniformity — but never any true unity. I think Pope Francis is wiser than to take such a step.

    1. Matthew,
      I didn’t say anything about dreaming he’d change Anglicanorum Coetibus.
      There are so many changes under Francis – you’re right that a lot of them aren’t about liturgy. But that still leaves a lot of them that are.
      awr

      1. @Sean Whelan – comment #54:
        No, I don’t think we can put the blame for our contemporary liturgical disunity on to JP II or Benedict XVI. Similarly, I don’t think we can put the blame for the current crisis in world region “x” on any incoming president, it’s already there when the president assumes office.

  59. In reply to the final paragraph of #43:- Well I suppose it depends what you mean by ‘true unity’? It seems very possible (despite your use of bold pen) to come to exactly the opposite conclusion. I write with Anglicanorum Coetibus in mind – of which I now have 18 months experience of the practical consequences, given that I worship in a Parish which was given to be shared with an incoming Ordinariate community.

    1. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #45:

      I realize that you never mentioned it. I was speaking about it in a general sense, as something logically connected to your proposed Nobili simplicitate, especially considering the comment the Holy Father had made while still a cardinal to Anglican Archbishop Venables – the suggestion that an Ordinariate was not necessary (Though he could have simply meant “for Argentina” as opposed to being unnecessary anywhere). If rights for one group can be revoked, they can be for the other as well — though I doubt this would happen in either case.

      And again — even of the liturgical changes, all have been minor and none binding… all could be reversed by the next Holy Father. We have seen nothing that justifies calling it a “revolution”.

      @Mark O’Meara – comment #44:

      You have in your parish an example of what I would consider a healthy situation: unity in diversity. Unity in the faith does not demand uniformity.

      So far as coming to the opposite conclusion: do you think that a reversal of Anglicanorum Coetibus would be well received by the Ordinariate group in your parish? Do you think they would be content to be lumped back into the territorial diocese and lose their liturgical patrimony?

  60. In reply to #46. What we have in ‘my’ Parish is not what I would call unity. Nor has it been very healthy. We have two separate groups (Ordinariate and ‘Parish’) who barely understand the different nuances in each others liturgy; the Masses being ‘low’ during the week but, in effect, very High Anglican on Sundays and holy days. And, as a by-product of the enforced ‘merger’ of the two groups, at least half of the Parishioners have simply left (over the past 18 months) to go to the nearest next-door RC Parish.
    I agree with you that unity in the faith does not demand uniformity. Indeed, this is one reason why I can feel some unity with those who remain in the Church of England. I recognize them too as Christian brothers and sisters.
    To answer your second paragraph’s two questions:- First question:- No. Second question: I think they might have retained their liturgical patrimony as a separate grouping (for example, in London they now have their own Church building) rather than being ‘merged’ with ‘non-Ordinariate’ Catholics who do not share their patrimony.
    I’d say that the creation of the Ordinariate has disrupted Catholic unity in the town where I live; and it has done nothing to further unity between the Christian churches (indeed quite the opposite). I have no reason to expect Anglicanorum Coetibus to be reversed. But I think I am entitled to disagree with your definition of ‘true unity’.

    1. @Mark O’Meara – comment #48:

      Mark,

      I’m very sorry that I misunderstood the situation in your parish, and see now from your further elaboration on the matter that it is not a healthy situation at all — It sounds more like the Ordinariate group “took over” the parish. That situation is never healthy, whether it is the Ordinariate or an EF group overtaking an OF parish, or vice versa and ultimately fails at what Anglicanorum Coetibus (or Summorum Pontificum) seeks to do.

  61. Standing to be corrected, I submit that the ‘rites’ of the Franciscans and Dominicans are not actually rites, but would more properly be called ‘uses’. Likewise the Ambrosian, Sarum, Mozarabic and others, which, being variants of the Roman rite are not themselves rites, but uses. To encounter truly distinct rites one has to look to the Eastern Rite Catholics, or to the Orthodox (and, perhaps, the pre-Carolingian Gallican rite and the fabled Celtic Rite reputed to have been more eastern than western in ethos). Also, contrary to what has been advanced by several above, the notion of universal uniformity in the west is not entirely a recent desideratum. It is at least as old as the Carolingian era. And, as is commonly known, it took several centuries for the Tridentine concept of a universal usage to displace many local uses. This is not a pro or con comment on the desirablility of such uniformity. I am certainly grateful for the Anglican Use. Too, I think that the ‘uses’ of the various monastic orders should be preserved, as should some other historical diocesan and national uses which have been needlessly supressed.

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