Ecclesiological and Liturgical Disjunctures

Going to parish liturgies this summer and comparing them with my experiences from previous summers, I came across a few practices which seem to harken back to the Tridentine Mass. While I would be the first to acknowledge that some practices from the now Extraordinary Form should be brought back, others should be left to fade from the Church’s collective memory.

The first thing I have noticed over the past few summers is the increased usage of a special chalice and paten for the priest’s, and only the priest’s, communion. I support the idea of a large chalice for the celebrant that is then used for communion to the faithful because it seems to highlight symbolically the fact that we all share in the one bread and the one cup even when there are a number of cups on the altar. In this way, a large chalice for the celebrant acts as a central symbol. However, the idea of the priest, concelebrants, and deacons communing from a distinct chalice which is not then used to communion the faithful leads to a separatist ecclesiology. The priest has his chalice, usually the ornate one, and the rest of the faithful have their chalices which are typically quite plain.

Along the same lines, the second thing that I have begun to see is the shrinking size of the bowl of the celebrant’s chalice. Instead of a wide bowl, some of the chalices today appear to be modeled on fluted champagne glasses. This seems to be a recovery of the chalices so common in the baroque period that had bowls which were quite small and were only intended for the priest’s communion. This yet again seems to harken back to an ecclesiology which is highly clerical and rejects the trend since the Council for all of the faithful to consume of both species.

The third thing that I took note of was the length of time the consecrated species were “shown” to the people after the consecration. During some of these “showings” one could have recited several Hail Marys. I find the length of time spent on these troubling and reminiscent of the age in which the faithful only communed ocularly. What is even more concerning, however, is the height and attention given to these “showings” in comparison to the elevation at the doxology. The English translation of the Third Typical Edition of the Roman Missal in the rubrics after the consecration of the bread states that the priest “shows (ostendit) the consecrated host to the people” (§89). Similarly, it says that the priest “shows (ostendit) the chalice to the people” (§90). At the doxology the rubrics are markedly different. They state that the priest “takes the chalice and the paten with the host and, raising (elevans) both, he says…” (§98). Thus, the “showings” of the bread and wine should not be equated with the “raising” of the paten and chalice at the doxology. The first two, properly speaking, are not elevations. The trend toward making them more pronounced than the elevation at the doxology is a failure to take seriously the importance of the whole Eucharistic Prayer of which the doxology is the apogee.

Finally, there appears to be a trend toward purifying the vessels at the altar, perhaps in light of Rome’s refusal to grant an extension to the indult allowing sacristans to purify the vessels. While purifying the vessels at the altar is the norm, according to the GIRM §163 “it is also permitted, especially if there are several vessels to be purified, to leave them suitably covered on a corporal, either at the altar or at the credence table, and to purify them immediately after Mass following the dismissal of the people.” This is also reaffirmed in §183 of the GIRM.  Purifying the vessels during Mass often disrupts the flow of the liturgy and unnecessarily lengthens it. In some places, the purification of the vessels at the altar seems to be overly accentuated and perhaps given undue symbolism. The purification of the vessels is a practical act and should not be overemphasized. For this reason, I think it would be more desirable for it to be performed after Mass. However, if it must be done in Mass then it should be done reverently, but swiftly.

We as a Church must constantly think through how even the smallest details of our liturgies project a specific ecclesiology. Then we must gauge whether the ecclesiology being articulated is congruous with the Church’s self-understanding. Those practices, no matter how small, which are incompatible with the Church’s broader self-understanding should cease. As we struggle with the tension between the Extraordinary Form and the Mass of Paul VI, and the recovery of certain pre-Vatican II practices, we must use the ecclesiology of the Second Vatican Council as our referee and guide. We must be careful to insure that our liturgical life and ecclesial self-understanding remain in harmony with one another.

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81 comments

  1. Just a short comment on your note about the purification of the sacred vessels that I will branch out a little on:

    When a Deacon is at Mass the GIRM is quite specific, “When the distribution of Communion is over, the Deacon returns to the altar with the Priest, collects the fragments, should any remain, and then carries the chalice and other sacred vessels to the credence table, where he purifies them and arranges them as usual, while the Priest returns to the chair.” (183)

    Over the summer I too have been sitting in the back of various services in a wide variety of parishes and have rarely witnessed this simple instruction being followed. I’ve seen just about every variation conceivable, including emHC’s purifying on the altar, Deacons going and being seated while the Priest purifies, to the vessels being taking into the sacristy immediately by the sacristans bypassing the altar.

    Similarly, the instructions for the Purification (278-280) are largely ignored with copious amounts of water being poured and consumed into and from everything.

    Finally, I was amazed in conversation to learn that the prayer said at the time of purification (yes, it is in the Missal) was a mystery to most Deacons I spoke with (and several Priests as well).

    While I personally do not long for the return of the Extraordinary Form, it would be nice to at least hear some of the words in the Greeting from the Missal, or to see some of the GIRM followed. Numerous times I observed simple instructions (like the role of the Deacon and the reading of Universal Prayer) not followed. I observed Deacons who sit in the congregation and come up (not-vested) for the distribution of Communion, or to read the First Reading. I do long for some, even a modest amount, of consistency.

    Imagine how life would change if Father could not get a replacement for Mass this weekend because every parish was so radically different no visiting Priest could simply walk in? One would think that in the role of the Deacon at Mass there would be even fewer…

    1. @Deacon Don Donaldson – comment #1:

      There are three paragraphs relating to purification in GIRM. They all say slightly differing things.

      GIRM 163:
      If the vessels are purified at the altar, they are carried to the credence table by a minister. Nevertheless, it is also permitted, especially if there are several vessels to be purified, to leave them suitably covered on a corporal, either at the altar or at the credence table, and to purify them immediately after Mass following the dismissal of the people.

      GIRM 183:
      When the distribution of Communion is completed, [the deacon] carries the chalice and other sacred vessels to the credence table, where he purifies them and arranges them in the usual way while the priest returns to the chair. It is also permissible to leave the vessels that need to be purified, suitably covered, at the credence table on a corporal, and to purify them immediately after Mass following the dismissal of the people.

      GIRM 279:
      The sacred vessels are purified by the priest, the deacon, or an instituted acolyte after Communion or after Mass, insofar as possible at the credence table.

      In other words:
      (163) If the vessels are purifed at the altar… implies that they might very well not be. The strong implication is that if there are several vessels, it is best to place them on the altar or credence table and leave them until afterwards.
      (183) Here there is no question: it has to be done at the credence table, and it can be left until after Mass.
      (279) The strong preference here is for the credence table whenever possible and it can be left until after Mass.

      Taking all these together, it seems that the preferred option — certainly if (163) there are several vessels (which is most frequently the case) but even (279) if there are less than several, however you define that — is to take them to the credence table, where they can be left until after Mass.

      This is the Church’s equivalent of doing the dishes, and should therefore be left until after the guests at the banquet have departed.

      Regarding the non-extension of the US indult for purification, this does not seem a problem for many other countries, none of whom bothered with an indult and all of whom have the practice of lay commissioned ministers of Communion purifying without difficulty. There seems to be pastoral common sense at play here. The US scruples made the rest of the world groan…

      One of the problems regarding Communion under both kinds in general is
      (a) that CDWDS operatives have never seen it in parish practice, since it seldom happens in Rome. In most places only the clergy receive under both kinds, and then by intinction.
      (b) even if it were widespread there would be no need for lay ministers since Rome is riddled with priests, so CDWDS have never experienced the logistics of that at parish level either.
      In other words, they are not yet living in the real world of parish nitty-gritty.

      1. @Paul Inwood – comment #6:
        I was only referring to the purification when the Deacon was at Mass for purposes of my comment.

        Indeed, if we go to other parts of the GIRM there are rubrics for Mass without a congregation present. I don’t think anyone would argue that they are acceptable instructions for use on Sunday morning when the whole congregation is watching. They may be valid, but they are they licit?

  2. I share Nathan’s concerns as well. The “showing” of the consecrated bread and wine are becoming elevations and the elevation looks more like a “showing” at a much lower level. It seems to be a modeling of the Tridentine form when the “showing” needed to be over the priest’s head due to his ad orientem position. The use of smaller chalices and patens seems to be on the rise making them impractical to be used for the faithful and yes, reserved for the priest. Not a good liturgical trend but part of the misguided attempts at a “reform of the reform.”

  3. All worthwhile points, but I don’t think they support this conclusion sentence:
    “We as a Church must constantly think through how even the smallest details of our liturgies project a specific ecclesiology.”

    I think we got to the problems you present exactly by thinking about the smallest details with decisions by various priests to put their personal stamp on the Eucharist. We have had several visiting priests in our medium size parish this summer, and I have witnessed extensive elevations. At one particular Mass I wondered if his arms weren’t getting tired. On the other hand, it isn’t that offensive and in some cases is perhaps only a difference in judgment rather than an intentional variation. I would have a much harder time overlooking “chalices [which] appear to be modeled on fluted champagne glasses”. That just couldn’t be an accident; you have to go out and buy your special chalice. Fortunately, I haven’t seen that.

    I did see this and would ask those inclined to educate me: Visiting priest and not an older, retired, absent minded priest, but a mid-30s director of vocations in the Archdiocese. Likeable fellow, good preacher, Mass proceeds as normal, three chalices of wine are on the altar during consecration, but when it is time for distribution, and the ministers have come to the altar, there is a conference. Three of the four ministers leave, and the wine is removed from the altar, and the priest goes into an explanation about consecration and what is required for it to occur and says he isn’t sure the wine is consecrated, so we are only going to have communion under one species. One species is enough, of course, but the practical problems like what do you do with “half-consecrated” wine have to be addressed, and mostly I wonder how can you not know whether the wine (or the bread) is consecrated? Thoughts?

  4. Ghastly account by Charles Day! What can have happened? No point in commenting, though. We do not know the facts.
    All I wanted to say was, yes, I agree in general with the drift of the post. But the feel of Mass should be in continuity with the deep tradition, i.e. not just with post-tridentine preoccupations. I too hate lengthy holdings-on-high of the consecrated elements, but, when Mass is celebrated ad orientem, ostensio does mean elevatio!

  5. I was more or less nodding my head with the post until the last paragraph. Anthony has made a similar point on several occasions, and it has always troubled me. Without going on at great length, I would simply say two things:

    1) Councils do not inaugurate new theologies (including ecclesiologies) that invalidate previous legitimate theologies. To use a software metaphor, conciliar teachings have to be “backward compatible.” Except for beliefs and practices that are heretical or illicit, the teaching of any council should be compatible with prior beliefs and practices, even if it differs somewhat in emphasis.

    2) Rite’s don’t have ecclesiologies. Ritual by nature is polyvalent and is subject to a range of theological interpretations. The EF can be celebrated quite joyfully and authentically by those who tend to emphasis such Vatican II themes as “the people of God” and the common priesthood of all the baptized. Likewise, the OF seems quite capable of serving the purposes of untramontanists who view the Church as a perfect society.

    So the idea that something happened at Vatican II that now makes it impossible to celebrate the pre-Conciliar rite with theological integrity leaves me unconvinced. I think there are plenty of reasons to prefer the OF to the EF, but I don’t think ecclesiology is very prominent among them.

      1. @Kelly Marie Santini – comment #10:
        Kelly – suggest going to this overview by Richstatter:

        http://www.tomrichstatter.org/eEucharist/e00index.htm#Part_2_History

        Sorry, don’t have the link to the video of a 1962 low mass but would differ with Deacon’s comment….there is significant and substantial differernces between the EF and OF.

        Simply, VII, SC can best be summarized by the use of the Emmaus story….none of this is capture in the EF. VII laid out a new order of mass – simply, we have the liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the table…nothing comparable in the EF. And that is just the high points.

        OF starts as the community eucharist – it is the people of God making present and being filled with both the word of God and the body/blood of Christ; This communal action is a verb; not about objects. It is a meal in which we remember the sacrifice of Christ – on many levels it is both/and and not either/or which you find in the EF. Its focus is mission. The choice of language to describe the eucharist is very different and what Richstatter outlines above touches on many of the differences

      2. @Kelly Marie Santini – comment #10:
        I would recommend going on YouTube and searching for “Traditional Latin Mass” or “Extraordinary Form Mass.” Watch it with an open mind. Even better would be to attend one in person. Fritz gave a decent overview of the differences, while Bill is, IMO, very biased against the EF. What stuck with me the most after attending the EF for the first time was how incredibly overblown the criticism of it was.

      3. @Jack Wayne – comment #23:
        YouTube? No thanks.

        I have no question that Traditional Latin Masses, even with rubrical trip-ups here and there, are done with attention, affection, and prayerfulness.

        But the issue isn’t how well liturgy is celebrated. The matter goes beyond likes and dislikes. It’s about a willingness (or lack thereof) to engage conciliar theology and commit to that root Christian virtue: reform.

        Unwillingness to reform can be treated with sensitivity in individual situations. But as a whole, the resistance of traditional Catholics to reform and renewal raises serious questions that are not resolved by their usually beautiful and occasionally sublime music, or the creases in well-pressed duds.

        It’s a matter not only of ecclesiology, but also spirituality.

    1. @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #5:
      Deacon Fritz,
      I truly enjoy your posts here and the very thoughtful analysis that you offfer.
      I would agree with you that councils don’t inaugurate new theologies that invalidate previous legitimate theologies. However, that does not preclude that they can and do inaugurate new understandings of who and what the Church is and what it is to be in this time and place. Vatican II indeed inaugurated new practice and beliefs that are not compatible with prior beliefs and practices in regard to ecclesiology.I think you would agree that something indeed changed. Ritual by nature is not polyvalent, symbols are.
      The liturgy uses the world of the symbol to create a miriad of meanings accessible by faith. Rites do have ecclesiologies. Henri de Lubac once said the Church makes the Eucharist and the Eucharist makes the Church. This is a profound way of saying that the Body of Christ is defined by celebrating itself and recieving itself in the celebration of Eucharist. St. Augustine once said “Be what you see, receive what you are”. I am reminded of this each Sunday when were are missioned with the words “Go in peace glorifying the Lord by your life”. So the eucharist is a rehearsal of the christian life, of what the Church is to be outside of the assembly. I would caution you against putting a Vatican II overlay of ecclesiology (people of God and the common priesthood) over a rite for which these understandings would be foreign such as you do with the EF. The EF and OF do indeed celebrate different understandings of the Church. You can celebrate the pre-conciliar rite with integrity. You just can’t say they celebrate the same understanding and vision of Church.

      1. @Mike Burns – comment #43:
        Mr. Burns,

        Could you explain what you mean when you say:
        1) new conciliar theologies don’t invalidate previous legitimate theologies but they do/can inaugurate theologies/practices that are incompatible with previous ones. I assume this has something to do with the impossibility of giving a ‘people of God’ overlay to an EP liturgy.
        2) ‘Rites by nature are not polyvalent, but symbols are.’ I’m not sure what to make of this. It seems as if you’re suggesting that ritual actions have clear, finite meanings. But isn’t that a point of cont

      2. @Mike Burns – comment #43:
        Mike,

        I’m not sure I’m convinced by your distinction between rite and symbol, but I’ll have to think about it some more.

        I think one reason why I resist the idea that the preconciliar rites are somehow “foreign” to the theology of the council is that I have a great love for much of the theology done in the decade before the council (de Lubac, Congar, Danielous etc.). Indeed, I sometimes describe myself as a “1950s liberal.” I think two of the best works of sacramental theology of the 20th century are Herbet McCabe’s The New Creation (1964) and A. M. Roguet’s Christ Acts Through the Sacraments (1954), both of which presume the preconciliar rites. Despite this, they have, in my estimation, in no way been surpassed in terms of clarity and cogency — I’d take either of them over Chauvet channeling Heidegger. Moreover, they express an ecclesiology that is entirely compatible with Vatican II (indeed, McCabe has a chapter entitled “The People of God”).

        So while there are good reasons for preferring, on the whole, the reformed rites (and I know for a fact that McCabe had little time for those who opposed the liturgical reforms), I just don’t see the radical disjuncture between the preconciliar and post-conciliar liturgies and ecclesiologies that some here do. Yes, something certainly “happened” at Vatican II, but I can’t believe it was the inauguration of an entirely new theological world.

      3. @Mike Burns – comment #43:

        Mike,

        Thank you for your comments. I have been thinking about Fritz’s comments with a bit of unease, and you helped focus it.

        Fritz,

        The example that comes to my mind is the Trinity. It is not an innovation of the first Councils, but it certainly transformed the liturgy afterwards. There was not a bright line distinguishing heretic from faithful, but a spectrum. Those close to the Arians (or the semiArians lol) would not have used Trinitarian language in the liturgy, but under the influence of the Councils, incorporated it. Hundreds of years passed before that happened, unlike the few since this last Council, but I do not think it is unreasonable to think that ecclesiology has been clarified enough that pre-Vatican liturgies are inadequate to express our understanding of the faith.

      4. @Jim McKay – comment #59:
        The example of Nicaea and the doctrine of the Trinity is an interesting one, though I think it tends to support my view (well, I would think that, wouldn’t I?).

        As Jungmann argued in The Place of Christ in Liturgical Prayer, the classic Roman pattern of liturgical prayer is to direct it to the Father, through the Son. Liturgical prayers to the Son or to the entire Trinity are rare, and comparatively late additions to the Roman Rite. One might argue that this archaic pattern of praying implies a subordinationist view of the Son as not being “God from God” but merely a mediator. Indeed, an anonymous Arian writer in the early 4th century even quotes a Roman (or at least Italian) preface that, to his mind, clearly indicated the subordination of the Son to the Father.

        Even though these prayers were amenable to an Arian interpretation, there was no move after Nicaea (or, perhaps more importantly, Constantinople) to change the pattern of praying. Pre-Nicene liturgies were deemed adequate to express the theology of Nicaea, even though some opponents of Nicaea were claiming that they implied a rejection the the council’s theology.

        Eventually, the Council of Nicaea made its effect felt liturgically, as in the prayer before the sign of peace (addressed to Jesus) or the offertory prayer suscipe sancta Trinitas, but it did not require a wholesale rewriting of the liturgy.

      5. @Mike Burns – comment #43:
        Mr. Burns, I too had difficulty understanding your post. Perhaps you could clarify:
        1) How councils don’t invalidate previous legitimate theologies but they can inaugurate new practices and beliefs that are not compatible with prior beliefs and practices. Maybe I’m missing a nuance here between invalidation and incompatibility and I think I see that it has something to do with not being able to put a Vatican II overlay on the EF, but I’m not sure why that should follow what you initially claim.
        2) How is ritual not polyvalent but symbols are? Are you suggesting that rituals have clear and definite meanings even though the ‘tools’ they use (symbols) have many possible meanings?

        I agree wholeheartedly that the liturgy, especially the Eucharistic liturgy, is the self-performance of the Church, but I hesitate to say that that self-performance comes with clear definition of the Church’s self-understanding. To say that rites have ecclesiologies not only imposes intellectual abstractions (ecclesiologies – n.b. I am not saying these intellectual abstractions are bad or unnecessary in general) onto concrete acts, it also has to fabricate an ideal, abstract rite to make the claim work.
        Finally, it also raises the serious question of how legitimate liturgical diversity can possibly exist. If rites have ecclesiologies and these can be non-compatible, are we to say that Eastern/Ambrosian/Mozarabic Catholics cannot understand themselves according to the ecclesiologies articulated at Vatican II because their rites are not the OF Roman Rite?
        I think, following the notion that liturgy is the self-performance of the Church, one CAN say that ritual acts in the concrete can lead to a tentative ‘ecclesiology of the rite’, but the acts must be taken ‘accumulatively’ – that is, one act alone can’t indicate much at all because it takes place in a series of ritual actions that fit together. As such, I think most rites can and do perform most abstract…

  6. Sorry, Deacon, would support Fr. Ruff and disagree with your comments for these reasons taken from Thomas Richstatter:

    The Scholastic Period up to the Second Vatican Council

    1. The discussion shifts from what change takes place to how does the change take place.

    2. Adapting the theory of hylomorphism of the recently rediscovered Greek philosophers (Aristotle, etc) the “how” of the change is explained in terms of “substance” and “accidents.”

    3. The focus shifts to the elements (bread and wine) and away from the Church (people).

    4 The scholastic theologians using the principle Lex Orandi, had a very limited Lex Orandi. They did not have at their disposal the research into the history of the Eucharistic Prayer (see, for example, Anton Hänggi and Irmgard Pahl. Prex Eucharistica: Textus e variis liturgiis antiquioribus selecti. University of Fribourg. 1968).

    5. The Eucharistic Prayer is the prayer of the priest. It is said sub secreto (silently). Ordinarily there are no people present, and if they are present they are not the concern of the priest.

    6. As they do not have an epiclesis, and as the prayer is the prayer of the priest, the focus shifts to the “words of Jesus” as said by the priest.

    7. This experience is the elaboration of a theology of “consecration” and “priesthood”.

    8. No one but the priest receives communion, and so naturally the “meal” and “Last Supper” dimensions of the Eucharist recede into the background and the emphasis shifts to “sacrifice” and “Good Friday”. “The Mass is the sacrifice of the New Law in which Christ, through the ministry of the priest, offers Himself to God in an unbloody manner under the appearances of bread and wine.” (Baltimore Catechism, 357.)

    9. The Eucharist / The Mass is identified with the Consecration. E.g. a text book from circa 1900: “The Mass is the words of Consecration with prayers before and after.”

    10. The elevation is added to the Mass, first of the host and then of the cup. To “attend Mass” is to “see the consecration” (or fencing the consecration, we have Offertory / Consecration / (priest’s) Communion. Period of “ocular communion” (Medieval accounts of people shouting: “Hold it higher, Father John!”)

    11. Elevation: Ritual becomes more elaborate; bells alert the congregation; tower bell calls people back into the church building. (People would come in from the bar across the street!) Servers, move, incense; (OFM Flash Bulbs) etc.

    12. The words “Hoc est enim corpus meum” printed in extra large type, and said in special voice by the priest, bent low over the elements.

    13. Choir also stopped singing the Sanctus at this moment and then resumed singing the remainder of the Sanctus.

    13. Catechesis: The people were taught that at this moment they were to interrupt their devotions and prayers (rosary, prayer book, etc) and to look at the host and say “My Lord and My God.”

    Period Three: The Second Vatican Council Period (c. 1960 – 1990)

    1. Intense historical research in connection with the Liturgical Movement. (e.g. Anton Hänggi and Irmgard Pahl. Prex Eucharistica: Textus e variis liturgiis antiquioribus selecti. University of Fribourg. 1968.)

    2. The Eucharistic Prayer is seen to be one unified prayer, not twelve individual elements. “…with the eucharistic prayer, the prayer, namely of thanksgiving and consecration, we come to the heart and culmination of the celebration.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1352.)

    3. Balance of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday. Restoration of frequent Communion for the laity. Restoration of the cup to the laity. Eucharist is not just “looking” but “eating and drinking”. Meal is the sign of the sacrifice. Meal is to Sacrifice as Sacramental Sign is to Reality Signified.

    4. Restoration of the Epiclesis in the Eucharistic Prayers. Restoration of the theology of the Holy Spirit’s role at Eucharist. (except for the Roman Canon)

    5. Enlarging the notion of “consecration” and “Real Presence” 1) the Whole Eucharistic Prayer is “consecratory” 2) SC 7 — Christ is present in the Assembly, the Scripture Readings, the Bread and Wine… (CCC while the eucharist is substantially real, the other presences are real also.)

    6. The words of institution are spoken to God in the name of the congregation as is the rest of the prayer and not spoken to the elements themselves as in the Missal of Trent.

    7. “Moment of consecration” is expanded from “This is my body…” to the whole of the Eucharistic Prayer. Less emphasis on the manual gestures during the Eucharistic Prayer in favor of the “great toast” during the Doxology. These words are to be printed in the Sacramentary in the same type font as the rest of the prayer. The whole prayer is to be in the same font and type face to show that it is one unified prayer.

    8. “The Eucharistic Prayer, the center and summit of the entire celebration, summarizes what it means for the Church to celebrate the Eucharist. It is a memorial proclamation of praise and thanksgiving for God’s work of creation and salvation, a proclamation in which the Body and Blood of Christ are made present by the power of the Holy Spirit and in which the people are joined to Christ in offering his sacrifice to the Father. The Eucharistic Prayer is addressed to the Father through Jesus Christ, by the priest celebrant in the name of all who are present. The faithful profess their faith and give their assent through dialogue, acclamations, and the Amen. Since the Eucharistic Prayer is the summit of the Mass, its solemn nature and importance are enhanced when it is sung.” (Pastoral Introduction to the Order of the Mass, 111)

    9. When Trent that the bread truly becomes the body of Christ at the moment of consecration, Trent was defining that the change takes place. They were not defining when the change takes place.

    Given this explication, your software comparison badly limps for me. We believe that the core beliefs are always present but how we explain, understand, present, act, and live these truths do change and that may mean that rites change as does our understandings of church, liturgy as public prayer, etc. (without that, we are faced with outdated concepts; you ignore the reality of Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi; etc.;)

    Deacon – to your summary, here is a brief summary of changes that, as Pual Inwood aptly describes, seems more US centered than worldwide Church, theology, sacramental practice, etc.

    Period Four: Today (c. 1990 – 2010)

    1. Return to “consecration” language in GIRM 2001.

    2. This will help increase the “transcendent” nature of God and the “mysterious” elements of the Eucharist.

    3. It will give priests a renewed sense of priestly identity. It will emphasize the power of the priest received at Ordination and will foster (much needed) vocations to the priesthood. GIRM 2001, 93: “A priest also, who possesses within the Church the power of Holy Orders to offer sacrifice in the person of Christ ….. When he celebrates the Eucharist, … by his bearing and by the way he says the divine words he must convey to the faithful the living presence of Christ.” “This is my body…”

    4. Return to emphasis on the consecration moment, e.g. the comportment of the priest, bells, etc.

    GIRM 2001 #43, states that if the people are not kneeling, they should “make a profound bow when the priest genuflects after the consecration.”

    #150 “A little before the consecration, when appropriate, a server rings a bell as a signal to the faithful. According to local custom, the server also rings the bell as the priest shows the host and then the chalice. … If incense is used, a server incenses the host and the chalice when each is shown to the people after the consecration.”

    #151. “After the consecration when the priest has said, Mysterium fidei (Let us proclaim the mystery of faith), the people sing or say an acclamation using one of the prescribed formulas.”

    In the glossary section of the Catechism consecration is defined as: “that part of the Eucharistic Prayer during which the Lord’s words of institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper are recited by the priestly minister, making Christ’s Body and Blood . . . sacramentally present under the species of bread and wine” (872).

    Deacon Don – based upon the US episcopal rulings in 2010 and its interpretations, have seen 25 years of our parish liturgy move backwards – we now have bell ringing during the institution narrative, various visiting priests will elevate (like other commenters have noted interfering with the unity of the eucharistic prayer); the priest and deacon have their own chalice, the EMs must bring the chalices back to the sacristy and then stream back into their pews (credence table is ignored); hosts are consolidated at the altar and returned to the tabernacle at the side chapel (taking time, disrupting the movement, and ignoring other VII and SC norms about using bread blessed at the mass. It appears that the change eliminating EMs from purification have opened the door to pastors implementing even more changes and restoring the *proper* role of the priest/deacon touching the body/blood. (really makes little sense, EM can given communion but can’t purify – why?_

    1. @Bill deHaas – comment #11:
      Bill, sorry, but I have a bit of knowledge about medieval sacramental theology myself and I am afraid that much of what Richstatter claims is in fact a caricature of scholastic eucharistic theology that has been called into question by any number of recent theologians and historians. In particular, the linking of medieval Eucharistic theology to Aristotle is just flat wrong; the basic contours of the doctrine of transubstantiation are worked our in the 11th century, before any substantive engagement with Aristotle in the West. And, as I’ve noted before, his reliance on the Baltimore Catechism to take the measure of the sacramental theology of a 700-year-long period is, to say the least, problematic.

      Kelly, the EF is the latest term for the form of Mass celebrated prior to the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. The most obvious difference is that the EF can only be celebrated in Latin, while the Ordinary Form (i.e. the Mass as reformed after Vatican II) can be celebrated in Latin or a modern vernacular. So the music of the Extraordinary Form can be used with the OF, but much of the music we are familiar with in the OF could not be used in the EF, because it is not in Latin.

      The differences between the two go beyond language, however. The actual Order of Mass is different, with the OF being (to put it too simply) “streamlined,” with some prayers that crept into the order of Mass over the centuries being eliminated (such as the prayers at the foot of the altar) or radically altered (such as the prayers at the preparation of the gifts). The OF also has more flexibility and variety — most notable a variety of Eucharistic prayers where the EF has only one.

      There is lots more that could be said, but I’m sure you’ll learn more as time goes on.

      1. @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #12:

        Deacon – yes, you have made clear that you disagree with some of what Richstatter’s says and his teaching style (J. Vas – you make a like point)

        First, we can argue about historical drill downs…..as Mr. Vas says, Richstatter is clearly laying out summaries and draws time periods that are not set in concrete. Would suggest that his teaching method starts with where his students are at (they are not theologically nuanced, etc.) and his summaries are to make broad comparisons and differences that can eventually lead to drill downs and discussions, points, etc. (so, yes, you can probably nit pick what he is doing but does that discredit his method or his points?)

        Deacon – think you are reading too much into Richstatter’s basic, clear comparison (in fact, suggest that he did not make the Aristotle connection you imply (caricature of scholastic theology, etc. and grant that he is making sweeping generalizations but generalizations that have a grain of truth. His task was not to drill down on whether scholastic categories emerged in Paris distinct from Greek/Moslem influence (sorry, that is also a theory that is debatable))….rather, it suggests that the Trentan categories came from Greek philosophy that made its way to Europe via Spain and Moslem philosophers in crooked lines – but that is really not his point; and that nuance takes away from what he is trying to say about eucharistic understanding in two different periods). And yes, any time you make time periods; you can find exceptions; you can say that it took a couple of hundred years for that summary to coalesce and be apparent….but, does that discredit his comparison.

        Finally, he doesn’t *rely* upon the Baltimore Catechism….he uses that as a teaching tool because it is what his students know and start with. It is actually a very effective teaching method…again, think you are reading way too much into this teaching tool. (yes, a catechism statement is not a nuanced…

      2. @Bill deHaas – comment #17:
        It could be a nitpick….but my point was simply that it’s not something proved from the books themselves. If he would like to say that that was how it was practiced in many parishes, held by various scholars and liturgists, promoted by various publications- he can make that argument. Nothing wrong with his points, but if he points to X, Y and Z in support of it, and X, Y and Z were present in the 1970s – that leaves it up to him to support it in another (or more nuanced) manner.

    2. @Bill deHaas – comment #11:

      I think some of the list is a bit too nicely delineated. Even in 1970, the typeface of the Dominical Words (admittedly expanded) was different from the rest of the Prayer. The whole latter part about divine words said by the priest and his bearing was there in 1969 itself, and the main difference in your citation between 1970 and 2001 is that “Church” replaces “community of the faithful”. Similarly, bells, incense, etc. were options in the 2nd (1970) IGMR – the innovation of the 2000/2 IGMR lies in inserting additional rubrics within the description of the Order of the Mass for consistency. Ditto with the bow, which was a 70s era instruction that was merely incorporated into the IGMR.

      As for ‘moment of consecration’ wording being expanded to the whole Prayer: while that might certainly be the opinion of many liturgists/scholars/others, one might be hard-pressed to prove that thesis from the book itself since the missal and IGMR both bear the residues of scholastic theology. As an example, the 1969 IGMR contains at least 3 references that identify the “consecration” with the Institution, while the 1970 IGMR contains at least 6-7.

  7. Re: elevations….it’s rather interesting/curious that the translation of the IGMR that came along with the new missal uses the word “elevation” in several minor rubrics instead of “showing” as the Latin text would require. This harkens back to the period when the Latin itself used “elevationem” (or similar) for these rubrics in the first 2-3 editions of the IGMR, before it was uniformly changed in 1975 throughout the IGMR.

  8. Joshua,

    The Latin has never used the word “elevation” (except for the elevation during the doxology at the end of the EP). Even the Missal of 1570 never used “elevation” after the words of consecration in the Canon. It has always been “shows” to the people at that point in the Prayer.

    1. @Paul Inwood – comment #16:
      Paul, I was speaking about the rubrics in the IGMR, not the Ordo Missae; see for example, nn. 109, 174c, 184c, 187c, 233 in the 1970 IGMR, which term the showing of the consecrated species an “elevation”.

  9. I’m not familiar with Richstatter’s work, but my reaction to Mr. deHaas’s summary of his views of scholastic sacramental theology was exactly as Deacon Bauerschmidt’s.
    And while my own thoughts don’t add much to what has already been said (and probably will be said), I’d like to point out that even in a particularly ‘aristotelian’ view of the change of bread and wine into the Body and Blood like Thomas’s, Aristotelian metaphysics is completely turned on its head – the accidents and substances don’t do what they ever do, to the point where saying that Thomas’ theology (and subsequent sacramental theology following him [we’ll leave aside Scotus’s and Ockham’s proposals]) gives an ‘explanation’ of how the change happens is a bit of a stretch because the explanation is impossible according to any natural account of change. In other words, Thomas is presenting us with a miracle and the details he provides are to counter potential (and very real) errors, for instance that the change is one of local motion, or that the change occurs in increments, etc.
    That might be nit-picking, but even if drawing a comparison btw medieval/tridentine sacramental theology and post-Vatican II theology is legitimate (and it surely can be), drawing a fair and accurate comparison is surely better – for one thing, it will encourage us (hopefully) to view our forebears with more charity and recognize that in some instances the concerns they had were 1) different than ours but 2) wholly legitimate and 3) perhaps worthy of our own consideration lest we repeat errors they sought to avoid (local motion of substance, incremental change – which is particularly liable to creep in as we [rightly] see the words of institution in the context of the whole rite)…

  10. Isn’t ecclesiology clearly the critical issue beneath the arguments advanced by advocates for the EF and OF? When full, active, and conscious participation in the Mass as called for in the Missal of Paul VI took hold, a revolution occurred in how Catholics perceived the church and their role in it. The former rite certainly made it appear that the priest lived in a world apart from them with regard not just to worship but to all church activity. But with the changes in the way Mass was celebrated people had access to a new understanding of their baptismal vocation. They discovered that the church has a mission to achieve which very much involves them. There followed an explosion of ways in which the baptized could serve this mission. Since they were being encouraged to receive Holy Communion frequently, they began to contend with their own call to holiness. All one has to do is review the list of canonized saints to realize that nearly all of them were either ordained or consecrated religious. And while the latter are technically designated as lay persons, it only serves to underscore the distortion of describing 99% of the church by their non-ordained status. In the church of the old Mass every lay person knew they had little in common with nuns.
    Make no mistake about it, there were serious difficiences in pre-Vatican II ecclesiology which has everything to do with similar deficiencies in sacramental and liturgical theology. Does this mean that VII represents a clear break from what went before? There are both continuities and discontinuities that we simply are learning to live with. This presents me no problem because I don’t have a problem with a human church that grows and develops, that makes mistakes and can learn from them.

    1. @Jack Feehily – comment #22:
      This comment tells it all as far as I am concerned, albeit as anoutsider as far as full communion goes.
      It is not that Mass must be just like Emmaus, but if Emmaus fits the rite, it is sound. EF is just too far away form the basic thrust of the Emmaus story.

  11. Attention to detail without being factious is possible in both forms of the Mass. It seems, though, that only the scrupulous in terms of the EF Mass, now and then, obsess on liturgical precision in a robotic way and see this as the essence of the ritual. In most cases, the laity don’t see any of these antics except the back of the priest.
    With the OF Mass, and the priest facing the congregation, scrupulosity takes on new forms such as which host does father use, does he let his chalice go to the laity too and are all the other chalices equal in ulginess or beauty.
    This thing with eccesiiology and the liturgy is truly a puzzle and I don’t think that in 33 years of priesthood anyone came to compliment me about the ecclesiology of the liturgy either in the EF or OF in fact I think in the minds of 99.9% of the laity it is completely off the radar screen. I think most come to Mass to fulfill obligation, be nourished and sustained in some way by God’s word and the homily and receive our Lord in Holy Communion. They may know a few of their parishioners but most of them they don’t know, but these people know they are all Catholics on a “walk” or “pilirgimage” that one day, God willing, will end up in heaven. I think most come for healing and encouragement and strength, not for ecclesiology. Both Masses have Christ the Head and His Body, the baptized, priests and laity at Mass–that’s the Church, period.

    1. @Kelly Marie Santini – comment #55:
      Kelly – please note his saying – “VII is certainly authoritative as are subsequent decrees including SP” that fits his ideology but councils have much greater authority than an individual pope’s motu proprio….this statement is a rationalization that leaves one with the belief that everything is the same – they are not. It is an approach that distills everything down to individual likes and dislikes.

  12. We have a new pastor who has his own, rather small, chalice and who engages in the various activities described in the original post. I have made a conscious effort not to read too much into these gestures and have tried to wait and see what kind of ecclesiology might emerge from his preaching and writing. I was not encouraged, alas, when his first contribution to the parish newsletter was a description of the parish as a “pyramid”–with him and Jesus at the top. While the emphasis was on the need for all “blocks” in the pyramid to keep it alive, I found the metaphor rather, well, medieval and monarchical (I write as a medieval historian–“medieval” need not be a pejorative term, but I’m not sure it suits Southern Wisconsin in 2013).

    I am still not drawing any conclusions from any of this–just waiting, watching, and praying that an inclusive parish will continue to thrive under new leadership and with new liturgical vessels.

  13. Forgive me for being thick, but doesn’t ostentatio have the note of making visible, presumably for a long enough time for people to get a good look at it, whereas elevatio has no note of visibility at all?

    Put another way, when “back in the day” the priest interpreted the rubric to show the Host and chalice after the Words of Institution had been said, he interpreted it as an ostentatio, raising them high over his head and for a while, showing them to the people.

    When, on the other hand, he interpreted elevatio at the “Minor Elevation” as it was then called, he lifted them a bit, but not enough to be seen, or for a long time, since there was no ostentatio called for in the rubrics.

    Asked in another way, do I really hope, when I pray the Salve Regina, that the Blessed Mother through her prayers will allow me an ever-so-brief-but-not-protracted glimpse of the blessed fruit of her womb?

    The argument from the Latin in the initial post seems to complain that the priest clearly and plainly shows the sacred species to you when he is told to and that he does not when he is not.

  14. Sean Connolly : Forgive me for being thick, but doesn’t ostentatio have the note of making visible, presumably for a long enough time for people to get a good look at it, whereas elevatio has no note of visibility at all? Put another way, when “back in the day” the priest interpreted the rubric to show the Host and chalice to the people after the Words of Institution had been said, he interpreted it as an ostentatio, raising them high over his head and for a while, showing them to the people. When, on the other hand, he interpreted elevatio at the “Minor Elevation” as it was then called, he lifted them a bit, but not enough to be seen, or for a long time, since there was no ostentatio called for in the rubrics. Asked in another way, do I really hope, when I pray the Salve Regina, that the Blessed Mother through her prayers will allow me an ever-so-brief-but-not-protracted glimpse of the blessed fruit of her womb? The argument from the Latin in the initial post seems to complain that the priest clearly and plainly shows the sacred species to you when he is told to and that he does not when he is not.

  15. The Latin has never used the word “elevation” (except for the elevation during the doxology at the end of the EP). Even the Missal of 1570 never used “elevation” after the words of consecration in the Canon. It has always been “shows” to the people at that point in the Prayer.

    Paul, it would help if you looked at the Ritus Servandus of the 1962 Mass and not just the ordinary.

    …dicit: Hoc est enim Corpus meum. Quibus prolatis, .celebrans tenens hostiam inter pollices et indices prasdictos super altare, reliquis manuum digitis extensis, et simul iunctis (et hostiis, si plures sint consecratae, in loco, in quo a principio Missae positae sunt, super corporale vel in alio vase aut calice demissis) genuflexus earn adorat. Tune se erigens, quantum commode potest, elevat in ahum hostiam, et intentis in earn oculis (quod et in elevatione calicis facit) populo reverenter ostendit adorandam; et mox sola manu dextera ipsam reverenter reponit super corporale in eodem loco unde earn levavit, et deinceps pollices et indices non disiungit, nisi quando hostiam consecratam tangere vel tractare debet, usque ad ablutionem digitorum post Communionem.

    Todd:But the issue isn’t how well liturgy is celebrated. The matter goes beyond likes and dislikes. It’s about a willingness (or lack thereof) to engage conciliar theology and commit to that root Christian virtue: reform.

    You saying it repeatedly doesn’t make it true. Engagement is not the same thing as agreeing with you.

    1. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #29:
      I think Todd is exactly right – it is about engaging conciliar theology. Sam, I don’t see evidence that you’ve done that. In fact, I see repeated evidence that you nit pick and find loopholes so as to minimize conciliar renewal as much as you can get away with.
      awr

      1. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #35:
        You are right, no one knows much about you except for the things you post. On the other hand, that’s all Fr. Ruff was talking about – the things you post. It wasn’t a personal attack; at least, I didn’t read it that way.

    2. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #29:
      It has nothing to do with agreement with me. In fact, I would have a lot more respect for a traditionalist-leaning Catholic who acknowledged church teaching on liturgy and ecclesiology and conceded they had difficulty with it. That’s a fair sight less than agreeing mindlessly with conciliar ecclesiology.

      Every Christian is called to reform and renewal. In every sphere of the life of faith. If a Catholic doesn’t believe in that, they have abandoned the Roman understanding of the Sacrament of Penance. And if they practice it, it has likely become an empty exercise in personal devotion.

      1. @Todd Flowerday – comment #41:
        Why can’t someone disagree with the liturgical reform carried out after the council and still think Christians are called to reform and renewal? You do not adequately explain this position, and assume disagreeing with the post VII liturgical reform/renewal is the same as disagreeing with reform/renewal in general.

        Also, I don’t think you are qualified to say whether someone practices a sacrament in an empty way – especially when you have no evidence.

      2. @Jack Wayne – comment #44:
        “Why can’t someone disagree with the liturgical reform carried out after the council and still think Christians are called to reform and renewal?”

        It raises a question of integrity. It elevates human-made aspects of liturgy to a level accorded to Scripture. The public witness of traditionalists, those in schism and those not, seems to lean toward the need for others to change (the crappy music, the burlap banners, the moral relativism) but much of that seems a reflection of their own worldview.

        “You do not adequately explain this position …”

        Of course I don’t. These are blog comments, not essays. If you want a more thorough discussion on what I think, come to my web site.

        “I don’t think you are qualified to say whether someone practices a sacrament in an empty way – especially when you have no evidence.”

        Indeed, I’m not saying anything about anyone. I’m offering a speculation, a thought experiment. If all traditionalist Catholics embrace the notion of total and ongoing renewal, then their practice of the Sacrament of Penance is just fine.

      3. @Todd Flowerday – comment #47:
        It raises a question of integrity. It elevates human-made aspects of liturgy to a level accorded to Scripture.

        Isn’t the same thing being done by people who say you can’t disagree with the liturgical reform as carried out after the Council? If people today can disagree with the liturgy as celebrated in 1960, why can’t people today also disagree with the liturgy as celebrated in 2013?

        When another liturgical reform comes along, whichever direction it leads, there will be people who disagree with it… all the while acknowledging the need for their own continued reform and renewal.

      4. @Jeffrey Pinyan – comment #56:

        I think disagreeing is fine, if not needed.

        But, the way some people go about it, as evidenced by their often outrageous (like, literally) comments in the blogosphere, has been a real scary jaw dropper.

        For me anyway.

      5. @Jeffrey Pinyan – comment #57:
        Jeffrey, it’s a matter of credibility, tradition, and trust. A council of 2000 bishops reformed the liturgy. If you want to be Roman Catholic you get on board with it. If you don’t like some aspects of it, you suggest other reforms. Not reforming or rolling back someone else’s reforms.

        If I were to suggest liturgy in 2013 is deficient, I’m bound theologically and spiritually to base my criticisms on the base reforms overlaying the Roman Rite. Otherwise I would lack credibility, a connection with tradition, and a sense of trust in the work of the Holy Spirit.

        Lone voices calling from the vortex or the woods of Wisconsin? Sorry. Well-meaning individuals, perhaps. But not rooted in a living community of either worshipers or theologians.

        As for the matter of credibility and trust, people who show no personal limits with regard to their personal reform and renewal–those are the people I tend to look more strongly to for an example. Groups that deny the holocaust, who insult newcomers to their websites, who refer to the pope and others they disagree with in insulting terms–these people do not fill me with confidence.

        I’d rather get the liturgical reform we’re living through right before thinking of the next one.

      6. @Todd Flowerday – comment #83:

        As for the matter of credibility and trust, people who show no personal limits with regard to their personal reform and renewal–those are the people I tend to look more strongly to for an example. Groups that deny the holocaust, who insult newcomers to their websites, who refer to the pope and others they disagree with in insulting terms–these people do not fill me with confidence.

        If you had read my post at #65 in this thread, you might have noticed that I have attempted to foster civil dialogue on ecclesiology and liturgy between progressive and traditionalist Catholics. Comparisons such as the one you have given are not only gross distortions but also highly uncharitable. I am stunned.

        Todd, you speak of progress of an endless positive trajectory of belief, in which the past of belief is traded in much like one might trade up to a new car every few years. Perhaps the Roman rituals knew better: Janus, the Roman god of doorways, glanced forward and backward because all progress must not only be informed by the past but carry the accumulation of the past forwards to all decisions as if the past were still “alive”. A view of conciliar reform as a repudiation of the liturgical past repudiates also the mens of Roman Christian belief. At no time can any slate of belief be wiped clean. The Tridentine liturgy will always be with us, not as a thorn to the side, but rather if only because its moral and evil implications must always inform future decisions and actions.

        usquequo? I should dance to my annihilation, for at least that sacrifice would not be given to the theistic but that which is humanistic, not given to the unseen but to that which is tangible and “today”.

      7. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #85:
        I disagree.

        A traditionalist bishop embarrassed Pope Benedict by denying the Holocaust. The websites NLM and Rorate Caeli are realities.

        I’m all in favor of a civil and sound dialogue, and you have made great efforts to conduct that. I sincerely believe you and I would be fast friends and colleagues were we in a parish together, perhaps able to share a beer and a laugh at burlap and SSPX bishops alike.

        And no, I don’t have in mind trading for a new car every few years. I think we’re catching up on 450 years of stasis that has cost the Church very very dearly in terms of what might-have-been: a reunified Christianity, a China that looks like the Philippines, and Latin America not (still) in a state of missionary ordeal in the face of corruption, imperialism, and persecution.

        I am deeply, deeply dissatisfied with the way-things-are. And if a schismatic gets a little offended by my honesty, too bad about that.

      8. @Todd Flowerday – comment #87:

        A traditionalist bishop embarrassed Pope Benedict by denying the Holocaust. The websites NLM and Rorate Caeli are realities.

        I find it impossible to defend Rorate Caeli’s behavior in some of these regards. And Bishop Williamson’s behavior is execrable.

        But I’m absolutely mystified that you bring up New Liturgical Movement, which is about as sedate a traditional-leaning blog as exists today. Can you give us concrete examples at NLM where the editors have engaged in the kinds of activities you spoke of: “Groups that deny the holocaust, who insult newcomers to their websites, who refer to the pope and others they disagree with in insulting terms–these people do not fill me with confidence”?

      9. @Todd Flowerday – comment #87:

        You are right, Todd, to call out radical traditionalism for what it is. All Catholics have a duty to name evil within the Church. Pope Benedict was wrong to rehabilitate Richard Williamson and the other SSPX bishops. The faithful are not remiss for criticizing the previous pope. Quite the opposite — moral people must criticize their leaders when they present scandal as moral. This imperative has gotten me booted from at least one traditionalist website.

        The bright line does not need to be between moral behavior and evildoing. Delusion will suffice. I do not know about “mission”, and know absolutely nothing about any emotional reason to believe and have faith. I am convinced that a person must accept beliefs and testify faith because he or she has arrived at a deeply intellectual conviction. This latter belief is a grossly distorted view of belief, precisely because it excludes purposefully.

        After reflecting on the reasons for the end of the Tridentine liturgical era and the change of liturgical books, Paul VI said (audience, 26 November 1969), La risposta pare banale e prosaica: ma è valida; perché umana, perché apostolica.; “The answer seems banal and prosaic, yet still it’s true: because it is human, because it is apostolic.” “because it is apostolic“. Our Lord didn’t call Andrew and Simon to discipleship only on the condition that they learn to read and write.

      10. @Todd Flowerday – comment #48:

        Todd: It raises a question of integrity. It elevates human-made aspects of liturgy to a level accorded to Scripture.

        Most, if not all, positions on ecclesiology as expressed through liturgy will, at some point, try to explain their position through Scripture. This is not necessarily disingenuous unless one position attempts to define itself almost entirely through a pessimistic or even condemnatory appraisal of another position. In many circumstances, traditionalism has erred in this respect not because it holds to a distinctive ecclesiology, but because a great degree of its self-definition after the Council stems from a criticism of those who have implemented the conciliar directives differently. What’s sorely needed is a traditionalist understanding of ecclesiology in the post-conciliar period which does not rely on progressive viewpoints as a foil.

        The public witness of traditionalists, those in schism and those not, seems to lean toward the need for others to change (the crappy music, the burlap banners, the moral relativism) but much of that seems a reflection of their own worldview.

        No person or congregation should be denigrated for a particular licit liturgical practice. Some traditionalists view perceived slights against Tridentine worship as a justification for ridiculing other liturgical styles. This practice is not charitable. Also, this practice also undermines the construction of a rigorous traditional/ist “school” of ecclesiology-in-liturgy.

        I agree with you that traditionalists often incorrectly cloak their criticism of many post-conciliar liturgical practices as “morally relativistic”. I’m convinced this term is both inaccurate and damaging. I think many traditionalists are trying to articulate a deep-seated fear that the practice of the reformed liturgy is excessively humanistic. This point also requires greater clarification from within traditionalism.

      11. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #65:
        “What’s sorely needed is a traditionalist understanding of ecclesiology in the post-conciliar period which does not rely on progressive viewpoints as a foil.”

        That would be an enjoyable discussion in which to engage. Unfortunately, the Tridentine bishops allowed themselves to be maneuvered into an understanding of liturgy and ecclesiology that is essentially non-Reformation.

        “I think many traditionalists are trying to articulate a deep-seated fear that the practice of the reformed liturgy is excessively humanistic.”

        Perhaps some reformers have erred in implementation and adopt or reveal this view. On the other hand, sound reform strikes me as more incarnational rather than exclusively sacrificial. Maybe it’s more about the human aspect of Jesus. And maybe it’s a recognition of the importance of liturgy as a means of sanctifying grace.

        My sense, leaving behind the progressive worldview (whatever that might be) is that liturgical reform attempts to recover the entirety of Jesus Christ in the Gospels. Not just Good Friday, but Holy Thursday and Easter. Ascension. Pentecost. Nativity. Epiphany.

        My sense of Tridentine philosophy is not so much that it is incorrect, but incomplete. How would traditionalists wish to engage the Paschal Mystery–all of it–more directly and obviously. Or perhaps they think the 1962 Missal does that.

      12. @Todd Flowerday – comment #48:
        “It raises a question of integrity. It elevates human-made aspects of liturgy to a level accorded to Scripture. The public witness of traditionalists, those in schism and those not, seems to lean toward the need for others to change (the crappy music, the burlap banners, the moral relativism) but much of that seems a reflection of their own worldview.”

        The public witness of those opposed to the EF seems to lean similarly, and some seem to elevate the human-made reform to the level accorded to Scripture where the reforms produced after the council are non-negotiable and must be accepted.

        Many criticisms of the EF (and the ROTR) seem to be based around personal taste – particularly when they touch upon things that Vatican II was silent about (ad orientem, communion kneeling) or which the council spoke positively of (retaining Latin and Chant – which really can’t be wished away by invoking full, active participation). The condemnation of older style vestments, old-style churches, traditional music, and even lace are mostly personal taste issues. The difference in ecclesiology between the two rites is constantly invoked, yet not enough evidence is produced to prove that the old rite is inherently incompatible with Vatican II ecclesiology. Pointing out the personal flaws of traditionalists and how they view the Church isn’t really enough.

        “Indeed, I’m not saying anything about anyone. I’m offering a speculation, a thought experiment. If all traditionalist Catholics embrace the notion of total and ongoing renewal, then their practice of the Sacrament of Penance is just fine.”

        But I still don’t get how you came to that speculation. Could I speculate that those who oppose SP are not open to growth and renewal (even self-reflection), and thus may be practicing the Sacrament of Penance in an empty way?

      13. @Jack Wayne – comment #86:
        Maybe. But those who promote the modern Roman Rite don’t usually frame their stance in terms of what traditionalists do or shouldn’t do.

        The most convincing witness of modern liturgical theology looks to pastoral need, to the issues of the day (like evangelization) and to what-can-be.

        Not enough evidence of the incompatibility? I don’t see how a person can say that if they have read and discussed widely. If traditionalists don’t like the reforms they feel they’ve been bullied with, offer some others instead.

        If you want to continue what seems to have become a dialogue of 2 or 3, please contact me personally. I’m not hard to find. It doesn’t seem appropriate to keep discussing here.

  16. Nathan: The purification of the vessels is a practical act and should not be overemphasized. For this reason, I think it would be more desirable for it to be performed after Mass. However, if it must be done in Mass then it should be done reverently, but swiftly.

    It’s important to remember that the priest-celebrant is to recite the personal thanksgiving prayer quod ore sumpsimus (or vernacular analogue) while he is purifying the vessels. Shouldn’t there be at least enough time for the priest to recite this prayer?

    Would it be licit for a priest to purify the paten or a ciborium and one cup while reciting the prayer, while extraordinary ministers and/or acolytes move the remaining vessels to the sacristy?

    It’s probably better to ask the priests on PTB: do you find the personal thanksgiving after communion to be a meaningful prayer? The priest’s personal thanksgiving for offering Mass placeat tibi has been removed from the reformed Mass. Should quod ore sumpsimus be made optional or removed entirely?

    1. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #33:
      Should quod ore sumpsimus be made optional or removed entirely?

      When I first started reading the GIRM and the Sacramentary six years ago, I had a similar concern. I noticed at my parish (at the time) that the vessels were placed on a credence table after Communion, and then taken by EMHCs to the sacristy for purifying. It made me wonder if the Quod ore prayer was being prayed by the priest, the EMHCs, or by no one.

      At my most liturgically scrupulous (and after having seen an EMHCs dump the contents of a chalice down the sink — not the sacrarium — before purifying it) I went so far as to follow the EMHC (someone I knew) into the sacristy after a daily Mass to intercept (!) the handling of the vessels, purify them, and quietly pray the Quod ore prayer.

      Scrupulosity aside… I think the Quod ore prayer should be retained, but perhaps it should not necessarily be attached to the purification of the vessels (as I think it is).

  17. Ostentatious still doesn’t mean almost unnoticeable.

    I suppose my question is why are we showing it at all? To adore? Just to show them? If adoration, doesn’t the longer time make sense?

  18. OK, I’ll take just the first few of the points ascribed to Tom Richstatter:

    1. The discussion shifts from what change takes place to how does the change take place.

    The doctrine of transubstantiation is most certainly about the “what” and not the “how”: what changes is the identity (substantia) of the elements and not the appearance (species, or, as Aquinas sometimes puts it, the accidenta). To my knowledge, the only answer any scholastic gives to the question “how?” is “the infinite power of God.” Indeed, modern notions of transignification and transfinalization seem much more focused on the “how” than any medieval account was.

    2. Adapting the theory of hylomorphism of the recently rediscovered Greek philosophers (Aristotle, etc) the “how” of the change is explained in terms of “substance” and “accidents.”

    Apart from the fact that hylomorphism has to do with the composition of thing by matter and form and is only tangentially related to the terms “substance” and “accident” (inasmuch as some forms are substantial and some are accidental), the timing of this claim is off by at least a century, as I pointed out in an earlier comment.

    3. The focus shifts to the elements (bread and wine) and away from the Church (people).

    A partial truth at best. I’m presuming this is based on de Lubac’s claims about the shifting meaning of the term Corpus Mysticum. But the idea that the ultimate purpose (res tantum) of the Eucharist is the unity of Christ’s body is clearly taught by scholastics like Aquinas.

    4 The scholastic theologians using the principle Lex Orandi, had a very limited Lex Orandi. They did not have at their disposal the research into the history of the Eucharistic Prayer.

    This is true, but more would have to be said about why it is germane.

    5. The Eucharistic Prayer is the prayer of the priest. It is said sub secreto (silently). Ordinarily there are no people present, and if they are present they are not the concern of the priest.

    I’m not so sure about the “ordinarily there are no people present” — perhaps by the 15th century, but not so much earlier. And how do we know that the people present were of no concern to the priest? At least in Italy and England the sharing of the pax (admittedly, not in the form we do it today), which was initiated by the priest, was a central moment in the rite of Mass, indicating an understanding of the Mass as a communal activity that formed bonds of peace among the participants.

    6. As they do not have an epiclesis, and as the prayer is the prayer of the priest, the focus shifts to the “words of Jesus” as said by the priest.

    The focus on the words of Jesus are at least as old as Ambrose in the 4th century.

    Well, this has gone on long enough. My point is simply that trashing our ancestors in the faith by reading their thought and practice in the most unsympathetic way possible is really not the best way to justify our own thought and practice.

  19. Just to jump in again after Deacon Bauerschmidt has said anything I wanted to say about medieval sacramental theology in a far better manner, the issue at play in the closing claims of the original post is the demand for an extraordinary specificity of the relationships between liturgical actions and ecclessiology (or, as above, the Church’s self-understanding). This specificity is not only likely impossible, but it also can tend to treat ritual as subservient to thoughts – specifically ideology. That is, ritual is judged by the degree to which it conforms to and inculcates a particular set of views of x, y, and z. As ritual theory has pointed out, however, such a view of things very rarely explains why the ritual act itself is necessary to see the world in such a way and how it is that people don’t ‘receive the message’. I think it would be better to say that we do/perform/accomplish the Church in liturgy, and that’s why scrutinizing actions matters, but doesn’t entitle us to ‘put it all under an ecclesiologicsl micro-scope’.
    Saying that all ritual acts must be judged according to the ecclesiology expressed by them and this against the ‘self-understanding’ of the Church also seems to beg the question who’s doing and presenting the ‘self-understanding’. An obvious answer would be the magisterium – most recently, as expressed in the documents of Vatican II. But that seems an unacceptable answer opening big questions of hermeneutics, tradition, and the continuity of the Church, to say nothing about the role of criticism of the magisterium at any given time.

  20. Back to the post. IMHO I don’t think we would have much of this confusion if B16 hadn’t promoted SP and his “hermeneutics of continuity” and the subsequent “RotR”. Don’t think things are messed up, er, mixed up now? Just read the preceding comments.

    Hopefully Francis will be able to set the course straight by his “liturgical example” and lack of fanciful silliness. It takes time to right a large ship that has steered off course but he is slowly doing so. Just look at his recent Masses.

  21. “5. The Eucharistic Prayer is the prayer of the priest. It is said sub secreto (silently). Ordinarily there are no people present, and if they are present they are not the concern of the priest.

    I’m not so sure about the “ordinarily there are no people present” — perhaps by the 15th century, but not so much earlier. And how do we know that the people present were of no concern to the priest? At least in Italy and England the sharing of the pax (admittedly, not in the form we do it today), which was initiated by the priest, was a central moment in the rite of Mass, indicating an understanding of the Mass as a communal activity that formed bonds of peace among the participants.”

    Very true Deacon Fritz, see Duffy “The Stripping of the Altars,” pp. 93-94, 99-100, & 109-116. Also, the reception of blessed bread at the end of Mass on Sundays. This is still a custom in the Orthodox Churches today, both for those who commune and for those who don’t, so even they are provided for.

    It’s interesting to see the commonality, from this conversation and other threads here, that both traditionalists and reformists worry and debate about the same things, in much the same way, but from different angles.

  22. Six years ago now the Liturgical Commission of the Bishops Conference here in Japan sponsored a survey on discrepancies in the way priests celebrate the Eucharist. When I took on the role of head of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission this past spring among the paperwork I inherited was the results of the survey along with the responses of the national liturgical commission. Many of the points raised in the original post and subsequent comments are reflected there. As I have celebrated/concelebrated and observed Eucharists over the years the number of misunderstandings and misinterpretations of the GIRM and the rubrics of the RM have certainly not decreased. Perhaps we need to research the why behind this phenomenon in a more systematic way.
    In the meantime, yesterday – Sept 16th, a national holiday here in Japan – I ran a workshop with our Bishop – Bishop Nomura of Nagoya, Japan – on Liturgy and Ecclesiology. We worked through a series of key sections of SC, paras 5-7 and 14, and LG, paras 1, 4, 7 and 10, exploring the liturgical and or ecclesiological implications of each passage. Our aim above all was to promote a proper understanding of active liturgical participaton since the Japanese tend to a more passive attitude and have to be pushed occasionally into acting.
    Bishop Normura himself, by the way was a seminarian in Rome from 1960-64, and his professor of Liturgy was none other than Annibale Bugnini. Both during the workshop and afterwards he shared a few stories and memories of Bugnini.

  23. There is nothing in Vatican II that prevents anyone from having particular likes and dislikes when it comes to liturgy and ecclesiology. VII is certainly authoritative as are subsequent decrees including SP . The healthiest approach in 2013 is to allow for different tastes not only with EF & OF, but various styles in both. Reconciliation through flexibility is key. I truly appreciate Deacon Fritz scholarly musings above and his flexibility.

  24. Some Comments and a Different Interpretation on the Empirical Data in the Post

    1. I never notice chalices. I can’t even remember what the chalices in the several parishes that I attend look like.

    2. One young priest has not only an extraordinarily long elevation but also an extraordinary high one (as high as he can possibly reach)!!! I always sing the canon mentally using the priest’s spoken words as a textual reminder. My eyes are usually raised toward heaven rather than focusing upon the priest. At the end of each consecration I bow my head and usually do not raise it until the priest begins to speak again. In this case after a very long pause I looked up to see what was going on. For me this was an exhibitionistic act that called attention to the priest and disrupted rather than aided the liturgy.

    3. Another young priest spends an extraordinary long time, again a very, very long time, cleaning the chalice, etc. after communion. For me, again this is an exhibitionistic act of a priest calling attention to himself and disrupting the flow of the liturgy.

    4. Yet another young priest makes far too many and too long comments. For example after the doxology and before the Lord’s Prayer he will summarize and remind us of his homily. Again an exhibitionistic act drawing attention to himself rather than facilitating the integration of the liturgy which could have easily been done with a simple phrase.

    The problems of these priests are more likely to be psychological than theological. They may all have theological excuses for their self-referential behavior, but I don’t think theology is the problem. They need HELP!!!

    Given the flexible nature of the post-Vatican II liturgy, I doubt that any amount of agonizing over the black and the red will contain exhibitionistic tendencies.

    A possible solution is a totally sung liturgy including the EP as in the Orthodox Church. Such liturgies have their own rhythm and tend to move things forward and thereby make disruptions less tempting and more difficult to execute. Besides the priest has a constructive outlet for his self- centeredness in his singing.

  25. I am in Assisi as a part of a sabbatical program. One of our tour guides stated that St. Francis was concerned that his brothers not become too book learned or academic as it could ruin their simple faith. He has a point. Good being here.

      1. @John Drake – comment #63

        Just wondering (in response to the OP) why the priest using a different chalice is a different symbol than all of us consuming separate Hosts, the priest’s often being much larger….

  26. Fritz, I agree with you about Fr Richstatter’s material. It is good in parts, but it paints with too broad a brush. Ahistorical generalisations don’t serve the ‘progressive’ voice any better than they serve the ‘traditionalist’.

    However, I don’t follow you on the ‘backward compatibility’ metaphor. First, backward compatibility in software is limited. It goes back a generation or two, but then it stops; try running an application designed for a “classic” Mac, or a very early version of MSDOS/Windows, or – back in the Jurassic era when I first learned about computing – a deck of punched cards.

    Second, it seems to me that there are genuine changes, genuine developments. We have talked, on other topics, about a change in the attitude toward the state. Something similar applies to other Christian communities, to other religions and especially to Judaism. We don’t tell converts Horresce Judaicam perfidiam, respue Hebraicam superstitionem – and a good thing, too. That is ‘software’ that no longer operates, or no longer should operate. I don’t think the Church forbids the ordination of priests who lack the ‘canonical digits’. Good.

    My bigger concern about continued use of the Tridentine Mass is not as much in the texts itself (of the Mass or any of the rubrics) but in things that get associated with it, e.g. that no woman can enter the sanctuary, or that laypeople cannot touch the chalice because their hands are not anointed, or that the homily ‘is not part of the Mass’. And, even within ‘moderate’ traditionalism, calls for the end of democratic government and the return to a Christian royalty under the pope. All of that is obsolete software!

    1. @Jonathan Day – comment #68:

      And, even within ‘moderate’ traditionalism, calls for the end of democratic government and the return to a Christian royalty under the pope. All of that is obsolete software!

      Jonathan, I consider myself a very moderate traditionalist. I define “moderate traditionalist” as a Catholic who primarily attends the EF and prefers this form to the OF, but will also attend the OF when necessary. Similarly, a “moderate traditionalist priest” prefers to celebrate the EF, but will celebrate the OF as required.

      Heck, in the eyes of many traditionalists, my moderation disqualifies me as “traditional”. Still, I have yet to meet a moderate traditionalist who does not accept citizenship and life in a postmodern republic or constitutional monarchy. If you have met self-identified moderates who uphold neo-feudalism or monarchical autocracy, then I’m greatly saddened to learn this. In my experience, any Catholic who upholds either feudalism or autocracy won’t even walk in the shade of the porch of a mainstream Catholic church.

    2. @Jonathan Day – comment #68:
      Well, all analogies limp, don’t they, and this one might limp worse than most. Though you remarks about the limits of backward compatibility would seem to fit, at least to the degree that we no longer deem the prayers of the Didache suitable for use as the Eucharistic Prayer at Mass. But when it comes to the EF, we’re not talking about the liturgical equivalent of punch cards, are we? We’re talking about the immediately preceding version. But, like I said, maybe the analogy has run out of whatever steam it had to begin with.

      As to the connections between affection for the EF and royalism, doesn’t this seem something of an accidental correlation. After all, it was the liturgy that nourished Dorothy Day as well as Franco.

  27. “My bigger concern about continued use of the Tridentine Mass is not as much in the texts itself (of the Mass or any of the rubrics) but in things that get associated with it, e.g. that no woman can enter the sanctuary, or that laypeople cannot touch the chalice because their hands are not anointed, or that the homily ‘is not part of the Mass’. And, even within ‘moderate’ traditionalism, calls for the end of democratic government and the return to a Christian royalty under the pope. All of that is obsolete software!”

    You’ve hit the proverbial nail on the head JD especiallly when it is stated that one of the the reasons for allowing the Tridentine Mass is so the OF will become more “reverential”, in other words worship in the OF is somehow reverential lacking and there is a need to adopt some of the Tridentine Mass into the OF.
    We’ve some of this happen already……

  28. Jonathan – agree about the broad brush (but don’t see that as a negative (but then I would say that)). And don’t think that his broad brush is inaccurate as Paul Inwood states above…nor would I agree with Deacon’s opinion that “…. trashing our ancestors in the faith by reading their thought and practice in the most unsympathetic way possible”. This is an unkind evaluation that attributes motivation.

    Deacon cites H. McCabe, OP – here is a link:

    http://www.pford.stjohnsem.edu/ford/courses/sacramental-theology/docs/McCabe%20on%20Eucharist.pdf

    Some points raised:
    – hylomorphism…..suggests no linkage to Aristotle…and yet McCabe himself writes: “St Thomas talks of transubstantiation in
    language borrowed from Aristotle: he speaks of substance and accidents.” (see #35, number 2) He goes on: “It is important to recognise that, in using Aristotelean language, St Thomas is not giving an ‘Aristotelean’ explanation of the Eucharist. He uses it because it was the common philosophical currency of the time; but he uses it to give an account of something that simply could not happen according to Aristotle.” (not sure this is any different than the *broadbrush approach of Richstatter?)

    Just some random thoughts – OTOH, Mike Burns summarizes well.

    1. @Bill deHaas – comment #70:
      Bill,

      Your points from McCabe support Deacon Bauerschmidt’s point that Aristotelian philosophy is not the determining factor in medieval theology of the Eucharist. And what you’ve shown indicates a world of difference between McCabe’s rather more careful articulation of Thomas than the rather more distorting picture provided in summary of Richstatter above.

      Couple of points:
      First, again, hylomorphism refers to matter and form, not those things eventually discussed in Eucharist, substance and accidents. To say hylomorphism affected Ecuahristic theology and give evidence that refers to substance and accidents is simply an incorrect understanding of that to which hylomorphism refers.
      Second, supposing that the reference to hylomorphism only meant to indicate an excessive reliance on Aristotle, then as McCabe rightly notes, even in the case of Thomas, who readily borrowed from Aristotle’s philosophical vocabulary, the ‘explanation’ of the change that occurs in the Eucharist is an impossibility according to Aristotelian thought (you end up with the things that are supposed to be changing [the accidents] acting like a subject and the subject of change [the enduring substance] being that which changes into something substantially different – for Aristotle that’s nonsensical). Again, as said above, the goal is to clarify what is changing (the substance and not the accidents) and deny certain errors about that change (e.g. that it is not a change in location, that it is not gradual, etc.).
      Finally, all of that only applies somewhat later than Deacon Bauerschmidt is indicating when we can see the basic contours of medieval Eucharistic theology emerge, around 1100. To criticize medieval Eucharistic theology for excessive reliance on Aristotle can’t be right if it’s basic form was in place before Aristotle came on the seen. I suggest a better ‘culprits’ for the shape and interests of medieval Eucharistic theology are Ratramnus, Paschasius,…

  29. A thought experiment: A non-Catholic Christian of some stripe who has never attended a Catholic Mass is invited on successive Sundays to an EF and OF Mass. After each of the Masses, they are asked to address these questions: What does it say to you about the role of Sacred Scripture in Catholic worship? What does it say to you about the role of the priest? About the role of the people? About the Catholic understanding of worshiping God? Does anyone suppose the response would be anything like: They both seemed pretty much the same to me?

    1. @Fr. Jack Feehily – comment #72:
      And what if you took them to other rites, like the Byzantine (which is, IMO, more similar to the EF than the OF)?

      I did take a non Christian to an EF once and she was surprised to learn most Catholic Masses are not celebrated ad orientem because the priest seemed to be “one with the people” when in that position. I think non-Catholics might read the signs of the liturgy in a different way because they don’t have the same baggage and historical connotations attached to the EF and OF. I don’t think they would say the EF and OF are basically the same, but I bet they would read more “people of God” ecclesiology into the EF than the old rite’ s detractors are willing to admit.

  30. The Church has always had extremes of one kind or another. St. Francis is one example. So there are EF communities that embrace some of the things that Jonathan describe. Big deal and so what! We have a big umbrella.These are a small minority of Catholics. The bigger issues for the Chirch don’t lie with traditionalists at all, as fearful and phobic as so many here are and in a progressivist controlling sort of way, but rather the liberal extremists of the Church who have so disfigured the Faith and Liturgy using it for political and sociological ideologies rather than the mystical and Mysterion experience Christ desires for the Liturgy as a sign of His sacrificial love, forgiveness and healing/reconciliation. In other words its eschatological value.

  31. Brendan- two things:
    – highlighted one aspect of Deacon’s point – the connection to language that was Aristotlian….in fact,there is a link
    – you now go on and on drilling down about medieval or Thomistic theology – that was not Richstatter’s point…he presents a generalized outline in order to facilitate further comparison, investigation, etc. His overview is about an *average, common liturgy and folks understanding…your complaint is on the grounds of specific, drill down eucharistic theology (and was this reflected in the every day liturgies of those centuries; what did the common people understand; etc.
    – McCabe, IMO, fits into the thinkers that gave impetus to VII – like Congar, Schillebeeckx, etc. But, his speciality is not liturgy.

    So, your reference comparing Richstatter and McCabe limps at best…Richstatter is merely providing a liturgical broadbrush – nothing more; nothing less (yet, the objections are drill downs in terms of specific items such as medieval theology, etc….is that really the point of what Richstatter has provided? and my response was to show that even this is more complicated than what Deacon suggests using McCabe’s own article)

    Finally, whatever the specific points are around eucharistic theology – how that theology was articulated and experienced by the common folks in the church is the point of Richstatter’s broadbrush outline. (objection to the phrase – it was the priest’s mass – yet, would suggest that most scholars and teachers share this broad statement) Would suggest that some of you are taking a 1st year school of theology liturgy overview and critiquing it as if it is a summary of every specific eucharistic theology from 1100 onwards.

    McCabe’s sacramental theology (even if written in 1963) anticipates VII and SC/Consilium just as did the works of Rahner, Congar, Schillebeeckx, etc. Not sure that you can easily translate McCabe’s theology into a specific liturgical rite (whether pre or post VII).

    And am amused by some commenters – do you also attest to other positions articulated and held by McCabe – outraged over Humanae Vitae; supported end of celibacy requirement; didn’t support concelebration, etc. In many ways, McCabe is not unlike some of the folks who are now part of the Austrian or Irish Priests Organizations. Actually, love some of his well thought out positions, his stands, his provocative articles in BlackFriars (he was forced out of the editor position for three years because of something he said). But, it is hard to see how he fits into Consilium or the order of mass promulgated by Paul VI. In some ways feels like apples to oranges.

    1. @Bill deHaas – comment #77:
      Bill,
      I don’t think the comparison I make limps as I was responding to the comparison you yourself made between Richstatter and McCabe in your parenthetical comment “not sure this is any different than the broadbursh approach of Richstatter”. My point is that yes, it is very different.
      That McCabe is interested in explaining Thomas’ articulation of transubstantiation, and Aristotle therein, doesn’t complicate or rebut Deacon Bauerschmidt’s objection to the claim of Richstatter that medieval Eucharistic theology is the way it is because of Aristotelian hylomorphism.
      Yes, McCabe might very well be read as a thinker giving impetus to Vatican II, but it’s edifying that he could be so and have a deep appreciation of medieval (at least Thomas’) Eucharistic theology (like very many others). The manner in which Richstatter (or your summary above) broadly paints it (and broad stroke overviews are perfectly fine for some purposes), medieval or Tridentine theology is exclusively one of gross distortion and error. And while I am more than happy to defend Vatican II from schismatic traditionalists, and I willing to embrace its developments of dcotrine and outlook, I am unwilling to set those developments against the very tradition that nourished the minds of those at Vatican II (especially if that entails a false or highly misleading articulation of that tradition). Call it backwards compatible, call it hermeneutic of continuity, or whatever you want, my desire is to insist that whatever the change that occurred, it was not so great as to entail a break in the Church’s self-identity – because if the change was that great, then the schismatics would be right.
      A for McCabe’s other positions, I’d have to see his reasoning. I imagine we might very well agree about the end of the disciple of celibacy, but as for HV and concelebration, I’d need to see his arguments

  32. Sesame Street’s Word of the Day: “Limp”, actually three “limps” in a row (actually now 5 limps in a row because of me, er, make that 6 now).

  33. This is rich: “The bigger issues for the Church lie with the liberal extremists of the Church who have so disfigured the Faith and Liturgy using it for political and sociological ideologies…..”;

    While posting this elsewhere – BREAKING THE 8TH COMMANDMENT WITH VIRTRIOLIC COMMENTS ON BLOG POSTS AND IN OTHER VENUES; THE HOLY FATHER SAY NO; IT IS A WORK OF SATAN.

    And while on *supposed* retreat at Assisi…..sad.

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