Pray Tell continues its series on the liturgical history of Collegeville. The sub-series “From the Archives” reprints some of the Liturgy Committee meeting minutes from 1963 to 1969. This sub-series is a behind-the-scenes look at liturgy in Collegeville during and immediately after the Second Vatican Council.
The next record from the Liturgy Committee:
Minutes of the Liturgy Committee
November 2, 1964
Present were Fathers John, Daniel, Emeric, Michael, Aelred, Gerard, Brice, Wenceslaus, Leon, Fr. Mederic and Brother Gerard.
Father John opened the meeting with the announcement that Father Abbot would use the same power of commutation for the Office of the Dead for Nov. 6 (The Commemoration of the Deceased of the Monastery) that he used for our funeral liturgy. Further, in Masses of the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed we will keep the Mass of the Day but offer it for the intention of the faithful departed.
Next the committee discussed the petition to be recommended by the American Abbots at the meeting of abbots in Rome in 1965. One clause in the petition dealt with permission to recite the Office in the vernacular in public and private. Father John suggested deleting the phrase “in private,” since the abbots can give permission for vernacular private recitation even now. The committee stated that it did not agree with the principle of reciting all 150 Psalms weekly. The Roman liturgy no longer has this principle, and we would like more readings. Further, we want to recommend dropping Prime and two little hours, or at least making this “ad libitum.” Fr. Mederic wanted the principle of unity in diversity underlined, but it was pointed out by Fr. Aelred that this is what is meant by the notion of controlled experimentation. Both Fr. Mederic and Bro. Gerard would like surveys about what effect our lack of vernacular recitation of the Office would have on vocations. It was thought that such a survey would only be feasible after a year or so.
A number of comments on our present liturgical practices were made by members of the committee. Fr. Mederic said that people were leaving choir after Sunday Mass in a disordered fashion, spilling all over. Fr. Aelred repeated that people should not cut across the sanctuary, and that we had to inculcate in them the notion that the sanctuary is a sacred place.
It was suggested that we review the entire present form of our Mass, toning up our Sunday conventional Masses now and starting to work on an English High Mass for the first Sunday of Advent.