At least some of the impetus for the unfortunate “reform of the reform” movement comes from misguided practices, however well-intentioned, in the celebration of the reformed liturgy. When liturgical principles are misunderstood, or rubrics that are there for a reason are not observed, it gives fuel to those who criticize the Missal of Paul VI and claim that the liturgical reform itself must be reformed.
- A celebrant, no doubt intending to be welcoming, begins Mass with a cheery “Good morning!” This is so striking that it can only detract from the real greeting in the rite – “The Lord be with you.” It also gives an air of casual informality to the liturgy, lending credence to those who claim that the reformed liturgy is not “sacred enough. Fr. Aidan Kavanagh OSB had it right several decades ago: Secular greetings are not used in the liturgy.
- A celebrant, no doubt wanting to engage the congregation, eyeballs the people as he says to them in the Supper Narrative, “This is my body…, This is my blood…” But the Eucharistic Prayer is not directed at the congregation, it is directed to the Father. The priest is not play-acting Jesus at the Last Supper, he is speaking on behalf of the priestly people offerings its prayer, in Christ, to the Father. The play-acting lends credence to those who say that versus populum is a mistake and the priest should be re-oriented apse-ward.
What examples would you add?
And what is the most constructive and charitable way to move toward better celebration of the reformed liturgy?