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?
Where to start? The minimalization of music, especially on holy days and at the early Sunday Mass. The two-verse syndrome is more dangerous and defeating than the four-hymn sandwich. Too many personal stories from the preacher. Priests not turning off the microphone when it’s the people’s turn to talk.
As for the other question, you ask me late Sunday night after three Masses and a particularly uninspiring homily, and the best answer I can give you this moment is “I haven’t the foggiest clue.”
We need better preaching and better music. Investing in personnel is always a better way to go than investing in material resources. Or at least do it in a ratio of 2 to 1. We’ve never had a better potential repertoire of church music and more scholarly Biblical studies. We have to address the disconnect, which might start with demolishing the idea that sacraments (including ordination) are some sort of graduation ceremony.
I can’t recall a priest who does not use some secular greeting, and that includes my archbishop. But I don’t see it as something that can be changed by “reform” because it is already inappropriate, strictly speaking, and they do it anyway. Plus, I see many more liberties taken by laity involved in liturgy than priests. There was a lector who felt “the Word of the Lord” was inadequate, and felt compelled to preface it with “Brothers and Sisters”… The nearly universal holding of hands at the Our Father… Hugs and kisses at the sign of peace… Cantors and musicians who feel as though “Lamb of God” is not as good as “Bread of Life” or “Prince of Peace”, and the music director asking cantors to smile and gesticulate as if we were lounge singers.
Some of these are more offensive than others (and the list is not near complete), but all are generated from basically well meaning hearts. I suppose you could clamp down on priests and eliminate lay participation, but I also think both would be counterproductive. A better approach might be to realize that 95+% of Mass celebrations are exactly as they should be and the the oddities which are not hostile to worship might reasonably be indulged as the “Lord working in mysterious ways.”
@Charles Day – comment #2:
” A better approach might be to realize that 95+% of Mass celebrations are exactly as they should be and the the oddities which are not hostile to worship might reasonably be indulged as the “Lord working in mysterious ways.”
I am in total agreement with this statement! All these “supposedly” widespread abuses were much more prevalent in the 60s and 70s. Today I see very little evidence of this sort of thing, either in New England (where I live) or here in Rome (where I am now) I have been to liturgy in 3 different churches; at S. Susanna and at Caravita Community, the liturgies were done with style and grace and dignity and the celebrants were versus populum, very well prepared in both ars celebrandi and holiletics! The music was wonderful in both places, a mix of hymns and chant!
I went to a Mass in a church near the Lay Center, at a small side altar. The celebrant was ad orientem and hardly seemed to notice that we were there until the sign of peace when he turned to us and issued the invitation. I felt totally extraeneous and disjointed. There was no music of any kind and the people mumbled through the responses in Italian (in which I am not fluent – a prayer card would have helped some!)
Even God had to take on the flesh of personhood so He could relate to us and redeem us. Why does the celebrant have to be turned away and remote in order for the Novus Ordo to be “improved”?
But I don’t see it as something that can be changed by “reform” because it is already inappropriate, strictly speaking, and they do it anyway
I think what Fr. ruff may be getting at is the suggestion by many that the dialogues, etc be returned to Latin, making it essentially impossible for the celebrant to improvise.
@Jeffrey Herbert – comment #34:
I am not sure that Fr Ruff is advocating Latin although that would be consistent with his suggestion. It is refreshing to see a post indicating that improper use of the OF may contribute to nostalgia for the EF. I am sure that this is right.
It may be worth balancing this with an understanding of the deficiencies with the way the Mass was said before the council. These are probably not repeated in the modern EF as it is willing volunteers who offer Mass in that form.
I would add that knowledge of Latin would help for Masses with multilingual congregations. How sad that we have separate Masses in English, Polish and Portuguese.
@Jeffrey Herbert – comment #34:
Maybe we could develop something like a electrical stimulation device to give the priest a jolt whenever he improvises.
In the end, we need to be practical about human error. It will happen. Even when the pope celebrates Mass. What we’re looking for, I think, is such a quality witness that the occasional transgression is looked upon with a shrug of regret and/or an affection and knowing smile at the offender.
And outside of singing, no Latin at all, please.
@Todd Flowerday – comment #36:
I think that very few people would consider a mistake to be a liturgical abuse. The lack of preparation that contributes to mistakes and confusion by the celebrant and servers might be deplorable but is not, in a strict sense, an abuse. Good preparation will minimise errors but not eliminate them.
The complaint is not about unintentional errors but about those who ignore or contradict instructions about the Mass.
One of the very unfortunate consequences of the new Roman Canon in English is that it probably reinforces the priest “play-acting Jesus at the Last Supper” in the minds of some by using the words
…in a similar way he took this precious chalice…
@Graham Wilson – comment #3:
It seems to me that this IS a precious chalice! What isn’t precious about it?
It objectively and ontlogically is precious in every way.
What are we afraid off, here??????
What do we wish not to affirm????
@M. Jackson Osborn – comment #4:
MJO – “precious” is not what I am referring to, rather “this”. The pronoun falsely paints a word image that the particular chalice being used at Mass by the priest was the one used at the Last Supper — thus reinforcing AWR’s play-acting notion, to say nothing of the fact that “chalice” describes an ecclesiastical goblet, something that was certainly not used at the Last Supper (see the Gospels).
But thinking about it, the chalice really isn’t precious — it’s the contents that are of great value surely? Evidence: we talk about “precious blood” usually not “precious chalices”, which could easily be misinterpreted as valuable because of the precious metals and stones not precious contents.
This all shows how throughly unsatisfactory and unintelligent the new translation enterprise is, I think.
@Graham Wilson – comment #7:
Shades of the Holy Grail? I think this is what happens when we turn Holy Eucharist into a static thing. Even in the legend, it was not the Grail but what it contained that brought Arhtur and the land back to restoration–an action.
@Graham Wilson – comment #7:
Your point is well taken. Although I think that reference to ‘this precious chalice’ in that context is rather obviously understood as a reference to its contents. So, at least, it seems to me. Just as when one speaks of ‘the cup of salvation’ one is conscious that it is so because of its contents.
@M. Jackson Osborn – comment #4:
Yes, it’s precious, but I understand the point about play-acting to be: Jesus didn’t take THIS one. Also, we call THIS ONE a chalice. To use that word in reference to what Jesus took at the Last Supper is more play-acting.
@Jack Hartjes – comment #41:
I think that you are walking on the egg shells of spiritual pride and judgmental arrogance when you call someone’s devotion and its actual expression ‘play acting’. There are innumerable immature, seemingly irreverent, and generally unfortunate behaviours and mannerisms at mass that one might, but doesn’t, call ‘play acting’ of a different sort. But, whatever their true objective nature, I would refrain from judging what may be heartfelt but ill-advised mere play acting. It is not for us to caricature such apparent devotion as initiated these comments as play acting. I have often observed that, whether or not what we say about others is or is not objectively true, more important is what what we say about them says about us. What, exactly, makes the devotion which you apparently object to ‘play acting’?
@M. Jackson Osborn – comment #46:
The term play-acting wasn’t mine originally. I took it from comment #3, and I don’t think either of us meant it quite as pejoratively as you make out. I take it to refer to a concept of the priest’s role as acting Jesus, as if in a play. It has nothing to do with reverence or sincerity. Perhaps I should have known that other connotations would intrude.
@M. Jackson Osborn – comment #4:
What is the original term? Was it “cup?” What did Jesus say?
To the contrary, I have seen a few priests who are accustomed to ad orientem celebration make little or no eye-contact or other nonverbal communicative gesture towards the congregation when celebrating versus populum. In effect, these priests celebrate as if the congregation were invisible and as if they were still facing an apse or reredos. I do not know if this celebration style is deliberate or by force of habit. Not surprisingly, as one who prefers ad orientem celebration I rather appreciate a “low-celebrant-engagement” style of versus populum celebration. I realize, however, that congregations used to versus populum likely expect a moderate level of celebrant/presider nonverbal interaction.
Fr: Ruff (from his post): The play-acting lends credence to those who say that versus populum is a mistake and the priest should be re-oriented apse-ward.
Fr. Ruff, I certainly agree that versus populum is licit — the history of western Christian worship clearly supports its use. I also recognize your fear that an overly demonstrative versus populum celebration style might incite persons who believe that versus populum is inferior or even invalid to demand ad orientem worship. However, if a community and its clergy prefer ad orientem in a majority consensus, then I am convinced they should be permitted to celebrate Mass in this manner. I do not necessarily see how a return to ad orientem for a small minority of communities would threaten the overall trend in Roman worship towards versus populum Masses.
@Jordan Zarembo – comment #5:
Jesus wasn’t talking to the apostles at the last supper? He was telling God the father to take his body and eat it? Why would God need to do that? If his body is for God, then why do we take communion?
A more constructive and charitable way of celebrating? Some of my suggestions:
1) Say the black, do the red. There are enough options in the missal as it stands; is it really too much to expect everyone to stick to what is written? (Regardless of whether one may like it or not!)
2) Pay detailed attention to the GIRM and Redemptionis Sacramentum (among other documents). It is absolutely not good enough for parishes to have little to no knowledge of these documents.
3) Use decent, appropriate music. Styles associated more with the secular (e.g., rock, swing, contemporary folk), and overly sentimental music, ought, to my mind, to be avoided.
4) Face east. Having the priest and people turned in on themselves communicates a lot about how that particular church/community sees itself. As well as this, there is a lot of eschatological significance that versus populum misses, and the equality of baptism is signified better by having all the faithful facing towards the Lord together.
5) Retain/restore the Latin language. Given proper catechesis, I see no reason why OF Latin Masses should continue to be virtually unknown in most parishes. At least keep the Preface and EP in Latin, and make sure (as Vatican II asked in SC 54) that the faithful know their parts in Latin.
6) Ongoing training for priests and lay ministers. How many priests really exploit the OF Missal, and make frequent use of Votive Masses or the Masses for various needs and intentions? How many parishes have regular study and prayer days for EMHCs?
BTW, I find the description of the RotR movement as “unfortunate”… well, unfortunate. 🙂
We have to keep in mind that many priests my age and older (in their 50’s and forward) were taught and had modeled for us the Fr. Eugene Walsh school of celebrating Mass which is a model that has the priest trying to engage the “assembly” (congregation is a four letter word) with a smile on one’s face and dramatic gestures towards them to embrace them and pull them into the “action” of the Liturgy.
He encouraged dramatic eye-contact with the congregation not only in reading the lessons, I mean, proclaiming the Scriptures and having an “informal” formality, a kind of “living room” approach to connecting the priest to the assembly and the assembly to one another and to the priest. What this leads to is a “false” liturgical familiarity with the assembly, proclaiming not only the Scriptures to the assembly but also the prayers, all the prayers, and reading these as though they are directed to the assembly, not only with gestures, but with eye contact and moving one’s eyes and head toward the assembly so that each person present feels as though they are pulled into the “action” of the prayer.
Facing the congregation directly by not only the priest but also the choir or ensemble leading the music gives an air to the entertainment model of assemblies that so many experience today when they attend Mass even if no rubrics are actually challenged or words changed, but the latter two do occur and rather frequently in innocuous and blatant ways. And when the priest faces the congregation for prayer, many often comment that they like this, that or another priest or dislike him because of his demeanor and visual piety thus developing the “cult the celebrity priest or the villain priest” based upon the visual features and piety of the priest’s face.
To say that the reform of the reform is unfortunate is really the unfortunate saying and I think we can confirm what Linda Reid writes with my adjustment inserted: “A better approach might be to realize that 95+% of Mass celebrations are exactly as they should be and the [REFORM OF THE REFORMS] which are not hostile to worship might reasonably be indulged as the “Lord working in mysterious ways.”
@Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #9:
Gene Walsh used my parish as a kind of liturgical laboratory for many of his ideas and when I first arrived as a parishioner, around 1997 (after he had died), it still bore strongly the stamp of his views. Some of these ideas involved neither reading the black nor doing the red. So, for example, the Gloria was only used during the Christmas and Easter seasons, the Creed was never used, the Eucharistic Ministers and presider received communion after the assembly, etc. In the last fifteen years most of these changes have been undone, and, textually at least, we pretty much do the Roman Rite (the embolism of the Our Father has yet to be restored, but I’m working on that).
On the other hand, I do think that Walsh communicated to the parish a strong sense of liturgy as something that we all do together, in which all are active participants and none mere observers. Despite our undoing of his tinkerings with the rite itself, this spirit of engagement persists. And, unlike Fr. Allan’s impressions, it does not strike me at all as liturgy-as-entertainment. Readers who thoughtfully prepare their readings and seek to engage the assembly through intonation and eye contact communicate the content of sacred Scripture more effectively. An assembly that sings and does not just listen to music is, if Pius X is to be believed, more fully engaged in the sacred liturgy. Presiders who pray, not to the assembly, but always mindful of the assembly whose prayers they are voicing are more effective leaders of prayer.
I think the most “unfortunate” aspect of the reform of the reform is the idea that we should seek to stamp out all elements of subjectivity from the liturgy: readers should just read the words on the page, presiders should pray as if the assembly were not there. Perhaps we have endured a season of overly subjective liturgies. I don’t think the solution to this, however, is to make the elimination of all subjectivity the ideal
@Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #12:
Gee, thanks Deacon for jiggling my repressed memories on the other things that Fr. Walsh suggested. But all kidding aside, his legacy lives on in so many of us of my generation and older. I should add a disclaimer that he was best friends with my first pastor when we were in Albany, GA in the early 1980’s when I was a flaming progressive liturgically and otherwise and Fr. Walsh would visit usually during Holy Week when TC was out and sit in our congregation and then make “suggestions” to us on how to improve the liturgy. To say that this was intimadating to a newly ordained priest is an understatement especially when I celebrated the Good Friday Liturgy. But I did become the cover boy for one of his pamphlets on the Liturgy holding the plain (of course) life size cross aloft during its “showing.” He was a very gracious and fun person to be with and even in my more progressive days I did challenge him in personal conversation at the dinner table that I thought his style of celebrating and what he was suggesting for the liturgy involved way to much affectivity and made him and those who followed his style look like Southern Baptist preachers with a faux smile, big teeth and bigger hair.
However, his recommendations in terms of proclaiming the Scriptures or anything that is actually directed toward the “assembly” are very valid and wise and certainly the “engagement of the assembly” into the life of the church and her worship are well taken and could happen in the EF Mass.
I don’t recommend stamping out all elements of “subjectivity” from the OF Mass or making it as rigid as the EF is. Certainly there is a better blend in an OF Mass well celebrated between the “Divine and human” than perhaps in the EF.
However, I posted on my blog a funeral I celebrated this summer for an Italian friend in my former parish whose family videoed it for Italian relatives in Italy who couldn’t attend. While I incorporate some of what Jack R suggests in chanting, for the life of me and in the name of all things holy, why in the world it is necessary for the priest to face the congregtion during the Liturgy of the Eucharist is a mystery to me. It obfuscates the nature of of prayer that the priest, representing the laity is directing to God the Father through Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Why does the congregation need to be faced, even when chanting. This prayer is not a proclamation either to the congregation or to God, it is a humble prayer. Presiding from the chair for the Introductory and Concluding rites when the chair is to the side of the altar and sightly angled toward it and the priest does not face directly the congregation accomplishes the same thing as ad orientem as one can see in the video. But those things directed to the assembly should plainly be directed to them.
@Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #19:
“(W)hy in the world it is necessary for the priest to face the congregtion during the Liturgy of the Eucharist is a mystery to me …”
Because it’s not about the priest. Show the elements, Father. Don’t hide them. Catholics have resisted clerical urges to hide the Eucharist for centuries. You haven’t defeated us yet.
@Todd Flowerday – comment #20:
Sorry, but the elements are shown, being brought up in procession at the offering, at the elevations and the “…through Him…” as well as at the Ecce Agnus Dei and certainly at the Communion of the assembly. To say that these need to be seen throughout the Eucharistic Prayer is a red herring and questionable theology in terms of this prayer.
@Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #20:
It’s less a matter of showing the elements throughout for the sake of continual gazing and more one of providing an opportunity. We don’t need a ritual priest offering sacrifice. We don’t need the exaggerated gestures of elevating above one’s head. These are just other forms of the performance meme in the liturgical clergy. “Say the Black/Do the Red” is just a new generation’s indulgence for performance: stick to the script and follow the director!
Personally, I think antiphonal or in-the-round worship is optimal. It makes the priest’s direction totally irrelevant and allows the focus to be on Christ.
Re: Gordon’s point–exactly. A radial geometry rather than linear, one-dimensional thinking.
@Todd Flowerday – comment #23:
No matter how high or how low the showing of the Host and Precious Blood, both are showing although the higher elevations are the hermeneutic of liturgical continuity when facing the assembly and necessary in showing when ad orientem. 🙂
@Father Allan J. McDonald – comment #25:
Thanks, Fr. Endean – appeared as if we were going to go down another rabbit hole repeating the same, tired mantras.
Sad that some comments continue to denigrate individuals who dedicated their lives to the church and its liturgy – whether you agree with some, nothing, or all of what they contributed. Why this need to *demonize* folks such as Hovda, Walsh, Bugnini? Thanks to Deacon Fritz for putting a human face on a name – it really does change the conversation and understanding.
Over 35 years have noticed that *ars celebrandi* is a complex notion – many seminaries pay lip service to it; few bishops model it well or focus attention on the *summit and font* of our lives – how often do dioceses require on-going training in this; how often do dioceses do workshops on it or involve feedback, taping of liturgies/homilies so that a priest/deacon can actually learn? Most teachers note that some presiders are introverts and are not comfortable in ritual; some note that liturgy is not a priority for some priests and yet it is a weekly duty; some just want to read the black and do the red; etc. In many ways ars celebrandi is an art form; not a science. RTBDTR makes it a science and fails to meet the liturgical principle of the people of God in full, active participation.
Just seems that we go over and over this but with no real, defined solutions. At least folks such as McManus, Hovda, Walsh tried to develop, critique, and improve the church’s liturgy.
Will repeat this mantra again – you bring your theological and ecclesiological agenda and this determines most of your ars celebrandi. Look at other comments; for example, *hermeneutic of liturgical continuity* which is not what B16 said; is not represented by his MP Summorum Pontificum which most would see as a rupture in terms of papal liturgical practices since it is not a *temporary indult based upon exceptions and special needs*.
Example – if your starting points are concepts such as alter Christus; Trentan notion of sacrifice; and read the black/do the red rubrics, then that will be your liturgical focus.
Here is a list of 25 basic pastoral liturgical principles from Richstatter:
To obey liturgical law is to: 1. use pastoral sensitivity to; 2. assure that the norms; 3. achieve the end envisioned by the general liturgical principles.
The “General Liturgical Principles” are the “goal” statements, the purpose of the law, the “whys,” the “what’s the law for?” statements. What are some of these?
1. The primacy of prayer. Liturgy is prayer. Prayer is what it is all about!
2. The liturgy is the prayer of Christ. Every liturgical celebration is an action of Christ and his Body the Church. (CSL 7.) Liturgical prayer is Trinitarian prayer; It is the voice of Christ addressed to the Father in the Holy Spirit. It is the prayer of the Body of Christ. The Assembly is the primary liturgical symbol.
3. The principle of active participation. Liturgy is doing, not watching. (CSL, chapter 1, part B: Norms Drawn from the Hierarchic and Communal Nature of the Liturgy.) “Liturgical services are not private functions, but are celebrations belonging to the Church, which is the sacrament of unity namely, the holy people united and ordered under their bishops. Therefore liturgical services involve the whole Body of the Church; they manifest it and have effects upon it; but they also concern the individual members of the Church in different ways, according to their different orders, offices, and actual participation.” (Constitution on the Liturgy 26).
4. The language of Liturgy is a symbol. Therefore we strive for Quality symbols. “Good symbols nourish faith. Poor symbols weaken and destroy it.” (BCL Music in Catholic Worship, 5.) Theological basis of this principle: Sacramenta significando efficiunt gratiam. Sacraments cause grace by signifying. Other things being equal, the better the sign the better the grace. (St. Thomas)
5. Less is more. [When you multiply money, you get more money; when you multiply symbol, you get less symbol.] Another way of expressing this same principle: An artist always uses a limited palette. The principle of artistic unity. From the Bishops’ statement Environment and Art in Catholic Worship, speaking of vestment: 94. The more these vestments fulfill their function by their color, design and enveloping form, the less they will need the signs, slogans and symbols which an unkind history has fastened on them. The tendency to place symbols upon symbols seems to accompany the symbolic deterioration and diminution already discussed. A few implications: 1. The vestment itself should be beautiful, and not merely “decorated.” For example: a beautiful stole “says more” than a stole with the words (Remember: words are symbols also) embroidered on it: “I Am – A Priest.” 2. One cross (on the wall, by [not “on”] the altar, over the altar, leading the procession, but one cross, not three or four. 3. One altar. 4. One image of Mary.
6. Principle of accumulated symbolism. “There is a limit to the amount of symbolic ambiguity a rite can sustain.” (N. Mitchell, Made Not Born, p 70.)
7. The principle of polyvalence. All good liturgy must be polyvalent, that is it must be accessible to many different people in many different (spiritual, cultural, emotional) places.
8. Form follows function. Turtles don’t fly.
9. Principle of once is enough. “Needless duplications are to be avoided.”
10. Principle of once is not enough. Ritual action is essentially repeated and habitual action. [blowing out candles on a birthday cake, decorating a Christmas Tree, coloring Easter eggs.] Once never makes a ritual. Prehension is essential to a ritual’s function.
11. Liturgy is public. Celebrations which are celebrated in common with the faithful present and actively participating are preferred to rites which are quasi-private. (CSL 27).
12. Principle of one role at a time. In liturgical celebrations each person who has an office to perform should carry out all and only those parts which pertain to that office. (CSL 28.)
13. The donatists principle. “The Donatists (The Donatists said that the sacraments are useless unless administered by a holy priest.) may have been wrong theologically, but when it comes to presidential style, pastorally they were, oh, so right!”
14. The principal of music. Singing is twice praying. [They go home humming the communion song, not the homily or the Eucharistic Prayer.]
15. The principle of authenticity. Things should be what they seem: A few implications: morning prayer in the morning; infants need an infant rite; name giving should be real name giving; a bath is a bath; You don’t stay for grace before meals unless you are staying for the meal; You aren’t invited to a meal unless you are invited to eat and drink. Prayers should be prayers; instructions should be instructions. Age quod agis. Do what you are doing. What is it you are trying to do? invite, pray, exhort, explain? Who is it you are talking to? People? God? [Don’t give God theology lessons, especially poor ones.]
16. The principle of beauty. Beauty humanizes and elevates; ugly doesn’t. For example, wearing a vestment should make you look better, not worse!
17. A little bit of “nice” covers a multitude of “dumb”. [People will put up with a lot of things they don’t agree with if they perceive the priest to be a kind, concerned, loving person.]
18. Ritual actions and functional actions. Do not ritualize functional elements.
19. You can use more than one sense at once. You can see, hear, and smell all at the same time. For example, incensing the gospel during the singing.
20. The principle of play. “Play comes to mind as a key criterion of how things are going between men and women, because romance, friendship, and marriage all only round out to their best potential when the partners help one another play, expose new sides of themselves, energize their imaginations, and stand against the crippling seriousness that can afflict the worlds of work, church life, and education. People only play well when they are relaxed, feel at home, and are buoyed by trust and love. Thus, there should be much play and laughter in the house of God, the Body of Christ, since that should be Christians happy home. There should be teasing, flirting, challenging, picking up and twirling around between Christian men and women. (John Carmody, Toward A Male Spirituality, Mystic Conn: Twenty-third Publications, [no date], p 50.)
21. The principle of parties. Good signs nourish faith. (BCL. Music in Catholic Worship, 6.) If you go to a party and all goes well and you are having a good time, you want to stay. When it’s dull, you want to go home.
22. The principle of over planning. If nothing can go wrong, perhaps nothing can go right.
23. The principle of progressive solemnity. You don’t use the best things all the time.
24. Sacramenta propter homines. God doesn’t need sacraments, we do.
Some of these principles cast a different perspective on some of the specific comments above:
– so, Todd’s observation that *The Assembly* is the primary liturgical symbol – not the priest or ad orientem. That liturgy is a *verb* and *action* – not *watching* in terms of the discussion around *elevations* (Richstatter’s quotes today’s liturgical theology showing that the EP is one prayer; not broken up by secondary rubrics such as elevations until the end of the EP)
– Todd’s observation about *precious chalice* when the higher principle is that language is symbol and now we have in the same EP chalice in one place and the people responding with *cup* – is that the best quality symbol?
So, in response to Fr. Ruff’s post, agree with Martin and Deacon Fritz who said it well: “Perhaps we have endured a season of overly subjective liturgies. I don’t think the solution to this, however, is to make the elimination of all subjectivity the ideal”
Other questions aside, I have to agree with M. Hazell – we can start being charitable by not referring to the “reform of th reform” movement – however it’s defined – as “unfortunate.” Ditto for other loaded language on both sides of the aisle (e.g. “wreckovation,” “temple police,” and so on).
And what is the most constructive and charitable way to move toward better celebration of the reformed liturgy?
Simply have the presider chant his parts as much as possible.
He can have all the “good mornings,” humor, etc. but if he also chants “The Lord be with you” the liturgical framework will be preserved. In fact it might even be heightened in comparison to his personal style.
The problem with a priest’s personal style even if it is a very religious style is that overwhelms the liturgy if the liturgy is not chanted. It becomes the framework for interpreting the liturgy. For example one of the local priests preaches the EP in the same style as he preaches his homily and does everything else including the introduction. It really does not sound like prayer: it is obvious that he is preaching to us not praying to God. He really preaches the Mass rather than prays the Mass. Some people who liked to be preached to actually like it. “He keeps you awake.”
While it is possible for some sung chants to become somewhat operatic if the priest has a good voice and knows them well, most don’t and the discipline required for performance does not allow them to become self absorbed. The same priest who preaches the EP sings a very beautiful EP at Christmas. It is extremely prayerful, and he admitted that is because he is completely focused on singing the prayer because he does not do it very often. He has never taken up my suggestion that he always sing the EP. I suspect it is because he is unwilling to abandon the “preaching” role for the “praying” role.
“This all shows how throughly unsatisfactory and unintelligent the new translation enterprise is, I think.”
And the focus on “precious” is a serious backpedalling, a Tridentine indulgence for the peripherals. Perhaps some emphasize putting a shine on a “precious” chalice because they are to inept at buffing their own renewal. At the Eucharist, what is truly precious, in the sense of value beyond worth, is the grace working in people’s lives.
“Precious” is the wrong word, the misleading word really, because it underscores the sense that grace is not only valuable, but brittle (perhaps in the hands of the unworthy). Grace is probably the strongest “material” at Mass. What is precious is the faith of those who believe, or rather, who struggle to believe. What ICEL and Vox Clara fail to realize and stumble in their duty as pastors, is what really needs to be handled with care and reverence. Hint: it’s not the peripherals. Check the psalms (maybe 116) and the Gospels to find what Christ finds precious. It’s sure not the Last Supper Cup.
As for the reform2 movement, I think it misguided rather than unfortunate. The liturgy is always in need of reform, locally most of all. It’s time for reform2 practitioners to get on board with reform of the liturgy and get their heads out of clowns, burlap, and polkas.
@Todd Flowerday – comment #13:
So how would you prefer accipiens et hunc praeclarum calicem to be translated? “Excellent”? “Beautiful”? “Magnificent”? “Honourable”?
“Precious” seems to be a good contextual fit, to me, unless you’re just going to totally ignore the word as the old translation did (and, incidentally, as 1998 also did). It’s hardly a “Tridentine indulgence” to insist praeclarum be translated!
@Matthew Hazell – comment #15:
How about “grand” with an Irish accent?
@Karl Liam Saur – comment #16:
I see a future vision… of my Irish parish priest, using the new 2017 Irish-idiomatic translation, prepared by I(rish)CEL… where “ah, go on” is used in place of “Amen”, and “would you like another cup of tea?” also makes it in somewhere…
…sorry, slow day at work…!
@Matthew Hazell – comment #15:
Matthew, yes it is. It obscures what is really important. Sometimes adjectives are unhelpful. This one should be ignored. Well, the Missale Romanum should be changed.
A point on Anthony’s post. I don’t see that ‘play-acting Jesus’ and addressing the Eucharistic prayer to the Father are mutually exclusive. Eyeballing the congregation, at the institution narrative or at any other point, is not a good idea–but the rubric speaks, not of elevating, but of showing the host/cup to the people, surely with a suggestion that the people are somehow to be included through gesture. (Contrast the doxology, where elevation is proper, and mentioned).
One of the problems besetting these discussions is that ‘divine’ and ‘human’ become set in competition, and the different parties re-enact Apollinarianism and adoptionism. Orthodoxy consists in recognising the need for both/and.
Just thinking about “facing the people.” In the ordinary form of the Mass, it seems to me, everyone faces the altar, which stands in our midst as Christ (according to the Rite of Dedication). Likewise, when the Word is proclaimed, everyone faces the place of proclamation and the person proclaiming. It is only in the Extraordinary Form that the priest and other ministers (e.g., deacon at the Gospel) face away from the altar in order to face the people. Maybe we need to think about “versus altarem” instead of “versus populum.”
1. While retaining the vernacular, find ways to re-integrate Latin into the rite in a more mainstream way than has been the practice so far. Consider Latin as an alternative to multilingual balkanization. Or, from the other point of view, consider Latin as an alternative to the cultural hegemony of English. Get our people comfortable with Latin – get them to the point where they can participate fully, consciously and actively in the ritual in Latin. Then find the right balance between vernacular and Latin for each community.
2. Adapt tunes, not texts. “Jesus, Lamb of God” in the pre-new-translation version of the “Mass of Creation” was a musically strong and structurally sound setting that bore many repititions, but the text should not have been adapted to it. It may be that “La-a-amb of God” in the new-translation edition of the “Mass of Creation” is not quite right, either. Respect the principle that the text is primary. This may mean that our people need to become more comfortable singing tunes that aren’t metered to 4/4 or 3/4. Would a common repertoire of plain chant tones be useful?
To affirm what I hear as a point in Rev Fritz’s (#12 ad #9) post. Liturgy is performance and creates experience. We take on words and gestures not our own and present them to others. As with the best of performers you cannot really genuinely perform what is not in you already, as with the best of performers you cannot remain unchanged by what you do.
However, it seems to me that with the focus on reason which figures so strongly in our tradition, the relational and experiential suffers. Wether it is aversion either to way-out ad libs or to meticulous rubrics, we seek the experience which gratifies our experience of faith and our relationship with God.
From my view here in the deep south and across the ocean, it appears that both sides of the “liturgical divide” are trying to achieve the same goal, an engaging human experience with the grace God pours out through the instruments of rite and minister.
So does the “liturgical divide” not also arise from our choice ridden modernity where we insist on exactly the right “performance” which will satisfy my engagement with God?
On the other hand is that not what Low Mass, High Mass and Solemn High Mass did in ages past. If you wanted the encounter as brief and straightforward you went to Low Mass. If you chose the baroque and brocade and hours of engagement is was Solemn High Mass. Is there not still a place for the familiar and highly crafted? Is there not a place for the four hymn overly familiar, sung with gusto, and the expertly crafted and presented chant and polyphony? Both can be gooseflesh experiences.
Is the “divide” not simply a false dichotomy?
I know a presider who after the opening greeting and assembly’s response of “And with your spirit” says, “Thank you, and thank you for coming.” My best spin is that it is well-intentioned, however, (A) it’s not his place to thank us for coming, (B) we are not there because of the presider, and (C) it begs the question, “Is there somewhere else we should be?”.
Drives me crazy.
@Paul Melley – comment #28:
@Karl Liam Saur – comment #30:
Yes, +1, Liam. But there’s that “Smaller, purer Church” ethos at real play in the true economy of the ritual when such accretions aren’t thought out so well.
@Paul Melley – comment #28:
P.M.– your point is well taken. I would add a further question, or one that amplifies your question in item C. Do the People of God need to be “welcomed” in their worship spaces, especially parishioners who have a certain degree of ownership of those spaces? I believe they need to be greeted, and the rite does that sufficiently enough.
The question I ask raises some canonical, ecclesiological, and pastoral issues. When the ordained presider does what you illustrated, he in effect is saying, “This is my place [home], and you are visitors.” This, too, drives me crazy. It is as if to suggest that we [the rest of the Church] have no full, active, and conscious participation not only at the Mass but at the parish level at large. For further clarification on this point, see Edward Foley’s article, “Passing the Torch: Full, Prophetic and Ecclesial Participation” in the current number of Worship, vol. 86, no.5, p.386.
Here’s an article from the Auxiliary in my hometown of Indianapolis. Bishop Coyne has really done great things with Liturgy since being appointed here and has kind of carried on the Liturgical tradition rooted in the charism of the Benedictines of St. Meinrad Archabbey (whose seminary trains a majority of the priests of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis). The article is very pastoral and gives rightful respect to the Rites as the Church prescribes. http://thoughtsofacatholicbishop.blogspot.com/2012/09/liturgy-and-evangelization.html
I loved what Gordon Truitt said about all facing the altar-the primary symbol of Christ-rather than the wall. The transcendent and imminent God to whom the prayer is addressed is in our midst, not just over there in the east on the other side of the wall. I just don’t get that and I’ll soon be 71.
Liked a lot of what Bill and Todd said although Bill came close to overkill. LOL.
In response to those who are under the impression that the rites are ontological entites that come down to us fully-formed from on high, and that all we have to do is reverence them as they stand, it’s worth remembering that they were all formulated by human beings. Furthermore, they were formulated, developed, tweaked and altered at different times in the Church’s history, and may not always be suitable for other times (cf. SC 21).
The Church’s liturgy is a blueprint, not a finished article. To mix metaphors, we have to put flesh on those bones (cf. GIRM 20). The fact that some in the past (including Gene Walsh) may have leaned too far in one direction or another does not absolve us from the obligation to do this. We’re not going to make progress unless we give ourselves permission to make mistakes and learn from them.
On another tack:
All ministry is about communication and relationship. Authentic ministry is impossible without being in contact with the people to whom one is ministering and without being able to relate to them. It is quite bizarre to suggest that liturgical ministers, whether ordained or otherwise, should not look at those to whom they are ministering. Of course they should. Eye-contact is one of the first basic principles of ministry. Some may prefer us to become the equivalent of liturgical robots, but I think this simply shows that they themselves are frightened by human relationship.
To sum up, the theme underlying Anthony’s post is the achieving of a balance between, on the one hand, the sacred mysteries we celebrate and, on the other hand, the desirability of being fully human when we celebrate. To put it another way, the balance between being people of prayer and at the same time real. This is what the ars celebrandi is all about, IMHO.
Assuming you’re referring to “say the black, do the red”, don’t you think that’s a rather unhelpful caricature? Does following the text and performing the rubrics inevitably make one into a “liturgical robot”, “frightened by human relationship”? I think that may say more about how you see certain people than it does anything else.
Those of us who subscribe, in varying degrees, to the reform of the reform, aren’t completely ignorant, believe it or not. We’re very well aware of the history of the liturgy and of liturgical development. Often, we’re even socially well-adjusted, capable of developing and sustaining loving human relationships. 🙂 But – and I only speak for myself here; other RotR’ers may or may not agree – I don’t think that the reformed rites we ended up with after the Council were either the only possible ones, or the best possible, or totally consistent/continuous with what came before. That’s perhaps a different set of questions to the ones Fr Ruff originally asked, though.
One of the reactions which I often have when I see or hear of efforts towards ‘reform of the reform’ it that what is taking place here is a form of ‘liturgical inertia’ — left over things which are not called for by the present rubrics but are done anyway “because that is the way it was done in some ‘idealized’ Grandpa’s day”.
One of the most egregious examples of this is the prolonged and high ‘elevations’ in the midst of the Eucharistic Prayer, which ever direction the priest happens to be facing. Isn’t time to say that we have gotten beyond the discussions of Berengarius and his opponents?
Given that the Reformation divisions and errors similar to the opinions of Berengar of Tours still exist, no, we haven’t.
And I confess, I’m struggling to think of a question to which the answer is “less Eucharistic devotion/emphasis”.
@Matthew Hazell – comment #42:
My point is only that the ‘true elevation’ is that at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer during the doxology. The rubrics of the “ordinary form” do not call for the ‘grand elevations’ in the midst of the Eucharistic Prayer — a pause yes, but not the grand, over the head, facing or not facing the congregation elevations. Besides those elevations originally were to feed/nourish a piety which did not receive communion regularly. The very history of these gestures supports this — there being about 100 years between the introduction of the ‘host elevation’ and that of the ‘chalice.’ This is, for the most part, not at all the present situation in most places using the Western/Latin Rite of the Church where the Eucharist is understood basically as ‘Divine Food’ and not a ‘relic to look at and venerate’.
@Philip Sandstrom – comment #47:
What you describe is the very problem with the rubrics of the Ordinary Form that are ambiguous and open to differing interpretations. To read that the priest “shows” the Host or the Chalice to the people can be interpreted in a minimalist way or in a grand way–it is not clear at all and thus there are a variety of ways priests do this and I’ve seen them all. The same is true with the doxology where it says the priest raises the chalice and paten. That certainly can be interpreted in a variety of ways, but technically this is not to show the congregation but to raise to God, but it could be high, medium or low in height. I’ve seen all manners of raising both at this point.
I would suggest though, that were the rubrics are absent or minimalist, the presumption is that one fall back to what the custom was in the Tridentine Mass. For example there are absolutely no rubrics for the use of the pall for the chalice during Mass or the veiling of the chalice with corporal, pall, burse and veil. One has to rely on what was done in the EF Mass when using these and these are used in many places in the OF.
So another reason for the reform of the reform has to do specifically with ambiguous, weak or missing rubrics that allow for such diversity that everyone thinks their own method is the right method. Not so in the EF.
@Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #48:
There are four places where similar but not the same wording is used in the rubrics of the Ordinary Form: 1) showing at the presentation of the gifts; 2) the ‘showing’ of the species during the Consecration; 3) the showing for the doxology at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer; 4) the showing of the consecrated species at the Invitation to Communion. If one reads carefully one does not have to be a student of Stanislavski’s method of acting to discern the difference between each of the four instances of gesture concerning their intent and purpose, and how the clergy might best faithfully carry them out for the understanding and benefit of all the celebrants — both lay and clergy — within a particular celebration of the Eucharistic Liturgy.
To presume on some sort of ‘inertial extension’ of the Tridentine rubrics is just not the same thing. It can be accused of ‘liturgical laziness’ for the ars celebrandi. The same holds true for lesser things such as the use of the chalice veil, the bourse holding the corporal, etc.
@Philip Sandstrom – comment #50:
The specific words in the English rubrics is for the priest to “show” the consecrated Host or Precious Blood in the chalice. And at the doxology the rubrical word chosen is “raise.” In the EF at the doxology the chalice and host are raised but slightly and not in a “to show” position. But to “show” something is precisely to show it or demonstrate it, from which we get the English word “monstrance.” To show something means that it is displayed in a dramatic way for all to see, to raise something as at the doxology does not have the same implication.
At the Ecce Agnus Dei, the rubric simply says”the priest…takes the host and holding it slightly raised above the paten or above the chalice, while facing the people, says aloud….” This presumes obviously that he wasn’t facing the people to begin with, but turns toward them and the only way we really know how to do this is how it was done in the EF for there are no specific rubrics about how high the priest is to hold the host and paten or chalice at this point. Then the rubric indicates to the priest to “face the altar” to receive Holy Communion with the appropriate words to do so.
@Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #48:
there are absolutely no rubrics for the use of the pall for the chalice during Mass or the veiling of the chalice with corporal, pall, burse and veil. One has to rely on what was done in the EF Mass when using these and these are used in many places in the OF.
The reason there is nothing said about the burse and veil is that those items are not used in the OF. The pall is also not commonly met with. Only the corporal remains.
@Paul Inwood – comment #62:
GIRM 118: “It is a praiseworthy practice for the chalice to be covered with a veil, which may either be of the colour of the day or white.”
The only item not explicitly mentioned in the GIRM is the burse. From a pragmatic perspective, though, it is a useful thing to have.
@Paul Inwood – comment #62:
The burse and veil are used in many places in the Ordinary Form as is the pall, so one has to rely on an older tradition to do so which is neither forbidden nor required and thus another reason for the reform of the reform that leaves so much, required or not to subjective sensibilities and fierce individualism
@Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #65:
Minimialism = muted elevations, no burse, veil, or pall, no sacring bells, little room for beauty. Minimalists remind me of the people who begin to cough at the sight of an unlit thurible.
How many devout laity have witnessed these and other similar elements of our Roman liturgy taken from them only to learn years later that V2 never authorized those kinds of subjective interpretations that misapplied the reforms of the 1960s even when the missal continues to call for their use (see above)? Fact may be that the RofR is the “signs of the times” for our day because it brings a degree of liturgical justice to the people or our rite. The RofR allows the faithful to celebrate their patromony rather than mute it.
@Shane Maher – comment #66:
Minimalism is the issue and it has been and continues to be confused with “noble simplicity” which is something else altogether different and, well, noble. The most crass form of minimalism was experienced in the late sixties and well into the 70’s and 80’s and still has not been expunged from our collective memories or practices, but we are moving in the right direction in doing so. Another word for this kind of liturgical minimalism is iconoclasm which the Church of the West has experienced in one form or another for centuries. One can see why the Eastern Church reacted in such a militant and vociferous way against it in the earlier centuries of the Church and why so many now in the Latin Rite are beginning to realize that we were duped by those who promoted this unwarranted, unnecessary and unfortunate minimalism/iconoclasm. The ROTF is a part of that glorious Eastern Rite tradition of resistance and restoration that also influenced in a profound way the Western Rite so much so an ecumenical council in the 8th century set things straight for both lungs of the Church.
@Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #65:
I always seem to come in at the end of these great discussions, so forgive if this has already been mentioned. In “Notitiae,” the journal of the Congregation for Divine Worship, there appeared, in the 1970’s if I recall correctly, several responses to various proposed dubia, which indicated clearly that ceremonies called for in the 1962 Missal that were not prescribed in the 1970 Missal were not to be carried over. These responses can be found in “Documents on the Liturgy 1963-1979.” The questions involved included the pattern for swinging the thurible and the holding of index finger and thumb following the institution narrative, but the responses, in addition to addressing the issue at hand, were more universal and asked that the nature of the reformed rite be understood as precluding these older usages that were tacitly (but intentionally) eliminated.
@David Mathers – comment #87:
Those CDW replies are possibly useful for he particular issues raised, but largely non-sensical when adopted as a strictly interepreted general principle forbidding doing things in the new Mass the way they were done in the old rite as Fr. Tom Finigan famously pointed out.
By the time of the publication of the Ceremonial of Bishops, the Congregation seems to be taking a somewhat different view, as evidenced by the footnotes to CB 75.
@Samuel J. Howard – comment #88:
Fr. Finigan’s (sic?) argument is so absurd (non-sensical?) it hardly bears addressing. I don’t know if most are familiar with it, but citing it does not further a rational discussion. I would rather discuss and attempt to understand what the CDW was trying to communicate about the new rite than devise/celebrate a phony way to simply ignore it.
@David Mathers – comment #99:
Fr. Finigan’s (sic?)
Yep, that’s how he spells his name.
citing it does not further a rational discussion.
Feel free to offer an argument about why I (and he) are wrong. About why it doesn’t further rational discussion. If you take literally and broadly the ruling that you can’t do things the old way in the new rite if the rite doesn’t specify, you do indeed have the problem he describes. I’m not “ignoring” it… I’m trying to do what you say, “understand what the CDW was trying to communicate about the new rite”, by suggesting that the document must be read narrowly and pointing to the evolving position of the CDW in the CB, meanwhile you’ve just been insulting and refused to participate in the discussion.
@Samuel J. Howard – comment #4:
Fr Finigan claims the GIRM “says nothing whatsoever about which sleeve you should put onto which arm.” However, the GIRM says “the alb is put on” which encompasses putting the left arm in the left sleeve.
This is a very different situation fron the other rubrics under discussion, eg the use of a maniple. No current rubric assumes the use of a maniple the way ‘putting on an alb’ assumes putting the left sleeve in the left arm. Fr Finigan relies on that assumption to make his point, when it actually makes the analogy “incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial” as Perry Mason used to say.
@Jim McKay – comment #8:
Fr Finigan claims the GIRM “says nothing whatsoever about which sleeve you should put onto which arm.” However, the GIRM says “the alb is put on” which encompasses putting the left arm in the left sleeve.
This is a very different situation fron the other rubrics under discussion, eg the use of a maniple.
You’ve missed the point of the discussion of the Notitiae ruling on the incensations (David Mathers in comment #87) (and Fr. Finigan’s response to it) which was not regarding the maniple, but rather the chalice veil and the pall, which are referenced in the current rubrics (e.g. GIRM 118), but the manner of their use is not described in detail (Fr. MacDonald in comment #65). This is, in fact, similar to the case of the incensation as of the date of the ruling published in Notitiae.
Your comment does not offer an objection to Fr. Finigan’s reasoning. The GIRM does not say how the alb is put on. You, rightfully, assume that it is simply done the way it has always been done. You correctly recognize that the principle enunciated in the Notitae reply, “When the rubrics of the Missal of Paul VI say nothing or say little on particulars in some places, it is not to be inferred that the former rite should be observed” is not a prohibition on carrying over the old practice, for as Fr. Finigan writes, “Saying that it must not be inferred that a rite should be used does not imply that it must not be used.”
Thus, we can read the response narrowly as applying to the incensation and not as David Mathers did in claiming that it “indicated clearly that ceremonies called for in the 1962 Missal that were not prescribed in the 1970 Missal were not to be carried over” (comment #87). Fr. Finigan’s reductio would apply if the principle were to be interepreted as David Mathers has described it.
@Samuel J. Howard – comment #4:
And with reference to Peter in #15 below, the Notitiae response Fr. Finigan cites does not say all old practices not mentioned in the new rite must not be used. It says “When the rubrics…say nothing or say little on particulars in some places, it is not to be inferred that the former rite should be observed.” What is faulty in Finigan’s reasoning is he chooses an absurd example and analogizes it to every possible case when this does not follow from the response itself. The Congregation’s admittedly tortuos grammar would allow for retention of acts whose elimination would be absurd while nevertheless counseling that there are elements not retained in the Missal that should not be retained in practice.
Interestingly, Fr. Finigan did not include in his discussion the Congregation’s statement in this same response that “the Missal of Pope Paul VI has, since 1970, supplanted the one improperly called ‘the Missal of St. Pius V,’ and completely so in both texts and rubrics.”
@David Mathers – comment #17:
Thank you David.
The numbering seems to have become unreliable. Meanwhile you have had a fair number of responses.
If so many reasonable people can understand things differently I think it reinforces my suggestion that the rules may not have been well written. Presumably the writers assumed common sense and charity in application and perhaps envisaged some experimentation and evolution.
I suspect that ever greater numbers of rules are not the answer but it may take a while for this to be appreciated.
@Peter Haydon – comment #24:
Thanks, Peter. Wise words, wisely put.
@David Mathers – comment #26:
Thank you too David.
In my work as an accountant I see the number of rules and their complexity increasing just as Bishop Tobin finds with liturgical books. And the rules are not well written. Oh dear.
@David Mathers – comment #99:
Fr Tim F was being ironic by attempting to show that a literal interpretation of that guidance could lead to a silly result. To say that all previous usages, not specifically reaffirmed, are now eliminated led to the absurd conclusion he illustrated.
I suspect that the guidance was not well written and that you are right to try to understand what the CDW was trying to communicate.
@Matthew Hazell – comment #44:
Todd is usually capable of explaining his views. It would be good to hear what he has to say particularly given SC 54.
Just as I can imagine reasons why one might approve of singing in Latin but not speaking in it one can equally devise circumstances when Latin is the most appropriate language to use. One such for me was Mass in Ankara in Turkey.
Remember that the question at the start was about how the way we now have OF Masses may contribute to desire for “Reform of the Reform.”
A unapproved practice, loved by many, was for the priest to partake of Communion after the people. Most of my acquaintances thought this was a way of showing respect for the people. It was if Eucharist isa meal only, but it’s also a sacrifice. What these “respectful” priests were doing was asking all the people to make that sacrifice, that commitment, that “altar call,” that leap of faith, first. I think this was another of the unwitting agents of the reform of the reform.
Those who want to reform the reform probably do not really need any excuses. I do not claim to know the black or red but see few things that I would call objectionable. The music can always be better, but to some that means only the music they think should be in the Mass. Homilies can be better, but that also means different things to different people.
I saw a very young priest do something I’ve never even see the pope do at the consecration. He raised the Host (that little one that is not easy to see from a distance) so high above his head I thought he might fall over. Then he held it there for at least 30 seconds. Same thing with the Cup. I know he was expressing his personal piety, but it seemed a little odd. My guess is that Thomas Aquinas would not approve based on his understanding that Christ is not located in the Sacrament as in a place.
@Jack Feehily – comment #51:
At Mass on Labor Day weekend, I witnessed a young priest (who is a wonderful confessor and preacher) repeat idiosyncratic practices I’ve witnessed with him before: such as, during the elevation, he audibly prays “My Lord and My God”, and while the congregation sings the Lamb of God in English he recites it in Latin, among other things.
@Karl Liam Saur – comment #53:
A few weeks ago we got the left-variant on this: during the elevations the priest (also seemingly a very holy man) said, “With God all things are possible.”
When the priest is facing God present in the midst of the assembly, show simply means hold in a visible manner. The only reason for an exaggerated elevation was when the priest was facing the reredos and needed to hold it high above his head if it was to be seen. That’s what I call the holy card image which seems fixed in the minds of priests who advocate ROTR.
@Jack Feehily – comment #54:
Be that as it may, there is nothing in the specific rubrics forbidding a low show or a high show, reason # 7,777,777 for the ROTR. 🙂
And to repeat – when you put your interpretation of specific rubrics above the General Liturgical Principles; then you have allowed the secondary to trump the primary.
The question or goal has nothing to do with either high or low *show* – you start with the general principles:
1. use pastoral sensitivity to; 2. assure that the norms; 3. achieve the end envisioned by the general liturgical principles
General liturgical principles pertaining to this specific event:
– EP is one total prayer – its main sections have to do with remembering, calling on the Spirit, blessing, breaking, sharing, etc. (not the *former* Tridentine approach that focused on objects and elevations which are based upon a specific sacramental theology)
– Every liturgical celebration is an action of Christ and his Body the Church. – the action is the communal prayer; elevations are secondary, if not understood differently (per Jack or Tod’s descriptions)
– Eucharist is doing, not watching (another reason for changing the *old* approach to understanding elevations – we need to highlight and focus on more important actions)
– Less is more (there is only one elevation at the end of the EP – other elevations or examples given by commenters violate this general principle)
– Principle of accumulated symbolism. “There is a limit to the amount of symbolic ambiguity a rite can sustain.” (thus, multiple elevations confuse rather than sustain)
– Principle of once is enough. “Needless duplications are to be avoided.”
– Things should be what they seem (is the institution narrative’s goal or point about elevations?)
– Ritual actions and functional actions. Do not ritualize functional elements (isn’t that what is happening with multiple elevations? they have become ritualized)
Would suggest that approaches/comments such as: “….there is nothing in the specific rubrics that forbid….”, etc. are a glaring example of what, IMO, Fr. Ruff is getting at. When you distill everything liturgically down to – what is rubrically forbidden, allowed, etc., you have sunk to the lowest common denominator and failed to uphold the pastoral responsibility outlined in the General Liturgical Principles. Now a legalism becomes the primary end rather than full and active participation in the church’s prayer.
Jack – apologize; didn’t mean to almost *overkill*
@Bill deHaas – comment #56:
I never thought, Bill, that anything you bloviate on is over-kill, just your pre-Vatican II dogmatism now applied to your progressive meme that is very dogmatic. Progressives are suppose to be flexible, embracing and non-dogmatic.
@Bill deHaas – comment #56:
While Fr. Richstatter’s “General Liturgical Principles” are interesting and useful, they are only guidelines. They don’t supplant Canon Law or the Liturgical texts — they are only one of many helping tools to interpret the Liturgical Law.
By reading the GIRM and the Rubrics, the places for elevations are made clear.
In the EP, there are five elevations of varying degrees:
1&3) Each of the elements is held “slightly raised above the altar” as its respective part of the Institution Narrative is spoken, per the Rubrics.
2&4) Each of the Conserated Species is “shown to the people” per the Rubrics. What does this mean? If we take it literally, in versus populum worship, it could mean to do nothing (since the people can already see the both Species during the entirety of the Prayer). However, if we look at GIRM 150, we see reference to the possibility that a minister may ring a bell at each elevation by the Priest. Neither the Rubrics nor the GIRM say HOW this elevation is to be made, but “showing” the Host and Chalice does mean an elevation. Incidentally, the wording of the rubric suggests to me that it presupposes ad orientem worship (since there would be no other reason to “show” the Sacred Species).
5) Finally, there is an elevation of both the Paten and Chalice at the Doxology per the rubrics. This is obviously more than the “raised slightly” of the Words of Institution, but neither the Rubrics nor the GIRM give any more description of HOW the elevation is to be made.
The Rubrics of the MR3 and GIRM are ambiguous to tell us exactly how the elevations 2, 4, and 5 are to take place. The GIRM uses the term “elevation/elevates” in 150 and 151 for both cases. Richstatter’s principles are not helpful here to determine what ought to be done.
(to be continued…)
@Clarence Goodwright – comment #58:
It is interesting that in several places in the GIRM where the Latin text speaks of a “showing”, the current English missal translates it as “elevation”. Actually, the first GIRMs (69/70) did say “elevationem” (or similar) in several minor rubrics but this was uniformly changed throughout the text to “ostensionem” (or similar) in 1975.
An interesting practice (based I would guess on the “showing” language) that I’ve witnessed with some priests celebrating using altars that were not altered to allow for celebration facing the people is a turning around to show the elements instead of raising them above the head.
@Joshua Vas – comment #61:
Actually, the first GIRMs (69/70) did say “elevationem” (or similar) in several minor rubrics but this was uniformly changed throughout the text to “ostensionem” (or similar) in 1975.
I have to say that my copies of Latin GIRM 1969/70 use the verb ostendit, carried over from the Tridentine Missal rubric. No elevations except at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer.
@Bill deHaas – comment #56:
Ultimately, a priest must make judgment call — he has to do SOMETHING based on the GIRM and rubrics, yet the rubrics are ambiguous as to what. My approach would be to continue doing the elevations as they had been done before the Missal of Paul VI.
When we speak about the elevations during the Eucharistic Prayer, your interpretation won’t hold up.
– Contrary to your thought, multiple elevations don’t violate the unity of the EP (not that Richstatter mentioned that as one of his principles anyways)
– Clearly, the Church does not think “less is more” or “once is enough” in this matter, since a reading of the text shows that all three elevations remain.
– Things are in fact what they seem – The Anaphora is both Sacrifice and Thanksgiving – if it were only a remembrance, any elevations would be inappropriate.
Some thoughts in closing:
1) Just because there have been new theological explanations about Sacraments and Ecclesiology does not mean the old ones have been supplanted (e.g. the “Trentan notion of sacrifice” expressed in GIRM 2).
2) Everyone has theological and ecclesiological presuppostions and agendas – including you and me.
3) How is it that you get a longer character limit than me?
@Clarence Goodwright – comment #59:
Clarence – good points that get at the heart of what Fr. Ruff posted , IMO, *do some OF actions contribute to a desire for the ROTR*.
But, your opening statement is upside down. Keep in mind that liturgical law & rubrics are at the lowest level of a hierarchy of liturgical principles, norms, and pastoral decisions. Principles are primary; rubrics are the tools and liturgical laws are at the lowest level of the hierarchy. You say well and this gets to Fr. Ruff’s post – “Ultimately, a priest must make judgment calls — he has to do SOMETHING based on the GIRM and rubrics, yet the rubrics are ambiguous as to what.” Unlike your solution, would propose that you start with the Principles; not with rubrics or even the GIRM. Rubrics and GIRM are often minimal statements; declarations that are compromises between two poles; statements that express the bare minimum. And yes, it comes down to a *prudential* decision that hopefully leads with pastoral sensitivity about the communal liturgy (not presider self-preferences). It is unfortunate that, in some cases, we have to rely upon liturgical law because presiders lack good liturgical ars celebrandi or even good pastoral liturgical skills. But, don’t leap to letting the lowest common denominator determine the community’s Eucharistic liturgical actions. (Mr. Hazell – no, not ignoring the rubrics but also not allowing the rubric to be the essential goal)
Don’t agree with your multiple elevations interpretation (yes, it may technically be legal) nor do I agree with this statement – “Just because there have been new theological explanations about Sacraments and Ecclesiology does not mean the old ones have been supplanted”. You need to make a distinction between the core sacramental/theological belief and how it is expressed, acted on liturgically which develops, is reformed, and changes over time (as Fr. Ruff has stated frequently).
Allow me to expand:
– Liturgical law – good explanation found here: http://www.tomrichstatter.org/dDocuments/d51law.htm
The meaning of theological texts changes and develops as theological reflection progresses. The meaning of norms of action can remain unchanged and stable for a long time.” (Ladislas Orsy, S.J., “Literary Forms in the Code” in CLSA, The Code of Canon Law: A Text and Commentary,1985, pp 41-45 or to say it another way – “Sacramental theologians and canon lawyers have similar but different interests. They have been trained in separate fields and employee distinctive vocabularies and methods”
De minimis non curat praetor Matter of minimal significance. Here the canonical axiom which applies is derived from Roman law: De minimis non curat praetor. Words and actions not explicitly authorized are sometimes introduced into liturgy, e.g., liturgical dancing, acclamation in the Eucharistic Prayer, the people endorsing the Eucharistic Prayer by joining in the doxology. These are of such minor importance that permission is not required. (Brian Gleeson. “Rubrics versus Creativity in Liturgy: Towards a Resolution of Tension and Conflict” in Worship, 70:2 (March 1996), p. 136. (this article might be the best expansion to Fr. Ruff’s original post – he mentions two creative actions that may create tension and conflict; thus reinforcing ROTR?)
The following is a brief summary of the thesis of the doctoral work, Liturgical Law Today: New Style, New Spirit (Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1978.) “In order that the liturgy may possess its full effectiveness, … pastors must realize that when the liturgy is celebrated something more is required than the mere observance of the laws governing valid and lawful celebration” (CSL 11). What is this “something more”? Obedience to liturgical law in the post-Vatican II period demands attitudes, knowledge, and skill at three levels:
1. General Liturgical Principles – the “goal” statements; the purpose of the law; the “whys”; what the law is for.
2. Liturgical Norms – rubrics. (“Liturgy law has always sprung from practice and not from legislation.” P. Gy as reported by P. Laurant.)
3. Pastoral Sensitivity – insight into the concrete pastoral situation of these people at this time and the skill to apply the norms in such a way that the general principle is achieved. “When asked to rank the trait they most value in a pastor, parishioners named sensitivity to the needs of others by a wide margin over holiness, learning, good preaching skills, good organizing skills, or anything else. They want a pastor who understands them, who consults them, who respects them as contributors to the common life of the parish.” David Leege. “The American Catholic Parish of the 1980â€™s” in The Parish in Transition, USCC publication 967, p 16.)
To obey liturgical law is to use pastoral sensitivity to assure that the norms achieve the General Principles
Can’t believe that fifty years after Vatican II we continue to argue about palls, burses, maniples, corporals, veils. So, as explained above, technically any presider can use since they are *of such minor importance that permission is not required*. But one must ask how a presider arrives at this point – suggest that they have elevated the secondary and accidental to the level of principles (think *accretions*). Simplicity is a SC principle and yes, it is NOBLE. The offered interpretations by some commenters on *minimialism* is ridiculous – as if burse, veil, pall significantly add anything to the eucharist. Could have sworn that the history of the pall was to keep insects out of the cup and wine? Appears that we have taken an early *function* and made it into a holy and sacred ritual. Beauty – after forests have been wasted explaining the need to use well crafted and made eucharistic cups and plates; descriptions of the *eucharistic actions* not minor objects that have little connection to the communal actions. Really?
@Bill deHaas – comment #76:
Bill, if one of the norms for interpretation is De minimis non curat praetor, that something is of “such minor importance that permission is not required”, and you believe that the burse, veil, and pall do not significantly add anything to the eucharist, then why should it bristle someone if, where one presider endorses liturgical dancing and communal recitation of the doxology, another presider endorses uses of the burse, veil, and pall?
Earlier you said: “[The EPs] main sections have to do with remembering, calling on the Spirit, blessing, breaking, sharing, etc. (not the *former* Tridentine approach that focused on objects and elevations which are based upon a specific sacramental theology)”
First, is that general liturgical principle one of Fr. Richstatter’s 24? You’ve placed it alongside several of his, giving me the impression that it was his; but upon re-reading the list on his web site, I can’t find it.
Second, while the Communion Rite involves the breaking and sharing of the Eucharistic elements, the EP itself does not (except in the narration of Christ’s actions, and in the prayers which mention the anticipated Communion).
Third, by by “the Tridentine approach”, do you mean a particular approach to the praying/performing of the Eucharistic Prayer? How does it “focus on elevations”? I could see the argument that it focuses on signs of the Cross, but how does it focus on elevations, anymore than it focuses on the extension of the hands over the bread and wine, for example?
“is the institution narrative’s goal or point about elevations?”
Of course not; the elevations/showings are a liturgical response to the consecration which the Roman tradition attributes to the institution narrative.
One could ask why the elements need to be “shown” to the people at all anymore. And if they do need to be shown, why should it happen in the midst of the institution narrative, interrupting it? Shouldn’t it happen later? But again, why should it happen at all?
@Bill deHaas – comment #76:
From your comment, I get the impression that you think my interpretation is one that isn’t taking the principles you have mentioned into consideration. I did read them (more than once — and I find them worthwhile enough that I’ve bookmarked the web page), but that doesn’t change my interpretation.
I still think, along with Samuel, that some type of elevation is required. I would even go a step further and say that parishioners in most places I have been would be troubled by a low ‘showing’ akin to the elevation at the doxology — something higher would be necessary, even if not the full elevation of the EF.
Moving on to the issue in general… You suggest that we should not be holding to a mere rubricism — yet you seem to be advocating something that isn’t very different. In the name of “pastoral sensitivity” you seem to be advocating a “principle-ism” that strips the liturgy down to the barest of rubrics because these things fail the litmus tests of “less is more”, “don’t ritualize functions”, and “accumulated symbolism”. This becomes its own “lowest common denominator” – a barren ideal of “noble simplicity” that is impoverished compared to the Noble Simplicity that has always marked the Roman Rite. It is a minimalism of sorts.
From what I read as I perused Richstatter’s site, I get the impression that he would fit in this category, and I suspect that Bugnini and Congar would as well. The CDW members whose dubia responses often amounted to “do it some way, just not the old way” would fit here as well.
I think this mentality, in and of itself, has fueled the ROTR — some people found themselves “undernourished” by the stripped-down liturgy that has arisen from the way that some priests have in good faith applied the principles in their desire to move toward creativity and pastoral sensitivity (I’m not speaking here of outright abuses). The things that ROTR advocates are calling for – Chant, beautiful vestments, beautiful Churches, high elevations of the Host and Chalice, Latin, celebration ad orientem, maniples, chalice veils, etc. – are not constitutive of liturgy in the Roman Rite, but are also not foreign to it. When they look at the way the OF is typically celebrated, they see lots of simplicity, and very little nobility.
I think this also explains why so many who advocate the ROTR and the EF are young – too young to remember when the EF was normative. We have grown up undernourished. When we found the banquet of our patrimony, we were angry — angry that those who had it chose to deprive us of what was always rightfully ours. Now that we have begun to partake of it, we want to share it with the rest of the Church.
This brings us to an inherent problem with Fr. Anthony’s question of “What is the most constructive and charitable way to move toward better celebration of the reformed liturgy?” Advocates of the ROTR are not going to see “better celebration”, “good liturgical ars celebrandi”, “good pastoral liturgical skills”, or even “Noble simplicity” in the same way as those who aren’t advocating the ROTR.
Perhaps the most constructive and charitable first step is acknowledging that difference.
Perhaps the most constructive and charitable second step is acknowledging and accepting that (for good or for ill) a disproportionately large portion of seminarians and young priests are coming from the ROTR point of view. I can’t speak for my peers, but I know that I want to be a good spiritual fathers to their future parishioners – and part of that is a desire to give them the highest and best that the Church has to offer, even if that can’t be everything right away. I admit that in my zeal, I will make mistakes, but I will continue to learn to balance my view with the needs of my spiritual children… and I pray that they will be patient enough with me to help me find that balance.
@Clarence Goodwright – comment #89:
Thank you Clarence. Well explained.
@Bill deHaas – comment #56: When you distill everything liturgically down to – what is rubrically forbidden, allowed, etc., you have sunk to the lowest common denominator and failed to uphold the pastoral responsibility outlined in the General Liturgical Principles.
Is it not possible to see the rubrics as making up a part of this “pastoral responsibility”? After all, they are there to let us know what needs to be done when and how.
Otherwise, I don’t see what the solution to your perceived problem would be. Would you rather just ignore the rubrical directions and have the liturgy descend into a free-for-all? (And haven’t we already damaged the liturgy trying that in recent times?!)
@Bill deHaas – comment #56:
I would add a thought on what the Mass is about. Isn’t it the Son’s act of giving glory to the Father, accomplished most explicitly in both words and gesture at the doxology?
While this has been the received wisdom for a while, and certainly was the view that influenced the EPs produced after Vatican II, more recent historical work by scholars like Paul Bradshaw and Brian Spinks indicates that in the first few centuries the “Eucharistic Prayer” was often a series of shorter prayers — in other words, the archaic pattern found in the Didache was also found in other EPs. Thus what was seen as the decadent early medieval jumble of the Roman Canon, with its loosely connected series of prayers, might well be a sign of its great antiquity.
All of which is to say that the claim that the EP must be treated strictly as a single prayer because this was the ancient form of the EP has a shakey historical foundation. Those who want to argue for treating the EP in this way need to offer an argument as to why this approach is better than the approach that sees it as an internally differentiated series of prayers.
Thanks, Deacon. Agree with your comment. That being said, neither advocated nor stated that the ancient form of the EP was a single prayer. Suggest that there is a difference between the historical studies, practices and what the theology/liturgy is doing in terms of the EP as a unity in prayer, action, etc. If anything, would break it up following the children EPs’ format with more frequent responses, etc. that appear to reinforce the idea that it is a communal prayer with responses rather than an earlier focus on presider/congregation and objects elevated.
But, fear that I may just be *bloviating here*.
@Bill deHaas – comment #71:
Thanks for your honesty Bill! 🙂
@Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #73:
Allan – How sad…..”I never thought, Bill, that anything you bloviate on is over-kill, just your pre-Vatican II dogmatism now applied to your progressive meme that is very dogmatic. Progressives are supposed to be flexible, embracing and non-dogmatic.” Followed by the sarcastic comment – “Thanks for your honesty Bill! ” Guess the smiling head justifies anything.
Bloviate – Webster’s Dictionary – “To speak or write at length in a pompous or boastful manner.”
Ad Hominem – Webster’s Dictionary – “A general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making the claim. Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making.
Couple of points of order:
1) Bloviate – my last few posts quoted from Rev. Thomas Richstatter’s Liturgy Notes at St. Meinrad’s. Richstatter has a MA (Notre Dame Univ.) and PhD in liturgy from Paris and was the executive director of the FDLC for years. The length of the last post was almost all directly taken from Richstatter – nothing quoted, IMO, bloviates or is pompous/boastful in manner.
2) Ad hominem – You state – “Pre-Vatican II dogmatism and progressive meme…..supposed to be flexible, embracing and non-dogmatic.” Sorry, only in your world does progressive imply *anything goes as in flexible* or *non-dogmatic*. Dogmatic = Inclined to lay down principles as incontrovertibly true. If that is the agreed upon definition, then, guilty. Not sure that a progressive catholic would say that they are willy-nilly or that what they believe and support is not dogmatic as in true. Use Timothy Radcliffe’s definition that there are Kingdom and Communion Catholics…..Communion Catholics seem to put *identity* concerns first; Kingdom Catholics seem to put *mission* concerns first. Liturgy is both/and and is about more than identity – it nourishes and sends us out on mission. It involves both tradition and creativity. Again, you ignore what I posted and just attacked me; thus, dismissing the contribution.
If anything, guilty of being demoralized by the constant polarizations. Per Richard McBrien: http://www2.the-tidings.com/2006/0609/essays.htm Highlight – “…..many moderate liberals are appalled by the self-righteousness of ultra-conservative Catholics and by their harshly judgmental attitudes toward many centrist Catholics, but centrists have no desire to drive ultra-conservatives out of the Church or to deny them their right to speak. On the other hand, moderates would like the ultra-conservatives to reciprocate in kind by cooling their own passion to judge and to punish.”
Bloviate – prime example…..go to Southern Orders blog. To borrow from former president, Bill Clinton – “it takes brass to criticize someone for what you yourself have done!”
“The complaint is not about unintentional errors but about those who ignore or contradict instructions about the Mass.”
Peter, I agree. #36 was meant as sarcasm, mainly.
Matthew, a few reasons.
SC 54a was the start, not the culmination of the renewal of the vernacular in Catholic worship. SC 54b mentions the Mass ordinary, which I think should be sung at every Mass, no exception. 54c was what the bishops of the world used as justification for expanding the vernacular widely.
Latin as a sung language works. As a spoken tongue, it makes sense if the assembly (and that includes the priest) knows Latin. Otherwise, it strikes me as an affectation.
@Todd Flowerday – comment #72:
Isn’t it odd how the conversation drifts in predictable directions.
@Peter Haydon – comment #78:
Remember that it takes a hurricane to reverse the course of the Mississippi, and then, only temporarily.
@Todd Flowerday – comment #81:
Fr Z once argued that a rising tide raises all the boats. I pointed out that it does not do so if the boat has a leak. We have tides of 50 feet or so and one needs to know about them. If you walk a mile or so out to sea on a low tide you need to get back quickly when the tide rises.
UPDATE: This was in response to a comment by Bill deHaas (quoted) that has apparently been deleted.
Don’t agree with your multiple elevations interpretation (yes, it may technically be legal)
No, it’s not “technically” legal to elevate the host twice (after the consecration at at the end of the EP), it’s required.
Sure, you can debate whether to CALL it an elevation, but it’s that’s largely semantic quibbling… the fact is that the rubrics require that the priest show the Host to the people and that requires lifting it–elevating it–off the altar.
Hey, Bill – how *do* you get a longer character limit? 🙂
@Jim Pauwels – comment #80:
You simply edit a comment you already made. There does not appear to be any character restriction in place when you edit a comment.
Sorry for any confusion, JP.
You are mixing up the 24 General Liturgical Principles and a separate section Richstatter’s has on liturgical law.
Agree on the breaking/sharing actions and EP – except that the EP in the institution narrative remembers that.
Tridentine approach – borrowing from numerous sacrament theologians and notes from Congar, Bugnini, etc. Council of Trent reacted to the times and using Thomistic formulas, arrived at an organized theological narrative on eucharist…..focus is on Thomistic categories, objects, substance, bloody/unbloody, etc. to best define both theologically and liturgically in the face of the Reformation. My point is borrowed from Jungmann’s study…..after the Council of Trent (in which liturgy was a minor goal/subject), subsequent popes were asked to appoint and reform the liturgy – which was done (mirrors VII except that VII actually started with SC, voted on a directive to make liturgy one of the most significant goals and empowered Paul VI to form Consilium which Paul continued to work with closely – thus, significant difference from the Trentan experience). Jungmann’s study posited that over time the Trentan liturgy focused on objects (for a variety of reasons) and that some of these functions (e.g. signs of cross, elevations, whispering emphatically the words of institution, etc.) took on a life of their own (he has the stories about folks paying the priest to elevate the host and keep it there for a long period of time). Lex orandi, lex credendi – these practices and functions became part of the ritual and folks developed mini-explanations to justify the ritual (think of the multiple stories around the priest washing his fingers).
Yes, there were some rituals (extending hands over bread and wine) that Consilium kept – bujt they did so based upon ressourcement studies; explanations and theological reasons to maintain, if not strengthen, these gestures.
Finally, you arre correct….Richstatter and my CTU professors posited that during the EP, actual elevations may not be necessary and *could* create confusion by breaking up the EP, etc. At CTU we were challenged to develop and explain why we choose certain gestures during the EP – the point – to be consistent and know what each section of the EP meant and how this is conveyed to the assembly.
#89. “I think this mentality, in and of itself, has fueled the ROTR — some people found themselves “undernourished” by the stripped-down liturgy that has arisen from the way that some priests have in good faith applied the principles in their desire to move toward creativity and pastoral sensitivity (I’m not speaking here of outright abuses). The things that ROTR advocates are calling for – Chant, beautiful vestments, beautiful Churches, high elevations of the Host and Chalice, Latin, celebration ad orientem, maniples, chalice veils, etc. – are not constitutive of liturgy in the Roman Rite, but are also not foreign to it. When they look at the way the OF is typically celebrated, they see lots of simplicity, and very little nobility.”
I have a closet full of beautiful vestments that are of truly noble design. They are full and ample, not skimpy and silky, nor resembling museum pieces. Theres not a maniple in sight since that accoutrement was sensibly abandoned as having no purpose. I’ve been in hundreds of beautiful churches either constructed or renovated since the Council. I’ve built two of them myself. I’m talking about places where God is worshipped and praised without long naves and sanctuaries that greatly distance the people away from the Altar and Ambo. Since we now know why priests used to elevate the consecrated elements on high we are free to fervently pray the EP without such a gesture. To imagine that there is a widespread clamor from the people urging higher and higher elevations is just not credible. It is nothing more than imposing a personal piety upon the rites.
The only real problem with the Eucharistic liturgy of the Latin Rite is priests who fail to truly animate the people so that they learn to love offering the Mass with, in, and through Christ. It is not a show starring the priest, but he stands in the person of Christ who had a personality, who smiled, and who engaged the disciples gathered round.
I assume from comment #89 that Clarence Goodwright is a seminarian. As one who has served as a diocesan presbyter (priest) for 31 years, let me assure you of my prayers as you continue your formation. I do hope that the Lord has called you to priestly ministry and that you will have many rich years serving God’s people.
I have found that one of the most difficult tasks in both my spiritual and intellectual life has been to question my assumptions. I rejoice that you are able to recognize that “[t]he things that ROTR advocates are calling for – Chant, beautiful vestments, beautiful Churches, high elevations of the Host and Chalice, Latin, celebration ad orientem, maniples, chalice veils, etc. – are not constitutive of liturgy in the Roman Rite, but are also not foreign to it.” I think making a study of each of the elements you have suggested using the categories that Sacrosanctum Concilium recommended — historical, theological, and pastoral — would be of great value to foster respectful discussion among advocates of ROTR and whatever you would name your interlocutors. For example, historical study situates the maniple as a piece of linen used by priests to wipe their hands/faces, used in the Roman Rite from ca. 6th C. Given the allegorical interpretations favored by medieval writers it came to signify variously: the rope binding Christ, the chains binding his hands, the tears of penance, the burden of sin, the fatigue of the priestly office, the service given by a servant to the servants of God. The present liturgical legislation requires it for the celebration of the EF and does not require it for the celebration of the OF. So at the very least, it is not an essential element of Eucharistic celebration in the Roman Rite, but there might be arguments made for its retention or abolition. I’m going to go to the next combox to at least frame the discussion.
1) Historically, some might want to preserve the use of the maniple because it has been in use since the 6th C. Others might ask “what’s so special about the 6th C?” Should we “freeze” liturgical development at that point in history and culture? Why not celebrate in a form closer to that of Jesus and the early disciples (or some other period for some other reason?) Notice I’m not taking a position here, just raising questions underlying the use of history in liturgical arguments.
2) Theologically, one could argue that an originally functional piece of cloth (the cultural equivalent of a handkerchief) was given allegorical meanings over time. The rise and dissemination of these meanings can likewise be traced through historical study. The fact that the meanings assigned are so various indicates the differing symbol systems at work in explaining the Mass (e.g., as “sacred drama”, as reproducing the historical events of Jesus’ life…). Is such allegorical reading of the sign systems of the liturgy a legitimate approach in liturgical theology today? Again notice that I am not taking a position, just raising a question.
3) Pastorally, one might ask: “Since I live in a culture where I have both handkerchiefs and kleenex to engage the functions for which the maniple was created, does it make sense to continue its use as a purely symbolic garment, detached from the functional meaning from which it arose?” Again, I’m not taking a position, just trying to raise the question.
I know I’m going on for a bit, but I find that my training in semiotics makes it difficult for me to simply accept statements about “beautiful vestments” or “beautiful Churches” without knowing the assumptions the speaker brings to the interpretation of the sign systems that are interpreted as beautiful, sign systems that bear the weight of cultural and historical conditioning. Thus my constant need to examine my own assumptions.
I hope this is helpful for further conversation.
@Fr. Jan Michael Joncas – comment #93:
Even today in finer restaurants, you’ll see waiters with towels over their arms, maybe not the left at all times, but hanging over an arm. What better way to emphasize that the Eucharist is meal and that the presider is the servant of the assembly?
@John Kohanski – comment #94:
Of course, if the presider in other ways behaves as if the assembly members are his servants, the use of the symbol becomes one of contradiction at at least one most obvious and glaring level, though not all.
@Fr. Jan Michael Joncas – comment #93:
Thank you for your analysis.
One reason to use something of symbolic significance might be to remind one of the past, of tradition. Military units train their recruits in the regimental history and display their battle honours. That does not detract from learning modern methods. It serves to inspire and give confidence.
Today the church faces an attack from aggressive secularists. Perhaps a reminder of the past and of persecutions might be important. Do you think that those priests who emerged from priest holes to say Mass in the reign of Elizabeth I wore maniples and if so why?
One reason not to do so would be if they served to distract from the purpose of the Mass.
Thank you again for your thoughts.
Maybe I’m missing something, but the peripheral things that we are discussing are related to the new push, within the last 10 years or so, for continuity in the two forms of the liturgy we now have and the recovery of the EF Mass is meant to help us to see what was discarded and why and if the why is not really a very good why, then why not recover it.
I see no real major changes to the current Roman Missal except for some continuity issues between it and the 1962 missal, meaning recovery of chant as Vatican II had hoped would be developed, including the use of the official Introit, Offertory and Communion antiphons which are in the revised missal as it is.
Ad orientem or the Benedictine altar arrangement for the Liturgy of the Eucharist only in the revised Mass comes to mind and thus also continuity in “showing” the consecrated Elements to the laity at the two elevations after the consecrations.
Better chant and in continuity with our the best of our tradition prior to the Council is a no-brainer even in English.
Maniples, chalice veils, burses are the least of what should preoccupy us. Just let them be used if one wants too. Modern looking vestments and more traditional looking ones should easily coexist together–no big deal.
@Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #96:
“Modern looking vestments and more traditional looking ones should easily coexist together–no big deal.”
Except this is not envisioned by SC. “(N)oble beauty rather than mere sumptuous display.” It’s time to jettison the sumptuous vestments.
@Todd Flowerday – comment #10:
“It’s time to jettison the sumptuous vestments.”
Or, in good stewardship, use good old exemplars judiciously, and not make new ones. Jettison is too rash. A small point, but it bears on a lot of what causes unnecessary pendulum swings.
@Todd Flowerday – comment #10:
Except that SC describes a principle, not a commandment to throw away what you have:
Note the specification of a method, “encouragement,” and the idea that this is an ideal, “strive”, and the fact that sumptous display is not ruled out, but rather, “mere sumptuous display”. Contrast Lorenzo Ghiberti’s “Gates of Paradise” with plain doors made of gold just because they’re expensive. Surely, Ghiberti’s doors are both sumptuous and nobly beautiful.
I thank Mr. Kohanski for furthering the conversation. I presume that he is in favor of retaining the maniple and makes an argument from present cultural practice, the “pastoral” aspect I listed above. It presumes an allegorical reading of the maniple, i.e., that it is a sign of the burden of the priestly office in service to the People of God, that I listed in the “theological” aspect. One could still ask whether the originating functional meaning of the maniple to wipe perspiration is properly allegorized in this way. Two questions immediately present themselves on the “pastoral” level: 1) To whom is the sign directed/Who would recognize the sign? I.e., is this a “private” meaning that only the priest who uses the maniple needs to know (or not) or is this something that those “in the know” about liturgical symbolism need to know (or not) or is this something at as many of the faithful should know (or not)? The answers to this question may have some implications for the size, shape, decoration and placement of the maniple, e.g., should it be clearly seen by all or normally placed under the chasuble? 2) Are the customs of what one culture does at one point in history in haute cuisine dining an appropriate model for the eucharistic banquet? Once again, I’m not taking a position on the matter, just attempting to show how the discussion might go.
I thank Fr. Allan for his comments at #96 and agree that the issue of the wearing of the maniple should belong to the adiophora of the Roman Rite. With that said, I chose it simply as a test case to try to illustrate how respectful conversation among advocates of the ROTR and whatever the other group might be called on a particular point of liturgical practice, using the historical, theological, and pastoral research categories employed by the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.
I would ask him to clarify something else in his contribution however: “I see no real major changes to the current Roman Missal except for some continuity issues between it and the 1962 missal.” Even limiting oneself simply to the Ordo Missae, omitting Psalm 42:1-5 and the versicle “Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini / Qui fecit caelum et terram”, transforming the Confiteor and Miseratur from texts spoken first by priest with ministers responding, then ministers with priest responding, to a single text recited by the assembly after the priest’s invitation with the priest responding to the assembly’s confession as one option among a variety of penitential acts, omitting the “Indulgentiam” text, the versicles and responses from “Deus, tu converses vivificabis nos” through “Et cum spiritu tuo,” the “Aufer a nobis,” the “Oramus te,” and limiting the number of Orations/Collects to one per Mass are fairly substantial changes just for the Introductory Rites.
@Fr. Jan Michael Joncas – comment #100:
Actually, I don’t know if it is realistic to see any major changes to the Order of Mass for the Ordinary Form including how the Introductory Rite is celebrated, meaning that it would continue as is and with the various options in the missal, including the Rite of Blessing and Sprinkling Holy Water and celebrated at the chair along with the Concluding Rite and Blessing.
I would simply suggest the chanting of the Official Introit with perhaps a hymn in addition to it if needed for the procession.
I would hope that ad orientem for the Liturgy of the Eucharist would be more widespread, but with all the Eucharistic Prayers that are available.
Thanks, Fr. Joncas – you do a much better job of framing the questions than I. Appreciate your contributions. And to you, Jack, your experience and pastoral wisdom shows.
To Mr. Goodnight – good questions but not sure I would agree with some of your responses (e.g. . …. “this also explains why so many who advocate the ROTR and the EF are young – too young to remember when the EF was normative. We have grown up undernourished. When we found the banquet of our patrimony, we were angry — angry that those who had it chose to deprive us of what was always rightfully ours. Now that we have begun to partake of it, we want to share it with the rest of the Church.”) Would just suggest that what excites you about the TLM/EF is just one small part of our patrimony. Our patrimony is best exhibited by the reforms of Vatican II – carefully studied, researched, and designed based upon both experts in many fields and the experiences/requests from all conferences of bishops around the world. Your comment about the *youn* is very subjective – CARA stats indicate that your *facts* are subjective and slant the actual facts. Also, my experience is that reacting our of anger or fear, gives rise to poor decisions and choices.
Really should bring these to Fr. Jim Swift – he is an expert liturgist and can help you understand.
Next commenter – “Today the church faces an attack from aggressive secularists” Beyond the reality that the church always faces attacks and lives in tension with the world, how to live with and how to respond are difficult decisions and choices to make. This type of black/white vision of the world/church reminds me of the Donatist heresy; the Jansenist movement, etc. Vatican II challenged us to engage the world – not be defensive, reactive, or judgmental. And how do you connect your statement to liturgical accidents such as *manibles*?
I thank Mr. Haydon for his comment at #97. If I understand you correctly you presented both pro and con arguments for wearing the maniple: 1) pro — using something of symbolic significance from past tradition inspires and gives confidence; 2) con — if it distracts from the purpose of the Mass. Since you asked directly if I thought the priests emerging from priest holes wore maniples when celebrating Mass, I would say: “I don’t know in the absence of direct historical data, but I would venture to say that they would if vestments were available to them since that was the expected custom of the day.” But what most fascinates me is that I detect that you have provided another symbolic meaning for wearing the maniple — almost as a banner to reinforce religious identity in the face of aggressive persecution. This is a magnificent example, in my opinion, of how the symbolic imagination works. The allegorization of the maniple as burden of pastoral office in service to the People of God was concretized in your imagination by the wonderful example of the English priest martyrs and you made a symbolic connection to the Church under persecution today from aggressive secularists. Symbolic imagination could then “close the circle” and return to the binding of Christ’s hands as he is led to his Passion and Death. I’d like to comment on this process in the next combox.
I believe it was Margaret Mary Kelleher who, some years ago, distinguished between “official,” “public,” and “private” meanings in the symbolic discourse that makes up liturgical activity. The “official” meanings are usually derived from official sanctioned documents and practice (e.g., for Roman Rite Roman Catholics at OF Eucharist, the present edition of the GIRM with whatever adaptations are approved by the local territorial bishops’ conference). The “public” meanings are those derived from catechetical activity, explicating the official meanings. “Private” meanings are those co-created by individuals engaging the symbol’s activity.
In the present case, the “official” meaning of the maniple is that it is a priestly garment (not worn by other baptized or non-baptized persons) associated with the celebration of the Eucharist. The “public” meanings are both functional (to wipe perspiration) and allegorical (the various explications I’ve noted above). Mr. Haydon has generated a magnificent “private” meaning for the maniple. I believe that it may powerfully enrich his own spirituality but it is not directly connected to the official or public meanings the church has so far constructed. (That is not to say that this private meaning might someday be received as a public or official meaning: that is part of the joy of our contemplative reception of the inexhaustible meaning-generation of these liturgical symbols.) Once again, I hope this is helpful.
@Fr. Jan Michael Joncas – comment #3:
Thank you Fr for your very kind words.
Yes, I recognise that what I like and find helpful others may find distracting or worse. I am not in a position to impose my will or choices (probably a good thing) but am honoured when you, and others consider my thoughts.
Regarding the canonical aspects of the maniple, burse, et al, here is one of the world’s leading liturgical canonists commenting on Summorum Pontificum in July 2007:
@Paul Inwood – comment #5:
There’s little to no weight in the dicta of anonymous canonists.
@Paul Inwood – comment #5:
This interpretation is a mixed bag. Certainly, I could assume good will in 2007, but under current law, namely the provisions of Universae Ecclesiae, much of this interpretation would no longer hold.
Several of these suggestions would be unacceptable under UE 28, which derogates from post-1962 provisions of of law connected to sacred Rites that are incompatible with the 1962 books. Namely:
– Communion under both kinds
– Altar girls
– Concelebration other than by ordinati at a Mass of Priestly Ordination
– Communion in the Hand
He would seem to be in one sense correct about the Maniple, Burse, and Chalice Veil — their absence does not invalidate the Eucharist. However, their omission in the EF is clearly illicit – whereas their use in the OF is not clearly licit or illict.
The one thing that he interprets incorrectly is concerning the Subdeacon. Based on Ministeria Quaedam, it would seem the instituted acolyte could vest (sans maniple) and carry out many (but not all) functions of the Subdeacon. In addition, it was a longstanding practice that minor clerics (and even in a pinch laymen) could vest in the tunicle only and act as a “straw Subdeacon” in the absence of other clergy, carrying out some of the functions.
However, the biggest concern I have from this interpretation is this: even in 2007, before UE forbade them, forcing any of these things upon the communities who asked for the EF would be extremely pastorally insensitive. Even some of the things that would be possible due to current law, such as Masses after noon and readings in the vernacular might likewise not be received well.
(In the next post I will propose a potential mentality behind interpretations such as this one – and theorize some consequences)
@Paul Inwood – comment #5:
Incidentally, the approach this canonist takes betrays an attitude shared by some unwitting agents of the ROTR (and of the EF): That all of the significant changes permitted in the liturgy since 1962 are unquestionably good, and thus they should not only be promoted in the reformed liturgy, but also imposed onto the “unreformed” one.
Before the ink was dry on Summorum Pontificum, questions swarmed about how these aspects of practice would come to be applied (or not applied) in the EF – both by those who thought the liturgical novelties should apply to the EF, and by those who feared that the novelties might be imposed upon them.
This is the same mentality that also seeks to impose the modern Lectionary, new prefaces, and the new calendar on the EF without any consideration of the integrity of the rite. While some of these (e.g. new prefaces, minor calendar tweaks) could happen – and eventually may under PCED – others like the imposition of the modern Lectionary or wholesale imposition of the OF Calendar would be ruptures that disfigure the rite.
I think many who advocated for the ROTR have come to notice this attitude due to the release of Summorum Pontificum — they saw that the same approach that has led to so many problems in the OF could potentially happen to the EF also. It has made many realize that one of the best ways to promote the ideals of the ROTR is to protect, preserve, and promote the EF that was the origin of those ideals.
I’d like to correct something I wrote in #3 above: It would be more correct to say that the “official” meaning of the maniple was not restricted to the priestly orders (presbyteral and episcopal) but to major orders (diaconate and subdiaconate) since deacons wore them in addition to a dalmatic and subdeacons wore them in addition to the tunicle. Such would still be the practice, I believe, in the EF, with the change that the subdiaconate has been suppressed in the Roman Rite and their liturgical responsibilities assigned to other ministers (and I would trust those who celebrate the EF to clarify whether or not these quasi-subdeacons vest with maniples.) They remain equally unmentioned for deacons in the OF documents. Thanks to Rita Ferrone for the correction.
Re: Fr. McDonald’s comment at #6: I misunderstood what you wrote. You were not declaring that there was no clear ritual discontinuity between the EF and the OF, but that you only wished to import two elements of the EF into the celebration of the OF. Is that the meaning of your post?
@Fr. Jan Michael Joncas – comment #13:
I am in favor of doing was is clearly allowed now in the OF. Mainly ad orientem just for the Liturgy of the Eucharist, recovery of the Introit, etc and kneeling for holy Communion. Basically what Pope Benedict has been modeling since his papacy. In terms of Latin, a little goes a long way for me.
Better to leave an international expert anonymous than have him swooped on and savaged by some of the less inhibited posters here instead of discussing the content of what he said. The original post was not, of course, anonymous, appearing as it did on a respectable international liturgy listserv.
I’ve tried to read through all of the comments and failed. I come to Mass because Jesus instructed His followers to “do this in memory of me”. This emphasis on rubrics and “proper” (i.e. Latinate) translations is for me a terrible distortion of the Mass.
I never once willingly missed Sunday Mass before the new translation last Advent. Now, I must make a special effort to attend because the shepherds are behaving as hired hands.
Also, I was trying to understand Cermonial of Bishops no. 75 in relation to all this. It has to do with standing and making the sign of the cross at beginning of the Gospel canticals of the liturgy of the hours.
@David Mathers – comment #18:
Sorry, number 90 & 91, including footnote 75.
Which is exactly the point. Fr. Finigan is illustrating that the response “does not say all old practices not mentioned in the new rite must not be used” But what you wrote, that it “indicated clearly that ceremonies called for in the 1962 Missal that were not prescribed in the 1970 Missal were not to be carried over” seemed to do so.
Yes… it is an absurd result. That’s the purpose of a reductio ad absurdum. The reductio is against the idea that the ruling should be interpreted universally to mean that, “ceremonies called for in the 1962 Missal that were not prescribed in the 1970 Missal were not to be carried over.” Something that’s not in the text.
This contra your reply to Fr. MacDonald who held that we should look to the 1962 Missal for instruction (though not unthinkingly) when the current rubrics are silent.
My point about the Ceremonial of Bishops goes to the last bit. Not everything is replaced. The whole tradition isn’t upended by the new missal. It’s intended to be a reform of the old, not something disconnected.