Liturgy in Collegeville: From the Archives – Part XX

Pray Tell is running a series on the liturgical history of Collegeville. The sub-series “From the Archives” reprints some of the Liturgy Committee meeting minutes from 1963 to 1969. This sub-series is a behind-the-scenes look at liturgy in Collegeville during and immediately after the Second Vatican Council.

The next record from the Liturgy Committee:

Minutes of the Liturgy Committee

April 10, 1964

Present were Fathers John, Daniel, Godfrey, Michael, Gerard, Aelred, Camillus, Wenceslaus, Leon, and Fr. Adam.

The first part of the discussion consisted of comments on the Holy Week liturgy at the Abbey. Some members of the committee wondered if the blessing of the psalms could be non-Pontifical; others thought that at times the commentaries during the services were redundant—the commentary before the orations, for instance, often said the same thing as the orations themselves. Fr. Adam said that lots of clerics wanted the mandatum. Father Godfrey said that Mrs. Gurian, Mrs. Smith and others missed it. Father Gerard said that the interruption of Mass for the mandatum should not be an argument against having the mandatum, because we interrupt Mass for marriage, confirmation, etc. For many members of the committee, however, the question still remained as to whether or not the mandatum means anything to our American people. Father Michael said that ideally one reader should read the whole Passion, and that the reading of the Passion should be proclamation and not dramatization. Father Daniel asked why we could not have three readers of the Passion and still have proclamation. Father John mentioned that Father Ulric could do nothing on the indult for having the Vigil on Easter Sunday because we didn’t have the protocol number of the indult granted to the Swiss American congregation.

Next Father John announced that Father Abbot had written the Primate and asked him to acquire the following indult: to say Office in the vernacular as a community; for our men on parishes to be allowed to omit Prime and to choose one of the remaining three small hours for recitation; that we in choir be allowed to use the same privileges; and that we be permitted concelebration. The answer of the Abbot Primate was that he would not ask for any indults until after the Congress of Abbots in the fall of 1965. The committee then urged Father Godfrey, who was bound for Rome, to do what he could to acquire this indult. He was advised to go to the Holy Father himself with Cardinal Ritter, if feasible!

It was recommended to have the rite of profession on July 11 in the vernacular, and that it should be restructured if there were time. Father Daniel asked if it would be possible for the professuri to receive communion under both species. Father John replied that we would ask the Bishop for this, but he would have to ask Rome, and he probably would not.

It was finally recommended that culpa, the blessings for the readers, out-going waiters, etc., be in English.

One comment

  1. ” The reading of the Passion should be proclamation and not dramatization.” I agree, insofar as there is a false idea of dramatization linked to the necessity of a priest and 2 lay readers or 2 clerics and 1 lay reader participate for the sake of the lay participation. However, the dignity held by the Word of God is best shown by its singing. It elevates the text, giving its proclamation a bit of a push (how I feel the music and text move together, a bit vague, I know) and tells us more about the text. The Passion tones are only used for the Passion. In that selection of the Gospel, we are shown the greatest and truest drama of all time. Why not then show the people the honor and dignity it has by singing it with 3 deacons, priests, or, if necessary, a layman.

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