On 30th November, 2010 we posted the following item, please read or re-read it carefully. We will review the evolution of these matters in coming days, and a good grasp of what is covered here will be important.


Celebrating Holy Mass pre Novus Ordo
 Pope Paul VI in General Audience in 1969 , concerning the revised liturgy: "We may notice that pious persons will be the ones most disturbed, because, having their respectable way of listening to Mass, they will feel distracted from their customary thoughts and forced to follow those of others............Not Latin, but the spoken ( vernacular)language, will be the main language of the Mass. To those who know the beauty, the power, the expressive sacrality of Latin, its replacement by the vulgar language is a great sacrifice : we lose the discourse of the Christian centuries, we become almost intruders and desecrators ( intrusi e profani) in the literary space of sacred expression, and we will thus lose a great portion of that stupendous and incomparable artistic and spiritual fact that is the Gregorian Chant. We will thus have, indeed, reason for being sad,and almost for feeling lost: with what will we replace this angelic language? It is a sacrifice of inestimable price. The Holy Father went on nevertheless, to explain why he believed the change necessary.
Looking back 41years,on the First Sunday of Advent (as last Sunday was also) we come to the introduction of the Novus Ordo ( now the Ordinary  Form of the Roman Rite). This saw the phasing out of the traditional Latin Mass ( now the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite) in most situations.

The strongest advocates for the Novus Ordo are usually keen spirit of the Council folk (usually elderly clerics, far less often lay folk). But it will be instructive to read what the Council Fathers themselves actually said:
Concelebrated Novus Ordo in St Stephen's Cathedral Brisbane
Note pride of place in the Sanctuary taken by the organ ( a beautiful sound
in an unsound location) and the absence of a Crucifix - replaced by a beardless curly headed figure
of a youth (a surfer?) apparently nailed by one hand to a railway sleeper, dangling above the Altar.
Second Council of the Vatican-
Sacrosanctum Concilium:
36.1 Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin Rites.
36.2 But since the use of the Mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the Sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.
36.3 These norms being observed, it is for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22.2 to decide whether and to what extent, the vernacular language is to be used; their decrees are to be approved, that is confirmed , by the Apostolic See.And, whenever it seems to be called for, this authority is to consult with the bishops of neighbouring regions which have the same language.
54. In Masses which are celebrated with the people, a suitable place may be allotted to their mother tongue. This is to apply in the first place to the readings and the "common prayer", but also as the local conditions may warrant, to those parts which pertain to the people, according to the norm laid down in Art. 36 of this Constitution.

Nevertheless , steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing those parts of the Ordinary of The Mass which pertain to them.

And wherever a more extended use of the mother tongue within the Mass appears desirable, the regulation laid down in Art. 40 of this Constitution is to be observed.

55,The more perfect form of participation in the Mass whereby the faithful, after the priest's communion, receive the Lord's body from the same sacrifice is strongly commended.

The dogmatic principles which were laid down by the Council of Trent remaining intact (40) , communion under both kinds may be granted when the bishops think fit, not only to clerics and religious, but also to the Laity in cases to be determined by the Apostolic See, as, for instance, to the newly ordained in the Mass of their sacred ordination, to the newly professed in the Mass of their religious profession, and to the newly baptised in the Mass which follows their baptism.
(Thanks to Rorati Caeli Blog for re-drawing the above to our attention.)

That is what the Holy Spirit moved the assembled Council Fathers to require.

We all know what happened. Those are the Council's clearly expressed requirements, and it is not only in these areas that the Council's requirements were disregarded e.g. its very narrow proposal for limited concelebrations.

Archbishop Annibale Bugnini ( who drove the change process) used a cynically superb technique to demolish the existing order. Apparently reasonable exceptions or limited concessions were envisaged but he set up the situation in which they quickly became the rule.No matter what the letter of the Council's wishes might be, the false "spirit of the Council"was always available to subvert them and frustrate their application.

We  lament with Pope Paul VI"( mention of the "smoke of Satan"- address 29th June, 1972),we praise Pope John Paul the Great who set the scene for reform and began it, and rejoice in Pope Benedict XVI and his efforts - steady and inspiring - to implement the Reform of the "Reform"


And now, we can look ahead with hope and joyful anticipation, to the same First Sunday in Advent next year 2011: for then we will see the introduction of the new CORRECTED translation of the Order of the Mass thus bringing an end to the botched Old ICEL( before its reform) translation we have endured for 41 years. Then we shall have an accurate translation , and sacral language to dignify it.

This is a large first step in the reform. We hope in time to see the restoration of celebration "ad orientem", with the Priest leading the congregation in addressing the Lord and not distractedly facing them, the abolition of Holy Communion in the hand and the abolition of  routine use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion."Brick by Brick " says Father John Zuhlsdorf the blogging great at WDTPRS.

God Bless Pope Benedict XVI!
Copyright. This is an amended version of an article appearing in the January 2010 issue of FOUNDATION.

The reverence of the pre Novus Ordo liturgy - our aim.


Popular posts from this blog