LIBERA ME, Domine, Iesu Christe, ab omnibus iniquitatis meis et universis malis,
fac me tuis semper inhærere mandatis et a te numquam separari permittas. Amen.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Pondering gently . . .

One of the things which I find interesting in the writings of some people is the apparently obsessive objection to developments in the liturgy . . . and yet surely this is something which must need to change from time to time, if only because there are from time to time more Saints who need to be commemorated . . . even if only in various places, and/or for various reasons.

Similarly, the suggestion that any change in the liturgy is inherently ‘mad, bad, and dangerous to know’ is unsatisfactory. I’m all in favour in preventing individual priests from making changes . . . but suggesting that the Holy Father, especially after discussion with a Council, cannot decide that changes need to be made seems to me to be a position which has one very particular characteristic . . . it may be many things, but it’s surely not Catholic.

As a funny, one of the churches in which I used to worship in my Anglican days habitually used – unaltered in any way – the Roman Missal; and apart from one or two ‘locally interesting’ Feasts which did not appear in that Missal, also adhered to the Roman Kalendar . . . and what it achieved was sufficiently good for quite a number of students of the Venerabile – the Catholic English College in Rome – to visit it (allegedly at the suggestion of the Rector of that College) whilst in the UK to see just what could be done within the modern provisions of the Paul VI Missale Romanum.

Don’t get me wrong : I personally have always preferred to older Mass, and imagine that I always shall; but at least I don’t believe that it is impossible for the modern Mass to be decently and reverently celebrated, and I am grateful to that church, and its clergy over a good many years, for allowing me to realize that.

Personally, I’d like every Catholic Parish to have the Extraordinary Form on a regular basis, as well as the Ordinary Form . . . but I have to be honest and say that I think it’s probably more important for every Catholic Parish to celebrate the Novus Ordo Mass decently and reverently, as I was used to for many years whilst an Anglican; simply because that is probably more common, and thus what more people have to rely on.


  1. There speaks a wise man. You. Those words spoke in my mind, as I read.

  2. I do not think it is question of how reverently a mass can be celebrated in either form. That is not the gripe of those who fought in the wilderness of the 70s and 80s for the traditional rite.

    What is at stake (and still to this day not address by those who campaign for the "reform of the reform" and even the Holy Father, himself) is whether the older form and the Novus Ordo express the same theology of the mass, as held by the Council of Trent, when celebrated side by side. The committee that made up the Missal of Paul VI, intended to have a break with the past and bring the Catholic mass closer to the Protestant understanding of the Lord's Supper.

    The crisis in the liturgy will never be solved, until people ask the hard and uncomfortable question of whether the reforms (including those preceding Vatican II) were for the good of the faithful.