30 January 2011

Caption competition

This is Mgr Robert Le Gall OSB, Metropolitan Archbishop of Toulouse and former Abbot of the Benedictine Abbey of Kergonan of the Solesmes Congregation. Mgr Le Gall has often published his thoughts on the liturgy. 

He celebrated the world day of migrants and refugees on Sunday January 16th with a culturally diverse celebration. There are more pictures. There is also a report with one or  two other pictures here.

The Pimpernel thinks that these amazing pictures, and many of the others, say much more about Mgr Le Gall's liturgical thinking than his many writings, but is at a loss as to what captions they should be given.

Suggestions in a comment please.

28 January 2011

"No frills" liturgy?

A 16th century patron of "no frills" liturgy
Wherein the Liturgical Pimpernel rants.

Every now and then people, even widely respected people with knowledge of the liturgy, talk about "no frills" liturgy: Mass, Lauds, Vespers and so on.

What in terms of heaven on earth does "no frills" liturgy mean? Is this some kind of 'liturgy-lite' for those who have too much on their liturgical waistline?  Is it liturgy for the intrinsically a-liturgical? Or is it liturgy for the lazy?

Does this term designate that the liturgical texts are recited rather than sung? How can this be right? There are propers in the Gradual and prefaces prefaces in the Missal even for Lent. Are they "frills" or are they the Church's standard? Is it a "frill" to sing a psalm in a ferial office, or is it the norm? Can anyone really maintain that to sing a hymn is ever a "frill"?

Sure, we do more with greater solemnity according to the feast, but we still sing and perform ceremonies even on the most sober Ember days. Anyone who has spent any time in the great liturgical monasteries, or has seen the Pope celebrate Ash Wednesday, knows that singing and ceremony are integral to the liturgy, not frills.

Sure, priests alone in a busy parish can't always, or sometimes can't even often, celebrate the liturgical rites as fully as others can, but that's got nothing to do with "frills". It's a reality check. It's a call for all of us to do more so that the liturgy is celebrated as fully as possible as often as possible, according to the liturgical year, not according to some idea that singing, ceremony, incense, vesture and so on are mere detachable "frills".

Does use of the phrase "no frills" mean that it is "the low Mass that matters"? Does it mean that the breviary is a text to be read rather than a rite to be celebrated? Surely the low Mass, or the recited Office is a sometimes, even often, necessary acommodation to less than ideal liturgical circumstances? The Pimpernel has no problem with that, so long as we don't loose sight of what is the liturgical norm.

Sorry folks, but there's no such thing as a liturgical "frill". St Thomas Aquinas wrote something in that very frilly sequence of his for Corpus Christi (that's often left out nowadays) about 'daring to do as much as we can' in praise of the Blessed Eucharist. Apply that to the liturgy and you've got the picture. If "as much as we can" do is recited Mass or office, great. But let's not praise it for having "no frills". That gives no honour to the sacred liturgy, and may even breed a cancerous a-liturgical complacency.

Many people like frills, but actually that's immaterial. Liturgically we need them. Oh, and God deserves them too.

27 January 2011

Bible songs

Yep, the Pimpernel is all in favour of them in the liturgy. These ones:

"Preference should be given to songs which are of clear biblical inspiration and which express, through the harmony of music and words, the beauty of God's word. We would do well to make the most of those songs handed down to us by the Church's tradition which respect this criterion. I think in particular of the importance of Gregorian chant."
(Pope Benedict XVI, Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini, 2010 n. 70)

Now, the Pimpernel might think that the Holy Father is putting the case a little too mildly, but at least he's putting it.

There are lots of resources out there for promoting these bible songs. If you haven't ever looked at the CMAA webiste you should. What you can't find there you probably won't need. Those folks are doing great work.

The Pimpernel noticed a neat new batch of recordings of these bible songs over at Corpus Christi Watershed. There are piles of CD recordings of this stuff about, but what's great about these is that they seem to be recording the songs of all of the Sundays of the liturgical year, green and purple Sundays, even rose ones, as well as gold, white and red.

The CDs have booklets with the songs and their notation as well as translations of the Latin into English, French and German.

That's going to be very useful for people trying to reintroduce the Church's bible songs into the liturgy. It's also something that people too far way from a church that would or could sing them could listen to each week. They could be used to prepare for the coming Sunday's Mass, or even for bible-based meditation in union with the liturgical year.

Start your collection today and support the monks of the Abbey of Triors in France as well.

25 January 2011


Truly extraordinary, that is. Not in the statistical sense as used by Pope Benedict in his non-definitive [i.e. he didn't authoritatively order its use] description of the frequency of the celebration of the older liturgical rites as "extraordinary". No this is extraordinary in the sense of being completely outside of what should be.

Truly extraordinary!
Mission San Luis Rey, Oceanside, California
The Pimernel is speaking of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, whose use has become ordinary in the same sense that the older rites are described as extraordinary.

There are so many things to say about Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion that the Pimpernel hardly knows where to start. Perhaps it's enough to say that almost always they are an unnecessary de-sacralisation of the Sacred Liturgy. Assuming good motives on the part of those acting as extraordinary ministers, their ordinary use shows a lack of the honour owed to the Most Blessed Sacrament. Readers may care to add more observations.

The splendid Vultus Christi blog prompted these thoughts with an excellent but reflection on "accidents" that have occurred in the administration of Holy Communion and what to do about them. It raises the question of the frequent or ordinary use of Communion from the Chalice. Read the post. It is a calm and clear call to action that we cannot afford to ignore. To arms!

Whilst you're at it, if you can find any way of supporting the small Benedictine community founded by the splendid Bishop Slattery that is behind the Vultus Christi blog, you would be doing something worthwhile.

24 January 2011

Is there room for improvement here?

Well, the the efforts of the Archbishop of Saragossa and his team may have been capable of improvement, but the Pimpernel thinks that they are in a different league entirely to the liturgical arrangements for the recent blessing of the new Cistercian Abbot of the Abbey of Mont des Cats all the way over there in France by the Archbishop of Lille.

The Bishop of Arras, the Abbot, the Archbishop, the Auxiliary Bishop of Lille
Hey, what a crozier that Abbot has. He didn't get a mitre. The vestments are...just the ticket. There is a real feast of photographs from the celebration. They might even provide one or two suggestions for 'improvement'. Enjoy.

Oh, if you're interested, there's a picture of the Abbey church in former days here. Progress? Renewal? Continuity? Rupture? Discuss.

23 January 2011

Sentire cum ecclesia

Sentire cum ecclesia. To think with the Church. To be of one mind with the Church. To love the Church as one's Mother. One could go on...

A while ago the Pimpernel challenged a bright young enthusiast with a blog he titles Liturgiae Causa over his inaccuracies and liturgical fetishism. 'Ad causam meam' might be a more apt title for his blog (whatever else he might be, he knows his Latin, it seems). Too much blogging on liturgy is not always a good thing the Pimpernel asserted, especially for the young.

The fellow has more than demonstrated this since. His recent posts are sad essays on the exaltation of the will as opposed to exercises of intelligent reasoning. The latter is fine. The former is a route to perdition. Screwtape knows the difference well, and exploits it.

Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia.
Whatever we think of what our mother the Church has done in respect of the Sacred Liturgy in recent decades, centuries or whenever, she is still our mother. We may reason with her, perhaps even debate with her. Sometimes we ought to. But we are still her children.

If we wilfully leave her rather than remain faithful even, especially, in the times when she has made some bad decisions, perhaps many of them, how can we hope to share in the benefits of being members of her family?

The Pimpernel is the first to say that our mother, the Church, has much to do urgently to correct her neglect or even ill-treatment of the Sacred Liturgy. He would argue with his mother for this as only a son can. He may even give in to stamping his feet and to sulking at times. But he would never turn his back on her and leave. That would be a knavish and unmanly thing to do. And he would thereby forfeit his sonship.

After the example of so many saints who suffered at her hands throughout history, he would want to defend his mother and stay with her to the end and do all that he could to bring back to her all the honour that should be hers, no matter what mistakes he thought she had made.

Sentire cum ecclesia. It’s not an option for those wish to belong to the one true Church of Christ, let alone for those who profess to be in the service of the honour of the Sacred Liturgy. Spare a prayer for those who think it is.

22 January 2011

Benedict XVI blesses two lambs for the feast of St. Agnes

One of the Church's more beautiful traditional blessings took place in Rome yesterday. Enjoy.

21 January 2011

How many 'improvements' can you make here?

The Archbishop of Saragossa is to be congratulated for celebrating an old rite solemn requiem in his diocese this month. Apparently this was a first. "Stone by stone", as they say.

From the photos posted at the NLM there seem to be a few things, er, 'different' in this solemn requiem to those celebrated according to the liturgical books in force in 1962. The Pimpernel doesn't want to nitpick when the event itself is a tremendous step forward, but it would have been even better if some of these 'differences' hadn't happened. It's so impressive when these things are done right. Pity Bishop Provost's team down in Lake Charles didn't lend a hand. They probably got it all exactly right.

How many improvements could you make to these liturgical arrangements according to the 1962 books? Answes in a comment please (let's keep it nice - it is great that these people are doing it at all).

20 January 2011

Sometimes it's better not to ask

Over at a blog that often concerns itself with translations and recipes, we read that the expected Instruction on the correct implementation of Summorum Pontificum might “have juridical elements”. Well, no point in having an Instruction if it doesn’t. And sure, there’s been a lot of juridical muddying of the waters in the past three years by Summorum Pontificum’s opponents, some of them mitred. Yeah, an Instruction with juridical teeth will help.

The post asks “What sort of juridical issues might be clarified?”

“What “Extraordinary” means for one thing.” Well, if you ask for an explanation of that very unfortunate term, you deserve one.

But another issue, apparently, is “the use vernacular readings instead of Latin.” Er, what is the issue?

Which part of: "In Missis iuxta Missale B. Ioannis XXIII celebratis cum populo, Lectiones proclamari possunt etiam lingua vernacula, utendo editionibus ab Apostolica Sede recognitis” (SP art. 6) is not clear?

Just in case it helps, with the Pimpernel’s commentary: "In Masses low, sung or solemn celebrated with the people not private Masses according to the Missal of B. John XXIII promulgated in 1962 the readings may be not “must”, not “should”, but may be proclaimed in the vernacular, making use of editions of the readings that have the recognition of the Apostolic See that Rome has approved."

It’s really not that difficult, especially with the red stuff. Just read the black and work out the red. No need for an Instruction to do that.

The author of that same famous blog once reported on a visit with Ecclesia Dei and how he asked them about the third Confiteor. Then he posted their verbal response. Extraordinary.

It may just be better not to flag some of these questions. Good old common-sense and a Latin dictionary should be enough for most of them, unless a really important conflict or doubt exists or where the existing law needs to be underlined because it is widely disobeyed or it is interpreted against the mind of the legislator.

There is a risk. If you want official answers to all the questions you can think of, you just might get them. It will be too late if something is approved that you don’t like: communion in the hand, altar girls, etc.

Thinks the Pimpernel, that if you ask Rome questions, you’d better be ready to stick by the answers you get. More Cafeteria Tradtionalism will add to the scandal of Traddigate and that just won’t do. Not when you yourself have asked them what's on the menu.

19 January 2011

The Roman Canon - the "heart and centre" of the Roman Rite

The Roman Canon  (11th c. missal)
Thanks again to a reader for forwarding this link to the second edition of a short pamphlet on the Roman Canon by Dom Placid Murray OSB, a monk of Glenstal Abbey, Ireland, published in 1961. It's not long and is worth a read. Some interesting quotes:

"Our Mass of the Roman rite is a mixed rite. Parts of it go back to the ancient local usage of Rome; other parts are relatively more recent and took their origin on this side of the Alps, and were transplanted thence back to Rome. There they grew into the complex rite which we use today.

The ancient Roman parts are the venerable old trees...  the Frankish uses are the newer trees and the brushwood, profusely added in medieval times and often pruned, but now inextricably mixed with the older growth. Among the ancient trees let us imagine one sacred tree towering above its fellows at the heart and centre of the whole plantation. This would be our Canon of the Mass. ...the Canon is not only the centre of our mixed rite of today, but also the core of the old unmixed rite..."

"A Byzantine school of theology–not primitive–attributed the effect of consecration to an invocation of the Holy Ghost which occurs...in their liturgies. Any attempt to find similar prayers in the Roman Canon...or similar ideas in Latin theology, is doomed to failure."

If you bought this pamphlet in 1961 you could have been forgiven not so many years later for thinking that someone had got something very wrong. It may not have been Dom Placid Murray who made the mistake.

Today, well, where is the "heart and centre" of our rite these fifty years on?

18 January 2011

Fr Andrew Burnham responsible for Ordinariate Liturgy

Fr Nichols preaching last Sunday at the Oxford Oratory
Preaching at the Oratory over there in Oxford last Sunday at the first Mass in full Communion with the Catholic Church of the former Anglican Bishop of Ebbsfleet, Father Andrew Burnham, Father Aidan Nichols OP spoke of the service any priest gives to the Church and, quoting Cardinal Newman, of the task of bringing the riches of the Anglican Communion into the life of the Catholic Church.
Father Nichols then made something of an announcement: “Andrew has already begun working on the liturgical dimension of this, entrusted by the Holy See with co-ordinating efforts on that front, in recognition of his outstanding competence in that area.”
The Pimpernel’s previous post referred to Father Burnham’s book Heaven and Earth in Little Space.  That the author of this wise and balanced study is co-ordinating the work of bringing together the liturgical treasures that will form the liturgy of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham (and beyond?) is very good news. Burnham is a scholar, a pastor and a musician who knows the breadth and riches of liturgical tradition and who is well aware of the mistakes made in liturgical reform in the twentieth century.

All strength to your work Father Burnham!

15 January 2011

Gaudet mater ecclesia!

What a great day for the Church!

Today has seen the ordination to the Catholic priesthood of three former-Anglican bishops and the erection of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham for England and Wales and the appointment of one of the newly-ordained Father Keith Newton as its first Ordinary.
What a great day for Christian Unity! There are more to come!
Thank God for our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, gloriously reigning, whose personal insight and insistence brought this day about. Anglicanorum Coetibus must now rank with Summorum Pontificum as two of the great fruits of this pontificate so far.
Let’s not forget the real liturgical impact of this. Anglicanorum Coetibus no. III says:

"Without excluding liturgical celebrations according to the Roman Rite, the Ordinariate has the faculty to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and the other Sacraments, the Liturgy of the Hours and other liturgical celebrations according to the liturgical books proper to the Anglican tradition, which have been approved by the Holy See, so as to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared."

Three former Anglican Bishops
Photo: Catholic Church of England & Wales
Also, let’s not forget that article 11 § 4 of the “Complementary Norms” for Anglicanorum Coetibus states that “A former Anglican Bishop who belongs to the Ordinariate and who has not been ordained as a bishop in the Catholic Church may request permission from the Holy See to use the insignia of the episcopal office.” Let’s hope that the Holy See’s generosity includes this too.
This is exciting. Our brothers and sisters with whom we now rejoice in full communion know what the liturgy is. Have a look at the book published last year by the newly-ordained Father Andrew Burnham, published as an Anglican bishop - Heaven and Earth in Little Space. These former-Anglicans haven’t put up with the liturgical dross and drivel that disgraces many modern Catholic parish liturgies. They’ve kept up liturgical standards that others have long since let slip.

The Pimpernel understands that exactly what liturgical rites the Holy See will approve is a work in progress. Will the English Missal be included, and if so which edition? That could be interesting. What other riches of the Anglican tradition might be approved?
According to the Pope these liturgical rites will be “a treasure to be shared” i.e., for all of us, not just for the Ordinariate. They may even enrich liturgical celebrations well beyond the Ordinariate's own churches.
And don’t forget that Anglicanorum Coetibus doesn’t exclude liturgical celebrations according to the Roman Rite. The Ordinariate can use the missal of Paul VI if they really want to (they would at least do it well) or the 1962 missal.
Thank you, Your Holiness, for your vision, your fatherly concern for those outside the full Communion of the Church and for your courageous action that has brought us to this day. Ad multos annos!

14 January 2011

New book alert - Communion in the Hand

Offerimus Tibi Domine has reported the publication of the English translation of Communion in the Hand: Documents and History by that Argentinian Apostle of the Sacred Liturgy, Bishop Juan Rodolfo Laise. It has been out in French for a while, but now we can read it too. It's great that these studies are coming out and that this issue is becoming a very live one. More details here:

Why not give one to a friend, especially if he's a cleric?

Something very wrong, or very right?

One of the more positive ‘signs of the times’ is the increasing number of diocesan bishops who are celebrating pontifical Mass at the throne in the old rite. Yesterday the New Liturgical Movement reported that His Excellency, The Most Reverend Glen John Provost, Bishop of Lake Charles, did just that on Sunday December 26th in his Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, assisted by his own clergy and seminarians. Seems like there's lots of good things happening down in Louisiana nowadays.

Bishop Provost is a fine successor of the apostles, and it's really great to see ordinary diocesan clergy doing this and reminding us that the old rites aren't copyright to some traddy group or other.
The pictures on his diocesan website show that a lot of care was taken to get everything right. The ceremony looks beautiful and they even remembered that a bishop doesn’t use altar cards. The Pimpernel is impressed.
But the Pimpernel’s interest has been piqued by this photograph of His Excellency leaving his Cathedral.

Either somebody got something very wrong, or very right. No, it’s not that they're all wearing the white of the 1962 calendar’s Sunday within the Octave of Christmas and not the red of Saint Stephen from obsolete calendars, and no, it’s not that they didn’t unvest in the sanctuary – they're allowed to do that in the sacristy. It’s something else. Suggestions in a comment please.

13 January 2011

Happy feast

Depending upon what liturgical calendar you follow, in the Christian West today is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (1962), the Octave Day of the Epiphany (pre-1955), Thursday of the first week of Ordinary Time (1969) or Saint Sylvester (pre-1582).

Happy feast of whatever.

With calendar reforms and the ability of Bishops to transfer feasts to other days, which they've being doing for longer than just modern times, anyone can be forgiven for getting confused about the the calendar after Christmas. What date was Epiphany where you are this year? What date will it be next year? It is a liturgical and pastoral mess that cries out to heaven for vengeance.

A kind reader has brought to the Pimpernel's attention an interesting article that raises some good points over at the New Theological Movement. It is well worth a read.

12 January 2011

Mutual Enrichment?

When the good Pope John Paul II was reigning, liturgically daring people including a certain Bavarian Cardinal used speak about the “reform of the reform”. Even to talk about the possibility was somewhat exciting, nay, daring.
Now the Reigning Pontiff has spoken about the “mutual enrichment” of the older and the newer forms of the Roman Rite and has given some examples of what he has in mind. That was more than three years ago. Not very long at all in Vatican time, but it probably won’t be too long before we see some of what he spoke about implemented, and perhaps some other things also.
The learned Father Hunwicke  published something about this a week ago (it was from him that the Pimpernel adapted the phrase “traditionalist fundamentalists” – it just works for them, doesn’t it?) Now, the inspiring Chant Café has published another consideration on the question.
It is certainly good to talk about possibilities, and even better to do so with one’s feet on the ground as it actually is in 2011, looking forward. It is also refreshing that the persons doing so are not insulting the person of the Sovereign Pontiff or prophesying that the next pope will be a liturgical anti-Christ or pretending that no authority exists in the Church other than their own opinion.
Realistic, respectful and intelligent conversation, the Pimpernel commends.
There is a danger though. That is that our liturgical ‘wish lists’ can become political manifestos, as they have with the pre-1962-, the 3rd Confiteor-, the 1920 missal-, the pre-Pius X breviary-, the folded chasuble-, the pre-Trent sequence-, the 1955-, etc. etc. ‘societies’ (well, small, unstable groups of individuals or an individual, actually). Each of these stances may have something to commend them, but when they become politicised, and cut people off from the worship and life of the Church, that is another matter altogether.
No. As Catholics we stand with the Church. Yes, we respectfully discuss. We may put our case strongly and clearly. But we do not stamp our feet and turn away if our own manifesto does not win the day.
If we truly believe that in conscience we must protest the abolition of the Octave of the Sacred Heart, or the reclassification of semi-doubles to the end, St Thomas Aquinas gives us guidance on how to proceed. If, however, we can accept that the Church, for her reasons, perhaps for what we believe to be badly informed or even erroneous ones, has nevertheless made a decision that, whilst not prejudicing her indefectibility, is not what I want or think best, we can still be her loyal sons. We can also, as sons before a loving mother, try and persuade her to reconsider. Tantrums and calling popes and the Holy See names won’t help.
At the time of writing it is not clear to the Pimpernel whether Fr Hunwicke is soon to rejoice in full Communion with the Holy Father (...oremus!), but his sentiments are certainly Catholic. The author at the Chant Café already does. Both have made the contributions one would hope for from loyal sons. 
More sensible and non-partisan discussion of these questions is all to the good, but the Pimpernel asks, let’s all remember that “I” am not the ultimate judge of what should or should not be. The Church is.

9 January 2011

The Times They Are a-Changin'

Does anyone remember Dr John R. Page, the former Executive Secretary/Director of ICEL? Dr Page was at the helm in ICEL until the 2002 revolution sent him and his old ICEL ideologies into exile. Recently he was one of the signatories of the futile but probably very therapeutic “What if we just said ‘wait’?” petition against the implementation of the new ICEL translation of the Mass due out this fall.
Mgr Wadsworth: the face of the new ICEL
Lots has been said about the new ICEL, mainly as an attempt to sabotage its good work coordinated by Dr Page’s successor, the Oxford Don Mgr Bruce Harbert. He has retired now, but honourably, and not sent into exile. His successor is another priest from the other side of the pond, Mgr Andrew Wadsworth.

News has been doing the rounds today that as well as his good work for ICEL Mgr Wadsworth is now on the road promoting both forms of the Roman Rite. He’s slated as the keynote presenter at a priests’ seminar In Utroque Usu scheduled for the end of the month at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, all the way down there in Shreveport, Louisiana. Topics will include: 
 Mutual Enrichment
 Hermeneutic of Continuity - Reform of the Reform - Noble Simplicity
 Ars Celebrandi
 Discussion regarding resources and on-line resources
 Low Mass Practicum
 A comprehensive introduction to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and its liturgical principles
An introduction to Sung Mass and Gregorian Chant
Hands-on instruction and training in the ceremonies of Sung (and Solemn) Mass
Overview and practice in the chants of the Sung Mass
Training in all the altar server positions for Sung Mass

 An overview of the 1962 Roman Missal and liturgical calendar
 A complete explanation and demonstration, with practical hands-on instruction, in the ceremony of Low Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal
 Tips and strategies for gaining proficiency in Latin
What a revolution. This sort of thing taking place in a cathedral with an ICEL official leading from the front is a real sign of the times and a reason for thanksgiving. What an inclusive Church we live in today. Yep, as Bob Dylan first told us way back there in 1964 The Times They Are a-Changin'!
Don’t tell the traditionalist fundamentalists, though, in case they notice that “1962” date. And don’t tell Dr Page. He deserves a peaceful retirement after all his hard work up to 2002. 

8 January 2011

Active Participation at Midnight Mass

Thanks to Andrea Tornelli, the Pimpernel has discovered a worthy recipient of the 2010 Active Participation Award: Father Frédéric Lefevre, Pastor of Bavinchove in the North of France. His chasuble is also a contender for the 2010 Liturgical Arts Award, but the final decision on that can wait. Enjoy this extract from his 2010 midnight Mass. If you like his style, there is a nice photo gallery on his parish website. There are more videos there too.

5 January 2011

Permission to keep the Old ICEL Mass?

1st January 2011
Another "iconic insult"
Father Gaudium et Spes seems to be remarkably short of both in his retirement, which is sad. One wishes that the poor man did not have to suffer the continuing "iconic insults" he complained about so loudly of before Christmas.
Now Father has written another article in which he tells us that "a vast crowd of priests and laity who passionately love the church...are alarmed at having a new and unsatisfactory translation of the liturgy about to be foisted on them due to power politics at the top."
"This last confrontation" he warns us "may well backfire. Many priests are simply not going to introduce the new translation. They say that if the Anglican newcomers and the Latin Mass groups can keep their liturgy, so can they."
He may be on to something here. Priests and people of his generation may be unwilling or unable to change. We should be sensitive to them. Why should they have to suffer an accurate vernacular translation of the Mass of Paul VI after all these years of using the ICEL version from the 1970’s, which has made them what they are, of course?
Why not give elderly priests who would find it difficult to make the change permission to keep using the old ICEL Mass? Only in private, without a congregation, of course.
If there really is a “vast crowd” of laity who want this translation, perhaps they could organise themselves into “The Old-ICEL Mass Society”? They could lobby the hierarchy for an indult to have public celebrations of the old ICEL Mass. After about fifteen years they could be given permission, but only on condition that this never took place in parish churches and didn’t involve any criticism of the new Mass, of course.
The Old ICEL Missal
Perhaps they could try the outright disobedience warned about by Father? They could even found a “Priestly Society of Paul VI” which could set up rival chapels, clergy, and even bishops, to ensure the continuation of the old ICEL Mass into the future. But they would risk excommunication, of course.
They may even hope for a pope who would encourage bishops to be generous with the indult for the use of the old ICEL Mass, or for another one almost twenty years later still who, to promote reconciliation, would permit it to any group of the faithful who really wanted it, only on condition that they recognised it as “extraordinary”, of course.
Perhaps by then Father Gaudium et Spes may be enjoying its fullness at last, but be looked back upon as a prophet who knew that the old-ICEL Mass of Paul VI had never really been abrogated. Or perhaps not. Time will tell, of course.

3 January 2011

A Gaudium et Spes priest speaks

Father in his apartment
 Down under a priest has published his Reflections on an Ordination Golden Anniversary. They make for very interesting reading. Father has a quite a lot to say, including some things about the Holy Father and the Sacred Liturgy. An extract:

"Benedict XVI has continued the reversal of Vatican II. He is imposing a new English translation of the Sacramentary on a resisting English speaking constituency. This may very well backfire because many priests are not going to implement it. Benedict has received back bishops from the schismatic Society of St Pius X. He has encouraged the Tridentine Mass in Latin. He has reintroduced kneeling for communion on the tongue at his public Masses – all deliberate key pointers to regression from the spirit of Vatican II. To the priests who embraced Vatican II they are iconic insults."