Monday, February 28

Respondeo Dicendum, Part I

The Squire has been good enough to critique my proposed Ordo in a thorough and detailed manner. Here are some of my own thoughts in response to his criticisms. I'll post more when I have time.
Matthew at Shrine of the Holy Whapping has, all by himself, proposed a revision of the Order of the Mass. Reguardless of the fact that he did not wait for the third edition of the Novus Ordo missal to be finalized and published...
I admit there is something perhaps mildly comic about a lone layman taking upon himself to redesign the Mass, as Fr. Brian Harrison himself remarked on his proposal in his excellent essay, "Postconciliar Eucharistic Liturgy" in Fr. Thomas Kocik's The Reform of the Reform? That being said, it was exactly these sorts of proposals, advocated by men like Jungmann and Reinhold, which shaped the changes of the 1960s and 1970s. So, while I am no Joseph Jungmann or nor was meant to be, one has to get the ball rolling somehow.
(which, from what I've seen of it, may already be the step backwards in ecumenicalism and clarity of language he desires)
"Clarity" is perhaps misleading. I would like language which accurately conveys the original Latin, which is much more hierarchical than the current ICEL translation. The Squire, though, later commented that he has now a better sense of the logic behind the Vox Clara draft.
On the title: I'll admit my Latin is a bit rusty. Even so, shouldn't it be, properly, the Ordo Carolus or some inflection thereof? This, though, may cause confusion with Carolus Magnus, the first Holy Roman Emperor, so perhaps Ordo Johannes Paulus Secundus or somesuch would be more appropriate.
As far as I know, the grammar is acceptable. The Tridentine Rite is called the Ordo Pianus, from Pius V. The K is to distinguish Karol from Carol; though perhaps it would be best to call it the Johanno-Pauline Ordo would be more suitable. It's not as catchy, though.
Before proceeding further, it should be noted that a new order of mass is typically promulgated in Latin before being translated into the various vernacular languages. Since the Ordo Karolingianus was created without apparent recourse to the various forms of the Roman Missal in their original language, it was effectively created de novo.
A fair criticism, since the organic development of the liturgy is a major concern of the conservative and traditionalist critique of the Novus Ordo. That being said, I did study the Latin text to the best of my abilities when considering word choice. Since many of the issues surrounding the present mass are ones of translation, it seemed sensible to issue the text in English, and easier to work in it. However, I think while its creation is in a sense de novo, it nonetheless could serve as a guideline for a future, more organic reform of the Mass.
On "Of Concelebrants": Beyond the prohibition against concelebrants performing "servile tasks," this is merely a summary of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops document Guidelines for the Concelebration of the Eucharist. Would it be more profitable to include this (or a direct reference to it) in the text, as it covers more eventualities?
This is intended merely as a sketch of a much larger rubrical issue; furthermore, I was attempting deliberately to limit the number of opportunities for concelebration as, while it is not without precedent in the ancient Church, seems to cause a number of practical and rubrical problems when implemented on a large scale. For one thing, there are fewer masses celebrated when there are more concelebrants, while the primacy of the old trinity of priest, deacon and subdeacon (there seems to be a fairly early consensus--I think it may go back even to Patristic times--that the minimum number of ministers needed at a mass are three) seems to be obscured by large numbers of concelebrants. Concelebrants also make it harder to distinguish the graded hierarchy which has always been a characteristic of liturgy.
Also, on the prohibition, it seems unneccessary to require an instituted Acolyte for "servile tasks" for situations where, for instance, the entire congregation is made up of ordained ministers.
I think this could easily be solved by a priest attending in choro as a server, vesting in alb or cassock and surplice. My main point was to avoid the sight of one vested priest assisting another in a servile manner. It sends the wrong symbolic message.
The Fore-Mass
(Introductory Rites)

Before getting nit-picky on this section, Matthew deserves credit for swapping out all the "thous" for "yous" in his proposed order.

On the inclusion of Psalm 42: Matthew leaves no footnotes to explain why he has added the Psalm back to the order of mass. While I, unfortunately, am no schollar of church history, I would hazard to guess that no references to this section of the Tridentine Mass could be found prior to the Middle Ages. I would like to see Matthew's rationale for its re-inclusion.
This is my fault; I have a longer commentary I am writing, and I swapped out most of the footnotes and put them there. Here's a digest of my rationale for the return of this private prayer to the altar. Note, of course, that the priest may recite this silently while a hymn is sung, so the processional aspect is not lost.

Here, from the unfinished Exposition of the Ordo Karolingianus, are my thoughts on the return of Psalm 42 to the altar:
The Preparatory prayers were the subject of contentious debate among liturgists leading up to the Second Vatican Council. Before the Council of Trent, some form of the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar were said either in the sacristy or on the way to the altar, though they varied substantially from one diocese to the next. [...] At Trent both the preparatory prayers and the Confiteor were given increased dignity and importance in the rite by being given a standard form and being moved out of the sacristy and to the sanctuary. [...]

In order to increase the active participation of the faithful, the dialogue mass [of the 1940s] endeavored to open up the formerly private Preparatory prayers to the whole congregation. This, however, caused some difficulties as it competed with the introit appointed for the day. Furthermore, until the dialogue mass, the “Roman rite never began with a public and corporate act of confession and repentance by the congregation” [...].

The unexpected result [of the excision of Psalm 42] was a removal of a sense of degree and preparation from the rite by the immediate ascent of the altar. By placing the ascent to the altar before the priest’s declaration of sin and symbolic cleansing, the necessity of sorrow for sin as a preparation before worship was confused.

The Opening Rite of the current Mass, however, remains unsuitable in several ways. While the Confiteor is acceptable in its present place, the removal of Psalm 42, [...] is unfortunate [and] opens up a liturgical and pastoral gap in the Mass. There is, as mentioned above, a loss of the sense of approach to the altar and silent, prayerful preparation apart from the Confiteor. The single Confiteor, while not problematic in and of itself, collapses the priest’s and people’s preparation into one, unintentionally downplaying a sense of his separate and distinct mission. If it were preceded by private prayer (visible to the faithful), this would be less of a difficulty.

The camaraderie of priest and servers is utterly removed since no longer are they needed to respond to his private prayers; especially with the Collect removed from the altar and the server required to hold the Missal open, they become reduced to peripatetic lecterns and glorified candle-holders. The result is that serving becomes a far less specialized activity requiring less training and less knowledge, a fact that I believe has affected the decline in interest in the priesthood among servers. While historically, the congregation has had its part, the servers have also had their part to say as well. While it would be unfeasible and probably unfortunate at this present date to return many of the parts formerly reserved to the server from their congregational role, the private prayers fill this gap with dignified ease. [...]

It is important that [the preparatory prayers] occurs in the open, in front of the congregation rather than in the sacristy, as a more archaeologically correct reform might have done, because it recognizes more clearly the distinct dignity of the priesthood and ministers without requiring an extensive revision to the current form of the Penitential rite. The congregation now understands that it is not always the focus of the Priest’s attention.
The Squire goes on to say:
Also, Matthew doesn't use the New American Bible as the source for his text. The NAB is the translation currently approved for liturgical use in the United States. This, I believe, is an instance where a return to the source text (and direct translations thereof) would be more faithful to sacred scripture than to filter scripture through an additional language.
At present, there are quite a few alterations from the NAB text in the lectionary that have come in over the years. This hardly seems a problem.
On the Inclusion of the Gloria Patri (Glory Be): First, as all other mentions of Jesus Christ in the mass merit only a head bow, why should the Gloria Patri?
The Gloria has been said or sung in the Office and in other rites of the Church, with a full bow. I don't see why it should be different here.
Secondly, this part of the mass seems to be redundant the Gloria, which is why I am not bothered by its removal. A better case needs to be made for its inclusion.
The Gloria Patri is retained here, restoring a time-honored Catholic prayer to a more permanent home in the new liturgy and also serving to underline the connection between liturgical and devotional life considering how often this appears in private prayer. I grew up somewhat mystified by the apparent lack of correlation between much private prayer and the ceremonies of the Mass.

Before we go on, I think it is important to consider the nature of "redundancy" in the Mass. Sacrosanctum Concilium states that "the rites should be distinguished by a noble simplicity; they should be short, clear, and unencumbered by useless repetitions [...]." If one reviews the history of the Liturgical Movement this has less to do with the repetition of specific phrases (then we should have to get rid of the triple Agnus Dei, the Kyries, and all litanies, but more with the curious custom of the priest reading in secreto the Epistle and Gospel readings at the Altar, the Gloria, the Kyrie, the Creed, etc., as other ministers sung or read them elsewhere. This is certainly a repetition which can surely be removed.

Other things which entered High Mass through the influence of the Low Mass, like the Priest reciting the deacon's prayer Jube Dom(i)ne before the Gospel in addition to his own preparation, could be considered to fall under this heading. However, there is no call for the removal of every and all repetition, considering that ritual repetition is an act deep at the heart of the nature of ceremonial.

In order to act in a way consistent with previous liturgical reforms (such as the work of codification done at Trent and continued by Pius XII whose liturgical reforms are careful and sophisticated, and even to a great degree in the 1965 Missal), Liturgy should be carefully pruned; whole limbs ought not to be lopped off wholesale. Until the present, the need to show the burden of proof has always fallen on those who want to remove an aspect of the liturgy rather than those who wish to preserve it. As a consequence, the Ordo Karolingianus is not seeking to 'cling' to the Tridentine Rite but restore a greater sense of continuity between the old and new rites.

Anyway, I'm hungry and need to go eat, so I'll continue with the Squire's comments tomorrow. Thanks again for your thoughts, Squire.

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