Sunday, July 15


Life One Week After the Latin Mass Motu Proprio

I would like to offer my thoughts on life a week after the Motu Proprio: I am so relieved and grateful, above all, that there is no longer a horrible bifurcation in my consciousness of the Church's recent past. When I hear Fulton Sheen say confidently that it is a principle of Christian worship that an object, such as the rain capes that became copes, once put into liturgical use, is never completely removed from the Church's liturgical life, I can breath easy and know that this is once again (actually, always was) the case. When my grandmother recalls some detail of life before 1965, it is no longer followed by "that was the Old Way." I hope I never hear that phrase again: whatever that detail is, it's once again acknowledged by everyone as part of the Church's current life and practice. The "hermeneutic of continuity" with respect to the Church's liturgical life exists in a real way now that it simply did not only a week ago, under the 1988 indults. The next time I teach catechesis, I will not have to say, "You know, before 1970 we did (such and such)." Now I am able to say, "in the classic form of liturgy, we do (such and such)." No more distancing it with the omnipresent rupture of "then-and-now," which brings me a sense of wholeness which I really didn't expect to have, but am so glad I do.

So here, let's practice: The Confiteor mentions John the Baptist, Ss. Peter and Paul, and Michael the Archangel. That's it. No more qualifications, such as "it used to," or "before the liturgical reform," or "by special permission of the bishop." Only this: in the extraordinary form of today's Roman Rite, the Confiteor mentions them.

Another practice: Today, the needs of the liturgy of the Roman Rite call for altar rails. Before the Second Vatican Council, they were also necessary. For a brief period of time, when the legal status of the Extraordinary use of today's Roman Rite was unclear, people didn't think the liturgy necessitated them, but with the Pope's 2007 motu proprio, this matter became clear once again.

Wow, it feels good to say that.

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