Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Uh Oh...Now What Do We Protest?

According to a story in the Times of London, Pope Benedict XVI is about to sign a universal indult permitting priests everywhere to celebrate the Mass in accordance with the rubrics of 1962 any time and any place they wish. This raises two questions.

First, who is going to wish to do these things beyond the few folks who are already doing them, either with permission or without it? Is there going to be a mad rush to snatch up all those dog-eared Missals from days of yore? Will people finally start learning a little Latin for goodness sake? I certainly would have no objections to that. But I suspect things will stay pretty much the way they are, because people tend to a kind of conservatism when it comes to liturgy--they don't like change all that much.

And thereby hangs a tale leading to the second question. When the old Mass is universally allowed, what will the Trads have left to object to? Well, don't imagine that they won't continue to object to the Mass--they will, only this time it will be the old Mass that they object to, not the new one. Some Trads have sort of painted themselves into a corner on this one, because once they decided that the new Mass was no good they took it upon themselves to stand in judgment of everything the Church has done that they didn't like. So in some circles it's not just Vatican II and subsequent Popes who were heretics, but the Popes leading up to Vatican II who seem to the Trads to be on the Wrong Path, such as John XXIII and even Pius XII, both of whom introduced changes to the rubrics of Pius V that many Trads object to. Some want to go back even farther than Pius X--if you check out the breviary site run by the heretical clan down in West Chester, Ohio (www.breviary.net) you'll find that, in their view, things were already going wrong as early as 1915, hence the rubrics they demand of their breviary users are the rubrics of 1911. Once you become a functional protestant, you can just make up the rules as you go along, because now you're the Pope.

I would not mind having easier access to the Mass of the rubrics of 1962, actually, though in my view it is not obviously better than the Mass of the rubrics of 1970 or 2002. For me, it's a purely aesthetic question, and I'm rather conservative about aesthetics.

4 comments:

Vox Cantor said...

Next is the Reform of the Missa Normative to restore the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, the Offertory from the Traditional Latin Mass, the Antiphons at the Entrance, Offertory and Communion not substituted by hymns, the ad orientem posture, kneeling for communion on the tongue!

Andrew said...

My feeling is that this will be good for liturgical conservatives who don't object to 1970 all that much but wish there was more chant, solemnity, silence and Latin available, as is the case in large churches in Europe. In North America and Australia many such formed tactical alliances with traditionalists within the Church who nevertheless had a contrarian temper, to help something become available. If Latin Masses, even though Tridentine, become less controversial and require less red-tape, the liturgical tradition strictly performed might be decoupled from the movement which has an inclination to borderline schismatic behaviour (while a long way from the great assembly of loons you're right to say will never be pleased).

Scott Carson said...

I certainly would like to see a return to the ad orientem posture and kneeling for Communion at the Missa Normativa--indeed it's already being done that way in several parishes that I know of. I'm not a huge fan of reception on the tongue, but I've done it on occasion. The West Chester parish I mention in the post actually requires it.

And I certainly would like to hear more Latin, especially chanted Latin. I agree that it will be important for the Latin Mass to become less a point of controversy and more a matter of desire.

Mike L said...

http://mliccione.blogspot.com/2006/10/uh-ohnow-what-do-we-protest.html