Well, I am most certainly not a Trained Liturgist, although my priesthood was formed at the most 'liturgical' of the Church of England's seminaries, Staggers, and after the General Ordination Examination I was given the Liturgy Prize for that year. But I know my limitations; I am only too keenly aware that I have never kept up with the interrelated mutually-validating groups of 'experts' and contributed to their self-referencing Journals, Conferences, and what-not. My mental picture, however, of Trained Liturgists had always been of nice sweet-tempered rosy-faced white-haired old gentlemen dozily clinging to their two-generation-outdated shibboleths and exploded myths and frequently raising in a slightly tremulous hand a glass of whiskey to the memory of Saint Pseudo-Hippolytus; breaking off from the bottle only rarely when called upon for a Tablet article or to give "advice" to a Cardinal Archbishop.
Until, that is, three or four years ago. Then I realised how completely wrong I was and always had been. In an Oxford seminar I found myself listening to a man who, from his long list of degrees and academic appointments and publications, just had to be a Trained Liturgist. And he was not nice at all!! He tried to keep his hearers entertained by a rambling and spiteful account of the culture of Private Masses, described as if its details rendered it inherently and self-evidently contemptible and risible ("the junior curate had to get up early to say the first Mass ... ho ho ho ..."). You may well imagine that this rather tried my own very limited sense of humour; but I did derive some amusement from the false quantities in his Latinity. One, in particular ... as small things do ... still sticks in my mind, because it took me some seconds to work out what he was trying to say: the late Latin word nullatenus has its emphasis on the a, because the e is short so that the accent recedes to the antepenultimate, which is long (nullAHtenus). But the Trained Chappie pronounced it, with great decision, as if the e were long (NULLaTEYnus). Ha Ha. Pathetic of me? Well, give me a break. I needed something to laugh at.
Mired still in the enthusiasms of the post-Conciliar decade, these people have invested a lifetime of effort in the shoddy assumptions of their youthful years. Their own status depends on all that stuff still being taken seriously. So now they just cannot bear to let it all go.
You might have thought that those who most applaud the ruptures accomplished with so much violence in the 1970s would realise that they are the people least well-placed to defend the inviolability of a status quo.
That is not how they see things!