We are all a little more aware nowadays of the need for liturgical change to to be gradual and, as Vatican II put it, 'organic'. As we approach the majestic climax of High Summer (apologies to Oz), the celebration of the glorious Eschaton of the Theotokos, I do just occasionally have an uneasy moment wondering how the principle of organic change applies to August 15 (similarly, December 8). A dogmatic proclamation led to the complete rewriting of liturgical texts. A new collect gave voice to the new doctrinal precision, and new hymns enhanced the whooppee, triumphalist, quality of the day. It could be argued that they reduced the Roman 'sobriety' of the liturgy as Edmund Bishop so memorably described it. I particularly have in mind the hymns which Fr Genovesi composed in the Sapphic metre for Assumption day. The post-conciliar revisers, indeed, decided to reduce these to only one and to introduce two hymns by S Peter Damian. (In doing so, incidentally, they ejected Ave Maris Stella, which even under Pius XII had survived as the II Vespers hymn. And they followed Pius XII in eliminating the more ancient perception of the Assumption: the idea that Mary was Assumed so that she could become Mediatrix of all Graces.)
Frankly, I am in two minds about what to make of this incessant juggling with what is traditum. I do ... a shamefaced confession now ... rather like the Pius XII office. It has a lovely gung-ho cheerfulness about it, redolent of the Marian confidence of that Pontificate. We can do with more of that confident spirit nowadays. (Particularly as we prepare to celebrate, next year, the centenary of the Fatima Apparitions. Her Immaculate Heart will prevail!)
But should I like it?