16 June 2015

Mutual Enrichment: it's happening!

(1) I know many readers will disagree; but I believe that an important way ahead in the direction of resacralising the Novus Ordo is through the sanctioning of alternatives derived from the Vetus Ordo. Happily, the Ordinariate Ordo Missae has led the way to a very significant and exemplary extent. Its authorisation deserves to be bracketed with Summorum Pontificum and the New English translation of the Missal, as one of the three major achievements of the last Pontificate in terms of Liturgy; and as a major contribution, from our beloved Anglican Catholic tradition, to the whole Western Church.

Mass may begin with the Tridentine Praeparatio at the foot of the Altar.
The Tridentine Offertory Prayers may be used; they are printed as Form 1 of two alternatives.
Mass may conclude with the Last Gospel.

(2) Moving in exactly the opposite direction: alternative Eucharistic Prayers should be ruthlessly cut back. Their introduction was a flagrant violation of Sacrosanctum Concilium 23; the defence of the innovation by Pietro Marini (p141: " ... consistent with the early Roman liturgy, which actually had used several anaphoras") seems to me ... until someone enlightens me ... a plain lie.

Here again, the Ordinariate Ordo Missae leads the way. It prints, in its main text, (an Anglo-Catholic translation of) the Canon Romanus, the First Eucharistic Prayer, used daily and universally in the Roman Rite until the disorders of the 1960s. (In an appendix, it does provide the pseudo-Hippolytan Prayer "not to be used on Sundays or Solemnities".)

I believe that the single most important liturgical reform which traditional clergy of whatever jurisdiction (if obliged to use the Novus Ordo) can effect, completely lawfully and without any permission from anyone, is to have a definite personal principle of exclusively using the Roman Canon, weekdays as well as Sundays. However much the Roman Rite varied in its various dialects and in different centuries, the Canon was the profoundly sacred moment of Consecration and of Uniformity, both synchronic and diachronic, binding together all who had ever celebrated, all who were at that moment celebrating, that Rite. I regard the introduction of alternative Eucharistic Prayers as by far the worst of the post-Conciliar corruptions. In an act of amazingly arbitrary Clericalism, the revisers placed the central Act of the Rite totally at the mercy of the daily whimsy of each celebrant.

(3) Rubrics should be redirected towards the holiness of the Great Sacrifice.

The most significant example of this is the the double genuflexion, i.e. before and after each Elevation, prescribed in the Ordinariate Rite.

Such things can be found among Novus Ordo celebrants ... both Benedict XVI and Francis have been noticed (thanks to the immediacy of Vatican Player) observing usages derived from the older form of the Roman Rite. And there is someone called Malcolm Ranjith ...

I conclude with a brief comment on today's post in Rorate Caeli. It is post which speaks negatively about the Reform of the Reform. Anglican Catholics for a century brought in the Tridentine rite gradually. While there were parishes where they went overnight from Mattins to the Missal, most clergy gradually added more of the Missal to the Prayer Book, both in terms of text and of ritual, until, perhaps decades later, they had got there. Should we undermine Catholic Clergy who feel they can take their people with them most easily by a gradual transformation of the OF ... until the day comes when the transition to the EF is totally painless?


Anonymous said...

Father, I wonder if the text of the Ordinariate use is yet available on some web site, so that the rest of us can familiarize ourselves with it. Do you know of a resource?

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

oh, do undermine, in the nicest possible way, Father, but not too gradually.

Dr. Adam DeVille said...

I have an article coming out tomorrow in which I argue that Benedict XVI was right to take the gradual approach to liturgical reform because he had, and has, the heart of a pastor. Dramatic, immediate, wrenching changes serve nobody well.

jasoncpetty said...

Should we undermine Catholic Clergy who feel they can take their people with them most easily by a gradual transformation of the OF ... until the day comes when the transition to the EF is totally painless?

Excellent point. I expect this is the more realistic and actual practice until we have more tolerant bishops. If 'taking the people with one' is the only obstacle to the EF's reintroduction in a particular diocese or parish, however, then what are you waiting for, Fathers! Let the liturgical catechesis begin!

Osmund Kilrule said...

And cart the rubbish of the past 40 years of liturgical pseudo-scholarship and prejudices away to the vermine heap!

Father Richard Gennaro Cipolla said...

My post on Rorate Caeli should not be read as advocating an immediate imposition of the Traditional Mass. I believe in gradual implementation. Its success can be seen in my parish of St. Mary's in Norwalk, CT. It took us years of catechesis to get to the point where our Masses are all oriented and the main Mass on Sunday is Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form. The point of my article was that we are at the end of defending the Novus Ordo as continuous with the Traditional Roman rite.

James Ignatius McAuley said...


One of the things I enjoy is your insistence on the use of primary sources and calling an ace and ace and a spade a spade. I do think you, Father Richard G. Cipolla (author of the Rorate article, Father Jay Finelli (the I-Padre), Father Thomas Kocki (author of the New Litrugical Movement Article Reforming the Irreformable), Professor Adam DeVille, and Profesor Peter Kwasniewski of Wyoming Catholic College, and Deacon (or is it Father?) Alcuin Reid would all benefit if everyone sat down and read the communist manifesto for the changes in the liturgy - The Canon of the mass and the Liturgical Reform by Dom Cipriano Vagaggini, O.S.B. It was published in Italian in late 1966 and in English by Alba House in 1967 with an introduction by Father Frederick McManus.

The thesis of the book is that the Roman Canon is defective and that these defects require the Roman Canon (henceforth referred to as "Canon") to be altered or replaced. The book contains the draft versions of Eucharistic Prayers III and IV. McManus in the introduction goes so far as to outrageously claim that that since the laity now hear the Canon in the vernacular, they will hear how the Canon is defective and therefore, in anticipation of their outrage, we need to alter or create new Eucharistic prayers in place of the Canon. The justifications for the new Eucharistic Prayers are not based on empirical evidence or historical fact, but subjective speculation and opinion. And the allegation that we must change to address the issue of the so called "missing epiclesis" ignores how we all presently understand the Anaphora of Addai and Mari.

It comes across that this is their (the Concilium's) agenda and nothing is going to get in the way of their justifying their goal of change. We see nowhere in the book that such changes are for the spiritual good, rather, the changes are made on the grounds of alleged defects. I would note that I have never seen this book defended by Dom Athony Ruff O.S.B. and Company. In any event, the book is one of our few primary source windows into the thinking behind what the Concilium was doing.

Gregory DiPippo said...

Rev.me Pater,

I cannot say whether Monsignor Marini is knowingly and deliberately lying or not when he claims that the Roman Rite originally had several 'anaphoras'. I would like to believe that HE believes in the truth of that statement.

However, the fact that such a claim is made, and by such an eminent person, demonstrates the appalling state of so much liturgical "scholarship". It is spoken of casually, as a well-established and well-known fact, without reference to the absolute lack of evidence in liturgical manuscripts or the Fathers. (And we all know that Hippolytus doesn't count!) Too much of the liturgical reform is based on these purely fanciful hypotheses, and I thank for for calling them out on it!

Gregory DiPippo said...

Rev.me Pater,

I do now know whether Monsignor Marini is knowingly and deliberately lying when he claims that the Roman Rite originally had several anaphoras. I would like to believe that HE believes that statement to be true.

However, the fact that the statement is made at all, despite the complete lack of any evidence at all, demonstrates the appalling state of so much modern liturgical scholarship. Too much of the reform was made on the basis of these specious claims, and you are to be congratulated for calling them out it!

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Anglican Catholics for a century brought in the Tridentine rite gradually.

That makes sense. It took Catholics a very long time to accept the great change represented by the imposition of kneeling for Communion during Mass (p. 85 Vol 1, Mass of the Roman Rite, Jungmann, S.J.

... until the day comes when the transition to the EF is totally painless?

That day is unlikely to come and it were it to come that may not be the great boon it is imagined to be.

I am the same age as Israel and I was Bornacatholic in Vermont (USA) at a time when the Mass was in Latin and the women wore veils/head coverings to Holy Mass at Saint Mary's in Springfield, Vt and where, at one of the four Sunday Masses, one could see the Tracey, Carroll, Spindler, or Pignato families arrive for Holy Mass with their five or more children - and then everything suddenly collapsed and the children of those faithful families drifted away from Mass and The Church and began to get married and divorced etc - and all of these things came to pass before we Vermonters had even heard of Vatican Two.

Said otherwise, I came of age in a Parish that looked very much like what one can see at Mass in any Chapel or Church administered by the FSSP and if it happened before it can happen agasin - even in an FSSP Apostolate.

William Tighe said...
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William Tighe said...

I reread my copy of the aforementioned Vagaggini book a year ago, some decades after having previously read it, and was struck by how shoddy is its scholarship, how threadbare (when not wholly imginary) the evidence presented in it in support of the author's notions and, to conclude, how worthless (and pernicious) a book it is. One need but compare it to the work of Anglican scholars such as Dix (despite his major error on celebration versus populum), Ratcliff and above all Willis to perceive what a Nessus' shirt it is in which one clothes the good Mosignior Marini in characterizing him as a worthy disciple and successor of Dom Cipriano.

Titus said...

The presence of a free-standing altar masks how outrageous the omission of the prayers at the foot of the altar is. If you see a priest celebrate the N.O. ad orientam in a church with an altar attached to a reredos (we'll skip the architectural dispute over baldachini), the oddity of their omission stands out in stark relief.

William Tighe said...

"the defence of the innovation by Pietro Marini (p141: " ... consistent with the early Roman liturgy, which actually had used several anaphoras") seems to me ... until someone enlightens me ... a plain lie."

I call to mind in this context the title of a 17th-century book (the author and subject of which I have long forgotten), *Ignarus Vapulans.*

Jacobi said...


If I may. There are several valid Rites (if that is the correct term) within the Western Catholic Church, of which the Ordinariate is one.

The Novus Ordo and by that I mean the Pauline Mass is also one, and one which has been emphasised as being co-equal with the Usus Antiquior, now known, for some undecipherable reason, as the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

Insofar as the “Reform of the Reform” makes any sense, it is to bring the present near infinite variations which have developed from the Pauline Mass, back to what Paul intended, and that is certainly a good thing.

It will hasten the re-emergence of the Usus Antiquior, (or EF), as a proper alternative to the Pauline Mass, and lead to its re-establishment as the normal Mass in Catholic Churches, as was specified in Quo Primum by St Pius V in 1570.

Another factor which will ensure the re-establishment of the EF as a normal (but not exclusive) Rite in Catholic parishes is the current decline in the priesthood and the small but steadily increasing recruitment into the Traditional Orders.

Unknown said...

After your important reforms, just a few more:

1. a ciborium over every free standing altar
2. an altar rail in every parish
3. vernacular for all portions of the mass which are changing (lectionary, propers) and Latin for for all that are unchanging and can be learnt from repeated hearing.

I really think that would do it.

Joshua said...

Dom Cipriano Vagaggini's book, The Canon of the Mass and Liturgical Reform, is not as bad as all that (there was nothing "communist" included in it, since Marx and Lenin didn't really have much to say about liturgy), though I, too, disagree with its argument that the Canon is defective (a position that Trent anathematised, after all); though, logically, any prayer can be improved (for example, he argued that "quod pro vobis tradetur" should be added, as it was, to the consecration of the host, to better express the sacrificial nature of the Mass - I would disagree, but can understand the argument) - indeed, ironically enough, the two model Eucharistic Prayers in that book, which are obviously first drafts of EP III and EP IV, are actually better, I would say, than the actual EP III and EP IV. Throughout his book, I was struck by what has been lost since he wrote, but what he was still careful about: maintaining the emphasis in the Eucharistic Prayer on the sacrificial nature of the Mass. The near-total replacement of the Roman Canon, not by Vagaggini's EP III and EP IV, but by the pseudo-Hippolytan EP II, cobbled together in a taverna in Trastevere, has been a terrible outcome, not least because that of all the modern Eucharistic Prayers says the least about the Sacrifice of the Mass.

William Tighe said...

"Insofar as the “Reform of the Reform” makes any sense, it is to bring the present near infinite variations which have developed from the Pauline Mass, back to what Paul intended, and that is certainly a good thing."

What Paul VI intended is not easy, for me at least, to fathom, especially after having Dom Bernard Botte's *From Silence to Participation: An Insider's View of Liturgical Renewal* (1988), on the one hand, and Louis Bouyer's *Memoires* (2014), on the other. Perhaps he had no clear notions; illinc illae lachrymae.

Ttony said...

Dear Father, in all discussion of "mutual enrichment", the discussion turns to how the OF can be enriched by the EF. But that isn't what "mutual" means in this context. "Mutual" implies two-way traffic.

Might HH Benedict XVI, whose liturgical sensibilities might, one might hazard, look back to a period before Pope Pius XII (of blessed memory), have envisaged some sort of hybrid, interim, rite to prepare the boys (as it were) for the rites of men? That the end of mutual enrichment is the OF for those who might need it, but a return to an older form of the EF for those who will understand and appreciate something less ruptured?

JPG said...

I cannot speak to the specifics with regards to Bugnini and deception, but the cavalier way in which centuries of teaching and Tradition were up ended only speaks to Hubris and it would not surprise me in the least if he did so.It would be consistent with the vain academic pride that one sees in other theological disciplines. It would not be surprising given the false claim that versus populorum was the direction of worship in the early Church, a claim refuted before the practice was mandated and shoved down the throats of the entire Latin Rite. I received my sacraments during the 1964 or 1965 Missal. It still had the sensibilities of the 1962 Missal. I remember thinking as a 10 year old serving Mass how dumb the translation of the 1970 Missal sounded. It was like reading a phone book. The next was the Eucharistic Prayer II of which I learned to loathe. I then learn that this was a fabrication derived from the Apostolic Constitutions and likely based on an Egyptian anaphora. The older translation was bad enough , one was then treated to an equally inarticulate, inartistic but enthusiastic Celebrant attempting to improvise and ad lib on that text. It is a wonder I still go.