25 May 2016

Scandals: An Essential Resource

Much fine work has been published over the last couple of decades on the Scandal of the Collects. What Scandal? That not one of the three greatest Festivals of the Year was allowed to keep its ancient Roman and Western collect; not one Sunday in the three great seasons of Advent, Lent, and Easter was allowed to keep its collect. The vandals who, after the Council, ignored the wise moderation of the Conciliar Decree Sacrosanctum Concilium, judged it self-evident that not a single one of these simple, powerful, elegant prayers, was now fit for purpose.

Only now is it really possible to address the (very similar) Scandal of the Readings. Because only now do we have the essential tool: Index Lectionum A Comparative Table of Readings for the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite, by Matthew P Hazell (with a Foreword by Peter Kwasniewski), ISBN 978-1-5302-3072-3 (paperback). It is a fine piece of detailed and meticulous work; anybody who wants to make comments from now on about what the 'reformers' did to the readings will be wasting their time if what they write does not spring out of Hazell's pages. Its layout is simple and pellucid; we go from the beginning of Genesis to the end of the Apocalypse, and every verse which appeared either in the OF or in the EF is carefully listed. So we can see which passages the 'reformers' added in order to provide a ditior mensa Scripturarum ... because, after all, Sacrosanctum Concilium did require this to be done. We can also detect ... what the Council most certainly did not mandate ... which passages modern Catholics are now forbidden to hear read in Church.

Let's be topical. The Church's discipline with regard to the reception of the Sacraments by "remarried" divorcees rests on Mark 10:1-12 and its Synoptic parallels, combined with I Corinthians 11:27. The good news: the OF gives the Marcan passage to be read on Sunday once every three years. This is better than the EF provides. The bad news: on the two occasions when this section of S Paul is to be read in the OF, verse 27 appears to be carefully singled out for omission. In the EF, it is to be heard on Maundy Thursday and Corpus Christi. Draw your conclusions!

I will not repeat the good discussion by Dr Kwasniewski, dealing with the tendenz of so many of the omissions. I would simply add that, in my view, doctrinal motives are not the only reasons for omissions. Sometimes it seems to be a matter of the purest, most wanton, vandalism. Take the superb passage Proverbs 31:10-31 ... the Good Wife. The OF lectionary abbreviates this by crude omission ... and, of course, here we have another of the post-Conciliar corruptions which can claim no mandate in Sacrosanctum Concilium: the crazed passion for brevity. (Incidentally, when various parts of the Anglican Communion decided to adopt versions of the OF lectionary, they demonstrated a strong tendency to restore the integrity of readings, even if this might mean that the laity would be detained in Church for two or three minutes longer.)

But this pericope at the end of Proverbs is the antidote to any claim that 'traditional' attitudes to gender roles are "repressive". The Good Wife is a most competent and efficient administrator (-trix?) who runs the entire industrial and 'business' side of the household and is in charge of the purchase of real estate. Her husband appears little more than her trophy appendage who, one feels, is respected among the all other chaps mainly upon the grounds that his wife is so strikingly effective! The immemorial, almost universal, human cultural division whereby the husband is head of the household ad extra while the wife is head ad intra, is beautifully laid out. It deserves better than the OF gives it.

One tiniest, minutest, criticism. Hazell, very logically, confines his information with regard to the EF to the 1962 Missal. This means that the readings of the old pre-Bugnini Easter and Pentecost Vigils are excluded. Even at the risk of a minor inconsistency, I think it might have been helpful to include them.

This is not a book to miss! And Matthew and Lucy Hazell are to be most warmly thanked.

Get it!


mark wauck said...

The Amazon page for the book provides extensive previews of Dr. Kwasniewski's Foreword.

Gerry Davila said...

Doesn't the First Mass of Christmas retain its Collect?

Matthew Roth said...

It’s going to be in three volumes, I believe.

Matthew Hazell said...

Gerry Davila: Not without slight tinkering (word order changes in italics, word changes in bold):

MR 1962: Deus, qui hanc sacratissimam noctem veri luminis fecisti illustratione clarescere: da, quaesumus; ut, cuius lucis mysteria in terra cognovimus, eius quoque gaudiis in caelo perfruamur: Qui tecum.

MR 2008: Deus, qui hanc sacratissimam noctem veri luminis fecisti illustratione clarescere, da, quaesumus, ut, cuius in terra mysteria lucis agnovimus, eius quoque gaudiis perfruamur in caelo. Qui tecum.

As is typical, the tweaks the reformers made to this prayer have no basis in the manuscript tradition. The one change that might have been defensible from a text-critical standpoint, mysterium in place of mysteria, present in a few of the earlier manuscripts (such as the Gelesian Vetus, Prager and Rhenaugiensis), was not made by the reformers.

(Side-note: the relationship and fine-line between text-criticism and archeologism in the context of the liturgy deserves much more attention, IMO!)

Matthew Roth: Yes, three volumes is the plan. I am currently working on volume 2, which will contain the Psalms (MR 1962 = Gradual, OLM 1981 = responsorial Psalm), plus the antiphons (introit, offertory, communion) for both Missals. Volume 3 will be the Roman Breviary/Divine Office, but that is some way off yet! :-)

Fr Hunwicke: I am glad you are enjoying the book, and thank you for your very kind words!

jack p said...

Lex Credendi, Lex Orandi [http://www.ecclesiadei.nl/docs/clarity.html#_Toc429143342]
According the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum the Ordinary and Extraordinary Form of the Roman Liturgy have the same lex orandi, lex credendi. Thus regarding the lex orandi, lex credendi of the Roman Liturgy both Liturgical forms expresses the Depositum Fidei in distinguished manner, whereby the Ordinary Form would be set up as a reformed expression of the Extraordinary Form.
Therefore, without questioning the validity of both Liturgical Forms of the Roman Liturgy a comparison and discussion about both distinguished expressions of the lex orandi, lex credendi with regard to the Depositum Fidei might be legally. Obviously, such comparative study of the Collects of the Roman Missals can be found by L.Pristas (2013), “The Collects of the Roman Missals, a comparative study of the Sundays in Proper Seasons before and after the Second Vatican Council”, Boomsbury T&T Clark, ISBN 978-0-567-03384-0] whereas she mentioned a policy change by Dumas “The Church universal of the present day becomes Church of our time and objective expressions present-day precepts or customs has become the subjective expression present-day needs”.
Evidently, a misinterpretation due to the failed analysis of the modern time and today’s world is at work according the hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture. Such kind of ideological background has also been observed by Fiedrowicz (2012) [“Die ├╝berlieferte Messe – Geschichte – Gestalt – Thelogie”: 2. aktualisierte Auflage, Carthusianus Verlag, ISBN 978-3-941862-12-8, p.230] as he reported, referring to various authors, that the reformed lex orandi, lex credendi has weakened or even showing a disappearance of number of topics belonging to the Depositum Fidei: ‘... the prayers of the classic Rite contain and preserve many thoughts that have weakened or disappeared completely in the revised version, although they belongs to the Catholic faith -the Depositum Fidei - include: (1) the renunciation of earthly and (2) the desire for the eternal, (3) the sovereignty of Christ over the world and society, (4) the fight against heresy and schism, (5) the conversion of unbelievers, (6) the need to return to the Catholic Church and the pure truth; (7) earnings (8) wonders (9) appearances of the saints (10) God's wrath against sin, and (11) the possibility of eternal damnation.’
Precisely due to the interactive working of the law of lex orandi, lex credendi whereas the lex orandi of the reformed Liturgy has been released from a strict form of rubrics, such drastic and very consistent changes on at least eleven topics of the Depositum Fidei in the reformed lex credendi of the Roman Liturgy has paved the road of practicing misuses at the actual lex orandi. Hereby the weakening and disappearance of elements of the Depositum Fidei from the (daily) prayers of the H. Mass seems to function as a kind of self-censorship to let these elements disappear from the faithful’s mind systematically.

And now the an total overview of differences between the readinghas been published.

jack p said...

In additional to my former post:

Another example of this phenomenon can be found at the first part of the second Offertory prayer of the Extraordinary Form ‘O God, Who wonderfully formed the dignity of human nature, and more wonderfully restored it.‘ This part of that prayer has been removed from the Sacred Liturgy with the liturgical reform of 1970 while the prayer is expressing the fullness of the doctrine of Faith very well. This prayer is expressing that due to the first Sin by Adam the Human Dignity of all mankind -so wonderfully made by God- has been wounded and that God has restored the Hu-man Dignity more wonderfully through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ by His Crucifixion and that we can participate in it only through the water of the Baptism and the wine of His Blood as he is the Door to Heaven. This part of the prayer has simply been removed without any replacement. Why, for what reason would this fundamental witness of Faith has to be expressed by a malformed expression in the reformed Roman Liturgy? Why might this reference to the wounded Human Dignity regarding the mankind outside the Church has to disappear from the daily prayers by the priests in the reformed expression of the lex orandi, lex credendi?

Gerry Davila said...

Many thanks. I haven't been able to really dig into the Pristas, so I only had a vague recollection of the Collect.

Matthew Roth said...

What about the Alleluias?