20 June 2018

1968-1986: a miracle of evanescence

A kind friend has sent me a little booklet from 1968, put out by the American bishops to prepare priests and people for the new Eucharistic Prayers, authorised by Rome that year. It appears to be a translation of something published by the Sacred Congregation of Rites.

It seems to flutter down out of another world ... a world in which it is anticipated that ordinary folks will henceforth go around referring to Eucharistic Prayers as "anaphoras"; in which parish priests will be giving catechesis on the various elements of a Eucharistic Prayer. Here's a jolly bit which you will all much enjoy: "The world-wide and ecumenical horizons of the Second Vatican Council and also those of the so-called theology of secular values will find here a discrete, biblical and real reflection".

One intriguing detail: it says "The third eucharistic prayer ... could be used alternately with the Roman Canon for [=on?] Sundays". If only ... if only ...

By 1986, Enrico Mazza in The Eucharistic Prayers of the Roman Rite, was to write of the Roman Canon that "its use today is so minimal as to be statistically irrelevant".

But, when all is said and done, there was, back in 1968, a sense of excitement about the New, which you young things will find it hard to imagine. I remember buying with eager anticipation, just a few weeks after I was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood, the first Vatican Press print of the Latin text of the new Ordo Missae.

(I bought it down in the dear old Newman Bookshop opposite Christ Church, where one could find in the back room such intriguing things ... I acquired a proof edition of Knox's In three tongues ... there were endless old copies of the Eastern Churches Quarterly and of Sobornost ... Someone called Timothy Ware was often scavenging there ... he told me he had managed to put together a complete set of the ECQ. I've often wondered what happened to him subsequently. He did Mods and Greats a couple of years ahead of me. He must be getting on a bit now, I suppose. I'm sure he has long-since grown out of his 'byzantine' phase, as most of us have.)

Exciting days, yes. Nowadays, the poor old Novus Ordo is anything but exciting and new. Arthritic, rather, and with poor wind, and suffering horribly from her varicose veins. It is time, surely, to euthanise and then respectfully to bury the poor dear old biddy and to hurry quietly away and to keep ones fingers crossed that no-one digs her up. A stake through the heart, posibly, would be a wise precaution.


Randolph Crane said...

Normally, I am strictly against euthanasia. It's a crime against God, and a particularly horrible one. But in this case... well, if it's done respectfully, I guess no one can oppose, right?

Catherina of Siena said...

Dear Father,

Re: Timothy Ware. Not being British I do not always know when you write with irony/British humour in its various variations. So I decided you were perhaps joking a bit.

If you truly do not know what happened to Timothy Ware, you can just google "Kallistos Ware".

You can also hear and see him on youtube.
He is a great drawing card to Eastern Orthodoxy, especially in the USA, when Evangelicals and Reformed Christians get fed up with their denominations at last and investigate Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

Hope I'm not making a fool of myself, telling you things you are exquisitely aware of!

Colin Spinks said...

Father, may I ask a question unrelated to this post? It concerns a verse in the Easter Sequence "Victim Paschali":

"Credendum est magis soli Mariae veraci quam Judaeorum turbae fallaci."

This seems to be routinely translated online as "More trust should be placed in truthful Mary than a deceitful crowd of Jews". This reads Mariae and (soli) veraci as both dative feminine singular, and likewise turbae and fallaci.

Would it not be possible however to read veraci and fallaci as dative neuter singular (i.e. "the true thing", "the false thing") and Mariae and turbae as genitive singular, so that we have "More trust should be placed in the sole true story of Mary than the false story (or perhaps "fake news!") of the crowd of Jews". This would remove the rather unpleasant insinuation that it is the Jewish people who are inherently deceitful, rather than simply the story put around at the time (that Christ's body was stolen) being fallacious.

I'd be most grateful for your schoolmasterly guidance to a lapsed Classical Scholar (!) via the e-mail below

Perhaps this may form the basis of a future blog.

Best wishes,

Colin Spinks

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Yes, bury the old biddy..

Here is your own Cardinal Heenan after seeing the Pauline Rite:

Like all the bishops I offer my sincere thanks to the Consilium. Its members have worked well and have done their best. I cannot help wondering, however, if the Consilium as at present constituted can meet the needs of our times. For the liturgy is not primarily an academic or cultural question. It is above all a pastoral matter for it concerns the spiritual lives of our faithful. I do not know the names of the members of the Consilium or, even more important, the names of their consultors. But after studying the so called Normative Mass it was clear to me that few of them can have been parish priests. I cannot think that anyone with pastoral experience would have regarded the sung Mass as being of first importance.

At home it is not only women and children but also fathers of families and young men who come regularly to Mass. If we were to offer them the kind of ceremony we saw yesterday in the Sistine Chapel (a demonstration of the Normative Mass) we would soon he left with a congregation mostly of women and children. Our people love the Mass but it is Low Mass without psalm-singing and other musical embellishments to which they are chiefly attached. I humbly suggest that the Consilium look at its members and advisers to make sure that the number of those who live in seminaries and religious communities does not exceed the numbers of those with pastoral experience among the people in ordinary parishes.

Here are a few points which solely for the sake of time - since only five minutes are allowed for comments - must be put so shortly as to sound brusque.

1. The rule of prayer is the rule of faith. If there is to be more emphasis in the Mass on Bible readings than on Eucharistic prayer the faith of both clergy and people will be weakened.

2. There is more need than ever today to stress the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. No change in the Mass should he made which might seem to throw doubt on this doctrine.

3. Many bishops in this Synod have spoken of the need of coming to the rescue of the faithful grown restless and disturbed on account of too frequent changes in the Mass. I must therefore ask what attitude the Consilium will take to these warnings from the pastors of the Church? I confess in all seriousness that I am uneasy lest the liturgists say: "These bishops know nothing about liturgy." It would be tragic if after the bishops have gone home, no notice were to be taken of their opinions.

4. In my diocese of Westminster - and in several other English dioceses - the rule is that at least one Mass each Sunday must be celebrated in Latin. It would be a great help if the Consilium were to tell the whole Church how the Latin tongue can be preserved. If the Church is to remain truly the Catholic Church it is essential to keep a universal tongue.

vetusta ecclesia said...

I am sure I am far from alone coming from a parish where EPI is only ever used where there is a Communicantes variation i.e. it is never heard in standard form.

JohnnieDeb said...

You can only be joking while claiming to be unaware of Timothy Ware's whereabouts in, of all places, Oxford. He is of course Bishop Kallistos Ware, for many years Fellow of Pembroke and a valued Reader in the Theology Faculty. I can only infer I am missing out on some empyrean realm of traddie wit, inaccessible to my simple modernist mind. However, Father, I am sure you would wish to wish Bishop Kallistos ad multis annos; no doubt he has heard of you.

Woody said...

I dare say laying it on a bit thickly about Timothy Ware, dear Father. At any rate here is a link to an account of his latest foray, as, of course, Metropolitan Kallistos: http://orthochristian.com/113735.html

Cherub said...

Totally agree with Father. The novus ordo is no longer novus and there always was precious little ordo. Not fit for purpose. The Divine Worship Missal? Now that is something!

Prayerful said...

Well, Ep1 the Roman Canon was used a bit. For whatever reason, it was the usual Eucharistic Prayer for the Sunday Mass in a South Dublin parish. A young priest added his own Christian name, Damian, to the saints mentioned, presumably he found it amusing. Now that was the NOM, and ten year plus ago. I try to avoid the NOM, as far as possible, it is ever disappointing.

william arthurs said...

Does this little booklet contain suggestions about how to select a eucharistic prayer --- as in "The Beginner's Guide to the Alternative Service Book 1980"?

Modern liturgy's tendency to over-explain what is going on, along with the explanations of how to use the liturgy, offered in the blizzard of "support materials": all that stodge is enough to drive you back to the real thing.

Thomas said...

In my experience, Eucharist Prayer I is sometimes used in English Catholic parishes, but typically only on the great solemnities - Christmas, Easter and Pentecost. That's probably because of the extra passages that are specific to those feasts, and also because those celebrations are deemed to warrant something more extended and elevated. So it seems to have become like an expensive suit reserved only for extra special occasions. Other than that, it's number 2 almost incessantly with 3 for an occasional change or perhaps to mark the more minor feasts.

Grant Milburn said...

“ 'Ere, farver, I 'ear yor supposed to be catalyzing us on these 'ere new anathemas they're bringing in to replace the Roman cannons”.

“Quite right, old sport. In fact the second anathema is known as the NO Canon, because that is the only EP you will ever hear on a Sunday from now on”.

“Is it true then, farver, wot they say, that it was composed by fair Hippolyta and Voyeur one night in a Roman restaurant?”

“This is true. Hannibal, the guy in charge of the new anathemas, got them to compose it one night in a Roman trattoria over some faba beans and a nice Chianti”.

“Then they lied about it being so ancient. Those geezers in Rome deserve to have their hands bitten off by the Mouth of Truth like wot happened to Gregory Peck, tho’ he was just pretending so he could play a practical joke on Audrey”.

frjustin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JohnnieDeb said...

Oh dear, oh dear! I thought that even a modernist should have retained some school Latin: I meant, of course, ad multos annos. I am relieved a little that it weren't me, Farver, but the spell check, which has just tried again to switch to "ad multis annoys".

Michael Ortiz said...

Rare to see RC or EP 1 used here in states. Though sometimes we get it, say in Easter Octave. NO needs retirement, 20 yrs too late, I’d say.

Sue Sims said...

To spare Fr. H. the necessity of replying: he's very well aWare of Bishop Kallistos, and was indulging in a spot of Oxford irony. Perhaps there should be an emoji depicting a single eyebrow, slightly raised...

ccc said...

Three of the four Priests in my parish use the Romans Canon exclusively. Two use all the per Christum Dominum nostram's....

The other Priest drops his voice significantly when saying it.

They are all under 30.

OreamnosAmericanus said...

I guess Fr. Hunwicke has transcended his "mutual enrichment" phase...;)

Grupo editorial said...

I believe, Mr. Prayerful, that there is no need to "add" St. Damian to EPI: ...beatorum Apostolorum ac Martyrum tuorum, Petri et Pauli, Andreae, Iacobi, Ioannis, Thomae, Iacobi, Philippi, Bartholomaei, Matthaei, Simonis et Thaddaei: Lini, Cleti, Clementis, Xysti, Cornelii, Cypriani, Laurentii, Chrysogoni, Ionnis et Pauli, Cosmae et Damian...

Ben said...

My three parish priests (the oldest is 40) use the Roman Canon almost without exception on Sundays, Solemnities, and the feasts of saints named in the Canon. The younger two have done this since the day of their ordination and the older one has adopted their practice since arriving at our parish. Happy to see a similar report from another reader.

Anonymous said...

"just a few weeks after I was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood"

Forgive me for being churlish, Father, but, no matter how sincere your personal and subjective take on the matter (and no matter how objective whatever apostolic lineage you believed was assured amongst those who were doing the 'ordaining' - such that you had the moral certitude that your ordination was a valid one) - in the prudential judgement of the Church ("null and void") you weren't ordained to the Sacred Priesthood when you were an Anglican.

Affirming that you were strikes me as a wilful decision to be Catholic on your own terms - certainly one of the most stiff-necked traits of many Anglo-Catholics from the CofE.

(I don't expect you to publish this comment. It would be a 'walking the extra mile' of magnanimity of you to do so! But let me assure you that I write it with no personal animus against you - you are certainly an ordained priest now with, clearly, a hugely important apostolate. But I write it even if it's just for your eyes only: asserting that your priestly ordination occured truly within the Anglican communion flies in the face of the discipline and findings of the Church you now belong to. Airily waving this away as pedantic nit-picking of an unimaginative proceduralist might no doubt be true. But condescend to me, if you would: how exactly WERE you ordained to the Sacred Priesthood within the Anglican Church?)

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Dear Roberts

"How exactly". How inquisitorial!

As far as the Rite was concerned: I described it on this blog in considerable detail spread over, I think, six posts, at the beginning of June.

As far as the ordainer was concerned: he was the Bishop I named in those posts.

I don't see why I should transcribe all that again the moment somebody peremptorily requires information.

Here is some information I don't think I've given before on this blog.

Carpenter was consecrated by Bertram Fitzgerald Simpson (25 January 1955). Simpson was consecrated (24 June 1932) by Henry Theodore John van Vlijmen, "Old Catholic" Bishop of Haarlem.

I intend to continue no further exchanges on any of the questions involved in this. In fact, a judicious use of the Search Engine attached to this blog will reveal quite a lot of pieces, over the years, on the many related parts of this subject. I regard it as Ancient History.