3 August 2018

The Roman Canon as the Rule

OK, there are risks in Liturgical Restoration. Introduce a prime-time Vetus Ordo on Sunday morning, and it's always possible that a misguided group will get in touch with the Tablet and, before you know where you are, the local auxiliary bishop will be knocking on your door. Or even celebrate the Mysteries facing in the same direction as the People of God, as commended by the considerable authority of Cardinal Sarah, and some people may react as if the End of the world is imminent.

But there is one thing that a priest can do with relative impunity. Use the Roman Canon. Use it invariably. Say Good Bye to all the other, phony, 'Eucharistic Prayers' and stick to the only authentic Roman EP, EP1.

The IGRM says that this is the only EP which 'may always be used'.

If anybody does want to know why you have adopted this practice, the explanation is simple.

(1) This is the only ancient Roman Eucharistic Prayer.

(2) It is much more ancient in its theology than any other EP.

(3) For example: it displays the ancient idea that the Bread and Wine are transubstantiated into the Lord's Body and Blood simply by being accepted by the Father (see the prayer Quam oblationem). All the later prayers appear to operate on the unRoman assumption that the Father, in response to the prayer of the Priest, sends the Holy Spirit down from heaven onto the bread and wine so as to change them. Thus, even if they appear in a volume labelled ROMAN MISSAL, they are not 'Roman' prayers.


Thorfinn said...

Some of my family members in a dodgy archdiocese (that doesn't do much to narrow it down, but the location is beside the point) once found one reasonable parish to attend where the young pastor notably mentioned a whole bunch of saints in a row at one point during the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

I do wonder whatever happened to that priest as the AD is dodgy as ever, if not more so.

Matt Smith said...

What do you call the Mass without the Roman Canon?
The Book of Common Prayer.

-rim shot-
Is this thing on?
Don’t worry folks, I’ll be here all week.

Stephen said...

Dear Father, your ongoing emphasis on the Roman canon as the most venerable and most ancient is never to be discounted and always greatly appreciated, especially in contrast to the results of the weird 20th stews Pius XII and his minions "developed" (was that authorized and acceptable development of doctrine?) that cut, diced and threw in an epiclesis here and there, for whatever hubristic reason was in fashion during that pontificate.

That said, while it MAY be (as I don't know) from the western point of view that the Holy Mysteries are rendered the Body and Blood of Christ simply and solely by virtue of the priest saying a few words that call down the Holy Spirit, I have never run across an eastern Christian study that puts so much weight on that specific act by the priest and those specific words. That would smack too much of incantations, magic and other pagan whatnot, among other things. Rather, the epiclesis is part of a continuum that begins with "Blessed be the Kingdom", and it is the whole continuum by which the faithful participate in receiving the Body and Blood of Christ.

Westerners may be more inclined that easterners to ask, "At what point, then, does it no longer remain just bread and wine?" To which a usual reply might be (albeit much more sophisticated), "we don't know, and why should we care?" What matters is that it happens sometime after "Blessed be the Kingdom".