18 September 2018

Organic development

There are still people who do not understand the difference between Organic Development of the Liturgy, as suggested by Sacrosanctum Concilium  of Vatican II, and the sort of liturgical ruptures perpetrated in the post-Conciliar decade.

I have before me an Altar Missal printed in 1903. It was kept sedulously up to date during the first part of the twentieth century, by paste and fountain pen. Among the Prefaces, S Joseph is pasted in. After the Sunday following Corpus Christi, a very neat fountain pen has annotated "Feria VI post Oct: C.C. Festum SS. Cordis Jesu invenietur p. 380". After the Pentecost Sundays, Henricus Dante has provided the proper texts for Christus Rex, which are duly and carefully inserted. In June 1943, [Bishop] Edward Myers  has given the OK (perhaps it was difficult to secure printed texts from the continental liturgical publishers) for the Commune unius aut plurium Summorum Pontificum, and throughout the Sanctorale the Careful Pen has duly 'corrected' the entries for Holy Popes.

Personally, I dislike that characteristically Pius XII innovation of a distinctive Commune; Popes do not belong to some sacramental Order superior to that of Bishops. As originally authorised, that Commune actually and disgracefully prescribed the use on such days of the Praefatio Apostolorum; subsequently ... mercifully ... this little example of hyperpapalist excess was deleted.

The saints whose cultus was promulgated, or, in most cases, extended to the Universal Church during the Twenties and Thirties, are pasted in, providing a kaleidoscopic experience of the different typographical styles of the great publishing houses which in those happy days served the needs of the Latinophone Church ... except during the war years when Burns, Oates, and Washbourne, Ltd, London, got a look-in. The Preface for the departed, the first of the 'neo-Gallican' prefaces to be authorised for the Universal Church, got the paste-brush in 1919, entered among the Masses for the Departed..

Whoever was the careful custodian of this Missal had hung up his pen and his paste-brush before the 1950s. Gaudeamus is undisturbed upon August 15.

The book is still capable of being used now, more than a century after it was printed, by those who celebrate the Old Mass. This is the litmus test for 'organic evolution'. It is more than can be said for the books which, confected during the 1960s or 1970s, sit gathering dust in the sacristies of England.

1 comment:

Joshua said...

Now, what if the Præfatio Apostolorum had been extended to all feasts of holy bishops, whether martyrs or confessors? - surely they are all of them successors of the Apostles?