12 March 2022

Concelebration on Maundy Thursday

Christmas is well behind us ... and I suppose we are now making our way to the next crisis point in the Liturgy Wars which PF, most bellicose pontiff since Papa della Rovere, has declared on the Traddy Periphery in his suffering Church.

Roche's Responsa ad Dubia makes much of the Concelebration at the Chrism Mass. I feel there are careful distinctions to be made here.

Vatican II, in Sacrosanctum Concilium, made it clear that every (cuique) priest always (semper) has the option (facultas) of celebrating a 'private Mass'. 

But this was limited by "non vero ... feria V in Cena Domini".

So do we here have that iniquitous Council forbidding us poor presbyters to offer our 'own' Masses on Maundy Thursday?? The day of the founding of the Priesthood! Just the day when every priest will most want to offer his Mass! We should be elbowing each other out of the way in our haste to ...etc..

But stay. One moment! In the ancient tradition of our Western Church, Maundy Thursday was a day when no priest was allowed to offer a private Mass. As Gueranger wrote: "To offer the Faithful an outward expression of the greatness and the unity of this Supper, which our Saviour gave to his Disciples, and, through them, to us, - the Church forbids her Priests to say private Masses on this day, except in cases of necessity. She would have but one Sacrifice to be offered in each church, at which the other Priests are to assist, and receive Holy Communion from the hands of the Celebrant. When approaching the Altar, they put on the Stole, the emblem of their Prieshood."

There are one or two things here which I would have expressed differently, but the point is that, in forbidding private Masses on this day, the modern rules are bang in the centre of the ancient Tradition of the Latin Church. If a traddy doesn't like it, well, in this respect he's not very traddy.

So what should a traddy cleric do? (In this day and age, of course, he is more likely to be the celebrant at the day's single Mass than he would have been 130 years ago ... but let's leave that on one side). 

He could do what Gueranger describes, and what Bouyer commended as "more primitive", and communicate wearing a stole. He could attend the Chrism Mass and communicate in this way. 

Alternatively, he can take the opportunity offered to him by the post-Conciliar rules, and concelebrate. Indeed, by the modern rules, he could get two concelebrations in, one at the Chrism Mass, one at the Mass of the last Supper (remember that it was part of the tinkerings of Pius XII 'n' Bugnini which divided the day's single pontifical Mass up into two Masses).

I can think of good arguments in favour of any of these options ...

What seems to me outrageous is for a Bishop to use concelebration at the Chrism Mass as some sort of test of loyalty, whether loyalty to himself or to some such loftier concept as the Spirit of the Council.

The Council gives not the slightest hint that concelebrating with the Bishop, on this day or any other, is or could be used as a test which (if a priest fails it) can render him liable to persecution.

This little game  is all the nastier because it represents a politicisation of what should be very dear and particularly holy.

To follow Roche down this path is to embrace a culture of tin-pot tyranny.

To suggest that somehow "the Council" requires (or even encourages) this, is to travel many miles down the well-trodden road of Bergoglian mendacity. (Is the word pseudophile in your dictionary?)

Moi??  I have concelebrated the Chrism Mass for decades. With both pleasure and even enthusiasm. (I just wish they would chop out all that silly stuff about Renewing Vows.)

My 'archaeological' preference would be for the older system of just the one pontifical Mass on Maundy Thursday, to 'make' the Chrism and to celebrate the Supper, as things used to be before the Liturgical Movement. And I would welcome restoration of the ancient concelebration by twelve vested presbyters of the Consecration of the Chrism. 

A genuinely traditional Concelebration!

No comments: