12 March 2023

Bouyer (2)

 In the extract which follows, Bouyer favours the provision of more Proper Prefaces, but criticises the treatment by the 'reformers' of Lenten (and some other) collects.

"Le seul element non critiquable dans ce nouveau missel fut l'enrichissement apporte surtout par la resurrection d'un bon nombre de prefaces magnifiques reprises aux anciens sacramentaires et l'extension des lectures bibliques (encore que, sur ce dernier point, on allat trop vite aussi pour produire quelque chose d'entierement satisfaisant). Je passe sur nombre d'anciennes oraisons pour les temps de penitence ... qu'on nous obligea a estropier de maniere a en evacuer le plus possible ... precisement la penitence!"

As far as the Sunday Lectionary is concerned, I do think the Council left to the next generation quite a problem. But how would something like the following work out so as to preserve Tradition but also to enable a wider exposure to Scripture? (SPV means the readings in the missal of S Pius V.)

Year 1: SPV.

Year 2: S Matthew or SPV.

Year 3: SPV

Year 4: Ss Mark and S John or SPV. 

Year 5: SPV.

Year 6: S Luke or SPV.

Years 2, 4, 6 involve the three-year sets of Epistle and Gospel readings produced and used in fact now with the Novus Ordo.

The option of always using SPV would safeguard Tradition. 


Arthur H said...

Dear Father,

You have quoted Fr. Bouyer to show his kind academic honesty, he compliments "l'enrichessement apporte surtout par la resurrection d'un bon nombre de prefaces magnifiques reprises aux anciens sacramentaires et l'extension des lectures bibliques..." But then, ...regarding the number of ancient prayers for the time of penitence, that they oblige us to truncate in a way such as to remove as much as possible, precisely, penitance!

What an indictment, but the last decades have sadly borne him out. And from Bouyer's account of how the three excites sprang their trap on Pope Paul, which you quote in your previous entry, it is heartbreaking. But what frightens me is how hard they worked to accomplish their plan.

I like your proposal of the interposition of the SPV missal readings as a good first step, but if the powers that be are with les trois excites, would they ever even entertain such a bold, and good, proposal?

Exauce-nous O Seigneur.

PM said...

Mirabile dictu, the Scripture readings in both forms of the Rite seem to be the same today. An oversight on Bugnini's part?

Moritz Gruber said...

No, it wouldn't work. To the reasons see below after the answer to PM's question, which will happen to be to that point.

Dear PM,
that's not an oversight; the weekdays of Lent have largely been preserved, because they were already there, and not part of the "read all the Gospels on the Sunday in three years, especially in the tempus per annum" program, nor on the "read all the Synoptic Gospels in the tempus per annum weekdays" program, nor the "read all the Gospel of St. John in the weekdays of Eastertide" program. And then, some topics of weekdays were moved to the 3rd through 5th Sunday of Lent, because the liturgy reformers liked them there better, and so I guess wrote new weekdays for these days, but not generally all the others. The Lenten Sunday Gospels as a matter of fact are traditional Lenten Gospels, just sometimes from weekdays.

The "marked times", as they are called, have generally been more faithfully preserved. What used to be the Sundays after Epiphany and Pentecost, though, have been altogether abolished and made up completely new under the principle "let's read the Gospels from beginning to end".

And that is, coincidentally, while a six-year cycle with the possibility of using the New Rite lectures every second year would not work, quite apart from political reasons (which are, chiefly, that 1. the highest authority is not sympathetic to the idea and 2. the trads, for many years to come, having been treated badly in the past and fearing a slippery-slope of novelty, are not sympathetic to it either for many decades to come).The whole idea is, while not incompatible with Catholic worship on principal grounds - there are beginning-trough-end readings of books of the Bible in the Divine Office at Matins, after all - still utterly foreign to the traditional Roman Rite as far as Mass is concerned.

What could, I do not here say should, but could possibly, be done?
1. Have some of the Sunday Gospels taken from Synoptics replaced by the same Gospel from a different synoptic Evangelist.
2. The really fantastic regulations of 2020, where some but not all of the previous third-class feasts gained some special prominence, could possibly pave the way of to the cautious, very cautious reintroduction of a 1910-style "duplex feast" with, possibly, its characteristic feature of precedence over Sundays after Epiphany and Pentecost. (Cautious: St. Augustine, why not. St. Monica in Eastertide with her nice Gospel of the Young Boy of Nain, perhaps also. St. Filippo Benizi, may he forgive me for saying so, not so much.) In that matter, people could be exposed to some of the saints' Gospels, on something of a seven-year cycle, with the one year still kept in tact at least for commemoration and the Final Gospel.
3. Saints could have more proper Gospels, etc., chosen fittingly (as Prof. Kwasniewski has proposed).

Moritz Gruber said...

4. - a huge step, but a principally possible step: have sometimes two readings. I'm not so sure about first-class feasts, as now done in the New Mass, because of one rather down-to-Earthish Roman Rite feature which is perhaps not visible at first glace. This is, there seems to be a rule of "the more festive you get, the shorter Mass and Office become the sooner we're ready for fun; worldly fun, which is quite acceptable, or sometimes, as on Corpus Christi, 'liturgical fun', e. g. having a fancy procession not so really covered by rubrics. If we want to offer long, sacrificial worship to God on the occasion of the feast, let's make a Vigil before and make that long." (Easter Week Matins is a very interesting case in point.) But, if that massive step were decided to be done, the Sundays, perhaps excepting Eastertide, would be an obvious option.

But obviously not in a "for the third Sunday of Epiphany, let's take the third Sunday of Ordinary Time in the New Mass and take it's first reading" manner. No: The way to go would be "Let's take a look at what Epistle we have and what Gospel we have. Then let's look into the Novus Ordo to the Sunday where this specific Epistle and Gospel is read, and see what First Reading they have there". (Drawing fitting connections here was something the liturgy reformers actually were good at.)

Gregory DiPippo said...

With all due respect for Fr Bouyer, the new prefaces are extrêmement criticables. Almost none of them came into the new Missal in the same form in which they are attested in the ancient sacramentaries; almost all of them were subjected to same campaign of ideological censorship that mars every page of the usus deterior. Many of them have no basis in the historical tradition at al, and are absurdly patched up centos, like one of the prefaces for Advent, which is half a preface for St John the Baptist and half one for the Ascension.


Fr PJM said...

I don't know the provenance of the content of the Advent I preface, but it is beautiful, in my opinion.