Thursday, January 11, 2007

What were you thinkin'?

Salve Regina has an interesting quote from Paul VI on the reform of the liturgy. Holy Father was certainly prophetic in Humane Vitae,,,what about the Mass?
From an allocution at the Wednesday audience by the Servant of God, Pope Paul VI.
" A new rite of the Mass: a change in a venerable tradition that has gone on for centuries. This is something that affects our hereditary religious patrimony, which seemed to enjoy the privilege of being untouchable and settled. It seemed to bring the prayer of our forefathers and our saints to our lips and to give us the comfort of feeling faithful to our spiritual past, which we kept alive to pass it on to the generations ahead.
It is at such a moment as this that we get a better understanding of the value of historical tradition and the communion of the saints. This change will affect the ceremonies of the Mass. We shall become aware, perhaps with some feeling of annoyance, that the ceremonies at the altar are no longer being carried out with the same words and gestures to which we were accustomed..." - finish the allocution at Salve Regina
I venerated Paul VI, I saw him several times. I love him. I think he is a saint.
Although, now I must ask, what was he thinking?


  1. Don Marco5:49 AM

    Carissimo, For years I used to say in teaching that I was prepared to "go to the wall" in defense of the Mass of Paul VI. Suffering and the clarity of vision that come with age and experience have obliged me to revise my position. I now see that the Mass promulgated under the name of Paul VI but engineered by Bugnini and his associates is - dare I say it? - intrinsically flawed. Allow me to give but one example among many: the introductory rites. The Mass is, from the very beginning, oriented toward the people by the displacement of the salutation from before the Collect to its current position after the Sign of the Cross and before the Kyrie, Gloria, and Collect. The fact that introductory "remarks" are tolerated has given rise to the most frightful abuses. I have heard bishops at this point crank on at great length, introducing concelebrants and indulging in entirely subjective reminiscences. By the time the Collect is prayed, the theocentric direction of the Mass has been fatally compromised. The fact that the Eucharistic Prayer, together with everything else, is "versus populum" effectively destroys all sense of adoring movement "to the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit." The current rite of the Mass creates a certain climate in which the liturgy veers into a kind of auto-celebration by and for the assembly.

    There is so much more that I could say. The abuses are not limited to the US. During my 5 hour layover in Dublin I celebrated Mass at the church across the way from the airport. The dear old sacristan, a saintly man, I am sure, seemed to have been throughly indoctrinated in the new ways. During the Agnus Dei he approached the tabernacle in the most routine way, took out a ciborium, and placed it on the left end of the altar. Apart from the need that there was no need for Holy Communion from the tabernacle - we were in all 3 at Mass - the manner in which the Blessed Sacrament was handled, and this by a devout Irishman of a certain age - was distressing. Surely, the dear old gent was instructed to do this by the clergy.

    If we are to be saved, the Mass must be saved and restored. The danger is much greater than some think. This is not about the fussiness of a few effete ritualists. It has to do with the integrity of the lex orandi, from which flow our lex credendi, and our lex vivendi. As the liturgy disintegrates, so too does our belief, and our behaviour.

  2. Praised be Jesus Christ! Thank you Don Marco!

  3. michael9:34 AM

    I worry that some of this contributes to, or encourages, doubt in the minds of those in the pews, about the validity of the Mass they are attending. How much damage is caused to the body of Christ? It also seems to me that there is a level of conceit that some in the church seem to rise to, in their certainty.

    This reminds me an awful lot of someone from my particular neck of the woods, a devout pious priest-monk, who was one of Thos. Merton's 'teachers'. This monk became absolutely certain of the misdirection of the church after the Council. (He also contributed to the nonsense that TM was a saintly young monk on the sure road to salvation, and lost his way, and reverted to his protestant proclivities.) He became so certain of everything, that he took leave of his monastery and vows, and ended up teaching in Econe with Lefebre. (Thank heaven I didn't follow.) After a number of years of that, and in witness of the divisions of that movement, and in declining health, and with obvious thoughts of his own end, he seems to have kindly asked to be able to return to the brothers who always cared for him. He is buried in the white cowl in a Cistercian grave.

    As we know, the so-called 'mass of the ages' is a mass of some certain finite number of centuries. It is not the same mass celebrated in the first centuries of the Church. The New Ordo mass is arguably closer to the mass as it was celebrated in the early church.


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