Creation of a Mass Rite


#1

Can Bishops, within their own diocese, create their own Rite of Mass? If so, can they do it without the approval of Rome?


#2

The short answer is no. It has never been done except by the Apostles for one thing. Every Liturgy has been an evolution of the Liturgy of St. James.


#3

Rites most certainly have been created in post-Apostolic times: the Ambrosian, Gallican, and Sarum rites are three obvious examples. But in 1570 the use of rites less than 200 years old, and the further creation of new local rites, were forbidden in the bull Quo Primum:
This new rite alone is to be used unless approval of the practice of saying Mass differently was given at the very time of the institution and confirmation of the church by Apostolic See at least 200 years ago, or unless there has prevailed a custom of a similar kind which has been continuously followed for a period of not less than 200 years, in which most cases We in no wise rescind their above-mentioned prerogative or custom.
. . .
We specifically command each and every patriarch, administrator, and all other persons or whatever ecclesiastical dignity they may be . . . to discontinue and completely discard all other rubrics and rites of other missals, however ancient, which they have customarily followed; and they must not in celebrating Mass presume to introduce any ceremonies or recite any prayers other than those contained in this Missal.
I suppose that could be rescinded, and new rites could certainly be approved by indult on a case-by-case basis by the Holy See. Nevertheless, nothing in subsequent decrees, including Sacrosanctum Concilium and the apostolic constitution Missale Romanum, evinces any intent to allow further proliferation of local rites. Quite to the contrary, they take it entirely for granted that macro-level regulation of the liturgy belongs to the Holy See, which can in turn delegate to local authorities, like bishops’ conferences, the authority to act in specified areas such as translations. Consequently, no one can think that a local bishop today possesses the authority to develop an entire new rite of Mass.


#4

[quote="MarkThompson, post:3, topic:289039"]
Rites most certainly have been created in post-Apostolic times: the Ambrosian, Gallican, and Sarum rites are three obvious examples. But in 1570 the use of rites less than 200 years old, and the further creation of new local rites, were forbidden in the bull Quo Primum:
This new rite alone is to be used unless approval of the practice of saying Mass differently was given at the very time of the institution and confirmation of the church by Apostolic See at least 200 years ago, or unless there has prevailed a custom of a similar kind which has been continuously followed for a period of not less than 200 years, in which most cases We in no wise rescind their above-mentioned prerogative or custom.
. . .
We specifically command each and every patriarch, administrator, and all other persons or whatever ecclesiastical dignity they may be . . . to discontinue and completely discard all other rubrics and rites of other missals, however ancient, which they have customarily followed; and they must not in celebrating Mass presume to introduce any ceremonies or recite any prayers other than those contained in this Missal.
I suppose that could be rescinded, and new rites could certainly be approved by indult on a case-by-case basis by the Holy See. Nevertheless, nothing in subsequent decrees, including Sacrosanctum Concilium and the apostolic constitution Missale Romanum, evinces any intent to allow further proliferation of local rites. Quite to the contrary, they take it entirely for granted that macro-level regulation of the liturgy belongs to the Holy See, which can in turn delegate to local authorities, like bishops' conferences, the authority to act in specified areas such as translations. Consequently, no one can think that a local bishop today possesses the authority to develop an entire new rite of Mass.

[/quote]

Hhhmmm... good point. Depends what one really means by "create". For example there is a general notion of Eastern Rites in the Catholic Church, but each particular Church does see itself as its own Rite is some regard. While the general way of performing Sacraments and Liturgical Services are similar, there are some differences among the Eastern Churches which make one distinct from another. For example there are certain things Greek Churches do differently from Slavic Churches. Another example would be the Melkites not using Liturgical Spoons for Communion while all other Byzantine Rite Churches do. So you can draw the line between one another as distinct traditions, even though they are about 90% similar. That is what I was talking about evolution rather than creation. Although if there is a new autocephalous Eastern Church erected, then you'd have to "create" that Rite.


#5

In rough estimation what is the similarity, in percentage, between the Liturgy of St. James and the Liturgy of St. Gregory the Great (which, correct me if I am wrong, is the foundation of the Roman Rite?)


#6

Is there any documents or books I can read regarding how much authority is delegated to the local authorities regarding these ‘specific areas?’


#7

Not exactly sure what you are looking for but this may be a good place to start.

This particular Canon seems to give your answer (my emphasis added)
Can. 381 §1. A diocesan bishop in the diocese entrusted to him has all ordinary, proper, and immediate power which is required for the exercise of his pastoral function except for cases which the law or a decree of the Supreme Pontiff reserves to the supreme authority or to another ecclesiastical authority.


#8

Not that I’m aware of, but a broad-based reading of documents on the liturgy with an eye toward areas of proper local variance would give you a good synthetic view.


#9

[quote="TS_Aquinas, post:5, topic:289039"]
In rough estimation what is the similarity, in percentage, between the Liturgy of St. James and the Liturgy of St. Gregory the Great (which, correct me if I am wrong, is the foundation of the Roman Rite?)

[/quote]

I have never read the text of both Liturgies, although the Liturgy of St. James is still celebrated today in some places on specific times of the year (I forgot which Churches and when). But doing a comparison of the Divine Liturgy and the Roman Missals of today, you will see similar elements. The Liturgies are divided into Liturgy of the Catechumens (or Liturgy of the Word) at the beginning and the Liturgy of the Faithful (or Liturgy of the Eucharist) at the second half. There is at least an Epistle and a Gospel reading a homily, procession of gifts, Anaphora, The Lord's Prayer, and the recitation of the Creed. And even in places where its different, there is still some similarity. For example at the Gloria, which is the exclamation of the angels at the birth of Christ, in the Divine Liturgy we have a "Hymn to the Incarnate Christ". Where there is the Kyrie Eleison, we have the Trisagion, both asking mercy from God (in the Roman Rite, specifically to Christ).

I have watched other current Liturgies online and find more of the same elements. So even if they all developed in different places and for the most part independent of one another because of schisms, we still have Liturgies similar to one another. None is created independently from the ground-up. All are just organic developments of the original Liturgy.


#10

[quote="MarkThompson, post:3, topic:289039"]
Rites most certainly have been created in post-Apostolic times: the Ambrosian, Gallican, and Sarum rites are three obvious examples. But in 1570 the use of rites less than 200 years old, and the further creation of new local rites, were forbidden in the bull Quo Primum:
This new rite alone is to be used unless approval of the practice of saying Mass differently was given at the very time of the institution and confirmation of the church by Apostolic See at least 200 years ago, or unless there has prevailed a custom of a similar kind which has been continuously followed for a period of not less than 200 years, in which most cases We in no wise rescind their above-mentioned prerogative or custom.
. . .
We specifically command each and every patriarch, administrator, and all other persons or whatever ecclesiastical dignity they may be . . . to discontinue and completely discard all other rubrics and rites of other missals, however ancient, which they have customarily followed; and they must not in celebrating Mass presume to introduce any ceremonies or recite any prayers other than those contained in this Missal.
I suppose that could be rescinded, and new rites could certainly be approved by indult on a case-by-case basis by the Holy See. Nevertheless, nothing in subsequent decrees, including Sacrosanctum Concilium and the apostolic constitution Missale Romanum, evinces any intent to allow further proliferation of local rites. Quite to the contrary, they take it entirely for granted that macro-level regulation of the liturgy belongs to the Holy See, which can in turn delegate to local authorities, like bishops' conferences, the authority to act in specified areas such as translations. Consequently, no one can think that a local bishop today possesses the authority to develop an entire new rite of Mass.

[/quote]

Great explanation.


#11

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