Good Friday Liturgy

What was reasoning for the kneeling during the prayer for the jews? Why did the Holy See change it? I like the symbolism for not kneeling during that prayer. If the Vatican got rid of that tradition…what other traditions will they get rid of in the future? The veiling of the paten by the subdeacon? Reading the Gospel to the north? The priest saying the text while the choir sings it? I like those ceremonies and traditions and I don’t want to see them lost.

The prayer for the Jews originally had kneeling but it was changed in the 9-10th century when the rubric was inserted into the missal “Pro Iudaeis non flectant” This was, as was popularly explained, because of the kneeling in mockery of the Jews (BTW, can someone point me to that verse? I was always under the impression that the soldiers mocked Jesus by kneeling)

As regards the priest reciting things sung by the choir I see actually no reason why he should. As St. Pius X tried unsucessfully to bring about, the choir in the Mass has a proper liturgical role- it is not an add-on merely to entertain. What the choir sings is also prayer. It was actually brought home quite forcefully to me in the recent EWTN Mass when the people sat down while the choir was still singing the Gloria because the priest sat down. Why should it be so? Is not the choir praying? Aren’t the people singing still praying? Then why sit?

And strictly speaking, the north posture is because of 2 things : facing the men, and also not turning one’s back on the bishop. Jungmann write:

An inkling of this is to be found in the author of the Micrologus…the author writes that it is almost a general custom that the deacon reading the Gospel turn toward the north. But he takes exception to this, not only because the north side is the side for the women, and it is therefore unbecoming that the deacon turn that way, but also because it is plainly contra Romanum ordinem, according to which the deacon stands on the ambo turned to the south, that is, the side of the men. He explains the variant practice, which had already become fixed and rooted, as a conscious imitation of the movement and position of the priest who, when saying Mass without a deacon, does really have to say the Gospel at the north side of the altar in order to leave the other side free for the sacrificial activity, and who thus could give the appearance of actually turning towards the north.

The spot from which the deacon at a solemn function could read the Gospel most conveniently and fittingly had to be chosen in such a way that on the one hand the reader had the people before him, and on the other he did not turn his back on the bishop and the clergy surrounding him. In the basilicas of the dying ancient period, where the cathedra of the bishop stood in the apse, he would therefore have to stand to the side, in the forward part of the choir, to the right of the presiding bishop (for all the ranks of honor were reckoned with the cathedral of the bishop as the point of departure). He would thus face either north or south depending on the position of the apse and the cathedra, whether to the west, as they were in the older Roman structures, or to the east, as later became customary.

Why should the priest not face the people when he is reading the Gospel? Interestingly, that is what a plain reading of the Ritus Servandus would enjoin, except that it is only explained by a defunct Roman custom.

So the reform of the Holy Week liturgies were to revert to a previous form. Does the Ritus Servandus in Celebratione Missae say for the Deacon to chant the Gospel to the North? I personally like the priest reading the gospel to the north because of the symbolism also I like the priest reading the propers seperatly from the choir because he is the celebrant, not the choir. Anyways, so the Holy Week reform was not a reform but a restoration in a sense?

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