Liturgical Reform Question


#1

I've been thinking about this for a while, maybe someone here can answer the question:

When The liturgy was reformed after Vatican II (and in the smaller reforms that were made before and since), how exactly did the Church decide what to include? The liturgy includes both words and actions, and I can't think that this was all drawn up by someone sitting at a desk? Did they literally start saying a mass and decide "well, lets try having the Priest make the sign of the cross here" or "Lets have the Priest say this now"? Did they perform the mass for any body of laypeople/priests/bishops/etc to get feedback?

I ask for a couple of reasons:

1) What process if followed to modify the liturgy (if, for example, the new Pope wanted to introduce a vernacular form of the EF)

and

2) How much leeway could, in theory, the Vatican give individual parishes to experiment with the liturgy (so long as the consecration remains valid) in pursuit of more perfect worship?

:confused:


#2

[quote="mburn16, post:1, topic:315109"]
1) What process if followed to modify the liturgy (if, for example, the new Pope wanted to introduce a vernacular form of the EF)

and

2) How much leeway could, in theory, the Vatican give individual parishes to experiment with the liturgy (so long as the consecration remains valid) in pursuit of more perfect worship?

:confused:

[/quote]

AFAIK

1) With the stroke of a pen.

2) No limitations.


#3

I corroborate ProVobis’s AFAIK.

AFAIK, it was done on paper at a desk, was performed for the Pope, he made some changes and restored some things which had been removed, then he promulgated the product with Missale Romanum. Bam.


#4

Somehow I doubt it. I am not familiar with the process used for the Mass, but I am familiar with the process used for the Divine Office (aka Liturgy of the Hours).

It was most certainly not "the stroke of a pen" and it certainly was not all the work of one man (usually in the form of traditionalists' favourite villain: Annibale Bugnini).

It was rather done by a committee (with all the good and not-so-good that implies), and it was a lengthy process that even involved some religious communities praying "experimental" versions as they worked out the kinks. It was done in three phases from 1963 to 1971 (granted, a mere nanosecond given the 2000 year history of the Church).

Of course Paul VI approved it. He also left his stamp... it was at his insistence that the cursing psalms and imprecatory verses were left out.

See "From Breviary to Liturgy of the Hours" by Stanislaus Campbell, an excellent if dry read on the subject.

It would surprise me if work on the new Mass did not begin at around the same time.

I would find it equaly surprising if the Mass went through a much different process.

For the Divine Office one could also say that the process started in 1948 when Pius XII appointed Mgr. Bugnini to study the reform of the liturgy, and if one wants to get really technical about it (at least for the Divine Office) the reform started before 1910 culminating with the Roman Breviary promulgated by Pius X in 1910, but I digress.

So please provide some historical back-up on the assertion that it was done at the "stroke of a pen".


#5

[quote="OraLabora, post:4, topic:315109"]
So please provide some historical back-up on the assertion that it was done at the "stroke of a pen".

[/quote]

I didn't say anything was done with the stroke of a pen. But future changes could be, without committees, without fanfare, and without votes, IN THEORY.


#6

I was just debating with myself, perhaps the Vatican should offer parishes the opportunity to experiment with the liturgy more than is currently permitted, and to submit those experiments for broader recognition.

Some people of course won't agree, but I attend both OF and EF on a semi-regular basis, and I can't help but find something significant to be missing from each.


#7

[quote="mburn16, post:6, topic:315109"]
I was just debating with myself, perhaps the Vatican should offer parishes the opportunity to experiment with the liturgy more than is currently permitted, and to submit those experiments for broader recognition.

Some people of course won't agree, but I attend both OF and EF on a semi-regular basis, and I can't help but find something significant to be missing from each.

[/quote]

I think that would be a truly awful idea. The 1970s would be repeated all over again. Perhaps you should try some Eastern parishes.


#8

"I think that would be a truly awful idea. The 1970s would be repeated all over again."

So, in your view, what we have is the best we can get?

When I go to a OF mass, frequently, its lacking in the reverence I would appreciate. When I go to an EF mass, its in a language I barely understand, and is largely unintelligible in any case.

I feel like the ideal is somewhere in the center. The form of the TLM, but in the vernacular, with substantial congregational participation, and maybe a couple other changes. :confused:


#9

[quote="mburn16, post:8, topic:315109"]
"I think that would be a truly awful idea. The 1970s would be repeated all over again."

So, in your view, what we have is the best we can get?

When I go to a OF mass, frequently, its lacking in the reverence I would appreciate. When I go to an EF mass, its in a language I barely understand, and is largely unintelligible in any case.

I feel like the ideal is somewhere in the center. The form of the TLM, but in the vernacular, with substantial congregational participation, and maybe a couple other changes. :confused:

[/quote]

Do you have any access to an Anglican Use Mass?


#10

In Detroit?

Not that I know of.


#11

Someone asked that question on this thread.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=633497


#12

I was discussing this issue with my boss, a priest and canon lawyer.

My question to him was how did we get from the "Constitution on Sacred Liturgy" to the what we have now. He directed me to Inter oecumenici, and suggested that I research the Consilium.

From the Introduction-

  1. Among the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council's primary achievements must be counted the Constitution on the Liturgy, since it regulates the most exalted sphere of the Church's activity. The document will have ever richer effects as pastors and faithful alike deepen their understanding of its genuine spirit and with good will put it into practice.

  2. The Consilium, which Pope Paul VI established by the Motu Proprio Sacram Liturgiam, has promptly taken up its two appointed tasks: to carry out the directives of the Constitution and of Sacram Liturgiam and to provide the means for interpreting these documents and putting them into practice.

  3. That these documents should immediately be properly carried out everywhere and any possible doubts on interpretation removed are matters of the utmost importance. Therefore, by papal mandate, the Consilium has prepared the present Instruction. It sets out more sharply the functions of conferences of bishops in liturgical matters, explains more fully those principles stated in general terms in the aforementioned documents, and authorizes or mandates that those measures that are practicable before revision of the liturgical books go into effect immediately.

[quote="mburn16, post:1, topic:315109"]
I've been thinking about this for a while, maybe someone here can answer the question:

When The liturgy was reformed after Vatican II (and in the smaller reforms that were made before and since), how exactly did the Church decide what to include? The liturgy includes both words and actions, and I can't think that this was all drawn up by someone sitting at a desk? Did they literally start saying a mass and decide "well, lets try having the Priest make the sign of the cross here" or "Lets have the Priest say this now"? Did they perform the mass for any body of laypeople/priests/bishops/etc to get feedback?

I ask for a couple of reasons:

1) What process if followed to modify the liturgy (if, for example, the new Pope wanted to introduce a vernacular form of the EF)

and

2) How much leeway could, in theory, the Vatican give individual parishes to experiment with the liturgy (so long as the consecration remains valid) in pursuit of more perfect worship?

:confused:

[/quote]


#13

[quote="mburn16, post:8, topic:315109"]
"I think that would be a truly awful idea. The 1970s would be repeated all over again."

So, in your view, what we have is the best we can get?

When I go to a OF mass, frequently, its lacking in the reverence I would appreciate. When I go to an EF mass, its in a language I barely understand, and is largely unintelligible in any case.

I feel like the ideal is somewhere in the center. The form of the TLM, but in the vernacular, with substantial congregational participation, and maybe a couple other changes. :confused:

[/quote]

We have the best we can get with the circumstances we are in. We can do better, and we are on a case-by-case basis, but there will be no real reform of our current situation until such a time as rubrics are tightened, but that requires Papal intervention.

EF: try a Missal. Also, there already is quite a bit of participatory parts of the EF, regardless of popular thought. There are responses, music that can be sung along with, etc. This idea of not being able to participate in the Tridentine liturgy might have been practical reality historically, but is no longer. This "unparticipativeness" that people talk about is not built into the EF.


#14

[quote="YoungTradCath, post:13, topic:315109"]
We have the best we can get with the circumstances we are in. We can do better, and we are on a case-by-case basis, but there will be no real reform of our current situation until such a time as rubrics are tightened, but that requires Papal intervention.

EF: try a Missal. Also, there already is quite a bit of participatory parts of the EF, regardless of popular thought. There are responses, music that can be sung along with, etc. This idea of not being able to participate in the Tridentine liturgy might have been practical reality historically, but is no longer. This "unparticipativeness" that people talk about is not built into the EF.

[/quote]

I think a dialogue EF would be ideal but I never experienced that where I grew up.

From my earliest childhood, with a child's missal with pictures, I could always follow what was happening even if it was silent. As I got older, but still too young and my family not well-off enough to splurge on a real Missal for me, I would borrow my mom's or my aunt's if I was with her and follow along in that.


#15

I've long thought:

Go with the 1965 Ordo Missae and either

1) keep the traditional EF readings and add a first reading

or

2) keep the traditional EF readings as Year A and add one more cycle as Year B (possibly but not necessarily adding a first reading).


#16

[quote="mburn16, post:1, topic:315109"]

2) How much leeway could, in theory, the Vatican give individual parishes to experiment with the liturgy (so long as the consecration remains valid) in pursuit of more perfect worship?

[/quote]

The Vatican could decide to give individual parishes and dioceses leeway to experiment with the Liturgy, but I very nuch doubt that that will happen.

In my opinion there has been far too much 'experimentation' with the Liturgy. Adapting the Liturgy to meet, what we percieve to be, the 'needs' of our individual parishes (or dioceses, or countries) is very wrong. We serve the Liturgy, the Liturgy does not (and should not) serve us.

What we need now is not a 'reforming' Pope. We need a Pope who will pull in the reins regarding experimentation of the Liturgy that has been going on (in breach of the spirit, if not the word, of Instructions such as Redemptionis Sacramentum). We are a Universal Church and we should have a Universal Liturgy.

With the ramping up of secularisation within Western society, and with it the calls (generally from outside the Church) for the Church to reform and 'liberalise' what we desperately need now is a very conservative Pope who will draw us all back together in unity, end the differences in liturgical practices that have sprung up, create a universal uniformity,. We need a Pope to rally us all together to fight the good fight against the influences that are constantly pushing for us to 'reform' and 'adapt ourselves to change with society'.

The Church should be a rock that does not move to bring herself more in line with an increasingly 'liberal' secular society.

I for one am hoping for a fiercely conservative Pope.


#17

[quote="drforjc, post:15, topic:315109"]
I've long thought:

Go with the 1965 Ordo Missae and either

1) keep the traditional EF readings and add a first reading

or

2) keep the traditional EF readings as Year A and add one more cycle as Year B (possibly but not necessarily adding a first reading).

[/quote]

I take a different approach. Benedictines are big on obedience, and as an Oblate I try to follow that charism. It's not our job, as laity (nor even as monks or parish priests) to direct Rome on the constitution of the liturgy.

When the OF came out, the Benedictines of my congregation (Solesmes) set out to do the best possible job with the liturgy with what they were handed. I consider myself deeply blessed to live close enough to the abbey to be able to go there every Sunday for Mass. The monks of Solesmes made sure that all the liturgical books and music were kept up-to-date and adapted to the new Mass (and somewhat later, the new Divine Office; they produce the antiphonaries for both the Monastic and Roman forms of the Office).

The result is simply quite splendid, based on my experiences at my own abbey and the "mother ship" in France (St-Wandrille, itself a daughter of Solesmes): a Mass fully in Gregorian chant for the propers and ordinary (Latin & Greek), and the rest in French plainchant; Lauds and Vespers entirely in Gregorian chant; Gregorian hymns and Marian antiphons at the other hours. All done with care, love and attention to detail. I really have no need, and even less right, to demand more.

I think that this is the direction we should be going. Tinkering with readings and whatnot will not bring reverence to the liturgy, and suggesting that Rome tinker with the readings is likely to fall on deaf ears. Doing the liturgy with care, and good music, will, IMHO, improve the liturgy dramatically. The readings, liturgical year, and basic structure of the Mass etc., are really all things outside our control.

On the other hand, care in the execution of of the liturgy, selection of the music and quality of its performance, restoring many lost practices like sanctus bells and incense, are all things that are in our control in the parishes and religious communities.

As I get older I realize it's important to pick one's battles. Speculating about what the Vatican should or shouldn't do with the structural elements of the Mass are a waste of time at our level. Getting out there and doing something about executing what we have properly, is something we can do, hence my participation in a Gregorian schola and with the Gregorian Institute of Canada.


#18

Oh, by no means am I looking to make the church even more liberal. I very much desire a strong conservative Pope - one who will restore the use of the tiara, etc.

I just think there might be additional steps that could be taken in the pursuit of more perfect worship. I spent last night watching an Anglican Use Mass on youtube, and it seems to me now that EF, OF, and AU all have highly desirable elements. I think the ingredients are there for an ideal form...but I don't think we're there quite yet. And I think, to an extent, we have a responsibility to (while still subjecting to the authority of Rome) debate and discuss and analyze and do what we can to contribute to the discussion about how to make the Church better. "waste of time" is, I think, a rather uncharitable term....its a theoretical exercise.

Can't be any harm in that?


#19

[quote="mburn16, post:18, topic:315109"]
And I think, to an extent, we have a responsibility to (while still subjecting to the authority of Rome) debate and discuss and analyze and do what we can to contribute to the discussion about how to make the Church better. "waste of time" is, I think, a rather uncharitable term....its a theoretical exercise.

Can't be any harm in that?

[/quote]

That's my whole point. Call it what you will, but as far as I'm concerned I would be wasting my time trying to concoct the "ideal Mass". First of all I don't come anywhere near having the theological and liturgical expertise for this task. Anything that I (and I suspect many here) can come up with will be no better than personal preference, and that's as poor a reason as any to change the liturgy. Moreover my "personal preference" will probably not be coupled to a thorough understanding of Church history, liturgical development, etc.

For my purposes we have two liturgies, EF and OF. Personally I'm very happy with the OF, especially after seeing and experiencing what Benedictines can do with it; when you see that, you realize that there's no real loss of continuity. I will continue to focus my own meagre efforts on contributing to making the OF all that it has the potential to be.

At least for my money that's a much less frustrating exercise than theorizing on that which I don't have the competence to theorize.

Can there be any harm in theorizing? It depends. If you have the time and the interest, no. For myself I don't think it will help my spiritual development nor with my three Benedictine promises of stability, obedience and inner conversion, and it will not contribute to a sense of interior stillness.

IMHO, "how we can make the Church better" would simply be to live the Gospel fully and embrace His grace in our lives through the gifts He bestows on us, especially the gift of Himself made present to us every Sunday.


#20

[quote="OraLabora, post:17, topic:315109"]
I take a different approach. Benedictines are big on obedience, and as an Oblate I try to follow that charism. It's not our job, as laity (nor even as monks or parish priests) to direct Rome on the constitution of the liturgy.

When the OF came out, the Benedictines of my congregation (Solesmes) set out to do the best possible job with the liturgy with what they were handed. I consider myself deeply blessed to live close enough to the abbey to be able to go there every Sunday for Mass. The monks of Solesmes made sure that all the liturgical books and music were kept up-to-date and adapted to the new Mass (and somewhat later, the new Divine Office; they produce the antiphonaries for both the Monastic and Roman forms of the Office).

The result is simply quite splendid, based on my experiences at my own abbey and the "mother ship" in France (St-Wandrille, itself a daughter of Solesmes): a Mass fully in Gregorian chant for the propers and ordinary (Latin & Greek), and the rest in French plainchant; Lauds and Vespers entirely in Gregorian chant; Gregorian hymns and Marian antiphons at the other hours. All done with care, love and attention to detail. I really have no need, and even less right, to demand more.

I think that this is the direction we should be going. Tinkering with readings and whatnot will not bring reverence to the liturgy, and suggesting that Rome tinker with the readings is likely to fall on deaf ears. Doing the liturgy with care, and good music, will, IMHO, improve the liturgy dramatically. The readings, liturgical year, and basic structure of the Mass etc., are really all things outside our control.

On the other hand, care in the execution of of the liturgy, selection of the music and quality of its performance, restoring many lost practices like sanctus bells and incense, are all things that are in our control in the parishes and religious communities.

As I get older I realize it's important to pick one's battles. Speculating about what the Vatican should or shouldn't do with the structural elements of the Mass are a waste of time at our level. Getting out there and doing something about executing what we have properly, is something we can do, hence my participation in a Gregorian schola and with the Gregorian Institute of Canada.

[/quote]

well, of course, it's beyond my pay grade. Just my personal opion on what I think should have happened in the implementation of SC. Of course, it carries no weight other than just that, my opinion.
On the other hand, Pope Benedict has spoken of a mutual enrichment of the two forms. What this means is not necessarily unacceptable to speculate about. It could mean simply improving the ars celebrandi in the newer rite, or it could actually entail some kind of "merging" as my post suggested.


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