Over the past two weeks or so I have been investigating the development of the order of the mass, in particular the developments under Paul VI. I think I’m ready to state my conclusion, and I would like others to comment on it. First of all, the new order of the mass as instituted under Paul VI constituted a valid development of the mass. As our late Pope said:
In the liturgy, above all that of the sacraments, there is an immutable part, a part that is divinely instituted and of which the Church is the guardian, and parts that can be changed, which the Church has the power and on occasion also the duty to adapt to the cultures of recently evangelized peoples. (John Paul II, Vicesimus quintus annus, 16; cf. SC 21.)
A lot of traditionalists hold that these changes constituted a change to the immutable part, but I am yet to see any evidence of this. If you disagree with this, then please explain to me why, in all charity.
However, there were many changes made that were changes to the mutable part. In a large part, these changes were probably quite unfortunate, and have resulted in poor fruit. In other words, they have been a poor pastoral decision on the part of the Magisterium. Of course, this is a matter of personal opinion only. As such, I would love to see some changes made (reversions):
*]To reinclude some of the excluded portions, particularly those parts that have to do with the sacrificial nature of the mass.
*]It should become the norm (or least, it should become much more common) for the mass to be said in latin, with readings and homily in the vernacular.
*]It should become the norm (or more common) for the priest to face away from the people, towards the tabernacle. This I’m not so concerned about.
*]It should become the norm (or more common) for the faithful to receive the Eucharist on the tongue, kneeling at an altar rail. This I am more concerned about.
*]Use of Gregorian Chant should become more common.[/list]
On the other hand, I think there were a couple of changes made to the order of the mass that I really like, and therefore I hope that they will always still be included:
*]A third reading on Sunday.
*]The sign of peace.[/list]
It’s probably clear by now that I am still largely ignorant of the extent of the changes made in the last century, and so I ask that you go easy on me if I’ve made any silly stuff-ups.