[quote="clintondyches, post:1, topic:330947"]
1. Does the movement of the Sign of Peace in the Order of the Mass constitute liturgical abuse?
2. Should I send off another letter to our pastor, quoting the GIRM in re the Sign of Peace: "...it is appropriate that each person, in a sober manner, offer the sign of peace only to those who are nearest” and reminding him that the Sign is optional for the congregation and really shouldn't be turned into a social hour (we DO have coffee and doughnuts after Mass, should those wanting to socialize wish to stick around).
- Regulation of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, that is, on the Apostolic See and, as laws may determine, on the bishop.
- In virtue of power conceded by the law, the regulation of the liturgy within certain defined limits belongs also to various kinds of competent territorial bodies of bishops legitimately established.
3. Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.
[RIGHT]Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium
So if he thinks that he can play with the liturgy because Vatican II said he could, he's wrong.[71.] The practice of the Roman Rite is to be maintained according to which the peace is extended shortly before Holy Communion. For according to the tradition of the Roman Rite, this practice does not have the connotation either of reconciliation or of a remission of sins, but instead signifies peace, communion and charity before the reception of the Most Holy Eucharist. It is rather the Penitential Act to be carried out at the beginning of Mass (especially in its first form) which has the character of reconciliation among brothers and sisters.
[72.] It is appropriate “that each one give the sign of peace only to those who are nearest and in a sober manner”. “The Priest may give the sign of peace to the ministers but always remains within the sanctuary, so as not to disturb the celebration. He does likewise if for a just reason he wishes to extend the sign of peace to some few of the faithful”. “As regards the sign to be exchanged, the manner is to be established by the Conference of Bishops in accordance with the dispositions and customs of the people”, and their acts are subject to the recognitio of the Apostolic See.
[RIGHT]Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum (On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist)
This just reiterates and expands upon what you already know is in the GIRM.[12.] On the contrary, it is the right of all of Christ’s faithful that the Liturgy, and in particular the celebration of Holy Mass, should truly be as the Church wishes, according to her stipulations as prescribed in the liturgical books and in the other laws and norms. Likewise, the Catholic people have the right that the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass should be celebrated for them in an integral manner, according to the entire doctrine of the Church’s Magisterium. Finally, it is the Catholic community’s right that the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist should be carried out for it in such a manner that it truly stands out as a sacrament of unity, to the exclusion of all blemishes and actions that might engender divisions and factions in the Church. (CDWDS, RS)
And...[184.] Any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff. It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity.
So my recommendation is that you first make an audio recording of a whole mass with the abuses (and take pics of the chalices...) and then again contact your pastor...in writing...outlining EXACTLY what is wrong and asking for the situation to be rectified. Don't threaten. Don't be over-emotional. DO be professional in your writing.
If he (as he probably will) continues to blow you off, send a respectful letter to your diocesan bishop (per RS 184, quoted above), sending a copy of the letter to your pastor, along with any response you may receive.
If your diocesan bishop blows you off, don't hesitate to appeal to the CDWDS in Rome. It is your RIGHT to have a liturgy celebrated in accordance with the liturgical texts.
Father Z has some good tips for writing your bishop and Rome.