Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Oh dear...

It would be nice to see some photos of a real Palm Sunday liturgy on the New Liturgical Movement blog. But no, instead we have Keith Harrison of the Birmingham Oratory wearing a red cope and blessing palm branches at a table facing the people. Is this part of the movement for liturgical renewal in the Roman church? Mediocrity and liturgical abuse in the Roman Rite? Thank God I'm no longer a Roman Catholic, that's all I can say! At least I have the freedom to say what I want about all this nonsense.

Rubricarius of the St Lawrence Press has published a very good commentary on the reform with his usual masterly commentary on the real thing here. I have said often enough that the most moved I ever was by liturgy was at a celebration of Palm Sunday four years ago, my first in the Old Roman Rite, at the Blackfen chuch. It was during the chanting of St Matthew's Passion narrative; Scripture in situ as it ought to be heard; and I understood every word.


  1. But as flawed as the 1962 Missal is, isn't it vastly preferable to the Pauline missal? I find some of Rubricarius' comments confusing, because in his hostility toward the '62 Missal, he sometimes comes across as a supporter of the Pauline reform. What exactly is his position, or yours for that matter? '62 represents a deformed version of the Roman Rite, whereas the Pauline missal is the all but complete obliteration of that rite. Pardon the cliche, but isn't half a loaf better than none?

    1. I used to think along those lines myself but cannot understand why now. Why 1962? What merit, aesthetic, liturgical or otherwise, do those books have? My position is if you want the Old Roman Rite, use the Old Roman Rite with its complete liturgical books and characteristic austerity and beauty, not some arbitrary half-way hybrid rite, cut down and mutilated in so many ways.

      Rubricarius and I differ on the merits of the Novus Ordo Missae. I, for the most part, dislike the Pauline liturgical books, particularly the Office of Readings, although Paul VI did bring a lot of the stuff hitherto abolished or abridged by Pius XII back; for example the option of using Gaudeamus on Assumption Day or the number of Prophecies on Holy Saturday. By and large, though, the Novus Ordo is a load of rubbish. My argument is if you want authenticity, why make recourse to the ''extraordinary form?'' Are its exponents stupid or Ultramontane or aliturgical or who knows what? Maybe it's because of the extra Latin, the extra lace and six candlesticks that go with a 1962 celebration? I have actually seen people on Rorate Caeli complain about the use of just two candles on an altar. Are they that ignorant of liturgical history?! Why even have candles on the altar itself? It's entirely meaningless.

  2. they could do with a longer table; maybe the one behind them.

  3. Tawser,

    I am sorry if you find my views confusing. My own view is that the 1962MR is totally execrable and represents the nadir of the Roman rite. Its temporary and interim nature makes it worse, IMO, than the finished 'product' of the Pauline Missal. So, no, I do not agree with you that 1962MR is 'vastly preferable' to the Pauline books. My fervent prayer is that the new regime in Rome will re-abrogate 1962MR in the fullness of time.

    Can anything be worse than what is represented in this photograph of an elderly celebrant full of his modernist nonsense?

  4. But isn't there more modernist nonsense, rather than less, in the Novus Ordo? I haven't made an intensive study of the '62 Missal, but apart from Holy Week and a simplification of the rubrics, isn't the '62 Missal substantially the pre-Pian Missal?

  5. Dear Tawser,

    My point would be that many of the restorations found in MR1970-2002 are actually based on decent scholarship - a random example would be the Orationes super populum on the Sundays of Lent, found in many of the early sacramentaries. The overriding principle guiding the 1948-1963 stage of the reform was to cut things out but to allow for existing books to be used until the reform was complete with the altering of text etc. I would argue that the 'cutting out' process was far more damaging than the 'putting in' later phase. A very wise priest-friend of mine, sadly departed this life, Fr. Ronald de Poe Silk told me many years ago "the problem with the Paul VI missal is not what is in it, many things are more ancient than 1570, but how they are arranged and how they are executed." Let us not forget that the celebration of every day in MR1962 is different to the rite in use less than a decade earlier, sometimes drastically, sometimes in minor ways. IMO the problem is that 'Traddieland' is not about the merits of liturgical orthopraxis at all but about ecclesiologies. Traddieland's obsession with and hatred for the SVC mean it regards anything on the eve of that Council as perfection and anything after it as bad. I think that is too simplistic a view.

  6. I don't disagree with your assessment of the 1962 Missal. I can't, because I don't have the knowledge, but it seems to me that you are little hard on "Traddies." I live in Texas (which is rather large), and as far as I'm aware, there isn't a single parish in it anywhere that uses the pre-Pian Missal. There used to be a sedevacantist chapel near me but it closed some time ago. The available options are the 1962 Missal and the Novus Ordo. Traddies are simply playing with the hand that has been deal them. What exactly is it that you would like traditionalists to do?

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