Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Six Principles of the Liturgical Reform


There is another article by the good Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan on  Paix Liturgique. He contrasts six principles of Liturgical Reform from Sacrosanctum Concillium's vision of the Sacred Liturgy with five wounds that have been inflicted on the Mystical Body.

The Six Principles of the Liturgical Reform

1. During the liturgical celebration, the human, the temporal, and action must be directed towards the divine, the eternal, and contemplation; the role of the former must be subordinated to the latter (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 2).
2. During the liturgical celebration, the realization that the earthly liturgy participates in the heavenly liturgy will have to be encouraged (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 8).
3. There must be absolutely no innovation, therefore no new creation of liturgical rites, especially in the rite of Mass, unless it is for a true and certain gain for the Church, and provided that all is done prudently and, if it is warranted, that new forms replace the existing ones organically (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 23).
4. The rites of Mass must be such that the sacred is more explicitly addressed (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 21).
5. Latin must be preserved in the liturgy, especially in Holy Mass (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 36 and 54).
6. Gregorian chant has pride of place in the liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 116).

17 comments:

Physiocrat said...

When does this start?

Shane said...

Father my apologies for this seemingly irrelevant question, but can you remember the Old Mass as a child? If so, how does it compare to the way it's celebrated today?

Thanks in advance.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Shane,
I am a convert, I was received into the Church in 1974.
I remember the Eucharistic and Marian piety and the depth of knowledge of the faith that existed then but which has in many places evaporated over the years.

Conchúr said...

Father, did you come over from the CofE?

Shane said...

Thanks Father. It's indeed a great pity that the piety that existed then has evaporated.

Conchúr said...

Father, did you come over from the CofE?

Fr Ray Blake said...

CofE?
Yes

nickbris said...

In my De LaSalle school in the 50.s there was plenty of Piety.Serving at the 6am Mass was a great privilege and it was short and sweet,20 mins max plus the added bonus of finishing off the wine which had not been consecrated.

The responses had to be learnt precisely and any mistakes would be noted by one of the Brothers and ones ears might be tweaked.

John Nolan said...

Shane, when the Usus Antiquior is celebrated nowadays in the form of a Low Mass (Missa lecta) it is usually five to ten minutes longer than when it was the normative Mass which priests would celebrate on a daily basis. The Epistle and Gospel were read through clearly and audibly, but quite briskly; those who attended a weekday Mass would have had a daily missal, and on Sundays they were read out in English from the pulpit before the sermon. Nowadays priests are less familiar with the Vulgate and are taking care to pronounce the Latin correctly, so they read more slowly. There is also the idea that they are proclaiming the Scripture, which was of course the case in a sung Mass, and since 1965 has been extended to all Masses.

Nowadays if you go to a Missa Cantata or Missa Solemnis, you will probably hear the Propers sung according to the Graduale Romanum, either because the parish has the musical resources, or because it can draw on the services of a peripatetic schola. But in the old days most parishes aspired to have a Missa Cantata every Sunday, although the Propers might have had to be monotoned, and there was an over-reliance on the Missa de Angelis and Credo III. Even so, congregations were familiar with the simpler Gregorian repertory in Latin, which included those hymns sung at Benediction, to an extent which is rare today. I hope that this goes some way to answering your query.

Fond Memories said...

In my serving days in the 1950s in a small village church we all had to have black sandshoes which were kept in the sacristy. Our PP would not allow outdoor shoes to be worn on the sanctuary. If you did not have your sandshoes then you did not serve. Also, creased and grubby cottas were not allowed. Absolutely no one, not even the MC, could touch the sacred vessels. We all had to pass a Latin pronunciation test before we were allowed to serve. For a small parish of about 100 families we had so many servers we had to have two teams; the Sacred Heart set and Our Lady's set.
We were taught how to walk around the sanctuary, and how to turn, so that we never had our back to the tabernacle unless it was unavoidable. If were not assisting with holy Communion (holding the plate) we were not allowed to sit because the Blessed Sacrament was exposed to view. In fact, it was the locking of the tabernacle that was the signal to the congregation that they could sit, and this clambering up off the knees was accompanied by general coughing and nose blowing that had been kept in check until then.
For the Easter week ceremonies we had to attend practices for weeks beforehand so that every service from Passion Sunday to Easter Sunday went off perfectly.
The girls and young ladies formed the parish choir which was taught by the PPs housekeeper.
It was a vibrant parish with everything done absolutely properly. I remember our PP nearly fainting when a photographer started to whistle while standing in the aisle.
It is not just the Mass itself that has been changed out of all recognition, it is also the reverent practices and mentality that accompanied the Mass and devotions that have been jettisoned.
O Catholic faith, where art thou?

nickbris said...

We had no need for an MC as we all knew what we were up to.

Shane said...

John Nolan, thank you very much!

FrBT said...

Fond Memories:

Lovely words and very true.

Can I just say that the PP runs the parish as he wants the parish to be run.

It is not just the total fault of the laity being disrespectful (and forgetful) but it certainly is the fault of the PP who allows the laity to do things that should not be done.

Talking during Adoration of The Blessed Sacrament is STRICTLY fobidden in my parish. Also as is talking after Holy Communion, during the Rosary or during the Litany to the Sacred Heart on every First Friday. Mobiles should be switched off or on vibrate.

When one enters the church you make a Sign of The Cross with the Holy Water, and you kneel before entering a pew.

If you come in the church during the Holy Gospel you kneel on both knees at the back of the church and you do not move until the Holy Gospel is finished. You don't move at the time of the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer until you rise for The Our Father.
You kneel on both knees when greeting the Blessed Sacrament during Adoration.

It is up the PP to lead and the parishioners to follow.

Reap as you shall sow.

FrBT

John Nolan said...

When I served low Mass (starting at the age of eight in 1959) even on a morning weekday Mass there would have been two servers, since it was common practice to roster two boys in case one didn't turn up. The first time I served on my own I knew on which side to kneel, but moving the missal on its heavy oak stand and having to genuflect with it was a struggle! Being quite precocious I learned the responses by heart and was sometimes told off by priests for saying them too quickly. Until I started learning Latin at age 11 I was a bit perplexed at the case endings in the Confiteor (dative followed by accusative, and in three declensions) but I knew exactly what I was saying. To turn to the priest and say Misereatur tui omnipotens Deus, et dimissis peccatis tuis, perducat te ad vitam aerternam, was quite awesome for an eight-year-old, although it was made clear to me I was speaking for the assembly!

But it was a life-changing experience. At school we were taught about the importance of the Eucharist and the proper reverence due to It, plus the congregational Latin chants and the hymns used in extra-liturgical devotions. Sadly, we were the last generation to be so educated.

Fond Memories said...

John Nolan,

I agree that the heavy Missal and stand was often a problem for small boys when changing from the Epistle to the Gospel side. On one occasion as I was halfway round and genuflected, my right foot caught in the hem of my cassock and I could not stand up. With my hands full I could not extract my foot and hobbled around bent double like Quasimodo to the Gospel side as best I could. When I reached the altar, being quite small and unable to stand straight, I could not reach up to place the Missal on the altar. The priest looked down, quickly took in the scenario, and took the Missal from me and placed it on the altar. I seem to remember he had difficulty in reading the Gospel because he was trying not to laugh.

On another occasion I was ringing the bell when the clapper fell out and skidded across the sanctuary. I retrieved it, and when I had to ring the bell I held the bell upside down in one hand and the clapper hanging inside the bell with the other hand, and shook the bell backwards and forwards against the clapper.

For a young boy serving the traditional Mass on his own at 7.30 am it was quite challenging if an emergency occurred. Looking back after all these years they are indeed fond memories but at the time, and at such a young age, it was not so funny.

Lynda said...

Fr BT is right: it is for the PP to ensure that the liturgy is reverently and properly conducted, with no abuses. Thank you, Father, for taking your duties seriously - against the tide.

Michael1 said...

Pre Vatican 2, Latin masses were often simply gabbled. I remember as a server a visiting priest who said only the last words of a prayer aloud (sometimes). He indicated when the server should respond with a small hand gesture. It didn't matter much to the congregation who would have been saying their own prayers rather than following the priest. Hilaire Belloc thought a priest should be able to complete a weekday mass in 12 minutes, and complained volubly if they were longer.