Friday, November 17, 2006

On the liturgy

If anyone hasn`t yet seen this article by Dr Alcuin Reid on the question of liturgical reform as mentioned on the wonderful New Liturgical Movement blog it is well worth reading. It almost inspires me to introduce an ad orientem celebration of the Novus Ordo Mass now but I`m waiting until we eventually get that post synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist which I hope will encourage a `reform of the reform`.

10 comments:

Augustinus said...

Father - you're very wise to await any announcements from Rome. Last thing you want is to jump the gun and risk the attendant publicity etc! Far better to comply with whatever instructions emenate from the Holy Father himself.

roydosan said...

I know one priest in the UK who has switched to only saying the novus ordo ad orientem. He had the altar moved so that it is actually impossible to say mass facing the people. The congregation seemed to take to the change fairly well. There were a few letters of complaint to the bishop but these seemed to instigate a flood of letters in support of the priest. The bishop asked him to move the altar which he agreed to do. The episcopal vicar then asked him if he would be celebrating mass facing the people in future, to which he replied in the negative. The priest argued that as the rubrics of the missal allowed it he could not be forced to say mass facing the people. As far as I know he continues to say mass only ad orientem.

Augustinus said...

Roydosan - that's good to know. A lot depends on the diocese.

I'm aware of a number of priests who would wish to do likewise but, quite understandably, would more than likely feel they'd cause themsleves difficulties by doing so at this stage. Some bishops would take a fairly strong line and they are the custodians of the liturgy in their own dioceses, so they would expect obedience.

Believe it or not, there are some priests who are ridiculed for wearing a proper Roman collar and cassock! I can understand why some priests exercise the virtue of prudence.

roydosan said...

Augustinus, the bishop in this case was dead set against the priest saying mass facing east but he couldn't stop him. The bishop can direct where the altar in a church is to be placed but he cannot order a priest to say mass either facing the people or facing east. The rubrics of the missal expect that the priest will celebrate mas facing east!

Fr Michael Brown said...

I know of one young priest in our diocese who has at least one Mass a week ad orientem. I admire his courage. Although I gave a talk in the parish in which I gave a summary of Fr Lang`s book on the subject, I still fear that to introduce it now would look too much like me imposing a personal preference. I hope before long we get something from Rome recommending it. My whole life seems to be on hold at the minute waiting for a lead from on high on this and on the universal indult.

roydosan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
roydosan said...

The priest I know who introduced ad orientem did it gradually starting at funerals and All Souls Day along with a lot of catechesis explaining why he was doing it. He gradually introduced it in more feasts until he told the parish that he would start from the first Sunday of Advent and continue every Sunday and weekday Mass thereafter. The parish were generally supportive and although the bishop has repeatedly asked him to celebrate versus populum he has consistently refused to comply. Stating that it is a legitimate option according to the rubrics and that that the Church has never stated that Mass should be celebrated versus populum. However, he has had a lot of grief from the diocesan authorities over this so the transition has been far from painless. I think the important point in getting the parish to support him was in the catechesis explaining the ad orientem celebration otherwise, as you say, it can come across as merely imposing ones personal preference - which could be counter-productive.

Augustinus said...

You can see, therefore, why good priests will be nervous about taking unilateral action.

Even though the ad orientem posture has the support of the Holy Father (at least it had when he was Cardinal Ratzinger and there's no indication he has changed has mind), I recall one English bishop writing to the Catholic press some years ago saying words to the effect that 'Cardinal Ratzinger's views were his personal views which don't indicate the mind of the Church'. I wonder if he has changed his mind recently!

The problem lies not in the rubrics, but in the fact that the 'versus populum' posture has been almost universally imposed for the past 30+ years.

Some bishops are more tolerant than others. I hope your priest doesn't suffer from the petty vindictiveness that often accompanies these situations.

Diane said...

Ad orientem is done daily at my parish in a Latin Novus Ordo!

The first time I experienced it, I kept shifting in my pew as if to seek the face of the priest. Then, I suddenly realized, I should be seeking the face of God in the Mass.

Ad orientem - coming to a parish near you!

Fr Michael Brown said...

Thanks Diane. I enjoyed your blog`s article on `Why I enjoy the Ad Orientem posture` and your parish looks wonderful.