Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Paul Inwood`s list

On June 4th our diocese is having a day to look at music for the texts of the new translation. I was glad when I heard this. There are some very encouraging new settings available on the internet. Our day is going to be led by Paul Inwood, music director for Portsmouth diocese and well-known for his music already used in the OF Mass in this country.

On the Pray Tell blog, Paul has recently been outlining some of the abuses which currently occur in this country which may become accepted practices. Here is his list:

(1) Ministers of Communion receiving at the end of the distribution, not at the beginning of it.
(2) More controversially, and perhaps further down the line, the presiding priest receiving last of all.
(3) Rites of Gathering in which, following the implications of paragraph 44 of Music in Catholic Worship (1972), only an opening song and an opening prayer are used, all else being omitted.
(4) Simplification/elimination of the prayers following the presentation of the gifts.
(5) Receiving Communion on Good Friday being made optional or discontinued altogether (and cf. Kenneth Stevenson, Jerusalem Revisited, p. 66ff).
(6) An Easter Vigil where the fire is blessed, readings are read by firelight, and the service of light is associated with the Resurrection Gospel, the Gloria being omitted altogether (and cf. Stevenson, p. 89).
(7) The Penitential Rite at Mass moved so as to follow the Liturgy of the Word (as on Ash Wednesday, for example).

(8) The Sign of Peace moved to before the presentation of the gifts, preferably following a Penitential Rite which has also moved there.

(9) Use of semi-leavened bread (e.g. pitta bread) instead of unleavened bread.
(10) Use of totally gluten-free altar breads as well as low-gluten.
(11) Anyone who wishes having their feet washed and washing others’ feet on Holy Thursday evening.
(12) Deacons remaining standing throughout the Eucharistic Prayer.
(13) Deacons extending hands to the assembly at the greeting “The Lord be with you” instead of keeping their hands joined.
(14) Priests (!) extending hands to the assembly at the greeting “The Lord be with you” instead of keeping their hands joined.

Well, I`m happy with no 14 ( I thought that was meant to happen already) but the rest seem to me to make the Roman rite almost unrecognisable. This is in the context of a discussion of how liturgical abuses have become accepted practice and later legitimised (e.g. Communion in the hand, altar girls etc). Given the way these practices which started as abuses have become recognised I can see why it might be thought this is the way to make further changes for those who think they are desirable.

However it does strike me as rather out of keeping with the spirit of the new translation! Redemptionis Sacramentum has already reprobated many of these customs. Paul tells us that he is only talking about things that are already happening and does not say whether he himself approves of these them, which makes it seem that RS is not being applied as carefully as might be hoped.

1 comment:

Fr Gary Dickson said...

The priest extending his hands is required by the rubrics at certain points of the Mass (such as the greeting #2, Orate fraters #25, Pax#128, final blessing #142); it is commonly but irregularly done prior to the proclamation of the Gospel. Perhaps this is what Paul Inwood is referring to.

As to the ‘opening song', he omits to say that songs/hymns are way down on the Church’s list of permissions for use at Mass, and are not permitted at all unless the moments of greater solemnity are sung, these being the Opening Greeting, the Acclamations (greeting & response) before the Gospel (not the Alleluia), the Prayer over the Gifts, the Per Ipsum Our Father, Pax and the Formulas of dismissal. Hymns are of the lowest degree, along with the Gospel Alleluia.

Rarely do we see the 1970 Missal celebrated according these instructions (cf Musicam sacram #29).