Sign of Peace Update

by Jimmy Akin

in Liturgy

I know I said I'd do some reader question next, and I will be doing those shortly, but I ran across something in the CDW Newsletter that I thought I'd pass on while I was thinking about it.

Remember back in 2005 when Pope Benedict presided over the Synod of Bishops that was addressing the Eucharist?

Good.

Well, the post-synodal apostolic exhortation document that came out after that was widely anticipated, particularly because of Pope Benedict's known interest in the liturgy and improving it and . . . the document was largely a let-down. It took forever to come out (even Benedict complained publicly about how long it was taking the people doing the prep work to get it done), and when it came out there was very little that was new or noteworthy in it.

One thing that was noteworthy was relegated almost to a footnote (in fact, if memory serves, it may actually have taken the form of a footnote).

That was the announcement that the question of where the Sign of Peace is located in the Mass had been forwarded to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. (Actually, I think it referred to the appropriate dicasteries, but the CDWDS would be the key one.)

The idea, which Benedict himself wrote in support of when he was still Pre-16, is that the Sign of Peace isn't optimally placed in the Mass, coming as it does right before Communion. Placed there, it can be disruptive (especially when priests go romping all over creation to hug people and slap them on the backs, though this seems to have abated some in recent years) and takes the focus off of the Eucharist just when we're about to receive.

So the proposal has been floated to move the Sign of Peace earlier in the Mass, after the Prayer of the Faithful.

That would be a good move, to my mind.

And the move wouldn't disturb anything fundamental to the structure of the liturgy. In fact, there was no individual exchange of peace prior to the liturgical reform that followed Vatican II. It was added (as an option, I might mention) to the Latin liturgy based on parallel (but not identical and, in my mind, superior) practices in some of the Eastern Churches.

But it turned into a big, distracting celebration of "us"-ness.

Anyway, it's been going on four years now and I've heard nothing about the proposal to move the Sign of Peace.

Until now.

I was just reading the newsletter of the U.S. Bishops' Committee for Divine Worship (formerly the Bishops' Committee on Liturgy) and ran across this item:

Survey of the Sign of Peace at Mass

The Committee [for Divine Worship] reviewed the findings of a survey requested of the USCCB by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Disicpline of the Sacraments regarding the placement of the Sign of Peace at Mass. Of the 89 Bishops who responded, 66% supported moving the Sign of Peace after the Prayer of the Faithful and before the Presentation of the Gifts, 32% recommended retaining the Sign of Peace at its current location before the Agnus Dei, and 2% offered alternative opinions. A report from the USCCB was submitted to the Congregation's then-Prefect, Francis Cardinal Arinze.

Cool. Good to hear that there is some motion on this and that the bishops seem to be responding favorably.

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{ 85 comments }

BillyHW January 5, 2009 at 12:55 pm

It was added (as an option, I might mention) to the Latin liturgy based on parallel (but not identical and, in my mind, superior) practices in some of the Eastern Churches.
Why do we have to put up with these Hellenizations and Oprahfications to our liturgical heritage in the Latin Rite?
The “sign of peace” should be eliminated entirely.

bill912 January 5, 2009 at 1:04 pm

After the Prayer of the Faithful and before the presentation of the gifts was where the Sign of Peace was in the second century, as per St. Justin Martyr (“First Apology”, circa A.D. 150.

Barbara January 5, 2009 at 1:07 pm

In the Early Church it was referred to as the kiss of peace, such as Justin Martyr: “Then the Deacon cries aloud, “Receive ye one another; and let us kiss one another.”

Brian Day January 5, 2009 at 1:22 pm

Since the sign of peace is an option, the default position should be that it is omitted. When used, it should be restricted to the clergy only.
I don’t have the time to look it up, but I believe the TLM Solemn Mass does have the Kiss of Peace. The TLM Low Mass does not.

PatrickW January 5, 2009 at 1:32 pm

I would also rather see it eliminated completely. I think moving it to follow the Prayers of the Faithful will simply prolong the agony, since there is no obvious end-point, such as the Agnus Dei, to make everyone shut up and look forward again. We’ll end up with people still back-slapping as the gifts are brought to the altar.

Greg January 5, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Even the sacramental Protestants keep the “sign of peace” at the beginning of the service and don’t clutter up their “eucharistic liturgy” with it (other liturgical butchery notwithstanding)

Sharon January 5, 2009 at 3:56 pm

At my parish we have two handshaking moments; one before Holy Mass begins “let’s all greet one another” and the other before the Agnus Dei. I think it would be a good idea to remove this disruptive moment from before the Agnus Dei and have it before Holy Mass begins.

vox borealis January 5, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Sharon, et al.
Unfortunately, it is not as easy to simply remove the sign of peace, which has existed in *some* form in the mass for, well, forever. Even in the TLM it was there, again in *some* form, in the exact same spot: after the Pater Noster and before the Agnus Dei, the priest said (in Latin) “May the peace of the Lord be with you”, and the server (and laity) responded “And also with your spirit.”
The problem is not with the Sing/Kiss of Peace per se, but with the addition in the Ordinary Form of the option to “extend each other a sign of peace”, which leads to the disruptive hand-shaking and back-slapping.
So, the preferable solutions would be (in my opinion):
1. Eliminate the hand-shake option. We did this last year during the flu season, and it was quite wonderful. ‘May the peace of the Lord be with you.” “And also with you.” On to the Agnus Dei.
2. Simply move the sign of peace. I would place it near the introductory rites, but historical precedent prefers around the offertory.
Latin Rite purists prefer #1, and I agree with them in theory. But from a practical standpoint (i.e., people will gripe about “losing” the sign of peace), I would be willing to compromise and move the handshaking. Once moved, I don’t really care where it ends up.
PatrickW worries that the handshaking/backslapping would continue through the bringing of the gifts to the altar. Is that really a bad thing? One of the few places in the Ordinary Form where the priest does priest things while the laity may be doing something else is during the Offertory. I would not be too bothered if people are shaking hands while the priest silently prays over the gifts. The natural endpoint would be when the priest invokes: “Pray brethren that these gifts….”

eweu January 5, 2009 at 5:00 pm

I’d much prefer the sign of peace to be both moved to the offertory and remove the Offerte vobis pacem altogether for the reasons stated above.
Furthermore, while we’re at it, let’s either get rid of the Prayer of the Faithful, or disallow “other suitable petitions”, making them all prescribed by the Missal. That eliminates the lumping of abortion with euthanasia and the death penalty, and the myriad of prayers for “social justice”. Fuzzy Catholicism seems to reign in the Prayer of the Faithful at just about every Parish I’ve ever been to.
That said, why does CDWDS even care what I or even the US bishops think? The Pope has the authority of Peter. He should use it.
(missing the strong Italian hand of Pius X… but maybe I’m just grumpy)

gurnygob January 5, 2009 at 5:20 pm

No sign of peace for Gaza. I find it hard to believe that a blog as popular as yours has nothing to say on the mass murder going on in Gaza. Why don’t you write a post on this? I am sure that the good Catholics in the USA would appreciate the chance to share their views on the lack of any sign of peace for the hundreds of innocent women and children and men being bombed to bits. Please don’t tell me that this is not a Catholic issue. This involves all of us. To sit back and talk about the sign of peace during mass while turning a blind eye to the carnage taking place, that USA has a hand in, is an insult to Jesus.
Your gurnygob.

atslos January 5, 2009 at 5:43 pm

“That said, why does CDWDS even care what I or even the US bishops think? The Pope has the authority of Peter. He should use it.”
That kind of attitude would go against collegiality.
Communion is a sign of unity, so I don’t share the view that the sign of peace is misplaced wrt to communion. Scripture refers to eucharistic liturgy as the breaking of bread, emphasizing its character of not only communion with God, but communion with each other in God and with God in each other. Loving another human does not divert or distract us from loving God; rather in loving another human we love God and in loving God we love another human. Authentic Christian love of neighbor coheres with and inheres in one’s love for God and is not something which involves a shifting of gears.

atslos January 5, 2009 at 5:57 pm

gurnygob,
If you have a question about gaza you wish Jimmy Akin to answer, I’m sure that you could call in during one of the radio programs and if your question passes their screening, he may answer it to your satisfaction. You could also email him and he may read/answer it if he chooses to. However, since you seem to have a low opinion of his moral character or judgment, I find it odd that you would be so interested in his opinion! Personally, I think there is something to be said for not spouting an opinion about everything under the sun, especially with definitiveness.

vox borealis January 5, 2009 at 6:03 pm

atslos,
It’s not an either/or issue, of course. The mere fact that we are together at Holy Mass is a sign of communion, a sign of unity, etc. That does not mean, however, that the Holy Mass is also not the highest prayer and a profound act of worship, or that the Eucharistic Liturgy does not call for a particular solemn disposition. The current praxis of the sign of peace does, in my opinion, generally disrupt the Eucharistic Liturgy at a very critical point. It is moreover incongruous with the immediately following invocation of the Agnus Dei.
If the current option is to remain in use, I do believe that the SOP should be moved to a more appropriate liturgical position. So doing does not deny our love and fellowship toward each other, but it does strengthen the outward expression of our love and worship of God.

Randy January 5, 2009 at 6:18 pm

If we tried to add something from the Eastern liturgy and ended up adding something slightly inferior then maybe this is a time to fix that. What exactly is the difference between the two now?
I do think the most natural time to do it is early. Our parish does the handshake thing before the mass begins. That makes sense to welcome people sitting near you. The trouble is the sign of peace becomes somewhat redundant. So some people get more huggy and some people shut right down. If the sign of peace gets moved early enough then doing both will probably be stopped.

atslos January 5, 2009 at 6:23 pm

IMO, “solemnity” — as the word is colloquially used, not some technical usage — is something that does not belong in eucharistic celebration at all. What does belong is a certain spiritual depth, divine word that penetrates our minds and hearts deeply, song that springs from our being, including our body, and an awareness, affectionate, of the God of sweetness. I think you are using “solemnity” to evoke some sense of seriousness but I don’t think that kind of seriousness belongs in the liturgy at all. After all, Chesterton said, angels are able to fly because they take themselves lightly … and that was not just pun but insight he was proposing. In any event, ISTM, authentic worship would involve a certain freedom or fluidity and child-like spirit (perhaps best exemplified in the charismatic movement)
Prayer is the raising of one’s heart and mind to God and that is not something opposed to social reality but which can arise out of social communion and inhere in social communion. For, we can recognize God in God’s creature. Imagine if some great calamity wiped out all the people of the world except yourself and one other and you came across that other — in so meeting her you would not be turning your mind away from prayer or away from God, but rather be all the more cognizant in your heart and mind of God and the goodness which he is.
So I think placing some sort of tension between the so called “horizontal” element and the “vertical” element is a mistake to begin with. There are not two separate dimensions opposed to one another, where emphasizing one sacrifices the other. Rather, an increase in one, authentic, increases the other. Perhaps a better way to see it would be in more sacred relationships. A priest’s relationship to his bishop is not in any way something extraneous to his relationship to God for the bishop is as God the father to the priest and the priest’s relationship with the bishop, authentic, not only draws him closer to God but precisely is a relationship with God in his relationship with his bishop. It is much like treasuring a photo of a loved one versus the loved one herself; the former is not extraneous to the latter but rather precisely in doing the former one is doing the latter. All Christians are in a manner of speaking, icons of Christ and as such, our authentic appreciative love of each other not only draws us closer to Christ but precisely is our love and loving adoration of Christ. If the veneration of lifeless icons is not opposed to Christian cult, then surely, kisses of peace to the living icons which are Christians is not opposed to Christian cult either.
(FWIW, though, I think exchanging the sign of peace as practiced in the U.S. is on balance harmful in terms of spreading disease, but that’s a separate issue and can be addressed by other means)

vox borealis January 5, 2009 at 6:32 pm

Atslos,
“I think you are using “solemnity” to evoke some sense of seriousness but I don’t think that kind of seriousness belongs in the liturgy at all.”
On this we will have to agree to disagree, and from this disagreement flows a series of subsequent disagreements we will have.

Inocencio January 5, 2009 at 7:41 pm

Charel Weng,
1387 To prepare for worthy reception of this sacrament, the faithful should observe the fast required in their Church. Bodily demeanor (gestures, clothing) ought to convey the respect, solemnity, and joy of this moment when Christ becomes our guest.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Eileen R January 5, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Does anyone know what in the Eastern liturgy the Sign of Peace is supposed to resemble? I go to Mass about half the time in a Ukrainian Catholic church, and there’s never any exchange among the congregants. Is it something only the priest says?
Re: Gurnygob’s moral indignation. If you hung around this blog more, you would know that Jimmy hasn’t posted that much lately on any topic. He’s got a full plate elsewhere.

Matheus January 6, 2009 at 2:57 am

I find it hard to believe that a blog as popular as yours has nothing to say on the mass murder going on in Gaza. Why don’t you write a post on this?

Dear gurnygob
I’m sure Jimmy is as concerned about the situation as you or anyone else. You may not know, but he has posted about the subject before, about two years and a half ago, during the Lebanon affair. It was, if I’m not mistaken the most-commented post before last year’s Myers desecration post, and as you may guess, it triggered annoying and unproductive endless discussion about the whole issue. I wouldn’t disagree with Jimmy if that is the reason for his not having posted about it again.
Also, I would like to tell you that, as another commentator said, regardless of legitimacy of your complaint against Jimmy, you should have done the manly thing (or womanly, if you are a woman)and made the complaint privately to Jimmy through e-mail. Your tone comes across as rude and disruptive, since you seem to be not only bothered by the lack of a post on the subject, but also by the fact that your personal position on this delicate issue isn’t displayed on this blog. I for one don’t think so sensitive an issue as this should be taken as an excuse for one to start this kind of opportunistic liberal discourse.

Dan Hunter January 6, 2009 at 8:19 am

“I don’t have the time to look it up, but I believe the TLM Solemn Mass does have the Kiss of Peace. The TLM Low Mass does not.”
Brian: yes, the Solemn High Mass retains the Kiss of Peace, but only visibly between the priest, deacon and subdeacon, and it is expressed in a very dignified manner in which Pope St Gregory the Great proscribed in his “Liturgical Directions”.
“By the placing of a hand on each shoulder of the deacon and subdeacon and a slight and reverential bow on both sides of the head…”
This is solemn, dignified, and wholly in maintaining a contemplative reverence amongst the cleric as well as the layman, who shall not partake of this visible sign.
Why doesnt the Novus Ordo Missae just takes its cue from the Missal of 1962, wherein already is established a most salutary, efficacious and reverent expression of the prayer, where the priest comingles the Precious Body and Blood of God, makes the sign of the cross three times over the chalice with the particle saying:
“Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.”
The acolytes respond:
“Et cum spiritu tuo.”
How elegant and efficacious.
No distractions.
The flow of the Sacrifice is maintained.
And the Peace of the Lord has been given by the sacerdotes.
No, breathless mad dash to say HI! to Uncle Bob and dog cather Avery.
No distractions from either the Offertory or the moment when we prepare ourselves to recieve the Physical and Substantial Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Blessed Lord in the Most Holy Sacrament.

Leo January 6, 2009 at 9:23 am

IMO, two good places to exchange a sign of peace would be:
- near the start of the Liturgy of the Eucharist. This would mirror the Confession at the start of the Liturgy of the Word. See also Bill912′s comment, second from top.
- extending the Confession to include the sign of peace. This would connect confession/repentance/making peace. It would also let people ‘get over’ greeting each other, which is a natural thing to do at the start of a gathering or shared meal.
One cause of conflict in liturgy is the difference between extrovert and introvert styles of worship and the temperaments of those who tend to choose them. Many people naturally assume that what brings them closer to heaven does the same for everyone else. BTW I’m not saying all extroverts always prefer extrovert forms of worship.

ToddC January 6, 2009 at 9:33 am

For those interested in reading up on the history of the kiss of peace in the Roman Rite, check out the link below. Scroll down to the second article dated March 5, 2008 and titled, “A Crisis of Meaning in the Sign of Peace” by Michael Foley
http://catholictradition.blogspot.com/search/label/Liturgy

Tim Jones January 6, 2009 at 10:05 am

“Many people naturally assume that what brings them closer to heaven does the same for everyone else.”
This is a very good point. Perhaps I should wear a nametag;
“Hello. I’m Tim, and I’m an introvert.”
I prefer an atmosphere of worship that allows me to concentrate on my interior response to God and on the sacrifice of the Mass. I’m very distractible. It is easy for me to lose my focus and can be difficult to maintain the proper disposition of spirit for worship. I find it very helpful if the atmosphere is quiet and reverent.
There are some who feel that introverts just need to be coaxed out of their shell (and some feel that it is their job to do so). This is profoundly irritating for the introvert. Intruding on our space and quietude will only make us wish we were somewhere else.
You extroverts worship your way, and I’ll worship mine. So, please don’t be offended when I stand with my eyes closed and my hands folded during the Our Father instead of holding your hand.

David L Alexander January 6, 2009 at 11:31 am

I wonder how many people who want to move the Sign of Peace, 1) have the slightest idea why it is where it is, 2) have the slightest idea how it’s done properly, 3) would cease complaining about all the handshaking if it were moved, and/or 4) are the same people who complain about changes to the Mass to begin with.
Like I said, I wonder…

Anonymous January 6, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Moving it would be awesome. It has no place in the between the Our Father and the Agnus Dei. Moving the “sign of peace” to before the offertory would create a more respectful atmostphere for the Eucharist and the awesome mystery we are about to partake and better these words of Jesus: “If you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Mt 5:23-24).

Inocencio January 6, 2009 at 12:06 pm

David L. Alexander,
What are your thoughts about Pope Benedict XVI’s desire, along with the bishops of the synod, to move the sign of peace?
Sacramentum Caritatis #49
“Even so, during the Synod of Bishops there was discussion about the appropriateness of greater restraint in this gesture, which can be exaggerated and cause a certain distraction in the assembly just before the reception of Communion. It should be kept in mind that nothing is lost when the sign of peace is marked by a sobriety which preserves the proper spirit of the celebration, as, for example, when it is restricted to one’s immediate neighbours (150).”

(150) Taking into account ancient and venerable customs and the wishes expressed by the Synod Fathers, I have asked the competent curial offices to study the possibility of moving the sign of peace to another place, such as before the presentation of the gifts at the altar. To do so would also serve as a significant reminder of the Lord’s insistence that we be reconciled with others before offering our gifts to God (cf. Mt 5:23 ff.); cf. Propositio 23.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Terry January 6, 2009 at 2:29 pm

I think what needs to happen, if there is going to be a kiss of peace at all in the ordinary form, is that it should remain where it is but should be directed, as in the extraordinary form, from the priest kissing the altar to then extending the kiss to the deacon, then the acolytes. And it could simply end right there.
We have forgotten these days but one role of the acolyte is to represent the congregation at the altar.
I can imagine this will get some people upset but the real theology has been lost in the present structure, or lack thereof, of the action.
Moving the kiss to the offertory does not do anything to improve on what the Western Church has historically intended the action to mean. It’s only going to shift the muddle from before the Agnus Dei to the Offertory.

Dan Hunter January 6, 2009 at 3:11 pm

I agree with you, Terry.
It will still provide the alla-man left dosey do and howdya do to the Sacrifice of Mass during the Offertory which is the clear and distinct preparation to the Consecration.
I have seen priests exit the sanctuary for a good 5 minutes to press flesh and hug evry Tom Dick and Mary in the congregation.
The same will only happen 20 minutes earlier.
We all know how the Church intends the Kiss to be.
Trying enforcing a solemn and diginifies version at St Ippsidipsy, and see how fast they call you “rigid”

SDG January 6, 2009 at 5:10 pm

The problem is not in the rite, but in ourselves.
Eastern Catholics and Orthodox manage to exchange the kiss of peace without turning it into a social hour.
Removing occasion for abuse by removing the rite itself, if that’s the only or main motive, seems to me a surrender to reductionism and minimalism. It’s the same logic that says that since there is so much bad music, it’s better to have no music, and since preaching is so lame anyway the shorter the homily the better.
Preventing abuses by removing their context is an antiseptic, scorched earth strategy. We need catechesis and reverence, not minimalism.

Shane January 6, 2009 at 5:56 pm

I tend to agree with SDG.
I also do not like the argument that the acolyte’s representation of the congregation eliminates the need for a kiss of peace between the people or that sort of thing. In my mind, that is one of the things that Sacrosanctum Concilium and the post-conciliar liturgical documents sought to eliminate. That is, it is within the true spirit of the participation that was called for: let the people represent the people. The priest is already standing at the altar on the people’s behalf; there is no need for a “second priest” to represent them even in that role of what they truly hold as lay-people.
It is very easy these days to make the Mass too much about the person-to-person interaction of the congregation, rather than about God, which it really is. However, it is no more desirable that the Mass be an event in which the laymen play no part aside from receiving Communion. To have the congregation sit in the pews for an hour to an hour and a half without being really involved in what is going on is not the ideal situation, and despite both how liberals and (for lack of a better term) traditionalists try to interpret the council, it wanted to do away with this less than desirable manner of worship.
So far as the kiss of peace is concerned, I can understand the desire to move it as well as perhaps reasons why some may believe it is appropriate where it is. For example, there is some very nice symbolism with its current location. At this point, the sacrifice has really just been offered, concluding with the Great Amen. Now by means of Christ’s sacrifice, we are made adopted children of the Father and brother and sister of one another in Christ. It is then very appropriate symbolism that following the Great Amen, we recite the Our Father, addressing God as Father, and offer the sign of peace, making manifest in a special way the newfound brotherhood we have in Christ. Of course, we were brothers before the particular re-presentation of the sacrifice of Christ that we have attended on a given day, but it is symbolism.
So I can understand the thinking that the sign of peace is appropriate where it is.

Dan Hunter January 6, 2009 at 6:39 pm

“it is no more desirable that the Mass be an event in which the laymen play no part aside from receiving Communion. To have the congregation sit in the pews for an hour to an hour and a half without being really involved in what is going on is not the ideal situation”
Shane, Where does this idea come from that the layman is sitting like a lump on a log and not participating, in the Gregorian Rite?
Sacrosanctum Concilium calls for: “actuosa participatio”, which by no means is interpreted as us being physically or verbally active, but rather participating, fully, in an deep internal way, uniting ourselves with the sacrificing priest as we all face in the same Liturgical Eastward direction, towards the crucifix, as the Papal MC Monsignor Marini has so aptly put it on more than one occasion.
I have not met one person at any of the Gregorian Rite of Mass that I have assisted at that does not feel an enormous sense of “actuosa participatio”, while hearing holy Mass, including myself.
There is no more deeply spiritual active moment than during the Canon, when audible silence reigns supreme, yet spiritual awe and participation of the loftiest and most beautiful form is par for the course.
For 30 plus years I assisted at the Novus Ordo Mass and very rarely was I able to “participate”.
I sat like an unknowing and bored bump on a log, since that form of participation is so, so frenetic.
One can barely recollect oneself and unite himself with the sacrificial prayers and oblations before we are on to another lame duck psalm or washed out and boringly reduced bidding prayer.
If you equate participation as a layman with saying and doing things, verbally, during Holy Mass than you have lost sight of what Holy Mother Church has taught for the last 2000 years,
God bless you.

Matt McDonald January 6, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Shane,
hour to an hour and a half without being really involved in what is going on is not the ideal situation
are you saying that uniting our prayers with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which is truly offered by Christ, is your definition of “not being involved” unless we shake hands with each ot her? If the people are so poorly catechised that they only participate in the Mass in such a superficial manner then there is much work to do.
The problem we have in the sign of peace is that the customary practice, aside from disrupting the SOLEMN occasion of the un-bloody representation of Christ’s at Calvary, is that it masks the theological meaning behind the gesture. The kiss of peace as practiced for much longer than 1000 years in the Latin rite as a sharing of Christ’s Peace is properly found in the current place. On the contrary, the current social hugging and handshaking is really more suited to a time outside the Mass, perhaps at a coffee and donut meet&greet. If it must be associated with Mass it should be in the place considered by the Holy Father, or even prior to the opening prayers.
God Bless,
Matt

SDG January 6, 2009 at 7:51 pm

While it is true that actuosa participatio is broader than bodily and vocal participation, it is also true that bodily and vocal participation is not irrelevant. Otherwise we need not kneel or bow or cross ourselves bodily, need not actually vocalize the “Amen” or other parts of the liturgy, but can merely express worship and faith and entreaty to God in our hearts, all with equal value and effectiveness. For that matter, we need not receive communion bodily, but can simply make a spiritual act of communion, and that is just as good.
Why should anyone feel the need to actually bend their physical knees, tip their heads forward, receive the sacred body and blood on their tongue? Cannot God give us the same grace for our inward disposition?
It is a half truth. Yes, we can pray without kneeling or standing, and should, when we are driving for instance. Likewise, those prevented by age or infirmity from kneeling or standing, or from vocalizing the parts of the liturgy that pertain to them, can indeed do these things in their hearts with great profit or even greater profit than many who do them outwardly.
Nevertheless, actually to adopt the liturgical postures of kneeling or standing, actually to say the words of the liturgy, not just in our hearts but with our bodies, is a more complete act. We are not gnostics or Manichaeans who disavow the body’s share in worship.

I have not met one person at any of the Gregorian Rite of Mass that I have assisted at that does not feel an enormous sense of “actuosa participatio”, while hearing holy Mass, including myself.

Dan, you paint such a relentlessly rosy picture of your experience of the TLM, it’s hard to know what to think. From your posts anyone would think that distraction, aridity and acedia were solely post-1960s phenomena and exist today only in the ordinary use of the Roman rite (the so-called Novus Ordo).
You do know, for instance, that no one less than Cardinal Ratzinger has been bluntly critical of the limitations of participation by the faithful in older forms of the liturgy, particularly the low mass:

On the other hand one has to admit that the celebration of the ancient liturgy was too lost in the realm of the individual and the private. One must admit that the communion between the priest and the faithful was lacking. I have great respect for our ancestors who during the Low Mass, said the prayers “during Mass” which their prayer book recommended. Certainly one cannot consider that as the ideal of the liturgical celebration! Perhaps, these reduced forms of celebration are the fundamental reason why the disappearance of the ancient liturgical books had no importance in many countries and caused no pain. There was never any contact with the liturgy itself. (source)

The “actuosa participatio” you profess to experience with such apparently uniform fullness may be more complicated than you seem to think.

Dan Hunter January 6, 2009 at 8:30 pm

“Dan, you paint such a relentlessly rosy picture of your experience of the TLM, it’s hard to know what to think.”
SDG, Yes, I do, and thank you for this observation. the Gregorian Rite, has brought me back into the Mystical Body of Christ.
I was a miserable wretch, who lived in mortal when I regularly assisted at the Novus Ordo.
The catechesis I recieved from priests and layman during my formative years and beyond took place in and around the Novus Ordo Mass’s I heard, including sermons where I was never taught the truths of our faith. eg. Communion is a symbol, Christ never performed natural miracles, etc.
Not until embracing, exclusively, our holy patronage in the Usus Antiquor was I properly instructed in the Precepts and truths of Holy Mother Church.
Coming to the TLM was like waking up one day and realizing that I am part of a royal family.
Yes indeed SDG, the picture is quite “relentlessly rosy”.
“On the other hand one has to admit that the celebration of the ancient liturgy was too lost in the realm of the individual and the private. One must admit that the communion between the priest and the faithful was lacking. I have great respect for our ancestors who during the Low Mass, said the prayers “during Mass” which their prayer book recommended. Certainly one cannot consider that as the ideal of the liturgical celebration! Perhaps, these reduced forms of celebration are the fundamental reason why the disappearance of the ancient liturgical books had no importance in many countries and caused no pain. There was never any contact with the liturgy itself.”
SDG, I respectfully disagree with the then Cardinal Ratzinger on his above statement.
I find that there is no seperation betwixt me and the priest at Holy Mass, or betwixt me and my asisting neighbor.
I observe almost everyone following along with the Mass in their Missals, and this is a great lesson to us that the TLM is quite unifying.
The Communion is most definitely there, and proof of this is when we recieve our Lords Body Blood Soul and Divinity at the altar rail.
Perfect Communion.
The denoument of the whole Mass after the Consecration!
There is nothing “reduced” about the forms of the Gregorian Rite, quite the opposite.
May I quote Cardinal Ratzinger from his book “Salt of the Earth”?
Salt of the Earth (Ratzinger, 1997)
“I am of the opinion, to be sure, that the old rite should be granted much more generously to all those who desire it. It’s impossible to see what could be dangerous or unacceptable about that. A community is calling its very being into question when it suddenly declares that what until now was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent.”
There was also a little something…Oh maybe an Apostolic Letter called…hmmm Summorum Pontificum, that praised the TLM like there was no tomorrow.
God bless you.

Shane January 6, 2009 at 8:41 pm

I anticipated the kinds of responses to my post I ended up getting, and I tried to avoid them by the way I worded my post. Obviously, I was unsuccesful. :)
I’ll echo everything SDG said, and add a few things.
First, there is a disconnect between the thinking of “traditionalists” (again, for lack of a better term – I do not wish to offend/categorize/put into a box anybody) when it comes to the Council’s call for actuosa participatio. It cannot possibly refer simply to the sorts of praying along with the Mass that folks assert to being profound spiritual participation of some sort, because that already existed before the Council. Pius X taught about this, for example, in his catechism. That SC called for actuosa participatio implies that, whatever the term was intended to mean, it was lacking in the then-current form. Furthermore, a reading of SC rather explicitly states that it’s more than just that:
“19. With zeal and patience, pastors of souls must promote the liturgical instruction of the faithful, and also their active participation in the liturgy both internally and externally, taking into account their age and condition, their way of life, and standard of religious culture.\

21. … In this restoration, both texts and rites should be drawn up so that they express more clearly the holy things which they signify; the Christian people, so far as possible, should be enabled to understand them with ease and to take part in them fully, actively, and as befits a community.
The document clearly called not only for external participation of the faithful in the Liturgy, but also that new texts and rites ought to be drawn up to bring this about, and very importantly to bring about participation “as befits a community.” The liberals have it all wrong, but those who wish to restrict actuosa participatio to the realm of one’s interior disposition are also not in line with what the Council called for.

Shane January 6, 2009 at 9:11 pm

Dan, I’ll agree with you on some points. You’re right to say that you ought to be permitted the Pian rite of Mass if you wish to attend it. The motu proprio expresses that.
This is a very important fact for those who would like to deny you your choice of rite, or to question it in any sort of deep way. As faithful Catholics, we must think with the mind of the Church, and me must submit to Her judgments. Thus, whatever Summorum Pontificum puts forth, we must accept. Thus, those who would question you must accept this.
What you must accept is what Sacrosanctum Concilium put forth about the possible limitations of the Pian rite, or those ways in which the Church deemed it needful to be reformed. That is also a component of thinking with the Church.
As Summorum Pontificum puts forth for the faithful, the Pian rite of Mass is full of great riches, and is a valid, legitimate, and acceptable rite to celebrate. On the other hand, as Sacrosanctum Concilium puts forth for the faithful, there were reforms to the Liturgy which were desirable, some including the drawing up of new texts and/or an updated rite. Both of these things are true, and no faithful Catholic can deny either of them.
The “old” rite is not perfect, and neither is the “new” one. Were it so that either were, the Church either would not have called for reform, or She would not have decreed an increase in the use of the now-termed Extraordinary form. Each has its advantages, and each has its disadvantages.
Now I want to address one final point. You seemed to suggest that your appreciation of the Mass and knowledge of the faith are a factor of the form of Mass you have been involved with, saying,
“I was a miserable wretch, who lived in mortal when I regularly assisted at the Novus Ordo.
The catechesis I recieved from priests and layman during my formative years and beyond took place in and around the Novus Ordo Mass’s I heard, including sermons where I was never taught the truths of our faith. eg. Communion is a symbol, Christ never performed natural miracles, etc.
Not until embracing, exclusively, our holy patronage in the Usus Antiquor was I properly instructed in the Precepts and truths of Holy Mother Church.
Coming to the TLM was like waking up one day and realizing that I am part of a royal family.”

The problem with this is that you’re conflating the rites themselves with the atmosphere under which they have been celebrated. When you were involved with the Pauline Mass, it was celebrated perhaps without some level of reverance and your catechesis was lacking, while when involved with the Extraordinary form you received solid catechesis.
I’ve heard from people who have expressed somewhat opposite experiences. For example, I have heard from people who were close to abandoning the faith due to the outright nastiness of the people and priests involved with the celebration of the Tridentine rite, but now love the Ordinary form and received not only good catechesis at their Ordinary form parish (or Novus Ordo parish, as some folks used to refer to them as), but also found kind, loving, and Christlike communities and priests.
And of course, we must add to this the plain fact that prior to the Council, more and more people were coming not to know their faith or to lose interest in the Liturgy despite the celebration everywhere of the then-current rite of Mass. In fact, one of the largest complaints about the Pauline Mass – that it prevents people from understanding that the Mass is a sacrifice – is very ironic given that it was considered by some to be common knowledge that Catholics of the 1950s era had lost sight of the fact that the Mass was in fact a sacrifice.
In other words, things were beginning to go downhill even with the Pian rite of Mass being celebrated. The problem was that priests stopped catechising, and many became liberal themselves or bought into the spirit of the age. Neither rite of Mass is really responsible for this – it was going on due to various other factors. (I am one of those who believes that without the introduction of the Pauline rite, things would actually have gotten far worse than they did – that the Holy Spirit did indeed guide the Church as He always has into the actions of the Second Vatican Council and in fact through things like the Pauline Mass helped to damper the blow that the 1960s and 70s would bring to the Church – but that is a different discussion!) The point is simply that you can have bad catechesis, irreverant Liturgy, and nasty people associated with either form, and you can have solid teaching, reverent, solemn worship, and Christlike figures with either. The Pauline Mass is not responsible for any of these various maladies, nor is the Pian rite an antidote to them.
Dan, your experience may be great with the Extraordinary form, and for that I am very happy for you. However, there are many others whose experience was not so “rosy,” and who are now living as more faithful, more orthodox Catholics in an ordinary form parish. I believe that God has provided for them with the Pauline Missal, just as He provided for you with Summorum Pontificum.
God bless!

vox borealis January 6, 2009 at 9:34 pm

Shane,
You said above: ” At this point, the sacrifice has really just been offered, concluding with the Great Amen.”
Just a quibble, but the so-called “Great Amen” is just one possible musical setting, albeit one that has come to dominate the liturgical landscape. I prefer a simple, spoken “Amen” to the usual Marty Haugen Ben-Huresque “Great Amen”

atslos January 6, 2009 at 9:49 pm

Much of what SDG wrote echoes what I had written already above.
To clarify though, I would add that for any bodily expressive activity to be authentic it must be grounded in the spirit. So a mere “going through the motions” has no authentic human value.
In addition, even the infirm individual who is not able to engage in any liturgical or any other gesture, is still actually praying not only with his spirit but with his body. This is because per Catholic doctrine, the soul is the form of the body and thus any operation of the soul would in some manner ISTM engage the body or inhere in the body. So while it might not be so dazzling to the eyes, the mere fact, ontological, that a person’s brain, materially, is praising God as a person’s soul praises God is of value and is a way of being in both body and soul — humans cannot not properly speaking act authentically — however disabled they may be — in the wayfaring state apart from body or apart from soul. Likewise even the mere act of breathing can, in union with one’s heart, be a bodily form in which prayer, spiritual and bodily, inheres. So I wouldn’t present paralyzed individuals for example as incapable of prayer, bodily as strictly speaking from a perspective not only philosophical but of spiritual fruitfulness, bodily prayer is the only kind of prayer wayfarers are capable of (and once united to resurrected bodies, the same would be true; the intermediate state is something we need not go into but let’s say, just, Thomas has some interesting things to say about).
I agree with Shane’s reading of the text as regards active participation (btw guys, not everyone can read Latin or for that matter German … for the benefit of your non-erudite readers, you might want to include the English translation — however you would prefer to it translated). But I wouldn’t state it so strongly. It’s certainly “possible” for a council to call for something that had already existed to some degree or extent or manner (an interiorized active participation) and to call for it to be more prevalent, more penetrative, or so forth. It’s not a binary thing where you are either actively participating or not and if you are you can check that box off and escape mortal sin. Rather, the attraction — or if you prefer, call — is to journey ever more deeply into the sacred mysteries which belong to (“belong to” as in “are properly of”) God and hopefully in doing so achieve the state of spiritual enlightenment which is proper to both our soul and body.
Just a word on Gnostics … one should keep in mind that the fact that one or several ideas they had may have been wrong, should not lead one to place under a cloud of suspicion all their (distinctive/characteristic) ideas. It might be helpful to consider FWIW, what Scott Hahn says of heresies and their nature as well.

Shane January 6, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Vox,
Hmm… I’ll have to look into that. A few years ago I did a lot of work putting together a pamphplet and short film to explain the Liturgy to Protestants and non-Christians, and I thought that in doing that I saw the term “Great Amen” in Liturgical books and rubrics. Maybe I’m remembering incorrectly. I’ll investigate!
God bless

Shane January 6, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Astlos,
I didn’t intend to suggest that the call for active/actual participation indicates that it was altogether lacking prior to the Council. Sorry to all if I wasn’t clear. My point was really that the fact that the Council called for it and indicated that the drawing up of new/updated texts and rites was a means by which this participation would be brought about indicates that what they were looking for wasn’t present in the then-current texts. (FWIW, I was also pointing out that Sacrosanctum Concilium‘s indication that external participation needed to be brought about indicates that one’s internal prayer and disposition was not all they had in mind).
Now, Astlos, what in particular are you referring to about Dr. Hahn and the heresies? I always enjoy reading what he has to say and am curious about what you’re specifically referring to but don’t have enough information to go looking it up).
God bless

vox borealis January 7, 2009 at 5:09 am

Atslos,
You have returned. As I posted above, we will have to agree to disagree on basic points. But I am curious how you respond to other posters who cite multiple documents indicating that the time before the reception of Communion should be marked by solemnity, sobriety and “proper” demeanor?

ssoldie January 7, 2009 at 7:18 am

Why not just create another, ‘novus ordo missea’ as for me I will remain with the TLM, it sure has been around more then 45 years, and was not ‘created’ by a committee, but grew organically, formulated by Pope Gregory the Great and codified at the council of Trent.

Matthew A. Siekierski January 7, 2009 at 9:32 am

SDG said:

Preventing abuses by removing their context is an antiseptic, scorched earth strategy. We need catechesis and reverence, not minimalism.

Would a temporary removal of the context be appropriate? I’m thinking of what was done with the confusion surrounding receiving the Body and Blood under both species, and the “incompleteness” of not receiving both species.

SDG January 7, 2009 at 10:56 am

Yes indeed SDG, the picture is quite “relentlessly rosy”.

One way or another, your experiences do seem relentless, don’t they? It seems that you are perpetually either on the griddle or caught up into the third heaven. Perhaps the latter is your consolation for the former. For those of us whose experience of life is messier and more complicated, the simple extremes you describe are hard to imagine.

Giovanni January 7, 2009 at 11:53 am

I believe that Novus Ordo can be saved from the misrepresentation that has been given to it by those who implemented it.
I my self attend a TLM parish I used to attend a NO for the past 3 years in fact it was the Priest (a most orthodox one) that was there to precide my wedding.
I absolutly understand what you are talking about when referring the TLM as organic, the first time I went to it, I fell in love. The majesty, the music, the reverence, the smells, everything about the TLM connects me with every Christian of the last 2000 years.
To think of the NO as defective simply because it wants to encourage the participation of the faithful is flawed.
The early Church did this, it wasnt until the reforms of the 700′s (Ithink) in which the faithful took a less active role in the Mass.
Also to think that the NO in its current form can not be rescued from the abuse of the last 40 years is also flawed. Obviesly the Holy Father thinks that we can do so, there are many positive steps being taken.
1. Ad Orientem
2. Music Chant being re-entroduced.
3. Less social more reverent.
These are all good signs.

Shane January 7, 2009 at 12:06 pm

I agree with Giovanni. I also would point out to those who cry of the “unorganicness” of the Pauline rite that Cardinal Ratzinger did not seem to share this view:
“Hence those who cling to the “Tridentine Missal” have a faulty view of the historical facts. Yet at the same time, the way in which the renewed Missal was presented is open to much criticism. We must say to the “Tridentines” that the Church’s liturgy is alive, like the Church herself, and is thus always involved in a process of maturing which exhibits greater and lesser changes. Four hundred years is far too young an age for the Catholic liturgy – because in fact it reaches right back to Christ and the apostles and has come down to us from that time in a single, constant process. The Missal can no more be mummified than the Church herself. Yet, with all its advantages, the new Missal was published as if it were a book put together by professors, not a phase in a continual grown process. Such a thing has never happened before. It is absolutely contrary to the laws of liturgical growth, and it has resulted in the nonsensical notion that Trent and Pius V had “produced” a Missal four hundred years ago. The Catholic liturgy was thus reduced to the level of a mere product of modern times. This loss of perspective is really disturbing. Although very few of those who express their uneasiness have a clear picture of these interrelated factors, there is an instinctive grasp of the fact that liturgy cannot be the result of Church regulations, let alone professional erudition, but, to be true to itself, must be the fruit of the Church’s life and vitality.
Lest there be any misunderstanding, let me add that as far as its contents in concerned (apart from a few criticisms), I am very grateful for the new Missal, for the way it has enriched the treasury of prayers and prefaces, for the new eucharistic prayers and the increased number of texts for use on weekdays, etc., quite apart from the availability of the vernacular. But I do regard it as unfortunate that we have been presented with the idea of a new book rather with that of continuity within a single liturgical history. In my view, a new edition will need to make it quite clear that the so-called Missal of Paul VI is nothing other than a renewed form of the same Missal to which Pius X, Urban VIII, Pius V and their predecessors have contributed, right from the Church’s earliest history. It is of the very essence of the Church that she should be aware of her unbroken continuity throughout the history of faith, expressed in an ever-present unity of prayer.

Dan Hunter January 7, 2009 at 12:21 pm

“The early Church did this, it wasnt until the reforms of the 700′s (Ithink) in which the faithful took a less active role in the Mass”
Giovanni, The TLM as we know it now [Missal of 1962] was for the most part codified by Pope St Gregory the Great in the 5th century, the 400′s, so for others to call the Traditional Latin Mass the “Pian Rite” is not totally accurate.
Pope St Pius V merely made mandatory an already 1000 year old Catholic Rite of Holy Mass, when he issued the Papal Bull,”Quo Primum” in 1570.
At Mass, in the fifth century we already see, as had been the rule of the Church since St Ambrose, over a century earler, communion on the toungue and kneeling, the traditional oblations and Offertory prayers, the Roman Canon [the oldest part of the Mass] and of course the propers.
It goes without saying that the Apostles offered the Mass Ad Orientem in the first century, as we read in the studies of Father Alcuin Reed and others.

Dan Hunter January 7, 2009 at 2:13 pm

,SDG,
I honestly thank the Holy Ghost, daily, for the gift of fortitude, or the gift of being “relentless”, as you put it.
SDG, Just curious as to how I am at times on the “griddle”?
Am I being compared to St Lawrence in some veiled manner?
God bless you.

Giovanni January 7, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Re introduction of the Latin, I can not say that enough is one of the keys to safe the NO liturgy.

Dan Hunter January 7, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Giovanni,
Agreed.

Matt January 7, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Shane,
I think the point you’re missing is what the Holy Father is concerned about. The key issue here is not with the liturgical texts themselves, but with the current practice that is not called for and is completely inconsistent with any sense of reverence that is the tradition of the Church.
You’re also misreading all of the posts of us “traditionalists”. We’re not arguing that there should be NO participation but spiritual, only that it should be appropriate.
The occasional use of vernacular called for in SC bears no resemblance to current practice either, and was decried by Paul VI when it occurred. Frankly there is even large difference between the English texts you are used to and the words in Latin. As far as multiplication of Eucharistic prayers, this is a completely unprecedented innovation.
God Bless,
Matt

SDG January 7, 2009 at 7:43 pm

Dan Hunter:
It was an allusion to another discussion we had awhile back, in which you lamented a near constant state of difficulty. No direct allusion to St. Anthony was intended (although St. Anthony’s final mortal condition was metaphorically and facetiously connected to the difficulty in question in the 1940 The Mark of Zorro).

Shane January 7, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Giovanni, The TLM as we know it now [Missal of 1962] was for the most part codified by Pope St Gregory the Great in the 5th century, the 400′s, so for others to call the Traditional Latin Mass the “Pian Rite” is not totally accurate.
Pope St Pius V merely made mandatory an already 1000 year old Catholic Rite of Holy Mass, when he issued the Papal Bull,”Quo Primum” in 1570.

I have to disagree with the implication made here. I will repeat my quotation of then-Cardinal Ratzinger to set up my point:
“…the so-called Missal of Paul VI is nothing other than a renewed form of the same Missal to which Pius X, Urban VIII, Pius V and their predecessors have contributed, right from the Church’s earliest history.”
If the Extraordinary form is to be referred to as the “Gregorian rite,” then the Ordinary form must also be granted the same title. Allow me to explain.
Summorum Pontificum‘s instruction that the 1962 Missal would be from henceforth known as the “Extraordinary Form” and the newer missal as the “Ordinary Form” is representative of a large strain in Pope Benedict’s thought, expressed in the quotation I provided above (and more thoroughly in the longer version several posts up), that the “TLM” and the “Novus Ordo” are not in fact two different rites, but two forms of the same rite. There is one, single Roman Rite which has grown and developed since the earliest days of the Church.
Gregory codified much of the Roman rite as it came to be known, but that rite developed over the centuries, being altered in various ways first by any number of folks in different parts of Europe (to develop a rather wide variety of “local rites” that were in use until the Council of Trent), then by Pius V, then again by (as Ratzinger pointed out) Urban VIII, Pius V, Pius XII, and others. After Sacrosanctum Concilium, yet another, though more complete, rivision was made, producing what came to be called in some circles the Novus Ordo.
Since his time as Cardinal, Pope Benedict viewed the introduction of this Missal as problematic insofar as that it was done in such a way so as to give the impression that this was a deviation from the Roman Rite which had been in use unbroken for centuries, rather than a renewal of that same rite. It was, in part, this error that he sought to rectify with Summorum Pontificum. He did this by identifying the two “rites” as what they truly are: two different forms of the same Rite, similar to how the 1962 Missal is a different form of the same rite as the missal promulgated by Pius V with Quo Primum.
So then, what of the use of terms such as “Paulin rite,” “Pian rite,” and “Gregorian rite?” If we are speaking strictly of the rite, then all of these are the same: they are the Roman Rite, having been in development since the earliest days of the Church. On the other hand, if we are speaking of something more specific, say, the form, then they are different.
So when I, or some other person, refers to the “Pian rite,” it’s totally accurate: we’re trying to identify what is commonly known these days as the “TLM,” but with more professional terminology. In fact, the most accurate thing to call it would be the Extraordinary form, but the use of the term “Pian rite” helps to indicate that we’re referring to the missal and its usage pre-1970, as opposed to today.
The reality is that the Gregorian Missal and that promulgated by Pius V were not entirely the same, and so to refer to Pius’ Missal with the term “Gregorian rite,” unless one is simply referring to the Roman Rite (of which the Pauline Missal is one form) is, intentioanlly or not, misleading or inaccurate. All three are really different forms of the ancient Roman rite, while each is distinct from the others in any number of ways.
God bless

Shane January 7, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Matt,
I think you have greatly misunderstand me, and I apologize if it has been in any way my fault. I was responding to what is a common “traditionalist” argument against many of the Pauline litugrical texts and their having the congregation itself offer those responses and prayers which were at times previously offered only by the acolyte on their behalf.
The question arose in the discussion about the sign of peace as to the need for the congregation to do this, with some saying that because in the Extraordinary Form the acolyte does so on their behalf, it is not necessary that the congregation does so. Somewhere along the line, the discussion got into the more broad topic of whether or not the sort of participation called for in the Ordinary Form is either necessary or in fact good. Some, for example IIRC SDG, said or suggested that they preferred this sort of participation to that in the Extraordinary form.
So this broader discussion came up, and what is usually said, and was said here, was that Sacrosanctum Concilium‘s call for participation need not have implied anything beyond properly participating internally – that is, singing along, offering Psalm responses and the like, are not what SC had in mind. My point was to show in SC why this could not be, and why the document in fact called for substantial changes to the then current missal so as to involve the congregation in this sort of participation.
Ultimately, we now have two forms of the Roman Rite which afford those present different sorts of participation. We ought to be thinking with the mind of the Church and recognizing that each is free to attend that form of Mass which he finds most fruitful for his spiritual life.
On an somewhat unrelated note, you mention that having various options for the Eucharistic prayer is an unheard of innovation. I would respond simply that the Holy Father, as Cardinal Ratzinger, expressed his approval of this.

Dan Hunter January 8, 2009 at 6:45 am

Shane,
It is not I that originally use the expression “Gregorian Rite”, rather I am just echoing the words of the President of the Pontifical Commision Ecclesia Dei: His Eminence Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, who when asked, at a convocation of priests and layman in England last year to clarify questions on the Extraordinary Rite, “with what kind of frequency the Holy Father wants the TLM offered”, responded: “The Holy Father wants the Gregorian Rite offered not in some parishes, but in every parish.”
SDG
My reference to be me being on the “griddle” was a mock allusion to St Lawrence, not St Anthony.
St Lawrence as you know was martyred by being burned alive on a griddle.
Apparently the good saint had quite a sense of humour, for at one point during his dolours he commented to his executioners:
“You can turn me over, I’m done on this side.

Dan Hunter January 8, 2009 at 6:51 am

The end of my above sentence has been cut short for some reason.
The line should read: Who when asked at a convocation of priests and laymen in Rome, actually, who were meeting to clarify questions on the Extraordinary Form and its implementation, responded that: “the Holy Father does not want the Gregorian Rite offered in some parishes, but rather in every parish.”

SDG January 8, 2009 at 7:07 am

My reference to be me being on the “griddle” was a mock allusion to St Lawrence, not St Anthony.

Right, of course, thanks. I do know the story of St. Lawrence and his in extremis bon mot (I think I first encountered while reading The Divine Comedy, presumably in an editorial note).
I got confused here by my own Mark of Zorro allusion, where a reference to “putting St. Anthony on the griddle” has nothing to do with St. Lawrence’s martyrdom, though I must have mentally cross-referenced that curious phrase with the story of St. Lawrence.
Sorry for the confusion. I’ll be quiet now.

Matt January 8, 2009 at 10:17 pm

Shane,
responding to what is a common “traditionalist” argument against many of the Pauline litugrical texts and their having the congregation itself offer those responses and prayers which were at times previously offered only by the acolyte on their behalf.
I did not suggest this. My point was only that your claim that boisterous handshaking was necessary to accomplish “actual participation” was incorrect.
The question arose in the discussion about the sign of peace as to the need for the congregation to do this, with some saying that because in the Extraordinary Form the acolyte does so on their behalf, it is not necessary that the congregation does so. Somewhere along the line, the discussion got into the more broad topic of whether or not the sort of participation called for in the Ordinary Form is either necessary or in fact good
The problem as the Holy Father and most posters here have said is not that the congregation participates as is called for in the texts but that they do so in a manner that is not reverent. The proposal to suppress this OPTIONAL element of the Ordinary Form is based on it’s near universal abuse, not on a principled objection to it’s presence at all. Realistically it would be very difficult to fix it, so it’s suggested to suppress it, or at least move it to a less solemn period of the mass.
So this broader discussion came up, and what is usually said, and was said here, was that Sacrosanctum Concilium’s call for participation need not have implied anything beyond properly participating internally – that is, singing along, offering Psalm responses and the like, are not what SC had in mind. My point was to show in SC why this could not be, and why the document in fact called for substantial changes to the then current missal so as to involve the congregation in this sort of participation.
Such changes were already in fact quite well along without a “substantial change” to the 1962 missal. It is called a “dialog” mass and there are various levels of participation applied. The dialog mass is pretty much universal in the Extraordinary Form. In any event, the results of the “reform” do not resemble anything that is proposed by SC, and that’s just the texts, the actual practice in most places would shock the Saints and even the Council Fathers.
Ultimately, we now have two forms of the Roman Rite which afford those present different sorts of participation. We ought to be thinking with the mind of the Church and recognizing that each is free to attend that form of Mass which he finds most fruitful for his spiritual life.
Kind of like a “choose your own religion” sort of deal? There IS a legitimate range of solemnity within either rite, the problem comes when these bounds are exceeded. Although it may “feel” fruitful, an irreverent mass is not fruitful.
On an somewhat unrelated note, you mention that having various options for the Eucharistic prayer is an unheard of innovation. I would respond simply that the Holy Father, as Cardinal Ratzinger, expressed his approval of this.

Citation? My recollection of Spirit of the Liturgy was that he decried the wholesale abandonment of the Roman Canon in favor of the choices. Having certain options for certain circumstances is one thing, what occurred is another. In any event, you do not agree that this is decidedly out of line with the Church’s practice from the beginning. While there have been different canon’s in various times and places, there has never been an “option” about which one to use. The Roman Canon is virtually unchanged for 1500 years.
God Bless,
Matt

Shane January 8, 2009 at 11:48 pm

I did not suggest this. My point was only that your claim that boisterous handshaking was necessary to accomplish “actual participation” was incorrect.
I must admit to feeling a bit taken aback, insofar as that I did not suggest anything of the sort. In fact, I would strongly oppose any who suggested such a thing. I apologize for any misunderstanding due to my part, but I also encourage you to re-read my posts if you are able, given that my comments have been so far from this mark that this assertion calls into question the care with which you read them.
So far as Cardinal Ratzinger’s approval of the options for the Eucharistic prayers, it is from The Feast of Fatih: Approaches to a Theology of the Liturgy, in which Ratzinger wrote: “I am very grateful for the new Missal, for the way it has enriched the treasury of prayers and prefaces, for the new eucharistic prayers and the increased number of texts for use on weekdays…”
God bless

Matt January 9, 2009 at 6:25 am

Shane,
, it is no more desirable that the Mass be an event in which the laymen play no part aside from receiving Communion….To have the congregation sit in the pews for an hour to an hour and a half without being really involved in what is going on is not the ideal situation.
Since the subject is the congregation physically sharing in the kiss of peace as as it is practiced, and no objection is raised to appropriate posture, and responses, I can only conclude that you are saying that if that option is removed, you would not consider the congregation to have participated. The bottom line is, that your statement here on it’s face contradicts and authentic understanding of participation as it’s intended in the Catholic Mass. We don’t need to hold hands, shake hands, or clap our hands to participate, we do it principally in uniting our prayers, and additionally in assuming the appropriate postures, and gestures, as well as in our responses. The concept that participation must be physical is part of the modernism that has deeply affected the Church, the belief that the mass is about the physiological result, and not a supernatural one.
As to the Holy Father’s previous statements, it’s clear that he is not opposed to the additional options used appropriately, but that doesn’t reflect in current practice. Most parishes will NEVER hear the Roman Canon, it is not a legitimate option to ignore it. Regardless, it is an utter innovation allow this option.
Matt

SDG January 9, 2009 at 6:58 am

Since the subject is the congregation physically sharing in the kiss of peace as as it is practiced, and no objection is raised to appropriate posture, and responses, I can only conclude that you are saying that if that option is removed, you would not consider the congregation to have participated.

Really, Matt? Is that really the only conclusion you can reach about what Shane is saying?
To me it seems that Shane is not posing an absolute dichotomy (either physical participation in a specific action or else total non-participation, i.e., physical participation and actual participation are identical). Rather, he is pointing out the falsity of an opposing dichotomy: actual participation over against physical participation, i.e., actual participation is unrelated to physical participation.
No one questions that actual participation is not identical to physical participation. Shane’s point, if I read him correctly, is that it is equally true that actual participation is not simply independent of physical participation.
Rather, actual participation and physical participation are conceptually distinct, but interrelated. The example of the congregation sitting in the pew for an hour and a half is a clear and compelling reductio ad absurdum to a false dichotomy of actual participation versus physical participation.
Because actual participation and physical participation are conceptually distinct, it would be false to say, “Of course the laity must participate bodily in the kiss of peace, otherwise they aren’t actually participating!” But because they are interrelated, it would also be false to say, “Actual participation is what really matters, so there is no value in the laity physically participating in the kiss of peace.”
That Shane rebuts the false dichotomy of actual participation versus physical participation is no reason to accuse him of affirming the opposing dichotomy of either physical participation in a specific action or else total non-participation. Yet you seem to say that you can only conclude that he is affirming the latter. Perhaps Shane is right to question the care with which you read his posts.

Dan Hunter January 9, 2009 at 6:59 am

Shane,
In his encyclicals, “Mystici Corporus” in 1943, and “Mediator Dei” in 1947, Pope Pius XII used the term “Actuosa Participatio” but carefully insisted that true participation was not merely external but consisted in a baptismal union with Christ in His Mystical Body, the Church.
In 1958, the Sacred Congregation of Rites issued the instruction, De musica Sacra, which distinguished several qualities of participation:
“The Mass of its nature requires that all those present participate in it, in the fashion that is proper to th Liturgy.
This participation must primarily be interior (i.e., union with Christ the Priest; offering with and through Him).
b) But the participation of those present becomes fuller (plenior) if to internal attention is joined external participation, expressed, that is to say, by external actions such as the position of the body (genuflecting, standing, sitting), ceremonial gestures, or, in particular, the immemorial responses, prayers and singing . . .
It is this harmonious form of participation that is referred to in pontifical documents when they speak of active participation (participatio actuosa), the principal example of which is found in the celebrating priest and his ministers who, with due interior devotion and exact observance of the rubrics and ceremonies, minister at the altar.
c) Perfect participatio actuosa of the faithful, finally, is obtained when there is added sacramental participation (by communion).
d) Deliberate participatio actuosa of the faithful is not possible without their adequate instruction.
It is made clear that it is baptismal character that forms the foundation of active participation.”
So, the Holy Father is telling us, to sum up,Actuosa Participatio is primarily INTERNAL
and the external participation of the layman should be the physical participation of standing, kneeling and sitting and the IMMEMORIAL responses and prayers.
Perfect actuosa participatio, our Holy Father goes on to say is recieving the Blessed Sacrament.
God bless.

SDG January 9, 2009 at 7:07 am

Dan Hunter,
See my comments above. Like Matt, you seem to me to be committing the fallacy of pitting one false dichotomy against another — and more particularly of wrongly implicating Shane in one false dichotomy because he argues against the other.
Just because “true participation is not merely external” does not mean that externals are irrelevant to true participation. The real relationship of inner and outer is more complicated than that — as much so as body and soul, and for precisely the same reason.
Matt says “The concept that participation must be physical is part of the modernism that has deeply affected the Church.” I don’t disagree. But the concept that participation need not be physical at all reflects a no less damaging error in the direction of another major heresy, gnosticism.
Let’s not be like Martin Luther’s drunken horseman, who is so concerned about not falling off the left side of his horse that he promptly falls off the right side.

Inocencio January 9, 2009 at 8:16 am

Dan Hunter,
May I ask that when you cut and paste from another website you provide a link so the whole article can be read and proper credit can be given, as in this case to Msgr. Richard Schuler.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Dan Hunter January 9, 2009 at 8:26 am

SDG
“Like Matt, you seem to me to be committing the fallacy of pitting one false dichotomy against another”
SDG: Actually you seem to have a problem with the Holy Father Pope Pius XII committing a “false dichotomy”, for I merely quoted the Holy Father when he said:
“This participation must primarily be interior (i.e., union with Christ the Priest; offering with and through Him).”
I never said that participation not include external movement, but rather that it is primarily interior. Again I quote the Holy Father:
“But the participation of those present becomes fuller (plenior) if to internal attention is joined external participation, expressed, that is to say, by external actions such as the position of the body (genuflecting, standing, sitting), ceremonial gestures, or, in particular, the immemorial responses, prayers and singing . . .”
SDG. I cannot fall off the “Left or the Right side of the horse”, because by the Grace of Almighty God, in te visible Church He established, there is no “Left or right side” to fall off of.
There is only being faithful to His Church or being unfaithful to His Church.
I can however become unfaithful to Holy Mother Church, or be faithful to Her.
God bless.

SDG January 9, 2009 at 8:27 am

May I ask that when you cut and paste from another website you provide a link so the whole article can be read and proper credit can be given, as in this case to Msgr. Richard Schuler.

Thanks for the due diligence, Inocencio.
Dan Hunter,
You have already been warned, repeatedly IIRC, about plagiarism on this blog. Plagiarism is a violation of the seventh and eighth commandments; it is wrong and against the law. In posting plagiarized material on someone else’s website, you involve your host in your offense, in spite of repeated exhortations to avoid this behavior, which is an offense against hospitality.
Follow fair use and due credit in the future. If you do not, I will have to disinvite you from participation on the blog.

Dan Hunter January 9, 2009 at 8:45 am

SDG
I cited the author and the source that I used for the quotes I gave. You yourself have repeatedly quoted the Holy Father when making a point.
This is not plagiarism.
Please stick to the topic being discussed and do not change the subject.
God bless

SDG January 9, 2009 at 8:53 am

I cited the author and the source that I used for the quotes I gave.

Where did you do that? Your entire post here is copied verbatim and without attribution from copyrighted material. Msgr. Schuler’s name does not appear anywhere that I can find prior to Inocencio’s reference. Please clarify.

Shane January 9, 2009 at 10:33 am

Thank you, SDG, for your defense of my points in my absence.
Matt and Dan, unfortunately you continue to misunderstand me. SDG has done a fine job clarifying, but allow me to add the further point that in the statements of mine you have critiqued, I was clearly (at least as far as I can tell) referring not specifically to the Kiss of Peace, but to the concept of what Sacrosanctum Concilium called for in general, beause through the course of the discussion the poibt moved from being one specifically focused upon one part of the Liturgy to Liturgy in general.
Your quotations from Pius XII and the Congregation are all well and good, but they do not say anything with which I would disagree. In fact, they support my point. Clearly, participation in anything having to do with God must primarily be interior, for God Himself is not matter. However, as both SDG points out and the Congregation’s letter explicitly states, this participation becomes more complete when joined to external forms of participation. Indeed, this must be so, for we are not merely spiritual beings trapped in flesh, but beings composed of the union of spirit and matter. Any form of worship which failed to incoporate our bodies would be incapable of manifesting worship of God in our entire nature.
So, given that we all hopefully agree on these basic points, let me try to restate my original point on this subject. SC called for a reform of the Liturgy – there is no arguing about this or the Latin word used to say so. It also called for, as a component of this reform, more active/actual (however you prefer it) participation. So far, I believe all parties are in agreement. The sticking point is over what this means. Those in the “traditionalist” camp often assert that the document’s request amounted simply to better catechesis of the clergy and laity as to how they ought to be participating in the Mass as it then was – that is, how to engage in an interior participation, and perhaps some of the external pforms of participation, in ways in which the laity was not doing to the most desirable degree. This also included the external forms of participation in which the laity ought to have been, but often did not, engaging even in the “old” missal. For example, Pius XII called for the laity to be instructed in the basics of Gregorian chant so as that they would be able to join in in certain parts of the Mass, such as the Sanctus and the Gloria. This sort of opinion was advanced here: the participation called for in SC was already possible in the missal in use in the 50s and 60s, or required at most minor tweaking – somebody mentioned the “Dialogue Mass,” for example.
In opposition to this, I quoted SC’s assertion that to achieve the participation it sought, that Liturgical texts would have to be drawn up, and it’s note of the importance of exterior forms of participation. As I said, many have taken it too far, and of course the practice as it is in many, or perhaps even most, places is often abominable. However, something beyond mere catechesis and minor tweaking was called for, as is made plain by even a coarse reading, and more so by a fine one, of the document. Specific mention of drawing up new or updated Liturgical texts to bring this external participation about are present in it. In short, SC makes clear that to bring about the external participation it called for, things which were not then in the Liturgy were required, and so the “traditionalist” view of what external participation was intended is manifestly too narrow – regardless of how execessively broad many liberals and other groups misinterpret it to be.
That is my point: not that boisterous or in any other way unreasonable external actions are necessary, nor that external participation is primary in the Mass, nor that the external participation need keep the congregation constantly doing things with their bodies.
Matt, as regards the Holy Father’s view of the Eucharistic canons, you say,
“As to the Holy Father’s previous statements, it’s clear that he is not opposed to the additional options used appropriately, but that doesn’t reflect in current practice. Most parishes will NEVER hear the Roman Canon, it is not a legitimate option to ignore it. Regardless, it is an utter innovation allow this option.”
I would ask that you re-read the quotation. Cardinal Ratzinger said that he was pleased with the new missal, referring not to some general idea of having different options, but rather to the specific missal and to it’s specific various options. He was pleased with what we have, not with the general concept. Furthermore, I would assert that the claim that it is not a legitimate option to ignore the first Eucharistic Prayer is a statement out of line with obedience to the Church. My memory may be failing me, but I believe that the Church offers priests the options of these various Eucharistic prayers and makes no stipulation as to the necessity to pay attention to any one of them. I would willingly welcome correction if I am in need of it.
So far as it being an innovation is concerned, that is irellevant. What is relevant is that the Church deems it appropriate and has allowed it. What is further relevant is that one of the most orthodox and sound Liturgical minds of our times, and one who has fought for the “reform of the reform,” as it were, Cardinal Ratzinger, has approved of them. Without the desire to begin a different discussion, I would also point out some aspects of the “TLM” were, when first used, either utterly or largely unheard of innovations. I have read, for example, some rather lengthy pieces demonstrating that the silent canon was quite possibly an innovation. I would also put forth that Communion on the tongue, while possibly a good innovation, was nevertheless an innovation (brought about, of course, originall by various local practices, so it is, as you ma point out, not exactly the same thing).

Shane January 9, 2009 at 10:34 am

Thank you, SDG, for your defense of my points in my absence.
Matt and Dan, unfortunately you continue to misunderstand me. SDG has done a fine job clarifying, but allow me to add the further point that in the statements of mine you have critiqued, I was clearly (at least as far as I can tell) referring not specifically to the Kiss of Peace, but to the concept of what Sacrosanctum Concilium called for in general, beause through the course of the discussion the poibt moved from being one specifically focused upon one part of the Liturgy to Liturgy in general.
Your quotations from Pius XII and the Congregation are all well and good, but they do not say anything with which I would disagree. In fact, they support my point. Clearly, participation in anything having to do with God must primarily be interior, for God Himself is not matter. However, as both SDG points out and the Congregation’s letter explicitly states, this participation becomes more complete when joined to external forms of participation. Indeed, this must be so, for we are not merely spiritual beings trapped in flesh, but beings composed of the union of spirit and matter. Any form of worship which failed to incoporate our bodies would be incapable of manifesting worship of God in our entire nature.
So, given that we all hopefully agree on these basic points, let me try to restate my original point on this subject. SC called for a reform of the Liturgy – there is no arguing about this or the Latin word used to say so. It also called for, as a component of this reform, more active/actual (however you prefer it) participation. So far, I believe all parties are in agreement. The sticking point is over what this means. Those in the “traditionalist” camp often assert that the document’s request amounted simply to better catechesis of the clergy and laity as to how they ought to be participating in the Mass as it then was – that is, how to engage in an interior participation, and perhaps some of the external pforms of participation, in ways in which the laity was not doing to the most desirable degree. This also included the external forms of participation in which the laity ought to have been, but often did not, engaging even in the “old” missal. For example, Pius XII called for the laity to be instructed in the basics of Gregorian chant so as that they would be able to join in in certain parts of the Mass, such as the Sanctus and the Gloria. This sort of opinion was advanced here: the participation called for in SC was already possible in the missal in use in the 50s and 60s, or required at most minor tweaking – somebody mentioned the “Dialogue Mass,” for example.
In opposition to this, I quoted SC’s assertion that to achieve the participation it sought, that Liturgical texts would have to be drawn up, and it’s note of the importance of exterior forms of participation. As I said, many have taken it too far, and of course the practice as it is in many, or perhaps even most, places is often abominable. However, something beyond mere catechesis and minor tweaking was called for, as is made plain by even a coarse reading, and more so by a fine one, of the document. Specific mention of drawing up new or updated Liturgical texts to bring this external participation about are present in it. In short, SC makes clear that to bring about the external participation it called for, things which were not then in the Liturgy were required, and so the “traditionalist” view of what external participation was intended is manifestly too narrow – regardless of how execessively broad many liberals and other groups misinterpret it to be.
That is my point: not that boisterous or in any other way unreasonable external actions are necessary, nor that external participation is primary in the Mass, nor that the external participation need keep the congregation constantly doing things with their bodies.
Matt, as regards the Holy Father’s view of the Eucharistic canons, you say,
“As to the Holy Father’s previous statements, it’s clear that he is not opposed to the additional options used appropriately, but that doesn’t reflect in current practice. Most parishes will NEVER hear the Roman Canon, it is not a legitimate option to ignore it. Regardless, it is an utter innovation allow this option.”
I would ask that you re-read the quotation. Cardinal Ratzinger said that he was pleased with the new missal, referring not to some general idea of having different options, but rather to the specific missal and to it’s specific various options. He was pleased with what we have, not with the general concept. Furthermore, I would assert that the claim that it is not a legitimate option to ignore the first Eucharistic Prayer is a statement out of line with obedience to the Church. My memory may be failing me, but I believe that the Church offers priests the options of these various Eucharistic prayers and makes no stipulation as to the necessity to pay attention to any one of them. I would willingly welcome correction if I am in need of it.
So far as it being an innovation is concerned, that is irellevant. What is relevant is that the Church deems it appropriate and has allowed it. What is further relevant is that one of the most orthodox and sound Liturgical minds of our times, and one who has fought for the “reform of the reform,” as it were, Cardinal Ratzinger, has approved of them. Without the desire to begin a different discussion, I would also point out some aspects of the “TLM” were, when first used, either utterly or largely unheard of innovations. I have read, for example, some rather lengthy pieces demonstrating that the silent canon was quite possibly an innovation. I would also put forth that Communion on the tongue, while possibly a good innovation, was nevertheless an innovation (brought about, of course, originall by various local practices, so it is, as you ma point out, not exactly the same thing).

Matt January 9, 2009 at 1:07 pm

SDG,
Since the subject is the congregation physically sharing in the kiss of peace as as it is practiced, and no objection is raised to appropriate posture, and responses, I can only conclude that you are saying that if that option is removed, you would not consider the congregation to have participated.
Really, Matt? Is that really the only conclusion you can reach about what Shane is saying?

Yes.
No one questions that actual participation is not identical to physical participation. Shane’s point, if I read him correctly, is that it is equally true that actual participation is not simply independent of physical participation.
Rather, actual participation and physical participation are conceptually distinct, but interrelated. The example of the congregation sitting in the pew for an hour and a half is a clear and compelling reductio ad absurdum to a false dichotomy of actual participation versus physical participation.

What you said does not agree witht he above quoted statement of Shane. I do agree with your statement though, it is precisely this interrelationship that makes physical participation of value.
Because actual participation and physical participation are conceptually distinct, it would be false to say, “Of course the laity must participate bodily in the kiss of peace, otherwise they aren’t actually participating!” But because they are interrelated, it would also be false to say, “Actual participation is what really matters, so there is no value in the laity physically participating in the kiss of peace.”
That Shane rebuts the false dichotomy of actual participation versus physical participation is no reason to accuse him of affirming the opposing dichotomy of either physical participation in a specific action or else total non-participation. Yet you seem to say that you can only conclude that he is affirming the latter. Perhaps Shane is right to question the care with which you read his posts.

Shane’s statement is not a rebuttal of the false dichotomy, but an expression of it.
But the concept that participation need not be physical at all reflects a no less damaging error in the direction of another major heresy, gnosticism.
Certainly nobody here is saying that, a completely non-physical participation would perhaps only be possible for someone in a vegetative state. It has ALWAYS been customary for the faithful to assume various postures, as well as providing verbal responses to a lesser or greater extent at various times. THis is mentioned in Dan Hunter’s quotes from the Holy Father, Pius XII.
re Dan Hunter’s post:
Pope Pius XII used the term “Actuosa Participatio”
it is pertinent to note that the commonly used translation of this expression in the Vatican II documents of “active participation” is in fact erroneous. A more accurate English expression would be “actual participation”, which does not imply that any change of physical participation is really being called for, while not excluding that. It’s well known that the English translators of the era are modernist, as evidenced by their translations of the Novus Ordo missae of 1970. This may be part of the reason some are having such difficulty.
General Instruction of the Roman Missal
365. The choice among the Eucharistic Prayers found in the Order of Mass is suitably guided by the following norms:
1. Eucharistic Prayer I, that is, the Roman Canon, which may always be used, is especially suited to be sung or said on days when there is a proper text for the Communicantes (In union with the whole Church) or in Masses endowed with a proper form of the Hanc igitur (Father, accept this offering) and also in the celebrations of the Apostles and of the Saints mentioned in the Prayer itself; it is likewise especially appropriate for Sundays, unless for pastoral considerations Eucharistic Prayer III is preferred.
2. Eucharistic Prayer II, on account of its particular features, is more appropriately used on weekdays or in special circumstances. Although it has been provided with its own Preface, it may also be used with other Prefaces, especially those that summarize the mystery of salvation, such as the common Prefaces. When Mass is celebrated for a particular dead person, the special formula may be inserted in the place indicated, namely, before the Memento etiam (Remember our brothers and sisters).


So, the most common usage in the US, EP II, is contrary to the norms, and the disuse of EP 1 (Roman Canon) is contrary to the norms, unless you believe “pastoral considerations” apply universally.
As regards “novelty”, every change could be considered a “novelty”, but the sense I’m referring to is something “unprecedented”. Adjustments to liturgical practice to enhance the reverence and dignity, modifications to texts, etc. are not by nature “unprecedented”. Priestly options on the appropriate Eucharistic Prayer is unprecedented, and furthermore the canon is virtually untouched for 1500 years, so it’s clear that many popes have been willing to make changes to the Mass, but not to that most central element. Even SC declares that novelties must be absolutely necessary.
Matt

Dan Hunter January 9, 2009 at 2:45 pm

SDG, at the begining of my post I cited the Papal documents in question:
“In his encyclicals, “Mystici Corporus” in 1943, and “Mediator Dei” in 1947, Pope Pius XII used the term “Actuosa Participatio” but carefully insisted that true participation was not merely external but consisted in a baptismal union with Christ in His Mystical Body, the Church.”
Does this suffice for non-plagirism?
I most certainly do not want to steal or bear false witness!

Dan Hunter January 9, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Your quotations from Pius XII and the Congregation are all well and good, but they do not say anything with which I would disagree. In fact, they support my point. Clearly, participation in anything having to do with God must primarily be interior, for God Himself is not matter. However, as both SDG points out and the Congregation’s letter explicitly states, this participation becomes more complete when joined to external forms of participation. Indeed, this must be so, for we are not merely spiritual beings trapped in flesh, but beings composed of the union of spirit and matter. Any form of worship which failed to incoporate our bodies would be incapable of manifesting worship of God in our entire nature.
Shane
All the more reason why the effusuvely sensual Gregorian Rite or Tridentine Mass is needed in this day and age.
It is refulgent with overtly physical participation, ie: 4 times the amount of signs of the cross than the NO.
5 times the amount of genuflections than the NO.
We have to eat supper now, but I shall get back to you later on the lushness and sensitivity of the actuosa participatio of the Gregorian Rite after manja.
God bless.

aslos January 9, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Dan, do you deny that you copied and pasted for ex.:
“In 1958, the Sacred Congregation of Rites issued the instruction, De musica sacra, which distinguished several qualities of participation”
It seems implausible that you would coincidentally write exactly so. Perhaps you don’t deny so but instead:
A. Neglected or forgot to attribute your source.
B. Thought it unimportant to as the copied material was insignificant in your view.
C. Are the true author and the website referred to unjustly copied you.
D. Are identical with the author on the website.
E. Come from a cultural tradition as purported to be true by some in defense of MLK Jr’s plagiarism in which things judged as plagiarism by white America are not so judged in your tradition.
F. Some combination of the above.
G. Something else obtains which would justify your continued expression of innocence.
FWIW, though this is not too critical, “due diligence” does not really apply here. Considered morally (i.e. not say, legally) “due diligence” would refer to diligence as regards some duty; the person who uncovered this alleged malfeasance did not have a moral duty to do so. (So “due diligence” would not be a proper attribution in much the same way that “ignorance” would not be a proper attribution when only nescience is involved)
FWIW, I hope no one had difficulty figuring out atslos=aslos or atslos=atsols … “atsols” was just a type … “aslos” was my contraction of “atslos” … an omission of “this” in the acronymic shade within which lies the catholicity of love … for those who are obsessive about such things, I’m sure that will leave you puzzled ;)

Inocencio January 9, 2009 at 8:05 pm

Matt,
Because I have really enjoyed the discussions we have had in the past I wanted to ask for your thoughts on this article.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Matt January 9, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Just a random thought inspired by aslo’s post. If the desire is more “actual” participation as properly understood and not some attempt to horizontalize Christian worship, why is it that genuflections, and sign’s of the cross have been suppressed or made optional? Why do we reduce the reverences that the people make actively?
To be specific, if more physical activity is a good thing, why not restore the genuflection during the credo? This is wonderfully active and includes the whole celebration. What about kneeling for communion? That is certainly a good way to not only add a physical manifestation, but a profoundly symbolic one.
God Bless,
Matt

Matt January 9, 2009 at 10:18 pm

Father Cipriano Vagaggini…He was very orthodox and was not a modernist at all.
http://www.adoremus.org/9-11-96-FolsomEuch.html
I’m not so sure about this assessment. I must be cautious to not slander the late Fr. Vagaggini, but I see there are indications that many would not consider orthodox. He seems to be the author of 2 of the newly created Eucharistic prayers, and seems to be popular among the womynpriest crowd, based on conclusions he made that there were, historically, ordained deaconesses involved in the Christian liturgy, including the distribution of communion.
In any event, Fr. Vagaggini’s objections seem principally to the lack of literary continuity. I won’t even address this, not being a literary critic myself. The other significant objection is his personal emphasis on the action of the Holy Spirit in the miracle of the Eucharist. He seems to consider himself able to resolve these problems in his crafting of the new prayers which were introduced.
I haven’t the time to review the rather long article in detail, but I would say a couple of things. Firstly, the biggest objection, I and many traditionalists have is not against the Mass envisioned by the liturgical texts of the Ordinary Form, but in their English translations, and customary executions. If every mass was as reverent as they ought to be, I doubt there would be much debate at all. I for one would never have found the Extraordinary Form had it not been for abuses in the OF as practiced. Finally, there is a biblical expression “by their fruits ye shall know them”. It is clear that, on the whole, the reforms which occurred after Vatican II have devastated the Church in many respects, without resulting in any of it’s objectives. I think most of the problems are due to misinterpretations of the council rather than an authentic understanding. As you can see, the OF goes well beyond the requirements of SC, the English translators presented a vastly more “progressive” solution, and the customary execution goes even beyond that. The current re-translations, continuously pressed for by the Holy See, and mostly resisted by the USCCB are an indication that things are not rite (pun intented) with the world.
A good reading would be Redemptionis Sacramentum, it gives clear direction that the typical OF Mass is not celebrated as the Holy See and thus the Church would expect.
God Bless,
Matt
ps. it’s possible that the EF could have been improved in some areas, I do not believe that the OF accomplished that without becoming seriously problematic in other areas.

Shane January 9, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Just a random thought inspired by aslo’s post. If the desire is more “actual” participation as properly understood and not some attempt to horizontalize Christian worship, why is it that genuflections, and sign’s of the cross have been suppressed or made optional? Why do we reduce the reverences that the people make actively?
I would disagree that this has been done, generally speaking. Most of the reverences that the congregation are responsible for remain, though as you have spoken of before, the current practice is not in line with what the Liturgical texts call for. In fact, many of these reverences are not only not practiced, but unknown – even by those who would be most expected to!
For example, just this evening I was browsing through a book on the history of the Mass which I found at work (in a parish rectory). It is not the best of such sorts of books, but it’s certainly not the worst. Overall, what I read was at times a bit liberal leaning, but overal rather encouraging (e.g., the author laments the loss of Latin and chant that has taken place in the past decades). In any case, the person lists among the changes in the Pauline Missal that we no longer bow our heads at the name of Jesus. Not so! GIRM 275 reads, in part: “A bow of the head is made when the three Divine Persons are named together and at the names of Jesus, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of the Saint in whose honor Mass is being celebrated.” Even a person researching and writing a book on the Liturgy was under the impression that this particular reverence is not in place any longer, when in fact it is.
Matt, you mention that we no longer genuflect during the Credo. Consider again, GIRM 275:
“A bow of the body, that is to say a profound bow, is made to the altar; during the prayers Munda cor meum (Almighty God, cleanse my heart) and In spiritu humilitatis (Lord God, we ask you to receive); in the Creed at the words Et incarnatus est (by the power of the Holy Spirit . . . made man); in the Roman Canon at the words Supplices te rogamus (Almighty God, we pray that your angel). The same kind of bow is made by the deacon when he asks for a blessing before the proclamation of the Gospel. In addition, the priest bows slightly as he speaks the words of the Lord at the consecration.”
A profound bow is not a genuflection, but it is certainly a high reverence. In fact, one might even suggest that this augments the level of enhanced solemnity present on Christmas, when a genuflection is made at this time. In other words, it symbolizes in a better way the greater solemnity of Christmas by increasing the amount of reverence. I don’t want to discuss that point; I am merely presenting it as the sort of thing one could put forth.
The point is that there are many physical reverences in the reformed Liturgy, and those of the pre-Pauline missal are not simply done away with.
Where there are far fewer reverences is in the actions of the clergy during the Pauline Liturgy. I can appreciate the suggestion that this is dissapointing, but I do wish to make a few points. First, this isn’t really relevant, per se, to the discussion at hand, because the Council’s call for participation involved the congregation, not the celebrating clergy. That is not to diminish the importance of the clergys’ physical actions, signs, and reverences by any means. Rather, it is to say that the clergy obviously have the highest and most “active” or “actual” participation in the Liturgy – being the ones to celebrate it! – and Sacrosanctum Concilium‘s call was to enhance the participation of those who do not have a “default” participation – the congregation.
Secondly, I will just offer some thoughts – not firm assertions or opinions of mine by any means – regarding the removal of many of the clerical signs and reverences in the Ordinary form. Let us begin with something that is beyond debate: the pre-Vatican II Liturgy was overflowing with signs, symbolisms, genuflections, signs of the cross, and reverences of all sorts. Virtually every tiny little thing was done in some symbolic manner. It is reasonable to argue – whether or not the conclusion is correct, which is not my intention to oassert – that one can have too much of this. The Mass is not like, for example, a statue, which represents reality. Rather it is a profound reality – perhaps, apart from God Himself – the most significant and authentic reality that exists. At what point does covering over reality with symbolism detract from that reality itself? Again, I’m not saying that it necessarily ever does. I am saying that it is certainly not an reasonable question for someone to ask, nor do I believe it is an unreasonable assertion for someone to make.
Then there is the view that too much symbolism causes symbolism to lose its value. If everything represents something, then for something to represent something isn’t really all that special. In other words, it almost becomes profane. For example, to Catholics, signing ourselves with the cross is a very meaningful and sacred thing, but what if a person were to begin to sign himself over everything, from saying a prayer to eating – normal sorts of things – to every minor little thing like brushing his teath and watching Wheel of Fortune and anything else one can imagine? I can speak to this, as I have at times been prone to this (no, I didnt sign myself when watching television, but I went a tad overboard). The sign does begin to lose its sacredness and its meaning when a person does that sort of thing. In the same way, can too many symbols detract from the meaning of symbolism? In a similar (but not entirely the same) way, consider reverences. As we all know, many priests prior to Vatican II rushed through the Mass, including the reverences… with so many genuflections, often the priests knees seemed to bounce on the ground like rubber, rather than resting in true adoration. Please do not misunderstand me as assigning this as the blame of the Missal itself. I am merely putting it forth as the sort of thing some may, again, in my opinion not without merit, bring up as evidence that the volume of these things may have detracted from their value.
Two final points of which I, while still not really putting these forth as my opinions, nevertheless do consider… closer to definitively having my support than what I have mentioned above. Superstition is one of the most dangerous things to Christians, and I think in particularly to the liturgy, because the liturgy, with its “ceremonious” style has inherent in it some of the same outward appearences as superstition; there are many particular actions which are to be done a particular way, actions involving physical things used in the worship of a non-physical God, etc. etc. On top of this, the liturgy is prayer – communication with God, petition, intercession, adoration. What is one of the biggest mistake Catholics make regarding prayer? It is treating prayer more as a magical forumla of some kind, or really in any way other than communication with a personal God. To get to the point, does signing the host several times over risk giving an impression which is opposed to the true nature of prayer that Jesus taught us in the Gospel, not praying vainly as the pagans, speaking to God and knowing He has heard us, and so forth? It need not, of course, but to what degree it does, or to what degree it may be misinterpreted to do so, is important.
Second, I also think its important to consider the meaning of the symbols. Symbols without meaning – or without an understood meaning – are not only rathe useless, but they can really be somewhat dangerous. Now most of the elements of the Tridentine Liturgy clearly had meaning, but many of those meanings had been lost to the laity, and indeed many of them to even the clergy. When there is so much symbolism involved that nobody really knows what most of it is, then perhaps some of it ought be removed. Also, I have read of particular elements of the “TLM” (unfortunately none of which I can recall now) which nobody seemed to be able to figure out, even after research.
Again, these are all just thoughts – musings, as it were. The point is that I think a rather healthy discussion could indeed be had over the wisdom of having removed many of these actions. I honestly do not have a firm opinion on it, but I do think that it is a valid discussion.

Shane January 9, 2009 at 11:16 pm

Matt, your post regarding Fr. Vagaggini and so forth I found most interesting and balanced. I have a few comments.
First regarding Fr. Vagaggini, do not hold any popularity of his amoungst questionable groups – in and of itself – against him. Remember that Mother Theresa was a darling of the mainstream media, and even Pope Benedict XVI achieved this in his visit to the US.
Regarding the prayers, he did not write them per se. Allow me to quote from http://rubricsandritual.blogspot.com/:
“Vagaggini eventually concluded that the venerable text should not be radically altered, but new alternatives should be provided. He consequently included two proposed versions- one with a variable preface, and one with a fixed preface giving the history of salvation. Interestingly, Dom Cipriano comes out strongly against proposals to use the anaphora of Hippolytus which was eventually adapted and adopted as Eucharistic Prayer II.”
One of his proposals was eveidently the basis for Eucharistic Prayer III, although it was far… more something I would think you would approve of (although EP III is really rather good, IMHO). The blog I cited actually has his proposal posted in a June 23, 2008 post, if you would like to read it.
So far as the article goes, I have read it in the past and find it to be quite good. It is well researched and makes a strong case, in my opinion.
The thing that struck the biggest chord with me was your statement about Vatican II being known by its fruits. I personally have been of the opinion that this rather common argument is not only logically and spiritually flawed, but it is in fact completely backwards of what actually happened. I will make this as brief as possible:
Logical flaw: If we grant that Vatican II in some way led to the Church’s problems in the past few decades, we cannot at the same time assert that prior to Vatican II, everything was ok, or in fact that Vatican II was the ultimate cause of the problems. If there were not already liberal and progressive bishops in the Church before the Council, then Vatican II would not have been written so as to afford liberal and progressive changes in the Church. If Vatican II was ok but rather the implementation was flawed, and if there were not already liberal and progressive priests in the Church before the Council, then there would ahve been no liberal and progressive priests to misuse, misinterpret, and misapply the Council. In short, if Vatican II caused any problems, then the Church was already headed for harm from those who brought about and contributed to Vatican II.
Spiritual flaw: This one is simple. We must trust in God. The Holy Spirit guides and protects the Church. The Holy Spirit in a special way guides and protects ecumenical councils. To believe all that is so often said of Vatican II requires believing that the Holy Spirit did not do this.
Finally, bringing these two points together, I put forth what I believe truly happened. I believe that the Church was already headed for trouble, for many reasons. One of these was obvious: in the 50 years between 1900 and 1950, the world changed more than it had in the 500 before that. This past 100 years the world has been moving and changing faster and faster. Drawing not only on the logical point above, but also on reading on the history of the Church in the 20th century and hearing accounts from clergy and laypeople who were around back then, I believe that the Church had many a dissident in its hierarchical and its lay ranks long before Vatican II. These persons, coupled with the dramatic cultural revolution of the 60s and 70s, spelled trouble for the Church. The Holy Spirit, in opposition to this, led the Church, through John XXIII, to Vatican II, and led the Council fathers. The Holy Spirit set things into motion which protected the Church. Things got bad in the decades following the Council, but it is my opinion that, had the Council not happened, things would have gotten far, far worse than they did. Some say that the Council was ok, the problem was the implementation, which is now beginning to be corrected. I disagree. I believe that the implementation was the best that Satan could do to hinder the positive effects of the Council and gain as much as he did out of the 60s and 70s. Now most agree that we are just now beginning to see the positive fruits of the Council properly implemented, and in one sense I agree: we are beginning to see the full positive fruits of the Council. Where I disagree is that I believe that many of the good fruits of the Council were in what didn’t happen.
God bless!

Dan Hunter January 10, 2009 at 9:05 am

Here is a link to explain why the Traditional Latin Mass is extrinsically superior to the Novus Ordo Missae.
http://verbum1.blogspot.com/2008/08/why-tlm-is-extrinsically-superior-to.html
I hope I have not committed the mortal, or venial sin of plagiarism by citing this.
I am sure that one of you will kindly oblige me, if so.
Or I can ask Father in the confessional on the morrow before the TLM.
God bless.

Shane January 10, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Dan, I actually wrote a post that was very similar to that on my blog a while back expressing why I think that the Ordinary Form is in many ways superior (while recognizing that the Extraordinary Form also has some areas in which it is superior; I do not take the approach of saying that either is in every way better, for I personally do not believe that one can, without holding some bias, fail to find *any* superiorities in either one). I actually address the aspect of the Offertory in the opposite way your link does: I believe the EF offertory is IN SOME WAYS inferior to the OF offertory, and I explain why.
I could have done a better job writing this at the time, and at this point I would add to my argument about the Offertory the article linked by Inocecino, and the statement writtin by Fr. Vagaggini that the people of pre-Vatican II days generally did not understand that the Mass was the sacrifice of the true Body and Blood of Christ, which he blames in part on the sorts of things I mention about the Offertory:
http://soladeicaritas.blogspot.com/2008/02/my-thoughts-on-rite-of-pius-v.html
God bless

Matt January 11, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Shane,
A quick response with more detail to follow.
1. I did not attribute the problematic reforms or even the OF to Vatican II, in fact I was very careful to make that distinction, so please reread my post.
2. You seem to suggest that references are merely symbolic…That seems very problematic to me in itself. The reverences are acts of worship to God principally.

Shane January 11, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Matt, before you go expending a lot of energy typing, let me make your life easier by clarifying something:
I treat reverences and symbolisms differently. I wrote an awful lot in a short time (while rushed), and so I can imagine I may not have done so as clearly as I could have. Reverences are not symbolic, of course, but are true reverence of the Lord. If it helps, when I talk about making the Sign of the Cross at all sorts of things potentially making it seem profane, that’s the sort of thing I mean about all of the many reverences in the TLM. When I talk about symbolism, I am talking purely about symbolism – not reverences.

Inocencio January 13, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Matt,
Thank you for taking the time to look at the article and offering your thoughts and the link.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Alexander January 29, 2009 at 11:19 am

Vatican II has a part in the problem (of course not the sole attribute) by simply being ambiguous and vague. This was attested to by many authoritative testimony. These ambiguities are set up in a way that liberals can twist and distort them into their errors. What we need is a sweeping super-interpretation of the entire council. It’s not the sole aid in the crisis of faith but it certainly helps (much like the Novus Ordo).

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