Sunday, February 09, 2014

Catholic Liturgy: Abandon Hope?

Not exactly a sunny assessment here.  The Four Big Lies of the Bugnini-ites will follow this excerpt.

...the ‘reform of the reform’ is not realizable because the material discontinuity between the two forms of the Roman rite presently in use is much broader and much deeper than I had first imagined. In the decade that has elapsed since the publication of my book, The Reform of the Reform? A Liturgical Debate (Ignatius Press, 2003), which concerns almost exclusively the rite of Mass, a number of important scholarly studies, most notably those of László Dobszay (†2011)6 and Lauren Pristas,7 have opened my eyes to the hack-job inflicted by Pope Paul VI’s Consilium on the whole liturgical edifice of the Latin Church: the Mass; the Divine Office; the rites of the sacraments, sacramentals, blessings and other services of the Roman Ritual; and so forth.8 Whatever else might be said of the reformed liturgy—its pastoral benefits, its legitimacy, its rootedness in theological ressourcement, its hegemonic status, etc.—the fact remains: it does not represent an organic development of the liturgy which Vatican II (and, four centuries earlier, the Council of Trent) inherited.

There are significant ruptures in content and form that cannot be remedied simply by restoring Gregorian chant to primacy of place as the music of the Roman rite, expanding the use of Latin and improving vernacular translations of the Latin liturgical texts, using the Roman Canon more frequently (if not exclusively),9 reorienting the altar, and rescinding certain permissions. As important as it is to celebrate the reformed rites correctly, reverently, and in ways that make the continuity with tradition more obvious, such measures leave untouched the essential content of the rites. Any future attempt at liturgical reconciliation, or renewal in continuity with tradition, would have to take into account the complete overhaul of the propers of the Mass;10  the replacement of the Offertory prayers with modern compositions; the abandonment of the very ancient annual Roman cycle of Sunday Epistles and Gospels; the radical recasting of the calendar of saints; the abolition of the ancient Octave of Pentecost, the pre-Lenten season of Septuagesima and the Sundays after Epiphany and Pentecost; the dissolution of the centuries-old structure of the Hours; and so much more. To draw the older and newer forms of the liturgy closer to each other would require much more movement on the part of the latter form, so much so that it seems more honest to speak of a gradual reversal of the reform (to the point where it once again connects with the liturgical tradition received by the Council) rather than a reform of it.


Being very familiar with both forms (I'm a "bi-" ya'know), I think the good Father is spot-on.  I'll quibble with his apparent distaste for the new readings-cycle, but that's not a major argument.

One point that the good Father makes, in a footnote, is that the "Tridentine" rite is actually a codification of its predecessor rite, most of which was in place by the year 600 AD.  So the first un-truth the rebels utter is usually about the age of the Rite.

The second is usually about the nature of genuine participation (actuosa participatio) which is primarily internal, and only secondarily external.  The third is that one about Latin being 'banned' (the dumbing-down of sacrality).  The fourth is a result of the second and third:  that the music used in the rite should also be dumbed-down.  That's usually expressed in a far more subtle dissembling which elevates the term "various styles" to evade the use of the actual text of the Mass (the propers) in favor of hymns, and THAT evasion is then used to justify dreck and drivel such as Haugen-Haas.

Ninety-five percent of today's church 'musicians' will be shocked to learn that the "entrance song" is the Introit of the Mass Proper, and the "communion song" is the Communion of that Proper.  Hell, 95% of those musicians couldn't define "propers of the Mass", either.

Thus far we have descended.

Those lies and distortions underpin almost all of the 'revolution' in liturgy since 1969.


Grim said...

Still being new, I have no qualifications to discuss the technical questions. However, I incline of course to the old way.

Anonymous said...

How are your esteemed readers supposed to comment when your post is incomplete?

Dad29 said...

There you go. Fixed!!