12_Ad Orientem: Cardinal Sarah’s attempt to recover liturgical orthodoxy torpedoed by liberals

112

 

JUNE 17/JULY 5/29, 2016

Ad Orientem: Cardinal Sarah’s attempt to recover liturgical orthodoxy torpedoed by liberals   

 111

111

 

 

Vatican liturgy chief urges priests to celebrate Mass facing east

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2016/05/26/vatican-liturgy-chief-urges-priests-to-celebrate-mass-facing-east/

May 26, 2016

Cardinal Robert Sarah made the comments in an exclusive interview with Famille Chrétienne

The Vatican’s liturgy chief has called on priests to celebrate Mass facing east.

In an interview with the French Catholic magazine Famille Chrétienne, Cardinal Robert Sarah said that the Second Vatican Council did not require priests to celebrate Mass facing the people.

This way of celebrating Mass, he said, was “a possibility, but not an obligation”.

Readers and listeners should face each other during the Liturgy of the Word, he said.

“But as soon as we reach the moment when one addresses God – from the Offertory onwards – it is essential that the priest and faithful look together towards the east. This corresponds exactly to what the Council Fathers wanted.”

Cardinal Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, rejected the argument that priests celebrating Mass facing east are turning their backs on the faithful “or against them”.

Rather, he said, all are “turned in the same direction: towards the Lord who comes”.

“It is legitimate and complies with the letter and spirit of the Council,” he said. “As prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, I wish to recall that the celebration versus orientem is authorised by the rubrics, which specify the times when the celebrant must turn to the people. It is therefore not necessary to have special permission to celebrate facing the Lord.”

Cardinal Sarah’s remarks echo an article he wrote a year ago for L’Osservatore Romano, in which he said it was “altogether appropriate, during the penitential rite, the singing of the Gloria, the orations and the Eucharistic prayer, that everyone, priest and faithful, turn together toward the East, so as to express their intention to participate in the work of worship and redemption accomplished by Christ.”

The cardinal added in the article that Mass facing east could be “implemented in cathedrals, where the liturgical life must be exemplary”.

 

 

In chronological order till page 28

 

Facing East and Papal Fads

https://hughosb.wordpress.com/2011/02/14/facing-east-and-papal-fads/

By Fr. Hugh Somerville-Knapman OSB, February 14, 2011

Recently I was at a meeting on liturgy when the subject of facing east was raised. One person at the meeting referred to the fact that the Holy Father (Pope Benedict XVI) has clearly stated his preference for facing east, or ad orientem, in the appropriate parts of the liturgy. I was not expecting an enthusiastic response (most present were well over 50 years of age) but I was still quite shocked was one priest started pulling mocking faces at the mention of the Holy Father’s preference and another then asserted that we need to beware of the “fads of popes, no matter who they are”.

“The fads of popes”. Apart from the clearly disrespectful tone of such a remark, what engaged my attention was the number of questions such a remark raised. Can popes have fads when it comes to teaching on liturgy and theology? Why is it that the fads of certain liturgists can be so readily accepted but the alleged fads of popes so firmly resisted? More importantly, how can the universal practice of Latin and eastern Christendom for the best part of 1900 years be reduced now to a “fad”?

So rather than rant, it seems more fruitful to look very briefly at the ad orientem issue, that is, of facing east in the liturgy. The first thing to note is that it has never actually been abolished! The change in the late 1960s was to permit Mass with the priest facing the people, versus populum, without ever restricting the right to face east. Indeed in the rubrics of the new Mass it was clearly assumed at the Offertory that the priest had been facing east, for they specify that after the washing of the hands, the priest then “stands at the centre of the altar, facing the people” before he invites them to pray for the acceptance of the sacrifice. Why specify this all of a sudden unless it was assumed that until this point the priest had not been facing the people? This same specification, “facing the people” occurs again before the priest shows the Host to the people after the Agnus Dei, and again after the prayer after communion and before he gives the final blessing. Clearly the rubrics assume that the priest has been facing east.

Facing east is a most ancient and venerable tradition in Christian liturgy. It is pregnant with meaning. At the time of the early Church Jews spread throughout the world would turn towards Jerusalem, whatever direction that might actually be for them, in order to link their prayer to the worship of the Temple. By contrast Christians prayed facing east, towards the New Jerusalem, the coming of which they awaited and towards which they were spiritually journeying. Facing west was to face the evil of this world. Thus in the early baptismal liturgies described by St Ambrose or St Cyril of Jerusalem, among others, the one about to be baptised first faced to the west to renounce Satan and all his works, and then turned around (conversus in Latin) to face east to profess faith in Christ, that is physically “converted” his or her body as a symbol of turning to Christ, of spiritual conversion. For such a congregation to face west for worship would have been scandalous!

The east is, of course, the direction of the rising sun, a symbol of the incarnation of Christ, as well as Christ’s rising from the dead and of Christ returning at the end of time – “the tender mercy of our God, the morning sun which will rise upon us” (Luke 1:78). So it was clearly appropriate that priest and people all faced east for worship of God and Christ. The celebration of the Eucharist is not only a commemoration of a past event and a renewal of the Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary, but it is also a preparation for a future event, the Second Coming of Christ – “as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ” (the prayer after the Our Father at Mass). Thus St John of Damascus could write:

…the Lord Himself said, “Even as the lightning comes from the east and shines to the west, so also shall the coming of the Son of Man be”. So, then, in expectation of His coming we worship towards the East.

What should be clear from all this is that the Mass, and all worship, is not about us. We might do it, but our object and focus is God. I remember hearing constantly in the 80s the fashionable (faddish, perhaps?) liturgists (usually amateur, to be fair) proclaiming that “liturgy” was a “celebration of community”. In Christian terms this could not be more wrong. We celebrate the glory of God and God’s love for us in Christ, and not ourselves. Self-celebration is an insidious form of narcissism which breeds self-satisfaction. If we are satisfied with ourselves, if we are just fine to the point that we can celebrate ourselves, what need is there for repentance, ongoing conversion and God’s grace? The most potent symbol of such a tendency is found in standing around the altar in a circle – everyone faces each other, and the circle is in effect an enclosure which excludes everyone outside the circle. The dynamics of this, the message it conveys, can hardly be Christian.

When the priest and people are all facing east, and the altar from one side, then the dynamics change, and the focus can more clearly and more easily be placed on God. We are united facing the Lord, even those who come in late at the back of the Church or are too bashful to join the celebratory altar-circle. Moreover, the burden of the subtle expectation that the priest has to entertain the people is removed. It is very difficult when facing a group of people from the front, and usually from an elevated position, not to feel that the focus is on the priest. This surely explains why so many priests feel the need to be constantly talking – all these people focused constantly on them. How many times have we heard mini-sermons at the beginning of Mass as the priest explains the readings, a task which is meant to happen at the homily?

And more disturbingly, at the altar itself during the Eucharistic prayer, it is not unusual to see priests show the Host or chalice to the people as they say the words of consecration “Take this all of you…” The physical dynamic has the unconscious effect on them of making them feel they are talking to the people when in fact the Eucharistic prayer is addressed to the Father! If ever there was a disruption of the meaning and essence of the liturgy it is when this happens.

 

 

 

 

Occasionally one still hears the argument that it is good for the people to see what is going on at the altar. But really, what is there to see? Physically not much is happening, the actions are few and discreet. And if the people do not know by now what is happening at the altar they never will.

 

In 2009 the Bishop of Tulsa, Oklahoma in the USA, restored Mass facing east in his cathedral. In explaining his move he wrote:

Unfortunately this change [i.e. the priest facing the people at the Eucharistic prayer] had a number of unforeseen and largely negative effects. First of all, it was a serious rupture with the Church’s ancient tradition. Secondly, it can give the appearance that the priest and the people were engaged in a conversation about God, rather than the worship of God. Thirdly, it places an inordinate importance on the personality of the celebrant by placing him on a kind of liturgical stage…. [Facing east] ought not to be misconstrued as the Bishop “turning his back on the faithful,” as if I am being inconsiderate or hostile. Such an interpretation misses the point that, by facing in the same direction, the posture of the celebrant and the congregation make explicit the fact that we journey together to God. Priest and people are on this pilgrimage together.

Bishop Slattery has recognised that our actions and posture can either help or hinder the meaning of our words. Indeed it can hinder the proper celebration of the liturgy. When we talk to a person, we face that person. So too in the liturgy it would make things clearer and more logical if the priest faced the people when he talking to them, and faced God when addressing God on behalf of the people.

One small and easy step to restoring the proper dynamic in worship is the use of the upright altar crucifix, which Pope Benedict constantly does whether he faces east or faces the people. This then becomes a visible focus and reminder of the purpose and focus of liturgy: that we are offering worship to the Father in Christ.

More powerful and effective still, I guess, would be a return to facing east. This, however, would meet fierce opposition from those passionately and unquestioningly committed to the post-conciliar reforms (I will not stoop to say fads, if only because many reforms were very sound). Such a change would require explanation. But surely that would be a wonderful opportunity for catechesis and deeper teaching of our faith and its rites of worship.

Whether our worship be at Mass, or at the divine office, Pope Benedict (when Cardinal Ratzinger) made a profound observation relevant to it:

Doing really must stop when we come to the heart of the matter: prayer (the oratio). It must be plainly evident that prayer (the oratio) is the heart of the matter, but that it is important precisely because it provides a space for the action (actio) of God. Anyone who grasps this will easily see that it is not now a matter of looking at or toward the priest, but of looking together toward the Lord and going out to meet him.

Readers have left 24 comments

 

 

The Flame Re-Ignites: Ad Orientem

https://hughosb.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/the-flame-re-ignites-ad-orientem/

By Fr. Hugh Somerville-Knapman OSB, May 27, 2016 Emphases theirs, excepting the red bold colour

In the abruptly-curtailed pontificate of Benedict XVI, the issue of the priest celebrating Mass ad orientem became a live topic in mainstream circles. Priests began to summon up the courage to return to the ancient practice which was so needlessly effaced from the life of the Church in the wake of the Council. Then came Pope Francis, who (not least because he is a Jesuit perhaps!) is not much interested in liturgy. This means that in practice he is content not to change any legislation on it (save for the extension to women of the optional mandatum on Maundy Thursday). This hands-off approach is actually a very traditional papal attitude. His sacred indifference has allowed those who had begun to re-align the liturgy with tradition to continue their quiet and increasingly popular work.

So Cardinal Sarah, quite appropriately given his position as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, has re-ignited the debate, encouraging priests to celebrate Mass facing East. He makes the common sense observation that during the Liturgy of the Word the priest faces the people, given that he is addressing them, but when addressing God, as when at the altar, he should face East, an ancient symbolic gesture of a turn to God and to the direction whence Christ would return: the Risen Son returning as the rising sun.

A Benedictine confrère in America (Fr. Ruff) has taken issue with the Cardinal. The title of his piece reveals his stance right from the start. What really upsets Fr Ruff is Cardinal Sarah’s statement that facing East complies with the letter and spirit of the Council:

Of all the arguments for ad orientem – and there are valid arguments out there – this isn’t one of them. Anytime anyone makes a claim about what the Council Fathers wanted, alarm bells should go off for all of us. The discussions of the fathers in the aula, and the things said in the documents they approved, witness a range of views. One has to be cautious about suggesting that all the fathers wanted anything unless the evidence supports the claim.

Now Fr Ruff is writing in a liberal blog so it is actually a piece of fair-mindedness for him to concede the fact that there are valid arguments in favour of maintaining this ancient tradition of the Church, though it may seem, when not viewed within this context, as a statement of the blindingly obvious.

Fr Ruff contends that the Council Fathers tacitly approved Mass facing the people and did not need to legislate in any detail for it. He says experimental Masses facing the people—versus populum—were occurring in the decades before the Council and that the Council Fathers would have been aware of then.

 

 

 

I agree: most of them probably would have, though this is by no means proven. But this makes it even more startling that they made absolutely no mention of it at all. They decided explicitly to allow for the possibility of a limited introduction of the vernacular language into the Mass, in the readings for example. Yet they somehow decided it was not worth mentioning a vastly more untraditional practice as Mass versus populum. Likewise they made no mention at all of Communion in the hand, yet this has become universal and even mandatory in some places, at least for a time.

There is little doubt that the reason why versus populum and Communion in the hand were not included in the conciliar texts is that they would not have been approved by the Council Fathers. Not in a pink fit.

Fr Ruff makes the ideological contention that,

The fathers approved a major paradigm shift – from liturgy as Carolingian clerical drama to liturgy as act of all the people – and then left open what the implications of that shift would be.

Leaving aside the caricaturing employed, this is a veiled way of invoking the now-discredited, and never valid, principle of the “spirit of Vatican II”. To echo Fr Ruff in the first quotation above, anytime anyone makes a claim about paradigm shifts or the spirit of the Council or the Council as an “event” living above and beyond its mere documents, you can be sure that the text of the Council (as approved democratically by the Fathers) is being evaded.

The mind of the Council, of any council in history, is to be found in only one place: its decrees and documents. The Second Vatican Council did not countenance Mass versus populum or Communion in the hand and it if did, it would have said so, as it did with the possibility of limited use of vernacular languages in the Mass. We have seen that the old truism, give them an inch and they will take a mile, has operated with regard to the vernacular at Mass. Yet even without an inch being given by the Council Fathers, versus populum and Communion in the hand have become well-nigh universal. The Consilium which was appointed to enact the decree on the Liturgy pretty much ignored both Council and Pope in their formulations, aided by the deceptions of Annibale Bugnini.

The history of this hijacking, and the mis-application of the Council in general, is now being written, and it is causing those who have hitched their wagons to the “spirit of the Council” grave alarm. They are being stood up to not least by the creature they so vigorously sought to bring to life, an educated and informed laity. A truly impartial reader of the Council decree on the liturgy will struggle to find in it much that legitimises the liturgy that was imposed on the Church in the wake of the Council; imposed not by the Council but by the Consilium of experts who bullied and deceived a pope to get their way, and took advantage of the traditional docility of the Catholic laity. You do not need to look far to find the books that are the vanguard of this searching re-evaluation of the implementation of the Council.

Fr Ruff raises the example of the church of his monastery of Collegeville, a modernist structure built on the eve of the Council according to the principles of the avant-garde in the Liturgical Movement. In this church—with monastic community on one side and the congregation on the other in the nave—an ad orientem Mass, he says, is out of the question:

This wouldn’t work – it would feel to everyone in the nave like the priest was celebrating Mass with only the monastic community and ignoring the congregation.

There are several reasons why we do not have to accept this assertion. The church was built before the liturgical changes, and while this progressive community no doubt had a brave new liturgy in mind when they developed its design, there must have been Masses ad orientem in it. Did people explode from confusion, or indignation at being “ignored”? Of course not. They had grown up with Masses celebrated the traditional way; they knew very well what was going on. Moreover, it is a monastic church, and visitors would have expected Mass to be celebrated in the monastic tradition.

The implication is, though, that people today would not know. And to an extent this would be correct. But why? Because Mass ad orientem has not been celebrated there for decades. No doubt the ancient practice has been labelled there as elsewhere, and with gross misrepresentation, as Mass with the priest having his “back to the people”. The solution is simple and clear: catechesis. As we have seen in the Church so often in the last few decades, so much has not been taught and even many cradle Catholics are in dire need of re-catechesis, not through any fault of their own, but because their pastors have refused to teach the whole and presented only a part, and highly skewed at that.

A few years back, on a Sunday which was also All Saints, I celebrated Mass ad orientem for the rites at the altar. Our choir sang glorious polyphony, including interactive chant settings for the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei which allowed the people to take an active part in the singing; incense smoke filled the air; the tone of the Mass was solemn yet festal. It was the ideal occasion to revisit Mass ad orientem. I preached about it in the homily, linking it to the saints and Christ. After the Mass about 15 laity came up to say how lovely it was, and how powerful they found the symbol of ad orientem once explained to them. None in the monastic community made any comment to me; a couple complained at what they called a major and un-consultative change from the way we celebrate liturgy here. So, needless to say, I have not been able to do it again.

What really irks me is the contention that ad orientem is foreign to the new Mass and its Missal. Those who contend so have clearly never read the rubrics. For the rubrics assume without thinking twice that the priest is, at the relevant times, facing East! Just note the following rubrics:

At the beginning of Mass— 1. “…while the Priest, facing the people, says…”

After the offertory— 29. “Standing at the middle of the altar, facing the people…”

At the Kiss of Peace— 127. “The Priest, turned towards the people…”

At the “Behold the Lamb of God…”— 132. “The Priest genuflects, takes the host and, holding it slightly above the paten or above the chalice, while facing the people, says aloud…”

At the priest’s Communion— 133. “The Priest, facing the altar, says quietly…”

 

 

 

For the Post-Communion prayer— 139. “Then, standing at the altar or at the chair and facing the people, with hands joined, the Priest says: Let us pray.”

Before the dismissal— 141. “Then the dismissal takes place. The Priest, facing the people and extending his hands, says: The Lord be with you…”

At the dismissal— 144. “Then the Deacon, or the Priest himself, with hands joined and facing the people, says: Go forth…”

These constant reminders to the celebrant to face the people at the appropriate time only make sense if the priest’s default position for ritual action is not facing the people. The only time the rubrics feel the need to remind the celebrant to face the altar is at his own Communion, which follows immediately after his showing the sacred species to the people.

Versus populum is clearly not the default position for the ritual action the Mass of Vatican II. Clearly, the Missal assumes the ancient and consistent logical position of facing God when talking to God, and reminding the priest (and this is new and sensible) to face the people when talking to them.

The vernacular is not the worst change to the Mass since the Council. The abandonment of ad orientem and the entrenching of the abuse of Communion in the hand are far worse. To change only these two things would return profundity and a worshipful ambience to the Mass. It would also give joy to those young people who are committed to their faith and to the Church. This is from experience.

Cardinal Sarah is to be applauded for doing his job, and doing it so well. We would all do well to reflect in depth on why the post-conciliar Mass, so radically redesigned by experts to “include” the people, has been so abandoned by them. Moreover, we should ask why people, especially the young, are flocking back to Masses in which tradition is honoured and the worship of God is the clear and consistent focus.

 

25 comments

Fr. Hugh OSB: Perhaps the most essential thing to keep in mind about the Mass, what is truly and most essentially is, above all else: the sacrifice of Calvary made present and effective in the midst of, and for, God’s people the Church. By eating and drinking of the Lamb that has been sacrificed we share in the benefits of that sacrifice. Since the Lamb is also God, its benefits are infinite, limited only by our ability or worthiness to receive them. During the canon we step outside time into eternity, and stand again (mystically but no less really) at the Cross.

As a priest, when I have to face the people, that becomes so much harder to keep in mind. And when the people have to look at my face, or that of another priest, they no doubt feel the same.

We tinker with it at our peril. The last 50 years rather prove that!

Fr. Gregory Pilcher OSB:

Dear Dom Hugh, I was able to do the Novus Ordo Mass ad orientem for several years, before I was ordered not to. I, and most of the people whom I’d catechized extensively before I started ad orientem worship, felt that it was, as discerned by Goldilocks, “just right.” As a priest I resisted doing it for years, but when I finally started doing it regularly so many awkward things fell away.

Firstly, the Mass was no longer about the priest. There was no need to try to perform as I did the sacred rite.

Secondly, the people were more attentive and more devout.

Thirdly, I was less distracted. The words of the Canon were addressed to God the Father, and not to the people, so I was turned toward the one we were worshipping.

Fourthly, since Christ ascended into heaven toward the East, and it was revealed that he would return to us from the East, we were ready for it.

There are other lesser things, like not having the watch the priest wash the dishes and then drink the dishwater, but I will pass over them.

Also, as a graduate of St. John’s, Collegeville, and from subsequent contacts there, I know that it would be almost impossible for anyone to overwhelm the pressure to celebrate versus populum. Fr. Ruff would not be pleased.

Fr. Hugh OSB: All your experiences in celebrating ad orientem I share. Most especially for me is the relief that comes from being able to focus on the Lord at the altar. For the congregation that is following devoutly there must be relief as well – the celebrant recedes into the background and the drama of the sacred action can takes its rightful prominence. The majority of Catholics, if exposed to this regularly, would find the same. But there does need to be catechesis, active and vigorous.

 

Vatican Liturgy Chief asks all priests and bishops to face east for Mass, faithful to kneel for Communion

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/vatican-liturgy-chief-asks-all-priests-and-bishops-to-face-east-for-mass-fa

By John-Henry Westen, London, July 5, 2016

Speaking at a conference on the liturgy in London yesterday, Cardinal Robert Sarah, the highest authority on the topic in the Catholic Church under Pope Francis, asked all bishops and priests to adopt the ancient posture in the Mass where the priest faces the tabernacle along with the congregation, rather than facing the people. He asked that the posture be adopted by Advent of this year, which begins November 27. During the same talk, Cardinal Sarah encouraged all Catholics to receive Communion kneeling.

During the talk, the Vatican’s liturgy chief revealed that Pope Francis had asked him to “continue the liturgical work Pope Benedict began.”

 

 

 

The announcement was immediately recognized by Catholic Herald deputy editor Dan Hitchens as “the biggest liturgical announcement since Benedict XVI’s 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum gave greater freedom for priests to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass.”

Vatican watchers are particularly stunned that Pope Francis, who is regarded by many as a liberal, has encouraged a more traditional approach to liturgy. Yet Cardinal Sarah said, “Our Holy Father Pope Francis has the greatest respect for the liturgical vision and measures of Pope Benedict.”

French Bishop Dominique Rey, who was present at the conference, took up Cardinal Sarah’s request without hesitation, vowing to at least begin to implement the change in his diocese by Advent. Rey, the Bishop of Fréjus-Toulon, addressed Cardinal Sarah at the conference, saying: “In response to your appeal I wish to announce now, that certainly on the last Sunday of Advent of this year in my celebration of the Holy Eucharist at my cathedral, and on other occasions as appropriate, I shall celebrate ad orientem—towards the Lord who comes.” Bishop Rey added, “Before Advent I shall address a letter to my priests and people on this question to explain my action. I shall encourage them to follow my example.”

Cardinal Sarah gave thanks for the many celebrations of the liturgy that are devout and give glory to God, but he also lamented the many abuses of the liturgy in the Church. “In recent decades,” he observed, “we have seen many liturgical celebrations where people, personalities and human achievements have been too prominent, almost to the exclusion of God.”

Cardinal Sarah used his African heritage to drive home the point. “I am an African,” he said. “Let me say clearly: the liturgy is not the place to promote my culture. Rather, it is the place where my culture is baptised, where my culture is taken up into the divine.”

Sarah suggested that the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council intended liturgical reform to bring more of the faithful to the Mass, yet for the most part the effort has failed. “My brothers and sisters, where are the faithful of whom the Council Fathers spoke?” he asked.

The cardinal continued:

Many of the faithful are now unfaithful: they do not come to the liturgy at all. To use the words of St John Paul II: many Christians are living in a state of “silent apostasy;” they “live as if God does not exist” (Apostolic Exhortation, Ecclesia in Europa, 28 June 2003, 9). Where is the unity the Council hoped to achieve? We have not yet reached it. Have we made real progress in calling the whole of mankind into the household of the Church? I do not think so. And yet we have done very much to the liturgy!
He expressed “profound grief” at the “many distortions of the liturgy throughout the Church today,” and proposed that the “Eucharist is too great a gift to tolerate ambiguity and depreciation.”

One such abuse he mentioned was when priests “step aside to allow extraordinary ministers distribute Holy Communion” which for many priests was thought to be a way of allowing lay people to participate in the Mass in a substantial way. Rather, said Cardinal Sarah, “This is wrong, it is a denial of the priestly ministry as well as a clericalisation of the laity.”

“When this happens it is a sign that formation has gone very wrong, and that it needs to be corrected,” he added.

He encouraged a generous reception of the traditional Latin Mass and also encouraged traditional practices Pope Benedict proposed previously, including the use of Latin in the new Mass, kneeling for Holy Communion, as well as Gregorian chant. “We must sing sacred liturgical music not merely religious music, or worse, profane songs,” he said. “The Council never intended that the Roman rite be exclusively celebrated in the vernacular. But it did intend to allow its increased use, particularly for the readings.”

Speaking of kneeling for Holy Communion, the Vatican liturgy chief reminded priests that they are forbidden from denying Communion to the faithful for kneeling for reception of the Sacrament. Moreover, he encouraged all to receive while kneeling where possible. “Kneeling at the consecration (unless I am sick) is essential. In the West this is an act of bodily adoration that humbles us before our Lord and God. It is itself an act of prayer. Where kneeling and genuflection have disappeared from the liturgy, they need to be restored, in particular for our reception of our Blessed Lord in Holy Communion.”

A lengthy section of his talk was devoted to calling priests and bishops to celebrate Mass facing “ad orientem” or with the people facing Our Lord.

Here are the key excerpts:

Even though I serve as the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, I do so in all humility as a priest and a bishop in the hope that they will promote mature reflection and scholarship and good liturgical practice throughout the Church.

I want to make an appeal to all priests… I believe that it is very important that we return as soon as possible to a common orientation, of priests and the faithful turned together in the same direction—Eastwards or at least towards the apse—to the Lord who comes, in those parts of the liturgical rites when we are addressing God… I think it is a very important step in ensuring that in our celebrations the Lord is truly at the centre.

And so, dear Fathers, I ask you to implement this practice wherever possible, with prudence and with the necessary catechesis, certainly, but also with a pastor’s confidence that this is something good for the Church, something good for our people.

Your own pastoral judgement will determine how and when this is possible, but perhaps beginning this on the first Sunday of Advent this year… may be a very good time to do this. Dear Fathers, we should listen again to the lament of God proclaimed by the prophet Jeremiah: “they have turned their back to me” (2:27). Let us turn again towards the Lord!

 

 

I would like to appeal also to my brother bishops: please lead your priests and people towards the Lord in this way, particularly at large celebrations in your dioceses and in your cathedral. Please form your seminarians in the reality that we are not called to the priesthood to be at the centre of liturgical worship ourselves, but to lead Christ’s faithful to him as fellow worshippers. Please facilitate this simple but profound reform in your dioceses, your cathedrals, your parishes and your seminaries.
Throughout the talk, Cardinal Sarah stressed the grave responsibility of priests regarding the Eucharist. “We priests, we bishops bear a great responsibility,” he said. “How our good example builds up good liturgical practice; how our carelessness or wrongdoing harms the Church and her Sacred Liturgy!”

He warned his fellow priests, “Let us beware of the temptation of liturgical sloth, because it is a temptation of the devil.”

 

7 of 77 comments

  1. The tabernacle needs to be moved back to the center in ALL churches.
  2. When Mother Teresa, after traveling around the world, was asked what the most disturbing thing she witnessed was, she reportedly replied “seeing Holy Communion received in the hand“.

Communion in the hand was an example of a one-time dispensation (originally asked by the Filipino bishops, if memory serves me) that Paul VI allowed that, like so many other illicit allowances, subsequently became the norm (even though, ironically, the Filipinos did not follow through with themselves).

  1. He has encouraged priests to return to ad orientem during the liturgy of the Eucharist, and he also encouraged communicants to kneel when receiving Holy Communion. It seems to me that if a person is kneeling to receive Holy Communion, then that person would most likely, most naturally, be receiving on the tongue. Hard to imagine kneeling and then receiving in the hand, but then who knows? We have seen so much nonsense over the years! But let’s hope that kneeling for communion would indeed be followed with reception on the tongue and not in the hand!
  2. We need to bring back altar rails as a basic part of any church. And then kneel to receive of the tongue. This would help bring back more reverence and a better understanding of the true presence.
  3. The Mass should be God-centered, not man-centered. Cardinal Sarah meant it when he said, “God or nothing.” Thank God for this man.
  4. The priest and people in Orthodox Judaism face the same direction; and, the same goes for Islam (which is an Abrahamic religion, thus has much in common, ritual-wise).
  5. “Liturgical east” is wherever the people are facing. With the priest facing the same way, i.e. « ad orientem » he is physically as well as spiritually leading the people in prayer. In older church buildings (like ours) the people face the tabernacle, but the actual position of the tabernacle is not relevant to the discussion of “liturgical east.”
  6. LifeSiteNews:

I am not a traditional Mass Catholic, although I have great respect for it. What I prefer is something of a mix between the old and the new rather than the comparatively shallow, frequently badly celebrated Novus Ordo liturgies.

All that Cardinal Sarah has asked priests to do to is to increase the sense of worship of God in the Mass and to facilitate far more attention on God Himself, rather than the distraction of the priest – at various key moments of the Mass. He recognizes that the laity need help to better worship God during the Mass and to understand the awesomeness of what happens during the Mass when Christ become actually present, God becomes actually present, at the time of the consecration. You can’t tell me that these days most feel or believe that that is what is really happening in every single Mass they go to. If they did believe that, which the current liturgy discourages by its very light, public participatory nature, there would be far more people at every Sunday Mass and at every weekday Mass.

This is not a matter of going back to the 50s. It is about going back to God, whom we have abandoned by the millions. That was not caused by the old Mass. That was caused by an especially clergy-led rebellion against the demands of Christ’s Church. Many did not want the cross anymore. They wanted the experiences and excitement and emotions and satisfactions of the modern world. And so, the Church has been dying. God is no longer central in the lives of the vast majority of Catholics in at least the developed nations. –Steve Jalsevac

 

 

A leading liberal Cardinal almost immediately shots down Cardinal Robert Sarah’s directives:

Cardinal Nichols tells priests to ignore Vatican liturgist’s directive on celebrating Mass facing East

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/english-prelate-tells-priests-to-ignore-vatican-liturgists-directive-on-cel

By Claire Chretien, United Kingdom, July 11, 2016

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has told priests in his diocese not to “exercise personal preference or taste” by offering Mass facing east, after the Vatican’s liturgy chief called for the return to the practice of celebrating masses “ad orientem” earlier this month.

Nichols wrote to priests, quoting from The General Instruction of the Roman Missal, which states, “The altar should be built apart from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible.”

While the GIRM indicates certain times during Mass when the priest is to face the people, it does not dictate the direction in which Mass must be celebrated.

The Vatican had responded to controversy on the question in 2000, when Cardinal Jorge A. Medina Estévez, then the Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship, had written:

 

 

“No preference is expressed in the liturgical legislation for either position. As both positions enjoy the favour of the Law, legislation may not be invoked to say that one position or the other accords more closely with the mind of the Church.”

Nichols wrote that Mass is not the time for priests to “exercise personal preference or taste,” and “as the last paragraph of the GIRM states so clearly, ‘The Roman Missal, though in a diversity of languages and with some variety of customs, must in the future be safeguarded as an instrument and an outstanding sign of the integrity and unity of the Roman Rite’ (399).”

On July 4, Cardinal Sarah, who heads the Congregation for Divine Worship, asked all priests and bishops to celebrate Mass ad orientem, the ancient liturgical practice in which the priest faces the tabernacle along with the congregation instead of facing the people. He also asked all Catholics to receive Holy Communion kneeling, which is the Church’s norm despite the allowances many western dioceses have to administer the sacrament in the hand. The cardinal also reminded priests that they are forbidden from denying the faithful Holy Communion because they choose to receive it kneeling.

“Kneeling at the consecration (unless I am sick) is essential,” he said. “In the West, this is an act of bodily adoration that humbles us before our Lord and God. It is itself an act of prayer. Where kneeling and genuflection have disappeared from the liturgy, they need to be restored, in particular for our reception of our Blessed Lord in Holy Communion.”

During the same talk, Sarah urged for the continuation of the traditional liturgical practices that Pope Benedict XVI revived, like Gregorian Chant, and reminded the faithful that the Second Vatican Council did not call exclusively for the use of the vernacular in the new Mass. The Second Vatican Council pronounces that Gregorian Chant should be given “pride of place” in the liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium 116). “We must sing sacred liturgical music not merely religious music, or worse, profane songs,” Sarah said. “The Council never intended that the Roman rite be exclusively celebrated in the vernacular. But it did intend to allow its increased use, particularly for the readings.”

Sarah has said on multiple occasions that Pope Francis asked him to continue the liturgical work of Pope Benedict XVI.

Nichols has a history of making statements and acting in ways seemingly contradictory to the Catholic Church’s teaching on human life and human sexuality.

In 2008, he suggested to a BBC radio interviewer that embryonic human beings are not morally equal to adult human beings. “What we’ve been trying to say all along is ‘What is the value that we give to human life in its first beginnings?’ Now clearly it’s not the same as we would give to another adult sitting next to me,” Nichols said.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person — among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life” (CCC 2270).

In his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, Pope St. John Paul II wrote, “Human life is sacred and inviolable at every moment of existence, including the initial phase which precedes birth.”

In 2010, Nichols told the BBC that the British Catholic bishops had not opposed same-sex civil unions but approached the issue in a “nuanced” way without supporting same-sex “marriage.”

In 2011, Nichols praised civil partnerships for those in same-sex relationships. The UK-based publication The Tablet reported that Nichols said of civil unions:

“We would want to emphasise that civil partnerships actually provide a structure in which people of the same sex who want a lifelong relationship [and] a lifelong partnership can find their place and protection and legal provision.

As a Church, we are very committed to the notion of equality so that people are treated the same across all the activities of life. … The Church holds great store by the value of commitment in relationships and undertakings that people give. Stability in society depends upon the reliability of commitments that people give. That might be in offering to do a job but especially in their relationships with one another. Equality and commitment are both very important and we fully support them.”

Nichols’s insistence that the Mass not be subject to priests’ personal preferences is surprising given his and his archdiocese’s history with LGBT liturgies, which are not sanctioned by the Church.

Just last year, Nichols celebrated Mass for an organization of active homosexuals called LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council, which enjoys the cardinal’s support despite its open rejection of Church teaching.  

LGBT Catholics Westminster is known for its pro-homosexual “SoHo Masses,” which are celebrated at a London Jesuit parish and regularly feature clergy who openly dissent from Church teaching on human sexuality, such as Father Timothy Radcliffe. A video of one of the group’s liturgies shows a man wearing a dress and a wig reading from a lectern draped in a rainbow flag. The group also marches in London’s massive gay pride parade.

Nichols has also suggested that the Church could one day accept same-sex unions. After the 2014 Synod on the Family, Nichols implied that he was open to the notion of admitting to the Sacraments those living in situations the Church considers to be objectively sinful.

 

5 of 46 comments

  1. Cardinal Vincent Nichols is from England where the faith is almost extinct…..Cardinal Sarah is from Africa where the faith is thriving and alive…..pretty easy call to know who to listen to…….you shall know them by their fruits.
  2. I love that when it comes to following tradition, it’s wrong to follow “personal taste”, but when it comes to innovation, liturgical dance, guitars, overuse of EMHC, reception of communion on the hand, personal taste is OK. Is anyone surprised?
  3. About 18 months ago, the pastor at our little middle-of-nowhere parish started offering the Mass “ad orientem” more often than not (he also does do “versus populum” on occasion, when the mood strikes him, I suppose). As far as I can tell, reaction has ranged from indifferent at worst (a minority) to positive at best.

 

 

Note that for an Ordinary Form Mass, done according to the rubrics of the Roman Missal, the Introductory Rites through to the Collect are said with the priest off to the side and the Readings (and homily) are done from the Ambo. The part that is to be done “ad orientem” is from the Offertory up to the distribution of Communion. The Post-communion Prayer and the dismissal are again done with the priest off to one side. Our pastor read to us from the rubrics when he started doing this, in order to explain what he was doing and why.

Indeed, the Missal rubrics are written assuming the “ad orientem” bits as it will say things like “…and then the priest turns towards the people and says…” etc.

I find that the Mass done with the “ad orientem” bits makes the consecration stand out better, as it is set off from the rest of the Mass by the different posture of the priest. After all, this is the point where Jesus Christ becomes physically present in His body, blood, soul, and divinity. It’s worth making that point in the Mass stand out a bit from the rest of it! And I hope more priests try it out; it’s really quite nice.

But that being said, it’s still the Ordinary Form and so it’s not really all *that* different. Frankly, I really don’t understand why this would cause such a freak-out reaction amongst some people, such as Cardinal Nichols. It’s hardly a “personal preference” or “quirk” to ACTUALLY FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS AS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK.

  1. Some churches don’t even have the tabernacle near the altar, like the one in my village. It’s in a side chapel! I started going to the Traditional Latin Mass 30 miles away.
  2. The problem lies in having disobedient Bishops and Priests, men who will not follow any teaching other than their own false ideas. They promote a false idea of mercy and then when men such as Cardinal Sarah attempt to reintroduce a form of celebrating the Mass that calls for an outwardly more respectful and reverent form of the Mass, he is ignored at best and at worst contradicted by the Cardinals.

 

 

Cardinal Nichols discourages priests from celebrating Mass ad orientem

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2016/07/11/cardinal-nichols-discourages-priests-from-celebrating-mass-ad-orientem/

By Madeleine Teahan, July 11, 2016

The Archbishop of Westminster has told clergy Mass is ‘not the time for priests to exercise personal preference or taste’

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has written to priests in Westminster diocese discouraging them from celebrating Mass facing east.

He issued the message to clergy days after the Vatican’s liturgy chief Cardinal Robert Sarah invited priests to celebrate Mass ad orientem from Advent onwards.

Cardinal Sarah was speaking at a liturgical conference in London.

Following Cardinal Robert Sarah’s appeal at the Sacra Liturgia conference in London, Cardinal Nichols wrote to priests reminding them that, “the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, approved by the highest authority in the Church, states in paragraph 299 that ‘The altar should be built apart from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible. The altar should, moreover, be so placed as to be truly the centre toward which the attention of the whole congregation of the faithful naturally turns. The altar is usually fixed and is dedicated.’”

While he noted that the Congregation for Divine Worship had confirmed in 2009 that this instruction still allows for Mass to be celebrated facing east, the cardinal wrote: “But it also ‘reaffirms that the position towards the assembly seems more convenient inasmuch as it makes communication easier’. Thus the expectations expressed in GIRM 299 remain in force whenever the Ordinary Form of Mass is celebrated.”

Cardinal Nichols said that Mass was not the time for priests to “exercise personal preference or taste”, and “as the last paragraph of the GIRM states so clearly, ‘The Roman Missal, though in a diversity of languages and with some variety of customs, must in the future be safeguarded as an instrument and an outstanding sign of the integrity and unity of the Roman Rite’ (399).”

After the Sacra Liturgia Conference last week, Cardinal Sarah paid a personal visit to Cardinal Vincent Nichols.

Meanwhile, Fr Antonio Spadaro, a papal adviser and editor of the influential journal La Civiltà Cattolica, has shown his support for Mass facing the people on Twitter.

Following Cardinal Sarah’s widely reported comments, Fr Spadaro tweeted quotes from the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, such as: “The altar should be built apart from the wall in such a way that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people” and “the priest, facing the people and extending and then joining his hands, invites the people to pray.”

 

 

Press Office Clarifies Cardinal’s Remarks about Priest Facing East during Mass

https://zenit.org/articles/press-office-clarifies-cardinals-remarks-about-priest-facing-east-during-mass/

July 12, 2016

The Vatican press office on Monday released a clarification regarding media presentations of an address given July 5 in London by Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

The cardinal spoke about Masses celebrated ‘ad orientem,’ that is, with the priest facing away from the people (to the east, if the church was built with that traditional layout).

The Vatican’s statement clarifies that the cardinal’s address was not an announcement of new directives for the celebration of Mass. Here is the text of the statement, with the English translation provided by the press office.

 

 

Some clarifications on the celebration of Mass

It would appear opportune to offer clarification in the light of information circulated in the press after a conference held in London a few days ago by Cardinal Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. Cardinal Sarah has always been rightly concerned about the dignity of the celebration of Mass, so as to express appropriately the attitude of respect and adoration for the Eucharistic mystery. Some of his expressions have however been incorrectly interpreted, as if they were intended to announce new indications different to those given so far in the liturgical rules and in the words of the Pope regarding celebration facing the people and the ordinary rite of the Mass.

Therefore it is useful to remember that in the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani (General Instruction of the Roman Missal), which contains the norms relating to the Eucharistic celebration and is still in full force, paragraph no. 299 states that: “Altare extruatur a pariete seiunctum, ut facile circumiri et in eo celebratio versus populum peragi possit, quod expedit ubicumque possibile sit. Altare eum autem occupier locum, ut revera centrum sit ad quod totius congregationis fidelium attentio sponte convertatur” (“The altar should be built separate from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible. Moreover, the altar should occupy a place where it is truly the centre toward which the attention of the whole congregation of the faithful naturally turns”.)

Pope Francis, for his part, on the occasion of his visit to the Dicastery for Divine Worship, expressly mentioned that the “ordinary” form of the celebration of the Mass is that expressed in the Missal promulgated by Paul VI, while the “extraordinary” form, which was permitted by Pope Benedict XVI for the purposes and in the ways explained in his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, must not take the place of the “ordinary” one.

Therefore, new liturgical directives are not expected from next Advent, as some have incorrectly inferred from some of Cardinal Sarah’s words, and it is better to avoid using the expression “reform of the reform” with reference to the liturgy, given that it may at times give rise to error.

All the above was unanimously expressed during a recent audience granted by the Pope to the same Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

During the Synod on the Family, the Vatican Press Office was often seen to be the voice of the liberals at the Synod. Strangely, but not surprisingly, such an important statement “clarifying” Cardinal Robert Sarah’s liturgical directives is made anonymously, by the “Vatican press office”. Was it the last act of its liberal director Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi who retired on the 11th of July? Yes, it was. And I did not have to read the following articles to guess that.

 

 

Did Fr. Lombardi Contradict Cardinal Sarah?

http://www.ccwatershed.org/blog/2016/jul/12/did-fr-lombardi-contradict-cardinal-sarah-any-way/

By Jeff Ostrowski, July 12, 2016 Emphases theirs

The Press Office of the Vatican on 11 July 2016 released a statement which was probably the final message by Fr. Federico Lombardi before he retired. Many who are angry about Cardinal Sarah’s public statements are (predictably) acting as though Fr. Lombardi has rebuked Cardinal Sarah. I find such assertions absurd.

Let me share a few brief reflections, although I must be honest: I’ve only read the statement twice. Therefore, my reflections will be cursory. (But don’t curse when you read them!)

 

  1. Fr. Lombardi cited paragraph 299 of the GIRM, which speaks about how an altar should be constructed when new churches are built. The English translation I saw was erroneous, but the French version seems to be correct, as far as I can tell. (My French is horrible.)

Fr. Lombardi should have quoted the statement from the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship, which put an end to discussion on this point. Cardinal Sarah’s congregation was responsible for creating the 2000 (2002) GIRM and they provide its definitive interpretation. On 10 April 2000, addressing this very question, the congregation stated:

“This Dicastery [i.e. the Congregation for Divine Worship] wishes to state that Holy Mass may be celebrated versus populum or versus apsidem. Both positions are in accord with liturgical law; both are to be considered correct.”

“It should be borne in mind that there is no preference expressed in the liturgical legislation for either position. As both positions enjoy the favor of law, legislation may not be invoked to say that one position or the other accords more closely with the mind of the Church.”

The English translation of Fr. Lombardi—not the French—contains grammatical issues which preclude the notion that the current books favor “versus populum” celebration.

 

  1. Fr. Lombardi’s statement “clarifies” that no new legislation on ad orientem will be released in Advent. My response would be, “That clarification is not needed because Cardinal Sarah said absolutely nothing—not one word—about new legislation coming in Advent.”

 

  1. Fr. Lombardi’s statement “clarifies” that Pope Francis “mentioned” that the Extraordinary Form must not eradicate the Ordinary Form. My response would be, “That clarification is not needed because nobody thinks that’s going to happen anytime soon.”

 

 

 

  1. Fr. Lombardi said it’s better to avoid using the phrase REFORM OF THE REFORM because (in his words) this phrase “may at times give rise to error.” Some were surprised by his words, but I was not. I don’t want to scandalize anyone, but Rome moves very slowly and can even—gasp!—be political. Moreover, the Roman Pontiff is always careful never to publicly step on the toes of any predecessor. Rome usually will only focus on the positive. For example, when Pope Paul VI promulgated the liturgical changes, he didn’t talk about how “bad” (in his view) the old liturgy had been. Similarly, for a Roman Pontiff to utter the phrase “reform of the reform” seems unlikely in the near future because it doesn’t match how way popes emphasize the positive and avoid criticizing their predecessors. Perhaps a better phrase would be the one Bishop René H. Gracida uses: “The Renewal of the Renewal.”

That being said, the words of Fr. Lombardi (“may at times give rise to error”) are not very convincing. Which times? Which errors? I’ll be interested to see whether the highest ranking liturgical officer of Pope Francis uses that phrase again. I suppose Cardinal Sarah could make a point of using that phrase so he can “Hagan lío.”

 

  1. I must admit that I put very little stock in the words of the Vatican Press Office. I have seen many instances over the past years where their “clarifications” only confuse matters.

For example, Fr. Lombardi never condemns the REFORM OF THE REFORM, he says the “phrase” can sometimes confuse. Properly understood (according to what Fr. Lombardi wrote) it would not be problematic. Yet people are coming away with the opposite impression! Throughout the papacy of Pope Francis, I’ve noticed a surprising lack of understanding of how the media works. The results from that lack of understanding have often been unfortunate.

 

  1. As far as I know—and perhaps a priest can correct me if I’m wrong—priests who celebrate the Ordinary Form are bound by the actual rubrics in those books. They are not allowed to make liturgical changes based on a press conference by Fr. Lombardi. The Congregation for Divine Worship remains in charge of interpreting the liturgical laws which they write (and then submit for approval by the pope). Cardinal Sarah is Prefect of the CDW.

 

  1. As we have repeated over and over on our blog, no significant changes have been made to the rubrics of the Ordinary Form since it was promulgated in 1970. Period. I know this sounds hard to believe and “boring” but it’s true.

 

  1. Finally, to those who have claimed that Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the CDW, “lied” about what Pope Francis told him, I encourage those people to send me an email. I have a bridge I’d like to sell them.

 

  1. I’m not trying to be snarky here, because there’s way too much snark on the internet. That being said, somebody should inform the editor of America (a Jesuit Magazine) that it’s “ad orientem” not what he wrote:

111

Regarding my thoughts on this matter, as with all my articles, feel free to “take ’em or leave ’em.”

 

 

The Fallout and Propaganda: Cardinal Sarah and Sacra Liturgia 2016

https://hughosb.wordpress.com/2016/07/12/the-fallout-and-propaganda-cardinal-sarah-and-sacra-liturgia-2016/

By Fr. Hugh Somerville-Knapman OSB, July 12, 2016 Emphases theirs

Anyone with even a passing knowledge of matters ecclesiastical knew it would come. The boat had been rocked so there was bound to be some shouting, mounting insecurity and a sense of control lost. Having lost the battle of the Missal certain forces would be certain to move quickly so as not to lose the battle of the Altar.

However it is not going to work so well this time around. The young laity and the young clergy and seminarians, in whose hands lies the future of the Church on earth for the next few generations at least, are now far more up to speed on the issues, and connected to each other across the globe in ways never possible when I was a baby Jesuit, thanks to the internet. Moreover, when the forces seeking to put Cardinal Sarah’s genie back in its bottle use highly deficient arguments, the young will see it, and will spurn it, even scorn it.

 

 

 

Cardinal Sarah’s opening speech at Sacra Liturgia 2016 included a specific invitation to priests to begin offering the Eucharistic sacrifice facing east—facing God—in common (in communion we might say) with the congregation, from the 1st Sunday of Advent (the standard date for liturgical change—I almost said “traditional date” but 46 years hardly makes a tradition in light of the Church’s two millennia of existence). There was a roar of approving applause from the delegates. It was not triumphalist applause, but the effusion of relief, even liberation. To hear the cardinal in charge of the liturgy encourage the Church to return to the traditional orientation at the altar—an African cardinal no less, and raised in what we westerners still think of as a mission territory—this was a healing moment for many of us.

Yet, one man’s healing is another’s irritation, though why it should be so is not so clear. One tactic is to cloud the topic is confusion and misdirection, like a magician. Thus we find the American Jesuit Fr Bruce Morrill, of Vanderbilt University, claiming that the cardinal’s remarks were “not official” and that he was not giving a directive as this would require Vatican approval and an official statement from the Congregation of Divine Worship.

In Crux, an online journal that seeks to take the Catholic pulse, we find this report of recent reactionary manoeuvres:

Although his comments were phrased as suggestions and not an edict, Sarah’s desire for a return to the ad orientem posture nevertheless generated wide reaction and debate, in large part because the posture is widely associated with the older Latin Mass in use prior to the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).

In truth, the rules for the post-Vatican II Mass also allow for the use of the ad orientem posture, and some priests celebrate it that way. In the public imagination, however, it’s generally seen as a more traditional way of doing it.

In the aftermath of Sarah’s comments, Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster in the UK sent a letter to priests in his diocese saying that the Mass was not the time for priests to “exercise personal preference or taste.”

According to the Catholic Herald, Nichols also noted the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, which lays out the rules for celebrating Mass, states in paragraph 299 that “the altar should be built apart from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible.”

In his statement, Lombardi quoted the same paragraph both in Latin and in Italian.

Lombardi said that when he visited Sarah’s dicastery, Francis expressly told the Guinea cardinal that the “ordinary” form of celebrating the Mass is the one promulgated in the missal by Pope Paul VI, meaning, after the Second Vatican Council. The pope also said that the “extraordinary” form while accepted under the means expressed by Benedict XVI in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, shouldn’t become the norm.

“There are therefore no new liturgical directives for next Advent, as some have wrongly inferred from some of Cardinal Sarah’s words,” Lombardi said.

Lombardi’s rejection of the phrase “reform of the reform” is also noteworthy in light of Sarah’s comments in early July.

In his remarks, Sarah had said that during a private audience with the pope last April, Francis had asked him to study “the question of a reform of a reform” to see how to enrich the twofold use of the Roman rite – the “ordinary form,” meaning the post-Vatican II liturgy in the vernacular languages, and the “extraordinary form,” or the pre-Vatican II Latin Mass.

The propagandist’s art is not dead, but indeed it is ever perfecting its technique. So let’s briefly unpack the propaganda of reaction.

  1. That a public, prepared speech from the cardinal in charge of overseeing the Church’s liturgy on behalf of the Pope, can be fobbed off as “not official” is extraordinary. We are meant to infer that things unofficial can be safely ignored.
  2. However, what Fr Morrill would be correct in saying is that, indeed, this is not a “directive”. It was an exhortation, formally delivered, powerfully and thoughtfully presented. When far more informal and spontaneous exhortations come from Pope Francis’ mouth, the same people fall over themselves to apply the same to all and sundry. Remember “Whom am I to judge?” Yet Cardinal Sarah’s is to be dismissed as “unofficial”, and “opinion”.
  3. No one, of course, claimed this had been a “directive”, certainly not the cardinal and certainly none of us who were there. The reactionaries have been presenting this as an underhand way of making something mandatory and so they can now valiantly expose the ploy, and reassure all those whose liturgical boats were rocked that they can relax again since the nasty conservatives have been exposed and thwarted.
  4. Cardinal Nichols politely waited till he had met and then seen off Cardinal Sarah before sending his letter to the clergy of Westminster. In that letter he makes two errors of judgment, as others more competent than I have already noted. (a) He equates ad orientem with “personal preference or taste”.
    (b) To support this misjudgment he uses the flawed English translation of #299 of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal which asserts that Mass facing the people is “desirable”. However, this is not what the Latin (and thus normative and “official”) text of #299 says. Fr Zuhlsdorf does the comprehensive refutation of the incorrect English translation. Suffice it to say that the key relative pronoun quod is neuter and so cannot refer to celebratiowhich is feminine. It must therefore refer to altare which is also neuter. In fact the entire paragraph is about the altar, so a directive on facing the people in this paragraph would be incongruous to say the least. Thus, that “which is desirable” (quod expedit) is not facing the people but the placement of the altar away from the wall. As for ad orientem as personal taste or preference, you will note that such arguments are always made on a certain reading of various documents, but never of the rubrics of the Missal themselves. The rubrics are the primary source for how to celebrate the Mass, and any subsequent legislation can only allow for clarifications or exceptions, such as the priest facing the people at the altar. If facing the people was actually the norm then the rubrics would have to be changed. In the third edition of the Roman Missal of 2010 they were not.

 

 

 

In an earlier post here I explain (rather presciently it now seems!) how the rubrics clearly assume the traditional eastwards position of the priest at the altar. In fact, the logic of the ritual, even the modern ritual, demands it.

  1. So let’s be unambiguous: Ad orientem is the norm in the Missal; versus populum is the exception, and it is facing the people that is in fact the expression of personal preference and taste. If there is any ambiguity, it is in the Latin of #299, with the placement of the quod phrase at the end of the paragraph. This mimics the syntax of languages such as English in which word placement is crucial for meaning (unlike Latin, properly translated). Conspiracy theorists would rightly have a field day here!
  2. Fr Lombardi’s introduction of the matter of the Extraordinary Form into this discussion is a red herring, to put it mildly. It is impossible to infer from what Cardinal Sarah said that he was advocating making the Extraordinary Form the “norm” for the Latin rite. This is more confusion and misdirection, and appears at first glance to be an attempt to associate Cardinal Sarah’s remarks with advocacy for the old Mass, employing guilt by association. Fr Lombardi, soon to retire, has no magisterial standing and can be safely ignored. In fact his whole work in recent years has been spent in explaining away public utterances, usually papal ones, that are too embarrassing, or inconvenient, to be allowed to stand.
  3. This seems also to be an attempt to undermine the commission given to Cardinal Sarah by Pope Francis himself, to explore the possibilities offered by the Reform of the Reform movement. For the reactionaries, this will appear to be introducing the wolf of the old Mass in the sheep’s clothing of the modern Mass. Of course they are judging it by conciliar standards, when all sorts of wolves in sheep’s clothing were introduced into texts for later exploitation at the propitious time. The pure, all things are pure. To the Machiavellian all things are Machiavellian. The real wolves are not hard to find if you pay attention.
  4. The fact that Pope Francis has given Cardinal Sarah the instruction to explore the possibilities in the critiques offered by the Reform of the Reform movement (the new Liturgical Movement we might say) lends significant weight to Cardinal Sarah’s advocacy of the ad orientem direction for Mass. For one thing, surely this advocacy must be seen as the fruit of these same papally-requested explorations—that is the logical conclusion in the context. Moreover, it is hard, therefore, is this context, not to see Cardinal Sarah’s advocacy as having tacit papal approval. The only logical conclusion is that Cardinal Sarah has offered an exhortation to return to the traditional and normative position of facing East at the altar as the fruit of the study he has made at the pope’s request.

So perhaps we need to be reminded, therefore, that no special permission is needed to offer Mass ad orientem since it has always been the normative position in the rubrics of the Mass. To rely on the flawed arguments against this is to place yourself on a bus doomed eventually to crash.

  1. If you are understandably reluctant to rely on the words of a humble simple amateur monk, then do read the definitive yet accessible modern treatment of this topic by Fr Uwe Michael Lang of the London Oratory, Turning Towards the Lord.

 

5 of 45 comments

  1. I am an African from South Africa born deep into the practicality of the Vatican II, have read Cardinal Ratzinger’s documents and books one of them being Ratzinger’s report: there he highlights that so many seem to put into practice Vatican II of the media not of the fathers of the council.

The recent roars about Ad Orientem and facing the people in Eucharistic celebration, made me to relive how even the call to priesthood has taken a nasty twist- young men in Africa most but not all are going into the priesthood preferably for being a celebrity being the centre of the gathering week in and week out, they go to the seminary for an easy way out of educational battles and making it in life without much hustle unlike their secular counterparts. All these problem are rooted in the way we celebrate the Eucharist- that is why there are sentiments like these after mass: the mass of this Priest is cool, wow this Priest can dance, wow this priest’s gestures during the Eucharistic prayer are charming and many more. If ad Orientem can be a norm perhaps the church can have a lot of meaning for us who were born deep into this confusion.

  1. Fr. Hugh: You are right to remind us of Pope Benedict’s perceptive distinction between the “council of the media” as usurping in the minds and memories of the faithful the council of the Fathers, the real council. We have the opportunity today to influence and utilise the media in getting out the good news in its authentic form.

The intrusion of the priest’s personality is very hard to avoid in the new Mass, and inescapable when it is said facing the people. The priest’s personality cannot be avoided in the homily, for example. But at the altar it must decrease that Christ might increase. It is not just in Africa, my friend, that men have signed up for the priesthood for the imperfect reasons of status enhancement, career advancement, or even to cover issues of self-esteem, insecurity and identity confusion. The priest’s whose personal needs dominate his life and ministry is usually going to be harmful in the long-run.

Like you I was born into the confusion of a post-conciliar Church, and having finally discovered what was lost I found myself at times quite angry at the theft. But Christ does not want us to get angry, but to get fixing, and start with ourselves.

  1. Fr. Ray Blake: Thank you again Fr Hugh, your accounts have been invaluable for those us unable to the conference.

The real issue here, with the Missal, is the same as with the Council itself: how should it be read?

 It is either in the hermeneutic of ‘rupture’: meaning forget what the documents themselves actually say, forget what scholarship says, forget what the competent authorities say, or else it is ‘continuity’, which means a return to a strict reading of the text, listening to what scholars are saying, and listening to competent authorities.

In this skirmish the whole battle of the VII is being played out, including the rather shameful and not quite truthful bullying by the advocates the hermeneutic of rupture of those who uphold the hermeneutic of continuity.

 

 

 

My personal fear is that despite what the texts clearly say and is open to everyone to read, that some ‘experts’ really hold an arcane truth revealed only to them, it is really about de-democratising the Church, and placing control into the hands of an elite and arcane oligarchy, who despite clear evidence insist they alone have authority to make a ‘correct’ interpretation.

This is not just about the preference of the priest as Cardinal Nichols suggests, it is about how we read and implement the Church’s teaching. In the case of Cardinal Nichols email to his clergy it also seems about arrogating a power to himself that properly belongs to priests.

  1. Fr. Hugh: Thank you Father for taking the time to comment. Your own comments on things are not far from my attention.

Perhaps underlying, or is it coinciding with the clash of hermeneutics is a clash of authorities. So many bishops and priests forcibly devolved to themselves authority not properly theirs (over liturgy for example) in the wake of Vatican II. Disguising itself as democracy and “hearing the voice of the laity”, it cajoled the docile and obedient laity into accepting their authority as the real one, especially when so little was done to oppose it for so long. Now that the laity, armed with the internet among other things, have been able to source the facts for themselves they shifting their allegiance back to where it properly belongs, not least to tradition and continuity. That this is happening among the young and early middle aged is especially frightening to those who benefit from the status quo, that oligarchy you speak of. So now they snatch authority from below as well, denying faithful clergy inconvenient “options” and writing off active and educated laity as troublemakers, and the younger ones as young fogeys.

It does all rather look desperate. Perhaps we are getting somewhere.

  1. I’m certainly not a “basher” of Pope Francis, but I find it curious that a cardinal, one who has endeared himself to so many Catholics who desire more reverence, orthodoxy and orthopraxy, and at least an eye toward more traditional ways, has his comments “clarified” by the Vatican quite quickly. Yet, when other certain cardinals and bishops make convoluted “off the cuff” comments, Vatican clarification is noticeably, and perplexingly, lacking.

 

 

More deception in the war on Card. Sarah

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2016/07/more-deception-in-the-war-on-card-sarah/

Posted on 12 July 2016 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf All emphases theirs; Fr. Zuhlsdorf’s comments in red colour.

Speaking at a liturgy conference in London, Card. Sarah, clearly not acting in his role as Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, made a personal appeal to priests to say Mass ad orientem and the world is coming down on his head.

Sarah’s unofficial appeal prompted a quick official response from the local Archbishop of Westminster, Card. Nichols as well as a clarification from Jesuit spokesman at the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Lombardi (which may have been the last official thing he did there [UPDATE: Greg Burke takes over on 1 August.]) via a communique replete with problems.

For example, Fr. Lombardi wrote (I include the typos in the original English version released):

Pope Francis, for his part, on the occasion of his visit to the Dicastery for Divine Worship, expressly mentioned that the “ordinary” form of the celebration of the Mass is that expressed in the Missal promulgated by Paul VI, while the “extraordinary” form, which was permitted by by Pope Benedict XVI for the purposes and in the ways explained in his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificium, must not take the place of the “ordinary” one.

That was Lombardi.

Now look at what Fr. Thomas Rosica, hyper-visible when events at the Holy See require additional English language spin, added to the Press Office communique in a daily news summary blurb which he sends out to newsies, et al.

Fr Lombardi notes that Pope Francis made this view clear to Cardinal Sarah during a recent audience, stressing that the ‘Ordinary’ form of the celebration of Mass is the one laid down in the Missal promulgated by Paul VI, while the ‘Extraordinary’ form, permitted in certain specific cases by Pope Benedict XVI, should not be seen as replacing the ‘Ordinary’ form.

There is a problem in the communique itself and a worse problem in Rosica’s spin of the communique.

Regarding the communique itself, in the Letter which Benedict XVI sent out with Summorum Pontificum, we read: “As for the use of the 1962 Missal as a Forma extraordinaria of the liturgy of the Mass, I would like to draw attention to the fact that this Missal was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted. At the time of the introduction of the new Missal, it did not seem necessary to issue specific norms for the possible use of the earlier Missal.”

Note that “in principle”, or perhaps better “de iure”. “De facto”, however, because of the fury of hell that bishops would rain down on priests who dared to say Mass in the way it was said for centuries, priests needed permission.  They didn’t need it legally. They needed it practically.

On the other hand, while it is true that the communique points out that in Summorum Pontificum Pope Benedict laid out criteria for the celebration of Holy Mass in the traditional form, what Rosica did with that little interpolation “in certain specific cases” was to make Summorum Pontificum itself seem more restrictive than it is. In fact, the “certain specific cases” mentioned by Rosica are, as it turns out from a reading of Summorum Pontificum, pretty much whenever and wherever any priest whosoever wants to say the older form of Mass.

I wonder if anyone in the Holy See Press Office has ever read Summorum Pontificum and Benedict’s Letter. I wonder if anyone there read the whole of Card. Sarah’s address in London.

Think about this. Rosica’s interpolation “in certain specific cases” applies also to the Novus Ordo.

 

 

 

Can. 932. 1 says that Mass is to be in a sacred place unless necessity requires that it be said somewhere else, and in that case it must be a suitable place. That means just about anywhere where Catholic sensibilities aren’t horrified.  GIRM 288 says Mass can be in a “respectable place”. Can. 933 says that a bishop can permit that Mass be said in a non-Catholic church. The law also says when Mass can be said and who can say Mass. It also says that the language of Mass in the Roman Rite is LATIN. All of this is to say that there are certain conditions laid down for the celebration of Mass in either Form.

Also, if memory serves, this isn’t the first time that Fr. Rosica seems to have added extra material when reporting.  During the Synod on the Family, he was called out for doing just that. HERE

Finally, Fr. Lombardi’s press communique concluded

“All this was expressly agreed during a recent audience given by the pope to the said Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.”

How did Rosica frame that in his daily blurb?

Fr Lombardi notes that Pope Francis made this view clear to Cardinal Sarah during a recent audience…

See what he did there?

Friends, as this develops, keep your eyes open.  What is going on here is important for more than just a liturgical motive… as if that weren’t important enough by itself! We are our Rites! This has to do with the status quaestionis of our Holy Church’s leadership and what course is being plotted. This underscores the tremendous division which yawns ever wider.

 

9 of 53 responses

  1. Cardinal Burke is defenestrated, Cardinal Müller gets the silent treatment, Cardinal Pell is bound and gagged, and Cardinal Sarah has a bag tied over his head. Am I paranoid or is there a pattern here?
  2. Interesting, isn’t it, that Cardinal Sarah doesn’t say anything about celebrating the Extraordinary Form; on the contrary, he’s suggesting celebrating the Ordinary Form in a way that’s perfectly licit. So why are Frs. Lombardi and Rosica talking about the Extraordinary Form? Do they not understand, or are they hoping that we don’t? [The answer to that is, “Yes.”]
  3. While the extraordinary form is celebrated ad orientem, celebrating the Novus ordo ad orientem does not make it extra ordinary.
    Even if the proclamation were made to require all Novus ordo Masses be celebrated ad orientem, I am sure the leftist would rest easy that they can keep their other liturgical messes, praise and worship music, extra ordinary ministers. They fear the ad orientem worship because they know if we are forced to face the Lord that it will not be long before those other abuses they love so much also begin to unravel. It is far easier to disrespect someone when you are not facing them.
  4. They are afraid that our children might discover the real Catholic faith, our patrimony that has been denied to the last several generations. They are afraid that Catholics might start to remember who they are and what they are supposed to believe. They are afraid that the laity will remember the faith of our fathers, the faith which says that there is one God, not many pretty-much-the-same gods, the faith which says that there is a heaven and a hell and that we will all end up in one of them, the faith which says that only those in a state of grace may receive Communion, the faith which says that adultery is always and everywhere seriously wrong, the faith which says that any and all sexual activity outside of the valid marriage of one man and one woman is mortal sin, the faith which says that the coveted sacrament of “gay marriage” is an abomination before God.

These people are afraid that if the laity, who have been unjustly robbed of our birthright, discover the unvarnished Catholic faith that the dissident stranglehold on the Church will be over. They are right to be scared. Catholics who have found the real faith are reproducing enthusiastically and teaching a new generation the beauty of the real Catholic faith.

Pope Benedict threw the Church a lifeline with SP, and many of us are seizing it.

  1. Pope Francis offers a hugely confusing off the cuff remark, and we are to know that the confusion is ours, but all is well. Cardinal Burke or Cardinal Sarah make clear and well-reasoned public statements, and they are almost immediately negated. Sure, nothing to see here, move along.
    A great battle is in progress. Whether it will become THE great battle we cannot know. But to simply accept the pronouncements from Lombardi and his ilk will lead to the wide gate, not the narrow.
  2. A good and holy Cardinal suggests that priests should if circumstances allow offer the NO mass ad orientem, which is perfectly licit. He is immediately corrected by the Vatican spokesman and a fellow Cardinal (Nichols) and given an immediate audience by the Pope a few days after his most gracious speech to get a talking to. Again, he did nothing wrong, his words are within canon law.
    More than 12 months have gone by since a Belgian Bishop (Bonny) and a German Bishop (Bode?) stated publicly that the Church should bless/recognize same sex relationships, which is against church law, and not a word of public correction by a Vatican spokesperson ( can’t say man anymore) or correction by the Pope.
    It is really heartening to this lay simple Catholic to see the present hierarchy has its priorities right, immediate correction for a holy shepherd suggesting a method to return to reverence at Mass, but no correction for those bishops publicly teaching heresy. I get it, I get the agenda now.
    As for Fr Rosica…don’t get me started, charity prohibits me from writing what I think.
  3. “Fr Lombardi notes that Pope Francis made this view clear to Cardinal Sarah during a recent audience”.

 

 

 

 

Since no one involved in this discussion, including Cardinal Sarah, has publicly suggested any question regarding “this view” (of the relation between OF and EF), one inevitably doubts the veracity of the assertion that Pope Francis felt any such unaccustomed need for clarity in this one matter. Let us hope that Greg Burke can restore both clarity and veracity to the Holy See Press Office, which has suffered so grievously from the lack of both in the last two or three years.

  1. Frs. Lombardi and Rosica seems to be confused or they or deliberately mixing things up. Cardinal Sarah suggested ad orientem for the New Mass, and said nothing explicitly or implicitly to slight the Rite of Paul VI. I worry that there is somehow a hope among some Vatican officials that Summorum Pontificum could be further restricted or abbreviated. There are too many places where a diocesan Mass of All Time is impossible to find. The FSSP or ICKSP have great priests, but they cannot make up for a deliberate reluctance by too many bishops to give access to the Mass of All Time. It might be a personal conspiracy theory of sorts, but one possible reason for trying to get full Communion with the SSPX, is that their widespread chapel provision would make it even easier for bishops to ignore Summorum Pontificum. The priestly societies could be a sort of Trad reservation.

[I have maintained for years that the true effect of the gravitational pull of the Traditional Roman Rite will not truly be felt in all its potential until diocesan priests take up the call. That means that they will need LAY PEOPLE more than ever to support them.]

  1. You can do the hokey-pokey
    You can turn yourself around
    You can say, “All’s okeydokey
    I was lost but now am found.”

 

You can Tango at the Masses
With your LGBT group.
You can even bring your doggies
And your scooper for their poop.

 

You know they’re doing wrong
And they’re preaching what’s not true
But you’re their captured audience
Just sitting in their pew.

 

Yes, you are an audience
A group, not separate souls
The crowd who roars for these men
In narcissistic roles.

 

While down-a-road there are young men
Real Roman Catholic Priests
They have no ticket box office
Like smelly greasepaint beasts.

 

The Producer sent a Director
Who rehearsed them dusk to dawn…
Say Mass without strife, daily lay down their life
For they know that “The show must go on!!”

 

 

Card. Nichols’ Letter to priests, reacting to Card. Sarah’s ‘ad orientem’ appeal

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2016/07/card-nichols-letter-to-priests-reacting-to-card-sarahs-ad-orientem-appeal/

Posted on 13 July 2016 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf All emphases theirs; Fr. Zuhlsdorf’s comments in red colour.

I was sent the text of the official letter that His Eminence Vincent Card. Nichols sent to the priests of the Archdiocese of Westminster as a reaction to the unofficial, personal appeal made by Robert Card. Sarah, Prefect of the CDW, to priests to say Holy Mass ad orientem.

Here is Card. Nichols, with my emphases and comments:

In response to a number of enquiries, in the light of Cardinal Sarah’s recent personal comments, I take this opportunity of reminding all priests of the importance of ensuring that every celebration of the Liturgy is carried out with all possible dignity. Whether the celebration of the Mass is simple or elaborate, it should always be characterised by that dignity which helps to raise our minds and hearts to God and which avoids distracting confusion or inappropriate informality. [Who would disagree with this? However, I double-checked Card. Sarah’s talk.  Unless I missed it, Sarah did not speak about dignity or informality.]

I also remind our priests that the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, approved by the highest authority in the Church, states in paragraph 299 that ‘The altar should be built apart from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible. [His Eminence cites a widely circulated but inaccurate translation of GIRM 299. We’ve been over and over this ground.]

 

 

The altar should, moreover, be so placed as to be truly the centre toward which the attention of the whole congregation of the faithful naturally turns. The altar is usually fixed and is dedicated.’

A clarification from the CDW in September 2000 addressed the question as to whether GIRM 299 excludes the possibility of celebrating Mass ‘versus absidem’ (i.e. ‘eastward’ facing), and confirmed that it does not. [That same CDW clarification also explained the Latin of 299.] But it also ‘reaffirms that the position towards the assembly seems more convenient inasmuch as it makes communication easier’. [“Communication” of what?] Thus the expectations expressed in GIRM 299 remain in force whenever the Ordinary Form of Mass is celebrated.  [This is a false conclusion. More, below.]

Finally, may I emphasise that the celebration of the Church’s Liturgy is not a place in which priests are to exercise personal preference or taste. [His Eminence is right, of course.  However, Card. Sarah’s appeal was based on a great deal more than taste or preference.  To reduce this to a question of “taste” is a disservice to the serious issue of our worship and our identity.] As the last paragraph of the GIRM states so clearly, ‘The Roman Missal, though in a diversity of languages and with some variety of customs, must in the future be safeguarded as an instrument and an outstanding sign of the integrity and unity of the Roman Rite’ (399).

+Cardinal Vincent Nichols

Archbishop of Westminster

 

On the conclusion the Cardinal makes about versus populum being the “expected” orientation in the Ordinary Form….

With due respect to His Eminence, no.  That’s not right.

A consultation of the Latin edition of the Missale Romanum (which is the normative text) shows that, many times in the GIRM, the priest is described as “versus ad populum… having turned to the people”.  Elsewhere, he is described as “ad medium altare deinde reversus … then having turned back again to the middle of the altar”.

This description of the priest as turning back and forth between altar and people occurs again and again in the GIRM.  Have a look (e.g., 24, 146, 154, 157, 158, and 165; and also look at 181, 185, 243, 244, 257, 268).

This same description (prescription, actually) of the priest turning to the people and then back to the altar is found, for merely one example, at the time of the “Ecce Agnus Dei” at 132 in the Ordo Missae in the Missale Romanum.  The priest is described as “versus ad populum“, which presumes that he wasn’t “turned to the people” before.  After the people respond with their “Domine, non sum dignus“, the priest is described as “versus ad altare… “.   “133. Et sacerdos, versus ad altare, secreto dicit… And the priest, having turned to the altar, says quietly…”

The priest (sometimes the deacon) is repeatedly described at turning to the people and then turning back to the altar.

So, no, the GIRM does NOT favor versus populum celebration of the Ordinary Form.

But you have to have recourse to the Latin to see that.

 

4 of 30 responses

  1. Finally, may I emphasise that the celebration of the Church’s Liturgy is not a place in which priests are to exercise personal preference or taste.

Really? The majority of priests in the places I have lived have been doing nothing but that for as long as I can remember.

  1. I find it absolutely amazing that people find the GIRM when their perceived notion of what is right and wrong at the Mass is violated. I find it even more amazing when they translate the paragraph improperly to suit their need.

I find it even worse that they ignore all the other articles such as GIRM 41 about Gregorian Chant and Sacred Polyphony for instance.

Oh, if only people were so passionate about every article of the GIRM, how much better our liturgy would be. I am now eagerly awaiting the first Bishop to make the suggestion that all of their parish churches will start having Mass ad orientem starting on advent, or at least, giving their Priests the option with their support. Blessed will be that day.

  1. Out of curiosity, I checked official Polish translation of GIRM 299. The text is unambiguous in that what is desirable is the placement of the altar.

[That’s interesting. Could you send that to me? Use the contact form at the top of the blog.]

  1. I look at it this way. When, on Yom Kippur, the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies to offer sacrifice and incense in the presence of the Lord, do you suppose he ever turned his back on the Ark? No? Neither do I.

 

 

Vatican rejects Cardinal Sarah’s ad orientem appeal

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2016/07/12/vatican-rejects-cardinal-sarahs-ad-orientem-appeal/

July 12, 2016

Pope Francis met Cardinal Sarah to indicate that no liturgical directives will begin in Advent, according to Vatican spokesman

Pope Francis has made it clear that no new liturgical directives will be introduced for Advent, according to the Vatican spokesman.

Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, urged priests and bishops at the Sacra Liturgia conference in London on July 5 to start celebrating Masses ad orientem, or facing away from the congregation, beginning on the first Sunday of Advent this year.

 

 

 

However, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, issued a statement on July 11 indicating the Pope Francis met with Cardinal Sarah on July 9 to indicate no liturgical directives will begin in Advent.

“Cardinal Sarah is always rightly concerned with the dignity of the celebration of Mass, that it might adequately express an attachment of respect and adoration for the eucharistic mystery,” Fr Lombardi’s statement said.

“Some of his phrasing has been badly interpreted, as if he had announced new, different indications from those now given in liturgical norms and the words of the popes on celebration toward the people and the ordinary rite of the Mass,” the spokesman added.

He recalled that the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, which “remains fully in force,” indicated that the altar should be built away from the wall so “that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible.”

The statement also reminded people that when Pope Francis visited the offices of the congregation for divine worship, “he expressly recalled that the ‘ordinary’ form of the celebration of Mass is that foreseen by the missal promulgated by Paul VI,” and that the extraordinary form permitted by Benedict XVI “should not take the place of that ‘ordinary’ form.”

Fr Lombardi also said it would be better “to avoid the use of the expression ‘reform of the reform,’ referring to the liturgy, given that it’s sometimes the sources of misunderstandings.”

At the conference in London, Cardinal Sarah had asked that “wherever possible, with prudence and with the necessary catechesis, certainly, but also with a pastor’s confidence that this is something good for the church,” priests face east when celebrating the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Several liturgical experts said Cardinal Sarah does not have the authority to impose a change but is simply encouraging a practice that liturgical law already permits.

“I think he’s just encouraging as anyone can encourage, but because of his position, his encouragement carries more weight. He’s not changing the legislation at all; he’s just giving his opinion that he thinks this would help people to pray better,” Fr. Andrew Menke, associate director of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ divine worship office, told Catholic News Service on July 6.

Fr. Menke also said that as new editions of the Roman Missal are released, liturgical law is bound to shift, but he doubts anything would happen regarding the direction the priest faces, except perhaps more encouragement of “ad orientem” Masses in future missal editions.

Others agreed, saying neither bishops nor Cardinal Sarah have the right to force priests to celebrate Mass “facing East” until there is an official change to the missal, the official liturgical law.

Meanwhile in Britain, Cardinal Vincent Nichols has written to priests in his Westminster diocese discouraging them from celebrating Mass facing east.

He issued the message to clergy days after Cardinal Sarah spoke at the at the Sacra Liturgia conference.

 

 

What do they fear in facing East?

https://hughosb.wordpress.com/2016/07/13/what-do-they-fear-in-facing-east/

By Fr. Hugh Somerville-Knapman OSB, July 13, 2016

Meetings today, meetings tomorrow. The summary of the key teachings of Sacra Liturgia 2016 will have to wait another day. In the meantime it is hard not to wonder at the muted panic that seems to be spreading in some quarters at the prospect of a resurgence in ad orientem worship. Why such a need to stamp it out so quickly? What do they fear in facing God?

Are they afraid that people, having experienced ad orientem in their own churches might discover that it works far better for worship? Are they afraid people would come to love it, and prefer it? If so, why should that bother them? If it meant a more committed and satisfied congregation, that should surely be greeted with cheers. If it came to pass that the congregations increased in number, then surely we should dance for joy (non-liturgically!).

There are indications that this is not the deeper fear. The fact the Fr Lombardi quite incongruously introduced the topic of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (story immediately above) when “clarifying” Cardinal Sarah’s call to ad orientem suggests, to me at least, that this is their real fear. For them, facing east is inextricably associated with the old Mass. If people come to love their priest join them in facing God at the altar, they might also begin to look to the old Mass themselves. And maybe they might come to love it as well. Is this what they fear?

Is this also why Fr Lombardi felt the need to pour cold water (or was it acid?) on the very phrase “reform of the reform”? Would this, too, be a potential pathway to instilling anew a love of the old Mass?

If this suspicion is correct then there appear a few consequent points to consider.

  1. If people came to love the old Mass, then it is very odd that certain authorities would want to deny them that which would get them into church, bring them spiritual nourishment and increase their ecclesial participation. These things are all desirable in themselves, that is beyond question. So it must be the means to this end (this new evangelisation) they dislike. Why? Is it because the great project of post-conciliar reform as enacted (though not as mandated by the Council itself), and to which so many have committed themselves so wholeheartedly, might be found to have failed? If so, then advocacy of reform of the reform must be pursued with firm vigour but distinct and consistent charity towards those who find it too challenging. Dr. Stephen Bullivant’s paper showed that according to the measure the Council Fathers determined for the proposed liturgical reform, that reform as implemented has failed. That will be a tough pill to swallow for many, if they even try to swallow it.

 

 

  1. If this is true, and the expansion of the Extraordinary Form is the ultimate fear for these people, then surely they should count their losses, as it were, and give some ground to the reform of the reform. Perhaps the new reformers can make the new Mass work far better as worship, and bring people back to church. Ad orientem would be intrinsic to this reform. If they can effect a new Mass that people can actually love and come to, then this would surely dampen the cause of the Extraordinary Form. I have argued before that the Order of Mass(not properly a Missal as such) from 1964/65 is the closest thing to a Mass that matches the Council’s document, then surely that should be given a chance again. The fearful could then console themselves that, if it worked, their commitment to Vatican II will not have been in vain.
  2. Of course, if their deepest fear is that even the reform of the reform might not work sufficient magic on the new Mass, then the conclusion for many might be that there is no hope for the new Mass at all. The reform of the reform, and facing east in particular, will have only served to show definitively the inadequacy of the new Mass, and lead to the inescapable conclusion that the only way forward is a restoration of the pre-conciliar liturgy. Is it 1962 they really fear?
  3. In comment on a previous blog post Mark pointed out that among his friends, formed totally in the context of the post-conciliar reforms and having known nothing else, there are some who reject outright the idea of a return to the pre-conciliar liturgy and find the debate about liturgical orientation and reforming the reform to be arcane at best, even irrelevant in a world in which so many suffer poverty and violence: is this abstruse argumentation merely fiddling while the world burns? they ask. Coinciding with the crisis of liturgy has been a crisis of catechesis. It is not unfair to say that there are Catholics who know no better than the paltry fare they have been served up under the label of haute cuisine (or to apply Fr Cullinan’s image, those who have been only ever been served gruel presented as luxury). These people will need a gentle and patient re-catechesis if they are to have their eyes opened to the light. The fearful will rely on them being kept content with whatever they have been served up.

None of the above is presented as gospel or divinely-inspired revelation. They are an attempt to understand why facing east, and the reform of the reform in general, have generated such a knee-jerk reaction and made reactionaries out of liberals. It is really most intriguing.

 

 

GIRM warfare: Experts criticize Vatican’s quick dismissal of Cardinal Sarah’s call for Mass facing East

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/girm-warfare-vatican-quick-to-respond-to-chief-liturgists-comments-on-mass

By Claire Chretien, United Kingdom, July 18, 2016

Recent official statements from the Vatican and United States bishops’ conference on the Catholic Church’s chief liturgist Cardinal Robert Sarah’s call for priests to offer Mass facing the apse have been misleading, Catholic liturgists and experts say.

Earlier this month, Sarah spoke at a London conference on sacred liturgy and asked priests and bishops to offer Mass ad orientem — that is, facing the tabernacle with the congregation rather than facing the people. This is the manner in which Mass was offered historically until the post-Vatican II reforms.

In the same talk, Sarah lamented abuses of the liturgy “in recent decades” that elevate “personalities and human achievements … almost to the exclusion of God.” He also encouraged the faithful to receive Holy Communion kneeling and for the restoration of the use of sacred music like Gregorian Chant. Sarah has said on numerous occasions that Pope Francis has asked him to continue the liturgical work of Pope Benedict XVI.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi swiftly responded to Sarah’s remarks by issuing a statement warning that Sarah’s words were “incorrectly interpreted” “as if they were intended to announce new indications different to those given so far in the liturgical rules and in the words of the Pope regarding celebration facing the people and the ordinary rite of the Mass.”

 

The full official statement from the Vatican read:

It would appear opportune to offer clarification in the light of information circulated in the press after a conference held in London a few days ago by Cardinal Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. Cardinal Sarah has always been rightly concerned about the dignity of the celebration of Mass, so as to express appropriately the attitude of respect and adoration for the Eucharistic mystery. Some of his expressions have however been incorrectly interpreted, as if they were intended to announce new indications different to those given so far in the liturgical rules and in the words of the Pope regarding celebration facing the people and the ordinary rite of the Mass.

Therefore it is useful to remember that in the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani (General Instruction of the Roman Missal), which contains the norms relating to the Eucharistic celebration and is still in full force, paragraph no. 299 states that: “Altare extruatur a pariete seiunctum, ut facile circumiri et in eo celebratio versus populum peragi possit, quod expedit ubicumque possibile sit. Altare eum autem occupet locum , ut revera centrum sit ad quod totius congregationis fidelium attentio sponte convertatur” (“The altar should be built separate from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible. Moreover, the altar should occupy a place where it is truly the centre toward which the attention of the whole congregation of the faithful naturally turns”

Pope Francis, for his part, on the occasion of his visit to the Dicastery for Divine Worship, expressly mentioned that the “ordinary” form of the celebration of the Mass is that expressed in the Missal promulgated by Paul VI, while the “extraordinary” form, which was permitted by Pope Benedict XVI for the purposes and in the ways explained in his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, must not take the place of the “ordinary” one.

 

 

 

Therefore, new liturgical directives are not expected from next Advent, as some have incorrectly inferred from some of Cardinal Sarah’s words, and it is better to avoid using the expression “reform of the reform” with reference to the liturgy, given that it may at times give rise to error.

All the above was unanimously expressed during a recent audience granted by the Pope to the same Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

 

Lombardi’s statement and the similar statements of other clerics misrepresented the instructions in the GIRM, several liturgists said, and made irrelevant points unrelated to the matter at hand.

Father Hugh Somerville-Knapman, an Australian Benedictine monk and priest in England, wrote that the “propaganda of reaction” was evident in Lombardi’s and others’ responses to Sarah. “When far more informal and spontaneous exhortations come from Pope Francis’ mouth, the same people fall over themselves to apply the same to all and sundry,” Somerville-Knapman wrote. “Remember ‘Whom am I to judge?’ Yet [Cardinal] Sarah’s is to be dismissed as ‘unofficial’, and ‘opinion.’”

Liturgist and blogger Father John Zuhlsdorf wrote on his popular website that Father Thomas Rosica, another Vatican spokesman, further misconstrued reality by doubling down on Lombardi’s statements and implying irrelevantly and incorrectly that the Traditional Latin Mass may only be offered in “certain specific cases.” The Church’s law allows “pretty much whenever and wherever any priest whosoever wants to say the older form of Mass” to do so, Zuhlsdorf wrote.

 

‘Flawed English translation’ of GIRM contributes to confusion

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the archbishop of Westminster, made two “errors of judgement” in his recent letter to priests instructing them to ignore Sarah’s advice, Somerville-Knapman wrote. First, Nichols equated ad orientem with “personal preference or taste.” “To support this misjudgment he uses the flawed English translation of #299 of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal which asserts that Mass facing the people is ‘desirable,’” the monk continued. “However, this is not what the Latin (and thus normative and ‘official’) text of #299 says.”

The actual Latin of #299 of the GIRM does not imply that Mass should be celebrated facing the people rather than ad orientem, Somerville-Knapman wrote.

 

Zuhlsdorf echoed Somerville-Knapman’s statements on the Latin.

“The GIRM does NOT favor versus populum celebration of the Ordinary Form,” Zuhlsdorf wrote. “But you have to have recourse to the Latin to see that.”

Zuhlsdorf has explained on his blog* that the Latin in the GIRM indicates that it is desirable for the altar to be separated from the wall, not that it is desirable for Mass to be celebrated facing the people. *See further below

GIRM #299 is frequently translated as, “The altar should be built apart from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible.”

But according to Zuhlsdorf, a more proper and precise translation of the Latin would be, “The main altar should be built separated from the wall, which is useful wherever it is possible, so that it can be easily walked around and a celebration toward the people can be carried out.”

Thus, the GIRM seems to indicate that Mass facing the people is permissible, but not necessarily the norm.

“The Latin does not say that celebrations versus populum are desirable,” Zuhlsdorf maintains.  “It says that separation of the altar from the wall is desirable (or useful or fitting) wherever possible.”

 

U.S. Bishops’ Conference: Listen to Father Lombardi rather than Cardinal Sarah

The Committee on Divine Worship of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sent a letter to bishops on July 12 pointing to Lombardi’s statements on the matter as definitive.

“No changes to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal are expected at this time, nor is there a new mandate for the celebrant to face away from the assembly,” wrote Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli, committee chairman and head of the Paterson, New Jersey diocese.

Serratelli echoed the claim that GIRM 299 says it is desirable for priests offering Mass to face the people “whenever possible.”

However, Serratelli did acknowledge that in no way is Mass celebrated ad orientem prohibited and “there are rubrics within the Order of Mass which reflect the real possibility that the celebrant might be facing away from the assembly.” The Congregation for Divine Worship has clarified this on previous occasions, Serratelli conceded. “Although permitted, the decision whether or not to preside ad orientem should take into the consideration the physical configuration of the altar and sanctuary space, and, most especially, the pastoral welfare of the faith community being served,” Serratelli wrote. “Such an important decision should always be made with the supervision and guidance of the local bishop.”

 

Rubrics lay out clear instructions for celebrating Mass of Vatican II

Those who contend that ad orientem is “foreign to the new Mass and its Missal” have “clearly never read the rubrics,” Somerville-Knapman wrote. “The rubrics assume without thinking twice that the priest is, at the relevant times, facing East!”

 

 

 

The monk pointed to the following rubrics from the GIRM:

At the beginning of Mass— 1. “…while the Priest, facing the people, says…”

After the offertory— 29. “Standing at the middle of the altar, facing the people …”

At the Kiss of Peace— 127. “The Priest, turned towards the people …”

At the “Behold the Lamb of God…”— 132. “The Priest genuflects, takes the host and, holding it slightly above the paten or above the chalice, while facing the people, says aloud…”

At the priest’s Communion— 133. “The Priest, facing the altar, says quietly…”

For the Post-Communion prayer— 139. “Then, standing at the altar or at the chair and facing the people, with hands joined, the Priest says: Let us pray.”

Before the dismissal— 141. “Then the dismissal takes place. The Priest, facing the people and extending his hands, says: The Lord be with you…”

At the dismissal— 144. “Then the Deacon, or the Priest himself, with hands joined and facing the people, says: Go forth…”

 

“These constant reminders to the celebrant to face the people at the appropriate time only make sense if the priest’s default position for ritual action is not facing the people,” Somerville-Knapman continued. “The only time the rubrics feel the need to remind the celebrant to face the altar is at his own Communion, which follows immediately after his showing the sacred species to the people. Versus populum is clearly not the default position for the ritual action the Mass of Vatican II. Clearly, the Missal assumes the ancient and consistent logical position of facing God when talking to God, and reminding the priest (and this is new and sensible) to face the people when talking to them.”

Jeff Ostrowski, a Catholic organist and musician, dissected Lombardi’s statement piece by piece on the blog CC Watershed.

“Fr. Lombardi’s statement ‘clarifies’ that no new legislation on ad orientem will be released in Advent,” Ostrowski wrote. “My response would be, ‘That clarification is not needed because Cardinal Sarah said absolutely nothing — not one word — about new legislation coming in Advent.’”

“Fr. Lombardi’s statement ‘clarifies’ that Pope Francis ‘mentioned’ that the Extraordinary Form must not eradicate the Ordinary Form,” but no one is arguing that that could happen anytime soon, he wrote.

“Fr. Lombardi should have quoted the statement from the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship, which put an end to discussion on this point,” Ostrowski continued. “Cardinal Sarah’s congregation was responsible for creating the 2000 (2002) GIRM and they provide its definitive interpretation. On 10 April 2000, addressing this very question, the congregation stated: ‘This Dicastery [i.e. the Congregation for Divine Worship] wishes to state that Holy Mass may be celebrated versus populum or versus apsidem. Both positions are in accord with liturgical law; both are to be considered correct.’”

The dicastery’s statement also clarified, “It should be borne in mind that there is no preference expressed in the liturgical legislation for either position. As both positions enjoy the favor of law, legislation may not be invoked to say that one position or the other accords more closely with the mind of the Church.”

 

Those who decry close readings of law suddenly ‘strict rubricists’

“It is amazing to me that the Holy See Press Office suddenly has this ‘quick reaction force’ capability to dispel confusion when it arises,” Creative Minority Report blogger Patrick Archbold told LifeSiteNews, when “this capability has been conspicuously absent” during the past three years.

“Equally amazing is how those who daily decry the ‘Doctors of the Law’ have suddenly morphed into strict rubricists unwilling to brook even the slightest perceived deviation from the GIRM,” he continued. “This sudden reactionary rubricism seems limited only to false interpretations of the GIRM for anyone who has spent more than five minutes looking at the question understands that the ‘wherever possible’ of GIRM 299 applies to the placement of the altar and not the orientation of the priest… [and] the Vatican shows no signs of giving a hoot about any of the other daily violations of the GIRM so commonplace at the empty masses of today.”

It appears that Lombardi’s response to Sarah was among his last acts as a Vatican spokesman. Lombardi just retired and has been replaced by American journalist Greg Burke.

 

18 of 56 comments:

  1. The traditional position of the priest during Mass has always been facing the Tabernacle and certainly NOT facing the people. The priest LEADS the people in prayer towards GOD. Cardinal Sarah is so right. When the priest is facing the people the whole aspect is inwards and not outwards towards God.
  2. The priest isn’t necessarily facing the tabernacle. While it is nice when this occurs and certainly fitting, it isn’t a requirement of Ad Orientem worship.
  3. From the Office Reading (Breviary) July 10, Saint Ambrose said: You entered to confront your enemy, for you intended to renounce him to his face. You turned toward the east, for one who renounces the devil turns toward Christ and fixes his gaze directly on him.
  4. Let’s also talk about the other issue that Cardinal Sarah mentioned – Gregorian Chant. There are those of us who have squirmed and writhed in absolute agony at the ‘sop’ that is served up as music during Mass. We have had enough!
  5. I have always enjoyed the Gregorian Chant. After all, the church is supposed to be a solemn place and not a place for dancing, clapping, loud voices. You do that at parties, not at church. We only have 1 day a week, 1 hour in 7 days to celebrate Jesus Christ. Why can’t we just do that?

 

 

  1. As a convert to the faith, I have had a terrible feeling come over me when I hear hymns I sang in the protestant church of my youth being sung in the one holy Catholic Church.
  2. Interestingly, much of what has become “the norm” in the current means of celebrating the NO began as illicit innovation [e.g. versus populum, Communion in the hand, female altar servers, etc.]. Unfortunately, Rome–apparently unwilling to wield its authority when critically needed–has been allowing this sort of abuse since Paul VI. Francis, who does not even genuflect during Consecration, appears to be actively promoting further abuse of the Sacred rite and enlarging theological distance from the Sacrificial core of the Holy Mass.
  3. The priest now has to compete for attention with the choir who is entertaining everyone FROM NEXT TO THE ALTAR as well. Would that still be called the “Sanctuary”? Since there is no altar rail, it seems there is no boundary for the Sacred anymore (except in Eastern Rite church iconostasis (sp.?) screen architecture). But, I digress.
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with the choir loft in the back of our local church. In fact, it’s filled with parishioners goofing off, even as they are entertained during Mass.
    During the handshake of peace, I don’t even want to turn away from the Tabernacle to those behind me, for it is insulting our Lord. Jesus, the Lamb of God is “OUT”, and we are shaking each other’s hands . . . sad not recognize Him with reverence. I thought there was a (short-lived) suggestion or mandate about 10 years ago that encouraged people to shake hands before the Liturgy even began. Then the handshake was omitted after the Lord’s Prayer.
    What is so wrong about the priest facing the Tabernacle? Do any of them even have to wonder Who they are replacing with their attention? I hope they are hurting from prickly consciences! God bless Cardinal Sarah.
  4. The Vatican is full of Lutheran Liberals who’ve had their way for 50 years. They’ve destroyed the Church. Time to return to the fullness of the faith; both in doctrine and worship.
  5. “As the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, so will the Son of God return at the end of the world”. Ad Orientem means facing Jesus when He returns and not just facing EAST. I am pretty sure the writers of the GIRM had this in mind when they put in ‘ad orientem’. They were aware that not all altars could be built with an eastward facing altar.
  6. Cardinal Sarah is being attacked I.e. his words disregarded, pushed aside because he is one of the few prelates who are defending the true Teachings of the Church…yes under Francis it has tragically come to this. The overwhelming presence of the leftist agenda in many in Church roles including men like Fr Rosica is truly creating havoc for faithful Bishops priests and laity.
  7. “U.S. Bishops’ Conference: Listen to Father Lombardi rather than Cardinal Sarah:”
    Ah, a puny father has more authority than a Cardinal. I may as well listen to myself instead of the pope, alright?
  8. I wonder when this meeting between Pope Francis and Cardinal Sarah when they agreed actually took place. Was it before or after Cardinal Sarah’s speech in London?
    As to Cardinal Nichols reference to priests’ personal preferences this made me laugh. If only some priests would refrain from their bizarre innovations for the Ordinary Form but no doubt he was not thinking of them!
  9. Sometimes I wonder – our new pastor bows to the altar (or the people – not sure which) seemingly unaware that he’s offering his backside to Jesus in the tabernacle behind him when he goes to read the gospel… SAD!!!
  10. Father Lombardi quickly reacts to apparent confusion brought by Cardinal Sarah’s statement. How come there is no quick, or even slow, reaction from the Vatican to obvious confusion brought by Pope Francis’ AL? What is more damaging, confusion about a liturgical instruction or confusion about pastoral practices that undermine Catholic doctrine?
  11. Deacon Augustine: Can the CDW not write to Cardinal Nichols and remind him that Mass is not the place for him to impose his personal preferences on his priests and that both orientations are equally permissible in law?

The Church has suffered more than enough from liturgo-fascism without him adding his own foibles to the problems.

  1. “Ad Orientem” is a term selected to avoid saying the name of Jesus in mundane terms when discussing rubrics. There is no theological reason to face East. And there is no reason to face the audience either. Priests should face Jesus in the Tabernacle and the tabernacle should be on the altar front and center. For numerous centuries, basilicas, cathedrals and larger churches were built with several altars along the walls…so that priests (when there were a lot of them) could fulfill their obligation to say Mass daily. Facing East was never an issue. It is about facing Jesus; facing the tabernacle; facing the altar. Terms like “ad orientem” are often chosen as a term that everyone formerly understood. Look at ancient church architecture…facing East was never a factor. But again, there is no reason to face the audience, either.
  2. The apse toward the east was a deliberate thought in the design of churches for centuries. Was it insisted upon? No. Was the idea of the “liturgical east” also operative? Yes. The primary reason for this orientation is to articulate with our bodies the expectation of the return of the Lord. This is not inconsequential. The liturgy was and should remain the primary means of catechizing the Mystical Body of Christ — that means we are catechized most effectively through worship. The Mass, with the Divine Office, is a transformation of the day into prayer of praise, adoration, thanksgiving, anticipation. It involves encountering the Lord in a wide range of Holy Scripture each day, along with the Church Fathers, and the texts of Holy Mass — so often taken directly from those two sources, but from elsewhere too.
  3. LifeSiteNews: The decline of religious practice and belief among Catholics and other Christians since the 1960s has been catastrophic. That coincided with radical changes in the manner of worship of God that took place in parishes around the world. Those changes, for the most part, were not directed by the documents of Vatican II and in fact went against the directions of the Council fathers.

If you study Church teachings on the importance of the Mass, you will understand the importance of liturgy in the life of the Church and its impact on the world. If is far beyond the flippant view that is presented in your response.

 

 

 

All these earthly matters that you mention are, in some ways, directly connected to the worship or lack of worship to God and the living of faith or lack of faith of people in the world. You dismiss the influence and importance of the spiritual without understanding what the saints and popes of the past have written and taught about that importance. It is of far greater significance than you can imagine. –Steve Jalsevac

 

 

*GIRM 299 has been mistranslated

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2006/04/girm-299-has-been-mistranslated/

Posted on 28 April 2006 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

I had some mail and comments about my entry on the Latin of GIRM 299 and the English translation.

In one case I was asked by Paul B: “Just to play the devil’s advocate … (c)ouldn’t the ‘quod’ be taken, not as a neuter relative pronoun, ‘which’…, but as the conjunction ‘because’….  This would lend weight to the bishop’ BLS translation and give it more force for their ‘facing the people’ agenda.”

While I was pretty sure I had rendered it correctly (namely, that the quod referred to the whole thing that went before) I consulted Fr. Reginald Foster, OCD (Latin secretary to His Holiness in the Secretariat of State) about 299.  As I supposed, the quod refers to what goes before.  It is not “because”.  Look at the Latin again.

The Latin:
Altare maius exstruatur a pariete seiunctum, ut facile circumiri et in eo celebratio versus populum peragi possit, quod expedit ubicumque possibile sit.

The BLS translation (which is now the GIRM translation):
The altar should be built apart from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible. (Emphases added)

The problem with the GIRM translation is that it gives the impression that it is celebration versus populum which is desirable, rather than the separation of the altar from the wall.

My version:
The main altar should be built separated from the wall, which is useful wherever it is possible, so that it can be easily walked around and a celebration toward the people can be carried out.  (Emphases added)

The Latin does not say that celebrations versus populum are desirable. It says that separation of the altar from the wall is desirable (or useful or fitting) wherever possible. The ut clause explains how far the altar should be from the wall by way of explaining the reason for a separation from the wall. It should be far enough from the wall so that someone can walk around the altar so that if there should be celebration for Mass versus populum the priest will have room.

In other words, since “separated” could technically be only a single centimeter, the paragraph makes the distance a little more specific: far enough so that Mass can be celebrated versus populum. Furthermore, this separation from the wall is not obligatory. It is fitting or useful or desirable wherever it is possible. It is not obligatory. (Neither is celebration of Mass versus populum, obviously.)

There are any number of reasons why it might not be possible to separate an altar from the wall.  For example, it might be that the altar is of historic importance.  Maybe the architecture of the church is such that to change the altar would ruin the focus. It might be that there would not be adequate room in the sanctuary if the mensa (or table) of the altar was moved forward. Maybe in that place the decision was made to have celebrations of Mass ad orientem versus and not versus populum. All of these would be entirely adequate reasons. You can probably think of more reasons yourself.  Furthermore, there is no obligation to change an existing altar. This would apply more to new construction.

The official translation gives the impression that what 299 is asking for is celebration versus populum rather than separation of the altar “wherever it is possible”.  Read the GIRM translation again: The altar should be built apart from the wall, in such a way that it is possible to walk around it easily and that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible. (Emphases added)

Does the GIRM translation of 299 it not give you that impression as well?

 

111

Beyond Ad Orientem: First Gleanings from Sacra Liturgia 2016

https://hughosb.wordpress.com/2016/07/21/sacra-liturgia-2016-the-legacy/

By Fr. Hugh Somerville-Knapman OSB, July 21, 2016

The controversy that has been stirred up over Cardinal Sarah’s encouragement to priests to return to the traditional orientation at the altar during Mass has been fascinating, alarming, and perhaps ultimately necessary. It has provoked people on various sides to play their hands: unswerving loyalty to the status quo of liturgical reform, and a willingness to use an iron fist in a velvet glove to defend it; a commitment to reforming this reform to bring it more in line with the explicit intentions of the Council on which the status quo bases its legitimacy;  a rejection even of a reform of the reform and an overriding commitment to the pre-conciliar liturgy as liberated by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007; and, incredulity among a minority at this bickering over such a peripheral thing as liturgy —”people are starving”, etc. On the positive side, it has renewed a discussion into what Christian worship is all about, what is its focus and what are its essential principles. This has led some to make more concrete and definitive judgments on related issues on which they had not previously come to any firm and final decision.

 

 

However, Sacra Liturgia 2016 had three full days of talks beyond Cardinal Sarah’s controversial address. So to help further the effects and fruits of the conference, I propose to single out what struck me as particularly noteworthy and deserving of ongoing thought and application. These strike me as seeds that deserve the water of our attention, our study and prayer, and our action.

Cardinal Sarah’s call to reorient our worship to God has already been much discussed by me and a galaxy of others. Needless to say it is now effectively the emblem, or is it avatar (?), of Sacra Liturgia 2016.

Perhaps the next most significant contribution is one that has been largely overlooked and really merits further study. It comes from Dr. Stephen Bullivant, the young lay (and married) theologian at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. His paper’s title, Especially in Mission Territories (SC38)? New Evangelization and Liturgical (Reform of the) Reform, may well have deceived people into paying it inadequate attention. For it was not about the “missions”.

The thrust of his paper, and what really deserves further thought, is challenging. He noted that neo-evangelistic principles had motivated and shaped the conciliar liturgical reforms. As early as the 1940s churchmen were defining their parts of Europe as missionary lands, such was the decline in the practice of the faith. Missionary is here used in the third of the possible situations later described by Pope St John Paul II, namely a land with ancient Christian roots but now largely alienated from the faith, and so in need of re-evangelization, or as we now call it, a new evangelisation. By the 1960s this European self-definition as missionary was more firmly and widely held, especially as the cultural and social revolution of the 1960s took hold.

Given, said Dr. Bullivant, that the conciliar aim of promoting full and active participation in the liturgy was raised above all others, it was no wonder that the newly self-defined mission lands of Europe should seek for themselves the concessions made to the developing Church in the mission lands as traditionally understood, such as increased use of the vernacular language and music.

In fact, Dr. Bullivant maintains, this missionary self-understanding in Europe, even if only pragmatic rather than conscientious, shaped the liturgical reforms after the Council and made in its name. Thus the Mass was vastly simplified. The vernacular became the de facto norm, as did secular music and instrumentation which were now conveniently classified as vernacular. Though Dr. Bullivant did not say this, in this light it is hard not to see the post-conciliar liturgical reforms as based on a sleight of hand. But the ploy was no doubt well-intentioned: to get more people to Mass by allowing them to be more actively involved in the liturgical action.

As Dr. Bullivant pointed out, the tree of reform does not come out very well when judged by its fruits. Only 55.8% of cradle Catholics now identify as Catholic, and almost 38% of them have rejected religion entirely. The decline in Mass attendance is well documented and unrelenting. Where there is growth it is generally in places where there has been a return to traditional approaches to worship, not least to the pre-conciliar traditional Latin Mass. In other words, the only real and consistent growth has been among those groups which see the post-conciliar reforms as inadequate.

Dr. Bullivant’s conclusion is fresh and challenging. Given the Council’s overriding principle of full and active participation in the liturgy in order to reinvigorate a Church in decline in Europe and to support the growth of the Church in traditional missionary lands, and the fact that since the reforms there has been a consistent and significant decline in the numbers of Catholics even turning up, let alone participating; then this very same  conciliar principle mandates, even requires, a reform of the liturgical reform in order to render the liturgy effective in restoring full and active participation by as many Catholics as possible. In this view, the conciliar liturgical reforms having not met the goals set for them by the Council, it is time to express a more fundamental loyalty to the Council by reassessing the liturgical reforms made in its name in order to make them more fit for (the conciliar) purpose.

The unspoken question lurking like an elephant in the room must be confronted: how many bishops in England and Wales (and beyond) ready to obey the conciliar mandate and promote a reform of the ordinary form, or even the traditional extraordinary form? Some have shown themselves at least partly willing. Many others are most clearly not open to proceeding along these lines, perhaps seeing in such an approach an implicit admission of the failure of the post-conciliar liturgical reforms even when judged by conciliar standards.

Whether encouraging more Catholics back to Mass is achieved better by a reform of the reform or by the pre-conciliar Extraordinary Form is another, ongoing debate.

Either way what is being proposed is a fidelity to the Council that needs further articulation. After all, as Dr. Bullivant quoted Newman, we will look rather foolish standing here without the laity.

In part 2 the main insights of the remaining papers will be briefly described to spur even further your own researches and meditations.

 

 

 

Beyond Ad Orientem: Further Gleanings from Sacra Liturgia 2016

https://hughosb.wordpress.com/2016/07/29/beyond-ad-orientem-further-gleanings-from-sacra-liturgia-2016/

By Fr. Hugh Somerville-Knapman OSB, July 29, 2016

Having, in the first gleanings, looked at Dr. Bullivant’s small time bomb for the exegesis of the conciliar declaration on liturgy, it is time finally to extract the gems from the other talks at Sacra Liturgia 2016 in London a few weeks back.

This will be a light buffet not a banquet, a tasting menu not the full dishes. You can tell I am fasting today! Fuller details will be found in my series of posts from Sacra Liturgia in this blog.

 

Dom Alcuin Reid‘s paper, which focused on the liturgical  debate on the Council floor, reminded us that the majority of bishops came to the Council expecting, indeed desiring, no more in the way of change than minimal things like readings the vernacular. Some were alarmed at the whispers of radical reform that were becoming louder. The mind of the Council regarding the liturgy will not be found in the proceedings of the Consilium which constructed the new liturgy but in the mouths of the Fathers who intervened on the Council floor. Dom Alcuin also noted that such concessions as had been conceded were later expanded into mandates for much wider and deeper reform. The permission to prune “useless repetitions”, for example, resulted in the removal of almost all repetitions, such as signs of the cross over the chalice and paten and kissings of the altar. This removed most of the small gestures that betoken love. Far from being a burden on the laity, these discreet priestly activities were perhaps being seen as a burden by a clergy become more and more imbued with the rationale spirit of the times. So gestures that could serve as tokens of love were ruthlessly culled. “The spirit of reductive minimalism was not a spirit of love but of sloth.”

 

Dom Charbel Pazat de Lys spoke on the public nature of the liturgy. The Eucharist was not given to the Twelve for their own nourishment and consolation, but for the whole Church to follow. This public aspect is invoked when the liturgy is done in the name of the Church, by designated ministers of the Church and following a ritual had on by the Church. But the modern mania for self-determination can often lead to self-designed liturgies that, being the expression of his personality, represent far more a “private Mass” than that of the priest offering the Mass solo but according to the mind of the Church. One upshot of a properly public Mass is that everyone should know his or her place and role within the ritual, a knowledge mediated by the regularity of the celebration of the Mass. When we know our place we feel a part of the action, not a lost and forlorn bystander to a Mass in which so much might have been changed as to leave the faithful unsure of what is happening and so also their proper place in relation to it.

 

Professor Peter Stephan gave us a pictorial and conceptual tour through the many renovations of St Hedwig’s cathedral in Berlin. Such a paper is not suited to this sort of summarising. However, he made some interesting general observations. The modern mania for modernist minimalism, he said, sends completely the wrong message to the world, one of conformity to the spirit of the time rather than a proclamation of the Church’s place and meaning in society. A church needs to be visible as the house of God in the midst of the people and so invite the believer and non-believer alike to come and see. A church barren of ornament, colour or image is hardly able to show forth the face of the Church and its faith to the visitor.

 

Dr. Jennifer Donelson who spoke around the low-Mass culture that did and does prevail in many places. In such a context the Catholic experiences the spoken word as privileged above the sung word, an experience alien to the origins of the Catholic liturgy. The Solemn Mass is marked by a balance between the sung word and silence. The Low Mass mentality also facilitated a culture of liturgical minimalism and of clerical manipulation of the liturgy, to the detriment of other ministers playing their proper role, of doing the minimum required and little more. An aversion to liturgical music and higher ceremonial is, she maintained, a sign of liturgical sloth. The priest’s singing the liturgy was the vocal equivalent of vesting, a diminution of the self and the putting on of Christ. In the spoken voice there is far more scope for the priest’s personality to intrude where it has no proper place.

 

Dr. Clare Hornsby gave a paper on the 15-century Council of Florence. Again a highly multimedia presentation, it is hard to summarise here. She focused on the role of the liturgy and its arts and ceremonies in the attempt to restore union between the eastern and western Churches. The liturgical arts could serve as powerful symbols and propaganda tools in Church politics.

 

Fr. Uwe Michael Lang spoke on the Tridentine liturgical reform. He noted recent challenges to the received historical judgment that medieval liturgy was corrupt and decadent, highly clericalised and with almost no lay involvement. Liturgical experience is not adequately conveyed by text alone, and the medieval liturgy would have conveyed various levels of meaning to the varying levels of society. He also noted challenges to the view that the Reformation was the inevitable result of the supposed decadence of the medieval Church. Despite high-level problems in the Church, at the grassroots its pastoral care of the faithful was effective and fruitful. Dr. Lang dwelt for a while on the desire at Trent to return to the practice of the “Fathers”, echoed as it was with Vatican II, noting that the equation of the Fathers with the patristic period is a modern phenomenon, and that at the time of Trent it was a broader period, including St Bernard. Thus the Tridentine reform was not seeking a return to an idealised liturgy of the early Church. The Tridentine reform of the Mass was not a reconstruction of the Mass, but its consolidation and standardisation as the common liturgy for the vast majority of the Western Church.

 

 

Bishop Alan Hopes spoken on the project to revise the anglophone Liturgy of the Hours.  In the proposed new Divine Office it is intended to produce the one text for all the 11 anglophone bishops’ conferences, rather than the various texts in use in different countries. Each conference could add a supplement or appendix which could encompass any necessary regional variations. It will use the revised Grail psalter and the RSV Catholic edition of the Bible. The intercessions at Lauds and Vespers are still being revise, though their litany quality will be restored. The hymns of the new Office will be retranslated in a way that is suitable to both recitation and singing, either metrically or in chant. This will involve the loss of rhyme in order to preserve the clarity of meaning. For the Office of Readings there is active consideration being given to a second cycle of readings throughout the year.

 

Dr. Joris Geldof gave a highly philosophical paper on the liturgy beyond the secular. No one individual, he said, lives 24/7 in a totally secular or totally sacred way. There is bound to be rupture, and thus the intrusion of the one into the other. The crisis of Catholicism in secular cultures requires a rethinking of the concept of the secular. Originally a time reference, denoting that which was temporal as opposed to eternal, it has come to take on a spatial dimension, and a rejection of any claim to transcendence of this world, and thus of sacredness. Liturgy can be seen as offering access to mystery in a secular world.  Christ is renewing time and space through the liturgy and the Church. He is not making new things, but rather making all things new. Thus the Church and its liturgy are not to be seen over and against the world, but in its midst to transform it.

 

 

Beyond Ad Orientem: Final Gleanings from Sacra Liturgia 2016

https://hughosb.wordpress.com/2016/07/29/beyond-ad-orientem-final-gleanings-from-sacra-liturgia-2016/

By Fr. Hugh Somerville-Knapman OSB, July 29, 2016

In the home stretch now, with the last set of nuggets from Sacra Liturgia 2016.

Rev. Professor Dr. Helmut Hoping spoke on the liturgy and the Trinity. He began by recalling the former status of liturgy as primary source of theological reflection, prima theologia, in which the priority is not so much speaking about God as to God. The mystery of God is studied in theology but is made present and worshipped in liturgy, especially in the Mass, which is the privileged place of encounter with the Blessed Trinity. Though it is addressed to the Father in the power of the Spirit, the Paschal Mystery of Christ holds sway, and Christ is addressed directly in the Kyrie, the midsection of the Gloria, the verses either side of the gospel proclamation and the Alleluia, and the Mysterium Fidei, at the Pax and at Communion. There is a need to embody this liturgical orientation to Christ as the subject of the liturgy, to express it in our physical attitude. The East is the symbolic direction of both Christ’s comings – at the Incarnation and at the parousia or Second Coming. In fact we can say that we offer the Eucharist in order to bring about the parousia. The few occasions prayer is addressed directly to Christ as Thou, it is to the eschatological Christ who is with the Father now and who will come again at the Last. Christ is not addressed as the one present on the altar or in the congregation, the Christ among us.

 

Rev. Dr. Michael Cullinan gave a moral theologian’s take on the liturgy. There is a grave moral significance to what people see and hear in church, in the liturgy. There is a social need for a recreated community/communion, yet this is only addressed in the brief space of the Sunday liturgy for most of us. But the liturgy builds communion and sanctifies time beyond the Sunday liturgy. Our Christian living in time is intimately related to this. Such things was fasting and abstinence are lived outside the time of the liturgy but are directed towards it. Also, the liturgy is art, and the Church’s art is liturgy. What Catholics see and hear at Mass is important to their moral lives. The modern depreciation of matter in art and architecture (such as in brutalist minimalism) has real moral effects. Art and architecture cannot be reduced to mere icing on the cake: delicious and sweet but hardly essential or nourishing. The laudable aim to use the materials simply at hand (as opposed to importing expensive foreign materials) is not the same as the far-from-admirable practice of using merely the cheapest materials that can possible be found. Noble simplicity is often counterfeited as ignoble simplicity. Doing the best we can never be equated with doing the least we can. In the liturgy the beauty of created things is offered back to God as worship. He noted the modern lectionary’s tendency to cut and paste scripture in such a way that the full force and effect of revelation is denied the congregation. He cited in particular the complete removal of St Paul’s teaching to the Corinthians about the proper disposition for receiving the Eucharist. It effectively ignores the moral/ethical dimension of our Eucharistic life. Moreover, for so many today the Sunday liturgy is their only access to moral teaching, and to an exposition of the Church of struggling Christians on earth and the Church in heaven of those who gloriously persevered. If in our churches we fail to teach the fullness of the faith, if we fail to give people an experience of the beauty of holiness and a foretaste of heaven, if we serve them gruel and not the true bread of heaven, then our liturgies are morally deficient.

 

Professor David Fagerberg spoke on the liturgy in relation to care for creation and the poor. He reminded us of symbolic temple topography applied to the Christian context: the sanctuary represents heaven, the nave is the Church, and the narthex is threshold into the world, a permeable membrane through which Christians are sent into the world and through which the world is invited to enter the Church and journey eastwards to the Holy of Holies in heaven. It is a powerful yet simple understanding of any proper church building. Cult, the worship conducted within the church, is the basis of culture, which is the high point of created matter. From the created world comes the stuff of sacrifice and worship, the bread and wine for Eucharist, the wax for light and the resins for incense, the pigments for sacred art and the metals for sacred plate. Liturgy is not some new world; it is the world renewed, and by it man is renewed and put in his proper cosmic location.

 

Liturgy should overflow the sanctuary, said the professor, to comfort the poor and honour creation. The Fall was the human attempt to move higher than our proper place by our own initiative and for our own ends; it is the failure to offer worship to God and the attempt to usurp his Throne. The liturgy puts us again in our proper place, under God, alongside our neighbour, and above creation, offering it back to God and ourselves with it. It comes down to order and placement, symmetry and proportion. It is, to put it another way, about hierarchy. Christ has established a hierarchy, an order of power and responsibility. We have a royal power from Christ to care for his creation, and a priestly power to offer creation back to him in all its beauty. Through this power man is to iconograph God not idolise himself. Conversion is the return to this order, putting the Other not the self at the centre. That is love, and love is liturgy. Liturgy is thus our participation in the restored order and hierarchy of creation.

 

Monsignor Andrew Burnham spoke on the Ordinariate’s liturgical books. A lot of it was historical and technical, but some elements strike me as germane. In the Ordinariate calendar there is a return to traditional nomenclature for particular times of the year: Sundays after Trinity as well as the ancient Rogation and Ember days, and the pre-Lent Gesima Sundays. The liturgical roots of the Ordinariate Use are mainly to be found in the Roman Missal rather than the BCP. There was a movement to revive the pre-Reformation Sarum Use but this failed despite Sarum’s having satisfied the doctrinal conditions; but it has not been a living liturgical tradition since 1549.

 

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone gave the closing address. He taught that in the realm of liturgy there was need for reconciliation. Many in the Church have tended to push the traditionally minded into the corners and peripheries of the life of the Church, into ghettos almost. Conversely, some of the traditionally minded can spurn all that is not according to their concept of tradition, living in a sort of quarantine, a self-manufactured ghetto. Those who seek the restoration of tradition in the liturgy and the “reform of the Reform” must recognise that such reforms cannot be rushed, nor imposed with a heavy hand, but must grow organically over time, and bringing the people with them not racing ahead of them. Those who pay attention to liturgical detail are not necessarily rubricists. The quality of our living will demonstrate that. Such attention to detail is, in fact, the mark of love, for we pay such close attention to detail only to those things we value, esteem and cherish. The little things are revelatory of love.  The little things become burdens only when they are not done with love.

 

 

Who’s afraid of ad orientem?

http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/07/whos-afraid-of-ad-orientem

By Christopher Ruddy, July 19, 2016

Cardinal Robert Sarah’s call on July 5th for a wider celebration of the Ordinary Form Mass ad orientem was predictably dead on arrival, given the lack of support from higher authority and most of the episcopate, as well as the widespread sense among clergy and laity that such orientation represents the priest’s turning his “back to the people” in a pre–Vatican II, clericalist manner.

The swiftness and vehemence, however, with which the Cardinal’s suggestion was rejected remains striking. The intensity of that rejection reveals much about liturgy, the reception of Vatican II, and the Church’s identity and purpose.

On Saturday, July 9th, Pope Francis received Cardinal Sarah in audience. On the following day, July 10th, Antonio Spadaro, S.J., editor of Civiltà Cattolica and papal confidant-interviewer, tweeted that the General Instruction for the Roman Missal (GIRM) dictates that the priest must face the congregation at various points during Mass. (Several commentators responded that such instructions presuppose that the priest is otherwise facing in the same direction—ad orientem—as the people.)

That same day, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, in whose diocese Cardinal Sarah had delivered his July 5th address, released a letter to his priests. After noting the importance of dignified liturgical celebration, he claimed that No. 299 of GIRM, which calls for a free-standing altar, holds that versus populum worship “is desirable wherever possible.” (Others have argued that the “desirable wherever possible” phrase pertains not to celebration versus populum, but to the existence of a free-standing altar.) He also warned his priests against a clericalism that would impose the celebrant’s “personal preference or taste” upon the liturgy.

And on the following day, July 11th, the Vatican Press Office Director, Federico Lombardi, S.J., issued a clarification regarding Cardinal Sarah’s original comments and recent papal audience. Father Lombardi reiterated the claim that GIRM No. 299 supports versus populum worship. Stating also that the expression “reform of the reform” should be avoided, he said that “new liturgical directives are not expected.” Pope Francis and Cardinal Sarah, he concluded, were “unanimous” in their agreement on these points. At that point, the Cardinal’s appeal had been totally rejected. The rebuttal was swift, decisive, and total.

These interventions—like other, more vehement responses in some quarters of the blogosphere—leave one with the impression that, as the Catechism says of the death penalty, ad orientem celebration should be “very rare, if not practically non-existent.” Why the lack of a catholic appreciation for legitimate liturgical diversity? No one can truthfully claim that the Ordinary Form prohibits ad orientem celebration. So, who’s afraid of ad orientem worship, and why?

The real issue, I believe, is not restorationism (which, ironically, was one of the mistaken reasons for the introduction of versus populum in the mid-twentieth century) or clericalism (this layman finds his Christian dignity and equality affirmed by ad orientem worship, which makes visible the solidarity of clergy and congregation, as well as the self-effacement of ordained ministers before the Lord). The real issue is much deeper: the Church’s identity in time and eternity. That identity touches on history, Vatican II and its reception, ecclesiology, and eschatology.

 

 

As the liturgical scholar John Baldovin, S.J. states in Reforming the Liturgy: A Response to its Critics, “historical honesty requires us to admit that the idea that the early liturgy was habitually celebrated versus populum was mistaken” (p. 112). There is a danger in relying too much on the work of specialists, be they theologians, historians, or exegetes. Sound scholarship is a gift to the Church’s life and mission. But the historical scholarship that seemed to justify versus populum worship has been largely debunked. (A similar pattern is at work in the creation of Eucharistic Prayer II and its purported connection to Hippolytus of Rome.)

These historical questions lead to conciliar ones: What is the relationship between Vatican II’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum concilium, and its post-conciliar implementation? Sacrosanctum concilium, after all, says nothing about liturgical orientation. Is it possible to acknowledge specifically, beyond a bland admission that “mistakes were made,” that the post-conciliar liturgical renewal—like most efforts at reform—has had its successes and failures? How does one reconcile the extremely broad consensus behind Sacrosanctum concilium and the divisiveness that has marked its implementation? Ad orientem worship thus raises the perennially contentious matter of conciliar hermeneutics.

Given these historical and conciliar questions, ecclesiology comes to the fore: How could such consistency of liturgical orientation over nearly two millennia be changed so quickly by curial-papal decision? Sacrosanctum concilium was approved on December 4, 1963; the Consilium responsible for implementing the conciliar liturgical renewal was established on January 25, 1964; and the Congregation of Rites’ Instruction Inter oecumenici, the first magisterial document to speak of versus populum celebration, was published with papal approval on September 26, 1964, to go into effect on the First Sunday of Lent, March 7, 1965. That’s light-speed for a Rome proverbially accustomed to thinking and acting in terms of centuries.

In his Vatican II diaries, the French Dominican Yves Congar criticized the preparatory conciliar drafts for their papal-centrism and magisterial positivism: Their source, he notes, is always “the Church” [i.e. the hierarchy] and especially “the popes,” rather than scripture and tradition. The controversy surrounding Cardinal Sarah’s address indicates a similar contemporary need for a more profound ressourcement. To what extent are we stewards and/or owners of tradition, and to what extent do Catholic magisterial practices help and/or hinder the Church’s life and tradition? Fidelity to the apostolic tradition does not mean stasis, but it does require a profound continuity—particularly with regard to the Church’s most precious gifts, its liturgy and sacraments. One might ask whether the Orthodox Churches would ever reform their liturgies with such rapidity and radicality.

Finally, ad orientem worship raises the issue of the Church’s relationship to its past, present, and future, to its identity across time. Despite Vatican II’s conviction that believers’ commitments as citizens of both the heavenly and earthly cities ought to be mutually reinforcing (e.g., Gaudium et spes, No. 43), we have witnessed a diminishment of the Church’s eschatological awareness. A minor, but telling, example is the title of Chapter VII of Lumen gentium. The Flannery translation, the most commonly used, renders that title as “The Pilgrim Church.” The Vatican website’s translation renders it, more faithfully, as “The Eschatological Nature of the Pilgrim Church and Its Union with the Church in Heaven.” The rejection or marginalization of ad orientem worship feeds this “presentism” and the concomitant eschatological deficit. I am convinced that a significant reason for opposition to ad orientem worship is the sense that it pulls believers away from each other and the “real world,” that it is “churchy” and self-referential. There are, however, few more visible means than ad orientem worship for connecting the Church to its past and future, bodily orienting it in solidarity to its Lord, and thereby contributing to a renewal of the Church’s mission in the world.

If, as Father Baldovin notes (following the Congregation for Divine Worship), the sine qua non in these matters is worshippers’ orientation to the Lord—whether ad orientem or versus populum—why have we seen such restrictiveness? Cardinal Sarah’s address has opened a necessary conversation. Let’s hope for an ever more catholic reply.

Christopher Ruddy is associate professor of historical and systematic theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

 

7 of 49 comments

  1. For those who are commenting that this is a non-issue, I recommend that you direct those remarks toward Fr. Lombardi and the Roman Curia. For Cardinal Sara to recommend a theologically-rich liturgical element is absolutely normal…that’s his job as liturgy prefect. For the backlash to be so quick, far-reaching, and extreme…well, it makes you wonder. If liturgy is so important to the leadership of the Catholic Church, why can’t they trust their own liturgy prefect to make recommendations?
  2. I actually wouldn’t mind an AD Orientem worship. The priest “turning his back on me” during the consecration is a very good and appropriate symbol, because this is no longer about me (or even us). Something more important than “us” is about to happen, now is the time for us to humble ourselves before God.
  3. This piece is well done. I would only add that if it’s really true that opponents of ad orientem worship think that it’s churchy and self-referential, well, that’s pretty ironic. I interpreted that to mean that, according to the objection against ad orientem worship, the community–the church–is focused in on itself. And I was suggesting that if anything here involves the community being focused in on itself, it would be the community members looking at each other–not all of them looking at something beyond. If we’re all looking at each other, what could be more self-referential than that? The beauty of ad orientem worship, in the very few times I’ve been able to experience it, consists largely in the fact that priest and people make eye contact only when they are talking to each other, during the dialogues. When they are all talking to God, the priest turns so that they are all facing in the same direction, which eliminates a huge distraction and simultaneously gives a profound embodiment to the prayer: when we are all talking to God together, we all face the same direction.

 

 

I consider it quite right for priest and people to look at one another when they are talking to one another. But I do see it as problematic for priest and people to look at one another when they are not talking to one another–it’s a distraction. I remember once, long ago, realizing that the priest was actually making eye contact with me while he was saying, “Looking up to you, his almighty Father….”

  1. Have you ever experienced a round church? The eye goes past the center stage table to the people across from you; it can’t be helped.
  2. Facing the people and using the vernacular gave us the illusion that we were evangelizing, that we were carrying out the mission of Lumen Gentium. But we weren’t. When the Jesuits showed up in S. America 450 years ago they celebrated the Tridentine Mass. They were successful because they went out and preached to the people. To me that is the good and most challenging message of Pope Francis. We need to go out to the pagans in the world and proclaim the good news. The liturgy is for those who have already been converted. I have been a priest for 18 years. I started “Ad Orientem” November 1. But I still need to go across the street and share the gospel with my unchurched neighbors.
  3. The significant thing about versus populi liturgy is not that the priest faces the people, but that the people face the priest. He is the focus of the liturgy, as many a modern cleric clearly believes.
  4. To a priest who wrote in, preferring versus populi:

In most (if not all) parishes I have attended the tabernacle is behind the priest for the entire Mass, except of course when he is opening it to remove hosts or closing it after placing hosts in it (though I have seen priests who don’t even do that, they delegate that to a server). Assuming your experiences are similar, then it would mean you have no problem with turning your back to God, but you do have a problem with turning your back to His creation. As I said, interesting. Of course all this talk of turning your back to the people was unheard of prior to the middle of the last century. Nobody thought of it in that way. Leaders do just that, they lead. That means that often times they have their backs to us as we follow them to wherever they are leading us. I doubt Moses walked backwards as he led his people to the Promised Land. Of course, in the end, ad orientem means that for all of about 5 minutes the priest faces away from the congregation and toward the sunrise. Is that really so awful? Even if it’s 10 minutes, is it really so awful?

I’m curious, Father. As a parish priest, have you ever led Rosaries in the church? If so, did you face the people, or face the tabernacle? Have you led Eucharistic adoration? If so, did you face the monstrance, or the people?

 

 

Facing East and other thoughts

http://catholicinsight.com/facing-east-and-other-thoughts/

July 22, 2016

As I have mentioned previously, Cardinal Sarah, the head of the Congregation of Divine Worship (so the highest authority in these matters besides the Pope himself) has asked for priests to return to the ad orientem mode of saying Mass, worshiping ‘with the people’, facing the ‘East’ and the return of Christ, as was done for millennia prior to the revision after the Second Vatican Council. As the article by Christopher Ruddy (above) in First Things makes clear, sadly, the Cardinal’s suggestion has been quickly shot down by the highest authorities in Rome, for reasons that are not made so clear. I think Ruddy is correct, that we have lost much of the eschatological, eternal orientation of the pilgrim Church. It is all about here and now, our feelings, the immediate payoff, charisma and personality. Hence, also , the rejection of meditative ‘other worldly’ Gregorian chant, polyphony, splendid vestments, clear and direct sermons that challenge one to perfection and so on. We are way too absorbed in clappy-hands, guitars, emotive ballads, inclusivity and feelin’ good.

I hope that the good Cardinal Sarah’s sober words, which go far beyond ad orientem , into the very nature of what it means to be and to worship as a Church, have influence beyond the ‘here and now’. May they seep into hearts that are perhaps a little too focused on fruit that does not last.

 

 

Dismissing Cardinal Sarah’s advice – imagine if the laity did it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zFMuheq81g 4:39 JOHN-HENRY WESTEN VIDEO

July 22, 2016

Laity must step into the ‘ad orientem’ liturgy battle
By LifeSiteNews’ editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen, July 21, 2016

You may have noticed that the battles within various churches over traditional worship seem to follow along the same lines as the culture wars. Essentially those Church leaders ready to worship God in traditional ways despite being regarded as out of step by the world are usually the same ones ready to stand against cultural pressure to weaken teaching on life and family matters. This is especially true in the Catholic Church.
Two weeks ago, Cardinal Robert Sarah’s encouragement of priests to face the tabernacle with the faithful during Mass and for the faithful to receive Holy Communion kneeling created quite the stir! The Vatican, which is famous for silence or ‘reacting in centuries’ in the face of some of the most severe scandals even concerning Cardinals, this time reacted with lightning speed.
The very next business day after Cardinal Sarah returned from his trip where he made his suggestion for traditional worship, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi put out a press release. The day after that the US Bishops Conference put out their own release referring to the Vatican telling priests, there is no “new mandate for the celebrant to face away from the assembly.”

 
Cardinal Sarah never said it was mandated mind you. He asked humbly for his brother priests and bishops to implement the practice suggesting Nov. 27 – which is Advent – as a possible start date. He didn’t insist on it, even though he is the Church’s chief liturgist.
Imagine if Catholics only did what we were mandated to do in the Church. How much poorer a church would we be if Catholics only attended Mass on Sundays which is the minimum mandate. What if we only went to confession once a year as we’re mandated. What if we only received Holy Communion once a year during the Easter season?
There would be no-one to flip pancakes and cook the bacon and sausages at those Church breakfasts, because there’s no mandate for that. Hey, there would be no breakfasts or church suppers at all! No fundraisers for the poor, no pot-lucks to benefit children’s charities and hospitals. There would be no Knights of Columbus or Catholic Women’s groups. The good ladies who volunteer with bake sales and taking care of vestments would vanish. Forget the prayer groups, the soup kitchens, the Catechism classes, and even Catholic schools.
No one is mandated to become a priest – so of course that would become a thing of the past.
We are all called to do things beyond what is mandated. We are called to be generous with Our Lord. So as we the faithful pledge to be generous with our gifts and talents in the service of the Church despite the stigma the world attaches to that, courageous priests and bishops have done the same and are willing to sacrifice the admiration of the world to honour Our Lord.
It’s up to the faithful to encourage their own priests and bishops to adopt Cardinal Sarah’s suggestions for liturgy. Some of their own brother priests and bishops who prefer the 70s style liturgy will likely look down on them for taking the step.
But we can encourage them with the words of the head of the Church’s congregation in charge of liturgy. Cardinal Sarah said, this practice should be implemented with “a pastor’s confidence that this is something good for the Church, something good for our people.”
“Dear Fathers,” he said, “we should listen again to the lament of God proclaimed by the prophet Jeremiah: “they have turned their back to me” (2:27). Let us turn again towards the Lord!”
One Bishop in France has already accepted Cardinal Sarah’s challenge.
French Bishop Dominique Rey, of the diocese of Fréjus-Toulon announced that he would celebrate Mass “ad orientem” at the last Sunday of Advent “and on other occasions where appropriate.” “Before Advent,” he added, “I shall address a letter to my priests and people on this question to explain my action. I shall encourage them to follow my example.”
May God bless you Bishop Rey! And may God bless all of you!

 

 

LATER INCLUSION

Cardinal Sarah’s Liturgical Earthquake

https://liturgyguy.com/2016/05/31/cardinal-sarahs-liturgical-earthquake/

May 31, 2016

As many readers of this blog are aware of by now, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments recently gave a groundbreaking interview on Catholic worship.  Speaking to the French magazine Famille Chretienne, Robert Cardinal Sarah held nothing back about the need for the Church to return to offering the Holy Mass ad orientem.  Rather than considering this simply to be a matter of preference, Cardinal Sarah sees it as nothing short of returning God to the center of the liturgy.

For decades many have been advocating for the return of this traditional orientation in the Mass.  After all, the rapid and widespread embrace of versus populum worship immediately following the Second Vatican Council had nothing to do with the documents themselves.  As even Cardinal Sarah notes in his interview:

“More than 50 years after the closure of Vatican II, it becomes urgent that we read these texts! The Council never required the celebration facing the people! This question is not even brought up by the Constitution [on the Sacred Liturgy]…”

Of course, others have made the very same observation in the past. So what’s different now? Is this really all that significant? I believe it is.

First, it’s important because of who is saying it. As the current prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Cardinal Sarah’s words carry with them an authority few others have.  When he speaks on matters of the liturgy, and does so with conviction, one would hope that his brother bishops would take note.

Secondly, Cardinal Sarah’s words represent a liturgical earthquake because they are as powerful as they are unambiguous. This has the potential to be a major turning point in the ongoing effort to recover a sense of the sacred in the Roman Rite. Reminding us that conversion is by definition a turning towards God, Cardinal Sarah states:

“I am profoundly convinced that our bodies must participate in this conversion. The best way is certainly to celebrate — priests and faithful — turned together in the same direction: toward the Lord who comes. It isn’t, as one hears sometimes, to celebrate with the back turned toward the faithful or facing them. That isn’t the problem. It’s to turn together toward the apse, which symbolizes the East, where the cross of the risen Lord is enthroned.”

He continues:

“By this manner of celebrating, we experience, even in our bodies, the primacy of God and of adoration. We understand that the liturgy is first our participation at the perfect sacrifice of the cross. I have personally had this experience: In celebrating thus, with the priest at its head, the assembly is almost physically drawn up by the mystery of the cross at the moment of the elevation.”

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, it’s been too easy in the past for bishops to dismiss the writings of Gamber, Lang, and even Ratzinger.  Not so when the words come from Rome.  At least one would hope not.  It would require a special kind of intransigence for bishops and priests to pretend that the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship didn’t say what he just said.

I have written previously about the influence and importance of worship in the formation and sanctification of the faithful. Lex orandi, lex credendi. This is what Cardinal Sarah is telling us as well. This is why he is not speaking of preferences, but rather of the “best way…to celebrate” the Holy Mass.

Please note that.  Cardinal Sarah is instructing the priests and bishops of Holy Mother Church of the best way to offer the Mass, and it’s ad orientem.  To emphasize this even further, he concludes:

“For us, the light is Jesus Christ. All the Church is oriented, facing East, toward Christ: ad Dominum. A Church closed in on herself in a circle will have lost her reason for being. For to be herself, the Church must live facing God…”

There are priests and even bishops who know that the best way to celebrate the Mass is ad orientem. From what I have personally been told by numerous priests, many fear the repercussions of a laity all too comfortable with the status quo, with the priest facing them during Mass. Truth be told, many are more than ready for this common turning toward the east. There are already parishes where all masses are being offered ad orientem (here and here) and the fruits are bountiful.

This brings us back to this momentous opportunity.

Cardinal Sarah has squarely placed this back on all of his brother bishops. A decision now, at the diocesan level, to encourage, support, and promote a return to offering the Mass ad orientem is simply an obedient response to Rome. It is simply a shepherd seeking to give to his flock the very best that we can give to God.

Pray that Cardinal Sarah’s words are taken to heart, and implemented, so that once again we can see God become the central focus of the liturgy.

 

3 of 22 comments

  1. The laity were taught erroneously that celebrating the Mass ad orientem was an affront to them, because the priest was turning his back on them. They have also been convinced that other innovations that weren’t really called for by Sacrosanctum Concilium were made to right wrongs, to correct unfair practices that exclude the laity and especially women from their “rightful place” in the worship “service.” With those kinds of attitudes, oftentimes priests have been taken aback by the hatred they have incurred when they made changes and took away what the laity have been brainwashed to think of as their “rights.” And I know of at least one case where the priest was removed by his superiors because of his parishioners’ resentment, which had been fanned by how the innovators had introduced the innovations back in the day.
  2. Beautifully put. A priest named Fr. Richard Heilman in the Diocese of Madison, introduced Ad-Orientem Worship for all of their Masses in 2013. Immediately afterword’s, he stated, a few grey haired parishioners grumbled and move on to a 70’s Liturgy elsewhere. What happened afterword’s shocked even the Priest. The Parish blew up, the choir doubled, the average age went from 65 to 35 with many new families joining. Parishioners started dressing nicer including ties and Mass veils. Parish Contributions went up significantly. The full story can be found on the RomanCatholicMan website.
  3. If anyone has any worries that an Ad Orientem facing Tridentine Mass could be seen as strange, antiquated or off-putting to the faithful, they only need to go on the annual Chartres pilgrimage at Pentecost. That would be enough to make them change their minds.
    I was blessed to be there once again this year. Literally THOUSANDS of people take part (roughly 11.000 estimated this year), mostly male and nearly all under 35! Every day of the 70 mile three-day walk we stop for the celebration of Holy Mass. All of us, behind the celebrant, facing Our Lord and King together in the reenactment of His Holy Sacrifice.

This is our Faith. This is the Truth. This is the way that will lead men back to God.

 

 

RELATED FILES

SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM BENEDICT XVI, JULY 7, 2007

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/SUMMORUM_PONTIFICUM.doc

GENERAL INSTRUCTION OF THE ROMAN MISSAL

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/GENERAL_INSTRUCTION_OF_THE_ROMAN_MISSAL.doc

HOLY MASS VERSUS POPULUM OR AD ORIENTEM

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/HOLY_MASS_VERSUS_POPULUM_OR_AD_ORIENTEM.doc

STANDING OR KNEELING TO RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION AND ALTAR RAILS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/STANDING_OR_KNEELING_TO_RECEIVE_HOLY_COMMUNION_AND_ALTAR_RAILS.doc

COMMUNION IN THE HAND OR ON THE TONGUE AND EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/COMMUNION_IN_THE_HAND_OR_ON_THE_TONGUE_AND_EXTRAORDINARY_MINISTERS_OF_HOLY_COMMUNION.doc

WOMEN EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/WOMEN_EXTRAORDINARY_MINISTERS_OF_HOLY_COMMUNION.doc

TRIDENTINE LATIN MASS GENERATES MORE VOCATIONS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/TRIDENTINE_LATIN_MASS_GENERATES_MORE_VOCATIONS.doc

 

 

 

LITURGY AND LITURGICAL ABUSE (60+ FILES)

http://www.ephesians-511.net/liturgical-abuse.htm

 

DOCUMENTS ON GREGORIAN CHANT AND SACRED MUSIC

CHIROGRAPH ON SACRED MUSIC JOHN PAUL II NOVEMBER 22, 2003

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/CHIROGRAPH_ON_SACRED_MUSIC.doc

CONCERTS IN CHURCHES CDW NOVEMBER 5, 1987

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/CONCERTS_IN_CHURCHES.doc

MUSICAE SACRAE-ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XII ON SACRED MUSIC PIUS XII DECEMBER 25, 1955

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/MUSICAE_SACRAE.doc

MUSICAM SACRAM AND COMPILED INFORMATION ON SACRED MUSIC-INSTRUCTION ON MUSIC IN THE LITURGY PAUL VI MARCH 5, 1967

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/MUSICAM_SACRAM_AND_COMPILED_INFORMATION_ON_SACRED_MUSIC.doc

TRA LE SOLLECITUDINI–MOTU PROPRIO OF POPE PIUS X ON SACRED MUSIC PIUS X NOVEMBER 22, 1903

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/TRA_LE_SOLLECITUDINI.doc

LITURGIAM AUTHENTICAM AND COMPILED INFORMATION-FOR THE RIGHT IMPLEMENTATION
OF THE CONSTITUTION ON THE SACRED LITURGY OF THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL
CDW MARCH 28, 2001

MEDIATOR DEI-ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XII ON THE SACRED LITURGY PIUS XII NOVEMBER 20, 1947

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/MEDIATOR_DEI-ENCYCLICAL_OF_POPE_PIUS_XII_ON_THE_SACRED_LITURGY.doc

MEMORIALE DOMINI-INSTRUCTION ON THE MANNER OF DISTRIBUTING HOLY COMMUNION CDW MAY 29, 1969

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/MEMORIALE_DOMINI-INSTRUCTION_ON_THE_MANNER_OF_DISTRIBUTING_HOLY_COMMUNION.doc

REDEMPTIONIS SACRAMENTUM AND COMPILED INFORMATION-ON CERTAIN MATTERS TO BE OBSERVED OR TO BE AVOIDED REGARDING THE MOST HOLY EUCHARIST CDW APRIL 23, 2004

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/REDEMPTIONIS_SACRAMENTUM_AND_COMPILED_INFORMATION.doc

SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS AND COMPILED INFORMATION-ON THE EUCHARIST AS THE SOURCE AND SUMMIT OF THE CHURCH’S LIFE AND MISSION BENEDICT XVI FEBRUARY 22, 2007

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/SACRAMENTUM_CARITATIS_AND_COMPILED_INFORMATION.doc

SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM-CONSTITUTION ON THE SACRED LITURGY PAUL VI DECEMBER 4, 1963

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/SACROSANCTUM_CONCILIUM.doc

UNIVERSAE ECCLESIAE-ON THE APPLICATION OF SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM PONTIFICAL COMMISSION ECCLESIA DEI MAY 13, 2011

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/UNIVERSAE_ECCLESIAE.doc

VARIETATES LEGITIMAE-ON INCULTURATION AND THE ROMAN LITURGY CDW MARCH 29, 1994

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VARIETATES_LEGITIMAE.doc

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s