The End of Reform of the Reform in France?
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,134
    Some may have seen this on New Liturgical Movement. Here

    Denis Crouan, who has been at the forefront of trying to build a "Reform of the Reform" movement in France, and who has had (at least) two of his books published in English translation by Ignatius Press (The Liturgy Betrayed, 2000 [original French, 1997], & The Liturgy after Vatican II: Collapsing or Resurgent, 2001 [French, 1999]), has decided to throw in the proverbial towel.

    Asking present-day clergy to respect the liturgy of the Church is a waste of time: with an obstinacy often coupled with a profound lack of culture, those who occupy the places from which they are supposed to teach, go before, and lead the faithful - at all levels in the Church, from the pope to the simple parish priest - seem to want to systematically sabotage divine worship in a way that remains completely incomprehensible.


    I have felt this way for the past several years. My pastor's first term is up. He'll likely renew, but that only allows me another six years. After that, everything that I've built up (I've been in post for 17 years) will likely be swept away with the arrival of the new guy. Even if he isn't actively abusing the liturgy, it's still difficult: I had a debate with a fill-in today as to whether or not the Glory to God in the Missal is the only Gloria or is simply No. 15 of several Glorias: He was not pleased that we were using a different one; I told him to take the matter up with St. Gregory the Great (yeah, I know---but I was trying to make a point). I know that my program won't last beyond my time in the job, and it will all be a waste of time: as will the next job I take.

    As I've said before: Reform of the Reform is dead. This is, incidentally, why many who were tired of trying to do something, anything, good in the N.O. left for the old Mass: Why waste your time teaching Sanctus XVIII to the people when the next pastor comes in and your back to Mass of Creation?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,743
    I always thought the whole idea of "reform of the reform" was a house built on sand. It is dependent on the good will of people who may not have any good will.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Salieri, how very sad, and how very true. I find myself in much the same position. It's a tale I seem to hear more and more of these days.
  • Serious question: what kind of program does one follow in a "Reform of the Reform" parish. Is the goal to make the Missal of Paul VI more reverent with its current rubrics and text left intact; or is it to import text and/or rubrics from (fill in place of importation as appropriate); or is it to undo any of a number of accretions which have glommed on to the Missal in the last 52 years; or .....something else?

    Serious musical question: In following the program of the Reform of the Reform (if there's a single RotR program) does one change repertoire, or change genres of music used, or languages permitted, required and forbidden?

    Years ago, I managed to have O Lord, Increase My Faith by Orlando Gibbons, sung around the time I was received in to the Church. I taught the choir the piece, and they sang it. It was the most traditional piece the choir had ever sung.

    Which of the following pieces is/could/should/must be part of a reformed repertoire:

    Stanford Beati quorum via integra est
    Durufle Ubi Caritas
    Howells (anything at all)

    Does a RotR parish use a four-hymn sandwich, an introit and a processional hymn?
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • There's not really one way to do it, which is one of its weaknesses. In a general sense, the goal seems to be making the N.O. conform to S.C. and aiming to reflect Tridentine heritage as much as possible within the rubrics. In my experience this has resulted in an increased use of propers, chant versions of ordinaries, higher quality hymnody, all-male altar parties, increased or exclusive use of Latin, use of tridentine ceremonial where there rubrics allow for it or are ambiguous, use of nice vestments, clergy singing their parts, ad orientem, etc. I would hazard to say the N.O. in Latin as it is offered at Cantius on Sunday mornings is the ideal of the RotR approach. It's the Platonic form of RotR in my opinion lol.

    Edit: I would say too, though, that RotR proponents often desire a reform of the N.O. itself which would ideally move it closer to something like the '65 or the Ordinariate form. This is highly idealistic though.
    Thanked by 1MarkB
  • In my parish, we use hymns at the procession, communion, and recession. Processional is followed by introit.
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,852
    A shame, really. I remember reading Crouan's Liturgy Betrayed many years ago, and found it quite erudite, even if I didn't agree with all of his conclusions. Hopefully, he'll end up following the example of Fr. Kocik.
  • smvanroodesmvanroode
    Posts: 922
    This announcement left me with many questions.

    Is the French movement of which Denis Crouan is a part of, indeed entirely dependent on him and his Association Pro Liturgia that we can claim the movement to be dead in France?

    How big was his movement? It’s called the Association Pro Liturgia, but I get the impression that it was just a website. Was there a membership? Meetings? Activities?

    Can we call that movement ‘Reform of the Reform’ or is it something else? I'm reminded of Msgr. Mannion’s, ‘The Catholicity of the Liturgy: Shaping a New Agenda’, where he distinguishes between five distinct approaches to ongoing liturgical reform. It seems to me that what Denis Crouan was trying to accomplish (and what many actually mean when they’re talking about RotR) was a ‘recatholicising of the reform’. I would call the liturgy at Cantius also a ‘recatholicising of the reform’. RotR goes much further.

    Do we just give up on ‘recatholicising of the reform’? Sure, there must be ways to get more permanent results? Independent of the whims of a parish priest? Some progress has been made since 2010, or has that already gone away?
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,421
    @smvanroode
    In England, compare http://latin-liturgy.org with https://lms.org.uk

    In France, https://www.unavoce.fr with https://www.nd-chretiente.com and https://www.proliturgia.org/index.html

    You could look at membership / Quality of website / Facebook likes / google ratings. That may answer some questions you have.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • TCJ
    Posts: 856
    In my parish, RotR was meant to be a lead-in to the introduction of the TLM. Unfortunately, the bishop nixed that in the entire diocese before TC.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,990
    At our parish, RotR (and I'm not claiming that our pastor thinks in these terms) is essentially: make the liturgy as beautiful and traditional as possible. Onwards, upwards. Chant? (vernacular or latin) great. Renaissance polyphony (vernacular adaptations or latin, or english reformation that is still orthodox) great. Antiphons? great. Hymns that are adaptations of the propers, great. Latin ordinaries during penitential seasons, great. It's a start. Other more dignified ordinaries than what is pushed out by the major publishers? Yes, please. (We are using Olbash's Mass in Honor of Our Lady, Star of the Sea at the moment.)

    In other words: just... make it better. Leave it better than you found it. Restore what you can, where you can. We aren't trying to "TLM-ize" our parish... we are just trying to make the liturgy resemble, insofar as we can and people will accept it, traditional liturgy. We are still confined by the new missal, but much of the old praxis is either implied or certainly congruent with it, so we lean that way.

    Obviously, this has to happen by degrees and you can't lurch quasi-tlm overnight (which, IMHO, is THE standard for roman liturgy but that's a discussion for another day). For instance, I recently transcribed the traditional Pater Noster into english (ie- the approved translation but sung as closely as possible to the traditional tone). We are going to live with that for a good long while, and then hopefully by next Advent, we can sing the real Pater, and it will be a smooth transition since the people will already be familiar with the proper melody. Similarly, I've transcribed Credo III more closely to the original than that which is in the back of the missal. We will add that in this Lent.

    In these roundabout ways we are trying to teach people the traditional forms of piety and praxis, but in a (hopefully) seamless way. We are trying to offer them music that is truly universal, rather than "american, 1970-80's vintage" which is so common.

    We are making headway too. Visitors regularly remark that they are pleased by our masses; they enjoy hearing music they don't get to hear at their own parishes. Many parishioners (some, rather surprising!) have come to me to voice their support. Others have told me that they traveled during the holidays and were very relieved to come back home to our parish where the liturgy was reverent—something that was lacking during their escapades. I've had parents tell me that even their small children have remarked the difference, stating, "the music isn't as good as we have at our church". I don't say any of this to sound triumphant; just to show that hearts do respond, with patience. Not all, but enough to make it worth it.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,134
    That's similar to what I have been doing at my parish. But I'm fairly certain that it won't last past the current incumbent. Why? Because of the clericalist nature of the N.O. Father is boss; he gets to decide the options used; and he, thanks to the N.O. itself, is the master of the liturgy, by which I mean, he gets to submit the Mass to himself, unlike in the Tradition, east and west, where the priest must submit to the liturgy. The N.O. is an exercise in clericalism, and where the priests get to gas light the people into thinking that the options that he imposes are their choice.
  • When I start feeling this way (which is an understandable place to be,) I find this quote attributed (probably apocryphally) to Mother Teresa helpful: "What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. [...] In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,990
    Salieri, it is indeed true that a [new] pastor can rip the rug from under you... I've detailed my own horrifying experience in this regard in other threads, so believe-you-me I understand the sentiment. It is also a fear of mine now. If I have to endure a repeat performance of what happened last time, I'll walk in a new york minute. But I don't want that to stop me from trying to make things better in the meantime. Hopefully, with enough groundswell support, a new, less-liturgically-inclined priest might be swayed away from the worst abuses, should it come to that. If nothing else, I suppose I can give our Lord and a few choice souls a reprieve in the meantime.
    Thanked by 3Salieri CHGiffen tomjaw
  • davido
    Posts: 655
    Here is Fr Hunwick’s timely take on priestly control of the mass, pertinent at this point to the discussion: http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.com/2022/01/prescription-in-liturgy-1.html?m=1
    http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.com/2022/01/prescription-in-liturgy-2.html?m=1
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • toddevoss
    Posts: 162
    I view myself as Reform of the Reform -but meaning that in the fullness of time either a Pope or a Council will reform the N.O. such that will be much closer to the TLM though likely not a full restoration. I don't expect this to happen in my lifetime but I do expect it to happen. In the meantime, I see no reason not to always push for a lesser reform of the reform at a parish notwithstanding the frustration of likely reversal. If the diocese is large enough to have other parish options, and a critical mass of the PIPs have grown to love the more beautiful and reverent NO they have had for 7-14 years, that critical mass of them can let the new Father Folksong know that they will be voting with their feet if he tears down their treasure. Also helps if a number of them are larger donors.

    FYI- I am just such a PIP and in 2014 or so when a parish merger led to a new priest who killed the Jubilate Deo Latin ordinaries we PIPs chanted with the Cantor - I voted with my feet. I wish I had prepared for that possibility months ahead of time and organized with others. Prepare!
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,852
    The N.O. is an exercise in clericalism


    It's absolutely impossible to completely remove the character of a priest from the rites he celebrates, new or old. But with the new rite, it's nearly irresistible to elevate the preferences of a priest to the level of a cult of personality.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 488
    what kind of program does one follow in a "Reform of the Reform" parish.


    I think it’s simple, really: tolle, lege. Worry about doing what’s actually printed in the books, and get that well squared away, and then add on top of that what is within your means.

    -Learn the chant to the point where you can teach others the chant, and actually give it pride of place at the places where it belongs.
    -Make provision for the people to (learn to) sing the dialogues and the ordinary and the psalm and Alleluia from the lectionary if so desired.
    -Say the black and do the red in the Missal.
    -Do these things with joy and love and thoughtful teaching in the homilies.

    And THEN add in the hymns and complex choral music and a new organ and 572836 servers and lace and whatever else, provided it does not become an end in itself or interfere with what the books of the rite being celebrated actually prescribe.

    Very few places seem to actually do this. It feels like every other day I see some place that is trying to reform somehow, but started out by adding altar rails and facing East, kicking out the female lectors and servers, pushing communion on the tongue, singing four hymns badly and one or two propers to psalm tones, preaching about the 500th secret of Fatima and Bill Clinton, and then wondering why the RotR doesn’t work, when they haven’t even done what the books require and wasted their energy on other ends, or made it at all attractive or comprehensible to the parishioners.
  • fcbfcb
    Posts: 312
    It's absolutely impossible to completely remove the character of a priest from the rites he celebrates, new or old. But with the new rite, it's nearly irresistible to elevate the preferences of a priest to the level of a cult of personality.


    Even with the old rite a new pastor could radically upend things. He could replace the chants of the Graduale with psalm tone propers, to save time. He could demand a steady diet of the Missa de Angelis and ban all other Mass Ordinaries. He could get rid of incense at the Missa Cantata, because it makes people cough. He could replace the Sunday Sung Mass with a low Mass (maybe with popular hymns for those who like a bit of music). As many have pointed out before, the relatively high aesthetic and liturgical quality of celebrations of the old rite today is largely a function of its niche character. Were it the only rite on offer, we Catholics would certainly find ways to make it vulgar (as we did prior to the Council).
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,421
    @fcb
    I am glad to hear that the worst that a priest can do to the TLM, is to have psalm toned Propers, Missa de Angelis, and low Mass ceremonies. I am sure many Catholics would love to have a Rite that is so difficult to make vulgar.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • francis
    Posts: 10,079
    "Let's make the N.O. as reverent as possible... add Latin, polyphony, chant, etc., etc... "

    why the conniptions? why not just celebrate the TLM? It's all beautiful, has been honed over centuries and is all there in black and red (white).... What, mind you, is so valuable about the N.O. that one would want to keep any of it anyways? ... and what is so distasteful about the TLM that one would rather celebrate a 'sacralized' NO instead?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,119
    why not just celebrate the TLM ?
    It depends on what you mean by "the TLM". Is that represented by the Dublin Mass I just described on another thread = Low Mass accompanied by a recitation of the Rosary, from the pulpit, led by a priest, throughout the presence of the celebrant in the sanctuary (except for a pause for the consecration) ? Or is it the 1965 Missal with the rubrical changes of the 1967 Instruction ? Or 1570, or what ?

    I would not find anything distasteful about a 1967 missa cantata in which the congregation sang the Ordinary (in Latin), but they seem rarer than Sarum re-enactments.
    Thanked by 1StimsonInRehab
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,582
    'Reform of the Reform' was probably originally meant to be an enrichment of the NO, not a disingenuously named stepping stone backwards. With the vernacular(s) one has the advantage of adding Orlando Gibbons, Bach and Rachmaninoff to the rest of the patrimony, and instead of being required to add the Boosey & Hawkes "Amen" to Stravinsky's Ave Maria, 'a patio for my classical Ionian temple', one has the choice of singing the original Bogoroditse Dievo. From a purely musical perspective, anyone who would prefer Rossini psalmtone propers to The American Gradual is surely part of the problem.
  • Why not just celebrate the TLM?


    Because Vatican II called for a reformed liturgy and the TLM is not that liturgy.
    Thanked by 2MarkB toddevoss
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,743
    Because Vatican II called for a reformed liturgy and the TLM is not that liturgy.


    True, but what the Latins have today is not exactly what Vatican II called for, either.
  • Contemporary, Mark,

    If the RotR is even in the slightest degree valid, then it's adding back into the Ordo of Paul VI that which shouldn't have been removed in the first place. If we're going to add back in what shouldn't have been taken out in the first place (but was, by whatever means) then surely whatever is in the "Mass of Vatican II" which excludes merely adopting the 1955 Missal can be put in propositions.

    It isn't enough to claim, even accurately, that the Pope or the Council or whoever, ordered that the older form be discarded --- so long options abound to such a degree within the nominally fixed text of the unique form of the Roman Rite.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,990
    Ultimately, RotR could probably be boiled down to:

    “Doing what VII actually asked for, in continuity with the well-established tradition that preceded it.”

    Saying the mass promulgated by Paul VI in actual accord with the missal is comparably rare. There’s a reason Cantius is called a “unicorn mass”. Restoring the propers (option i in the GIRM!) and singing Latin ordinaries (Jubilate Deo booklet, anyone??) will already radically “re-form” the overwhelming majority of masses around the world.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,119
    For general use Latin propers would currently be a step too far in most times and places. We need IMHO vernacular propers, both chant settings and metrical paraphrases in English in an approved Gradual. And immediate directives (enforced) that instrumentalists be not seen.
    If we accept that degrees of missa cantata are the ideal, then no one solution is feasible (compare Rossini propers).
    Thanked by 1toddevoss
  • fcbfcb
    Posts: 312
    @tomjaw

    My point was simply that there are all sorts of things musicians and others might implement that could be undone by a new pastor, even in the old rite. Particularly if it were the only rite on offer, priests who don't like fancy ceremony or who do like schlocky music would still impose their preferences on congregations.
  • Hawkins,

    If we abandon the idea that Latin Propers should be sung, and should have been sung uninterruptedly, then we're not praying the Mass of Vatican II or the Ordo of Paul VI. People who want to do what the Council prescribed, and what the Missal of Paul VI required, should be training the congregations near them to sing in Latin, and to allow a SMALL place for the vernacular.
    Thanked by 2bhcordova tomjaw
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 1,075
    On the contrary, it seems that in the Novus rite, almost since its inception, the choice to use Latin language has been rare, and frequently excluded by authorities. Even though the typical books were published in Latin originally. (I understand that this latter practice may have come to an end.)

    If one observes the evolution of a religious rite over time, not legalistically but rather sociologically, one may understand more clearly its content and meaning. On this view, for example, the Novus rite does not embrace the idea of a sacred language, nor of ritual music. What is sung is popular spiritual songs in the vernacular. The few exceptions are regarded as anomalous by the majority of worshippers. And also by the majority of Novus clergy, which is why it's quite right to expect that anomalous uses of Latin chants instead of the normal vernacular hymns, of of anomalous ceremonial taken from a different rite (Roman sacred language, or maybe Byzantine prostration, etc) would be eliminated on change of clergy.

    Of course, nothing in the Novus ritual books (Sacramentary/Missal, missallette, hymn book, etc) prescribes Latin, and neither does the original papal Constitution, for all that it was published in Latin, prescribe Latin for ritual use. On the contrary Pope Paul explicitly cherished the “varietas linguarum” which the rite has subsequently normalized.

    The Novus rite is not the Roman rite, for this and numerous other clear reasons.

    Thanked by 2tomjaw rich_enough
  • The choice to use Latin has been uncommon, to say the least, but one or several things must, it seems to me, follow logically.

    1) The Council Fathers lied: Latin wasn't to be maintained, after all.
    2) The Consilium betrayed the Fathers of the Council: Bugnini says that there's no cause to continue the use of Latin.
    3) Pope Paul decided the Council Fathers were wrong and changed their instructions (or, overrode them).
    4) The Mass as celebrated ostensibly using the Rite promulgated by Pope Paul VI is NOT the Mass the Council Fathers asked for.
    5) God betrayed His people, and lied to them. (Consider this as ridiculous).
    6) The Reform of the Reform is merely trying to enact what the documents (of Paul VI and of the Council Fathers) decreed should take place.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,119
    I have been a parishioner in three different large churches, which currently (or pre-covid) have 7, 7 & 5 Masses of Sunday. Those numbers are the same or greater than in the 1950s. In the 1950s one of these Masses at each church would have had full Gregorian propers, now one of the Masses at each church has full Gregorian propers, absolutely no change. What has changed is that now several of the other Masses have song, some in Latin, and often a cantor, whereas in the 1950s they would all have been missae lectae.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,134
    Mr. Hawkins: What you describe is wonderful. Unfortunately, it is not the norm, though it undoubtedly ought to be. My own Cathedral is the lowest of the lowest-common-denominator type of liturgy: banal to the point of almost being comical in its 1970s shag-carpet liturgical style---and this style is copied by the parishes.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,119
    We were particularly fortunate in having Cdl Heenan at Westminster from 1963, before the first changes, to 1975 after the NO had been implemented in 1973. His policy throughout was that every parish have at least one Sunday Mass in Latin. That was because he saw a pastoral need, the same motive as getting an indult for the TLM1967.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,990
    On this view, for example, the Novus rite does not embrace the idea of a sacred language, nor of ritual music.

    I really fail to understand how you can make this claim, when you consider the fact that the missal contains propers and the GIRM specifically calls for the use of the graduale romanum as the first option for music (which was the prevailing ‘standard’ antecedent to the modern GIRM as well), followed by the graduale simplex as the second, and Sacrosanctsanctum concilium specifically prescribes singing the ordinary in Latin, and Paul VI promulgated Jubilate Deo, a collection of essential Latin chants that every catholic should know.
    Thanked by 2MarkB a_f_hawkins
  • toddevoss
    Posts: 162
    In response to Chris G-Z:

    1) The Council Fathers lied: Latin wasn't to be maintained, after all. No they didn't lie.
    2) The Consilium betrayed the Fathers of the Council: Bugnini says that there's no cause to continue the use of Latin. Yes Bugnini did betray at least where the Fathers were at the time they voted that ALTHOUGH he had built in some wiggle room in the text as is clear.
    3) Pope Paul decided the Council Fathers were wrong and changed their instructions (or, overrode them). Rather he trusted Bugnini who also lied to him about the unanimity of the consilium members as Bouyer has testified in his memoirs. And that was the basis for him "overriding" ( technically maybe not given the "wiggle room " above but I will grant it) some of the letter and most of the spirit of what the Fathers voted on. But he did promulgate it and had the authority to do so no matter what trads disordered by their understandable emotions may think.
    4) The Mass as celebrated ostensibly using the Rite promulgated by Pope Paul VI is NOT the Mass the Council Fathers asked for. See above. Pope Paul VI was not bound in his ultimate judgement or detailed implementation by the Council or Consilium. Sorry folks. He was only bound by not promulgating something in "grave error" - something substantially contrary to the faith. Of course, this is the very charge of an increasing number of trads and where they show themselves to be in grave danger of moving more closely to impairing their full communion with the Church. For with this they begin to call into question the indefectibility of the Church. Moreover, if a Pope can do this in his ordinary magisterium or his ordinary governance of discipline, then the protection afforded by his charism of infallibility in the exercise of his extraordinary magisterium is undermined. Many who believe this to have happened are asking themselves if they should just go Eastern Orthodox. And indeed that would seem a logical conclusion for such folks who have reached such an extreme conclusion. By the way, I think the N.O.is in many ways very shoddy and with an unreasonable and undesirable plethora of optionality - but I do not think even in its shoddiness/excess optionality (as long as not abused) can it be said that it has "objectively destroyed" peoples faith. If that is the case, then a terrible neglect of one's spiritual life must be the root cause.
    5) God betrayed His people, and lied to them. (Consider this as ridiculous). So considered. Ridiculous
    6) The Reform of the Reform is merely trying to enact what the documents (of Paul VI and of the Council Fathers) decreed should take place. Absent a Papal or Conciliar reform of the reform , I would say yes, a rather sporadic and provisional reform of the reform. But probably need a Papal or Conciliar Reform to fundamentally reform what Paul VI promulgated - at least if we want consistency across dioceses or even within them.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 944
    @ServiamScores
    Undoubtedly you are right, but the comment says "on this view," by which Andrew_Malton meant "not legalistically but rather sociologically."

    The RofR is an attempt to "redo" the Novus Ordo from a legal standpoint, if you will - looking at what the documents say and following that, for starters at least. The only problem is that there's been a lot of water under the bridge - sociologically speaking - since the documents were written, so that new practices, habits, assumptions, and expectations have grown up in the meantime.

    I would argue that trying to implement the documents without an assessment of the "sociological" realities has been an issue with the RotR for a long time - i.e. the disconnect between the way most Catholic think of the liturgy and what the RotR is trying to achieve is a recipe for only limited success, at best.

    This is a large part of the reason that former RotRers have embraced the TLM: they have realized that "rebooting" the whole sociological reality on the ground is a necessary part of project.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,743
    Something not often mentioned is that the bishops at Vatican II had familiarity with the old rite. The bishops now, for the most part, don't have that. Even with the best of intentions they would have great difficulty using it as an ideal or basis from which to begin any reforms.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,119
    It is relevant to note that for England&Wales the CTS seems to be the only publisher of missals apart from one Sunday hand missal. My peoples edition Daily Missal is Latin and English in parallel throughout except for the Liturgy of the Word, as, I think, are all the other editions. So if I were minded to follow in Latin while the celebrant is saying EP IV for various needs in English, I can - or vice versa.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,990
    @rich_ebough, my problem with the sociological argument is that I find it a straw man. On the one hand, yes, I agree: one has to keep the actual souls in the pews in mind when making changes. Changes to parish liturgical life don’t exist in a vacuum and they have real effects on real people.

    But the problem, as I see it, is actually one of the will. Will on the part of pastors to bring proper liturgy to fruition, and will on the part of the people to humble themselves to a liturgy that may be less to their liking and more to God’s.

    There are plenty of examples of parishes living much more closely to the acknowledged ideal. There is no genuine impediment to implementing similar masses elsewhere apart from will power and catechesis.

    One cannot make the claim that a mass with Latin propers is beyond the scope of ordinary people or beyond the scope of the novus ordo missæ as there are living examples to the contrary.

    And spiritual concerns trump sociological ones (at least if you want to get to heaven).

    You cannot look at a crime ridden ghetto and say, “sociologically speaking, people just prefer to be gunned down in the streets and join gangs.” Such a statement is cohesive if you only frame it as a sociological observation. But man was never meant to live this way. It is a deformation of the way mankind was actually intended to thrive.

    Man is called to something more, as is the liturgical life of the Church.
  • There is no genuine impediment to implementing similar masses elsewhere apart from will power and catechesis.


    Amen amen amen.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • davido
    Posts: 655
    The impediment that exists is the people that want NuReligion. Care Jesus only goes so far with people who are convinced you are wrong.
    Thanked by 1rich_enough
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,990
    Then those souls should find their ‘home’ elsewhere, I’m afraid.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 944
    I agree that "a mass with Latin propers is [not] beyond the scope of ordinary people or beyond the scope of the novus ordo missæ as there are living examples to the contrary" - my parish is one of those "living examples" and I sing at such a Mass every week. And it's great to hear about a parish doing more chant.

    So I'm not givng up the ship. But sometimes the Nu-churchers aren't willing to find a new home, no matter the will power or catechesis.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,990
    I did recently remark to my wife my astonishment after the pro abort “Catholics” shined blasphemous things on the front of the National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in the USA. My astonishment was not merely that they did so (it’s been done elsewhere) but the fact that these people hold so tenaciously to their supposed “catholic” identity whilst simultaneously revolting against everything that should come along with it. “For goodness’ sake… Why don’t they just find another church home? There are thousands of nominally Christian churches that already embrace all their ideals.”

    So yes— there are definitely stalwarts who aren’t going anywhere. Although I believe it is they who would be left feeling uncomfortable… not faithful Catholics who desire a reverent mass.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,852
    “For goodness’ sake… Why don’t they just find another church home? There are thousands of nominally Christian churches that already embrace all their ideals.”


    Because they love the Church.

    And by that, I mean that they love the Institution.

    One can find any amount of groups whose beliefs overlap with your own, but as far as having the ecclesial infrastructure and organization, with the power to implement changes on such a massive scale - the Catholic Church is still front runner in that regard, despite whatever recent setbacks she's recently undergone. You may agree with everything the Unitarians believe, but they don't have the same social standing to affect change that Catholicism does.

    Michael Davies mentioned this in his writings on the famed Jesuit George Tyrrell. Tyrell was faced with the same question, and his response was that he found the Catholic Church the best suited to affect these sort of progressive changes - for the better, of course! (It never ceases to amaze how vying for power in the social arenas of life can so effortlessly take on the persona of 'philanthropic reform'.)
    Thanked by 2ServiamScores tomjaw
  • @fcb (and his critics)

    Excellent point, Deacon Bauerschmidt. To amplify it:

    Mass VIII is hardly the worst they could do. Copyright-policing**, living-on-the-edge-of-the-liturgical-law-and-propriety Catholic music publishing was a "thing" even back in the glory days.

    And, of course, we saw in the middle and late 60's, before the Missal changed, just how far the meaning of "Low Mass with hymns" could be pushed. As Father Schmitt laments in the Winter 1965 (final) issue of Caecilia:


    "As a congregationalist I should, on the whole, be more inclined to look kindly on the fad of liturgical, hip--swinging pop--music. The trouble is that in the '''world'' the pop people know and expect their fate: idols of a generation of two year's life or less. Get them into church and they would likely be canonized if only because their music, paid for, would be on the shelves. Even such a state of affairs would not be especially deleterious except for the fact that today's pop folk inevitably become square and disgusting to tomorrow's. ""Their own music"-let the youngsters and such of their religious mentors as have an incapacity to grow up have it. I think I know as much about these matters as most. My boys canvass the campus with transistors like anybody else. And they would die laughing if it were suggested to them that we manage some sort of Freudian sublimation in matters of worship. Having sung Father Daniel Lord's mission verses to all the old football songs in my own halcyon days, (there was that special one about the football nine crossing the goal line) I doubt whether the church needs so to reach out to our youth, or any other social stratum. Let them and their clerical dance masters have it, and all they want-outside of worship."



    The Council wasn't even closed yet. This thing was coming, with our without the Novus Ordo Missæ. Arguably with or without the Council.

    It's not like the other institutions of the world, that didn't Vatican II, just kept on 1950zing indefinitely. It was an oddly mercurial age, casting itself as axial, sparing very little. I feel fortunate that as much survived as it did.

    No, >>be at peace, do the beautiful, love God, follow the books, inasmuch as your discretion is called for.<< There is nothing here for us but what is within our power. <br />
    Psalm 131

    "O LORD, my heart is not proud,
    nor haughty my eyes.
    I have not gone after things too great,
    nor marvels beyond me.

    Truly, I have set my soul
    in tranquility and silence.
    As a weaned child on its mother,
    as a weaned child is my soul within me.

    Israel, wait for the LORD,
    both now and forever."


    Liturgize well, whatever the books. Be delighted if you are able to use the old ones, with the fullness of the musical heritage they expect, or rejoice to lead the assembly's song with dignity and devotion in their mother tongue according to the new ones, or anything in-between.

    Be glad to be alive in an age with such beautiful music at your literal fingertips, and take advantage of every opportunity you have to use your craft and skill as fully as possible to give glory to God.

    Qoheleth I may not be,
    but aught else seems mere vanity.

    **fun to read 100-year-old invective by the representatives of J. Fischer & Cetera against the thievery of debased and wicked choirmasters who hand-copy parts onto manuscript paper to save money on scores. The Xerox of the day...
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,743
    And by that, I mean that they love the Institution.


    I have quoted my Episcopalian friend before who told me, "I don't believe any of that. I just love the ritual and find it comforting."
  • I'll add this:

    There's nary a Trad alive who doesn't gleefully tune in to that pawplerized, truncated, vernacular Christmas Mattins service they put on every year at the younger of England's two Universities.

    And yet, the process that yielded this began as a massive deformation of Catholic ritual. I think we underestimate the realm of the possible consistently and, therefore, remain oblivious to the ways in which God could be working through the upheavals, even now.
  • Nihil,
    There's nary a Trad alive who doesn't gleefully tune in to that pawplerized, truncated, vernacular Christmas Mattins service they put on every year at the younger of England's two Universities.

    Perhaps you miscounted, by one?
    Thanked by 1NihilNominis