The Unread Vision
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    I've been having such a good time reading Fr. Keith Peckler's history of the Liturgical Movement in America from 1926 to 1955. So many points he makes help to connect the dots about what happened to the original Liturgical Movement before the Second Vatican Council, and how a large part of the vision of the founders of the Liturgical Movement has remained unfulfilled, "unread". The author admits that "We are in the midst of a liturgical malaise," and that there is "a serious gap" between modern Catholic liturgy and the spirituality of the people."

    While I don't agree with all of his conclusions, his book offers a wealth of details and is very valuable in helping to construct a realistic picture of the preconciliar Catholic liturgy in America. For example, this is how one priest, Fr. Walter Leonard, SJ, described Mass in the 1920's and '30's:

    Liturgically, it was an era of subsistence rations. Mass was offered (solemnly on great occasions, without splendor most of the time), and Sundays were observed as days of rest, respectable dress, and sober conduct, often climaxed by parish devotions in the evening. Holy Communion was becoming gradually more common, but was still thought of as something extra, added to the Mass on certain significant days. There was no participation by the congregation; silence, in fact, was generally imposed and observed as the only fitting response to the sacred mysteries being enacted on the distant altar.

    If hymns were sung, they had little relevance to the eucharistic action, and were for the most part rendered by the choir rather than sung by the assembly. The rosary or other devotional prayers were recited during the greater part of the service, sometimes aloud and communally, more often silently. Missals were so rare as to be virtually unknown; a few people used prayer books but occupied themselves as a rule rather with the devotions they continued than with the text of the Mass itself.


    Is this a surprise to anyone? It was to me. I didn't realize, for one thing, that the people didn't have missals as such, and that their use was, in fact, a product of the Liturgical Movement. Missals began appearing in the '30's and became very popular, so popular in fact, that one critic complained in 1940 of "Missalitis"---the attitude that a missal is as essential to the Mass as a car, refrigerator, telephone and radio were to the "American standard of living." Today, (in the 1940's) it seems, she said: "No Missal, no Mass."
  • This is no surprise to me. And, it is why a beautifully celebrated NO is a far better thing than the pre-counciliar Tridentine usage. This is not just the way it was in the 1930's. This is the way it was for hundreds upon hundreds of years. We are no longer in the mediaeval era. People are now educated, they can read, they know things, with the catechesis that they deserve they have a functional understanding of the sacred mysteries, and, ideally, should be intelligent participants in the sacred rites, not mere dumb observers, who (can you believe it??!!!) get presumptuously scolded for uttering so much as a word.
    Thanked by 2JulieColl hilluminar
  • stulte
    Posts: 242
    Is this a surprise to anyone? It was to me. I didn't realize, for one thing, that the people didn't have missals as such, and that their use was, in fact, a product of the Liturgical Movement.


    JulieColl, I'm not surprised. 98% of all Catholics since the beginning of the Church never used a pew missal at Mass. St. Pio is reputed to have said that only the priest needed a missal at Mass and that the best way to attend the Holy Sacrifice is by uniting oneself to the Virgin of Sorrows at the foot of the cross, in compassion and love.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    It's not just the lack of literacy that caused people to be silent; there was in some countries, obviously, an attitude such as stulte describes where the people were expected and encouraged to be passive spectators. And yet, as the book I'm reading says, the Polish immigrants in America at this time were not passive spectators and sang hymns and the parts of the Mass. I also know a French friend who says when she visited France as a child, the whole village would show up for funerals and the old men would sing the entire Requiem from memory, and she learned to sing it with them. Similar stories can be heard about poor African villagers who were taught by the Holy Ghost Fathers to sing the Mass and could sing all the propers as well as the ordinary *in Latin*, so congregational participation seems to have been a matter of culture.

    In America, though, it seems that passive participation was in most places the norm. Another fascinating perspective from The Unread Vision is from a priest, Fr. Vitus Stoll of Des Moines, Iowa, writing a letter entitled "Our Present Situation" to the editor of Orate, Fratres in the 40's:

    Dear O.F.:--Well, well, so you have sufficient courage to print the following: 'The writer recalls the monotonous drawling of the rosary during Mass in many localities,' and 'the writer confesses frankly that much opposition to the introduction of liturgical Mass prayers is raised by narrow educators, who, because of hide-bound custom, would rather drone the rosary or sing some popular hymn than pray the Mass.' Congratulations! The above expressed the vortex of the whole liturgical problem. It is my conviction that nothing has done and is doing more harm to and causes greater disintegration of the liturgy than the enforced recitations of the rosary at Mass. It has come to be and is still almost universally advocated by 'narrow educators.' Until this situation can be rectified, there is little progress in store for the liturgy. Your correspondent, who had to listen to the advocacy of the rosary for the Mass, is just one of millions; just a sample of the state into which things can come in the kingdom of God.


    It's very sad that the Rosary which is a beautiful and most salutary form of prayer was used and apparently even enforced as a substitute for the prayers of the Mass.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,005

    In America, though, it seems that passive participation was in most places the norm.


    Could it be...oh, let's see...perhaps...it was the Irish? ;-)
    Thanked by 1Reval
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    Yes! and there's a great section on that in the book. The Church in the USA was greatly influenced by the Irish immigrants who suffered such privations during the Penal Times and were reduced to attending Mass secretly, in caves and barns. The Irish "rock Masses" were stripped down to the essentials and had to be kept as quiet as possible. In consequence, some Irish came to believe that singing during the liturgy was a Protestant custom.

    Did you go then to the grey rocks,
    And behind a wind-swept crevice there,
    Did you find Our Mary gently waiting,
    Our Lady, sweet and fair?
    Did the sun shine gently round her,
    Making gold darts through her hair?
    And will you stay silent as the day
    When the wind has left the air?

    — "Were You At the Rock?"
    (traditional Gaelic hymn)
    Thanked by 1bonniebede
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,005
    At the older parish downtown dating from the 1860s or thereabouts the dedication names in the windows are O'Neill, O'Reilly, and other Irish names. I always suspected the O'Possums were secretly Irish, as well. LOL. In my parish dating from the turn of the 19th into the 20th century, the names on the windows are mostly German. Apparently, the Irish and the Germans wanted little to do with each other. I have been told such nationalistic parishes were common at the time.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • In my town there are three late 19th-century churches -- one for the Irish, one for the Italians, and one for the Germans. The two largest ones stand about 150 yards apart.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW JulieColl
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,415
    the Holy Ghost Fathers

    Should one point out who was their Superior General?
  • Irish and the Germans wanted little to do with each other.


    In the Diocese of Cleveland, it was not until the 20th century that a bishop appeared who knocked heads together and got them to play nice with each other.
  • We have a parish in our diocese that was historically 50% Irish, 50% German. It was literally split down the middle - Irish sat on left side of the church, Germans on the right. They were building a new church, and had a fundraiser contest to see who could raise the most money. The Irish won, so as a reward, they got to name the church St. Patrick's.

    They also made sure, when time came to build the two bell towers of the church, the tower on the left was higher.

    Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,754
    The parish my family attended in the 1950s was in a community whose initial Catholics in the late 19th century were German and Irish (the area had first been Euro-settled by Quakers in the late 17th century). The Benedictines in charge of the new parish at time chose St Kilian as the patron and title - the Irish apostle to Franconia. That said, its liturgical sensibilities were German because the Benedictines were from a line of abbeys that were ultimately German in ethnic origin. And the Germans most definitely didn't share the Irish love of the most minimalist form of Low Mass.



  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,002
    Liam, Fr. Samuel Weber noted a very similar general sentiment in the Chicago parish he attended as a child.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    I see on wdtprs.com that the question of "active participation" has come up. The author opines that "active participation" means "carrying things around, singing and clapping, etc." Hence, he suggests that the congregation ought to engage instead in "active receptivity" which he says is far superior since it involves interior engagement and focus of the mind and will.

    If I didn't know better, I might be tempted to think that the author is setting up a false dichotomy between his own personal definition of "active participation" and his own expectation of what he would prefer that the people do at Mass which is: "Watching carefully and quietly, actively receptive (sic) listening to the spoken Word or to sacred music."

    I would suggest instead that we take as our definition of active participation that which Sacrosanctum Concilium gave, because after all, His Eminence Cardinal Sarah referred to this document as the "magna carta of all liturgical celebrations."

    Here is the correct definition of active participation, as given to us by the Second Vatican Council in the Constitution on the Liturgy, signed by virtually all the bishops of the world, even Arbp. Lefebrve:

    #34: To promote active participation, the people should be encouraged to take part by means of acclamations, responses, psalmody, antiphons, and songs, as well as by actions, gestures, and bodily attitudes. And at the proper times all should observe a reverent silence.

    #54: . . . steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.

    It seems to me that there are those among the traditional-minded clergy who can't wait to return Catholic congregations to a state of mute spectatorship and immediately reduce the laity to a caste system where only professional musicians and chant scholars (men only, of course) are allowed to sing the parts of the Mass.

    It's almost as if the last 100 years had never happened in the Church. What makes them think things were so great when Catholics were saying their beads and had their noses buried in their devotional books and couldn't utter a peep during Mass? What was so wonderful about liturgical and cultural Quietism ---you know, the attitude that Catholics can only pay, pray (silently) and obey---that we must revert to it post haste?
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    Some relevant words from then-Cardinal Ratzinger on the consequences of the preconciliar "reductionist" form of celebration and the prevailing environment of passive participation:

    " . . . It must be admitted that the celebration of the old liturgy had strayed too far into a private individualism, and that communication between priest and people was insufficient. I have great respect for our forefathers who at Low Mass said the "Prayers during Mass" contained in their prayer books, but certainly one cannot consider that as the ideal of liturgical celebration! Perhaps these reductionist forms of celebration are the real reason that the disappearance of the old liturgical books was of no importance in many countries and caused no sorrow. One was never in contact with the liturgy itself.

    On the other hand, in those places where the Liturgical Movement had created a certain love for the liturgy, where the Movement had anticipated the essential ideas of the Council, such as for example, the prayerful participation of all in the liturgical action, it was those places where there was all the more distress when confronted with a liturgical reform undertaken too hastily and often limited to externals. Where the Liturgical Movement had never existed, the reform initially raised no problems. The problems only appeared in a sporadic fashion, when unchecked creativity caused the sense of the sacred mystery to disappear."

    In other words, according to Cardinal Ratzinger, the essential point of Vatican II and the original Liturgical Movement was that of St. Pius X, namely, teach the people to pray the Mass, not just pray at Mass.

    Where this was and is done, the older form of the liturgy is quite strong, as, for instance in France.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    It seems, this discussion abetted by KevinK's situation, that our clergy's zeal to enact (as if) their misguided concept of FCAP remains uninformed of the ancient cliché "You can lead a horse to water, but...."
    Again, disheartening.
    Soon we may be pondering "What's so funny about....and where did it go: Sacred, Universal, and Beautiful?"
  • stulte
    Posts: 242
    If there's a term I hope to see die a horrific, bloody death, it's the "active" in active participation. The way I see it, you're either participating or you're not when you go to Mass. Participation in something is simply to take one's part in/at an action or event. So, when I'm holding a baby with one arm and trying to keep my squirmy toddler from running up the aisle with the other, I'm not going to be picking up a hymnal or a missal. The best you'll get from me is me silently uniting my efforts to do my duties as a parent with the sacrifice taking place on the altar.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    God bless you, Stulte! Been there, done that, with six squirmy toddlers. : ) Maybe that's why now, when I am able finally to pick up my missal and hymnal and sing, I get upset if I'm told during a Latin Mass that "No sound must emanate from the pews during Mass"--- when I know that contradicts the stated papal desires from St. Pius X on and the mandate of Vatican II and the recent statements of Cardinal Sarah, the current Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship, who called Sacrosanctum Concilium "the Magna Carta of every liturgical action" and declared that the faithful should “be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them,” and said that the liturgy “must stop being a place of disobedience to the requirements of the Church.”

    Always remember the famous words that initiated the restoration of Gregorian Chant in the liturgy:

    "Special efforts are to be made to restore the use of the Gregorian Chant by the people, so that the faithful may again take a more active part in the ecclesiastical offices, as was the case in ancient times." ----Tra le sollecitudini, Pope St. Pius X, 1903

    As then-Cardinal Ratzinger pointed out in 1998, in those places where the Liturgical Movement flourished and the people were taught to sing and say in Latin those parts of the Mass that pertained to them, they resisted the liturgical reforms, whereas in those countries where the Liturgical Movement never existed, "the disappearance of the old liturgical books caused no sorrow."

    It seems to me that if traditional-minded clergy want the people to understand, love and treasure the traditional rite and be prepared to fight for it and protect it at all costs, then they should follow the mandates of the preconciliar and postconciliar popes and the Second Vatican Council and encourage the full, conscious and active participation of the people at the Vetus Ordo and not try to keep the people mute spectators, not worthy of lifting their voices in prayer in the house of God, not worthy of "dialoguing" with the sacerdos, not worthy of uttering the responses in their Missal, not worthy of singing one syllable of chant.
  • Julie,

    I obviously live in different precincts than you do. I've heard anxious laymen say that nary a word can be heard from the pews, and I've heard priests speak of the beauty of quiet participation, but - to the best of my memory - never heard a priest discourage responses from the pews.

    I can't help but come back to Pope Pius XII's admonition: to expect everyone to participate in a uniform way (both internally and externally) is wrong-headed. It's not a museum piece, but the Mass. So, participation should correspond to our ability to appreciate both the Mass and our fellow man's difficulties in approaching the mystery.

    then they should follow the mandates of the preconciliar and postconciliar popes and the Second Vatican Council and encourage the full, conscious and active participation of the people at the Vetus Ordo and not try to keep the people mute spectators, not worthy of lifting their voices in prayer in the house of God, not worthy of "dialoguing" with the sacerdos, not worthy of uttering the responses in their Missal, not worthy of singing one syllable of chant.


    I agree completely. I would add that those who have any liturgical sense whatsoever (and I count you in that number) should help those who don't (for whatever reason) to see the truth and the beauty in proper participation, and the falsehood and ugliness in anthropocentric worship.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    Of course, I should have made clear I'm talking primarily about the EF, since I've never heard of a priest in the OF telling the people it is diocesan policy for them to be silent during Mass and that only the servers or the schola can make the responses. I can't imagine the reaction if that ever occurred in the OF, but in the EF, at least in the northeast, it is not uncommon.

    You're absolutely right that noone must be forced to participate in the liturgy, and Pope Pius XII certainly was sensitive to the different levels of spirituallity of the faithful, but teaching and encouraging the people to say or sing the responses is the obligation of every priest, mandated by Sacrosanctum Conciliium, and applies equally to celebrations of the EF, as I'm sure you know very well already. Of course, we can't have liturgy police putting a gun to people's heads and forcing them to make the responses; everyone should be free to choose the degree of participation they desire, but pastors of souls are supposed to be leading the people to a full and active participation.

    SC, #14:

    "Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism.

    In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit; and therefore pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it, by means of the necessary instruction, in all their pastoral work."
  • One musical skeleton in the closet here, that I think some don't want to acknowledge openly, is the fact that conceding the necessity of ANY outward/physical lay participation creates a conundrum where the ordinary and proper chants are concerned. There is certainly something neat and tidy (and of course aesthetically pleasing) about assigning the entire ordinary and proper to the choir. For one thing it allows you to enjoy both polyphonic ordinaries and gregorian propers at the same mass. Concede that the faithful should sing some part of these texts, however, and you're plunged deep into messy, pastoral reality (who gets to sing which texts? are there any good/aesthetically pleasing congregational options? what is within the capability of this congregation? etc.). Rather than deal with this tension, I've known some who prefer to blame "active participation" for destroying the treasury of sacred music. It is far easier to ignore the principle of participation than to roll up your sleeves and work at figuring out a healthy and tradition-minded way of understanding and applying it.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I've known some who prefer to blame "active participation" for destroying the treasury of sacred music.

    Cognizant of the intent of that sentence, I yet feel that a more correct version would add "destroying the restoration of the treasury of sacred music."
    The truly ironic skeleton is that the pervasive employment of said treasure had grossly eroded by the eras of Pio's 9-12. All of us who came into "leadership" roles in the post-conciliar Church likely had libraries of St. Gregory's, Pius X or the Peoples' Mass Book on the shelves. Hardly the cream of the crop, save for the PiusX. Then there's the common recollection of pre-Boomer PIP's here in the states that defacto "treasury" was rendered by parochial school choirs on Fridays. The irony is that now that we have all the pedagogical tools pertinent to performance practice, repertoire and liturgical exactitude, we are being alienated once again to the margins by the autocratic politics existing between absentee bishops, besieged pastors, liturgist/terrorists, and the demands of "It's all about ME" laity. The laity truly believes that the Rothschild Champagne of Sacred Music now comes in a box, is cheap and gets you just as drunk, or that fine music is some sort of Castor Oil that we elitist musicians force down their throats. Geez, what were the plebes of 18th C. Salzburg and Vienna listening to at Mass? Carey Landry's "Gentle Woman?"
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    I understand the dilemma, Jared, but as you say, if you're creative and determined you will find a way to "have it all"--- a full menu of beautiful sacred music along with robust congregational participation. I do love polyphonic mass settings, of course, but I think the chant masses in the Kyriale are also very moving, and perhaps there is a way to offer both.

    What we've found works best to encourage the people to sing the chant masses is to alternate the verses of the Kyrie and Gloria between the women's voices and mixed voices. That way, the people can model their singing on the women's verse and they feel more comfortable joining in with the mixed voices. Also, sometimes the EF Communion antiphons are very simple and singable, and singing several verses of the antiphon during the reception of Communion is a nice way to introduce people to the practice of singing the Communio. Very few people join in, of course, but it gets them accustomed to the melodies.

    We are very fortunate to have some young priests who love to sing chant, and it's just amazing hearing them intone the Gloria and Ite Missa Est for some of the more obscure Masses that we sing at our chapel. Last month they learned the Messe Royale I and Mass VI, and this month they've learned Mass VII.

    Yesterday, I was very touched listening to our young Fr. Stephen sing the Ite Missa Est from Mass VII so beautifully and then, having the whole chapel answer him on the response was just exhilarating. I wondered if there was any other church in the world yesterday where that was replicated. I just wish more people could experience such liturgical awesomeness. : )

    image
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    Looking back to the OP to Fr. Peckler's lament in 1998 that "we are in the midst of a liturgical malaise," I see in Kathleen Hughe's, How Firm a Foundation, a compilation of quotes from the Early Liturgical Movement, that she makes a similar admission in 1990 about the post-conciliar liturgical renewal movement running out of gas:

    "For a variety of reasons the liturgical movement has gotten bogged down. The fire of the founders is rarely visible among us. There is a good deal of discouragement. Some say that the liturgical movement actually ended at Vatican II. Others say the liturgical movement realized all of its goals in the post-conciliar Consilium and the International Commission on English and the Liturgy produced a new library of liturgical books. What is clear is that the liturgical movement became institutionalized and needs to recover its prophetic character. Who better than the pioneers to reenergize our efforts by rooting us once again in their vision that the liturgy become the heart and center of the Christian life?"
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,710
    And, it is why a beautifully celebrated NO is a far better thing than the pre-counciliar Tridentine usage. This is not just the way it was in the 1930's. This is the way it was for hundreds upon hundreds of years. We are no longer in the mediaeval era. People are now educated, they can read, they know things, with the catechesis that they deserve they have a functional understanding of the sacred mysteries, and, ideally, should be intelligent participants in the sacred rites, not mere dumb observers


    Ahh, yes. We are the 21stC, most intelligent, most knowledgeable, and above all, most bestest of all of them.

    The implication of your declaration is, of course, that all those stupids-and-illiterates could not obtain salvation due to their stupid-and-illiteratism.

    Want to re-state?

    And that's before I begin to criticize your 'beautifully celebrated NO...Tridentine' comparison--which carries exactly the same logical inference as does the rest of your comment.

  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    But it was precisely the hip, modern, smart post-conciliar liturgical reformers who, after seting the Church on fire in the 70's, by the 90's were saying that their great renewal had stalled and sputtered to a stop. In other words, 20 years after Bugnini they had run out of inspiration, creativity and ideas.

    Why is that, dear Dad29? (That's a softball question if there ever was one.)
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,710
    Julie, I'll leave that to a 21stC most knowledgeable smartest innerlekshual to answer.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    I'm only too happy to answer my own question. It seems to me that there was indeed sufficient justification for the development of the Liturgical Movement (although, in some sense, the original goals of the Liturgical Movement are a perennial need since there is always a need for the restoration of collective piety and a refocusing on the essentials).

    However, the Bugnini reformers, instead of focusing on the fulfillment of the "essential criteria of Sacrosanctum Concilium" (cf. Cardinal Ratzinger), became obsessed with ritual change and believed it was their mission to redesign and recreate the liturgy. As Thomas Merton proclaimed in 1964: "All is yet to be fashioned . . . I wonder too if we are yet ready to create new forms that will be "eternal." Better to envisage a long state of transition and experimentation and hope that plenty of freedom will be granted and properly used!"

    So they determined to create almost ex nihilo a brave new liturgical world, but because they rejected out of hand so much of the preconciliar liturgical tradition, they quickly ended up in a ditch. Nemo dat quod non habet. They were big on promise but short on substance, and some of them, from what I can tell, are ready to go back and find the baby they threw out with the bath water so long ago.

    I wonder how much of the Bugnini reform would have been needed at all if the laws and traditions of the Roman rite had been faithfully observed?
    Thanked by 1francis
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,005
    I agree fully that both the NO and the Tridentine Rites are hack jobs that mangled the Divine Liturgy that existed in 5th-century Rome. Bad dogs! Woof! Those reformers will not find themselves in the heavenly dog park for eternity.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    I certainly hope I will be among the doggies having a ball in the heavenly dog park, too, and if I make it there, I fully expect to see many of the great liturgists of the 19th and 20th centuries, regardless of what form of the Roman rite with which they are associated. One thing I've learned from reading about the people in the Liturgical Movement is that most of them were clearly very saintly, zealous, profound and heroic, even if I don't agree with every single thing they wrote. Believe me, Charles, I think I have far more in common with Dorothy Day, for example, than with many other folks of my own ideological ilk (whatever that is); I don't even really know what my ideological identity is anymore. I feel like an ideological nomad most of the time. : )
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,005
    I don't even really know what my ideological identity is anymore. I feel like an ideological nomad most of the time. : )


    Well, you've certainly come to the right place. LOL. It's all too crazy!
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,710
    if the laws and traditions of the Roman rite had been faithfully observed?


    They never have been. Read Mgr Hayburn's "Papal Legislation..." It's the same letter(s) published dozens of times from 50AD forward.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,227
    That book is certainly an eye opener.
    Thanked by 1eft94530
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    Apropos liturgical laws not being observed:

    "Popular appreciation of the sacred liturgy would have been vastly different today if, before every administration of the sacraments in the past hundred years, an explanatory instruction had been given, as the Roman Ritual directs; if at every Sunday Mass---there had been the homily or explanation required by the Council of Trent; if at every Low Mass the celebrating priest had pronounced loudly and clearly the words which we must now teach the people; if the faithful at a Sung Mass had not been denied the right to respond in violation of the traditions of our rite; if church builders had placed the choir near the altar where it belongs, to lead the people; if baptistries had been placed at the entrance to churches, to signify the meaning of baptismal initiaion.

    This is only to suggest, by a few examples, how obedience to law has ample motivation in the reasonableness and fruitfulness of the legal precept. And this is nowhere clearer than in the case of sacred worship, where the reverence due to God is at stake and where the sanctity of persons is the profit."

    Fr. Frederick McManus, Address at the National Liturgical Week, Notre Dame, 1959
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,754
    I assume Fr McManus omitted the the issue of frequent communion by the faithful, which was also embraced by Trent but actually not implemented for more than 300 years until Pope St Pius X finally did it, because it had finally been started, but that long delay was interwoven with the other things mentioned by McManus.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,574
    "Popular appreciation of the sacred liturgy would have been vastly different today if"

    Hmm.
    If today we do "aaa" then tomorrow vastly different will be "bbb".
    What are "aaa"?
    What are "bbb"?
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    But the aaaaaa in his quote, which I've bolded, are quite significant, and IF the liturgical reforms had ended right there, along with the implementation of the original goals of the Liturgical Movement proposed by Dom Lambert Beaudoin, I think it's pretty certain that the state of the liturgy (and of the Church) would be vastly different today.

    Shouldn't en effort be made to go back and re-discover the good work of the Liturgical Movement before it went off the rails, and pick up the banner and go on?