USCCB notes about the Mass
  • Excerpted from the USCCB site.

    http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/general-instruction-of-the-roman-missal/girm-chapter-2.cfm

    The Italics are mine, highlighting some issues that would at times vary from what I and possibly others new to this have believed to the intent of the GIRM...and possibly why there has been confusion.

    For example, while the Communion Chant is mentioned, later it is described as the chant after communion.




    The Prayers and Other Parts Pertaining to the Priest

    30. Among those things assigned to the Priest, the prime place is occupied by the Eucharistic Prayer, which is the high point of the whole celebration. Next are the orations, that is to say, the Collect, the Prayer over the Offerings, and the Prayer after Communion. These prayers are addressed to God by the Priest who presides over the assembly in the person of Christ, in the name of the entire holy people and of all present.[43] Hence they are rightly called the “presidential prayers.”

    31. Likewise it is also for the Priest, in the exercise of his office of presiding over the gathered assembly, to offer certain explanations that are foreseen in the rite itself. Where this is laid down by the rubrics, the celebrant is permitted to adapt them somewhat so that they correspond to the capacity for understanding of those participating. However, the Priest should always take care to keep to the sense of the explanatory text given in the Missal and
    to express it in just a few words. It is also for the presiding Priest to regulate the Word of God and to impart the final blessing. He is permitted, furthermore, in a very few words, to give the faithful an introduction to the Mass of the day (after the initial Greeting and before the Penitential Act), to the Liturgy of the Word (before the readings), and to the Eucharistic Prayer (before the Preface), though never during the Eucharistic Prayer itself; he may also make concluding comments regarding the entire sacred action before the Dismissal.


    32. The nature of the “presidential” parts requires that they be spoken in a loud and clear voice and that everyone listen to them attentively.[44] Therefore, while the Priest is pronouncing them, there should be no other prayers or singing, and the organ or other musical instruments should be silent.

    33. For the Priest, as the one who presides, expresses prayers in the name of the Church and of the assembled community; but at times he prays only in his own name, asking that he may exercise his ministry with greater attention and devotion. Prayers of this kind, which occur before the reading of the Gospel, at the Preparation of the Gifts, and also before and after the Communion of the Priest, are said quietly.

    Other Formulas Occurring during the Celebration

    34. Since the celebration of Mass by its nature has a “communitarian” character,[45] both the dialogues between the Priest and the assembled faithful, and the acclamations are of great significance;[46] for they are not simply outward signs of communal celebration but foster and bring about communion between Priest and people.

    35. The acclamations and the responses of the faithful to the Priest’s greetings and prayers constitute that level of active participation that is to be made by the assembled faithful in every form of the Mass, so that the action of the whole community may be clearly expressed and fostered.[47]

    36. Other parts, most useful for expressing and fostering the active participation of the faithful, and which are assigned to the whole gathering, include especially the Penitential Act, the Profession of Faith, the Universal Prayer, and the Lord’s Prayer.

    37. Finally, among other formulas:

    a) Some constitute an independent rite or act, such as the Gloria in excelsis (Glory to God in the highest), the Responsorial Psalm, the Alleluia and Verse before the Gospel, the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy), the Memorial Acclamation, and the chant after Communion;

    b) Others, on the other hand, accompany some other rite, such as the chants at the Entrance, at the Offertory, at the fraction (Agnus Dei, Lamb of God) and at Communion.

    The Manner of Pronouncing the Different Texts

    38. In texts that are to be pronounced in a loud and clear voice, whether by the Priest or the Deacon, or by a reader, or by everyone, the voice should correspond to the genre of the text itself, that is, depending upon whether it is a reading, a prayer, an explanatory comment, an acclamation, or a sung text; it should also be suited to the form of celebration and to the solemnity of the gathering. Consideration should also be given to the characteristics of different languages and of the culture of different peoples.

    Therefore, in the rubrics and in the norms that follow, words such as “say” and “proclaim” are to be understood either of singing or of reciting, with due regard for the principles stated here above.

    The Importance of Singing

    39. The Christian faithful who come together as one in expectation of the Lord’s coming are instructed by the Apostle Paul to sing together Psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles (cf. Col 3:16). Singing is the sign of the heart’s joy (cf. Acts 2:46). Thus St. Augustine says rightly, “Singing is for one who loves,”[48] and there is also an ancient proverb: “Whoever sings well prays twice over.”

    40. Great importance should therefore be attached to the use of singing in the celebration of the Mass, with due consideration for the culture of peoples and abilities of each liturgical assembly. Although it is not always necessary (e.g., in weekday Masses) to sing all the texts that are in principle meant to be sung, every care should be taken that singing by the ministers and the people not be absent in celebrations that occur on Sundays and on Holydays of Obligation.

    However, in the choosing of the parts actually to be sung, preference is to be given to those that are of greater importance and especially to those which are to be sung by the Priest or the Deacon or a reader, with the people replying, or by the Priest and people together.[49]

    41. The main place should be given, all things being equal, to Gregorian chant, as being proper to the Roman Liturgy. Other kinds of sacred music, in particular polyphony, are in no way excluded, provided that they correspond to the spirit of the liturgical action and that they foster the participation of all the faithful.[50]

    Since the faithful from different countries come together ever more frequently, it is desirable that they know how to sing together at least some parts of the Ordinary of the Mass in Latin, especially the Profession of Faith and the Lord’s Prayer, according to the simpler settings.[51]
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    For example, while the Communion Chant is mentioned, later it is described as the chant after communion.


    There's two different terms because they're two distinct chants. One is a proper, the other is a time to sing a hymn or another devotional chant like adoro te or te deum.
  • Noel,

    The communion chant is clearly described in GIRM 86 and 87. It is entirely different from the song of praise after communion:

    GIRM 88. When the distribution of Communion is over, if appropriate, the Priest and faithful pray quietly for some time. If desired, a Psalm or other canticle of praise or a hymn may also be sung by the whole congregation.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 737
    I suppose that can be likened to this (arguably confusing) part of the introductions in the LU, where it states:

    VIII.
    ...After the Communion, the full choir sings the Antiphon which is thus named, the
    Intonation being sung by one, two or four cantors as in the case of the Introit.

    The Communion Antiphon is sung while the priest is consuming the Blessed
    Sacrament. When there are other communicants, the Antiphon is begun when
    the priest distributes Communion. If the Antiphon is taken from a Psalm, other
    Verses of the same Psalm may be sung. In that case the Antiphon may be repeated
    after every Verse or two Verses; and when the Communion is ended Gloria Patri
    followed by the Antiphon is sung.
  • Ben, Paul,

    Thanks, I am aware of that - unless one carefully reads the text from the two paragraphs, which at first reading I didn't.

    I do find other interesting issues here - "with due consideration for the culture of peoples and abilities of each liturgical assembly." now this is a loophole.

    The explanation of when the music is to be silent is helpful.


    "The acclamations are of great significance;[46] for they are not simply outward signs of communal celebration but foster and bring about communion between Priest and people."

    I've never come across the use of the word communion in this way, which I find perfectly explains and raises the importance role of the acclamations to me, and possibly others.

    And the list of moments when the priest may stop and explain the Mass was a surprise to me as well.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,300
    communion between Priest and people? Is this ever a theological principle in the UA?
  • More ambiguity from the USCCB?
    Thanked by 1Ben Yanke
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,819
    It's the GIRM.
    Thanked by 1ronkrisman
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,337
    Yes, it's the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani) that is being trashed discussed. It's not "notes." And the last I checked, it was from the Apostolic See, not the USCCB. And if someone is having problems with the English translation, that's ICEL's doing, not the USCCB's.
  • Carp!

    I did think something was fishy about this.

    I thought it was bishop's note on the GIRM...don't recall it being so ambiguous! Wasn't attacking either document, but remarking on issues that had, in the way that they were presented, could have caused situations - such as priest's welcoming the people before Mass and singing happy birthday and having strangers stand up during Mass to be welcomed - to come about.

    I don't remember the GIRM as being so - Sing to the Lord-ish, but possibly I have just been away from it so long. My sincere apologies for posting.
  • The Council of Trent also came from the Apostolic See, and so did Quo Primum if I recall correctly.
    Thanked by 1Ben Yanke
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,907
    Hi, Noel!

    If you're wondering what parts of the U.S. GIRM are distinctive to the U.S., you can find editions for some other regions on the web:

    England/Wales:
    http://www.liturgyoffice.org.uk/Resources/GIRM/Documents/index.shtml

    Australia:
    https://www.catholic.org.au/acbc-media/downloads/bishops-commissions/bishops-commission-for-liturgy-1/164-vatican-approves-general-instruction-of-the-roman-missal-for-australia-1

    The Missale Romanum 2002 text here also contains the Latin IGMR:
    http://media.musicasacra.com/books/latin_missal2002.pdf

    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • The Council of Trent also came from the Apostolic See


    You may not be clear on what an ecumenical council is (or possibly on where Trent is). :-)
    Thanked by 2Liam Olivier
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,300
    no one answered my question
    Thanked by 1ClergetKubisz
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,819
    Communio has interrelated manifestations, as the communio sanctorum, for example.
  • You may not be clear on what an ecumenical council is (or possibly on where Trent is). :-)


    There are those much more intelligent than you or I that will tell you that V2 was not a true council of the Church, and can defend their statements.

    And yes, I am very clear on what the term "ecumenical" truly means: it comes from the Greek meaning "of the house."

    @Francis: no one will, because the implication of your question is correct, and people are afraid of the answer.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,300
    CK

    I know. It is innovation and novelty.
  • fcbfcb
    Posts: 270
    @Francis: no one will, because the implication of your question is correct, and people are afraid of the answer.


    Well, I'm not entirely sure what his question mean, since I'm not entirely sure what it means for something to be a "theological principle" in a particular liturgical form. But certainly what the GIRM points to in using the phrase "communion between the priest and people"--namely the dialogues and acclamations--are present in the UA (presuming that means the Extraordinary Form of the Mass). Of course the UA doesn't have included within it anything that really matches the GIRM's elucidation of theological principles, so I suppose it is perfectly possible for someone to say that the UA knows nothing of the Mass dialogues serving to unite celebrant and assembly in the common worship of God. I think it is pretty difficult to make this case, however, because it is difficult to see what else might be going on when the celebrant sings/says Dominus vobiscum and the people respond Et cum spiritu tuo. What other "theological principle" might underly such a liturgical form. So the answer is "yes, it is a principle in the UA."
  • So, "communion between priest and people" means the dialogues and acclamations. In the Usus Antiquior (UA), those dialogues and acclamations do not exist between priest and people: the congregation does not make the responses to the priest. According to Dr. Carol Byrne in her article on participation in the Mass, she claims that the responses are intended to be between clergy in the sanctuary, the altar boys making the responses in the absence of other clergy by indult. So, insofar as you define "communion between priest and people" to mean the dialogues and acclamations, it is not a principle in the Usus Antiquior.

    I'd also like to mention that the communion isn't supposed to be between the priest and the people: it's supposed to be between the people and God.

    See the following link for details: http://www.traditioninaction.org/HotTopics/f078_Dialogue_6.htm
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,907
    That "not A but B" formulation is a mistake.

    The people don't have direct unmediated communion with God. Christians have communion with God because they are members of the mystical Body of Christ, the Church.

    Thanked by 1MarkThompson
  • It's not a mistake: the people do not have communion with the priest, only God. You said it yourself. The mediator of our communion with God is Christ Himself, by way of His sacrifice on Calvary. Yes, the priest acts as the Alter Christus during the Mass, but the communion isn't with him: it's with God.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,907
    The author's contention that the priest never addresses the people but only clergy in choir is hard to believe, given that the old Missal is replete with examples of:

    Deinde osculatur Altare, et versus ad
    populum, dicit: V. Dóminus vobíscum.
    R. Et cum spíritu tuo.


    She gives precisely zero footnotes in support of that contention.
    Thanked by 1MarkThompson
  • I think Francis' point is this: if the "communion" is between the priest and the people, is this properly situated within communion with God, or is it a stand-alone, which excludes God (implicitly or explicitly; intentionally or inadvertently).

    Now, as to the claim that the dialogues are only between clerics --- I would have trouble how that makes sense for all of the dialogues. The people aren't required to sing, because no rubric requires them to do so, but something has gone wrong (praxistically speaking) if the priest sings Dominus Vobiscum, and .....[crickets] no one answers him.

    Remember that (praxis in many places notwithstanding) the norm for the Mass is the Pontifical sung Mass, not Low Mass.
  • Remember that (praxis in many places notwithstanding) the norm for the Mass is the Pontifical sung Mass, not Low Mass.


    Which would mean no crickets, because the schola would be present to sing the responses.

    The people aren't required to sing, because no rubric requires them to do so, but something has gone wrong (praxistically speaking) if the priest sings Dominus Vobiscum, and .....[crickets] no one answers him.


    The same holds true in the NO, because the priest is required to say certain things that require a response. Do the red, say the black, etc.

    This is also why Low Mass was said with priest and server. I don't have direct evidence for this, but it stands to reason that in the absence of a lay server or acolyte, priests would take this part for each other when saying daily Mass.

    The author's contention that the priest never addresses the people but only clergy in choir is hard to believe...


    Again, no direct evidence for this, but it makes sense to me because the priests and other clergy are ordained to perform the sacrifice; the people are not. Therefore, the priests and other clergy perform the sacrifice in the sanctuary independent of the congregation. The presence of the congregation wasn't a requirement for Mass, and that is still true today. Also, it is indicative of a very clear line between the ordained who can make the sacrifice and perform liturgical duties in the sanctuary (allegory: Holy of Holies), and the unordained who cannot. That line has been blurred today in what I think is a misunderstanding of the concept of the Royal Priesthood.
    Thanked by 2CCooze CHGiffen
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,907
    I think there is a sort of mistake in this passage, but not the one Clerget is arguing for:

    34. Cum Missæ celebratio natura sua indolem “ communitariam ” habeat, dialogis inter sacerdotem et fideles congregatos necnon acclamationibus magna vis inhæret: etenim non sunt tantum signa externa celebrationis communis, sed communionem inter sacerdotem et populum fovent et efficiunt.


    I can understand that someone would say that congregational participation in the dialogues fosters ("fovent") communion between priest and people. That is a real thing and a good thing. [On the other hand, to speak of it as an objective without pointing to a higher context suggests that the writers of the document may have had an overly 'horizontal' mindset.]

    But I think a mistake is here: I'm not sure that it's really wise to say that such participation actualizes ("efficiunt": make, effect, perform) that communion. It places too much weight on the congregation's action: it seems to suggest that the only way to have a share in the sacramental rite is to actively, audibly, visibly *do* all one's assigned parts. It almost suggests that people who attended Mass silently in the old form before the 1960s were lacking in grace somehow. But they were in communion with the Church: in particular, with their bishop and the Pope and their pastor and the priest celebrating Mass and with their neighbors in the pews (or at least the ones in the state of grace).
  • I am appalled at some of those segments that Noel has italisised. When the holy bishops themselves formally suggest and permit extra-ritual commentary by priests one really just wants purge oneself and admit that the cause of liturgical integrity is hopelessly compromised by those very ones who are most responsible for its observance. We in the Catholic Church are up against a cultivated culture of ignorance, folksy ritual, and slap-dash liturgical praxis. And, as if it weren't slap-dash enough already, the bishops assure their familiae that it may be even more assemblisised.

    The time for catechesis and explanation of what is going on in the mass is anywhere and anyplace other than the mass itself, whose ritual integrity should never, ever, be besmirched by a single non-ritual act or word. The liturgy is a spiritual vehicle which takes us on an unfolding spiritual journey that is crassly shattered by every non-ritual interjection.
    This sort of thing would be literally non-thinkable at Walsingham. And, I don't doubt that it would be thought a gratuitous sacrilege within the eastern rites, not to mention the orthodox themselves - and, I should think, throughout the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter. One just doesn't do this - unless one is (Roman) 'Cath'lic'.

    Shame on the bishops. They should be correcting this problem, not blessing it. This is a real 'shot in the arm' for those legions of priests who think that what they have to say is more important than ritual flow. It isn't. It never is.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,907
    Is there a misunderstanding, MJO? The material which Noel posted doesn't contain unofficial commentary. For better or worse, it's official text from the U.S. GIRM; not that the U.S. bishops are particularly responsible for it: they presented these paragraphs from Rome unmodified, as far as I know.

    I haven't checked, but they were probably carried over from previous editions of the GIRM since 1969.
  • Perhaps, Chonak, I did misunderstand. Mea culpa. It's just that this is such a gargantuan problem in Roman Rite liturgy as practiced in the US. It seemed to me that the portions which caught my eye did approve of interjected comments during the mass. Whether they came from our bishops or Rome, it is equally disgusting. This is a grievous affront to me every time I venture forth from Walsingham, which is as seldom as possible. I must say that the situation at UST's St Basil's Chapel, at which I am heavily involved from time to time is, for the most part, not culpable in regards to this near universal problem in our land.
    Forgive me if I seem to be intemperate about it.
    Thanked by 1chonak
  • “Lest Christ’s flock go hungry . . . the Holy Synod commands pastors and each and all of those others having the care of souls that frequently during the celebration of Mass, either personally or through others, they should explain what is read at Mass; and expound, among other things, something of the mystery of this most holy Sacrifice, especially on Sundays and feast days.”
    -GIRM #11

    This would seem to suggest that commentary by the priest throughout the Mass is encouraged by the GIRM. Although, "...frequently during the celebration of Mass..." could also mean that during the sermon, the priest regularly explains and catechizes.

    In this regard, although the use of the vernacular in the Sacred Liturgy is a means, admittedly of great importance, for expressing more clearly catechesis on the mystery, a catechesis inherent in the celebration itself, the Second Vatican Council ordered additionally that certain prescriptions of the Council of Trent that had not been followed everywhere be brought to fruition, such as the Homily to be given on Sundays and feast days and the faculty to interject certain explanations during the sacred
    rites themselves.
    -GIRM #13

    There it is in black and white: "...and the faculty to interject certain explanations during the sacred rites themselves." MJO is right, the GIRM explicitly encourages commentary by the priest in the middle of performing any and all ritual actions during the Mass.

    This is one aspect of the NO that can easily be, and very often is, abused. Specifically, it really bothers me when priests add words to the Eucharistic Prayers.
  • Lest we get carried away, it would be helpful for us to re-read paragraph 31, which states when explanations can--and cannot--occur.
  • And how to do it "in just a few words", and "in a very few words". V2 SC no.35.3 "brief comments, when needed ... only at the more suitable moments ... set formula or similar"
  • For those without access to the GIRM, or who may not be familiar with what Olivier has correctly mentioned:

    31. Likewise it is also for the Priest, in the exercise of his office of presiding over the gathered assembly, to offer certain explanations that are foreseen in the rite itself. Where this is laid down by the rubrics, the celebrant is permitted to adapt them somewhat so that they correspond to the capacity for understanding of those participating. However, the Priest should always take care to keep to the sense of the explanatory text given in the Missal and to express it in just a few words. It is also for the
    presiding Priest to regulate the Word of God and to impart the final blessing. He is permitted, furthermore, in a very few words, to give the faithful an introduction to the Mass of the day (after the initial Greeting and before the Penitential Act), to the Liturgy of the Word (before the readings), and to the Eucharistic Prayer (before the Preface), though never during the Eucharistic Prayer itself; he may also make concluding comments regarding the entire sacred action before the Dismissal.
    -GIRM #31

    I'm a little suspicious of the following: "Where this is laid down by the rubrics, the celebrant is permitted to adapt them somewhat so that they correspond to the capacity for understanding of those participating." To me, this seems to give quite a bit of latitude to the priest to alter the later-mentioned "explanatory text given in the Missal" to conform to what he perceives as the congregation's capacity for understanding them. This is ambiguous and could very easily be abused. What does "...permitted to adapt them somewhat..." mean? How much adaptation is considered "somewhat?" Is there a point at which the texts in question have been altered to the point where the adaptation no longer falls under the protection of this provision? If so, what is that point? Also, how should the priest go about judging the congregation's capacity for understanding the explanatory texts? Is there a standard for making this call or are priests just supposed to judge for themselves? This provision also opens the possibility of eliminating Latin from the liturgy because "the people can't understand it," which would be contrary to the Church's desire that the people learn at least the Ordinary in Latin. From SC #42:
    Nevertheless 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.
    - Sacrosanctum Concilium #42.
  • This is one aspect of the NO that can easily be, and very often is, abused


    If it says that he may offer commentary, then it's not an abuse to offer commentary, at least where the rubrics allow such a thing. It even appears that simplifying the rubrics is permitted by the rubrics. I'm reminded of a line from A Man for All Seasons: "to dispense from his dispensation"
  • You are correct. If the priest is using the appropriated times, such as between the entrance procession and the Penitential Rite, to offer brief commentary on the rites, then it is permitted and would not be considered an abuse. For example, our priest today used that time to explain the readings and how we might meditate on them to ask God for forgiveness for our faults. This is certainly not an abuse. However, we frequently have a guest priest, who is really a retired pastor of the Diocese that covers Masses wherever he is needed, who will use that time to whip up the emotion and excitement of the congregation with his charismatic personality. He might make some commentary on the Mass, or the rites, but he will then take it in his own direction for his own charismatic, entertainment purposes. This is clearly an abuse.
  • If it says he may offer commentary.... it's not abuse to offer...


    Perhaps I may offer this commentary (after giving due thanks to Chonak for correcting my aim) -

    So, Rome says that commentary is alright...
    So, the GIRM says that commentary is alright...

    So, even Rome and the GIRM are guilty of legitimising the crass blotchment of the mass.
    And, one might observe that Rome hasn't exactly a lily-white 'track record' when it comes to defending the integrity of the mass.
    And, of course, we would be naïve to think that some of these permissive allowances were not granted at the behest of the American bishops, the same club that lobbied for female altar servers, pop music and worse, exiled the propers, presumed to forbid chant and Latin, etc., etc., ... the list is endless.

    It really doesn't matter from which 'competent authorities' permission is obtained, nor their purely legal competency. An objective disorder has been legitimised. With or without legal permission, commentary of any kind between 'In the Name of...' and 'Depart in peace' is an objectively disordered presumption.

    And, beneath it all is the gratuitous assumption that the people haven't a clue as to what they are here for today, what happens in the mass, what liturgical day it is, what church they're in, etc., and so forth, in short, the presumption that they are really all rather daft when it comes to their faith. Only Roman rite Catholic clerics think so abjectly little of their people's brains.

    Too, I sort of think that they are so embarrassed or overwhelmed by the profundity of the mass that they just have to do something to 'lighten it up' and make it folksy.

    SO, wherever the Permission comes from, taking advantage of it remains an objective abuse - (which reminds me of one of the Clinton woman's favourite retorts: 'well, it wasn't illegal'.)
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,907
    I'm not fond of the idea of adding catechetical commentaries sprinkled through the Mass either. The GIRM wasn't the first authorization for that practice. The 1958 De musica sacra et sacra liturgia also allows for it.
  • My view is that the Mass should be catechetical in and of itself, with no explanation required. Part of loving someone is that you go out of your way to learn things about the one you love...on your own...from your own will know them more deeply. If you love the Church, you will have no problems doing the work required to learn her ways.
  • Is there any evidence that Trent intended (as the English version of the GIRM seems to imply, though not perhaps the Latin) that commentary ("liturgical catechesis") was to be inserted into the ritual?

    The GIRM references SC, as mectioned above. SC 35.3 says "Etiam catechesis directius liturgica omnibus modis inculcetur..." but offers no footnote to Trent or anywhere else.

    Trent mentions this in session 22 (cap 8): "mandat sancta Synodus pastoribus ...ut frequenter inter Missarum celebrationem vel per se vel per alios ex his quae in Missa leguntur aliquid exponant". Hmm, "per alios": Commentators? Probably not laymen, though, in 1570.

    Inter could mean "between" (the celebration of Masses) but I guess it should be "during", since the homily was taken up during Masses (usually after the Gospel, sometimes after the Communion) in the ("Counter-") Reformation period.

    I take it that Trent did indeed envisage liturgical commentary during the rite, but that it wasn't take up, just as the GIRM says.
  • nter could mean "between" (the celebration of Masses) but I guess it should be "during", since the homily was taken up during Masses (usually after the Gospel, sometimes after the Communion) in the ("Counter-") Reformation period.


    Interesting. The sermon was considered a break during the Mass: Mass was "suspended" during the sermon and it wasn't considered part of the Mass itself. So, it could perhaps be that even Trent intended for priests to insert commentary on the rites of Mass into their sermons.
  • EWTN offers this translation
    CHAPTER VIII
    THE MASS MAY NOT BE CELEBRATED IN THE VERNACULAR. ITS MYSTERIES TO BE EXPLAINED TO THE PEOPLE

    Though the mass contains much instruction for the faithful, it has, nevertheless, not been deemed advisable by the Fathers that it should be celebrated everywhere in the vernacular tongue. Wherefore, the ancient rite of each Church, approved by the holy Roman Church, the mother and mistress of all churches, being everywhere retained, that the sheep of Christ may not suffer hunger, or [19] the holy council commands pastors and all who have the "cura animarum" that they, either themselves or through others, explain frequently during the celebration of the mass some of the things read during the mass, and that among other things they explain some mystery of this most holy sacrifice, especially on Sundays and festival days.[20]
    19 Lam. 4:4.
    20 Cf. Sess. V, chap. 2 de ref., and Sess. XXIV, chap. 7 de ref.
    My italics.
    V2 also agreed with Trent that it is not advisable that the mass should be celebrated everywhere in the vernacular.
    P.S. I see the version posted by Liam while I was posting lacks the word frequently!
  • "Commentary", unscripted, which fills in the dead spaces during Mass, and helps the faithful by distracting them...

    Squared sides, and occasionally corners, on circles.....

    Pregnant men

  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,300
    o jeesh... I just wandered back into this thread.
  • I can't help but observe, re Mr Hawkins' quote just above, that commentary during the mass, if, indeed, it was in any way 'suggested' or 'envisioned' by Trent, that this 'envisionment' is predicated entirely on the assumption that the mass will be celebrated in Latin, and not in the vernacular tongue. Considering that we are now in the age of vernacular liturgy, this rather makes any such real or theoretical thought by Trent on the question at hand, so it seems to me, rather moot. It also means that, since people are able to comprehend the language, that they don't need to be told what it means - sort of like the moronic TV commentator who tell us idiots what the president said after we just listened to the president's speech?

    And, as for the mass 'being suspended': this, in itself, betrays a gross failure to understand that the mass is a thriving, living, unfolding continuum from the first to the last ritual words. One doesn't suspend something so profound, alive, and sacred as the mass, as it evolves from poenitential confession to praise, to hearing and assimilating the Lord's word, to being taught (homily) its import, to confession of faith assenting to be God's people, to sacrifice, to sacred meal on what has been sacrificed, to dismissal and going forth as God's people. (All this, incidentally, follows a ritual pattern that has its roots deep in ancient Semitic precursors.) Why is it that people, priests and bishops of all people, cannot grasp that there is no possible suspension of an act that has no breaks in its wondrous and miraculous continuity from beginning to end. It IS NOT now we do this, and now we do that, and now we suspend, and now we have a commentary. This is crucifying the mass itself! Every 'suspension', every non-ritual act or word is a blemish on the sacred canvass - a gratuitous affront to God, and to his people.

    Even were we to have Latin as a sole option for mass in our day, I, for one, would be immensely affronted by the notion on anyone's part that it needed to be explained to me during mass what was happening and what it meant (let alone what day it was, what church I was in, and so forth). This is representative of a centuries old presumption on the part of those in holy orders that those who aren't in holy orders are mentally challenged when it comes to understanding their faith and the mass. They really need to be disabused of this gratuitous spiritual arrogance.

    It matters not whether Trent, Rome, The Vatican, the bishops, the priests, or anyone legitimises this atrocious practice. It remains an objective and disordered abuse, and an affront to the people of God.

  • I'm behind you 100%, MJO, this is an absurd and dangerous break in the Church's objective tradition.

    Commentary on the Mass was a real thing in the pre-Conciliar era. Dom Alcuin Reid provides examples of people complaining about the practice in "The Organic Development of the Liturgy" and I'd provide quotes if I had it on me.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • This all seems very harsh and removed from the lived reality of Sunday-to-Sunday warts-and-all parochial life.

    Of all the dumb liturgical abuses I have witnessed, explanations from the priest have not really been an issue.

    Our pastor has been bit by bit restoring the parish's music, vestments, decor, sanctuary arrangement, and manners. Much of this gets explained in the bulletin, but there has been some at the start of mass and at the time of the homily as well. I have appreciated it and do not take it as an affront or as "another nail in our Lord's body."
  • Olivier,

    May I make a distinction?

    If a priest preaches, during the time allotted for the sermon, about liturgical forms or rubrics, or proper disposition for reception of Holy Communion or..... [Where's Cardinal Sarah when I need him...] this is not "commentary", but teaching.

    If a priest peppers the Mass with mini-sermons at all sorts of places other than the space and time allotted for the sermon, these distract from the flow of the act of worship which is already in progress.
  • C G-Z,
    But all that was already covered in paragraph 31, which was given by Noel Jones at the very beginning of this discussion. Nowhere did that text green-light chattiness, showboating, gratuitous interjections, etc. Those things are indeed bad! I'm with you!

    I provided an example I had seen of some "non-ritual acts or words," both at the beginning of mass and during the homily, working for *good*--to demonstrate that it can happen, and because things are beginning to sound kind of nutty here.

    But maybe I'm missing something. (I often do!) Is this a problem actually happening in masses? Now? (I've read a few accounts of this happening in the 60s and 70s, but none since.) What kind of commentaries are the PIPs subjected to, and when do they occur? And does it fall within the guidelines of what is allowed by GIRM? Examples would provide a most helpful context.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    But all that was already covered in paragraph 31, which was given by Noel Jones at the very beginning of this discussion. Nowhere did that text green-light chattiness, showboating, gratuitous interjections, etc. Those things are indeed bad! I'm with you!


    If I may expand upon what CGZ said, I don't think he's saying it's legally wrong, because as you say, it's in the GIRM.

    It appears what he's saying (and I agree) is that this sort of thing has never had a place in the tradition of the roman rite, and it's a real shame to see innovations like this added for no real reason.

    In other words, not that a priest can't, but simply that he shouldn't.

    (correct me if I misread your intentions behind your comment, CGZ)
  • In other words, not that a priest can't, but simply that he shouldn't.


    I have always maintained that just because someone has the right to do something, doesn't mean that they are justified in doing it.

    ...and Mass being "suspended" for the sermon was a comparison to indicate that the sermon isn't considered part of the Mass, from what I understand.
  • In my life this happens in a thing called a "teaching mass" aimed at first communion or confirmation classes. The commentary is prepared and differs because of the age of the kids. The only other thing that might fall into this category is remarks about who should or should not receive communion which happen sometimes at funerals and weddings when there is a very miscellaneous congregation present.