Monday, March 19, 2007

I'm no enemy of the Old Rite...

Call it what you will (Tridentine Rite, Mass of Pius V, Old Mass, or -- most incorrectly -- the Latin Mass), it was and still is a beautiful and immensely rich way to celebrate the Holy Eucharist.

One blog reader took offence when he thought I said that I wanted "the Old Mass to die off". I didn't say that, and did not mean that. I said that "My guess is that if this were the practice [ie. Mass of Paul VI done in Latin, ad orientam, with gregorian chant and kneeling for communion], the demand for the Rite of Pius V would disappear overnight".

I did not mean that I wanted those celebrations of the Holy Mass in those communities to whom this rite has been entrusted (like the wonderful Confraternity of St Peter) to "die off". I meant that most of the complaints about the Paul VI mass and most of the praise of the Pius V mass are over aspects such as language and music and ceremony and the decorum with which it is celebrated, and have nothing to do with the rite itself--in other words, the issue is not really one of the rite at all, but the manner in which it is conducted.

With regard to the rites themselves, many proponents of the Pian Rite see only richness lost in the Paul VI rite. In fact, a great deal of richness has been added, which is not at all alien to the tradition, such as the Old Testament reading and the traditions incorporated into the additional Eucharistic Prayers.

If we are going to have an argument (and I don't see why we should) let's base our arugment on the rite, and not on how well or how poorly either rite is conducted.

As for me and my house, we will treasure both for what they are: the great and glorious Liturgy of the Holy and Divine Eucharist.


At Monday, March 19, 2007 4:01:00 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ouch, David. I hope you didn't mean me. There are aspects of both rites that I like. The last thing I want to do is get into an argument with you about the two rites. I could point out a couple of things though...

At Monday, March 19, 2007 4:07:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

Schuetz selbst! I have enjoyed your occasional incursions into the Lutheran blogoshpere so much. Haven't seen you there for a while, so I followed some links to your site.

I am amazed to find -- though in view of my life's experiences, I should not be -- in your post for St Joseph's Day that the Roman church appears as mired in its tired worship wars as it was over thirty years ago, a bleeding generation ago, when I left in 1973!

It may well be that for many the Latin and chant and all is what is missed in the current Mass. But you are quite right that this sort of thing is about execution, not content. The flip side of the coin is, both the Tridentine Rite and the novus ordo are Latin Masses, and I doubt there is one in a hundred in the pews, and certainly not in the press, who understand that the Mass in English is not a translation of the old Latin Mass but of a new one. In other words, yes, it's about the rite, not the quality of observance.

And regarding the rite, even the most careful execution of the novus ordo, Latin, chant and all, would be exactly what it is in English -- a ghastly and near blasphemous parody of the Roman Rite Mass, standing on its head in worship the faith of the Roman church as the documents of Vatican II did in doctrine.

You ask for detailed discussion of the rites themselves. For that, rather than rehearse it all here, see a number of detailed studies posted on the site of the Society of St Pius X -- which at every point and turn teaches and does nothing other than what was taught to me in the Roman church before the Revolution, er, Vatican II. If that now places one outside the Roman church, then that is where a Roman Catholic should be -- or rather, if that now places one outside the Roman church, then it is not the Roman church outside of which one is placed, but a vile impostor. Praise God that I no longer have to undertake the mental gymnastics needed to tell myself that what is manifestly not the same, what my professors (including periti to the Council) were quite clear in stating is not the same, is the same -- not to mention the jack booted Cromwellian viciousness with which the "spirit" of Vatican II was enforced.

I understand the desire for apostolicity, for thinking with the church catholic, that one who holds to the Lutheran Confessions feels. And if we (Lutherans) were wrong, Rome would be the answer. Roma delenda est, to paraphrase. That Rome is no longer there to be the answer, and beneath the surface of superficial resemblance in dress and real estate, JPII and BXVI make it clear that what they represent against the irregularities of the day is not the Faith of Christ but the religion of Man masquerading as the Faith of Christ promulgated at Vatican II.

Brother (which I say not as a literary convention but as a term of address to a brother in Christ, and one I think I would like if I knew) I urge you to consider that the church with which you wish to think, to feel, to sense, the church you (and I too) wish to join and live within, has no greater or more dedicated enemy on this earth than the church you have joined, which is demonstrable twice over, by the witness of the Lutheran Confessions, and if not that by the authentic magisterial teachings of the church of Rome itself.

PS -- a point of clarity, I am not now nor have I ever been affiliated in any way with SSPX, nor should I in any way be construed as speaking for them. I am by God's good grace a layman of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and a past elder in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Church (for neither of whom do I speak either), though I believe that under current canon law I would still be considered Roman Catholic.

At Monday, March 19, 2007 10:16:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

No, no, Bruce. Not you. Certainly not. I very much appreciated your post. As I appreciated the very long email that I received from an old friend who was in fact hurt by my own statements. He didn't want to put up his whole comment (it wasn't short), but I felt that I should respond to his concerns publically.

At Monday, March 19, 2007 10:33:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Hi ya, Past Elder. Yes, I probably would like you a lot too--as long as you wouldn't mind sitting down for a glass of red and a pipe and talking at great length.

If you don't mind me saying, there are similarities between the Wisconsin and Missouri Synods and the SSPX in their general approach to things. One of them is their inability to distinguish between the 16th Century and the 21st. :-)

And yes, canonically you probably still are Catholic (though a very naughty one). The Holy See recently clarified what one had to do to "succeed" from the Catholic Church, and simply joining another Christian community doesn't do it. Mind you, nothing ever erases the indellible character of Baptism, but then you know that.

I completely disagree (as you might have guessed) with your statement that the SSPX is the true Catholic Church and the Church of Rome is "a vile impostor". I find that simply unbelievable coming from a Lutheran. Tell me: is it not apostolic teaching that a person is justified by grace through faith by the merits of Christ, apart from any merit of his own? Is that a teaching of the Catholic Church or of "a vile impostor"? For indeed, it is a clear and oft stated teaching of the Catholic Church, in both the 2nd Vatican Council and the recent Joint Declaration with the Lutherans. But you will not find this Gospel preached among the SSPX guys who are more concerned with whether this or that Latin prayer is still in the liturgy.

Here is where you and the SSPX guys are mistaken about the nature of Catholicism. I have said, and will always say, that there is no definition of the word "Catholic" which has any real meaning other than "in communion with the Bishop of Rome". It is this communion that assures not only the true nature of the Church but the apostolicity of the Church's teaching and practice.

That you can say that "JPII and BXVI represent not the Faith of Christ but the religion of Man masquerading as the Faith of Christ" is just breathtaking. Have you read what they taught and teach? How familiar are you with their writings? Are you unaware of the great work for the Gospel that these men have done, of the incredible effect they have had of defending that Gospel amid the culture of death that surrounds us?

By their fruits you shall know them. If the SSPX are the true Catholic Church, what are their fruits in the world? I don't think it will quite cut the mustard for them to defend their fruitless schim at the gates of heaven with the excuse "We were protecting the Tridentine Mass".

I can only conclude that all you have known of the Post-Vatican II Church was what you learned from your experience until 1973, and thence after from her enemies.

Yes, the Catholic Church has changed--dramatically. She had too because the times have changed--even more dramatically. But she has not abandoned her first love. She has kept and defended the faith--not by repeating tired platitudes, but by engaging with the world--vigourously, shamelessly, and fruitfully. The Catholic Church in communion with the Bishop of Rome IS the True Church of Jesus Christ, it is with her that I wish to "think", and from her Supreme Pontiff that I wish to learn. As my banner says: I support the Pope!

At Tuesday, March 20, 2007 3:14:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

Mein Bruder Schuetz!

Well we are talking at great length, but spatially not temporally -- half a world apart!

In order: no I don't mind your saying that, hear it all the time. I was afraid there for a minute you were going to say aggiornamento -- Catholic newspeak for saying something different and calling it the same -- in which case I would have had to excuse myself for a barf break.

As you say, the validity of my baptism 7 July 1950 in Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago is not in question in LCMS, WELS, new or old Rome. I suppose it would be comforting to know a good confession and knocking it off would put me in the church's good graces -- but, like Lutheran Number One, hier steh' ich!

I did not say the SSPX is the true church, nor does SSPX say that. In fact, their home page, taking a step I could now never take, has a picture of Benedict XVI (just like yours!) specifically referring to him as the successor to Peter and the vicar of Christ, which if that is not saying I support the pope what is? What I said was, they consistently teach and preach what I was taught in the Roman Catholic Church, whereas what calls itself the Roman Catholic Church to-day manifestly does not.

The Joint Declaration? Great Caesar's Ghost! For one thing the document clearly avoids any real definition of what justification by faith means in order to call it unity when the same words are used to mean different things. For another, as our (LCMS) synodical response lays out in great detail, any signatory to that document has vacated any claim to the name Lutheran, both confessionally and historically. So apostates to Lutheranism and apostates to Catholicism agree in their apostacy -- no news there. It is a worthless, faithless document, not fit for use as toilet paper, and if it were so used would be an insult to the body part to which it is applied! Rome has in fact always taught justification by faith alone, and I now know always misunderstood what justification is.

Tu es Petrus -- sorry for the use of Latin without the approbation of the Sacred Intergalactic Congregation for the Spirit of Vatican II. "Catholic" is not a Biblical term. I would say the only definition which has any real meaning comes from the first man to use it in reference to the church, St Irenaeus, whose description has nothing to do with the bishop of Rome, but with what one finds in the Divine Service of any confessional Lutheran church, not to be confused with any church with Lutheran in its name. Most dear brother, do you hear your words? What assures the true nature of the Church and the apostolicity of its teaching and practice is not a man but the Gospel rightly preached and the Sacraments rightly administered!

When I was a Roman Catholic, I was taught that the Rock is Peter and upon this rock, Peter and his successors, Christ has built his church, AND, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. In other words, it is not just communion with the bishop of Rome, it is also because that bishop is protected by the Holy Ghost (pardon me, Spirit) from error when teaching in that capacity, ex cathedra, from the chair (of Peter).

One could find in the absence of any ex cathedra pronouncements re the novus ordo, or of any anathemas in the documents of the last council, a basis for dissent within the context of what calls itself the Roman Catholic Church these days. I tried this and other desperate attempts to convince myself, like the deluded souls at EWTN, that somehow this Huxleyan Brave New Church was still the one that I knew. Am I familiar with the writings of these mitred buffoons? Worse than that! It was those writings that finally convinced me there is no escaping the fact that an entirely new religion was born at Vatican II, not only different than the Roman Catholic faith but diametrically opposed to it.

And before that, reading the miserable documents of Vatican II itself, which with each page showed clearly that this is neither the religion I was taught by the Roman Church nor even the religion I see in any post conciliar parish to which I have ever been! JPII? Phenomenology with a Christian gloss. BXVI? I would love to have a good schnitzel with him, and sad to say he seems to have a better appreciation of the Lutheran Confessions that some of the leaders of my own synod -- he would make a wonderful Lutheran pastor! But until then, it is clear that what they strive for in the Roman church is the real Vatican II, which is the only thing worse than the "spirit" of Vatican II that everywhere abounds! Our unity in opposition to abortion, euthanasia and other "culture of death" evils is entirely welcome, but does not obscure other matters -- even a broken watch has the correct time twice a day, or once if like the digital part of mine it is set to GMT.

By their fruits ye shall know them? By their following the religion of Vatican II in opposition to the "spirit" of Vatican II and also to the Roman Catholic faith, they have created a situation nearly five hundred years after Luther described the condition of the church in the Preface to the Little Catechism -- not the one you see on CNN broadcasts of papal funerals and installations (almost said coronations!) but the condition in the parish down the street to which I would belong if I were not being "naughty" and any one I have ever been in -- which is five hundred times worse! That is their fruit! The words of Scripture I would be more concerned about would be those about even prophecying and casting out demons in His name only to be told I never knew you, or that even if an angel from heaven should deliver a "gospel" to you other than the one which has been delivered, let him be anathema -- and if St Paul did not exempt himself from those words, I doubt that a mitre and crosier will exempt one either.

Finally, I have been an ex Catholic, if not by the church's reckoning by my own, for 23 years longer than I have been a Lutheran. My experience of the post conciliar church did not end in 1973 although my identification of myself as Catholic did. And each time I would hope to find some way to accomodate myself, only to find it undeniable that I had just stepped in a rank chamber pot of parody and deception, even at my parents' funerals.

VDMA my brother!

Der vergangener Vorsteher.

PS I'm not German at all, I grew up in Minnesota, which my first Lutheran pastor (WELS) used to joke was the grace of God preparing me to be Lutheran so I could lapse into German when ranting. I'm actually English by descent -- good God he was right, I could have grown up Episcopalian!

At Tuesday, March 20, 2007 11:14:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Ah well, ol' boy, you and I will just have to disagree. I'm having a glass of wine--I hope you are too. That is at least one point that our respective churches agree on! A long-distance communio in vino!

Yes, I often think that Papa Benny would have made a good Lutheran pastor--by which I mean, that if all Lutheran pastors were as Lutheran as Papa Benny we the Lutheran schism would be over. Mind you, if all Catholic priests were as Catholic as Papa Benny there would not be much for you to complain about the modern Catholic Church!

Are you familiar with Benedict's assertion of the "hermeneutic of continuity"? He first dropped this bombshell on the Cardinals just before Christmas 2005--it was his declaration that both the Left and the Right extremists had misinterpreted Vatican II as a sudden change of direction, a revolution, a new thing. Whereas he has repeated said that it is to be interpreted in continuity with the previous 1965 years of history, not against it.

But I am a little confused by what you are saying. What are you wanting the Catholic Church to be? Like it was pre-Vatican II or like it is now? Or are you saying that both were/are going to Hell in a handbasket?

Do you really think that if Luther were alive today, he would choose to associate himself with what passes for Lutheranism? Do you think he would really have any real problem with the Catholic Church as she is in reality today? I rather think the opposite.

A broken watch? Right twice a day? No, my friend. Right consistently and always. This is what convinced me that the Roman Church is the Catholic Church: its faithfulness. When all around is sinking sand, here is a Rock on which to build. And the Rock is Christ, just as it is Peter. That's what "Vicar" means: Representive, Ambassador, Stand-in. It is not Papa Benny himself, or John Paul the Great, or any other "man" upon whom my faith is built, but upon Christ. And I look for Christ in his Word, and his Word tells me: Stick with Peter. He is my Rock. He is the One who will "feed my sheep".

Lutheranism has always held that it is the right teaching that maketh the Church. But I have never known how they thought they could arrive at this "right teaching" via the synodical voting system. Seems a little crazy to me.

I could go on and on and on. I won't. Have a good night, Past Elder.

At Wednesday, March 21, 2007 5:44:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

Do I really think if Luther were alive to-day he would associate himself with what passes for Lutheranism? Hell no! I don't choose to so associate myself! Were he and I to go to Houston later this year (the one about as likely as the other) you would hear table talk to make Table Talk seem bland!

Do I think he would have any real problem with the Roman Catholic Church as it is to-day. Even moreso than the one of his day!

Look at your own blog, brother! Five homily (God forbid anyone preach a sermon in the Brave New Church) masses, rejoicing that a baptism is done as a baptism, preparation for one's first confession (Bless me Father for I have sinned, I said confession instead of reconciliation) with no reference to sin or sacrament, the first confession itself with no priest but someone who by RC lights neither has Orders nor believes it exists and is no more capable of hearing confession and pronouncing absolution than a dead pig in a barnyard! Ecce ecclesia!

See how the sheep are fed! See the fruits! See the sinking sand into which the supposed Rock sinks! How indeed will these bishops ever answer to Christ for letting the people carry on like this and for not attending to the duties of their office! Woe forever!

Hermeneutic of continuity? It is a bombshell that a council be in continuity with nearly two millennia of history? Schrecklich! Unglaublich!

What do I want the Catholic Church to be? The Catholic Church! Bless us and save us, Mrs O'Davis!

For me, it (the spritual disembowelment called Vatican II) was like finding out your mother is a whore. How could this have happened, since your mother was protected by God from such a thing happening? My first answer was, therefore the whole thing was false, his promises false, he was not the Christ after all but just as the rabbis say, a Gentile misunderstanding of Messiah, and we must indeed wait for another. So I was what in Judaism is called a Righteous of the Nations for twenty some years. (I still prefer the Law/Prophets/Writings organisation of the OT and the five plus five numbering of the Commandments, but I digress, back to the rant.) Until God put the Lutheran faith in front of me in a way I could understand, an absolute total babe of a woman on the run from LCMS post Seminex as I was post Vatican II from the RC church, neither of us willing to inflict our religious burnouts on what children we may have. We were married LCMS. I began to read Luther, and coming upon his treatment of the Eucharist in Babylonian Captivity, it dawned on me that here was clearly stated what my former church past or present stammered and hemmed and hawed, and now gags and pukes, to say. And so it continued, right on through the Book of Concord, here was no new church, but the only church there is, the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church reformed and recalled to her true self according to the books upon which she herself said you can rely.

In short, I was Catholic, now by the grace of God only, so there may be no boast, I am catholic.

A couple of post scripts: there is no Lutheran schism. A schism happens within the church, as between the Eastern Orthodox and Rome. By RC lights, Reformation churches are not properly churches at all since they do not have and deny even exist some of the elements which Christ gave to his church, though they remain in an imperfect union in which it is possible to be saved by those elements of the Catholic Faith which they do not deny. And the total babe has joined the angelic choir unexpectedly early, her funeral an unmistakeable proclamation that the only dead people there were the ones not alive in Christ! Save yourself, brother! Come home! Heck, bring Bruce, seems like a decent sort!

At Wednesday, March 21, 2007 11:54:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Past Elder, you say: "Look at your own blog, brother!"

And yes, I admit that everything I complain about on my blog does appear to prove that the Catholic Church can't possibly be the true Church, doesn't it? Otherwise why would there be so many sinners in it?

But in fact, of course, the very fact that I am able to complain about these things is because the Catholic Church herself provides an objective teaching standard against which these abuses can be measured. I don't complain about these abuses because "I don't like them", but because "The Church forbids them". I complain about these abuses precisely because they are "NOT Catholic", not because they "ARE Catholic" (which they aren't).

Now, a lot of folk say to me, "Why doesn't the Church do something about these abuses then?" Well, contra Monty Python, we don't have "Church Police" (or haven't since the Inquisition anyway--the Dominicans are busy watching the Jesuits and vice versa these days). Maybe we should. In the meantime we have Catholic bloggers!

And I seem to have given the wrong impression about the Reconciliation preparation the other night. It wasn't the reconciliation itself that they were doing. That's happening in a couple of weeks, and of course the parish priest is doing it. As bad as things get sometimes, I have never known a Catholic layman to attempt to hear confessions!

The other thing is that one of the reasons I became a Catholic was the Lutheran teaching that the Church is the assembly of the faithful gathered around Word and Sacrament. Whereas in the Lutheran Church (unless I was the presiding minister) I was never assured that what I would be served up would be a valid sacrament (by Lutheran measures) or even any sacrament at all on Sundays, whenever and wherever I go on Sunday mornings to a Catholic Church I am assured of having the full Eucharistic Liturgy. And again, though that liturgy be oft abused, I have yet to attend a Catholic Mass that was so badly mangled that it is invalid. Even the worst Catholic Liturgy is of a a pretty high standard compared to most of the stuff that goes on in the Lutheran Church here in Australia (I can't speak for elsewhere, and neither can I say the same thing about the hymnody!).

The Church is always in need of constant reform. But the reform is always a matter of the Church bringing her children back to the faithful practice of her teachings when they stray from them. And despite all the abuses, the gospel continues to shine vibrantly through the Catholic Church today.

At Wednesday, March 21, 2007 11:56:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Oh, and yeah, Bruce does seem like a nice guy, doesn't he? Not all Catholic converts are as prickly as I am!

At Thursday, March 22, 2007 12:36:00 pm , Anonymous Mike said...

Firstly, before I ramble, it seems opportune to plug the following!

This coming Sunday 25th March
- St Brigid's Fitzroy,
- 6pm.
- Novus Ordo
- In Latin
- Gregorian Chant
- Ad Orientam.

As you ordered!

Nothing specified about how to receive communion, but I'd say you'll fit in well if you kneel. Will we see you there?

(Now to ramble . . .)
Dave, your comments here do make a good point, but overall I don't think they are completely accurate.

Yes, I think a lot of the general, off-the-cuff polemnic about the "Great old Mass" and the "Novus Ordo Catastrophe" comes down to quips about Reverence and the Sacred vs Populist and banal. You've probably seen that website showing on one hand a very reverent "Old Mass" and on the other hand a Clown with a stole breaking up pieces of fruit cake!

But when speaking with the "real fans" of the Tridentine rite that I know, I find that many of the reasons are very much about the rite itself. The change of the offertory prayers always come up. The removal of saints and angels from the Confiteor, the removal of meaningful repetition such as the Kyrie, the addition of three more Eucharistic prayers which are generally judged to be far inferior (by the same people of couse). Generally, it's a perceived "dumbing down" of the sacrificial, and perhaps we might say "religous" language of the Mass even in the original Latin of the N.O. these things go beyond the difference between a reverent priest and a "relevant" priest, or a good translation and a shocking one. The translation and the liberalising of some liturgical laws excentuate this of course, but the concerns are there with the Missal itself.

Then there are the liturgical actions which have been removed, such as some of the genuflections and cross-making and so on. For the congregation, is downgrading the genuflection at "homo factus est" to an optional bow really an enrichment, or the removal of the beating of the breast at "Domine non sum dignus"?

To be fair, these issues nearly always get a gurnsey, and are up there as major concerns. Often people will downplay the relative importance in fact, of Latin, and occasionally you'll even find one who would be just thrilled with the concept of the Tridentine Mass kept the same - just translated to English (properly).

(I speak as one, by the way, who normally goes to a "Novus Ordo" and enjoys it, and has been to a few "Tridentine" Masses too, and enjoy them. I appreciate *some* of the concerns I've mentioned above)

So I don't think the demand would quite disappear overnight, but you're probably right that with Latin, Ad Orientam, and communion on the tongue kneeling, the demand would dwindle. But still, I expect that implementing the above in a significant number of parishes would be just as hard as bringing back the old Rite anyway.

Interestingly, I think that the main *objections* we hear to the Tridentine Mass tend to fall into the categories of
1) Latin - who understands it anwyay?
2) Priest with his back to the people! How rude! How exclusive
3) Kneeling all the time - how subservient!
and 4) The people are not involved enough!

On that last one, I think the Novus Ordo does add something that may allay a few fears, but Dialogue Masses were starting to do that kind of thing before Vatican II. (Hard to find one now though).

At Thursday, March 22, 2007 5:13:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

You were never assured? The promises and words of Christ weren't enough?

I'm curious. LCMS is part of the International Lutheran Council (ILC) which has an associate member in Australia called Lutheran Church of Australia, or if you're like Americans, the LCA. Was that your former church? My former synod, WELS, is part of the CELC, whose Australian member is Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Australia. Maybe them?

Mike's comment is pretty good. Interesting all the more that the "objections" to the Tridentine Rite only become so when one has absolutely no understanding of why things are done that way, which is the case with the vast majority of Catholic laity since their shepherds don't feed them, or when one has a different "why" to put in its place, which is the case with the eccleciastical thugs now running things.

At Thursday, March 22, 2007 5:23:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

PS -- we had an LCA too, the Lutheran Church of America, which is now part of the ELCA, which ought to stand for Ex Lutheran Churches of America.

At Thursday, March 22, 2007 9:38:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Thanks, Mike.

One point at a time: Please tell me more about the mass at St Brigid's this Sunday evening: Is this a once off, or is it regular? (I might find it difficult to get there this Sunday). If once off, is it done with a choir? I find this quite exciting.

Secondly, Yes, I acknowledge that for some there may well be an argument about the relative merits of the two rites on the basis of the ritual itself. But still, it shouldn't come to the point of saying the one is "good" and the other is "bad". You might "prefer" the one or the other, but you can't really say "right" or "wrong" can you?

I acknowledge the fact that those who revised the rite for the Novus Ordo showed little love for repition or lists of Saints names. Here they certainly did not fully appreciate the ancient liturgical style still so evident in the Eastern rites.

But at least one of the ritual aspects you cite is not quite accurate. The Novus Ordo allows for the repetition of the Kyrie if it belongs to the musical setting used (cf. Elliot, p94 "The old 9-fold version may be retained if this is integral to the musical setting). I don't think there is much point in repeating it if it isn't sung.

And I don't think that the new Anaphoras are "inferior". In part the problem is the translations. In part it is a poor understanding of the comparitive theologies of original Roman Canon in relation to the ancient Eastern Anaphoras. In fact, the Canon itself is not a proper Anaphora, but a series of individual priestly prayers.

And regarding the offertory prayers, from what I can see the main problem is with the translation. According to memory (which may not serve me well here) I thought the Latin version of the missal still has Offertory chants/psalms? Am I remembering correctly on this?

Several of the other things you mention are ceremonial, not ritual. I don't think striking the chest at the "Domine, non sum dignus" has been forbidden, has it? It certainly remains at the "mea culpa". And the bow at the "incarnatus est" is not optional, as far as I can see. It's just that neither of these two ceremonies are taught. (In fact, I have noticed fewer and fewer young people genuflecting when entering the church or making the three crosses at the gospel--because they are not being TAUGHT!)

Thirdly, thank you for making an excellent point that the arguments AGAINST the Pian Rite are simply the popular arguments FOR it in reverse.

At Thursday, March 22, 2007 9:42:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Dear Past-Elder,

Since 1966 there has really only been one Lutheran Church in Australia, and that is the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA). You could add in the various ethnic congregations which are in various states of communion with the LCA, but they still retain their ties to their homeland national churches.

But you are probably refering to the several groups who are made up (in many cases) of no more than two or three congregations each, and are extremely localised. To be accurate, you could say that there is more than one Lutheran Synod in Australia, but that would surely give a very inaccurate picture of the situation, which is one of overwhelming outward unity. And yes, I use the word "outward" meaningfully.

At Friday, March 23, 2007 3:36:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

So how was your day -- this has gotten to be like a conversation. I suppose like all conversations it's going to end sometime, but also I hope start anew.

I had an Aussie roomie in grad school for about three years. He married an American girl, but more specifically a girl from Minnesota of Norwegian Lutheran descent.

I don't know who was more amazed, the Aussies because the couple did not exit to sign the marriage document before the recessional, or me because five Aussies and me made more noise afterward than the whole pack of Norwegian Lutherans! They went to live in Aussieralia and reported it hard to find a Lutheran church of any description. So my first hand knowledge of Australian Lutheranism is, it is scarce!

I imagine the Aussie equivalent to the Episcopal Church USA is having similar problems to its American cousin, who to-day affirmed their stand on homosexuality and the Bible and rejected calls from the larger Anglican Communion to allow a separate juridiction for dissenters. Rowan's going to earn his keep on this one! You'll probably get a few heading for Rome over it too.

I remember as a kid being taught to address the Orthodox priest in town as "Father" because he is a real priest, and the Episcopal clergy as "Father" too as a mark of respect even though they aren't really priests.

A few blocks east of where I live is an Episcopal parish on the outs with the Episcopal Church for doing and teaching what the Episcopal Church always did and taught. A few block northwest of where I live is a Catholic parish on the outs with the Catholic Church for doing and teaching what the Catholic Church always did and taught. Man I'm glad I'm a Lutheran! Our stuff pales in comparison!

At Friday, March 23, 2007 3:56:00 pm , Blogger Past Elder said...

The Roman Canon isn't a proper anaphora? What further need have we of witnesses? Ipse dixit!

Pastor Weedon did an interesting recast of it as an intercessory prayer on his blog recently.

Our (LCMS) new service book takes some cautious steps to re-introducing "Eucharistic Prayers" along with retaining the customary practice of sticking to the Verba alone, a practice which I have rather come to like though I admit it is more reductive than the AC had in mind when it speaks of zealously guarding and defending the mass.

At Friday, March 23, 2007 9:20:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Yes, I saw Pastor Weedon's recast of the Roman Canon--which proves my point: it isn't a proper anaphora, but a series of individual prayers said by the priest (they used to have "amen" after each one, didn't they?). That doesn't mean it isn't a valid way to celebrate the Eucharist--of course it is, it just isn't really an anaphora (or Eucharistic Prayer properly speaking) in the Greek sense of the word. That is clear from the fact that it is no longer called the Canon but Eucharistic Prayer I--they had to niggle it a bit to fit the model of the Anaphora.

But then, I'm talking to a Lutheran, and Lutherans (real ones) don't even have an anaphora at all. They don't do what Jesus, the apostles and the Church does: ie. they don't "Give thanks" over the bread and wine. After saying "It is fitting and right to give him thanks and praise", they forget all about giving thanks and just use the Lord's prayer and the Magic Words (Hocus Pocus--Hoc Est Corpus Meum), hoping that this sort of minimalism will "do the trick" and get the stuff consecrated.

Actually, I noted in your conversation on the Visible/Invisible Church on Weedon's blog that you give your stamp of approval to the definition of a sacrament being an "outward sign" of an "inward and invisible reality". As a good Lutheran, I was never taught any such Augustinian nonsense, and only tolerate it as a Catholic when it is concretely applied to those seven rites which are Sacraments. Otherwise Catholics and Lutherans have much better ways of understanding what a sacrament is, the best being a rite instituted by our Lord himself as a means of grace.

The problem with the Augustinian approach is that

1) everything can become a sacrament in this "sign-rich" world (eg. a hug, a pot-plant, running water are all "signs" that I can read meaning into)

2) It is basically a Platonic understanding.

The latter is where you get into trouble if you try to apply it to the Eucharist or the Church. You see, even Calvinists could agree with Augustine's definition applied to the Eucharist: An outward symbol of an invisible reality--but the visible sign is bread only and the invisible reality is in heaven. Whereas good Lutherans and ALL Catholics know that the visible bread actually IS the Body of Christ. In the same way, the visible bunch of miserable sinners that gathers around the word and the sacrament (lets run with the Lutheran definition of Church here) is also the very same as the Body of Christ--quite visible because they are the one and the same thing.

What say you?

Oh, and how was my day? It's been stinking hot here (about 36 degrees), and we've just had a thunderstorm so now its humid too. Yuk. Although we need the rain. We've been saving the bath and washing machine water to flush the loo to save water. Our reservoirs are almost empty, and some of our rural cities are without water already. Dire.

At Saturday, March 24, 2007 4:19:00 am , Blogger Past Elder said...

What say I? I say I'm home sick to-day, so I will respond in more than one post. For right now, anaphora itself. Rhetorically the Roman Canon isn't an anaphora at all. The Greek word, if memory serves, means to carry again, be it the repetition of a phrase at the opening of each part of a longer statement -- Churchill's famous "We shall fight ..." being an oft cited example -- or simply the function of a pronoun to refer back to a noun. So in that sense I agree the Roman Canon isn't an anaphora at all. But no, it didn't have Amen after each prayer.

Another point of order: we don't jump straight from the pater noster to the verba, but rather to that part of the Canon which begins "qui pridie quam pateretur, accepit ..." which does indeed state Christ's giving thanks, blessing and breaking, etc. I understand this to be an effort to do precisely what Jesus, the apostles and the church when it is true to itself do, haec quotiescumque feceritis in mei memoriam facietis, which the bogus ordo, er, novus ordo has completely erased for hoc facite but regardless, does at his command what he did, minus all sorts of prayers for the dead, invocations of saints, which are not what he did, lead away from what he did, and turn the whole thing into something we are doing rather than he, a sacrifice we are offering rather than solely and entirely a sacrifice he has done at the thought of which, as Luther wrote, who could not but faint at the thought of such a Saviour.

The canon is not per se coextensive with eucharistic prayer. The canon, the Te igitur, is part of the Eucharistic Prayer, or Great Thanksgiving, that actually begins with the Preface, which is exactly why it is called the preface. This designation is found in other examples of what some call the Augustana Rite. I would suggest that what you find is not minimalism, but fidelity.

Perhaps you can sneak off undetected to observe a real Mass in the catacombs to which Rome the church has now banished it as effectively as Rome the empire which it succeeded. I am going to sneak off to rest for while, and will resume later when my head isn't throbbing as much!

Wait! 36 degrees, you're Australian, that's Celsius, ought to be about 97 or so. (36 x 1.8) + 32. 96.8. It's Fall there too and the water drains backwards. Yeah, that would be a pretty hot day for early Fall here in Omaha too! We'll get to the outer sign inward reality thing later. I came up on the Baltimore Catechism, which I don't think was used outside the US before the Revolution, er, Vatican II. I still have a copy of it, not my old ones but from underground reprinters still making Catholic materials available against all odds. On the other hand I think I still have my Dutch Catechism, bought openly in a "Catholic" bookstore!

At Sunday, March 25, 2007 8:13:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

The Roman Canon is quite different from a unified Eucharist prayer. I just looked it up in my old 1962 Missal, and it has "through Christ our Lord. Amen" after:
The Communicantes
The Hanc Igitur
The Supplices
the Commemoration of the dead
and the Nobis quoque peccatoribus (the latter without the Amen).
So they were all separate prayers after all.

At Sunday, March 25, 2007 9:02:00 pm , Blogger Ernest said...

hey David,

i think you might be interested in this one

i missed the St Brigid 6pm one...:(not too sure if they will have it again, because it not their normal mass time according to my guide.)but i guess we can go to the one in Caulfield, they are the FSSP The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Petri) parish. (Have to thank you for reignite my passion on some of these different Catholic Society)

hmm maybe we can organize a church sunday missal tour for those in search of a different Catholic rites, and not feel intimidated or in total confusion when 1st went in. that what the COSDU (Catholic Overseas Students Down Under - the only Catholic society in the University of Melbourne *i think*) did during their first semester to show the new overseas student where they can attend RC Churches.

At Sunday, March 25, 2007 11:02:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Hi, Ernest. Sorry to hear the 6pm at St Brigid's wasn't a regular. I wish I could find out more about what prompted it. The Confraternity at Caulfield is, of course, excellent--but it is "Old Rite", and what especially interests me is starting a movement to get the Novus Ordo celebrated in Latin with the Chant. I don't want the Latin Mass to become a museum piece, but to be a part of our living experience.

At Monday, March 26, 2007 1:54:00 pm , Anonymous Mike said...

Hi Dave and Ernest,

Happy Annunciation!

The 6pm At St Brigid's isn't weekly - in fact this was "the first". And hopefully from now on it's roughly monthly. But we don't have the details of the next Mass yet. However it was said by the regular parish priest (can't recall his name).

I would keep you posted for the next one, but I'll likely be away on my honeymoon then! I suggest you refer to Miss Monification - who I think you know well.

It had a small but competent choir, simple Gregorian chant (Missa de Angelis I think - but interestingly they didn't repeat the Kyrie), chanted the readings and Gospel, had a few good congretational hymns, and communion reception was totally "old school" except of course for the more simple "Corpus Christi" and "Amen".

There were very easy-to-read booklets - one with the day's propers and one with the ordinary, for general use.

One friend went there thinking it was a Tridentine Mass, and was wondering why she could follow it so much better than other times she'd been! (She goes to N.O. normally)

It's just been organised by a few interested locals. The motivation was, I understand, similar to your motivation for being interested in it. What can a Novus Ordo be like? And importantly, what did Vat II and the original "reform of the Liturgy" really envisage?

Overall I thought it was great.

The email address for contacting them is glorificamus aat gee male dott com.

At Tuesday, March 27, 2007 8:34:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

thanks for the email, Mike. I will follow this up with relish (and a salad on the side). It sounds excellent. Perhaps this is the start of a movement? Bishop Hilton Deakin was at the Ukrainian ordination on Sunday (Ernest was there too) and said that the Pope didn't know what he was talking about when he asked for masses said in Latin. May I respectively suggest that his Lordship may be less well informed than His Holiness?


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