Friday, November 21, 2008

CATHOLIC Lessons and Carols for the ABC

In the combox to this blog about the ABC recording of Carols and Lessons in St Patrick's Cathedral, that ubiquitous and tireless commentator "Anonymous" was incensed (?!) that we should be having a PROTESTANT form of worship in our Catholic Cathedral rather than, for eg., Pontifical Vespers. His final comment in the string was:
Wiki - that very reliable source - tells us that the order of Nine Lessons and Carols was adapted from an order drawn up by Edward White Benson, who would later become Archbishop of Canterbury, for use at a 10 pm service on Christmas Eve in 1880 that took place in a temporary wooden shed serving as his cathedral in Truro, Cornwall.[1] Based on an idea of the future Bishop of Edinburgh, George Henry Somerset Walpole,[2] the purpose of the service was to keep men out of pubs on Christmas Eve.[3]

In other words, a very post-Reformation idea.

Personally, I would imagine the idea of singing carols in Church as a service is likely to go back even further, given their popular origin, but this just underlines the fact: a carol service is not inherently liturgical in the Catholic sense.

Why do we not recover what is liturgical in the Catholic sense.

As far as Pontifical vespers not being a drawing card, I would respectfully say that never have I been to a liturgical service as "charged" as the Pontifical Vespers in the Extraordinary Form at WYD. The whole service was deeply prayerful - profoundly, and matched only a few days later by the Adoration with the Holy Father - what happened as the congregation pounded out "Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus Imperat", I'll take to the grave.

The simple reason we fall into the trap of saying this won't attract anyone is because we never see it in order to judge it. Like that's a rational, really empirical approach, no?
Weeellll... its just this thing about singing carols, Anon. It's so much more "Christmassy". I still don't think Pontifical Vespers would get them switching on the telly on Christmas Eve...

And, I have some information to share. Consulting with our Herr Kapellmeister, Dr Geoffrey Cox, he pointed out that in fact the form of 9 readings is taken from from the 3 nocturns of three readings in the traditional form of Matins (as I suspected, the traditional vigil form). Hence, whether Bishop Benson was aware of it or not, the form is "inherantly Catholic".

And to cap it all off, on Wednesday night they completed the Traditional Lessons and Carols with the expositio of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction.

So there.

10 Comments:

At Friday, November 21, 2008 9:39:00 pm , Blogger Joshua said...

Remember that Adeste fideles was written for use at Benediction during Christmastide!

This knowledge will give a far greater thrill to singing "O come let us adore Him".

 
At Saturday, November 22, 2008 12:38:00 pm , Blogger Louise said...

So there.

Them's fightin' words, David!

 
At Saturday, November 22, 2008 5:16:00 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The argument that the 9 Lessons and Carols is somehow Catholic enough because it is a derivative of matins is a bit like saying the Church of England's "Eucharist" is Catholic enough because it's derived from Holy Mass.

C'mon, Sentire, your ususal clarity of analysis is failing here.

The real point is being missed repeatedly and, may be even, deliberately: WHY RELY ON AN INFERIOR DERIVATIVE WHEN WE CAN HAVE THE REAL THING? No one minds a few carols before or after, but it ain't Catholic Liturgy. Get it?

By the way, the reaction to Anon's comment seems to betray a curious ambivalence (maybe even antipathy) on this site to all things "Extraordinary Form". Whilst Sentire tolerates things old rite, they are far from welcomed, embraced and PROMOTED. This is worrying.

Is it emblematic of the wider absence of progress in the Archdiocese of Melbourne on these issues? The lack of any real exposure for the Extraordiary Form at the Cathedral Church of Melbourne, for instance, is a continuously curious oddity that is not failing to go unnoticed or remedied. Semi-official replies rely on the curious logic that many many things must be done but nothing must be done for the first time.

We pray for the passing from authority of these dinosaurs, so the rest of us can worship as Holy Mother Church both allows and encourages. Although, as usual, the "Australian church" seems to have increasingly less to do with Rome than one might expect.

 
At Saturday, November 22, 2008 8:49:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Whilst Sentire tolerates things old rite, they are far from welcomed, embraced and PROMOTED. This is worrying.

Deary me, I'm getting caught in the cross fire here between the Coyne Brigrade and the Anonymous Traditionalists! Lord help me!

As a loyal son of the Church, who "thinks with the Church", I have absolutely no bone with either the ordinary or the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. I love them both - although naturally I have far more familiarity with the ordinary form.

The reason I don't get too excited about the EF is that I do not choose where I worship on the basis of the form of the Roman Rite being celebrated there. I worship in my local parish on Sundays, and either there or at the Cathedral (next door to my work) during the week, so I worship in the form they use there.

I do not see the extraordinary form as a "superior" form of the mass to the ordinary form, nor do I have a particular attachment to it, so I don't push the barrow to get it done in my parish. If you do, good on you, and I support you in your efforts.

But since I do see the extraordinary form as an equally valid form to the ordinary form, I defend the right of those with a particular attachment to it to have it.

So its not a question of "tolerating" the EF. I DO welcome its re-authorisation in the Church--largely because I think it will have a positive effect on how the OF is done. If my local parish or the Cathedral actually had such a mass, I would probably make a point of attending just in order to be supportive of those who requested it.

But I don't "embraced" the EF or particularly "promote" it as something preferable than any other mass that is offered in the Church, because I don't believe it is.

I also rather think that this attitude is in line with the thinking of the Church on the matter.

I became a Catholic to be a Catholic (not withstanding anything PE might say on this subject), and so I embrace and promote all that is authentically Catholic. The OF and EF are both authentically Catholic forms of the Roman Rite, and I love them both.

And I also love Carols and Lessons even if it is not a authentically Catholic form of liturgy. Actually, technically speaking, not even Benediction is a Catholic form of liturgy. Both Benediction and Carols and Lessons are what we call "devotions", and the Church allows a great deal of latitude in this area. Check out the CDW's Directory on popular piety and the liturgy, which includes these comments:

109. In the space of time between the first Vespers of Christmas and Midnight Mass, both the tradition of Christmas carols, which are potent means of conveying the Christmas message of peace and joy, and popular piety propose certain forms of payers, differing from country to country, which should be cherished and, where necessary, made consonant with the celebration of the Liturgy...


110. Where possible, the Church desires that the faithful should prepare for the celebration of Midnight Mass on the 24 December with the Office of Readings(119). Where such is not possible, it may be opportune to arrange a vigil of hymns, readings, and elements drawn from popular piety.

I think that just about describes a service of Lessons and Carols, no?

 
At Saturday, November 22, 2008 9:07:00 pm , Blogger Joshua said...

As one who both loves and attends the EF, and reads the Breviary -

May I say that while Pontifical Vespers (even, LOL, Pontifical Matins) would be very nice to have, I think anyone will realize that singing Christmas carols interspersed with some readings is a perfectly innocent and indeed very pleasurable and holy pastime. Be honest - televised Latin Vespers or Matins (with subtitles) is probably not going to be as engrossing TV as singalong carols.

David makes the best point: that devotions assume many forms, and can be fruitfully employed for the sanctification of the faithful. Of course we should have Vespers more often - but the Cathedral of St Patrick first needs to take a lesson from the Anglicans at their Cathedral, who have daily sung Evensong: with the exception of the Dominicans in East Camberwell and a few other spots, there is hardly a Catholic church in the Glorious See of Melbourne where even the English Office is to be found! So let us not run before we walk...

Did not God command Moses and the Israelites to despoil the Egyptians? So why not take the nice bits from the Anglicans (as has been done on a grander and more liturgical scale in the Book of Divine Worship for the Anglican Use, of which I have a copy on my bookshelf). Many carols are old enough to be either Catholic survivals or translations of Latin lyrics; and I see nothing wrong with singing words of Wesley et al. if they praise and worship our Incarnate Saviour.

 
At Sunday, November 23, 2008 11:12:00 am , Blogger Schütz said...

And, of course, the irony is that by nicking stuff from the Anglicans we may actually be returning to something of the Catholic tradition that we lost and they preserved - like daily choral vespers for eg. as you point out, Joshua.

Not all is bad because it comes from the Protestants. Not all is good because it is done in the Catholic Church. Much (as we all know) that was once very good has been lost to us in this tedious and dull day and age of practicality and common sense.

At the ecumenical gathering in Sydney during WYD, the Holy Father spoke about a "sharing of gifts" with our separated brethren.

I think this fits in that category.

 
At Monday, November 24, 2008 2:05:00 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

David

THE OTHER ISSUE FIRST

It's not particularly useful to build up men of straw by employing these generic ridiculous allusions to "traditionalists" as if they are the radical right to match the looney left.

Besides, Mr Coyle seems barely othodox at times, whereas a "traditionalist" as you presume to call me, might have just a few more claims to orthodoxy. This middle-man impartial status you invoke as a "loyal son of the church" is not the same thing as being "balanced". It's just not having a particularly strong view on this issue, that's all.

However, I appreciate your clarification that you "have absolutely no bone with either the ordinary or the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. I love them both - although naturally I have far more familiarity with the ordinary form." That, indeed is balanced. I hope that my comments did not mis-characterise your position in light of this clarfication, and, if they did, I retract them and apologise.

Equally, I don't think my characterisation of your position on the Extraordinary Form is inaccurate. You chose not to worship using the EF. Fine. But I do, I would like to have access to the EF in my own Cathedral church. But, I'm not allowed to for some very spurious reasons. Surely, there's a story in that, that Sentire might help us get to the bottom of.

Unlike you, I do see the EF as a "superior" form of the Roman Rite Mass, primarly because it more clearly expresses Catholic belief in the Real Presence, and its forms are much more clearly oriented to the mystery. That's why I choose to worship, where I can, in this form, without forcing others to do so.

Note that I am NOT saying:

1. the PEOPLE who attend the EF are "superior". This would be an unsupportable and ridiculous statement, that, by the way, is self-evidently untrue.

2. that the OF does not express Catholic belief in the Real Presence. All I say is that it is clearer (as well as having other advantages) and that should be part of the consideration of how widely it is made available, because it has a didactic ability that the OF has not - particularly in the way it is celebrated - be able to match.

(As an aside, the mistake was to change the Mass instead of changing the way people were taught about the Mass. We suffer from it continually to this day and will until that is rectified).

I appreciate that you do not have a "particular attachment" to the EF. I would not force anyone to manufacture such an attachment.

But in not "pushing" to have it celebrated more widely, we - perhaps unwittingly - actually ignore the Holy Father's wishes that it be made widely available to all. Indeed, Ecclesia Dei have expressly said the expectation (i.e. B16's expectation) is that the EF will be available in ALL parishes - not as the main form of the Roman Rite, but as a complementary form. That, after all is what the Extraordinary / Ordinary construct is about.

I think your comment that "But since I do see the extraordinary form as an equally valid form to the ordinary form, I defend the right of those with a particular attachment to it to have it." is welcomed, accurate and consistent with what I've said. Indeed, you go on to not the postive effect on the OF. That, indeed, is what the Holy Father says he wishes. Surely, then, the EF needs to be said in all parishes, then?? Without it, that positive influence would not take place.

THE MAIN ISSUE

With that out the way, I rather think we haven't progressed anywhere:

- my point is a disbelief about why we promote a derivative devotion of a service of Christmas Carols, instead of an authentically Catholic liturgical service of Vespers. Why a pale imitation - which is actually of value itself for another reason - instead of the real thing? People think the Carols Service is a Catholic thing, and they've never heard of Vespers. They probably think that something the Russian Orthodox do, because they have recordings of it.

- I'm not denying a pre-existing Catholic foundation for a carols service. I said as much. It would be ridiculous to assert otherwise.

- I rather think your Directory on Popular piety quotation bears out my contention:

109. In the space of time between the first Vespers of Christmas and Midnight Mass [IN OTHER WORDS, FIRST VESPERS IS INDEED A LITURGICAL CELEBRATION OF THE OFFICE FORSEEN AS MANDATORY, DARE I SAY] both the tradition of Christmas carols, which are potent means of conveying the Christmas message of peace and joy, and popular piety propose ["propose" I.E. THESE ARE AN OPTIONAL EXTRA, AND A GOOD PRACTICE, BUT NOT MANDATORY] certain forms of payers, differing from country to country, which should be cherished and, where necessary, made consonant with the celebration of the Liturgy...

So, consistent with a prevailing attitude that persists with the "reformed" litugy's implementation, "options" are promoted as "fixed" or "mandatory", when what is meant to be "fixed" or "mandatory" is promoted as optional to such an extent that they are practically ignored, forgotten and lost.

If the Cathedral can decide to celebrate the Office of Tenebrae on Good Friday, then why not Christmas Vespers. And Tenebrae is packed, as you probably know. I would have thought that's an endorsement, even for TV, David. Song's of Praise doesn't come near to it. Trouble is, let's be honest - it's a bit TOO Catholic, ain't it?

Finally, the point missed in all of this - and this one against me -is that Christmas Vespers can't be held until the appointed liturgical hour. So, the only appropriate thing to record is, indeed, a Carol Service. But what a shame the PEOPLE can't see Vespers. It might open their eyes a little to what is genuinely Catholic and part of Catholic tradition.

 
At Tuesday, November 25, 2008 1:58:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Dear Anon (I wish you would feel free on this page not to hide behind such a boring anonymity - please chose a pseudonym by which we can distinguish you from other "Anons" who appear on this page from time to time):

You say: "You chose not to worship using the EF. Fine. But I do, I would like to have access to the EF in my own Cathedral church. But, I'm not allowed to for some very spurious reasons. Surely, there's a story in that, that Sentire might help us get to the bottom of."

a. I don't "choose not to worship using the EF". I choose to worship in my local parish. My local parish doesn't use the EF. I would regard it as a nice and helpful thing if they did. But, as I understand it, this form of the mass is to be provided in parishes where there is at least more than one person who wants it (probably the most generous interpretation of Article 5 of SP ("Art. 5. § 1 In parishes, where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962"). And even if I wanted it badly enough to ask for it to be done by my PP, as far as I know there is no one else in the parish who does. If there was such a person or group of persons, I would add my support to their request, despite the fact that I do not have a special attachment to that form of the rite, and I would choose to attend that mass in my parish.

As for the idea that the doctrine of the Real Presence "is clearer" in the EF than in the OF, that is only because of (as you point out) "the way it is celebrated." I have always contended, and still contend, that were the OF to be done in conformity with the original desires of the Council (ie. without ditching ad orientam, maintaining Latin, kneeling for communion, communion on the tongue etc.) it would give just as eloquent a witness to the Real Presence as the EF. If someone were mad enough to attempt to celebrate the EF in the same way the OF is usually celebrated, it too would fail to be as "eloquent" in its proclamation of the Real Presence. It isn't about the rite per se - ie. the words - it's about how it is done.

"But in not "pushing" to have it celebrated more widely, we - perhaps unwittingly - actually ignore the Holy Father's wishes that it be made widely available to all."

I don't read SP to say that the EF has to be "available to all", but rather to "all who request it". Are you requesting it? Are you going through the right channels? Are you having your requests rebuffed? By whom?

"Surely, then, the EF needs to be said in all parishes, then??"

Well, no, only in those parishes where the faithful request it. If those requests are truly falling on deaf ears, then there is a problem.

As regards ABC Carols and Lessons in the Cathedral (the original point), you say: "my point is a disbelief about why we promote a derivative devotion of a service of Christmas Carols, instead of an authentically Catholic liturgical service of Vespers."

And I say: We're NOT promoting it, we doing something licit in response to a request from the ABC. That seems fair enough. Lessons and Carols are not an "illicit" devotion, and if they ask us to provide this form of devotion, why should we not comply? We could offer Vespers, but I don't think they would be interested - apart from the constraints you point out of the liturgical propriety of recording a celebration of Christmas Vespers before Christmas Eve.

You go on to say: "If the Cathedral can decide to celebrate the Office of Tenebrae on Good Friday, then why not Christmas Vespers."

For the record, I think your suggestion of a Pontifical choral vespers on Christmas eve at the Cathedral is a grand idea and I will suggest it to the Herr Kapellmeister, Dr Cox. But this is a separate issue to what we do when the ABC asks for Lessons and Carols.

 
At Wednesday, November 26, 2008 1:54:00 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear David (ok, if I must, then let's make it Melchior)

"I would regard it as a nice and helpful thing if they did. But, as I understand it, this form of the mass is to be provided in parishes where there is at least more than one person who wants it"
- The competent authority is the Ecclesia Dei Commission. It will shortly put out an Explanatory Document dealing with this and many issues arising from SP's practical implementaion. The result may well be very different from that interpretation.

"As far as I know there is no one else in the parish who does."
- So, no doubt, your parish priest did what every other PP in the Archdiocese did around the time the SP was released: cathecised the faithful and asked those who were interested to express their interest, and then celebrated the EF a few times so the faithful could learn, or be reminded, what special qualities this form of the Roman Rite has, no?

This is where it's frustrating: that what they should do, and should have been asked to do, but more than 1 year on, the Archdiocese has made no substantive announcement about what the arrangements are or actually put anything into place. Given what has been happening overseas, we are a comparative backwater. The suspicion is that the policy of "don't tell, don't ask" has been applying, or, as the English call it "killing the Motu Proprio with silence". This, David, is practically where things are at, regardless of a supposed theoretical availabilty of the EF, or legal norms that are in place - good start, essential starting point that they are - and people's "goodwill" toward it and freedom to ask for it.

"If there was such a person or group of persons, I would add my support to their request, despite the fact that I do not have a special attachment to that form of the rite, and I would choose to attend that mass in my parish."
- It's great to know you are supportive to this degree. It's certainly much more than one gets from most people. But, how can it not be known in your parish whether such people exist?


"As for the idea that the doctrine of the Real Presence "is clearer" in the EF than in the OF, that is only because of (as you point out) "the way it is celebrated.""
- No. There is plenty of scholarly opinion, as well as less-than-scholarly intuition, that makes a strong case for the proposition that the very texts (as well as the ceremonies of the EF) more clearly express Catholic faith. If I'm not mistaken, the Holy Father himself as Cardinal is also of this view. That's another worthwhile discussion, but those far more learned in the area than I have volumnes to say about it can could be consulted.

"I have always contended, and still contend, that were the OF to be done in conformity with the original desires of the Council (ie. without ditching ad orientam, maintaining Latin, kneeling for communion, communion on the tongue etc.) it would give just as eloquent a witness to the Real Presence as the EF."
- I agree that this would help enormously, so where is this being done in Australia?? Where in Melbourne? Why isn't it happening? I really really really struggle with this one. Where's the will and the catechesis to explain these things and implement them?
- And, as you recognised this is indeed the appopriate way to celebrate the Novus Ordo, is it not strange that we don't get this even in our Cathedral Church? And why not, (given that Archbshp Hart seems so sound in liturgical matters and is himself a bishop who has celebrated the EF reasonably regularly)?

"If someone were mad enough to attempt to celebrate the EF in the same way the OF is usually celebrated, it too would fail to be as "eloquent" in its proclamation of the Real Presence."
- No doubt. Although, a strength of the "rigidity" of the rubrics of the EF is that, because it leaves no room for the personality of the priest to "shine" through, an EF celebrated a little slap-dash still has a much higher chance of being more reverent than the OF, which is celebrated in such a lax manner as a matter of course. I feel sometimes as though priests are embarassed to be "too reverent". Facing the people only increases their self-conciousness in this regard, by all reports.

"It isn't about the rite per se - ie. the words - it's about how it is done."
- Not quite, see above.

"I don't read SP to say that the EF has to be "available to all", but rather to "all who request it"."
- Your reading of SP is correct on its terms. However, the Explanatory document will clarifty this further and likely in accord with public statements of Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos indicating that the Holy Father wishes it to be celebrated in all parishes. For example, he was interviewed when he celebrated the EF in Westminster Cathderal (an event snubbed by the English hierarchy, not one was present) and reported in the Daily Telegraph and by Fr Z:

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/06/more-on-what-card-castrillon-hoyos-said-to-the-press-in-london-about-the-tlm/

Here's a snippet of the exchange with Fr Z's commentary interpolated in the square brackets

Damian Thompson (Telegraph): Your Eminence, would the Holy Father like to see ordinary parishes in England with no knowledge of the Gregorian Rite introduced to it?

CC: Yes, of course. We cannot celebrate this without knowledge of the language, of the signs, of the ways of the Rite, and some institutions of the Church are helping in that way. [So, introduce so as to teach the faithful. This reminds me of what the Council asked, namely, that pastors teach their flocks to sing and speak in Latin and their mother tongue. Both. So, now, it is also both uses!]

DT: So would the Pope like to see many ordinary parishes making provision for the Gregorian Rite?

CC: All the parishes. Not many – all the parishes, [All. All. All. Say it with me.] because this is a gift of God. He offers these riches, and it is very important for new generations to know the past of the Church. This kind of worship is so noble, so beautiful – the deepest theologians’ way to express our faith. The worship, the music, the architecture, the painting, makes a whole that is a treasure. The Holy Father is willing to offer to all the people this possibility, not only for the few groups who demand it but so that everybody knows this way of celebrating the Eucharist in the Catholic Church.

Anna Arco (The Catholic Herald): On that note, would you like to see all the seminaries in England and Wales teach the seminarians how to celebrate in the Extraordinary Form?

CC: I would like it, and it will be necessary. We are writing to the seminaries, we are in accord that we have to make deep preparation not only for the Rite, but for [teaching] the theology, the philosophy, the Latin language …

DT: What would be the practical steps for ordinary parishes [to prepare for the Gregorian Rite]?

CC: If the parish priest selects an hour, on Sundays, to celebrate the Mass, and prepare with catechesis the community to understand it, to appreciate the power of the silence, the power of the sacred way in front of God, the deep theology, to discover how and why the priests represents the person of Christ and to pray with the priest. [This also harks to why I say SP is such a gift to priests. In changing the priest’s own view of Mass and himself as a priest saying Mass, the parish will be affected.]

EC: Your Eminence, I think many Catholics are rather confused by this new emphasis on the Tridentine Rite, mainly because we were taught that the new Rite represented real progress, and many of us who have grown up with it see it as real progress, [buzzzz] that there are Eucharistic ministers, women on the sanctuary, that we are all priests, prophets and kings. This new emphasis to many of us seems to deny that.

CC: What is progress? "Progredire", means [offering] the best to God… I am surprised, because many young people are enthusiastic with the celebration of the Gregorian Rite …




"Are you requesting it? Are you going through the right channels? Are you having your requests rebuffed? By whom?"
- Yes. Yes and Yes. Prudence on the last: if you ask yourself how would you go about contacting the Archdiocese about such things, I think you can work this out yourself.

"Well, no, only in those parishes where the faithful request it. If those requests are truly falling on deaf ears, then there is a problem."
- aye

ON THE ORIGINAL ISSUE

"And I say: We're NOT promoting it [Carols Services], we doing something licit in response to a request from the ABC. That seems fair enough."
- I understand that point, and I'm not suggesting anything illicit in the Carols Service, God forbid. Rather I'm drawing attention to the broader point about what does this say about our own and the authorities' attitude to the Church's traditional and authentically Catholic forms of worship: the Liturgy of the Hours?

"Lessons and Carols are not an "illicit" devotion,"
- I don't think I have suggested this is illicit in any way. Quite the contrary. I AM saying it is not mandatory, and worst of all we are preferencing it over First Vespers that is mandatory, or at very least fitting and highly desirable, especially in a Cathedral Church, but is ignored. At the parish level, if you say "Vespers" most people have no idea. They think you've just sworn at them. Our degree of knowledge about the liturgy (the source and summit of our lives) is woefully inadequate. I maintain that for most, this is the great shame.

"if they ask us to provide this form of devotion, why should we not comply?"
- now, I'm scratching my head at this: we have the perverse situation where the Archdiocese will respond and "comply" with a secular organisation's request for a particular devotion (in the interests of PR, essentially) but not respond to ordinary Catholic's and the Church's competent authorities' requests for a particular form of the Liturgy. Something here is really really really awry.

"We could offer Vespers, but I don't think they would be interested"
- Firstly, we should not be given the TV station the choice. This is Catholic liturgy, is it not?
Secondly, I beg to differ, because this is the point: whoelse offers VESPERS? It's these watered down versions of vespers like Anglican Choral Evensong - beautiful and worthy in its own right, certainly, but not Roman Catholic -that people seem to be falling over themselves to provide, because is probably not "too Catholic". Only the Roman Catholics have Vespers in the Roman Form - the Byzantines and Orthodox have theirs - and surely that authentic, unique form should be on display to show Catholics, above all, what Roman Catholic liturgy is. They can get a showcase of Carols elsewhere, surely. Fundamentally, we are talking here about the rediscovery of Catholic Identity through the Church's Liturgy. We have been ashamed of it for too long.

"For the record, I think your suggestion of a Pontifical choral vespers on Christmas eve at the Cathedral is a grand idea and I will suggest it to the Herr Kapellmeister, Dr Cox."
- Thank you, this is appreciated. I pray for a favourable result.

Melchior

 
At Friday, November 28, 2008 12:05:00 am , Blogger Schütz said...

Dear Melchior (what a nice cognomen!),

So, no doubt, your parish priest did what every other PP in the Archdiocese did around the time the SP was released: cathecised the faithful and asked those who were interested to express their interest, and then celebrated the EF a few times so the faithful could learn, or be reminded, what special qualities this form of the Roman Rite has, no? This is where it's frustrating: that what they should do, and should have been asked to do, but more than 1 year on, the Archdiocese has made no substantive announcement about what the arrangements are or actually put anything into place.

No, I don't think SP was anywhere near as proscriptive as that - not on any reading of the text. I don't think that proactivity was expected on the part of parish priests. I think it was to open up a situation where the EF could be celebrated freely where there was even a skerick of demand for it. However, you might be right. The EDC might rule otherwise.

"I have always contended, and still contend, that were the OF to be done in conformity with the original desires of the Council (ie. without ditching ad orientam, maintaining Latin, kneeling for communion, communion on the tongue etc.) it would give just as eloquent a witness to the Real Presence as the EF."
- I agree that this would help enormously, so where is this being done in Australia?? Where in Melbourne?


Actually, it is being done, once a month on the last Sunday of the Month, in the evenings at St Bridgit's church in Fitzroy. See http://glorificamus.blogspot.com/. Next service this Sunday night.

And, as you recognised this is indeed the appopriate way to celebrate the Novus Ordo, is it not strange that we don't get this even in our Cathedral Church? And why not, (given that Archbshp Hart seems so sound in liturgical matters and is himself a bishop who has celebrated the EF reasonably regularly)?

What we do get in the Cathedral here in Melbourne is a pretty damn near faultless celebration of the OF as it is customarily done throughout the world. Traditional Gregorian chants, +Denis in full chant mode, crucifix on the altar, communion in one kind only, kneeling and receiving communion on the tongue in no way discouraged, all ceremonies completely and expertly carried out according to the rubrics, Latin used liberally. If you grumble with this, then you deserve to be disatisfied wherever you go.

As for the "rigidity" of the rubrics in the EF, they are no more rigid than the rubrics for the OF, but the fact is that the folks who use the EF are more likely to respect this fact than those who don't. From what I hear, there were many back in the Good Ol' Days before the Revolution who used to play fast and loose with the rubrics of the mass.

"Your reading of SP is correct on its terms. However, the Explanatory document will clarifty this further"

I see. You have access to knowledge that I do not have. I work on the basis of what I know, not what has yet to be revealed. When new revelation is received, I will modify my opinions accordingly! (As yet, interviews in the Daily Telegraph do not count as magisterium!)

"Are you requesting it? Are you going through the right channels? Are you having your requests rebuffed? By whom?"
- Yes. Yes and Yes. Prudence on the last: if you ask yourself how would you go about contacting the Archdiocese about such things, I think you can work this out yourself.


Well... If I wanted a EF mass at the Cathedral, I would ask the Dean, as he has pastoral responsibility for it. And I would make sure that I was not alone in making this request - I would go as a part of a "stable group". I would also take the time to chat with Herr Kapellmeister, as it would be his duty to provide the music (a lot of extra work, mind you).

Maybe the thing would be to suggest starting with something a little more low key, eg. an EF low mass in the Sacred Heart Chapel or the Lady Chapel early on Sunday morning (eg. 7am). You could find a priest who would be willing to do it - and then take him along in your interview with the Dean. I am sure that this would give the Dean some relief - you would not, after all, be expecting him to do it!

Goodness, there are a hundred ways around this - how hard are you trying?

 

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