Monday, August 22, 2005

The Reboot of the liturgy

When a program, much less the hard drive of a computer gets corrupted, the normal course of things are one of two choices, either a reboot, even a reformat of the hard drive to get the computer back t o the state before it was corrupted, or the far more difficult scanning and cleaning of the computer by anti virus/anti spyware programs, the more corrupt the PC, the amount the difficulty increases in trying to rid it of its corruption.

This brings us to the current day mass. It seems that many clerical and lay powers that be want to continue making the mass in irreverent experience, devoid of any sense of the sacred, sense of tradition, much less any connection to the theology and teachings of the church. Things that started out as abuses such as EMHCs, altar girls and communion under both species have become instituionalized, and many elements of tradition such altar rails, much less use of them have been close to being banned(in a handful of dioceses in the US, some parishes, either because of pastors or Bishops have been forced to stop using the altar rail for communion). It almost seems that to get a reverent mass, the only option is the Traditional Latin Mass(TLM). While there are a few exceptions, such as the parishes I mentioned in my previous post, the truth is the manner they celebrate mass in can be changed at the whime of either a Pastor or a Bishop. All and all, the corruption of the mass seems to grow, to the point that even the new (General Instruction of the Roman Missal) has been used by many clerics to strip even more kneeling away from the mass. It seems that the longer this goes on, the more corrupted from tradition it gets.

To me, there is a potential solution, and that is to reboot the official liturgy of the church(It can be called for example Roman Usage). Bring it back to where it was in the fall of 1964, and re read what Vatican II actually said about the mass. On the core elements of the mass, such as its very structure, keep the Tridentine structre, do not tamper one bit with its rubrics, and keep the core of its lectionary intact, with moderate revsions down the road with respect to its lectionary cycle. Make these elements have cannomical protections so no priest or Bishop can tamper with them.

Again, some elements that Vatican II asked for such as use of more vernacular in the mass, estabislhment of permanent deacons, and even a restoration of instituted acolytes and lectors(male only) can be looked at as potential ORGANIC developments of the liturgy. To ensure the protection of this mass, initially have Rome set up a personal parish in every Vicarate with only this liturgy, so the faithful can have a real choice, and if Bishops do not go for this, then look at the possibility of setting up in extreme cases of personal dioceses, and last but not least, set up a different seminary and vocational structure so seminarians would not be turned away as being "too ridgid".

That said, one may ask"How is it possible to bring the entire church back to the TLM"? My awnser it isint, so anyone attached to the way the Novus Ordo is typically done, with the instituional abuses taking place in a large majority of parishes can continue to attend such parishes. Grant a indult to any priest and parish that wishes to continue to celebrate the mass in such a manner, though heresy from the pulpit nor a St. Joan of Arc style celebration of the mass should be tolerated.

I am under no illusion that the church as a whole is either ready or willing to go back to the Traditional mass, though many polls I have read state that about 10-15% of active Catholics would like a traditional mass, though most do not because of a lack of a convinent time or location or they simpily do not know such a mass exists, and giving cannonical protection and allowing those who prefer a traditional liturgical useage to expand freely as other movments(notably the Charismatic movment) will give these Catholics a clear and visible choice, and also lay the foundation for future growth. As for vocations, of a Traditional usage of the mass is given free reign, then I expect within a deacde, a majority of priestly vocations would come from a traditioanl usage of the missal. As for the Novus Ordo, In the West at least, I would expect within two generations, that its viability would be no better than the mainline Protestants in terms of priestly, religous or matrimony vocations(again with a few exceptions).

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