Friday, January 10, 2014

Fr. Folsom on Summorum Pontificum (2)

Fr. Folsom's talk is HERE.

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Irish House Mass under the Penal Laws
The Novus Ordo Missae is structurally Roman. The orations are typically derived from ancient Roman sources.The readings, offertory, and Eucharistic prayers are placed in their typical Roman places, and the Roman Canon is the first of those prayers (one would think not just by placement in the book, but in intent, i.e it has primacy over the others). The chants are typically left unchanged, and they are to be sung in a Gregorian style as much as possible. These are the things that first came to mind that make this Mass the Roman Rite. Of course, the deletions and alterations from the previous Missal and (for the latter) the ancient sacramentaries are not to be remiss. More on its Roman nature later.

Fr. Folsom points out that the in the period 1570 to 1962 is largely one of organic development. I agree, and I think the Stowe Test is largely satisfied. Fr. Hunwicke notes that the Pope issued a Missal with the ancient Latin forms of the Psalms, even though they differed from the Vulgate that had been recently promulgated. The addition of the name of St. Joseph to the Canon is a venerable one, as devotion to him had increased and he is now Patron of the Universal Church. (Now, should his name go there? I've heard it should go in the Embolism-Libera nos Domine, after the Pater Noster-though the intercessions are sadly deleted in the newer form, which is NOT the form of the Gelasian Sacramentary, an ancient liturgical book from which the reformers cut and pasted.)

Photo: Transitional Mass
Sometime between '64 and Lent '65
As papal temporal power declined, the proposed doctrine of Ultramontanism developed, almost deifying the Pope's ecclesiastical power, and although this was properly moderated at the First Vatican Council in the dogmatic statement on infallibility, sometimes the Popes made changes, well, because they could. The Sacred Heart devotion spread, and it is a truly wonderful and worthy devotion as a representation of Our Lord's love for His people. But the Octave of the Sacred Heart was created and suppressed, all within the late nineteenth century. If it were me, I would have propped up the octaves now lost, instead of adding and removing one so suddenly. (The sanctoral cycle's proliferation competes with Octaves other than Easter, Christmas, and Pentecost.) Venerable Pius XII reformed the Psalter during World War II, and the Latin of that newer Psalter is just terrible.  I don't know why churchmen insist on using classical Latin when it has never been our liturgical Latin, and I don't know why the Greek texts of Scripture have been thrown out in favor of using either the Hebrew exclusively for those books of the Bible written in Hebrew or some syncretic use of Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Aramaic. This Psalter was replaced after the Council, which is both good and bad. Good because it was awful, bad because changes shouldn't be made so quickly. (Thank you again, Fr. Hunwicke.)

But one cannot use a modified 1962 Missal to celebrate the Mass following the instructions of Venerable Paul VI. One cannot even use the modified Ordo Missae from 1965 or 1967 (both of which are without a doubt still the classical Roman Missal), so great are the textual and rubrical changes. In outward appearance, the Mass is very different. I've seen pictures of the Mass said versus populum with altar cards, prior to the suppression and then replacement of the Lavabo and the suppression of the Last Gospel. The house Masses, celebrated in small groups in homes to familiarize folks with the new form, are ridiculously lax. The Irish house Masses under the Penal Laws at least were celebrated as if they were in a church!

I suppose the Roman nature will have to be addressed in yet another post. Not a bad problem to have.

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