Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Some thoughts on the two forms of the Roman Rite

Over on the New Liturgical Movement blog are some words by Dom Coureau Abbot of the traditionalist Benedictine community of Triors on how the Novus Ordo Mass should be seen in relation to the Classical Roman Mass, and the relationship between the two communities within the Church.

“A loyal co-existence [of those who use the Pauline and Pian Missals] seems to me to be an occasion for the first to rid themselves of contempt for the past ... and for the second, to rid themselves of an attitude of provocative confrontation with authority. The Motu proprio Ecclesia Dei has brought about the beginning a marriage of reason between the two Missals; we now need to pass from a level of forced co-existence to one of respect and compassion for persons. We also need to learn to see the value of one in the light of the other. The increased use of the old Mass cannot but invite nearby parishes to bring back incense and chasubles; the opposite is also true. The quality of certain “new Masses”, not as exceptional as it is often thought in the “traditionalist milieu”, obliges us not to fall asleep on the laurels of a too easy, too worldly, success, but to elevate the liturgical requirements of the faithful who come to us.”

In relation to the forthcoming Motu Proprio he states:
“If, speaking of the new Missal, someone says “At last, we can pray!” and people have said such things, he denigrates centuries of liturgical practice, and he dishonours holy Mother Church by seeming to involve her in a conflict between generations. On the other hand, those who say “The pope has no right to touch the Missal of the ages”, and people have said that too, discredit the authority of the common Father of all believers, sometimes with a disrespect that reminds me of the attitude of Chem towards the drunkenness of Noah. Such attitudes cannot be pleasing to God. The contempt that I just mentioned reminds me of the murmuring of the people of the Old Covenant, a murmuring which Yahweh condemned with the greatest severity ... But once these traps are recognized for what they are, I believe that co-existence is of benefit for both Missals. For the old, because it receives the justice that is its due ... For the new because it receives a healthier basis, one that purges it of the 1970s preconceptions that ruined its credibility, and worse, brought the authority of Rome into a position of weakness.”

This reflects my thoughts more eloquently than I could say myself, which means that Dom Coureau has prayed about, thought and lived this issue.

The blueprint for the Reform-of-the-Reform therefore is to purge the Novus Ordo Mass of "the 1970s preconceptions that ruined its credibility, and worse brought the authority of Rome into a position of weakness". How many of us are constantly struggling against 1970s mentalities in our parishes that prevent the Mass either in its classical or modern form, being seen in the glory that it deserves?


Anonymous said...

Very good post and something to pray for, but it will be a long battle.

Anonymous said...

Modern mass is awesome but honestly, some people need to keep their kids quiet and by their sides and people need to stop talking in the middle of mass!!! Makes me so angry!!!