Tuesday, May 06, 2008

"Changes" in the Liturgy

Last Sunday we were introduced to 2 new changes in the Mass liturgy. The first was removing what was a legacy from the pre-Vatican II period when the people still sat whilst the server responded to the "orare fratres". The second was getting people to make a reverence before receiving Holy Communion.

It is at this point things start to get bizarre. We were told it was a simple nod of the head whilst in Lismore diocese they were told it was a bow of the body or a genuflection. The Liturgy Commission in Brisbane (yes Ms Harrington again), harps on about the usual; how Communion is not an individual thing, and implies that certain pious acts such as making the sign of the cross after receiving are bad practice.

However, there are other areas where we do not follow the new GIRM in any case:
  • not bowing at the "Incarnatus est"
  • Extraordinary Ministers approcahing the Altar before the priest has received communion; and
  • the pouring of the Precious Blood from one vessel to another. (Note that no mention is mentioned in GIRM - it appears in Redemptionis Sacramentum).

Now we do not know when these reforms will happen but they have been flagged in the Liturgy Commission Article in:

There are other changes in the General Instruction that might necessitate some parishes adjusting their procedures for the reception of Holy Communion by Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and other aspects of the celebration of Mass. Parish priests will inform liturgical ministers and others affected by the changes.

So we wait to see. Tho there is a more curious paragraph following:

The new General Instruction emphasises the importance of respecting the altar and ambo. Only what is required for the celebration of the Mass may be placed on the altar: sacred vessels, corporal, purificator and Missal.

So this seems to mean that you cannot put candles or a crucifix on the Altar, which the GIRM says that you can do in N117

117. The altar is to be covered with at least one white cloth. In addition, on or next to the altar are to be placed candlesticks with lighted candles: at least two in any celebration, or even four or six, especially for a Sunday Mass or a holy day of obligation. If the diocesan Bishop celebrates, then seven candles should be used. Also on or close to the altar, there is to be a cross with a figure of Christ crucified. The candles and the cross adorned with a figure of Christ crucified may also be carried in the Entrance Procession. On the altar itself may be placed the Book of the Gospels, distinct from the book of other readings, unless it is carried in the Entrance Procession.

and of course this is one of the most distinguishing features of the Benedictine liturgical reform.

However, to be balanced what she says about the Ambo, and how it should not be used for general announcements and the like. That is correct.

But how many people will just read Ms Harringtons stuff and not the real thing where they will get a better view of what the requirements really are.

PS of course on a traditional Altar you dont put a crucifix or candles on the Altar - the gradines are for that. In the EF you actually do as Ms Harrington says.


Anonymous said...

After many many articles by Ms Harrington, one can't help but start to question her understanding of the Liturgy, and indeed her ability to understand the Liturgy of the Holy Mother Church (as opposed to her 'own' understandings), and her Office in the diocese.

I thought there's a reason why there's the GIRM, and papal instructions on matters concerning the Liturgy. If Brisbane can't even follow this, then how can they recite "we believe in ONE holy CATHOLIC and Apostolic Church" (notice Catholic here means universal not Roman Catholics).

Summa Theologica said...

What would we do with Elizabeth Harrington - the thirty fourth doctor of the Church.