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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Another Frank Conversation....

No...I didn't meet Frank Caliendo, but I think I would like to someday, I think that his impressions of George W. Bush and John Madden are spot on...LOL!!!

Seriously, I had a conversation with a priest acquaintance recently which got me to thinking and I think that finally priests are starting to ask the right questions....maybe there is a little hope.

Father said,  "No, we need to celebrate the OF as best as we can by the rubrics, with a good art of celebrating it and doing what is allowed to make it in continuity with the EF Mass, the EF Mass should remain extraordinary, not Ordinary."

I responded in this way:

As best we can.

That is the crux of this whole problem and I see it as multi-faceted.

The first issue. "WE" don't celebrate the Mass, YOU do. We assist. We have no right to assume that we are celebrants along with you in that regard. Whether you meant it to be the clergy or not, that is not how it came across. The faithful have been confused these last 50 years by the erroneous notion that "we" celebrate the Mass. Most simply put, we don't.

Second issue. As best we can. Why not "as the Church expects?" The Mass is not a subjective action. Let me rephrase..the Mass SHOULD NOT be a subjective action. Sadly, with the Novus Ordo, it is. There is no liturgical law dictating what is and what is not. The rubrics of the Mass are 100% subjective. The options have been expanded ad nauseam, they have been taken from directive to suggestive, etc...Why can't the priest celebrate the Mass the way the Church intends? The answer is that the Church hasn't decided how the Mass should be celebrated. And this lends itself to the idea that the OF should really be the EF and vice versa. I will speak to that later.

Third issue. Doing what is allowed to make it in continuity with the EF. What does that mean? How can that objectively be applied across the board? It is an issue, because the OF has no clear direction. And I believe that is by design, from the Consilium.

Fourth issue. The EF should remain extraordinary...No, dear Father; it should not. The Mass is a directed action which is the vehicle to confect a sacrament. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. We are not based, as Catholics, on a subjective notion of biblical worship. We are based upon a liturgical ideal which is not only objective in nature, but guided by laws. It is guided by liturgical and canon law. Because liturgical law was stripped from the Novus Ordo in favor of suggestion, we are left with "as best we can." That is not good enough. With the TLM, we have legal recourse within the Church to hold our priests accountable to their actions. Because this structure is so very key to the notion of Catholic worship, the TLM should be the Ordinary Form until such time as the Novus Ordo is brought into legal certainty with regard to her ceremony.

It was a "suggestion" of the Protestant observers to loosen the rubrics from the objective to the subjective and it was adopted. So the language of the rubrics did change. And the Mass is yet again undermined.

This is all very complex, but a systematic view will show that until the Novus Ordo is not only in need of theological reform, but also in need of legal reform. The Mass is not a subjective biblical notion, but rather it is an objective liturgical notion.

And priests and modern liturgical theologians have either lost sight of that or willfully ignore it.

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