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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Reform of the Reform...Epic Fail?

Many people ask, why all the hairsplitting about reform of the reform.  The reason for the hairsplitting is precisely because there is no doctrine left, being taught in the liturgy.  It ceased to be taught in the 1950s in favor of rubrics.  And that was all done by design.   The argument was: "If we take the theology away, then changing the rubrics will be easy and reteaching the theology and the rubrics won't be an issue."

And that is exactly what has happened.  The problem with all of this is that the Mass ceased to be what it was.  It ceased to be a sacrifice of the priest and it became (at best) the sacrifice of the assembly (Fr. Jungmann) with the priest as presider.

So, things like the pre-'55 Holy Week is unimaginable because there is no theology left to support something of that nature.  You say that only 20 years ago these things would have been laughed off as dreams...perhaps you're right, but that is in spite of the so-called "reform of the reform."  What has the reform of the reform achieved?  A new translation?  Since when was a translation of the Mass ever necessary?  The fact is that the reform of the reform did EXACTLY what it intended NOT to do.  Return the TLM to a pride of place.  The reform of the reform was intended to bring about a more "authentic" Novus Ordo.  Epic. Fail.  What it did was bring back an affinity for the TLM.

And that's ok.  But we need to understand that those who are in support of the reform of the reform are missing the point.  It is clear, by the absolutely staggering growth of Traddy-ism, that the reform of the reform won't ever really gain a foothold.  If it were, then the fruits would be seen.  As it is those fruits have gone to Traddy-ism.  What are the two most difficult seminaries to get into in the USA?  Denton and Winona.  Not Emmitsburg, or Mundelien.  The FSSP and the SSPX.

Again, what has the reform of the reform done with regard to shoring up the Mass?  Well, we got a new translation. And.............nothing else.  The rubrics haven't changed, so there is nothing which holds a priest accountable for his actions at Mass AND the average Catholic doesn't know what he will get when he goes to Holy Mass in the OF.  Which penitential rite?  Which reading (long or short)? Which Eucharistic prayer?  Which Agnus Dei?  How many forms of Communion?  Will he hear the propers or not?  What kind of music will he get?  Will it be Polka, or praise and worship, or Protestant hymns (Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art)?  Will he hear chant?  The reform of the reform has not even come close to addressing these things.

But when the average Catholic goes to the TLM, he knows exactly what he'll get from start to finish.  Which is noble simplicity?  Riddle me that!

The reason the reform of the reform has been blasted as being artificial, is because at this point it is.  It has not made it out of the starting blocks.  It has stalled and it is artificial.  The organic growth of the liturgy has brought us full circle to the TLM, not to the reform of the reform.

What actually must take place for a reform of the reform is well, reform.  Not a new translation, not an accountability check on the rubrics as they stand, but an honest to goodness reform and it sure seems that nobody is interested in actually doing that.

The argument is that there must be study and implementation for something like that?  Really?  How many changes took place between the Pontificates of Pius X and Paul VI?  Study and implementation are code words for the establishment to keep the reform of the reform in the hypothetical....AND IT WORKED!!!!  It worked so well that there has been no reform of the reform, but rather a return to the TLM.  Why?  Because the Novus Ordo was deficient in function (rubrics with no enforceable liturgical law) and form (a change in theology).

So, if we are going to actually reform the Novus Ordo, what is going to change?  And why?  Will there be a change in the offertory?  In the rubrics?  In the language?  In music? In theology (please God)?  In all of it?  How much?  When?  Why? How?  Those are the questions that need to be answered.

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