We begin today the beautiful solemn celebrations of Holy Week. Our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ enters today the Holy City on a donkey to the glad shouts of "Hosanna" which in a few days would turn into "Crucify Him!"
Oh, how our liturgical masters have betrayed Him and us.
It is not enough to see the impoverishment of the Holy Week liturgies in the new liturgy as structured, but in most places, as celebrated.
If you want to a vernacular Ordinary Form liturgy did you have a full procession with Gregorian chant antiphons? Will Holy Thursday include the antiphons during the Washing of the Feet (of men only "viri selecti," notwithstanding the Bishop of Rome's personal dispensation of the need to follow the Law). Will Good Friday include the sung Reproaches?
Yet, not even the traditional liturgy has been left alone to be celebrated in its majesty and history and biblical symbolism. In 1955 a professional liturgist named Annibale Bugnini convinced a tired and ill holy Pope to make unprecedented changes to the Holy Week rites. For the first time there would be prayers facing the people and an insertion of a para-liturgy within the Holy Mass. Anyone could support the change of hours so that he faithful could attend and pray, worship and benefit from these venerable rites. Changing the hours would have meant removing Vespers from the Holy Saturday Mass and replacing it with Lauds of Easter Sunday which was done regardless.
The rest was and remains an impoverishment. To imagine that the ancient office of Matins now called the Office of Readings with its three nocturnes and twelve prophesies was jettisoned from the Vigil for an illogical four is still regretted every Holy Saturday by anyone who has examined the two or chants these glorious rituals to commemorate our Blessed Lord's passion, death and resurrection.
It was hoped that under our dear Pope Benedict XVI, the option of the pre-reformed Holy Week would have been granted. It is known that the option was being studied and considered but any movement there is for a papacy that will restore all things.
Gregory DiPippo at the New Liturgical Movement wrote a copyrighted Compledium of hte 1955 Holy Week Revisions of Piux XII. They are worth studying and are linked below.
Part 1: The Palm Sunday Blessing and the Procession of Palms
Part 2: The Masses of Palm Sunday, Holy Tuesday and Spy Wednesday
Part 3: The Mass of Holy Thursday and the Mandatum
Part 4.1: Mass of the Presanctified, Good Friday, Mass of the Catechumens and the Solemn Prayers
Part 4.2: Good Friday, The Adoration of the Cross and the Rite of the Presanctified
Part 5: Tenebrae and the Divine Office of the Triduum
Part 6.1: Holy Saturday and the Blessing of the New Fire, Procession, Exultet, Prophesies
Part 6.2: Holy Saturday and the Blessing of the Font, Litany of the Saints, Mass and Vespers
Part 7: The Vigil of Pentecost and the Readings from Sacred Scripture in Holy Week
Part 8: The Hours of the Celebration of the Holy Week Liturgies
Part 9: The Reform of the 1955 and Post-Conciliar Holy Week