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Friday 18 May 2007

Interesting letters from Ecclesia Dei

This is a valuable link from TheNewLiturgicalMovement to the blog by the SaintBedeStudio .

Blogger, Michael Sternbeck has posted some j-peg's of letters from the Ecclesia Dei Commission pertaining to what is actually permissible within the Traditional Latin Mass according to the Missal of 1962.

It is fascinating reading, particularly as we in wait in hope for the Motu Proprio from His Holiness Benedict XVI freeing up the use of the Traditional Latin Mass.

I find if fascinating because as friends will attest, these are things which I have expressed my opinion on as to organic development of the "Mass."

Amongst these:

  • At a Low Mass, the celebrant may read an approved translation into the vernacular of the Epistle and Gospel. (my emphasis throughout)

  • At a Solemn Mass, the celebrant and ministers may join with the schola in singing a plainchant Gloria and Credo, without the requirement of reading them together beforehand.

  • At any sung Mass, the entire congregation may join with the Celebrant in singing the Pater noster.

  • The additional prefaces which were included in an appendix of the 1965 Missale Romanum may be used at any celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Missal. Furthermore, prefaces from the 1970 Missale Romanum may also be included.

According to Mr. Sternbeck, "In addition to these Decisions, the Commission attached to the letter its permissions regarding the form of the Conventual Mass which may be celebrated by the Traditionalist Benedictines of France. By this was intended that the form of celebration described may be celebrated elsewhere."
  • If the celebration of the Divine Office precedes Mass, the Prayers at the Foot of the altar may be omitted.

  • The rites accompanying the readings from scripture may be celebrated at the sedilia.

  • The readings may be proclaimed facing the people, whether in Latin or the vernacular and the celebrant is not required to read them or the Gradual chants separately.

  • Bidding Prayers may be offered after the Oremus, immediately preceding the Offertory.

  • The "Secret" prayer may be sung aloud.

  • The celebrant may sing the entire doxology Per ipsum, whilst elevating the Host over the chalice.

  • The Pater noster may be sung by all with the celebrant.

  • The final Blessing may be sung, and afterwards the Last Gospel may be omitted.
I agree almost 100% with the above, though I doubt I would want the last Gospel omitted. I have long thought that the readings and additional chanting by the Priest of the Secret and particularly, the Doxology are some of the elements of the Novus Ordo that would enhance the Traditional Latin Mass.

What I find equally interesting is that there is also permission granted to insert new saints under some guidelines.

At the end of the day, the 1962 Missal after being "freed" will need to be updated. Perhaps we can look forward to a 2010 Missal incorporating officially, these various changes suggested by Ecclesia Dei and in keeping with the desires of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council.

Well, there may be some rigid "traditionalists" that won't like this, but if we are serious about bringing forward the 1962 Missal to then we should also accept that it is not a "relic of history." It is a holy, living liturgy which has always gone through "organic growth." I would classify the above as being consistent with "organic growth."