Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Cardinal Sarah calls for "ad orientem" worship and kneeing for Holy Communion. Is it enough?

“It is very important that we return as soon as possible to a common orientation, of priests and the faithful turned together in the same direction – eastwards or at least towards the apse – to the Lord who comes.” ... “I ask you to implement this practice wherever possible.”

He said that “prudence” and catechesis would be necessary, but told pastors to have “confidence that this is something good for the Church, something good for our people”.
“Your own pastoral judgement will determine how and when this is possible, but perhaps beginning this on the first Sunday of Advent this year, when we attend ‘the Lord who will come’ and ‘who will not delay’.

With these words, Robert Cardinal Sarah has pushed further the argument for a "reform of the reform" of the modernist liturgy forced upon the Catholic faithful by Paul VI.

What are we to think of this?

First, a suggestion is worthless, except that it may indicate a future command to come and that this is to soften up the troops, so to speak. You can count on objections and vehement fights against it. All we in the English speaking world need to do is to recall the fight over the correct translation of the Latin modernist liturgy into English.

Second, it is not going to save what Pope Benedict XVI called, the "Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite" because it is not enough.

The liturgy forced upon the Church by Paul VI was so far and removed from anything the Council Fathers desired in Sacrosanctum Concilium as to be nothing more than a complete break with the past. The problem with this Novus Ordo Missae is the Novus Ordo Missae. It is fundamentally flawed.

Nothing in the Council called for Mass facing the people and in fact, the ability to face liturgical east is already in the Missal where the priest is directed at the Orate Fratres and the Pax vobiscum, to face the people. This presumes that he is not. The Missal and its Graduale Romanum already provides for Gregorian chant, Latin Ordinary and text, incense, beauty, and so on. Why is it not done?

The ability to reform the reform is already there in every Missal and no priest needs permission to do it.

Fundamentally, turning the priest will fix little without more.

The Offertory of the Mass is nothing more than a minor Talumudic table blessing

Baruch atah Adonai Elohainu melech haolam hamotzli lechem min haaretz.Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.
Baruch atah Adonai Elohainu melech haolam borai pri haaitz.Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who creates the fruit of the tree.

It was put in the Mass by Anibale Bugnini after an outrage by Paul VI because there was to be no resemblance of an Offertory in Bugnini's, "Presentation of the Gifts." The priest would receive the bread and wine from a contrived procession, prepare them and then say the "Prayer over the Gifts" leading directly into the Preface. No offertory prayer. No orate fratres. Paul VI demanded an Offertory and this is what we got. A Jewish talmudic table blessing which replaced this:

Accept, O Holy father, Almighty and Eternal God, this spotless host, which I, Your unworthy servant, offer to You, my living and true God, to atone for my numberless sins, offences, and negligences; on behalf of all here present and likewise for all faithful Christians living and dead, that it may profit me and them as a means of salvation to life everlasting. Amen.
O God,  Who in creating man didst exalt his nature very wonderfully and yet more wonderfully didst establish it anew; by the Mystery signified in the mingling of this water and wine, grant us to have part in the Godhead of Him Who hath deigned to become a partaker of our humanity, Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord; Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.
We offer unto Thee, O Lord, the chalice of salvation, entreating Thy mercy that our offering may ascend with a sweet fragrance in the sight of Thy divine Majesty, for our own salvation, and for that of the whole world. Amen.
Come Thou, the Sanctifier, Almighty and Everlasting God, and bless this sacrifice which is prepared for the glory of Thy holy Name.

How do you even begin to compare these prayers? Can an ardent defender of the modernist liturgy please explain it?

We are to believe that simply turning the priest around will fix what is wrong?

The problems of the penitential rite options, the Canon (Eucharistic Prayer) options and the actual orations themselves, changed or deleted entirely from the ancient Missal are even greater problems with the liturgy.

Until these options are removed, by order and the I Confess, Offertory and Roman Canon are mandated by law, then there can be no reform.

At the same time, we are to accept that girls and women should still assist at the altar, women should have their feet washed and communion should be given in the hand.

The Cardinal also said that people should return to communion, kneeling.

Has he tried that in a typical parish?

I applaud Cardinal Sarah for this beginning. The reality is, this, the bishops will ignore it and priests who take this on without the leadership of their Ordinary will be pilloried. 

It is a beginning. 

It is not enough.


S. Armaticus said...

I think it's more than a start.

Think this through… If you have a priest facing God, he will have to speak very loudly for the people to hear him and respond.

Next, the people will not see his lips moving, therefore the hard of hearing will incur difficulties with responding.

And lastly, if the priest faces God, he will not be able to do all the theatrics since he will not be “interacting” with the crowd.

Now if the priest is a typical male, he might just go to the TLM (he can tell the hard cases that he's offering a "silent" mass ;-))so that he doesn’t have to scream. Screaming 5 masses on Sunday might just take its toll on the old vocal cords and learing the TLM might be a suitable alternative.

This is what I would call a "positive" incentive. ;-))))))

And that is just on the surface.

On a deeper level, out is the “assembly theology” and the convergence with the proddies that never came. By fiat of the Prefect of the CDW. Regardless of whether any priest in fact turns east.

This really is a game changer!

PS It will also show who the obediant priests are. Remember, supposedly Francis has got Card. Sarah's back.

Sandpiper said...

When you consider the draconian manner in which the Novus Ordo was imposed, this weak gesture is like men playing with dolls.

Ana Milan said...

Even before Vatican II most CC altars did not face East. Here in Spain they mainly face South for some reason I cannot explain. If Bishops do want to follow Cardinal Sarah's advice & face East whilst saying Holy Mass then that would mean they would have to physically change most of the existing altars to face the correct way - a huge undertaking - in fact it would end up by our witnessing the priest side-ways which wouldn't do either. The church itself would have to be rebuilt & that would only be practical with new buildings.

It was easy for the NO Church to rip out communion rails & confessionals but quite an undertaking to replace them. Still, if this would have a real benefit to our worship we must comply. The communion kneeler (as opposed to rail) in our Sunday church is very well used by communicants on that side of the altar so I see no difficulty if more were introduced to accommodate all lines of communicants. He should also require the return of confessionals within the church itself & regular hearing times. This would greatly enhance the spiritual state of communicants who wish to receive but have little or no way of having their confessions heard on a regular basis.

Dan said...

I expect the good Cardinal will be "retired" soon.

Anonymous said...

Umm Ana, when Cardinal Sarah says facing East, it does not mean literal geographic East. It simply means liturgical East, which is the end of the Church where the altar is, it may or not happen to be also geographic East. Hence, churches would not have to be reconstructed.

GMUA said...

They will take these directives and throw 'em in the waste bin.

In other words, pigs will fly first.

"Healing masses", "the voice masses", "charismatic masses", "Fr. Chuck's mass" etc. will never follow do this.

the Savage said...

Not enough but it is a useful start. What would actually make a difference would be declaring that the normative version of the "ordinary form" is to be celebrated with the priest facing ad orientem, the principal common parts of the liturgy said or chanted in Latin, and the first, or Roman, canon to be said. All cathedral / basilica parishes should be required to offer this normative version as their principal mass on Sunday's and major Holy Days. I agree about the Offertory prayers, not because I am bothered by the Jewish origins of the Novus Ordo offertory, but because of the rich sacrificial theology of the traditional offertory. But it is not ancient, but rather a medieval Gallican import into the Roman rite. I would be happy to see the traditional offertory restored as an option for now (as it is in the Anglican Use Divine Worship missal). But I agree that until it is made clear that the more traditional options in the Novus Ordo are normative and binding in at least some circumstances, calls for their voluntary adoption will fall on deaf ears.

Athelstane said...

I don't know what people are expecting of Cdl. Sarah here. No, celebration ad orientem can't fix the more fundamental ruptures in the OF missal. No, a suggestion is not nearly as good as a change in the liturgical law.

But it's not like his boss is going to spring for those more fundamental and legal reforms. If all his comments do is to lend more support and encouragement of the most conservative bishops (like Bishop Rey) to support pastors in celebrating ad orientem, or even requiring them to do so, it will be worthwhile. It will make the TLM a more familiar and attractive option for those who experience ad orientem. Take it for what it is. We'd all love it if the CDW prefect were to insist on making the TLM normative (and I would love to do it), but that would simply cost him his job, and his replacement by someone more liberal.

Mark Thomas said...

Earlier this year, Joseph Shaw of the Latin Mass Society offered what I believed was a fair and insightful response to Pope Francis' decision to allow as an option on Maundy Thursday the washing of women's feet by priests. Joseph Shaw said the following:

"It is tempting to see the decree allowing women's feet to be washed on Maundy Thursday as an indication of an acceleration of liturgical decay underway with Pope Francis, following his breaking of the rule up to now. However, what has happened is no different from what happened under his predecessors.

"Bl Pope Paul VI gave in to the pressure of endemic abuse when he allowed the reception of Communion in the hand."

"Pope St John Paul II gave way, again because of the pressure of abuses, on Altar girls."

"Pope Benedict XVI allowed Communion in the hand in Poland, where Pope John Paul II never had. It was Pope Benedict who chose to continue JPII's Youth Day Masses, and Assisi ecumenical gatherings, at a moment when it would have been perfectly possible to let both series stop, and merely tried to make them less awful.

"But he did not continue JPII's series of Instructions lambasting liturgical abuses: he must have realised it was pointless."

"This is the real lesson to be learned. Attempting to shore up the totering edifice of the Novus Ordo with ferocious-sounding rules has failed. JPII and Pope Benedict didn't manage it, and obviously - obviously - Pope Francis, though not a liturgical 'meddler', is not going to succeed in a project in which he has no interest. If it is collapsing, it is collapsing under the weight of its own contradictions."

The reality is that liturgical lawlessness is so far advanced within the Latin Church that it's pointless (or close to that) to attempt to legislate ourselves out of the liturgical crisis in which we are mired.

However, the Novus Ordo remains the key to familiarizing Latin Church Catholics with the TLM. That is, if the TLM is to become a normal part of parish life — even if each Latin Church parish offered just one TLM each Sunday. As of today, TLM practices are simply too foreign to the majority of Latin Church Catholics to allow the TLM to become accepted as a normal part of parish life. But over time, familiarization with traditional practices via the Novus Ordo would enable parishioners to view the TLM as "normal".

How do we reach that point? Does Rome issue simply ham-fisted liturgical decrees? "By Advent 2016 A.D., each Novus Ordo parish will offer Masses ad orientem. That is that. Deal with it".

I believe that Joseph Shaw is correct. Liturgical decrees from Rome won't work. Rather, as Cardinal Sarah has undertaken, the key is to build a consensus within the Church, traditional practice by traditional practice. Then, should a Pope make practice "X" official, opposition to said decree would become pointless.

An example of that principle, although in the unfortunate sense, happened this year when, other than complaints from the Church's relatively few Traditionalists, Pope Francis foot-washing decree was accepted readily at the majority of Novus Ordo parishes.

The majority of Faithful for years had witnessed said practice during Holy Thursday Mass. Catholics had become familiar with that sight...and that rendered ineffective any opposition to the Pope's motu proprio in question.

Now, in the positive sense, should more and more bishops/priests embrace Cardinal Sarah's exhortation to offer Mass ad orientem, then that practice will cease to be foreign to a good portion, if not the majority, of Latin Church Faithful. Then, should His Holiness Pope Francis or his successor wish to make the practice official...well, good luck attempting to oppose ad orientem worship.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Vox, pending his approval, I just offered the following to Father McDonald's Southern Orders blog. Perhaps you may find the following of interest. Perhaps this indicates that His Holiness Pope Francis intends to delve into serious liturgical reform. Perhaps Pope Francis' Divine Worship Missal for the Ordinariates signaled something positive for the Novus Ordo.

Father David Friel said that at the current Sacra Liturgia UK conference, "speaking about the real possibility of an official reform of the reform, Cardinal Sarah made reference to a “learned study” given by Fr. Thomas Kocik at Sacra Liturgia USA 2015 in New York City. In his presentation, Fr. Kocik proposed practical ideas for what such a reform might look like. Some of his specific suggestions are reported here."

In June 2015 A.D., Father Friel said the following about the study that Cardinal Sarah referenced a couple of days ago:

"The morning’s first lecture was delivered by Rev. Thomas Kocik, former editor of the journal Antiphon. The title of the talk was simply, “The Reform of the Reform.” Father Kocik’s fundamental assertion was that any authentic reform of the reform must begin with the Extraordinary Form as the point of departure, not the Ordinary Form.

"In the course of his presentation, Father Kocik also listed a number of practical ideas for how a priest might transform his celebration of the Ordinary Form. Among his ideas were these:"

1. Use the rite of blessing for water, with the proper chants, in place of the Penitential Act.

2. Employ the proper chants during each of the processions.

3. Chant the orations, prefaces, & the Gospel.

4. Use incense on every Sunday & solemnity, not just on special occasions.

5. Omit the intercessions on weekdays.

6. Opt for a silent preparation of the gifts.

7. Do not neglect the Latin language.

8. After catechesis, introduce the celebration of Mass ad orientem. [In the interim, consider using the “Benedictine arrangement.”]

9. Wear black vestments for funerals, All Souls Day, and other Masses for the Dead.

10. Do not omit the optional sequences.

11. Occasionally use the Gradual instead of the Responsorial Psalm.

12. Utilize the full complement of Votive Masses in the Missal.

13. Use the Roman Canon.

14. Bow your head at the names of the Trinity, the BVM, and the saint of the day.


Mark Thomas

Barnum said...

Pedantic Anonymous just had to contradict Ana Milan, eh? What I am interested in knowing, for starters, is: which altars face south, what are the dates the churches were built, and what was on the land before they were built, and is there any connection to James, Paul, or the Moslem invasion?

Anonymous said...

Females should not be permitted on Catholic altars and should don veils, cover shoulders and legs.
Handshakes should be consigned to coffee and donuts after the Mass and in the parish hall.
Announcements should be printed and not read on the church.
The whole solemn, sacred sense of the supernatural has been deliberately destroyed by the secular humanist silly people chasing after novelty and fads.

Michael Dowd said...

It is great to see this matter under discussion. Congrats to Cardinal Sarah for jumping on board. Also, much of what Mark Thomas said was heartening especially the practical suggestions from Fr. Kocik.

TLM said...

I think it's a wonderful start! No of course it's not enough, but Cdl. Sarah knows that small increments at a time MAY actually WORK! Anyone who looks at the situation we have going on now with the liturgy, would applaud this as a good healthy start to bringing back reverence to the N.O. liturgy, not to mention going a long way to foster realization and belief of the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist that has been pretty much destroyed thanks to the modernists and pagans that have been running the Church for 50 years now. get them to actually put this into practice?! Good luck with that one!! I am going to start promoting within my area group of Pastors, but I'm (as we all will be) up against a wall of resistance. What needs to happen here: Pope Francis needs to make the necessary changes and insist on them world wide, just exactly like Benedict did. LOL......the Pope that doesn't even kneel or even genuflect when HE is supposed to during the Mass!! As I said......good luck to us with THIS one! We will need every bit of help and grace that we can get from Our Lord through His Blessed Mother!!