Tuesday 5 July 2011

CTS Order of Mass - American Missal and the Roman Missal: Compare and contrast

I have been looking through the CTS Order of Mass (in Latin and English) for the people's use (£2.50 each) which I thought we might use instead of buying new Mass books with all the readings etc in (as the parish has no money!) I've never really understood the need for Mass books when the Mass and the readings are in English - surely a hang-over from days when everything was in Latin and people followed the Mass in English.

There are some good things mentioned in the rubrics but also some notable omissions - all tending in a particular direction. What I wonder is - how will the actual missal deal with these aspects? Will we have a more faithful and accurate version of the Latin words of Mass but rubrics that follow the old translation model - less faithful and accurate to the Latin?
(Fr Tim Finigan noticed a rogue instruction on the CTS Cards for Mass. )

It's good that it says (my highlights):
Before Mass begins, the people gather in a spirit of recollection.
After the entrance chant, the Priest and the faithful sign themselves with the sign of the cross.
But will we hear chant instead of hymns?

Good also:
After the Liturgy of the Word, the people sit and the Offertory chant begins. The faithful express their participation by making an offering, bringing forward bread and wine for the celebration of the Eucharist.
No mention of all the other things commonly brought up at the offertory! Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith told the story at the Adoratio Conference of being presented with a guitar at the Offertory and asking the person presenting it if it was his to keep. No it wasn't - the man wanted it back. The Cardinal asked what sort of an offering this was, when the gift was to be given back to the person offering it? He said he was therefore going to keep the guitar, much to the amazement of the person presenting it. (What use he would have for such an instrument, I'm not sure.)

I looked at the text (which is available on-line at the site of the United States Conference of Bishops) of the American Missal. It puts it rather better and makes the point that the Offertory procession is desirable rather than mandatory. "Expedit" in the Latin Missal - Editio Iuxta Typican Tertiam. (I always think that the Holy Father has much to put up with in the extended numbers of people who bring up the gifts at Papal Masses - it seems rather odd to interrupt the Mass for the obvious chatting that inevitably goes on here as people greet the Holy Father.) Anyway, the U.S. text says:
It is desirable that the faithful express their participation by making an offering, bringing forward bread and wine for the celebration of the Eucharist and perhaps other gifts to relieve the needs of the Church and of the poor.
An omission in the CTS booklet is that it indicates the priest simply says the offertory prayers and the people make the response. No mention that the offertory prayers can and usually should be said quietly. "Submissa voce dicens" in the Latin Missal. The U.S. text makes this clearer:
The Priest, standing at the altar, takes the paten with the bread and holds it slightly raised above the altar with both hands, saying in a low voice...
If, however, the Offertory Chant is not sung, the Priest may speak these words aloud; at the end, the people may acclaim: Blessed be God for ever.
The U.S. text also makes clear, in a much more faithful translation of the Latin, that the Missal presumes the priest is facing eastwards, ad oreintem, for it explicitly mentions turning to face the people at particular points. "Versus ad populum" in the Latin Missal.
Standing at the middle of the altar, facing the people, extending and then joining his hands, he says: Pray, brethren...
Another dodgy bit comes at the sign of peace. No mention that it is not obligatory.It just says:
The Deacon or the priest, adds: Let us offer each other the sign of peace.

The Latin text says: the priest ad populum conversus extends his hands and says - the peace of the Lord be with you always. Then if it is opportune pro opportunitate the priest or deacon adds, Let us offer each other the sign of peace. The U.S. translation is again more faithful:
Then, if appropriate, the Deacon, or the Priest, adds:
Let us offer each other the sign of peace.
Although what neither of them bother to translate is the instruction that the priest only gives the sign of peace to the deacon or other minister. No mention of descending into the congregation or all and sundry on the sanctuary. An interpretation in continuity with the past would indicate it is simply given to the deacon, as in the usus antiquior:
sacerdos pacem dat diacono vel ministro.
At the Invitation to communion there is another omission in the CTS version:
The Priest genuflects takes the host and, holding it slightly raised above the paten or above the chalice says aloud: Behold the Lamb of God...
The Latin text mentions facing the people, which would be pointless if the priest was facing the people all the way though, saying:
Sacerdos genuflectit, accipit hostiam, aliquantulum elevatum super patenam vel super calicem tenens, versus ad populum, clara voce dicit: Ecce Agnus Dei...
The U. S. text again makes this clear:
The Priest genuflects, takes the host and, holding it slightly raised above the paten or above the chalice, while facing the people, says aloud: Behold the Lamb of God...
Further, it makes an accurate translation of the Latin in saying:
The Priest, facing the altar, says quietly: May the Body of Christ keep me safe for eternal life. And he reverently consumes the Body of Christ.
Certainly, movement of the priest facing the altar and facing the people is presumed.

Fr Tim Finigan has already commented on the "Communion procession and the signs of reverence - already required but rarely seen in our parishes. The CTS version makes the point about standing but doesn't mention that it is always possible to kneel.
Communion Procession.
The communicants come forward in a reverent procession. They receive Holy Communion standing and by making a preparatory act of reverence.
The U. S. version avoids making any recommendation, although in fairness, neither does the Latin Missal.
After this, he takes the paten or ciborium and approaches the communicants. The Priest raises a host slightly and shows it to each of the communicants, saying:
The Body of Christ.
So, learn that chant; keep quiet at the Offertory; make use of the optional exchanging of the sign of peace; face the altar when the rubrics tell you to and turn around to face the people when the rubrics tell you to do that and note that you can always kneel for Holy Communion. To coin a phrase, "Say the black, do the red." But you might need to read the Latin to find out what it really says!


Alan Frost said...

Dear Fr. Simon,

I am most grateful for your helpful comments and for discovering your 'blog' after meeting you at Holywell last Sunday. I will put your blog on the North Staffs LMS website, the area for which I am the LMS rep (for my sins!). Thank you also for your earlier commenst about transferred Holy Days of Obligation and people's seeming indifference to missing them yewt still going to Holy Communion sans Confession.

God bless,
Alan Frost

Fr G Dickson said...

I suspect that these omissions do not originate with the CTS but came as recommendations (or amendments?) from the Liturgy Office of the Bishops Conference. If so, not only does this seem to exceed the authority of the Liturgy Office in that they are cutting and pasting Official Roman Liturgy and Norms, but it does not bode well for our English Church’s concordance with the mind of the Universal Church and the Supreme Pastor wherein an effort is being made to recover continuity with our past. This is a necessary recovery since rupture (break, cut, split) cannot equate with anything but the establishing of a new Church, and to a new Church we are not bound by obedience. We all sincerely strive to give our Bishops reverent obedience and full support, but sometimes we must give them charitable challenge -how I wish the CTS had done this in their productions. It seems that all the pre-orders I have placed with the CTS are going to be wasted money, for we can no longer use the people's Mass book as a study aid on the liturgy in RCIA. Indeed, one wonders about their use during Mass since the information on the Ars Celebrandi (rubrics) is deficient and thereby misinforms –and misinformation brings about malformation of souls. One weeps with sadness and a with the sincere desire to form souls according to the mind of the Church. This mind, we should add, is greater than the mind of those who live today; it must be consonant with our Catholic Brethren of the past. The Hermeneutic of Continuity is not a theological option but a spiritual necessity.

Beans Anyone? said...

Perhaps I have missed reading some important document somewhere along the line but I always thought that 'the gifts' of bread and wine were specifically brought forward to be changed into the Body and Blood of Christ at the consecration? It was our offering which was was accepted by God and was returned to us as the Body and Blood of Christ.
Because many (most?) people think of the Mass as a 'celebration', in the wrong sense of the meaning, then this has led to the most bizarre collection of 'gifts' being brought forward. It is commonplace to bring forward gifts that have no relevance to what follows in the Mass and, not only are inappropriate - the guitar - but are, quite frankly, ridiculous. What would God do, I wonder, with tins of baked beans and toilet rolls that were proudly brought forth at a youth Mass recently? This is another development that has to stop immediately and congregations informed why this must be so. I wonder what the PP would say if I plonked some tins of beans on the collection plate at the Offertory instead of cash? If it is good enough for God it should be good enough for the PP. Mind you, if everyone did something similar it would require a shopping trolley rather than a plate.

georgem said...

Do the new written instructions indicate what kind of "preparatory reverence" is required before receiving Holy Communion? I'm assuming it doesn't mean genuflection.
It seems to be the usual watered-down version of Vatican instructions beloved of UK bishops, though I wouldn't go so far as to say sabotage.

santoeusebio said...

Dear Father,

You write:

"I've never really understood the need for Mass books when the Mass and the readings are in English "

I do not know about Mass books but surely people should have missals. The readings may be in English but I challenge anyone to understand an Epistle from St Paul by merely listening to it. You need the written text in front of you.

Further if the priest is giving a homily based on the readings it is useful to have the text in front of you. Lastly I find that when my mind begins to wander when one is making one's thanksgiving just reading the Communion antiphon brings one back on track.

And when I was a child what a treasured possession a missal was in those days - the different coloured ribbons, the rubrics, the discovery that Church latin was comparatively easy, the excellent translations - Douai or Knox, quinquagesima etc Sundays and the Sundays after Pentecosts (instead of the present idiotic system). Armed with such a missal no child could ever be bored by a Church service.

Nicolas Bellord

Pastor in Monte said...

Fr Dickson is correct: I happen to know that indeed the text was mandated by the Liturgy Office, and there was nothing the CTS could do about it, though some on the steering committee were seriously cross, in particular at the direction that Communion be received standing, which reads like an official rubric.