Thursday, 22 November 2012

Latin and ad orientem

The Mass of Pope Paul VI being offered
Fr Gary Dickson has an excellent post on Latin and ad orientem celebration of the the Mass - Pope Paul's newer Form, that is.  He suggests that senior clergy - bishops, VGs, Deans and cathedral administrators should at least "occasionally" (perhaps a few times a year) make use of the what are the norms in the celebration of the Mass - latin and ad orientem celebration.  This would then "normalise" these things and change the atmosphere in the Church about them.

An excellent idea but  may I suggest that the very reason so many such figures do not do this is precisely that they do not want to normalise these practises even though they are, in a technical sense, the norms which govern the celebration of the liturgy.

It's my belief that there are many clergy - and therefore people they have misinformed - who believe that the practices they characterise as "traditional" and therefore obsolete and undesirable - but which are in fact current in the norms and teaching of the Church - must be done away with and they work to move away from these practices and teachings.  A sort of separate and alternative authority (the "spirit" of Vatican II); a type of gallicanism that says we here in this country are different from the rest of the Church (although they willingly draw to themselves all sorts of legislation intended for other lands, so that an allowance for rhythmic movement in the liturgy for cultures where that is part of their heritage is applied to the Western world to mean ladies of a certain age cavorting across the sanctuary, or the allowance for celebrations of the Word with Holy Communion intended for mission territories on a Sunday where it is impossible to have access to a priest is  reworked to mean that lay people can preside at such services on weekdays on Father's day off.  But I digress.)

Instances of this come to mind such as the bishop who said at the time of Redempionis Sacramentum that it didn't apply in his diocese because there are no such abuses there (oh sure!).  Or the priest who was told that it is more important to be 'in communion with the local deanery area' than with the Pope (I thought we were in communion with one another because of our communion with the Pope).

However, we are not in the position of being a province in the Anglican Communion where we can adjust our norms on a majority vote, we are a part of the Church in communion with the Pope and it is that strength that will see us through and which is increasingly the binding tie that draws the only new people and new vocations.  We are the Church IN England not the Church OF England.

1 comment:

Marko Ivančičević said...

Laudable and beautiful but still deficient. No rubrical obligation for canonical fingers and ablutions of fingers.