Sunday, August 23, 2009

Desiderata Desideravi

You can imagine with what delight I've just read on NLM of what Reform of the Reform proposals His Holiness the Pope has approved!

In the pipeline at the moment of course is the new, actually-accurate and theologically-correct translation of the modern Missal: so after forty-odd years the simple faithful will once again hear the word "grace" used all the time, instead of the puerile and Pelagian euphemisms therefor that the Anglosphere has been contaminated with thanks to ICEL and its minions.

But there is more to come.

Recall what the High Church Anglicans used to call for as desiderata: the Six Points -
  • lights (that is, candles, frowned upon by Puritans as dregs of Popery),
  • Eucharistic vestments (as opposed to lay clothes, Geneva gowns and choir vestments suited to the Office only),
  • wafer bread (as opposed to the common leavened loaf),
  • the mixed chalice (as opposed to the Protestant practice, due to Luther, of omitting adding water to the wine),
  • incense (despised as Romish, although its use hadn't quite died out at the English cathedrals till the eighteenth century, lastly at Ely, where the first-recorded case of allergy to incense is recorded as bringing about its retirement),
  • the Eastward position (the ancient and Catholic position of the priest at the altar, again against the innovation of Luther - despite trendy twentieth-century notions, modern research reinforces the original consensus that ad orientem is the correct way to stand at God's board, and has been since the foundation of the Church).
Of these, the first four are universal Catholic practices (outside the liberal schismatic madness of South Brisbane et al.), the fifth is used by Catholics, but often very sparingly (yet always at funerals!), and the last is very rare amongst modern Catholics, even though it was the universal practice until after the Council (and it is still maintained amongst those who say the old Mass).

What I would ideally wish to see implemented would include:
  • a move from appalling, low-brow and heterodox music to decent, good-quality and orthodox music at Mass (at the very least, from bad songs to better hymns; and better still, where the church has the resources, a return ought be made - as Vatican II said! - to Gregorian chant having pride of place, in concert with sacred polyphony);
  • singing of the liturgy, such as the responses, the collects, the Preface and so forth (the priest and people should sing! for this is in accord with all tradition, and reinforces the sacral nature of the proceedings - but in Australia this is very rare, and minimalism reigns);
  • much greater use of incense (see previous comments);
  • return to more Latin (see previous comments!);
  • male servers only (the allowance on specious canonical grounds of women servers is productive of great confusion among the faithful, as it seems to point toward the heretical idea of eventual allowance of women priests - indeed, arguably female servers are a greater scandal than Communion on the hand, since they suggest that the matter of the sacrament of Holy Orders is to be changed);
  • instituted lectors only (why on earth those to read at Mass should be unvested layfolk, let alone ladies, I have never understood - just listen to the solecisms to hear why);
  • Mass facing East (in consonance with all tradition, in emphasis on the offering of the Sacrifice, and in opposition to that heretic Luther);
  • Holy Communion received on the tongue, and whilst kneeling (note that the ancient and universal rule is to receive on the tongue, but kneeling communion came in only about five hundred years ago - in the Byzantine Rite, one doesn't kneel).
Turn the altars round, and restore the rails, and the holy images!

Let me be honest - I far prefer the Traditional Latin Mass, and would be glad to attend it ever, and the Novus Ordo never. But seeing that this is improbable, I would hope that a Reform of the Reform will resacralise the Mass that most Catholics have to put up with.

But for now, festina lente...


Anonymous said...

I was eminded by your 'hear the word "grace" used all the time, instead of the puerile and Pelagian euphemisms therefor that the Anglosphere has been contaminated with thanks to ICEL and its minions' of an article by Richard Rymarz. Reporting on a research project on the religious knowledge of Catholic school students, even he was dumbfounded when a Year 12 (i.e. in the 13th year of 'Catholic' 'education') asked 'Who's this Grace person you keep talking about?' Such is the scale of the religious illiteracy we now face - and it is the last thing the Council fathers at Vatican II intended. Event he banal semi-pelagian paraphrase (to quote Abp Coleridge) we now have is 'too hard' for our 'educators'.

Joshua said...

You're sadly correct: maybe two generations have now grown up without any idea of the supernatural - that we cannot participate in the Divine life by our own natural powers, but that God's grace can lift us up to the supernatural realm, perfecting our nature and giving it capacities otherwise unattainable.

Joshua said...

I'll blog on this I think.