The buzz has been that something’s afoot for the preconciliar 1570/1962 Missal. The internet conservatives say a motu proprio from Pope Benedict is coming soon. Of course, liturgical conservatives have been saying that for months, and they’re always disappointed when it doesn’t happen.
This blogger has an inside scoop that “private” Masses by the previous Missal will be soon be permitted. “Private” might mean up to a hundred or so worshippers. One embittered commenter there suggested that would be of little help; the whole thing seems to be centered on the priests, not the pastoral needs of the people.
… what did you expect?
Today we hear a meeting is set for tomorrow in Rome for the main players. But …
- If this is from the pope, and the motu proprio is already written and ready to be published, why are they bothering with a committee meeting?
- If this is about the Eucharist, why didn’t the 1962 Rite get more than a passing mention at the 2005 Synod on the Eucharist?
- If this is about reconciliation with the schismatics, why would the SSPX be impressed with the overwhelming majority of Catholics still preferring the post-conciliar Missal in the vernacular? Are they going to be swayed by splintered Latin Mass communities worshipping in chapels and basements?
- If this is about a wider use of the 1962 Missal inspiring mainstream parish worship to incorporate certain elements, why bother? We can use Latin whenever we want. We have the wealth of the choral tradition to use whenever we want. Assuming our parish’s priorities are good, we can have great architecture, music, leadership, pipe organs, art, iconography, statues, and anything else we need for outstanding liturgy. Music and architecture have already improved by leaps and bounds since the early post-conciliar days. What was the inspiration? Sacrosanctum Concilium and the post-conciliar documents. The natural, organic rediscovery of good music, art, and architecture, including many Eastern traditions, especially iconography. The artistic sensibility of the larger culture moving away from functionalism, minimalism, pragmatism, and the various experiments that have not borne fruit in the secular sphere (like cookie cutter stadiums).
- If this were about Latin, why weren’t or aren’t more conservative clergy willing to provide the 1970 Mass in Latin?
- If this were about a guarantee of liturgical or doctrinal certainty, why does 1570 get the magic recognition? Unlike the sacraments, the Latin Tridentine Missal did not originate with the Lord.
Mainstream Roman Catholics have the best of all worlds: a reformed liturgy and all the artistic treasures we would want without the baggage of accretions and a clerical fussiness.