RENQTC Question 2: Sacraments

This dropped last month, and there’s a query about sacraments outside of Mass. Look carefully: this question centers on the use of the Roman Ritual or the Roman Pontifical. Do you know the distinction? The latter is now totally out of the picture.

To the proposed question:

Is it possible, according to the provisions of the Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes, to celebrate the sacraments with the Rituale Romanum and the Pontificale Romanum which predate the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council?

The answer is:

Negative.

The diocesan Bishop is authorized to grant permission to use only the Rituale Romanum (last editio typica 1952) and not the Pontificale Romanum which predate the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council. He may grant this permission only to those canonically erected personal parishes which, according to the provisions of the Motu Proprio Traditionis custodes, celebrate using the Missale Romanum of 1962.

Make sense? I had to read the explanatory note:

The Motu Proprio Traditionis custodes intends to re-establish in the whole Church of the Roman Rite a single and identical prayer expressing its unity, according to the liturgical books promulgated by the Popes Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of the Second Vatican Council and in line with the tradition of the Church.

Like it or hate it, this is the aim of Traditionis Custodes: one single expression for the sacramental life of the Church. One can dispute this, suggesting that the various languages, the quirks of clergy, and varying disciplines among dioceses and nations makes any “identical” prayer impossible. Perhaps that is true.

But I read this response as directed to the local bishop:

The diocesan Bishop, as the moderator, promoter and guardian of all liturgical life, must work to ensure that his diocese returns to a unitary form of celebration (cf. Pope Francis, Letter to the Bishops of the whole world that accompanies the Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio data Traditionis custodes).

The CDWDS seems less concerned in comparing parishes on different continents and more about placing a certain unity of liturgy on the plate of the diocesan bishop. They also take the view that the impetus of TC is not an immediate mandate, but intended as a local process overseen by the bishop:

This Congregation, exercising the authority of the Holy See in matters within its competence (cf. Traditionis custodes, n. 7), affirms that, in order to make progress in the direction indicated by the Motu Proprio, it should not grant permission to use the Rituale Romanum and the Pontificale Romanum which predate the liturgical reform, these are liturgical books which, like all previous norms, instructions, concessions and customs, have been abrogated (cf. Traditionis Custodes, n. 8).

The decision to authorize the 1952 Roman Ritual isn’t a casual, political, expedient, social, or convenient one. The presumption is discernment. For a Jesuit, that means prayer, and that, only as a starter:

After discernment the diocesan Bishop is authorized to grant permission to use only the Rituale Romanum (last editio typica 1952) and not the Pontificale Romanum which predate the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council. This permission is to be granted only to canonically erected personal parishes which, according to the provisions of the Motu Proprio Traditionis custodes, celebrate with the Missale Romanum of 1962.

A note on Confirmation:

It should be remembered that the formula for the Sacrament of Confirmation was changed for the entire Latin Church by Saint Paul VI with the Apostolic Constitution Divinæ consortium naturæ (15 August 1971).

This provision is intended to underline the need to clearly affirm the direction indicated by the Motu Proprio which sees in the liturgical books promulgated by the Saints Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of the Second Vatican Council, the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite (cf. Traditionis custodes, n. 1).

A point of catechesis:

In implementing these provisions, care should be taken to accompany all those rooted in the previous form of celebration towards a full understanding of the value of the celebration in the ritual form given to us by the reform of the Second Vatican Council. This should take place through an appropriate formation that makes it possible to discover how the reformed liturgy is the witness to an unchanged faith, the expression of a renewed ecclesiology, and the primary source of spirituality for Christian life.

This explanation doesn’t mandate the bishop himself as catechist. It seems to presume the local ordinary will take it upon himself to ensure “appropriate formation.”

Obviously such formation would have been a good idea in 1965 and the years following. In some places that happened. In others, it was patchy. Perhaps some hearers weren’t prepared to listen fully to whatever was provided in the post-conciliar years. This formation would likely not be a bad idea today for mainstream Roman Rite parishes.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Liturgy, Traditionis Custodes. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s