Most readers of this blog are the type of Catholics who rejoiced (and are rejoicing) in the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. We have rejoiced to see (in some places at least) the way in which openness to the ancient form of the rite impacts upon a reverent and faithful celebration of the new form of the rite and vice versa. In his letter accompanying the MP, Pope Benedict wrote:
For that matter, the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching… The celebration of the Mass according to the Missal of Paul VI will be able to demonstrate, more powerfully than has been the case hitherto, the sacrality which attracts many people to the former usage. The most sure guarantee that the Missal of Paul VI can unite parish communities and be loved by them consists in its being celebrated with great reverence in harmony with the liturgical directives. This will bring out the spiritual richness and the theological depth of this Missal.
In an earlier post on this blog, we saw how the way in which the Extraordinary Form is celebrated now is (compared to the days before the Council) is being subtly affected by the more common Ordinary Form – principally in the degree to which the congregants expect to be able to participate in the liturgy by means of adopting the postures of the OF and by joining in praying some of the prayers (most notably the Lord’s Prayer, which, in the EF, is actually prayed by the celebrant rather than by the people).
But the effect goes the other way as well, as is seen by this news item on the blog of the St Aloysius Parish, The Reform of the Reform in Melbourne.
The promulgation of the new translation of the Roman Missal of 1970, invites us to reflect further on the “hermeneutic of continuity” articulated by Pope Benedict XVI, and the importance of this being demonstrated consistently in the celebration of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.
Beginning Saturday 12th May (at 6 pm), in response to the requests of the Faithful, a weekly Vigil Mass in the Ordinary Form will be offered at St Aloysius’ Church [ 233 Balaclava Rd, Caulfield North, 3161] which will aim to exemplify “sacredness in continuity”.
The Mass will be celebrated in English, “ad orientem” at the High Altar, with both the Propers of the day and the Ordinary being sung. Communicants are invited to kneel at the Altar rails to receive Our Lord on the tongue ‘under both kinds’ by intinction. Books will be provided containing all the readings, Mass Ordinary and Propers, and music including hymns.
The inaugural Mass, at 6 pm on Saturday 12th May, will be offered for the intentions of Pope Benedict XVI.
This is a very welcome development. Caulfield is a bit of a hop, skip and a jump from my part of the world, so I probably won’t get there very often, but I hope that this style of celebrating the OF finds its way into more and more parishes, as Parish Priests find the courage to “turn their backs on the people” and “turn toward Christ” WITH the people!