12 June 2008

S Peter's, Rome

A friend has brought me back a beautifully produced ORDO MISSAE CELEBRANDAE for the Sundays of Eastertide from the Vatican Basilica. Great fun to read. Two minor points ... and one point rather less minorish.
(1) ORDO MISSAE CELEBRANDAE leads one to expect what we call 'an Ordo'; the sort of Kalendar thinggy which I compile (have you bought your 2009 copy yet?). But this booklet is what we Anglicans call an 'Order of Service', with the texts printed.
(2) Faulty Latinity. Whoever wrote 'Collecta de Dominica occurrentis' needs a swish with an old-style schoolmasterly cane. But I never do read any piece of liturgical Latin that emerges from Rome without being made to wince.
(3) Apparently, in one of the senior churches in the Christian world, only Eucharistic Prayers 2 and 3 are used. Never, apparently, the Canon Romanus, the ancient Roman prayer which Joseph Ratzinger used at the funeral of John Paul II and at his own inauguration and which, ever since the Novus Ordo Mass was authorised in 1969, has been recommended (opportunius dicitur) on Sundays 'unless, for pastoral reasons, another Prayer be preferred'. To say that the mere fact of its length creates a regular presumption that it is pastorally undesirable (and that's what one is tempted to suspect is going on here) is to evacuate that recommendation of all content. The 1969 Institutio also says that Prayer 2 is meant for (opportunius sumitur) weekdays or special situations (in peculiaribus rerum adiunctis). Again, to decide that a special situation permanently exists in S Peter's Rome is to show a cavalier disregard for what even those who created the post-Conciliar rites expected.

Benedict XVI has given a lead in this matter. Reforming the Reform often means taking seriously what the reformed rites actually themselves ask for. In this matter, the 1969 Institutio is itself an expression of the Hermeneutic of Continuity.


Fergus said...

Not all translations of the Roman Missal (1969/1970) have included the proper Communicantes for feasts in all the Eucharistic Prayers which provide them.

Thus, the ICEL translation of Eucharistic Prayers II and III omit all such texts, which has, fortunately, forced the use of the Roman Canon on those wishing to include some reference to, say, Easter, Holy Thursday, Christmas, etc.

In Italian (in Polish, in French) such texts have been translated so Prayers II and III may be used and "adapted" for big feasts.

One positive mark for ICEL!

Bishop of Ebbsfleet said...

For the disuse of the Roman Canon, blame one or the following three things: the instruction in GIRM that the Prayer of the Faithful should happen at main masses (a duplication of the diptychs in the Roman Canon); the loss of Veni sanctificator from the Offertory (which makes the alleged epicletic defect of the Roman Canon more plausible - though I myself would say that the Quam oblationem discharges the epicletic function linguistically); the loss of both the superimposed polyphonic Sanctus and Benedictus (which, when sung, make the Canon seem very short indeed!) and (usually) the Amens during the Canon (which because they would be participatory would reduce the apparent length).

Another abuse is the frequent use of EPII on Sundays and feasts.

Best wishes

+ Andrew Ebbsfleet

Fr John Hunwicke SSC, said...

Thanks; I agree with that except for the questions of the Amens which are late medieval additions to the rite.
Of course, addressing some of Father's suggestions would involve changes in texts or rubrics.
But it looks as though an Editio Quarta Missalis Romani must be under consideration, so perhaps this is the time for proposals.