10 November 2009

Money and Concelebration.

Benedict XIV concludes his argument that concelebrants are, each of them, true celebrants (pariter concelebrant) by dealing with the question of concelebrants accepting Mass-stipends. This is the acid test. You are stealing from the laity if you accept a Mass-stipend but do not say the Mass for the intention of the donor. So the question is: if a hundred priests concebrate, can a hundred priests accept, each of them, a Mass-stipend for that same Eucharistic celebration? The answer given by the Sovereign Pontiff is an unambiguous Yes. In other words, each concelebrant has precisely the same sacramental standing as a priest saying his own private Mass.

It is not surprising that, for the next two centuries, manualists concurred with this weighty papal judgement. In the last expiring months of the Old Rite (which had at that point received only two or three trifling modifications - see earlier post), on March 7 1965, a Rite of Concelebration was promulgated for use with the old rite. In accordance with actual words of the Council, the document was less than whole-hearted in its endorsement of daily Concelebration when all the concelebrants are presbyters, but the rite was intended to be used universally at Ordinations, Consecrations, Abbatial Blessings, in Councils, Synods, and Episcopal meetings, and at both Masses on Maundy Thursday.

As far as Maundy Thursday Concelebration is concerned, this is something which had not lost its last foothold in the Latin Church until our own time. The Rite of Lyons, which survived - am I right? - until the Council, provided that on that one day six presbyters had the right to sit with the Archbishop and concelebrate (honor sedendi et offerendi). This was but the last survival of a widespread practice of such concelebration in French cathedrals during the Counter-Reformation period.

So the 1965 provisions seem to me a thoroughly 'organic' liturgical development. They seem to me to draw, not as revolutionary liturgical subversives so often and so cheerfully do, upon dubious reconstructions of 'what the Early Church did', but upon a broad consideration of the Church's whole liturgical tradition, upon the Magisterium and especially (when the meaning of the Roman Rite is concerned) that of Roman Pontiffs, and upon the consensus of reliable manualists.

And (paragraph 10) they concur with the judgement on Mass-stipends of Benedict XIV and those who followed him: Singuli concelebrantes stipendium legitime percipere possunt ad normam iuris.

I withdraw nothing of what I have often said in criticism of the post-Conciliar emphasis on Concelebrations at the expense of the normal discipline of the daily Mass.


Michael McDonough said...

As a mere layman I concur about the 1965 "reformed liturgy". Whether in English or Latin, it did not elicit any surprise to me or my family/acquaintances, which may be a sign of an organic development, i.e., that it not elicit overmuch (much less greatly critical) comment by ordinary folk.

Christian Rideout said...

I just don't like concelebration, though it has its place in some limited occasions. It works at ordinations to the priesthood, at episcopal consecrations, and at a few unique occasions, such as Lambeth conferences, papal visitations, etc. But there should be no more concelebrants than can conveniently fit around the altar without obstructing lines of sight. But frankly, I believe in a one chasuble rule for most celebrations. It keeps the focus of the faithful and the clergy on the primal event of the consecration of the Eucharist.

Pedes Christi said...

Fr. Hunwicke,
You will be gald to know that not only did teh Rite of Lyons survive until the council, but teh FSSP's apostolate in Lyons has celebrated it---at least that was my understanding when visitin them there many years ago. Further, I undestood they were doing this with the encourage of the then Archbishop and primate of Gaul's encouragement and support.

Pedes Christi said...

Sorry for some reason this went before I was ready. The corrected version reads:

Fr. Hunwicke,
You will be glad to know that not only did the Rite of Lyons survive until the council, but the FSSP's apostolate in Lyons has celebrated it---at least that was my understanding when visiting them there many years ago. Further, I understood they were doing this with the then Archbishop and Primate of Gaul's encouragement and support.