Old Rite High Mass (but Westward-facing) at Blackfriars this morning, in honour of the Oxford Martyrs; and, in particular, of Bl George Napier, martyred 400 years ago next month.
The three sacred ministers were apparently all Preachers, but the Mass was not in the old Dominican rite, which I recall going to as an undergraduate in the early 1960s. What a pity; through its relationship with the rite of Paris, it had similarities with the Sarum rite. Seeing it, one realised what a revolution it must have been when the Seminary priests first brought the Mass of S Pius V across. Don't bother to remind me that, textually, the Sarum rite was merely a dialect of the Roman rite; the point is that it must, at first, have looked very strange ... all those genuflexions, for example. A real dash of discontinuity.
Another discontinuity is the style of some of these post-Summorum pontificum masses. Those with memories of the pre-Conciliar culture will recall the brisk naturalness with which liturgy was done in the fifties and sixties. Nowadays, the revived pre-Conciliar rite is often done in a very different manner. The Consecrations are sometimes terribly long; and not only the Consecrations. I do hope that, in getting rid of the ethos of "Look what a jolly compere I am as I leer at you across the Altar", we shan't be lumbered too permanently with an ethos of "Look how immensely slow and recollected I am as I take three minutes to get through the Qui pridie".
I certainly recall, from the 'fifties, clergy who said Mass with an almost sacrilegious rapidity; as if they felt that this would increase their popularity among the Sons of Erin gathered around their Patron Saint at the back of the church, all itching to hurry to the bookie's runner as soon as the last Gospel started. But that was an abusus qui non debet tollere usum; one of the characteristics of the Roman rite in all ages has been its unshowy matter-of-factness, and it would be a shame to lose this.
Do they use E Bishop in seminary teaching of Liturgy nowadays? Dix, no mean mystagogue himself, thought of Bishop as the Prince of all liturgists.