Skip to comments.Vatican official says post-Vatican II liturgy could be perfected (reintroduce priest facing East)
Posted on 04/28/2006 5:52:34 AM PDT by NYer
ROME (CNS) -- Liturgical changes implemented after the Second Vatican Council could be perfected, said the new secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.
No one is in favor of making changes for the sake of change or even for nostalgia, said Archbishop Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don, the secretary, during an April 27 discussion about the direction the priest faces during Mass.
The discussion coincided with the publication of the Italian translation of Father Uwe Michael Lang's book, "Turning Towards the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer."
The book previously was published in English by Ignatius Press; the text includes a foreword written in 2003 by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
The cardinal, who has since become pope, said that the Second Vatican Council did not mention the direction the priest faces and the post-conciliar documents only recommended that priests be able to celebrate facing the people.
He wrote that the issue was not over a priest celebrating "with his back to the people," but rather "his facing the same direction as the people" when offering the church's most solemn prayer in consecrating the Eucharist.
At the book presentation, Father Lang said his study focused on the history and theology of the priest facing East -- the biblically symbolic direction of the Lord -- and not on the pre- or post-Vatican II liturgy.
"The idea of my book is to demonstrate that the priest is not turning his back on the people, but leading the people in prayer toward the Lord," he said.
"I think it would be a good idea to reintroduce this idea into the liturgy little by little, without a great revolution," he said, adding that he was speaking only about the moments during the Mass when the priest, on behalf of the people, is praying to God, not when he is addressing the people assembled.
Archbishop Patabendige Don was asked if Pope Benedict had ordered a study of the issue or if the congregation was moving in that direction.
"For the moment," the archbishop said, "there is nothing, but we listen to the opinions and experience of people who are interested in these questions."
While Archbishop Patabendige Don said he was convinced Catholics need help recovering the sense of mystery and of God's transcendence in the liturgy, careful study is needed on specific ideas.
"Things done in a hurry tend not to give the hoped-for results," he said.
Above all, the archbishop said, Catholics must engage in study and discussion in a calm, respectful and prayerful atmosphere "without labeling each other" as traditionalists or radicals.
Archbishop Patabendige Don said he does not necessarily agree with people who call for a "reform of the reform" of the liturgy, but he thinks Father Lang's book contains a valid call "at least for a further perfection of the reform."
I admire the Baroque, but I love the German and English Renaissance painters with my whole heart.
She always counts!
Okay, except for the Perfect woman, the rest of them must be angels.
As a Byzantine-rite Catholic, we share the same liturgy and it simply isn't true that the Byzantine rite hasn't changed in 1,600 years because a lot has been embellished in it since.
You probably would be more correct to say it hasn't changed much in 1,000 years, but even there we have a gray area because there are slight differences that have arisen between the Greek and Slavic usages of our shared rite.
I'm not a liturgical scholar, but I have read that significant changes were introduced in the Byzantine rite during Ottoman times, don't forget about the Old Believer's schism. As I understand, the Russians had been using an older variant of the Byzantine rite that had been brought to them by Greek missionaries 100s of years earlier.
As far as the way Mass was celebrated prior to the Council of Trent, it varied by diocese, and at least 60 percent of the Tridentine rite was present in the Roman liturgy at the time of St. Gregory the Great.
Awhile back I posted a bunch of different variants of the Roman Mass prior to Trent, and I will do so again.
Here are just a few:
The 1474 Missale Romanum:
The Missale Coloniense: (1525 Cologne Missal)
Missale Bracarense: (Braga Missal)
Missale ad Usum ad insignis Sarum: (Sarum Missal) Two versions.
(pt.1 The Ordinary) http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/Sarum/Ordinary.htm
(pt. 2 The Canon)
http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/Sarum/English.htm (in English)
The following is a vernacular translation of the 11th century Exeter Missal made by an Orthodox friend of mine, Fr. Aidan Keller.
(in Latin)The only thing that would be needed to use this in the Catholic Church would be to restore the commemoration of the Pope and drop the epiclesis that was artificially added from the Byzantine rite.
The Stowe Missal of Ireland (Celtic rite: Suppressed in 1172 A.D. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03493a.htm)
The Stowe Missal is the oldest complete Missal still in existence. (c. A.D. 750) It's found in a museum in Ireland.
Here is a video of an actual Ambrosian rite Latin Mass held in Rome.
Ordo Missae Carthusiensis (Carthusian Missal)
Missale Ordinis Praedicatorum (Dominican Missal)
Missale Mixtum (Mozarabic Missal)
The following is an interesting curiosity found among the Russian Old Believers called the Liturgy of St. Peter, which has the structure of the Byzantine liturgy, but uses the Roman Canon instead of the customary eucharistic prayer.
Video of the Mass according to the pre-Reformation Use of the Diocese of Lykoping, Sweden performed by a Catholic Dominican priest: (15th century)
2 posted on 04/11/2006 7:34:18 PM PDT by pravknight (Christos Regnat, Christos Imperat, Christus Vincit)
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Funny, my former Lutheran pastor performed our liturgy ad orientem while I was growing up.
It's nice to hear this, but will I ever see this happen in my lifetime? I'm 39 and I'm not holding my breath.
As for the altar, I believe that the unchanged liturgical and ecclesiastical tradition of the East corroborates archeological findings that the altar was not against the wall as much as the fact that both western and eastern liturgical traditions support the "ad orientem" worship.
Here, a bishop incenses the altar with Presanctified Gifts, facsing "ad orientem." The people are to the left.
Certainly, bringing our liturgical services in conformity with those of the Church in the first millennium would help believers of the west and the east recognize one and the same faith, as well as one and the same Church. And that would be a giant leap towards spiritual unity as a prerequisite for a formal one.
Actually, it is rather a paradox - some branches of Lutheranism maintained Catholic practice (and even, to some extent, liturgical theology) until fairly recently.
Sometimes I wonder if "they" didn't get just the result they wanted.
By Robert Frost
I advocate a semi-revolution.
The trouble with a total revolution
(Ask any reputable Rosicrucian)
Is that it brings the same class up on top.
Yes, revolutions are only the salves,
But they're one thing that should be done by halves.
Happy FRiday to you, too, SD : )
Lots of stuff on the altar, kosta! I don't think there's ever that much on a Latin altar. :)
From what I remember, the Visigothic Rite (i.e. the Mozarabic Rite, which is a representative of the Gallican Rite) was always considered to be a Western Rite, but, as livius said, its roots are by some thought to have been in the East rather than Rome.
Our alter is set up that to face east, the priest must face the people.
Christ said there is no men nor women in Heaven, meaning there is not sexual differences.
I wasn't talking about Heaven, I was talking about the painting.
Hummmmmm is not the court of Heaven a large part of that painting??????
Especially, the Church of Sweden. I read the liturgical changes in the Swedish Lutheran Church were externally more conservative than the Novus Ordo back in the 16th cent.
I believe the priests simply told the laypeople it was the Mass they were used to translated in to Swedish.
I saw a picture of my great-grandfather's Church of Sweden parish in Pitea, Sweden and it was more Catholic than the Novus Ordo churches.