Monday, May 16, 2011

Benedict XVI on Liturgy: Old Mass and New Mass

There is a fascinating news piece on CNS about Pope Benedict's intentions vis-a-vis the liturgy. But this is not like the usual story, not just a concatenation of a particular expert's opinions about what the Pope is doing. This is from a top Curial official's remarks at the "Summorum Pontificum" conference in Rome.

This puts Summorum Pontificum in its proper context, as the mere beginning of a new liturgical movement.

Pope's "Reform of the Reform"


  1. "In fact, Pope Benedict knows well that, in the long term, we cannot stop at a coexistence between the ordinary form and the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, but that in the future the church naturally will once again need a common rite"

    Indeed, although I imagine that common rite will be the rite common to the Church for several centuries.

    Philospher's Apprentice eh? Fantasia reference?

  2. Yes,it's a Fantasia reference, but also a reference to Aristotle -- The Philosopher -- and to the standing of us mere mortal philosophers as apprentices to the greats.

    You may be right about the common rite. In my opinion, the common rite will be just that -- common -- using elements of both current forms of the Roman Rite. Historically speaking, liturgy is (in the West) always developing, though slowly and gradually (except in the case of the Novus Ordo, which was neither slow nor gradual), so I don't expect the common rite of the future to be identical to the Extraordinary Form -- liturgy in the West isn't like a bug encased in amber, but more like a glacier.

    There's also an X-factor here: Anglicanorum coetibus. The erecting of the ordinariates for former Anglicans will promote the beautiful liturgy known as the Anglican Use of the Roman Rite, a liturgy whose roots are ultimately the Sarum Rite. This Anglican Use may very well have an affect on the common rite of the future. And as I am currently attending an Anglican Use parish, I can say that such an influence would be most welcome, since the Anglican Use has wonderful elements not present in the Ordinary or Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite.

  3. I figured "The Philosopher" bit from Thomistotelian. Apparently there was a movie released recently also entitled "The Philosopher's Apprentice" after which I was hoping you had not named your blog.

    Glacial change is right (although I'd add that amber is flexible when heated). I don't think the right frame of mind with regard to the liturgy should be "what can I change?" - particularly these days.