Monday, July 7, 2008

More on the Mass and liturgy

In other news coming from Rome, Rocco has posted the translation of an article that appeared in the Italian magazine Panorama, written by Ignazio Ingrao, who is by all accounts a reliable vaticanista, about some changes being studied, at the Holy Father's request, by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Here is the executive summary of what is, according to Ingrao, being studied:

- restoration of the Latin for the eucharistic consecration even within the vernacular Mass
- moving the exchange of the sign of peace to the offertory
- the restoration of the crucifix at the center of the altar
- the distribution of communion to the faithful (at least at Papal liturgies) in the mouth while kneeling
- the celebration of Mass with back to the assembly (unless the celebrant is facing east, such a posture is

not ad orientem, but versus populi)
-restoration of the Latin formulae for baptism, confirmation, confession, and anointing of the sick

If the article is true it amounts to a confirmation of some observations made over Thanksgiving 2006 in a post entitled Pope Benedict, Msgr. Klaus Gamber, the Universal Indult and the Reform of the reform. It will be interesting what, if anything, comes of this study, or whether such a study is being undertaken. I certainly hope that any study of these matters will include both a collegial component, as well as a gauging of the sensus fidelium. On the one hand, liturgy needs to improve almost everywhere and in many ways, from the music, to the presiding, to the preaching, to the design of churches, especially sanctuaries. On the other hand, we do not want to move back to a time in which liturgy is inaccessible, a mode in which full, active, and conscious participation is either not allowed or at least not encouraged.

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