Rorate Caeli

The Pope on the Sacred Liturgy: the liturgy "cannot be created or amended by the individual community or by experts"

"Liturgy" in the Los Angeles
Religious Education Congress, 2007
In the last catechesis I began speaking about one of the privileged sources of Christian prayer: the sacred liturgy, which - as the Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms – is “participation in Christ’s own prayer addressed to the Father in the Holy Spirit” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1073). In the liturgy, all Christian prayer finds its source and goal."(n. 1073). Today I would like us to ask ourselves: in my life, do I reserve enough space for prayer and, above all, what place does liturgical prayer have in my relationship with God, especially the Mass, as participation in the common prayer of the Body of Christ which is the Church?

In answering this question we must first remember that prayer is the living relationship of the children of God with their Father who is good beyond measure, with his Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit (cf. ibid., 2565). Therefore, the life of prayer lies in habitually being in the presence of God and being conscious of it, in living our relationship with God just as we live the usual relationships of our lives, those with close family members, and with real friends; indeed our relationship with the Lord gives light to all of our other relationships. This communion of life with God, One and Triune, is possible because, through Baptism we have been inserted into Christ, we have begun to be one with Him (cf. Rom 6:5).



In fact, only in Christ we can talk to God the Father as children, otherwise it is not possible, but in communion with the Son, we too can say, as he said, "Abba", because only in communion with Christ, can we know God as our true Father (cf. Mt 11:27). For this Christian prayer lies in constantly looking, in an ever new way, at Christ, talking with Him, being in silence with Him, listening to Him, acting and suffering with Him. The Christian rediscovers his true identity in Christ, "the firstborn of every creature", in whom all things were created (cf. Col 1:15 ff). By identifying with Him, being one with Him, I discover my personal identity, that of the true child who sees God as a Father full of love.

But do not forget: we discover Christ, we know him as a living Person, in the Church. It is "his Body." This embodiment can be understood from the biblical words on man and woman: the two shall become one flesh (cf. Gen 2:24, Ephesians 5.30 ff. 1 Cor 6.16 s). The unbreakable bond between Christ and the Church, through the unifying power of love, does not negate the 'you' or ‘I', but raises them to their most profound unity. Finding one’s true identity in Christ means achieving communion with him, that does not cancel me out, but raises me to the highest dignity, that of a child of God in Christ, "the love-story between God and man consists in the very fact that this communion of will increases in a communion of thought and sentiment, and thus our will and God's will increasingly coincide "(Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, 17). To pray means to rising towards the heights of God through a necessary gradual transformation of our being.

Thus, participating in the liturgy, we make ours the language of Mother Church, we learn to speak it and for it. Of course, as I have already said, this takes place in a gradual manner, little by little. I have to progressively immerse myself in the words of the Church, with my prayer, my life, my suffering, my joy, my thoughts. It is a journey that transforms us.

Thus I think that these reflections enable us to answer the question that we posed at the beginning: how do I learn to pray, how can I grow in my prayer? Looking at the model that Jesus taught us, the Pater Noster [Our Father], we see that the first word is "Father" and the second is "our." The answer, then, is clear: I learn to pray, I nourish my prayer, addressing God as Father and praying-with-others, praying with the Church, accepting the gift of his words, which gradually become familiar and rich in meaning. The dialogue that God establishes with each of us, and we with Him, in prayer always includes a "with", you cannot pray to God in an individualistic manner. In liturgical prayer, especially the Eucharist, and - formats of the liturgy - in every prayer, we do not speak as single individuals, rather we enter into the "we" of the Church that prays. And we need to transform our "I" entering into this "we".

I would like to recall another important aspect. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read: " In the liturgy of the New Covenant every liturgical action, especially the celebration of the Eucharist and the sacraments, is an encounter between Christ and the Church" (n. 1097); so it is the "whole Christ" , throughout the Community, the Body of Christ united with its Head, that celebrates. Thus the liturgy is not a kind of "self-manifestation" of a community, but it is emerging from the simple "being-oneself", being closed in on ourselves, and accessing the great banquet, entering the great living community in which God nourishes us. The liturgy implies universality and our awareness of this universal character must always be renewed. The Christian liturgy is the worship of the universal temple which is the Risen Christ, whose arms are stretched out on the cross to draw us all into the embrace that is the eternal love of God. It is the cult of the open skies. It is never only the event of a single community, in a given time and space. It is important that every Christian feels and really is part of this universal "we", which provides the foundation and refuge to the "I" in the Body of Christ which is the Church.

In this we must be aware of and accept the logic of the Incarnation of God: He has drawn near, present, entering into history and human nature, becoming one of us. And this presence continues in the Church, his Body. The liturgy then is not the memory of past events, but it is the living presence of Christ's Paschal Mystery that transcends and unites all times and spaces. If the centrality of Christ does not emerge in the celebration, then it is not a Christian liturgy, totally dependent on the Lord and sustained by his creative presence. God acts through Christ and we can only act through him and in him. Every day the conviction must grow in us that the liturgy is not our, my, 'action', but the action of God in us and with us.


It is not the individual - priest or layman - or the group that celebrates the liturgy, but it is primarily God's action through the Church, which has its own history, its rich tradition and creativity. This universality and fundamental openness, which is characteristic of the entire liturgy is one of the reasons why it cannot be created or amended by the individual community or by experts, but must be faithful to the forms of the universal Church.

The entire Church is always present, even in the liturgy of the smallest community. For this reason there are no "foreigners" in the liturgical community. The entire Church participates in every liturgical celebration, heaven and earth, God and man. The Christian liturgy, even if it is celebrated in a concrete place and space, and expresses the "yes" of a particular community, it is inherently Catholic, it comes from everything and leads to everything, in union with the Pope, the Bishops , with believers of all times and all places. The more a celebration is animated by this consciousness, the more fruitful the true sense of the liturgy is realized in it.

Dear friends, the Church is made visible in many ways: in its charitable work, in mission projects, in the personal apostolate that every Christian must realize in his or her own environment. But the place where it is fully experienced as a Church is in the liturgy: it is the act in which we believe that God enters into our reality and we can meet Him, we can touch Him. It is the act in which we come into contact with God, He comes to us, and we are enlightened by Him. So when in the reflections on the liturgy we concentrate all our attention on how to make it attractive, interesting and beautiful, we risk forgetting the essential: the liturgy is celebrated for God and not for ourselves, it is His work, He is the subject, and we must open ourselves to Him and be guided by Him and His Body which is the Church.

Let us ask the Lord to learn every day to live the sacred liturgy, especially the Eucharistic celebration, praying in the "we" of the Church, that directs its gaze not in on itself, but to God, and feeling part of the living Church of all places and of all time.

Benedict XVI
October 3, 2012

[Translation: Vatican Radio, slightly corrected]

49 comments:

CredoUtIntelligam said...

There's a saying: one man's modus ponens is another man's modus tollens.

Modus Ponens
(1) If something is liturgy, then it cannot be created or amended by the individual community or by experts but must be faithful to the universal forms of the Church.

(2) The Novus Ordo is liturgy (the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite).

(3) Therefore, the Novus Ordo cannot (or could not have been in the past) created or amended by the individual community or by experts but must be (or was) faithful to the universal forms of the Church.

Modus Tollens
(1) If something is liturgy, then it cannot be created or amended by the individual community or by experts but must be faithful to the universal forms of the Church.

(2) The Novus Ordo was created or amended by the individual community or by experts and is not faithful to the universal forms of the Church.

(3) Therefore, the Novus Ordo is not liturgy.

The Pope supplies the major premise, but I'm not sure which minor premise he intends us to supply.

Barbara said...

The Holy Father knows well there is an ongoing rupture in liturgical form since the New Mass was invented by Archbishop Bugnini.

There are some beautiful things in this sermon. I love this: "But do not forget: we discover Christ, we know him as a living Person, in the Church."




Ipsi said...

Isn't the Ordinariate's liturgy being created/amended by "experts", with the blessing of the Holy Father?

Romanitas said...

Does anyone else find the epitaph on Bugnini's tombstone a bit creepy? "Liturgiae cultor et amator"

He may well have loved the liturgy—that he created—but "cultor" (grower, creator, tiller, cultivator) has quite a disturbing connotation to it. Could the man be any more aware of his role?

Anil Wang said...

@Romanitas

Doesn't "Liturgiae cultor et amator" mean something to the effect of "worshiper and lover of liturgy"? Remember, the root "cult" deals with worship or service, as in the cult of Mary.

Andrew said...

This great reflection could also provide an argument for getting rid of the "Prayers of the Faithful" in the Novus Ordo Mass. Usually these prayers are mini-speeches designed to promote an agenda or are subtle forms of gossip. I would prefer that a standard litany of petition like the one is used in the Eastern Liturgies be adopted to stress the universal nature of our prayers.

Benedict Carter said...

"The Pope on the Sacred Liturgy: the liturgy cannot be created or amended by the individual community or by "experts"".

In that case, Holy Father, dump the Nervous Ordure and bring back the Catholic Mass.

Romanitas said...

@Anil Wang:

That's a very kind take on "cultor," but I don't know if "cultor" ever meant "worshiper." Cassel's dictionary gives "cultivator, planter, labourer" as definitions of "cultor." For "cultus" it simply gives "cultivated, planted." I know "cultus" became "cult"—of Saints—in later, ecclesiastical Latin, but I have never seen "cultor" used in that sense. Would it still not be strange to be a worshiper of the liturgy?—particularly a liturgy of one's own invention?

DB said...

"But do not forget: we discover Christ, we know him as a living Person, in the Church."

May be beautiful, but wasn't how St. Paul, for one, discovered Christ. It is also not what Jesus taught: "Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." John 14:23

Also it is difficult to imagine how Pope Benedict cannot know how many Catholics have lost their faith in Jesus Christ or struggle to keep it despite the Church (pedophile scandals, apostate priests and bishops) and despite a Pope who speaks of the unbloody representation of the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary (the act Christ himself instituted when he said do this in remembrance of me) as "the cult of the open skies."

I wonder what Pope Benedict said last week, because if this is it, it is no wonder weekly cult attendance has dropped from 80% of Catholics to 20%.

LeonG said...

In one word uttered by Cardinal Ratzinger himself - "fabricated" liturgy. The NO is just that - a post-conciliar construction apt for liberal modernism, already condemned by no lesser a pope than Pope St Pius X. How ever one studies the modern liturgy it just does not stand the test for Roman catholic norms and values. Its consequences have been spo dire that this in itself demonstrates its revolutionary and potentially destructive nature.

Ordo Antiquus said...

"It is not the individual - priest or layman - or the group that celebrates the liturgy, but it is primarily God's action through the Church, which has its own history, its rich tradition and creativity. This universality and fundamental openness, which is characteristic of the entire liturgy is one of the reasons why it cannot be created or amended by the individual community or by experts, but must be faithful to the forms of the universal Church."

One can read this another way: as an implicit declaration that the Novus Ordo, which is the only form of the Mass that Pope Benedict XVI has publicly celebrated during his pontificate, is indeed faithful to the forms of the universal Church. Otherwise he would not be championing it, as he so recently did with the SSPX by demanding that they accept the legitimacy of the Novus Ordo.

Ivan K said...

CredoUtIntellegam:

I don't know about the Holy Father, but most Bishops and Priests are on the Modus Tollens side, judging by the way in which the Novus Ordo celebrated in most parishes.

Mlivohi said...

Let's be honest, the good side of the NO is that all abuses are observable. What was going on during the silent prayers of the TLM is known only to God. My frequent experience in good old days was that of a very fast Mass, which couldn't possibly have been so fast without abuses. Even now, when the TLM is supposed to be exemplary, I frequently find it impossible to read the text at celebrant's speed - although I am familiar with the Latin text - and have to skip some parts, or run through it without actually pronouncing words.

Alsaticus said...

Nothing new : popes have been repeating this for decades (about no messing up with the loose rubrics), the only minor addition is the mention of the experts fabricating liturgy to their liking (though cardinal Ratzinger wrote this extensively before 2005).

Now what is the pope doing to reform N.O.M. ? Apart from the English translation and a few symbolical gestures at the Papal masses : zero, nothing since 2005. The disappointing 3rd edition of NOM is still there unchanged.

Worse, last June, pope Benedict XVI went as far as appointing an Arch-Bugninist Bp Roche as secretary of CDW.
Maybe the pope is hoping the Roman air will convert Bp Roche into a traditional liturgist ? I pray for such a miracle but I'm still like Thomas the Apostle on this matter.
In 2005, when elected, Benedict XVI was universally awaited as the pope who will bring back some sanity into the ordinary Form. Time is running, over 7 years and we're still waiting.

Alsaticus

Ted Maysfield said...

But it was indeed amended by “experts;” Bugnini being the most notorious.

This is a statement against innovation by a pope who only offers the innovative Mass of Paul VI.

Can it get any more confusing?

sam said...

Excellent the Pope has restored the TLM as the ordinary Mass. Deo Gratias!

I wonder if this applies to the Eastern Catholic Churches, who have had their Holy Sacrifice Liturgy mutilated prior to VII and post VII, and who have had their respective liturgical language suppressed. As an Eastern Catholic I would appreciate that.

GQ Rep said...

"The Pope on the Sacred Liturgy: the liturgy "cannot be created or amended by the individual community or by experts"

But it was! That's what we got.
Which brings the question to the Pope...."Are you going to do anything to fix things (or not)?

Amicus1962 said...

"The Pope on the Sacred Liturgy: the liturgy 'cannot be created or amended by the individual community or by experts.'"

Except when it is fabricated by Bugnini with the consent of Pope Paul VI.

John Fisher said...

Is the Holy father talking about Bugnini and his hand picked experts?

GQ Rep said...

Ignore all this talk from the Pope.

Nothing will happen to improve things.

The appointment of the new Prefect of the CDF (and other things....like inviting the "archbishop" of Canturbury to speak at the upcoming Synod of Bishops in the Vatican this month, proves it.

Picard said...

@ nearly all - very excellent comments, esp. the first one of CredoUtIntelligam.

Yes, so the N.O.M. were not a true liturgy - as Crd. Ranjith said some months ago.

And Ipsi - yes, that is also my question....

Alsaticus, GQRep - sadly, but yes!

J.G. Ratkaj said...

Even two of my nieces (12 and 11) recognize the fulminant gap between the holy mysteries celebrated according the gregorian or bycantine rite and the contrived and fabricated Missal of Paul VI.

backtothefuture said...

I took my mom to her first latin mass since she was a little girl and her mom would take her back in Italy. It was a solemn high mass at St.Mary's in Norwalk,ct. A week later she went to the regular church she attends and didn't like it at all. Told me she felt she was at a protestant mass.

LeonG said...

There can never be "sanity" in the NO liturgy. It is by its very nature and historical context revolutionary. It is in the vulgar ever-chnaging tongue; it is essentially "fabricated"; it does not embody The Romasn Catholic Faith neither does it staisfy the spiritual aspirations of the Western Latin Rite Church. Its effects illustrate its destructive novelty and tendancies which are simultaneously anthropocentric, protestant and vehemently ecumenical bordering on interreligious.
By next year forced changes in both Latin and vernacular rites will open The Latin Mass of All Times to further hybridisation. Some of us at least know and understand this predictable outcome of the liberal modernists in Rome and elsewhere in their renewed attempts to hijack The Latin Mass once and for all and to apparently abrogate it in time.
This is why "Quo Primum" guarantees our liturgical rights far more astutely and assuredly than any other document produced since on the Sacred Liturgy.

LeonG said...

Where did you get this piece of false information sam? the pope did not restore the Latin Mass as the ordinary form. He has linked its future with the NO and is trying to insist we cannot have the one without accepting the other. A real Traditional Roman Catholic knows this is not a reasonable proposition because it just is not.

backtothefuture said...

Changes to the latin mass, hybrid mass, until I hear the holy father directly say it, I'm not buying it.

LeonG said...

Milivohi
I cannot agree with you. I served Holy Mass and attended some of the most sublime and celestial during my youth. It was so profound I have ever since known Our Blessed Lord in His Real Presence. When I see the Tabernacle with the red lamp alight I can only fall to my knees adoringly. The priest who taught me to serve then told me that we stand and kneel at the very threshold of paradise during The Holy Mass. Thus, we should be in awe of this Real Presence. Padre Pio has taught me the rest - we accommpany the Blessed Virgin and St John before Our Blessed Lord on His Cross while we are present.
Dietrich von Hilderbrand may have been correct in criticising many priests for taking the Holy Mass too lightly but my experience has been to the contrary thankfully. I can only thank Almighty God for this great mercy.
I have to take issue too with the observation above here that no individual priest etc celebrates Mass etc....but God thhrough The Church. It is the priest who says The Holy Mass on behalf the people obedient to his sacerdotal duties and responsibilities respecting form, matter and intention as well as the rubrics laid down. It is this that prevents the individialism and horizontalism so implicit in the modern liturgy which we may infer from your comments.

Stephen said...

His Holiness didn't care for the ancient and Traditional Good Friday liturgical prayer for the Jews.

He simply overthrew the ancient and Traditional prayer in question.

Is that an example of an expert, based upon his preference, having tinkered with the Liturgy?

Stephen said...

The greatest crisis within the Church is the crisis that Peter created when he, shockingly, discarded the Traditional Roman Mass in favor of the Novus Ordo.

The Roman Pontiff will end the liturgical insanity within the Church, certainly within the Latin Church, when he returns to the Traditional Roman Mass.

Unfortunately, His Holiness is determined to keep the Novus Ordo front and center within the Church.

Tom

George said...

J.G. Ratkaj said...

"Even two of my nieces (12 and 11) recognize the fulminant gap between the holy mysteries celebrated according the gregorian or bycantine rite and the contrived and fabricated Missal of Paul VI."

The Pope insists that when the Novus Ordo is offered in Latin, only a liturgical expert would be able to discern the difference between that Mass and the TLM.

The average Catholic in the pews would not determine that one Mass differed from the other.


George said...

"Changes to the latin mass, hybrid mass, until I hear the holy father directly say it, I'm not buying it."

Cardinals Burke and Koch said that the Pope plans to fuse the two Masses into a hybrid Mass.

sam said...

@LeonG
"Where did you get this piece of false information sam?"

I was being sarcastic :) Don't forget this is the same traditional Pope who showed up to VII dressed in civilian clothing and offered his own expert views.

backtothefuture said...

I really doubt it. It took years for them to make those little changes to the n o. It would be a monumental task. It would be much easier to train the priests in the latin mass.

Romanitas said...

@sam

Thanks for mentioning the effects of the post-Conciliar liturgical upheaval on the Eastern rites. I attend a Melkite parish, and the liturgy is entirely vernacular, except for the trisagion, a great break with Eastern tradition and the consecration (institution narrative and epiclesis) is done aloud, also a break from Eastern tradition. Why was this done? The Melkite patriarch Maximos IV, who described himself as "Orthodox plus," insisted that the fruitful permission to use vernacular which had been granted to Eastern churches in the 1950s under certain circumstances be extended to the entire Church East and West; he went as far as to suggest that the clergy and hierarchy were hiding the rites from the laity!

Re the "hybrid Mass": I could see this Pope, if he had taken office 20 years younger, attempting to create a mixed Mass that is the Novus Ordo with a few ancient(ish) traits, like something resembling an offertory and mandatory celebration of the Liturgia Eucharistae ad orientem, but I doubt anyone in Rome's liturgical offices has the fortitude to import large portions of the old Mass such as the Judica me psalm, the old Roman offertory prayers etc. The current Novus Ordo will have to be changed by a future Pope, no doubt, but is the old rite even on this Pope or a successor's radar enough to create a new Mass that we could even call a "hybrid?"

No matter. Thousands of traditionally-minded priests, in fraternities or dioceses, would probably never adapt to a "hybrid" Mass as a substitute for THE Mass.... and this process will go on and on.

On the flip side, when the old Mass is the "ordinary form" again in a century do you think there will be a Society of Paul VI trying to organize weekly Novus Ordo Masses or underground movements?—led bravely by nuns in pantsuits awaiting their ordination day!

dp said...

I am not sure that the pope had in mind the issues about the NO, I think he was addressing certain attitudes still going on: I cannot stop thinking about the neocatechumenate. Can we say that they amend the liturgy at their pleasure?

CH DUPUY said...

This is an enigmatic Pope. He sometimes says something, but does otherwise, or disclaims what he has stated before. He is a “man of contradiction”, even more so than his predecessor. Below I transcribe part of a conference that he gave in 1988 to the Chilean bishops, that I googled for Mlivohi, and found in the site Ignis_Ardens. It is typical Ratzerian in that it disqualifies the VII Council as dogmatic, only to demand lately that the SSPX accept the Documents in full.

@Mlivohi:
"It is a necessary task to defend the Second Vatican Council against Msgr. Lefebvre, as valid, and as binding upon the Church. Certainly there is a mentality of narrow views that isolate Vatican II and which has provoked this opposition. There are many accounts of it which give the impression that, from Vatican II onward, everything has been changed, and that what preceded it has no value or, at best, has value only in the light of Vatican II.

"The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as a part of the entire living Tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero. The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of superdogma which takes away the importance of all the rest."

Gregorian Mass said...

can be, was , and continues to be amended by experts.

Mlivohi said...

LeonG
I have articulated my personal 40 years's experience. And have mentioned only one, but there are more....For example: prgressive exit from the church starting after the priest's communion, and culminating after the blessing.

CH DUPUY
Your comment should be in another post. No point in changing the subject of the present one.

Mlivohi said...

Romanitas

While the TLM should be left as it is, because it is the living witness of continuity of the present Church with the Church of the by-gone ages, to introduce into the NO “the old Roman offertory prayers” would be a mistake, because, in its face value, the latter is a striking specimen of the bread/cup worship.

The explanation that it is all done “in anticipation”, while true in theory, is misleading in practice. What kind of “lex credendi – lex organdi” is it when the priest says and does what he doesn’t think, and what he thinks he doesn’t say or do ?

Chris said...

http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/2012-0931-dupuy-new-mass.htm

"What the Pope seems to be saying is that any liturgies created by local experts are not “universal” in nature and thus not “open” to the entire Church. However, the irony here is that the Novus Ordo Mass, created entirely by experts in contradiction to 2,000 years of liturgical tradition, is considered open and universal in nature only because it was approved and imposed upon all Catholics by the administrative powers of Paul VI.

Therefore, the only difference between the liturgical innovations of local communities and experts and the Novus Ordo Mass is that the Novus Ordo was concocted by experts on a grander scale and was imposed on the entire Latin Church by the Pope. Thus, what is considered impossible on the local level is treated as not only possible, but desired on a universal level. We are then put in a position where we are obligated to accept the arbitrary Mass of experts the current Vatican approves of, but at the same time we are forbidden to accept the arbitrary Masses of local experts or individual communities not in line with the “approved” arbitrary Mass."

Anonymous said...

Great comments LeonG especially the one with this:

"The priest who taught me to serve then told me that we stand and kneel at the very threshold of paradise during The Holy Mass."

Barbara

Iratus said...

"The Pope on the Sacred Liturgy: the liturgy "cannot be created or amended by the individual community or by experts""

## Holy Father, it may interest you to know that the Mass offered by most of the CC was created or amended by...experts". This has been going for over 40 years.

Can we have the Mass back, please - not the one you keep offering, but the one not "created or amended by...experts" ? Thank you for denouncing the artificial made-up Mass that the experts put together, and for undertaking to offer the real Mass.

Iratus said...

"The Pope insists that when the Novus Ordo is offered in Latin, only a liturgical expert would be able to discern the difference between that Mass and the TLM."

The No-Mass is the one that leaves out:
most of the Confiteor
All of the Suscipe
All of Psalm 42 & the responses
has messed with the Roman Canon
habitually leaves most of the Saints named in it

& more.

It is useless, counterproductive, & worse, for a Pope (of all men !) to try to pretend they are same. They very obviously not. And it does not an expert to see that - all one needs is the ability to read.

Insisting black is white does not make it so - the Pope is not entitled to his own facts. This deliberate cultivation of useful fantasy has done the CC untold harm since the Council.

Stephen said...

Catholics are trapped because it was in fact a Pope who so ardently imposed the NO on the Church.

It will happen again, and again. But is that not the Catholic faith?

CH DUPUY said...

Mlivohi said:
" ...to introduce into the NO “the old Roman offertory prayers” would be a mistake, because, in its face value, the latter is a striking specimen of the bread/cup worship."

While I agree that to introduce the OFFERTORY into the N.O. is a mistake, because of the "striking departure in this rite from the theology of the Mass, as defined by the Council of Trent", you apparently have not "interpreted" what the Offertory means, which is an offering of goods; but not banal goods, like bread and wine "fruit of the earth and the work of human hands", but special gifts, prepared for an extraordinary event.
The argument that the adjective "spotless" in the offering of the Host is inapropiate, because consecration has not taken place, is nonsense, in view of what has been mentioned before. It is really spotless, because has especially been confected for this ritual, not counting that it is prefigured in the Leviticus when offering the animal for sacrifice, that must be "a male cub, sheep or goat, without spot or stain".
As to the offering of the Cup it is a quotation of a psalm most appropiate for this purpose. Again, the offertory is an OFFERING of special goods chosen, like Melchisedek did in the Old Testament.
Perhaps you prefer the new Offertory that refers to produce of human hands (to introduce the work of man) that will become the "bread of life" (?) and the wine that will be a "salvific drink" (??).
As to your complaint that I posted a quote that you asked for in this thread that refers to a previous one, I must say that I tried repeatedly to post it appropiately but apparently the thread was closed. But anyway, are you a moderator?

Romanitas said...

@Mlivohi:

Why should inserting the old offertory prayers into the Novus Ordo be a problem? What in them amounts to bread and cup worship? If anything, this is more inculcated in the new rite's "we have this bread to offer, fruit of the earth and work of human hands" and the "fruit of the vine" nonsense; these are phrases from a Jewish pre-meal blessing from c.200! They're clearly just about food!

The old rite's mention of the "immaculate victim" is a far better theological concept. Why does the idea of anticipation seem a scandal to you? Do these prayers not anticipate the Canon well in both vocabulary and intention, particularly the latter, when at the minor elevation the priest—in Eastern and Western rites—offers the Father the Body and Blood of His Son? Far from the priest "saying what he doesn't think," the priest should in fact think it! The Mass, offertory to priest's communion, is an action, not a series of disconnected prayers.

Lastly, why should the Mass be kept as is simply as a reminder of the Church from time immemorial until the late 1960s? Just so 1% of the Catholic world can remember that there was once a time when priest and laity, sinners and saints heeded the words and Christ and the grace of the Holy Ghost? This won't do. The Mass should be left as is for now to protect its integrity for its promotion. When changes were made between 1964 and 1968 Missal makers actually sold binders rather than bound books to most parishes because priests could not keep up with the changes fast enough. If the Mass is to spread, it must be stable. Regardless, it cannot be made into a relic or museum piece. The Lord will not be happy if some fools attempt to do that to the Mass again. He's already withdrawn enough of His favor in the last half century, we need not push Him further.

Mlivohi said...

CH DEPUY, Romanita

What you erroneously believe is that, when it comes to the bottom of the case, there is no essential difference between the Body/Blood after consecration and the bread and wine before it. If you disagree tell us why they are, on both occasions, referred to by the same words as “immaculate Victim” (first Susipe v. Unde at Memores) or “chalice of salvation” (Offerimus Tibi v. Unde et Memores viz. Quid Retribuam).

Likewise, that there is no difference between the sacrifice, i.e. the self-offering, of the Church (whose sacrifice is, in the Offertory, symbolized by the offering of the “work of human hands” to be later the matter for the consecration), in other words “to become (not is) the Bread of Life” and “the spiritual drink”; AND the Self-Sacrifice of Christ which is made present at Consecration. The authors (Ottaviani was not among them) of the Critical “study” (III.3), did not know that the words “Bread of Life” refer to Our Lord saying in the Eucharistic Discourse, John Ch. 6, and also failed to look better at Unde et Memores (“holy BREAD OF eternal LIFE”).

It is well known that the TLM’s first Suscipe and the Offerimus Tibi were not put in the NO Offertory exactly because they refer to the Self-Sacrifice as if the consecration has already taken place; and replaced by the offering of bread and wine, as the Church’s offering to be joined with the Self-Sacrifice to take place at the consecration.

If what I said is not clear you are welcome to ask any specific question, and I will explain what I mean, but I can’t afford time to discuss this issue any further.

(CH DUPUY, I have replied to your comment on Ratzinger in previous Post and sent it there.)

Romanitas said...

Mlivohi said:

"What you erroneously believe is that, when it comes to the bottom of the case, there is no essential difference between the Body/Blood after consecration and the bread and wine before it. If you disagree tell us why they are, on both occasions, referred to by the same words as “immaculate Victim” (first Susipe v. Unde at Memores) or “chalice of salvation” "

Damn cheeky of you to tell me what I think, but I suppose you must reconstruct my opinion so that you may argue against something more easily discounted than my actual opinion.

The wording is devotional! The offertory prayers themselves are likely devotional! You would be hard pressed to find an offertory from the fourth century onward that did not have some prayer or ritual with highly sacrificial tones or language meant to put the priest and laity in the proper mindset to "offer the holy oblation." The traditional Roman offertory prayers date to the 10/11th century according to Gregory Dix (whatever you think of him) and the other Latin rite offertory prayers (usually the "Quid retribuam Domino" line from psalm 115) is even older. Neither the priests down the centuries nor myself today conflate the pre- and post-consecrated gifts as being the same. Rather, the prayers around the former prepare the priest's intention to confect the latter.

You also take the Ottaviani Intervention's perspective the wrong way. The main objection to the terms "bread" and "wine" are not born in ignorance of St John's account of the Gospel, but out of concern for the corruption of language which would result from such earthly terms as "spiritual drink." The Study worries that terms like "bread of life" and "spiritual drink" could mean anything to anyone (Part III-section 3). Your concern here is unwarranted.

Lastly, the offertory was not put into the Novus Ordo because a committee of "experts" decided to insert a slightly modified 2nd/3rd century Jewish meal-blessing formula instead, in keeping with the imaginative antiquarianism of the reformers, not out of some brilliant theological objection that the Roman rite had been wrong for a millennium. In the Novus Ordo the Church's offering does unite with Christ's self-sacrifice, yes, but that is more owing to the new rite's remarkable demarcations between segments. In short, whereas the old rite from offertory to priest's communion is one continuous action, the new rite neatly (but not nicely) breaks the entire Mass into segments, whereby continuity between them is hardly discernible. The new rite was made in a conference room by men looking to integrate some imagined 3rd century golden age of liturgy with a pastoral world view, whereas the old rite was made by priests at their altars constantly concerned with the sacrifice.

CH DUPUY said...

@Mlivohi:
Your thinking in fixed logical categories, such as compartmentalized deposits, where the contents of one does not flow if you do not open a door to the next one, is inadecuate for an analysis of the liturgy, which is more creative than fixed logical categories. It is not a mathematical theorem where one proposition is the basis of the following one and this other of the one that follows and so on.
It was this manner of thinking that lead the Consilium of Anibale Bugnini, who was a suspected mason (see note below No.1) to change the prayers of the offertory and refer to the Sacred Species that will become FOR US, the “bread of life” and the “spiritual drink”. Likewise he changed the “libera nos” prayer to eliminate “deliver us from past, present and future evil” (see note No.2), and the dismissal of the faithful (ite misa est), before the benediction.
The liturgy of the Mass evolved naturally from very ancient times, and Saint Pius V saw fit to codify the Missal of the Roman Rite, on account of the various rites that were common, because he wanted to have a fixed one for the Roman See. This rite eventually extended to every see, with some exceptions, and so became uniform in the Latin Church.
Your mentality does not allow you to understand why some prayers in the offertory refer to the Sacred Species with adjectives proper to the consecrated Host and Cup, such as “Bread of Eternal Life” and “Cup of Eternal Salvation), but you miss the fact that the Sacrifice of the Divine Victim begins with the offering of the species, such as is pre-figured in the Leviticus, as well as the Sacrifice of the Cross begins with the apprehension of Our Lord by Pilate and ends with the expiration on the Cross. So it is a continuous process, so to speak, the same as the Passion of the Lord, all the way from Pilate to the Cross on Mount Calvary. It is not simply his expiration on the Cross that accomplishes the Sacrifice the same as the consecration is not simply the instituted words, but also what precedes them.

I acknowledge receipt of your response to my reference to the quote by Ratzinger in another thread, but lamentably two posts that I sent in the same thread where I mentioned the quote were not published, so you seem to gain the upper hand. I will not refer to your response, because it will make this post too extensive.

Note 1: Although it has not been proven that Bugnini was a freemason, he took the hit of the accusation when he was dismissed from the Roman Curia and attempted to make his discharge by alleging that he did not even know anything about Masonry. This allegation on the contrary made him more suspect, because it would be impossible for an Archbishop to ignore the various previous encyclicals by different Popes condemning Freemasonry. Besides, there were Masons inside the Roman Curia at the time like Cardinals Poletti, Casaroli, and others, as is revealed in the book by David Yallop.
Be it as it may, the reforms of the Mass accomplished by Bugnini and his commitee, are strikingly coincidental with the Universal Religion proposed by Masonry, and their objective to deliver a fatal blow to the Catholic Church. What is more, in his memoirs, Bugnini admits that it was his purpose to destroy the Roman Rite which reveals his pathological hatred for the Roman Missal.

Note No. 2: The reference in the prayer “libera nos” to past evil, while seemingly illogical because past evil supposedly does not affect us, it “ain’t” so because past events do persecute us and past trespasses have consequences. Anyway it is not a major change but is significant of the kind of mentality of these people.