Thursday, July 3, 2008

Reform of the Reform, Changes to the Mass of Paul VI

Ignazio Ingrao, religious correspondent for Italian weekly Panorama, reports the following:


The rite of the Mass could change. According to some indiscretions, Benedict XVI has charged the Congregation for Divine Worship to study some modifications in the liturgy.

In particular, the Pope is said to have the intention to restore Latin for the formula for the Eucharistic consecration within the Mass in the "vernacular language", i.e. the one celebrated in the different national languages. The same could happen to the formulae of Baptism, Confirmation, Confession and of the other sacraments. In addition, the exchange of peace among the faithful during the Mass, which today takes place prior to the distribution of the Eucharist, could be anticipated (as in the Ambrosian rite) to the offertory so as not to disturb the recollection that precedes Communion.

These would be changes which would be added to the changes in the liturgy and regarding sacred vestments which the Pope, together with his Master of Ceremonies, Monsignor Guido Marini, has made in recent months, to recover ancient traditions: the restoration of the crucifix at the center of the altar, the distribution of Communion to the faithful in the mouth while kneeling, the recovery of the pastoral staff of Pius IX (the ferula), the changing of the style of pallium (the strip of white wool with red crosses worn by the Pope), the restoration of the papal throne used in the Consistory and the celebration of Mass with the back to the assembly, as happened in January in the Sistine Chapel.

Many of the Council Fathers believed that this would be order of the reformed Mass: most parts in the vernacular and the (one and only) Roman Canon kept in Latin. In fact, the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium did not seem to foresee the use of the vernacular during the Canon (cf. SC 36, 2; 54).

[Translation by Gregor Kollmorgen for The New Liturgical Movement./Tip: Papa Ratzinger blog.]

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