James Murphy Accepted at St. Peter’s Seminary[Comments? Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Previous columns are available at www.stjosaphatchurch.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for July 30, 2011. Hat tip to A.B.]
Windsor’s Tridentine Mass Community at Assumption Church is proud to announce another vocation: Mr. James Murphy, a member of our altar serving team, has been accepted at London’s St. Peter’s Seminary. We ask for your prayers for James as he embarks upon studies for the Holy Priesthood. James’ last day with us before departing for the seminary will be August 14.
James joins Brother John Berchmanns Tonkin and Joe Tuskiewicz as the third man currently enrolled in a seminary from the Assumption and St. Josaphat Tridentine Mass Communities.
Laymen Lectors and Subdeacons
A reader raised the question of who could serve as a Lector or Subdeacon at a Tridentine Mass. Practices vary around North America, and even around metro Detroit. The current regulations in force by Rome are as follows:
The Epistle may be read in English by a Lector while the celebrant reads it in Latin. This Lector must have at a minimum either received Tonsure according to the Extraordinary Form, or been instituted by a bishop to the Ministry of Lector according to the Ordinary Form. Such a Lector may also chant the Epistle in Latin at a sung Mass.
A layman may also fulfill the role of Subdeacon in a Solemn High Mass if he has at a minimum been instituted by a bishop to the Ministry of Acolyte according to the Ordinary Form, or ordained to the Subdiaconate according to the Extraordinary Form. “Acolyte” is a formal ministry and does not mean an altar server.
A Call for Fairness and Accuracy
It is becoming increasingly anachronistic as well as annoying to read comments from proponents of the Ordinary Form that either patronize the Extraordinary Form or pretend it doesn’t exist. Much of this kind of text emanates from the professional publishing companies that produce missalettes and support materials for the Ordinary Form. As an example, the below quote is excerpted from a syndicated column about The Prayer Over the Gifts issued by publisher J.S. Paluch Co., and published in certain parish bulletins on July 17, 2011. The emphases are our own:“In the liturgy of the 1570 Missal, this prayer was called the ‘secret’ prayer. It was ‘secret’ not because its content was mysterious, but because it was prayed in silence by the priest, who only recited the conclusion aloud: . . . per omnia saecula saeculorum. With the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, we again hear these rich prayers spoken aloud. They remind us to prepare ourselves for what is to happen in the Eucharistic Prayer, for it is not only the bread and wine that will be transformed.”Let’s take each highlighted set of words on its own.
While we certainly respect an author’s right to express a viewpoint, in this case the inference that loud recitation is preferable, it is questionable what good is being done for the Catholic faithful when incomplete facts are presented as support material. While there are certainly those on the side of the Tridentine Mass who espouse extreme viewpoints, it is highly unlikely that advocates of the Extraordinary Form in the mainstream press would ever portray the Ordinary Form in a comparable fashion. Imagine: “In the 1969 Missal, the Secret was called the Prayer Over the Gifts...With the 2007 reforms of Pope Benedict XVI, the faithful are once again able to worship with inner active participation, without the distractions of the celebrant talking out loud as the offerings are presented to God.” Such a statement would be condescending and misleading.
- “1570 Missal”: Arguably the Missal used for the Extraordinary Form today is the 2008 Missal, the most recent change being the Good Friday prayer modified by Pope Benedict XVI.
- “was called”: The Extraordinary Form is a living form of the Roman Rite, not an archaeological piece. This prayer is called the Secret.
- “With the reforms of the Second Vatican Council”: The Council did called for certain reforms, but the loud voice pronunciation of the Secret prayer was not one of them. That was imposed in 1969, well after the conclusion of the Council.
Parish bulletin editors only have so much time to fill their pages each week. Syndicated columns provide a valuable service that alleviates every parish having to compose content themselves. At the same time, the large publishing enterprises have a vested interest in change. The profits to be made from the new Ordinary Form missal translation alone are significant. The Extraordinary Form represents something unchanging, with far less of a continual need to create new support materials. One could thus argue that it would be a conflict of interest for these organizations to promote the other living form of the Roman Rite. However, it is entirely reasonable to request that syndicated columns present a more up-to-date picture of Catholic teaching. A 1970s, or even a 2006, perspective does not reflect current realities; one can no more deny the existence of Summórum Pontíficum than one can deny the forthcoming new missal translation.
More broadly speaking, proponents of either form of Holy Mass will have more credibility when they write more fairly and with greater accuracy when covering the form that is not their preferred one. If you believe your form is better, tell us why you think so. Accentuate the positive, minimize the negative. And tell us how your reasoning fits within the authentic mind of the Church.
Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
Mon. 08/01 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (Feria [Celebrant may choose a Votive Mass])
Tue. 08/02 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop, Confessor, & Doctor)
Sat. 08/06 Noon: High Mass at St. Josaphat (Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ)
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Tridentine Community News (July 30, 2011):