"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"
Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (May 17, 2015):
Deacon Jacob VanAssche to be Ordained Priest
Deacon Jacob VanAssche, originally from St. Stephen Parish in New Boston, Michigan, will be ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Detroit next Saturday, May 23 at Detroit’s Blessed Sacrament Cathedral. Jake has been a familiar face at Tridentine Masses around the region, having served as Subdeacon at Solemn High Masses. His home parish occasionally celebrates the Extraordinary Form as well. Please pray for Deacon Jake as he embarks upon this most important step in his vocation.
Many if not most people who attend the Traditional Latin Mass come for one or two driving reasons: 1) They appreciate the solemnity and reverence of the Tridentine Mass, and 2) They dislike, perhaps even intensely, the informality and abuses present in so many Ordinary Form liturgies.
Rightfully do so many adherents of the Tridentine Mass point out the disregard for liturgical decorum found at so many parishes. Such practices are in violation of norms restated in a seemingly endless flow of Vatican documents from the past four decades. However, it is time that we recognize a growing and frankly disturbing trend in Extraordinary Form Masses: Disregard for the rubrics of our own Missal.
It used to be the case that the average Extraordinary Form Mass was done with careful attention to the rubrics. Pre-2007, pre-Summórum Pontíficum, when there were around half as many Tridentine Mass sites in North America as there are today, the Traditional Mass was a more precious commodity. Perhaps because of the delicate political maneuvering that used to be required to establish a Mass site back then, departures from liturgical standards seemed rarer. Paradoxically and to this writer’s thinking, inexplicably, in today’s era when the number of instructional books and materials about the Old Mass has blossomed, it seems that more and more abuses are creeping into many Tridentine Mass sites.
Every official document issued by the Vatican since 1984, when the Tridentine Mass was re-introduced to the worldwide Church, has been clear that the 1962 Missal was to be followed, with certain minimal updates specified since then, such as the new Good Friday Prayer for the Jews. Nowhere was it permitted for pre-’62 Missals, rubrics, or calendars to be used. To our knowledge no exceptions to this rule have been doled out to any religious order, society of priests, or monastery, therefore no one may deviate from this norm.
The Confíteor before Holy Communion is not in the 1962 Missal. In the 2007 Protocol 141/2004, the Pontifical Commission Ecclésia Dei wrote: “The people’s communion should not be preceded by the recitation of the Confíteor and the accompanying prayers. Priests who wish to continue to follow this practice should be informed that this is not in conformity with the rubrics laid down by Blessed Pope John XXIII and that this practice should be discontinued.”
The one scholarly, universally accepted, and continually updated guide to the celebration of the Extraordinary Form for the English speaking world is Fortescue, O’Connell, & Reid’s Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described, currently in its 15th edition published in 2009. Similar but older guides to the liturgy have been superseded by this book and therefore cannot be considered primary references. The book provides clarity on a number of subjects. For example, the celebrant is not to be incensed after the Gospel in a Missa Cantata, the Sung Mass without Deacon or Subdeacon. Further, torchbearers are to remain in place from after the Sanctus till after the tabernacle is closed after Holy Communion; there is no provision for any of them to accompany the celebrant to the Communion Rail.
If we are so quick to criticize abuses in the Ordinary Form – and every Catholic does have the right to properly celebrated liturgy – then we had better use our liturgical knowledge and skills to offer the most faithfully celebrated Extraordinary Form Masses according to the 1962 rubrics. If we do not, we’re nothing more than hypocrites. Liturgy cannot be what we “like”; it must be what the Church wants and specifies.
Lest anyone think this is a self-righteous position to take, it is also important to acknowledge that virtually no site celebrates the Tridentine Mass 100% perfectly according to the rubrics. However, the deviations one sees may well be attributable to circumstance, not preference. For example, if a church insists that oil candles be used at the altar, despite the rubrics specifying beeswax candles, or if safety dictates that processional candles be extinguished during Mass lest they risk catching something on fire, or if a celebrant absolutely refuses to wear a maniple, we have to do what we have to do to make the Mass go on. This is an entirely different matter than choosing to do other than what the rubrics and accepted references specify without a suitable justifying reason.
Let us be obedient to the norms which Holy Mother Church and her internationally recognized experts set before us. We can assure our readers that Masses of the Oakland County Latin Mass Association and the St. Benedict Tridentine Community strive to be as faithful as possible to liturgical standards.
Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
- Mon. 05/18 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Venantius, Martyr)
- Tue. 05/19 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary (St. Peter Celestine, Pope & Confessor)
- Wed. 05/20 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Joseph (St. Bernardine of Siena, Confessor) [20th Anniversary of Ordination of Fr. Robert Marczewski – Reception follows Mass in the Social Hall]
- Sun. 05/24 12:00 Noon: High Mass at Our Lady of the Scapular, Wyandotte (Pentecost Sunday)