Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Motu Proprio: Practical Considerations
Please take our survey at the bottom regarding the Tridentine Mass
With the Vatican saying that the Motu Proprio liberalizing the use of the Tridentine Mass of St. Pius V will be out any day now(or I should say, the Tridentine Mass as modified by Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1962), many parishes are getting ready to implement the anticipated changes. There has been much written on the merits of the old Mass versus the Novus Ordo, with much especially insightful commentary on the three blogs listed on our links (Athanasius Contra Mundum, Fr. Zuhlsdorf and New Liturgical Movement).
However, I decided to write here on the practical aspects of the switch to the old rite. As a DRE, part of my job is helping my priest to prepare for the transition and he has asked me to help compile a list of practical things that will need to be done for the old Mass to be celebrated in our parish. Thank God I don't have to tackle the pastoral end! Here is the list myself and my colleague Anselm came up with:
1)The first thing that comes to mind is a Missale Romanum. I've seen these going on the net for $150 at the cheapest and $350 at the most. We were fortunate enough to have a donation.
2)In the Church itself,the reinstallation (or new installation)of the communion rails comes to mind. My parish is fortunate enough to still have its old ones, though they are not installed. Father estimates it may cost $1000 to have them properly reinstalled and brought up to snuff. This price would obviously be higher in a parish that did not still have the originals.
3)As far as vestments go, he will need a dignified chasuble and maniples (about $600).
4)Altar cards, as well, and booklets with the translations for the congregation to follow ($75 for the cards and about $250 for the booklets).
That comes to at least $2000 for just the hardware. That does not even take into account the intense training that will need to be implemented:
5)For the choir, who will need to learn Gregorian Chant.
6)For the altar boys, who will need to learn the Latin responses. We found an excellent little book called "Learning to Serve" that was used to train altar boys in the pre-Vatican II days.
Buying the hardware is simple [by the way, you can get all this stuff from the Coalition Ecclesia Dei]; but it will take hours of training to get the choir and altar boys ready, not to mention the weeks of catechesis on the liturgy that the parishioners will need. We also must take into consideration the training your priest will need. Deo gratias to the FSSP for their Tridentine "Boot Camps" they have been hosting (click here for an excellent write up of one of these boot camps from The New Liturgical Movement. It's about half way down the blog).
Let's not imagine that come Saturday, everything will be right with the world. To pull this off correctly, it is going to take months of training, probably years of catechesis and decades of faithful adherence to the liturgy to undue the harm that has been done. But when all is said and done, this whole sorry period of the past forty years will be but a little blip, a historical footnote, in the glorious history of the Church.