Thursday, March 12, 2009

Great post on liturgical innovations

I just did a really excellent post over at Athanasius Contra Mundum on how the liturgical innovations of the 1960's were introduced into my parish, using parish bulletins and records discovered in a box in a downstairs closet as my source. It is really fascinating and debunks a lot of the myth associated with the reforms. Click here to have a look at it.


Anonymous said...

It is interesting how this compares with the (rarely spoken) memories of my father, an alter boy in the 1960s.

Is there a historical reason for the following sentence?
You are reminded, once again, to say your Act of Contrition, in the pew, before coming into the confessional, so that you can listen and understand what the priest is saying to you.
How does an AoC impede listening to a priest? Surely penitents didn't talk over the priest. Reducing the cycle time by maybe a dozen seconds hardly seems worthwhile. What am I missing?

This sentence had me laughing. You answer "Amen" in English, not Latin "Amen" Isn't Amen slightly older than both English and Latin? :)

Boniface said...

That last sentence about the "Amen" thing only shows to what degree these people were fanatical about destroying Latin, so much so that they were issuing directives over the correct pronounciation of the word "Amen," something completely trivial.

Also, contrition is necessary for the sacrament of penance, as pointed out. But part of contrition is that it ought to be made before the priest so that he knows you are contrite. If the priest isn't sure if you are contrite, how can he absolve you in good faith? And how can he know you are contrite if you don't say an Act of Contrition in front of him? It is basic sacramental theology that contrition is a separate element of the sacrament than the mere recitation of one's sins, so he can't definitively presume contrition just from the fact that you state your sins to him...

Alexander said...

In the old rite you said the AoC while the priest was giving the absolution in Latin in a low voice.

At the time of the printing of that bulletin the liturgical revolution was in its early stages and some of the older traditional rite stuff was being said in vernacular.

Hence having the priest speak audibly in vernacular while you’re praying the AoC audibly in the same language would be strange I guess. I assume that’s why they made the AoC said before the absolution in the new rite.

Enbrethiliel said...


Thanks for this post, Boniface. I've also left a comment on Athanasius' site. =)

As for when to say the Act of Contrition, this is the first time I've heard of anyone recommending such a thing. I've been absolved in at least three languages (one of which is Latin); sometimes my confessor and I pray at the same time (seeming to talk over each other), but most of the priests I've confessed to wait for me to finish before they begin.

Well, I also once had a priest absolve me in a tearing hurry and tell me to say the Act of Contrition in a pew with the rest of my penance, but he tended to be fuzzy when it came to formalities. =P

Anonymous said...

Thanks Alexander, that's the answer. Parallel prayers seems unusual because of the concurrency problem that Boniface mentions. In this light, the current (serial prayer) rite is nice.

The bulletin's request to "say the AoC in the pew" almost implies a half-step to Protestant self-confession; "Confess outside, list your sins to me. We'll talk."

Thanks. I learned something about the old rite.

Another aside:
When I was younger, I wondered why the church floor past the front pew had filled bracket/bolt holes and why certain churches had a "castle" behind the alter. :) I guess some scars take a long time to heal.

Sam Danziger said...

It seems to me that we can see the effects of Vatican II in the contrast between the bulletins. In the 1960's, Catholics expected direction without explanation. Today, we are used to understanding and so we get an explanation. Truly we are better for understanding.

I think that the destruction brought by the "spirit of Vatican II" has nearly run its course, and we can rebuild. What is important is not the "Liberal" or "Traditional" implications of the words, but rather the beauty and the transcendence of the mass.

In my Parish, the priests have been slowly working Latin back in to the rite. First it was the Agnus Dei. Now they have returned the Sanctus. Learning these "new", more beautiful words awakens the Catholic spirit as we learn our mass.

I feel that we are beginning a true renewal of the Church. Perhaps in our lifetime we will not only be reunited with the Orthodox, but we will even see our Protestant brethren come home.