En dyktig liturg innenfor en bysantisk/»gresk»-katolsk kirke sier sin mening om den moderne (latisk-)katolske messen. Han vil forandre følgende ting: En god oversettelse bør lages av messen fra 1962, hele menigheten må gjerne svare der ministrantene svarer i TLM, presten må vende seg mot Gud under den eukaristiske bønn, den eukaristiske bønn bør bes stille. Og hele messen må synges; hvis man synger de fire vanlige salmene i messen, mens resten sies, forrykkes hele balansen i messen. Her er et større utdrag av det han sier – fra Rorate-Cæli:
Q: What do Byzantines see when they look at the Novus Ordo Roman Catholic Mass? How would you change it?
A. If this had been right at Vatican II the answer would be easy. I would have prepared exactingly accurate and faithful translations of the “1962 Blessed John XXIII” missal into Standard English (literal, word-for-word but with elegance). Then I would have taken the responses typically recited by the altar server and given them to the faithful. Finally, I would have recommended the development of new chant settings for those responses for a sung Mass.
Q: And now?
A: Almost the same thing. I’ve seen the draft texts of the corrected translation of the Novus Ordo Mass and they appear to be quite excellent (and my friends who are Latin scholars say they are very accurate). I’d implement them along with a new lectionary that is the old lectionary or a modified form of the old lectionary.
I’d also move away from the presentation of “four songs and a Mass”. Right now in many (not all) Roman Catholic parishes you have a recited Mass with the four “anchor” songs (Opening, Processional, Communion and Recessional). When this happens what is communicated to the faithful is that the four songs are important and the Mass is not (the very fact the organist and choir or cantor gear up to sing for these four songs but not the rest of the Mass is what transmits that message). Instead I’d encourage the singing of the entire Mass. Gregorian chant – yes. But also simple chant that people can pick up and sing with gusto. I would not outlaw the “four songs” but I would be careful with them to make sure they are not a distraction from the Mass itself.
Finally, I’d ask the priest to face ad orientem (East, towards the altar table) for the Anaphora (the prayers of the Eucharistic Canon). I can understand the “we gather around Jesus rather then face Him together” approach but it just doesn’t work. No matter what happens the priest is the star of the show. People watch him and are not attentive to the Mystery taking place. I’d also recommend that at least the Eucharistic Canon return to being prayed quietly. In his book “The Spirit of the Liturgy” Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) noted that the praying of the Canon loud has led to what some liturgists call a “crisis” and the endless writing of new Canons. He concludes that all the various experimentation with the Eucharistic Prayer “balk, now as in the past, at the possibility that silence, too, silence especially, might constitute communion before God.” Some who support the praying of the Canon aloud claim that they do so because these prayers are “for us”. They’re right, but in the wrong way. The prayers are indeed for us but they are not for our education by hearing. They are for our salvation by praying.
I suspect there would be more, but all this would be more then enough for one or two generations. Liturgical changes must never be so severe that they hurt the faithful. We know that after Vatican II a sizeable number of Roman Catholics walked away from the Novus Ordo Mass. Some became “Christmas and Easter Catholics”. Many never returned. … …
Q: What has been your experience of the Novus Ordo? Good or bad?
A: Both. At the Jesuit University I went to in the early 1980s I attended one “coffee table Mass”. One was enough. But the daily and Sunday Masses in the main chapel were quite edifying. I’ve attended many lackluster Masses. [No surprise there – we Byzantines have lots of parishes with lackluster Liturgy, too.] I’ve also attended some wonderful Masses – Masses that were well planned, well prayed, and well sung. I occasionally attend Novus Ordo Roman Catholic Masses in the Diocese of Arlington here in Virginia where I live. Yes, on Sunday they have the “four songs” but they are (in the nearby parish) well chosen to reflect either the readings or sometimes the saint of the day. Even better is that all the major parts of the Mass are sung (the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Sanctus, the Lord’s Prayer and the Lamb of God). Sometimes the chant is Gregorian and sometimes modern. Almost always very good. Now if only the priest would face East for the Canon and pray it in a low voice.