The Traditional Latin Mass For Everyone
Friday, February 19, 2010
Late last month the Pontifical Commission, Ecclesia Dei issued some clarifications about the Pope's 2007 directive, Summorum Pontificum. That document allowed for the wider celebration of the Extraordinary Form of Mass (the Traditional Latin Rite or what is still widely called the "Latin Mass"). Some dioceses have been slow to act on the papal directive. This new clarifications from the Vatican make it clear that the priest may decide when and whether to celebrate the traditional form of the Mass without permission from his bishop. Even the scheduling of the Extraordinary rite is left to the discretion of the parish priest. Here is a summary of the Ecclesia Dei letter (which was written in response to a Polish diocese) from the New Liturgical Movement website:

1. If there is no other possibility, because for instance in all churches of a diocese the liturgies of the Sacred Triduum are already being celebrated in the Ordinary Form, the liturgies of the Sacred Triduum may, in the same church in which they are already celebrated in the Ordinary Form, be additionally celebrated in the Extraordinary Form, if the local ordinary allows.

2. A Mass in the usus antiquior may replace a regularly scheduled Mass in the Ordinary Form. The question contextualizes that in many churches Sunday Masses are more or less scheduled continually, leaving free only very incovenient mid afternoon slots, but this is merely context, the question posed being general. The answer leaves the matter to the prudent judgement of the parish priest, and emphasises the right of a stable group to assist at Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

3. A parish priest may schedule a public Mass in the Extraordinary Form on his own accord (i.e. without the request of a group of faithful) for the benefit of the faithful including those unfamiliar with the usus antiquior. The response of the Commission here is identical to no. 2.

4. The calendar, readings or prefaces of the 1970 Missale Romanum may not be substituted for those of the 1962 Missale Romanum in Masses in the Extraordinary Form.

5. While the liturgical readings (Epistle and Gospel) themselves have to be read by the priest (or deacon/subdeacon) as foreseen by the rubrics, a translation to the vernacular may afterwards be read also by a layman.

Let me know what you think at raymond@raymondarroyo.com




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