From the St. Agnes Parish Bulletin "Pastor's Page"
The Extraordinary Form: The Richness of the Church’s Liturgy Made Manifest to the Faithful
I would like to address a particular issue that affects our parish in light of last year’s issuance of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum by Pope Benedict XVI. We have had time to reflect upon the document, study its contents through a series of talks earlier in 2008, and more recently as you know, we have begun training altar servers in the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Mass. The Holy Father remarked in his explanatory letter accompanying the motu proprio:
There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.
Currently, we offer a Latin Mass according to the 1970 Missal (Novus Ordo) twice each week (Saturdays at 8:00 a.m. and the Sunday 10:00 a.m. Sung Mass). We offer a Latin Mass accompanied by the Chamber Choir each first Saturday at 5:15 p.m. We also offer a School Mass in Latin on alternate Thursdays. The Holy Father noted that ―the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching,‖ and it is in this spirit that I as pastor have sought to approach this issue.
After careful study, prayerful consideration, consultation and initial preparation of the faithful, the following seems clear:
A stable group of faithful favoring the availability of the 1962 Missale Romanum is clearly present in this parish. (cf. Summorum Pontificum, Art. 5.1) The Holy Father sees the two forms as mutually enriching, and as two usages of the one Roman Rite. (ibid., Art. 1) There may be no credence given whatsoever to a supposed doctrinal superiority of one Missal over the other. Both are doctrinally sound, even if somewhat different with respect to various emphases. The document encourages the 1962 Missal to be incorporated within ―the ordinary pastoral care of the parish.‖ (Art. 5.1) It is not an appendage.
Beginning with the 1st Sunday of Advent this year, we will offer both the Extraordinary Form and the Ordinary Form of the Latin Mass in alternate weeks at the 10:00 a.m. Mass. The Extraordinary Form (1962 editio typica Missal) will be offered on the odd numbered weeks (1st and 3rd weeks), while the Ordinary Form (1970 Missal) will be offered on even numbered weeks (2nd and 4th weeks of the month). Holy Day schedules and other details are still forthcoming. The Extraordinary Form Mass will be a Missa Cantata.
Many of the movements and customs of the 1962 Missal are quite similar to how we celebrate the current Missal. I remain open to the possibility of a 1962 Low Mass option at our early Sunday Mass at some point in the future. For now, it is important to learn both to offer and pray the Mass well, accurately and faithfully to the rubrics.
We intend to make available Mass guides, as well as printed copies of the readings and all proper prayers, while also encouraging our regulars to purchase a 1962 hand missal. We will not make use of the phrases ―traditional Mass, nor ―Tridentine Mass in respect to the 1962 Missal, for those names are not used in the motu proprio, and tend to be theologically confusing. Stay tuned for more information in the weeks ahead. Let us be open to the richness of the Church’s liturgy, so that we may grow in wisdom and grace.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. John L. Ubel