Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Paschaltide Resume

A blessed feast of Saint Mark, founder of the Alexandrian Church, to all. Throughout the year my favorite Mattins is that from the Common of Virgin Martyrs, but the Paschaltide Mattins from the Common of Apostles and Evangelists is a close second.

With the continued proliferation of old rite Holy Week celebrations accelerated by the Ecclesia Dei indult (did everyone with an indult send pictures to New Liturgical Movement or are liberties being taken?) it might be a good time to ask readers or Facebook linkers whether they know of any communities that implemented the old liturgy this year and how it was received. I would be particularly interested if readers could comment on:

  1. How those unfamiliar with the pre-1962 changes were able to adapt to the old rites
  2. Whether they were practiced at the old times, the Paul VI, or the head-scratching 1962 times (Holy Saturday Vespers at 1:30AM on Sunday morning?)
  3. What would have made the implementation easier to facilitate from the perspective of both clergy and laity
Weren't choirs happy to sing Palestrina's Sicut cervus in its proper place?


  1. I’d be interested too. Not much on the internet on it yet...

  2. Here's something from Jeff Ostrowski, in his article entitled "I Was Wrong to Dread the “Pre-1955” Holy Week":


    Here is an excerpt:

    The ancient rites blew me away! To examine all the differences—leaving aside their vast history and theological connotations—would require years, but allow me a few reflections:

    (1) I was wrong about the “Morning/Evening” controversy. The times are immaterial to the substance of the ancient rites. Indeed, Rome has stipulated they are to be done in the evening. (At least, that is my understanding.) The precise time they take place, I have come to understand, is insignificant. Moreover, it is a simpleminded and anti-liturgical person who is incapable of calling to mind the Exsultet’s “blessed night” unless it’s dark outside.

    (2) Whoever created the 1955 version (Annibale Bugnini seems to have been prime mover) was often sloppy and arbitrary. These faults are highlighted when one experiences the ancient version. Fr. John Parsons and others have already pointed out, for example, sloppy typos which ended up wreaking havoc. Something I’ve not seen mentioned is the “short form” of the 1955 Palm distribution, which is horrific in terms of antiphon placement, and I’m convinced the rubric in question was a typo nobody caught. The three antiphons in the 1955 Good Friday Communion service—all in different modes, with no psalms—are bizarre from a musical standpoint. And so forth and so on.

    But the ancient rites “flow.” For example, the music assigned for the Veneration of the Cross doesn’t have to be crammed and condensed because it was designed for the ancient manner of veneration. (Pope Saint John XXIII famously chose the ancient version, though it was against the rubrics in force at the time.) Even as a boy, I sensed something inadequate about placing the Footwashing in the middle of Holy Thursday Mass, and this innovation happened in 1955. And likewise for the other ceremonies. The biggest difference, in other words, is how the ancient rites “flow” naturally and logically.

    (3) I had previously believed certain items to be “aesthetic” (unimportant), such as the weird vestments—Broad Stole and Folded Chasubles—but I was wrong. I now understand the vestments to be incredibly powerful reminders of the antiquity of the sacred rites, because they go back so many centuries.

    (4) I was worried the congregation would hate having twelve (12) long Prophecies at the Easter Vigil; but again I was wrong. It is a sacred time to sit quietly in Church and ponder one’s relationship with Almighty God. It is a sacred time to examine one’s conscience and contemplate eternity.

    (5) The “weeping tone” after our Lord dies is haunting and breathtaking. I had only heard it on recordings before last week. And there were so many other awesome moments…such as the priests lying prostrate for the Litany, the “Missa Sicca” on Palm Sunday, and so forth and so on.

  3. I must also add that from what I read of people's reactions, most were pleased. I saw only one complain basically about the length of the Good Friday Veneration of the Cross and also about having no Communion on that day, as well as "monotonous chants", and having the gall to say the 1955 reform was the fruit of "organic development"!

    Here is the post in question (see the comments): https://sarmaticusblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/04/the-most-significant-event-since-the-council-has-transpired-and-went-mostly-unnoticed/

  4. The one thing which I noticed and surely will be corrected next year, if not by Advent, was the use of dalmatics for folded chasubles.

    Due to sharing churches, the ICRSS apostolate in Chicago started at 10:30 (9:30 on Thursday) for the Vigil. The other shared churches alway did theirs in the afternoon as it was. Next year, they will restore the times, at least on Saturday. Most of the apostolates kept Good Friday at 3:00.

    Time. I didn’t go, though my parents did, to the Palm Sunday liturgy, and my family knew what to lok for because I have told them about this. But the ICRSS sprung it on Palm Sunday. Many places had previously desired to spend the time after Christmas doing catechesis. Some people are like me, and know about it from reading, and others had been in the earlier days. But most were just going along.

  5. I second Paul's observation - there has been little online commentary following the restoration of Holy Week. I believe this may be, in part, due to the FSSP wanting not to "over-advertise" it lest it provoke negative retractions from the PCED.

    Anecdotally, you know most of what has transpired at Mater Ecclesiae. There is always the vast middle with no opinion one way or another; they are as happy to worship in any "Latin Mass" ritual. This was the third year of fully restoring the rites (at the newer times, but Holy Saturday at 6pm); this was the first year I have heard nothing negative. In the past, the negative commentaries have been limited to a) certain older choleric type women who b) miss seeing their husband/son's foot washed or holding votive candles. In other words, they had attachments to things that are not the result of any ritual changes, but logistical differences we employed when rolling out the new rites. We have not had the Mandatum since 2015, and the only way I see bringing it back is if we move the start time of the Last Supper Mass earlier; it is already 10pm by the time we have recited Vespers and stripped the altar. And yes, a good friend of mine (also female) complained about not having Communion on Good Friday last year, but fervently assisted at all the ceremonies this year without any criticism. On the positive side, a number of people told me how happy they were that the Paschal Vigil has been moved to a more family-friendly hour! I think after three years, 95% of parishioners have simply accepted the restoration.

  6. It is certainly edifying to see the images of traditional Holy Week that have appeared and to know there were more celebrations that so far have not had photographs published.

    As someone who has been advocating traditional liturgy over the 1962 interim rites for a long time what struck me was the blindingly obvious: the visual superiority of the ancient rite. The difference between seeing the sacred ministers enter the sanctuary wearing black planetis plicatis or just in albs illustrates the point. At a deeper level the old rite has a fluidity and internal cohesion and it is good to see that has been noticed by those who had never seen the traditional rite before this year.