The Germs of G.I.R.M. |
Part Fifty-Seven: De-kneeing and Denying
"It is still the case in the Traditional Latin Mass that everyone kneels at the words: Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine: Et Homo Factus Est. No more, however. No more. Twice a year. This detracts from the significance of the Incarnation, which has been denigrated by ICEL's mistranslation of the Latin editio typica of the Novus Ordo, which has retained the Latin text of the Credo found in the Traditional Latin Mass, to imply that our Lord didn't become man until He was born."
Paragraph 135 of G.I.R.M. reads as follows:
"If no reader is present, the priest himself proclaims all three readings and the psalm, standing at the ambo. If incense is used, he puts some into the censer and blesses it, and making a profound bow, says: Almighty God, cleanse my heart."
Comment and Analysis: Many are the priests who will solicit someone from the congregation to do the readings if no reader shows up. This is true during ferial Masses as well as on Sundays (and, excuse me, Saturday evenings). However, the authors of GIRM do make the concession that a priest has the right to proclaim all three readings if he is good enough to stand at the "ambo" to do so. Yes, there are some priests who do indeed dissuade the laity from participating as readers, especially during ferial Masses. However, it is very sad that the celebrant of the Mass is denigrated to such an extent that his formerly exclusive role as the reader of the Epistle and Gospel (except in those instances where the Gospel is sung by a deacon) is not only no longer the norm but is to be avoided wherever possible.
Paragraph 136 of GIRM reads as follows:
"The priest, standing at the chair or at the ambo, or, when appropriate, in another suitable place, gives the homily; when the homily is completed, a period of silence as the occasion allows may be observed."
Comment and Analysis: An earlier installment of this continuing analysis dealt with the difference between the homily and the sermon, stressing the fact that the Church kept traditionally to a cycle of preaching each year in order to remind the faithful of the basic truths of the Faith and to exhort them to scale the heights of personal sanctity. What is interesting about this particular paragraph, however, is that it gives a priest license to give his "homily" from wherever he chooses, the most common place being nowhere in particular. That is, priests now feel free to "roam about the cabin," typically strolling up and down the aisles of the Church, sometimes going so far as to solicit audience participation.
The traditional Catholic pulpit was perched high above the nave of the Church so as to signify the fact that the priest is acting in persona Christi, that he is proclaiming God's truths, which come to us from on high, and is superior to us in the celebration of Mass. God's truths are fixed, immovable, beyond human manipulation. An ambo placed at eye level indicates egalitarianism; a moving object represents instability and uncertainty in the context of the celebration of the Mass. And it is interesting that a period of silence "may" be observed "as the occasion allows." In most instances, the Novus Ordo does not allow for much silence at all.
Indeed, Sharon and I witnessed a horrible spectacle at St. Peter Chanel Church in Hawaiian Gardens, California, on the evening of Monday, March 4, 2002. A priest of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary strode down from the ambo to walk in the aisle during his protracted homily (which necessitated his using Eucharistic Prayer II, obviously), clapping his hands, breaking into Spanish occasionally, and demanding an "Amen!" from the congregation in response to several of what he thought were his particularly brilliant points. What a horrible spectacle of narcissism and profanation. This man's behavior was undignified, irreverent, and disrespectful. No matter the content of the sermon, which had kernels of truth in it, he wanted to showboat during a weekday Mass. And the Novus Ordo gives showboaters completely free reign to demonstrate their disordered pride and irreverence to the hilt. The sermon should be given from the pulpit with dignity and solemnity, not jocularity and theatrics.
Paragraph 137 of GIRM reads as follows:
"The profession of faith is either sung or recited by the priest together with the people (see n. 68) standing. At the words, By the power of the Holy Spirit...became man, all make a profound bow; on the solemnities of the Annunciation of the Lord and Christmas, all kneel."
Comment and Analysis: As I noted in an earlier commentary in this series, the Credo has now become the Profession of Faith. It is still the case in the Traditional Latin Mass that everyone kneels at the words: Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine: Et Homo Factus Est. No more, however. No more. Twice a year. This detracts from the significance of the Incarnation, which has been denigrated by ICEL's mistranslation of the Latin editio typica of the Novus Ordo, which has retained the Latin text of the Credo found in the Traditional Latin Mass, to imply that our Lord didn't become man until He was born.
Paragraph 138 of GIRM reads as follows: "When the creed has been recited, the priest, standing at the chair with hands joined, may briefly introduce the faithful to the general intercessions. Then the deacon, or the cantor, the reader or another person may announce the intentions from the ambo or another suitable place while facing the people who for their part make a reverent response. At the completion of the intercession, the priest, with his hands extended, concludes the petitions with a prayer."
Comment and Analysis: Again, comment has been offered on this matter in the past, both in this series as well as in my analysis as to how the four ends of the Mass are best expressed in the Mass of tradition in the Roman Rite ("A Mere Matter of Preference," February, 2002). Suffice it to say at this juncture that the prayers contained in the Traditional Latin Mass express all of the needs of the three parts of the Church Militant as she is joined to the Church Triumphant and the Church Suffering in the Mass. This is reflected in the Collects, Offertories, Secrets, Prefaces, the Roman Canon, the Communion and Postcommunion prayers, as well as in the prayers a priest prayers at the Offertory and just prior to his reception of Communion. The general intercessions introduced by the Novus Ordo are banal, unnecessary and frequently ideologically driven. They are demonstrative of the spirit of verbosity and narcissism which permeates throughout the Novus Ordo.
The next part of GIRM describes the procedures to be followed during what is now called The Liturgy of the Eucharist. It repeats many of the instructions given earlier. The next installment of this series will review selected paragraphs found between numbers 139 and 170, stressing how the revolutionary changes wrought by an unprecedented committee have institutionalized rubrics and prayers and options which are detrimental to the preservation of the Faith and to the salvation of souls.
To be continued. Ugh.
Thomas A. Droleskey, Ph.D.
For past installments of G.I.R.M. Warfare in The DAILY CATHOLIC by Dr. Droleskey, see Archives
October 29-31, 2002
volume 13, no. 126
The Germs of G.I.R.M.