MAY 2003
volume 14, no. 27

The Germs of G.I.R.M.

Part Sixty-Seven: A void devoid of meaning

    "Monsignor George A. Kelly, no friend of the Traditional Latin Mass, told me in 1983 that there was only one real reason for the push in favor of the extension of the distribution of Communion under both kinds then: to blur the distinction between the priesthood of the ordained priest and the common priesthood of by the faithful by the proliferation of extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist (who would be needed to distribute the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord). All other assertions are efforts to hide the true agenda at work here. This is an affront to Catholicism and a direct invitation to untold acts of sacrilege against the Body and Blood of Our Lord."

Paragraphs 273 of G.I.R.M. read as follows:

    "According to traditional liturgical practice, the altar and the Book of the Gospels are kissed as a sign of veneration. The Conference of Bishops may substitute some other sign of reverence, with the consent of the Holy See."

Comment and Analysis: In other words, as will be discussed in my analysis of Paragraph 395, everything in GIRM is negotiable. If a national conference of bishops desires some Aztec ritual to take place prior to the reading of the Gospel lesson, then all it needs to do is petition Rome, where the permission for such novelties introduced in the name of inculturation is truly perfunctory. The bishops of the United States recently received indults from the Holy See to give them every exemption they sought from GIRM pertaining to the posture for the reception of Holy Communion, namely, standing as the absolute norm in this country. It has never been the case that any liturgical rite prior to 1969 admitted of endless exceptions and adaptations, all of which undermine the Catholicity of the Church in what should be transcendent: the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Paragraph 274 of G.I.R.M. reads as follows:

    "A genuflection, which is made by bending the right knee to the ground, signified adoration, and for this reason is reserved to the Most Blessed Sacrament and to the Holy Cross, from the solemn adoration in the liturgy of Good Friday until the beginning of the Easter Vigil. Three genuflections are made during Mass by the priest celebrant: after the showing of the Eucharistic bread, after the showing of the chalice, and before communion. Special features to be observed in a concelebrated Mass are noted in their proper place (see nos. 210-252). If there is a tabernacle with the Blessed Sacrament in the sanctuary, the priest, deacon and other ministers genuflect to it when they approach or leave the altar, but not during the celebration of Mass itself. Otherwise, all who cross before the Most Blessed Sacrament genuflect, unless they are involved in a procession. Ministers who are carrying the processional cross or the candles bow their heads in place of a genuflection."

Comment and Analysis: This paragraph spins the Socratic principle of non-contradiction on its heads and feet at the same time. There are glaring ambiguities in this paragraph. Indeed, there are enough ambiguities to satisfy a neoconservative intent on restoring reverence in the new Mass and to satisfy a most legalistic liturgist in a chancery office who would be within his (or her) right to interpret this paragraph as being restrictive of genuflection. Permit me a protracted explication at this point.

   In the Traditional Latin Mass, the priest genuflects at the following time: (1) when he approaches the altar to deposit the chalice and to arrange the Missal; (2) any time he passes before the Blessed Sacrament during Mass; (3) at the words "Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine: et homo factus est" in the Credo; (4) twice each at the consecration of the Bread and the wine in the Chalice into the Body and Blood of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; (5) when he uncovers the chalice and takes the Host between his thumb and index finger of his right hand before he prays the "Per ipsum, et cum ipso, et in ipso, est tibi Deo Patri omnipotenti, in unitate Spiritus Sancti, omnis honor, et gloria." ("Through Him, with Him, and in Him, be given to thee God, Father Almighty, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honor and all glory"); (6) as he lays down the Host and covers the Chalice with the pall after completing the Per ipsum but before he says "Per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen"; (7) when he places the paten under Host and uncovers the Chalice at the end of the Libera nos; (8) after praying "Haec commixto et consecratio Corporis et Sanguinis Domini nostri Jesu Christ, fiat accipientibus nobis in vitam aeternam. Amen" ("May this sacramental mingling of the Body and of the Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which we are about to receive, bring us eternal life. Amen"); (9) just before he says the prayer "Panem calestem accipiam, et nomen Domini invocabo" ("I will take the Bread of heaven and I will call upon the name of the Lord."); (10) as he uncovers the Chalice and before he consumes Our Lord's Most Precious Blood; (11) as he consumes the particles while cleansing the vessels after the distribution of Holy Communion to the faithful; (12) at the words "Et Verbum caro factum est" in the Last Gospel; (13) as he leaves the altar following the Prayers after Low Mass or following the conclusion of the Last Gospel in High Mass. As you can see, there is quite a change that has taken place, and none of it is for the good.

   In addition to the reduction in the number of genuflections made by the priest celebrant during Holy Mass to the grand total of three, Paragraph 274 introduces a vast amount of confusion concerning who genuflects and when at other times during a Mass.

   Consider the following: "If there is a tabernacle with the Blessed Sacrament in the sanctuary, the priest, deacon and other ministers genuflect to it when they approach or leave the altar, but not during the celebration of Mass itself." Exactly what does this mean? Are the procession and recession considered to be part of Mass? Is a priest to merely bow when he passes before the Lord of Lords and King of Kings during Mass when, for example, he proceeds from his "presidential chair" to the "ambo" to proclaim the Gospel? If the "priest, deacon and other ministers" are to genuflect before Our Lord when they approach or leave the altar, but are not to do so during Mass, exactly when are they to genuflect? Before and after Mass as they go about their housekeeping duties? Not a thing is clear here.

   Further confusion is introduced by the following: "Otherwise, all who cross before the Most Blessed Sacrament genuflect, unless they are involved in a procession?" Let's get this straight: the priest, deacon and other ministers can't genuflect during Mass and they can't do so if they are involved in a procession. So, again, exactly when do they genuflect? It appears to be the case that the answer is NEVER! Lewis Carroll, call your office. There are two men, one named Bugnini and other named Montini , who need to speak with you.

   Finally, just get a gander of this: "Ministers who are carrying the processional cross or the candles bow their heads in place of a genuflection." Are you following all of this? No one can genuflect if they are involved in a procession, or so it appears. However, this sentence could lead one to conclude that everyone BUT those carrying the processional cross and candles genuflect.

   The net effect of all this is to leave the interpretation of these confusing and contradictory statements to the priest or liturgy committee who "plans" a "liturgical service." This paragraph is devoid of meaning, except to mandate less reverence for Our Lord on the part of the priests and those have been permitted to invade the sanctuary, which used to be his province alone.

Paragraph 275 of G.I.R.M. reads as follows:

    "A bow is a sign of the reverence and honor given to persons or what represents those persons. (a) An inclination of the head should be made when the three Divine Persons are named, at the name of Jesus, of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the Saint in whose honor Mass is celebrated; (b) A bow of the body, or profound bow, is made: toward the altar if there is no tabernacle with the blessed sacrament; during the prayers Almighty God, cleanse and With humble and contrite hearts; with the profession of faith at the words was incarnate of the Holy Spirit. . .made man; in Eucharistic Prayer I (Roman Canon) at the words Almighty God, command that your angel. The same kind of bow is made by the deacon when he asks the blessing before proclaiming the gospel reading. In addition, the priest bends over slightly as he says the words of the Lord at the consecration."

Comment and Analysis: GIRM's bias against genuflection is reflected by the significant change made in the recitation of the Credo, now called the "profession of faith." Admitting that ICEL has for thirty years mistranslated the Latin editio typica of the Novus Ordo (making it appear that Our Lord did not become man until He was born rather than at the moment of His Incarnation at the Annunciation), the tradition of the Roman Rite is that the priest and everyone else capable of doing so reverently genuflect at the words Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sanctu ex Maria Virgini: Et Homo Factus Est in the Credo. This preference for the "profound bow" has become the de facto norm for reverencing the Blessed Sacrament in most dioceses and parishes around the world. And it was the elimination of the genuflection in so many places in the new Mass (as well as the various other ways in which belief in the sacerdotal priesthood and the sacrificial nature of the Mass are undermined, either directly or symbolically, throughout the Novus Ordo) that has led to the triumph of the bow over genuflection.

Paragraph 276 of G.I.R.M. reads as follows:

    "Thurification or incensation is an expression of reverence and prayer as signified in the Sacred Scriptures (see Ps. 140; Rev. 8:3). The use of incense is optional in any form of Mass: (a) during the entrance procession; (b) at the beginning of Mass, to incense the cross and the altar; (c) at the procession and proclamation of the gospel reading; (d) after the bread and chalice have been placed upon the altar, to incense the offerings, the cross, the altar and also the priest and the people; (d) at the elevation and the showing of the chalice after consecration."

Comment and Analysis: There is much that is omitted in this paragraph. Incensation is a part of High Mass in the Traditional Latin Mass not only because it signifies our prayers rising to God, but because it is a means to drive away demons. Alas, modern man cannot admit that demons exist, no less that incensation helps to drive them away from a Catholic Church during Holy Mass. Indeed, th e prayer said by the priest after the Offering of the Chalice in a High Mass in the Traditional rite invokes the intercession of Saint Michael the Archangel, who defeated Lucifer's minions. This is the traditional prayer of incensation: "Per intercessionem beati Michaelis archangeli stantis a dextris altaris incensi, et omnium electorum suorum, incensum istud dignetur Dominus benedicere, et in odorem suavitatis accipere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen. Incensum istud a te benedictum, ascendat ad te, Domine: et descendat super nos misericordia tua. Dirigatur, Domine, oratio mea, sicut incensu, in conspectu tuo: elevatio manuuam mearum sacrificium vespertinum. Pone, Domine, custodiam ori meo, et ostium circumstantiae labiis meis: ut non declinet cor meum in verba malitiae, ad excusandas excusationes in peccatis. Accendat in nobis Dominus ignem sui amoris, et flammam aeternae caritatis. Amen." ("By the intercession of blessed Michael the archangel, who standeth at the right hand of the altar of incense, and of all His elect, may the Lord vouchsafe to bless this incense, and to receive it for an odor of sweetness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. May this incense, blessed by Thee, ascend before Thee, O Lord, and may Thy mercy descend upon us. Let my prayer be directed, O Lord, as incense in thy sight, the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice. Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth: and a door round about my lips: that my heart may not incline to evil words: to make excuses in sins. May the Lord enkindle in us the fire of His love and the flame of everlasting charity. Amen."

   Additionally, incense is used in High Mass in the Traditional rite after the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar are concluded and being he reads the Introit. The priest incenses the altar and is himself incensed by a deacon (or the one serving as the deacon at High Mass). He says the following prayer: "Ab illo benedicaris, in cujus honor cremaberis. Amen." ("Mayest thou be blessed by Him in Whose honor thou art to be burnt. Amen.") Incensation in the traditional rite carried with it a deep theological significance, expressed in the prayers of incensation. It may or may not have such significance in the new Mass. Once again, it all depends upon who is celebrating the Mass and where it is being celebrated. These elements of subjectivism and congregationalism are foreign to Catholicism and any Catholic liturgical rite prior to 1969.

Paragraph 277 of G.I.R.M. reads as follows:

    "After he has put incense into the censer, the priest blesses it with the sign of the cross, without saying anything. A profound bow is made before and after incensation to the persons or things which are to be incensed, to the altar and the gifts set aside for the sacrifice of the Mass. The following are incensed with three swings of the censer: the Most Blessed Sacrament; relics of the holy Cross; images of the Lord exposed for public veneration; gifts for the sacrifice of the Mass; the altar cross; the Book of the Gospels; the paschal candle, the prieset and the people. The following are incensed with two swings of the censer: relics and images of the saints exposed for public veneration, though only at the beginning of the celebration, at the moment when the altar is being incensed. The altar is incensed with a single swing of the censer in this way: (a) If the altar is freestanding, the priest incenses it as he walks around it; (b) if the altar is not free standing, the priest incenses it as he walks, first to the right side, then to the left. If there is a cross on or beside the altar, then it is incensed before the incensation of the altar, otherwise it is incensed when the priest passes in front of it. The priest incenses the gifts with three swings of the censer, before the incensation of the cross and the altar or by making the sign of the cross over the gifts with the censer."

Comment and Analysis: "After he has put incense into the censer, the priest blesses it with the sign of the cross, without saying anything." In other words, the beautiful prayers I listed in my analysis of the preceding paragraph are forbidden to be said. Think of the saints who prayed those prayers as they celebrated Holy Mass. Saint Thomas Aquinas. Saint Bonaventure. Saint Francis de Sales. Pope Saint Pius V. Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Saint Maximilian Kolbe. Saint Padre Pio. Think of the saitns who read those prayers in their missals as they heard Holy Mass: Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Catherine of Siena, Saint Therese of Lisieux, Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Juan Diego. In the name of a simplification based upon disproved theories of what an earlier Roman liturgy looked like, the revolutionaries who forbade the wonderful prayers of incensation found in the Traditional Latin Mass command a priest to say nothing after he makes the sign of the cross. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a different religion. And a different religion needs an entirely different Mass than the one experienced by the saints listed herein.

   Furthermore, as a priest who reviewed this manuscript noted, "The Novus Ordo rite gives thre swings of the thurible to the Book of the Gospels, the same number for the Blessed Sacrament! Only the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the monstrance and at the elevation gets three swings, as well as the bishop. Everything else gets two swings, including the relic of the true cross." Obviously, this is part of the new division of the Mass into the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Paragraphs 278-279 of G.I.R.M. read as follows:

    278: "Whenever a fragment of the Eucharistic bread adheres to his fingers, especially after the breaking of the bread or the communion of the faithful, the priest wipes his fingers over the paten or, if necessary, washes them. He also gathers any particles that may fall outside the paten."

    279: "The vessels are cleansed by the priest or by the deacon or acolyte after communion or after Mass, if possible at a side table. Water alone or wine and water together are used for the cleansing of the chalice, then drunk by the one who cleanses it. The paten is usually wiped with the purificator. Attention must be paid that whatever of the Blood of Christ may happen to remain after its distribution in Holy Communion should be completely consumed at the altar."

Comment and Analysis: As a priest who has reviewed this manuscript, said, "Oh, oh, that altar girl is doing the ablutions again." In the Mass of tradition, the priest alone cleanses the vessels at the middle of the altar of sacrifice. The deacon cleanses the chalice in Solemn High Mass. However, no lay person ever touched the Sacred Species with his own hands. The priest is the custodian of the Eucharist in Holy Mas s. And there is a very specific ritual set forth in the Traditional Latin Mass for the cleansing of the paten and the chalice. As the priest "receives wine into the chalice," he says: "Quod ore sumpsimus Domine, pura mente capiamus: et de munere temporalil fait nobis remedium sempiternum." ("Into a pure heart, O Lord, may we receive the heavenly food which has passed our lips: bestowed upon us in time, may it be the healing of our souls for eternity.") He then goes to the Epistle side of the altar and says the following prayer as the "server pours wine and water over his fingers" into the chalice: "Corpus tuam, Domine, quod sumpsi, et Sanguis, quem potavi, adhaereat visceribus meis: et praesta, ut in me non remaneat scelerum macula, quem pura et sant refecereunt sacramenta. Qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. Amen." ("May Thy Body, O Lord, which I have received, and Thy Blood which I have drunk cleave to mine inmost parts: and do Thou grant that no stain of sin remain in me, whom pure and holy mysteries have refreshed: Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.") These prayers do not exist in the new Mass. And, as noted above, the priest may or may not be the one who actually cleanses the vessels, which cleansing can take place after Mass, a completely sacrilegious novelty introduced by the revolutionaries who concocted the synthetic liturgy called the Novus Ordo.

   Finally, as the Precious Blood is consumed by no one other than the celebrant in the Mass of tradition, there was no "left over" Precious Blood to be consumed after the distribution of Holy Communion. The introduction of concelebration and of the distribution of Communion under both kinds to the faithful has resulted in one untold sacrilege after another, sacrileges which do not even have the possibility of occurring in the Traditional Latin Mass.

   (By the way, I have gotten weary of pointing out the schizophrenia of GIRM's referring to the consecrated Host as the "Eucharistic bread.")

Paragraph 280 of G.I.R.M. reads as follows:

    "If the Eucharistic bread or any particle of it should fall, it is to be picked up reverently. If any of the precious blood spills, the area where the spill occurred should be washed and the water poured into the sacrarium."

Comment and Analysis: What is to happen to the Host or particle Thereof that falls? Is It to be consumed by the priest? Is it to be given to the person who dropped It (in the case of the all too frequent occurrence of a communicant dropping the Host after being given It in his or her hand; it is no accident that the man who introduced this sacrilege to disparage the priesthood and belief in the Real Presence was none other than Martin Luther)? Is the area where the Host or particle Thereof fell to be covered with a purificator until it is cleaned? Indeed, I was told the story in the 1970s of an elderly Italian priest in the Bronx who had licked the floor where a Host had fallen with his tongue! I guess that reverent man would be sent to a psychiatrist today. And, once again, there was never any possibility of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord spilling in the Traditional Latin Mass; the entirety of what is consecrated is consumed by the priest as he completes the sacrifice by his communicating from the Chalice.

Paragraph 281 of G.I.R.M. reads as follows:

    "Holy communion has a more complete form as a sign when it is received under both kinds. For in this manner of reception a fuller sign of the Eucharistic banquet shines forth. Moreover, there is a clearer expression of that will by which the new and everlasting covenant is ratified in the blood of the Lord and of the relationship of the Eucharistic banquet to the eschatological banquet in the Father's kingdom."

Comment and Analysis: Oh, yeah? Says who? This is a gratuitous, positivistic statement without any precedence in the history of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church. Even though this paragraph is qualified by the next one, in which a condescending reference is made to the fact that one receives both the Body and Blood of Our Lord under one species alone, this paragraph is typical of the positivist mentality inherent in the new Mass and in the conciliar and postconciliar documents themselves. The authors of GIRM insult the intelligence of those who know the true history of the past and the true theology of the Mass, believing that the simple assertion of something as true will burnish itself into the minds of priests and the faithful as true because it has been asserted as such. Indeed, even though there was Communion under both kinds in the Roman Rite until the twelfth century, no one asserted this was a "fuller" sign of Holy Communion. And the Church discontinued the practice shortly after the Council of Trent restored it precisely because some of the faithful were convinced that they had not received Holy Communion if they had not received both the Host and the Precious Blood from the Chalice.

   Further, although Holy Mass is a memorial of the Last Supper, it is principally a propitiatory sacrifice to the Father offered through the Son in Spirit and in Truth, the very unbloody re-presentation of the Son's one bloody Sacrifice to the Father on the wood of the Holy Cross on Good Friday. The Mass is not principally a banquet. It is a sacrifice. However, those who want to de-emphasize, if not obliterate entirely, its sacrificial nature know that appealing to the concept of a community meal or love-feast (an agape, if you will) will resonate in a world possessed of a spirit of sappy sentimentality and illogic, a world emptied of its Catholic past and committed to the pursuit of the reaffirmation of self. We are not worthy to receive the Body and Blood of the Divine Redeemer in Holy Communion. It is only by His ineffable mercy that we are permitted to do so if we are in a state of sanctifying grace and have, medical reasons notwithstanding, observed the Eucharistic fast. To assert that Communion has a fuller sign if distributed and received under both kinds is to promote in fact a negation of the traditional teaching of the Church, no matter what disclaimers appear in Paragraph 282.

   Monsignor George A. Kelly, no friend of the Traditional Latin Mass, told me in 1983 that there was only one real reason for the push in favor of the extension of the distribution of Communion under both kinds then: to blur the distinction between the priesthood of the ordained priest and the common priesthood of by the faithful by the proliferation of extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist (who would be needed to distribute the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord). All other assertions are efforts to hide the true agenda at work here. This is an affront to Catholicism and a direct invitation to untold acts of sacrilege against the Body and Blood of Our Lord.

   As a priest who has reviewed this analysis notes, "Communion under both kinds, it seems to me, if I remember, that the Protestant commentator in the 'red' edition of the Vatican II documents in his commentary immediately following Sacrosanctum Concilium, made this statement: 'Everything the reformers of the 16th century wanted has now been given in the new Catholic Mass, with the exception of offering to the chalice to the layman. We hope that one day this prohibition will also be lifted.' Well, they got everything they wanted and even more. This 'both species' thing is one of the (sur) prizes in the whole dismantling scheme of the revolutionaries."

Thomas A. Droleskey, Ph.D.

For past installments of G.I.R.M. Warfare in The DAILY CATHOLIC by Dr. Droleskey, see Archives

MAY 2003
volume 14, no. 27
The Germs of G.I.R.M.

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