At Long Last - Reform of the Reform?

Andrea Tornielli reports in il Giornale that the reform of the reform, long awaited, may finally be on its way. Tornielli reports that a document was delivered to the Pope from the Congregation for Divine Worship, following a vote therein, recommending a number of changes to the Novus Ordo. It reports also that this document has been approved by the Pope. Changes like this take time, but perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel. The list of proposed changes includes (translation from the wonderful Rorate Caeli with Bullets added by me.)
The Cardinals and Bishops members of the Congregation voted almost unanimously in favor of a greater sacrality of the rite, of the recovery of the sense of eucharistic worship,
  • of the recovery of the Latin language in the celebration,
  • and of the remaking of the introductory parts of the Missal in order to put a stop to abuses, wild experimentations, and inappropriate creativity.
  • They have also declared themselves favorable to reaffirm that the usual way of receiving Communion according to the norms is not on the hand, but in the mouth. There is, it is true, and indult which, on request of the [local] episcopates, allows for the distribution of the host [sic] also on the palm of the hand, but this must remain an extraordinary fact.
  • The "Liturgy Minister" of Pope Ratzinger, Ca├▒izares, is also having studies made on the possibility to recover the orientation towards the Orient of the celebrant, at least at the moment of the eucharistic consecration, as it happened in practice before the reform, when both the faithful and the priest faced towards the Cross and the priest therefore turned his back to the assembly.

This is amazing and wonderful news. Without a doubt this will necessarily move slowly, but move it will. I will pray for this intention every day.

P.S.Of course no discussion of the reform of the Novus Ordo is complete without mentioning my offered services in the ad campaign to promote it.


  1. It's taken the best part of a decade to get a new English translation for the 2002 Missale Romanum. I'm in my early 30's. With a bit of luck, my grandkids will be following the debates in the Bishops' Conferences as to whether this "Benedictine" stuff is actually a good idea.

    Sorry for the note of pessimism.

  2. I'll die a happy man if this will be accomplished in my lifetime. And I'm 25.

  3. I love the no clapping/guitars/EMEs part. We went to a local mass here and it was a...wait for it...rock-n-roll mass. I'm talking electric guitars, drums, synthesizers, and music so loud, I felt like we were at a concert. My 6-year old son looked at me and said, "Is this a Catholic church?!?"

    Even a 6yo could see something was not right.

  4. Patrick - I'm afraid I feel like David. Except at 63 years old it's way worse. We have switched to the FSSP and feel much, much better...

    My old parish is busy now dragging in LifeTeen. How very retro of them.

  5. Adrienne I don't mind Lifeteen as long as it adheres to church teaching and complements the holy liturgy (as opposed to replacing it). Anything to keep kids from having sex and doing drugs is IMHO a good thing.

  6. Perhaps...but there are several local pastors who are gathering their fellow progressives into their churches where all are welcome to dissent according to whatever way each may taste and see around the banquet table where many are still singing a new church into being. Shorts and flip flops are okay from May to October.

  7. I, too, am going to hold my enthusiasm. I believe any reforms will be subject to the attitude of the local bishops and priests. On Sunday, we had so many people around the Altar, they were bumping into each other. We are still "Singing A New Song". No Church within a hundred miles of here has an Altar rail. In other words, I'm not holding my breath. But I will continue to pray without ceasing....

  8. Wow- I was mixed on Life Teen masses too until I saw the genuine love and adoration these younsters had towards the Mass and Eucharist. Kind of a neat bridge for our younger people from the Catechism lessions to living the faith as a more mature adult. I think it allows the kids to grow in a more personal relationship with Christ after they hit that awkward gap between Confirmation (8th grade) and the end of college and the begininning of their fully adult lives (at 24yrs old or so).

    That being said, my parish doesn't go too overboard with the music- it's acoustic guitars, drums, trumpet and about 5 talented singers making the more popular Christian rock a part of the Mass. They do a good job of toning it down and becoming very reverent/ full of awe/ peaceful during the Consecration and distribution of Communion.

    I can see some people's objection to the more "folksy" masses- there's definitely room for abuse. But like anything, if there's good guidance, there will be a good outcome.

    Am I suggesting all Masses be like this? Certainly not- there are times when I've had enough of the Mary Haugen to make me sick! But I think Life Teen is useful for the kids who so often get lost to the MTV culture.

  9. I love the line "some traditionalists may still be allergic" Fantastic, I really hope this DOES move, and somewhat quickly. I am so tired of the loopy music and 50 extraordinary ministers (don't know why they still call them that when they use them EVERY sunday) and all those things. Yay pope Benedict :)

  10. I'm also a little tossed up on LifeTeen. I would say that given the choice between a acoustic guitar, drums, trumpet, and 5 singers, I'd take it over the embarrassed Mom and adequate piano player I've seen in many Churches. I've never been a fan of the come to Church and mumble at your feet approach.

    But there was the time I went to LifeTeen and enjoyed singing an appropriate "Gloria" when all of a sudden they did a drum riff and started clapping and we had to sing it again to a peppy, ridiculous beat.

    While I don't mind blushing in Church for the sake of my humility, that seemed like a bad time to be doing it.

  11. did all the Saints survive without "lifeteen".???Could it be we had Saints because there WAS no "lifeteen"? I think St. Therese, St.Clare, etc.etc. would disagree with this Modern Mass and lifeteen.I think it would kill them! Really, you can all go to any Protestant Church.Bring back The Holy Catholic Church! We are not to change like the Protestant but stand out as being unique.Preserve!
    The poor children for 2000 years before Vatican II???How did they stay Christians and love Jesus?

  12. I believe Life Teen Masses are more Protestant. I do think the program outside of "their Mass" is good. So, I like the program, but not when they "do" their music at Mass. And, I did not like that there was a separate Mass for different tastes. Christ is either Present or not . . . Say the black, do the red and forget all the other balderdash! And, I am a convert; Catholic for thirteen years - coming from a Luterhan background. And, get rid of girl altar servers while we're at it.

  13. Wow Anon 12:02, I really hope you're not a troll...

    What makes the LifeTeen Mass unique from what the Protestants offer? The EUCHARIST! That part has not changed. The musical context of the miracle of the Eucharist does not make it any less a Eucharist. Go to a Catholic Church in Africa- their culture adores the Lord with rousing music and liturgical dancing. Dancing you say? YES! They are so joyful in the presence of the Lord that they DANCE. Just like David did in the presence of the Ark. We have the real deal in the Eucharist, so why not let a little joy into our Mass?

    Also, the saints of yore did not have the world wide media pressing on their eyes and ears daily telling them to "live it up" and "have fun" and "just do it." If we are to compete with that and nourish our young adults, and hopefully continue to welcome them into the Church every weekend, we need to allow them an age-appropriate expression of the one true joy- the Eucharist. If that involves rousing music, then I'm all for it.

    Wow- never thought I'd end up such a passionate defender of what is, in the Western tradition, a mediocre Mass layout. But then again, Anon, I've taught enough Catechism now in enough parishes (three and counting- plus helping out at RCIA) to know that the formation our children receive is at best pitiful. I'm not trying to insult Catechists out there- there are many, many, excellent people who love children and love Christ, but we're up against an awful lot. For instance, try teaching a meaningful lession on the Catholic Mass and its deeper meanings (ie: Christ's Presence) to children who are rarely at Mass and are told that if they go to Catechism, they don't have to go to Mass. Or try teaching them about the moral life when their parents aren't married, are divorced, cheating, etc. I've been frustrated to no end about what our children are exposed to by their OWN parents- the lackadasical attitude towards their religious and moral formation is abominable. It's important to me because we're talking about their immortal souls.

    Perhaps Sarah-Kaylah has a point too- have the music as a praise and worship time before Mass or something. Still, this is powerful for our kids. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  14. Sarah...Since this is the Year of the Priest, read what Saint Vianney wrote about worldliness,and lukewarm souls,Purgatory etc. They did not have the media, as you wrote, but they faced the same problems.Yet he converted a whole town without lifeteen.No need for age appropriate worship.What you are saying, basically is that it is better to have a profane Mass than no Mass.Profane and sacrilegious. offending Jesus and adding years to people's purgatory.Bring them in no matter what...even if...they are offending Jesus in the Eucharist.

  15. Please also read:

    "How many more sins must be committed on Sundays and AT Mass.If the New Mass has so many abuses and is profane, which it is, how much more, than, would a lifeteen Mass be?

  16. Vatican denies liturgical reforms being formalized(CNA) 5:24pm

  17. Vatican denies liturgical reforms being formalized

    Vatican City, Aug 24, 2009 / 05:24 pm (CNA).- The Press Office of the Holy See today denied reports in the Italian press that Pope Benedict is poised to make changes to enhance the sacredness of the liturgy. The statement added that there are currently no institutional proposals to alter the rites being used to celebrate the Mass.

    The Assistant Director of the Press Office, Father Ciro Benedettini, said that "so far there are no institutional proposals for amendment of the books currently in use."

    Fr. Benedettini made the statement after the Vatican watcher Andrea Tornielli wrote that the bishops who comprise the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments had voted on March 12 to recommend a series of liturgical reforms to the Pope.

    Tornielli wrote that the bishops of the Congregation voted almost unanimously to “restore greater sacredness to the rite, to recover the meaning of Eucharistic adoration, to restore Latin [!] in the celebration and to revamp the introductory parts of the Missal to put an end to abuses, experimentation and inappropriate creativity.”

    The bishops also reportedly voted to reaffirm that the norm for receiving Holy Communion is on the tongue and not the hand. However, noted Tornielli, some bishops’ conferences have received an indult from Rome to allow the reception of the Eucharist on the hand.


    I knew it was too good to be true.


  18. It don't see this asa direct contradiction. From Tornielli's report I did not assume that "institutional proposals."

    This could mean that the practical steps needed to make the goal a reality have yet to be formalized. Perhaps the document to which Tornielli refers is more of a mission statement. Or maybe not. Time will tell.

  19. Hey not to pull the rug out, but wasn't the Vatican denying this reform today? Thought I read something about that in the headlines...

  20. See this is what I got:
    Vatican Denies Rumors of Coming Liturgical Reform
    VATICAN CITY, AUG. 24, 2009 ( The Vatican is denying rumors promulgated by some news organizations that announced forthcoming changes in the liturgy.

    Father Ciro Benedettini, deputy director of the Vatican press office, clarified that "for the time being there are no institutional proposals for a modification of the liturgical books used at present," Vatican Radio reported.

    In recent days some media sources incorrectly reported that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments had presented proposals to Benedict XVI for a "reform of the liturgical reform" motivated by the Second Vatican Council.

    Is this the same thing or what?

  21. Anon from 3:30ish- I will look at what St. John Vianney said, and I invite you to come to my parish at 5:30pm on Sunday to see what happens at a typical Life Teen Mass that we celebrate at Our Lady of Good Council in Plymouth MI. Perhaps what other Life Teen programs allow is profane, but I find the music here to elevate Christ's holiness and emphasize the importance of a deep inner conversion within to His saving Grace and Love.

  22. Let me know in 5-10 years how these young people imbued with Life Teen or similar are following their faith. Dom Chautard wrote an excellent book The Soul of the Apostolate which happened to be the bedside book of St. Pius X. In it he talks about numerous examples of attempts in his age (late 1800's, early 1900's) to attract young people to Church by offering profane, secular activities with a Catholic veneer. In the long run most of them do not hold to their faith as the emotional feelings wear off.


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