Traditional Anglo-Papist

12 April 2006

Document on the Sacred Liturgy

The following is from the official FSSP Melbourne website:
It now appears certain that the Holy Father has signed a significant document on the Sacred Liturgy, and on the classical Latin liturgy in particular. We will let you know as soon as further details are to hand.

I think the document has gone from rumour to a certainity. But what will it say? While reflecting up this and the various other rumours on the liberalisation of the Traditional Latin liturgy, it struck me that the Holy Father may do something completely different. Don't get me wrong: I will be dancing on the Rectory lawn with nothing but my biretta when the Holy Father announces the general use of the 1962 liturgical books. (Maybe a small point here: it is not a General Indult. It is the universal use of the 1962 liturgical books!)

But if this document, say, returned the altars of the world to their traditional position (against the east wall of the church) I would be no less happy. Even if the document only mentions the Traditional rite of Mass (which the recent document after the Syond on the Eucharist did not do) I would be happy. If this document encouraged people to enter into the living Tradition of the Western Latin Rite through the 1962 litugical books, I would be happy.

Maybe we are just asking too much, too quickly! My point: We need (in Anglican and Roman Catholic circles) to bring the traditional rites of Mass (and the Office) back on the agenda. These need to be celebrated within a parish context – not as museum pieces but as the living tradition of the Western Latin Catholic Rite. We need to be focused on showing people (especially the young) the beauty of the traditional Mass, lifting them up to heaven to meet their Saviour, and gathering around the Throne of Grace with all the Saints and angels. In short, we need to move beyond the minimalism and nominalism of our age and return to a classical world view based upon the philosophy of S. Thomas, the liturgy of the western Church, and an ecclesiology which is solidly based in the tradition of the Church. If this document signed by the Holy Father is the first step, let us rejoice! Of course after Easter.


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