The Sarabite: Towards an Aesthetic Christianity

There is a continuous attraction, beginning with God, going to the world, and ending at last with God, an attraction which returns to the same place where it began as though in a kind of circle. -Marsilio Ficino

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

From My Mailbox

An interesting answer from a sedevacantist on why Roman Catholic traditionalists should reject the Pius XII's order of Holy Week:

Is Rejecting the Pius XII Liturgical Reforms "Illegal"?

(I post this as a lover of all things eccentric, not because I think the sedevacantists are right. Also, I post it as a lover of good taste, and the pre-Pius XII Holy Week was a lot more beautiful and traditional.)


At 8:24 AM, Blogger Rubrician said...

The knots people must tie themselves in over their near deification of the ultramontane papacy!

Pius XII had appointed members to a Commission for General Liturgical Reform (apparently one of five Commissions established for the Council he did not call). He was aware of the views of the people he appointed and fully supported their aims e.g. him sending a blessing to the Lugano Congress in 1953 where the structure of the 'Paul VI' Mass was thrashed out.

The pre-Pius XII Holy Week rites were indeed superb liturgy but sadly in recent times rarely celebrated with the attention they deserved in terms of the music and resources necessary to see them at their best.

Anyone who cares to step away from the heat of the 'liturgy wars' can readily see the damage Pius XII caused with his reversal of the principle 'lex orandi, lex credendi' in 1947. To make liturgy a mere legal prescription of a near out-of-control papacy was really asking for trouble. The results are all too painfully apparent to those with an aesthetic sense of the liturgy.

Much easier to simply say Pius XII was a rather vile and unpleasant man and celebrate something because it is both beautiful and part of the heritage of Western liturgy.

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Paul Goings said...

I disagree with the other commenter's assessment of Pius XII, but I still hold that the pre-Pian Holy Week rites are objectively more traditional, and that the so-call reforms constitute the same sort of innovation that we saw in all its fullness in 1969.

The same could be said, for what it's worth, about the revisions to the breviary psalter made by Pope S. Pius X. However, one must pick something to use, and since we have far better access to the texts and ceremonies of 1949 (in Latin and English!) than to those of 1909, it makes sense to settle on everything though, say, 1950, simply as a matter of practicality.

At 1:49 PM, Blogger Rubrician said...

Well of course the same is indeed true of the mutilation of the Breviary in the 1911-13 reform. The abolition of the Laudate psalms hitherto sung (in theory) at Lauds every day of the year got chopped and the psalterium completely re-arranged.

As the Vatican has so kindly re-published the complete series of 'Tridentine' books: 1568 Breviary, 1570 Missal etc. why not take Quo primum at face value and use these editiones typicae?

At 6:48 AM, Blogger Paul Goings said...

"As the Vatican has so kindly re-published the complete series of 'Tridentine' books: 1568 Breviary, 1570 Missal etc. why not take Quo primum at face value and use these editiones typicae?"

My apologies if this was not a serious question, but the reasons why I would not advocate such an approach are two-fold:

1. While it is convenient to have these paperback reprints, they are, in fact, just that. As I'm sure you know, they'd be difficult to use liturgically and I certainly wouldn't want to have to lug that breviary around with me! Further, there are other books of chant and ceremonial, all still more-or-less available, and applicable to the later (1911-1956) editions of the liturgical books.

2. I do not agree with those who assert that Quo primum rendered the entire Roman liturgy incapable of change, including the calendar. I would not want to reject the later saints, &c.

Most importantly, there has to be a certain pragmatism about one's approach to these issues. The Indult specifies 1962, but there seems to be a lot of enthusiasm for moving back to 1956, and this is also the position of the sedevacantists. There is an Ordo which is published annually for 1956. Recall also, that the differences between 1570 and 1956 are largely limited to the reforms of Pope S. Pius X (and concern only the calendar and breviary). If there were much sympathy for rejecting them, and the resources for such a movement were available, I would not be opposed in principle.

It comes down to the fact that the one thing I cannot do is to do nothing. That is, I could never be (except under the most dire circumstances) the sort of "home-aloner" that Fr Cekada discusses in one of his essays. Although not ideal in every way, and not perfectly traditional in some senses, I submit that it makes sense to encourage the use of the Roman rite as it existed in 1956 (that is, before the Holy Week changes and the modifications of Cum nostra).

All things to the contrary notwithstanding...

At 10:20 AM, Blogger Arturo Vasquez said...

A friend of mine used to teach at the Greek Catholic semininary in Lviv, Ukraine. He used to tell his students that they should go to the liturgy of the Orthodox because at least the Orthodox KNEW they were too stupid to change anything.

'Nuff said

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Rubrician said...

One can always rely on the 'Pravislavnie'.

Clever papists are far more troublesome!


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