Monday, April 05, 2010

FutureMass: An Introduction

Back in January, you were given fair warning with respect to this topic:

Catholics in the English-speaking world have been hearing a lot about “changes to the Mass.” In fact, the official English translation of the Roman Missal -- the original is always in Latin -- is in the final stages of revision and approval. The changes will reflect an increased fidelity to the Latin text, resulting in a heightened theological clarity, with a more formal (and less pedestrian) language of worship ...

And so, today begins an exploration on how the reformed Roman Mass in the English-language world will change in the next two years. This series will be entitled “FutureMass” for reasons we trust are obvious.

We will begin with a two-part discussion on the provisional changes which took place in the Mass in the years 1964 to 1970. The recent February edition of the Adoremus Bulletin features a work by Susan Benofy entitled “The Day the Mass Changed”:

On November 29, 1964 -- a year after the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy was enacted -- the “New Mass”, as it was then called, was introduced into US parishes. A fairly typical description of what Catholics experienced at Mass on that day, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, is this ...

The second part can be found “The Day the Mass Changed, How It Happened and Why”:

In 1948, Pope Pius XII set up a commission to study liturgical reform, and several changes resulted, the best known of which is the reform of the Holy Week liturgies promulgated in 1955.

A series of meetings were held in Europe starting in 1951 ...

You will notice that, contrary to the claims of many radical traditionalists, Msgr Annabale Bugnini, then-Secretary of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, had relatively little influence over official liturgical reform in the 1950s.

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