OK, you want to be President of the United States. The media loves you. Your party loves you. Everyone outside of the U.S. loves you. You run against an incumbent party that is at its lowest approval rating ever, and which party has nominated a man his own party dislikes intensely.
I asked him if he might be interested in writing a brief post about what steps could be taken that would have the most immediate effect of increasing the reverence of the Novus Ordo.
The New Liturgical Movement blog is concerned with the “reform of the reform” of the Mass. And while perhaps some of the steps listed below could be seen in conformity with that goal, mostly I wanted simple, straightforward ideas that could improve things right now for that majority of Catholics attending the average parish church. Fr. X’s ideas are exactly that.
Of course, this is not a post where I intend to compare the OF and the EF; my feelings on that subject are no doubt well-known.
Here is Fr. X’s reply:
1. Say the black, do the red. The mass needs no introduction, no little improvements, no help explaining itself.
2. Use the Confiteor-the words, “I confess . . .” are always appropriate. [Before the Cross there is no excuse]. (SLC note: Ante Crucem Nihil Defensionis is the episcopal motto of His Grace Archbishop Carlson. Fr. X knows St. Louis is my Archdiocese of residence).
3. Priest and people facing liturgical East, journeying toward the Lord.
4. Use the Roman Canon frequently, if not all the time. Remember always, the priest is addressing God, not the people during this critical time in the liturgy.
5. Make use of ritual reverences in the treatment of the sacred species appropriate to a rite which is the Lord’s own sacrifice, not a potluck; purify all vessels after communion and before the closing collect and dismissal.
6. Maintain our connection with the tradition and the Communion of Saints by using Latin in the ordinary of the mass. The Sanctus and the Agnus Dei are simple and easily used.
7. Burn all the guitars and synthesizers, or at least use them someplace appropriate. And, while we’re at it, get the musicians in the back of church where they belong.
8. Move away from the 5 hymn “sandwich” and move back to the sung propers (there are many places to find these things in translation with appropriate settings that are free; Chabanel Psalms online, for example) .