Yesterday, Monsignor Andrew Wadsworth, appointed by the Holy See as Executive Director of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy in March 2009, celebrated solemn high Mass in the Extraordinary Form at St. Francis de Sales Oratory. Monsignor also preached the sermon.
As you are likely aware, the new and more accurate English translation of the (new) Roman Missal is finished, and will (God willing) be implemented in English-speaking parishes in Advent 2011. Thanks to the work of Monsignor Wadsworth and many other liturgically faithful experts in the field, this translation is vastly superior to the treacly paraphrases so many Catholics have been subjected to for four decades.
Any movement in the direction of more reverent liturgy, and a more accurate and elevated vernacular translation, will go a long way in restoring the sense of awe and mystery in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Monsignor’s sermon emphasized exactly this point; moreover, he also lauded the return to more widespread usage of the Extraordinary Form. He pointed to the fact that he was the first priest since the new Mass was promulgated that celebrated the traditional Mass the day after his ordination. He explained that he retains this devotion to the Extraordinary Form, and that his familiarity with the traditional Mass constantly informed his work on the new English translations. Monsignor preached that we as Catholics must never become lax about the majesty and sacredness of what occurs in the Holy Sacrifice and other Sacraments. Certainly his work is another in the growing number of ties returning the Church to its traditional understanding of its praxis.
Monsignor Wadsworth is a former official of the Latin Mass Society in England, and has been prominent in training English-speaking priests to celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.
Also on Sunday, the Oratory was honored to receive the visit of Father Michael Witt, the interim Rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis. It is always a blessing when the Archdiocese and the Institute collaborate in the worship of God in the Mass.