Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Theoretical Missal developments/reform

There is a great deal of talk these days about a "Benedictine Missal" -- that is a Missal of Benedict XVI; about a "Ritus Modernus" and a "Ritus Antiquus".

Inevitably, these discussions lead to the question of: how will a reform of the reform potentially manifest itself and as regards the classical liturgy, what organic developments might we see manifest with its regard in the light of Sacrosanctum Concilium?

And so I have a fun project and challenge for those of you out there that might be interested.

It seemed to me that a good way to further think about these kinds of issues, including about the very method of liturgical reform (organic as opposed to fabricated) is to sit down with either the 1962 Missale Romanum, the 1970 Roman Missal, or even the 1965 Ordo Missae and create a theoretical development of one of these Missals.

Now, the charge could be thrown out that this could be the wrong way for us to think about liturgical development, since it may fall into what happened with regards Bugnini and the Consilium -- putting the Missal onto an architect's table and chopping it up arbitrarily. What I challenge interested readers to do is to bear that in mind and try to apply the idea or organic development in their changes, while also bearing in mind the principles of Sacrosanctum Concilium.

So with regards the 1962 Missal, if SSC were to be applied, and any changes were to be truly necessary and organic, what might such a revision look like? In other words, what might the so-called "ritus antiquus" look like?

On the other side, what might the so-called Missal of Benedict XVI, a reform of the reform look like, either as "stage 2" of a reform of the reform (an initial missal revision, not just a restoration of the liturgical ethos) possibly look like, or alternatively, what might the "end-product" of a reform of the reform look like -- the so-called "ritus modernus".

If you want to get a sense of the kind of thing I am thinking of, please take a look at Matthew Alderman's theoretical Ordo Karolingianus.


1) You don't have to be as fancy as he does with PDF formatting and rubrics in red (though do indeed be so if you really get into this idea), but you should include at least rubrical guides if there are changes.

2) If you are suggesting parallel Latin-English it would be good to denote that by having both the Latin text and the English text there. If you can't do that, simply make note of it.

3) Don't worry about the Propers. Just note where they would fall in the Ordo.

4) If you are going for a different English translation than the present one, ie. such as options for either hieratic English or modern English re-translated a la Vox Clara try to represent that.

One final note: Those who make submissions, your submission may be posted on the NLM.

The idea is to to try and apply what we know of organic development, lessons-learned from the post-conciliar/Bugnini/Consilium experience, and SSC in a realistic way.

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