Thursday, December 28, 2006

Smaller parishes and the reform of the reform

We've seen what some of the bigger, flagship reform of the reform parishes are doing liturgically during this Christmas season, but what about the smaller parish, with less resources, and a smaller congregation?

Father Rob Johansen asked if I might share this post on their parish Christmas liturgies. I should note as well, that another blogger (and I believe an NLM reader) Gavin, is the music director thereof.

Certainly all is not yet idyllic, but good work is underway. There remains the prudential question (ultimately for the Church to legislate upon if this is to ultimately change, for it is within present liturgical law) about altar girls (we must recognize that this is a tough pastoral issue for parish priests, and not completely in their own hands).

Further, it would be wonderful if the old high altar might be used as the primary altar at some point, either as-is, or with the slight modification I have referenced in the past. Also a touchy issue at present, but becoming less so. Thankfully it is still present that such an option might be exercisable in the future. Perhaps in the interim, it would be very good if a substantial and traditional altar cross and candlesticks where placed upon the altar to re-orient the liturgy, even when versus populum, and a full-fledged altar frontal upon the front of the newer altar.

All said, however, it looks like Father is off to a very good start in reforming the reform in one, smaller parish in the United States.

A point of rubrics: I'm not certain off hand, and don't have Msgr. Elliott's rubrical guide in front of me, but I would presume that the biretta should only be worn as it is in the classical rite, during the procession and recession, and when the priest or deacon is seated. Can someone confirm the proper rubric here?

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