Friday, July 04, 2008

Pope "Changing the Mass"?

A report from today's Italian mag Panorama that's been making the rounds sends a notable bit of buzz: it might not just be the translation of the current Order of Mass that changes, but if B16 has his way, the form of the celebration itself.

Written by the mag's oft-reliable Ignazio Ingrao, here's a full translation of the brief:

The rite of the Mass could change. According to some indiscretions [i.e. leaks], Benedict XVI has charged the Congregation for Divine Worship to study some modifications in the liturgy. In particular, the Pope is said to have the intention to restore Latin for the formula for the Eucharistic consecration within the Mass in the "vernacular language", i.e. the one celebrated in the different national languages. The same could happen to the formulae of Baptism, Confirmation, Confession and of the other sacraments. In addition, the exchange of peace among the faithful during the Mass, which today takes place prior to the distribution of the Eucharist, could be anticipated (as in the Ambrosian rite) to the offertory so as not to disturb the recollection that precedes Communion.

These would be changes which would be added to the changes in the liturgy and regarding sacred vestments which the Pope, together with his Master of Ceremonies, Monsignor Guido Marini, has made in recent months, to recover ancient traditions: the restoration of the crucifix at the center of the altar, the distribution of Communion to the faithful in the mouth while kneeling, the recovery of the pastoral staff of Pius IX (the ferula), the changing of the style of pallium (the strip of white wool with red crosses worn by the Pope), the restoration of the papal throne used in the Consistory and the celebration of Mass with the back to the assembly, as happened in January in the Sistine Chapel.
Of course, the top post at Divine Worship is in for a change-up in the short-term; the current prefect of the dicastery that oversees the liturgy, Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze, reached the retirement age last November.

SVILUPPO: For the record, the above translation was received via e.mail without a source cited; to give credit where it's due, a belated tip to NLM.