19 August 2003

I have been reading "The Reform of the Reform" by Fr. Thomas Kocik.
Actually, the bit that's by Fr. Kocik stops after page 103. Everything to page 273 is essays by other priests: an Epilogue by Fr. Peter M.J. Stravinskas, "The Postconciliar Eucharistic Liturgy: Planning a 'Reform of the Reform'" by Brian W. Harrison, O.S., "Salutary Dissatisfaction: An English View of 'Reforming the Reform'" by Aidan Nichols, O.P., "A Reform of the Reform?" by Fr. J.P. Parsons, and "A Question of Ceremonial" by Monsignor Peter J. Elliott.

I'm almost finished. I haven't gotten through "A Question of Ceremonial" yet. The book has answered some questions, but it's left me with still more questions. (Isn't that always the way?)

All these authors agree on these points: we are dissatisfied with the postconciliar Mass and a new reform should be undertaken which is more true to the letter of the Council documents. But more than one solution seems to be offered, if I understand them aright. One is to replace the current postconciliar Mass with this new reformed liturgy, and continue to have the Mass according to the Missal of 1962 severely limited or even banned. Another is to allow the current postconciliar Mass to coexist with a slightly modified version of the Missal of 1962.

The argument for the last possibility is that the Church has always tolerated (and continues to) a multiplicity of rites. So why not have the Tridentine and current rites coexist? Well, they're not supposed to be different rites. Yet, they are so different that it seems they are different rites, whether that was the original intention or not. So, will the Tridentine and modern (so-called by Msgnr Klaus Gamber) rites ever be acknowledged as seperate? Do they need to be? Maybe it's too late at night for me to be considering these questions.

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