19 June 2005
Some friends and I went to Walsingham yesterday and our trip happened to coincide with the National Vocations Pilgrimage. We had a good day but, sadly, the 4pm Mass at the Shrine was an absolute disgrace.
Prior to the Mass the Chapel of Reconciliation was buzzing with conversation and it was impossible to prepare properly. As the priests processed to the sanctuary we noticed that some of them were chatting and laughing amongst themselves.
After the Mass had begun, the main celebrant (He was a Salvatorian priest - I didn’t get his name) read out a long list of the religious orders, congregations and movements that were represented at the Mass (although there were not many there that were actually dressed like religious), as well as the various parish pilgrimages that were present. This descended into farce, with Father calling out, asking if he’d forgotten anyone, and members of the congregation calling out back at him.
There was much ad-libbing, small talk and laughter from the main celebrant throughout the Mass. They had a priest using sign language at the side of the sanctuary, and he taught us how to make a prayer in sign language, which was to be used as a response to the bidding prayers during Mass, and we were all encouraged to do this. At one stage there were three people on the sanctuary using sign language, although I was not aware of any large contingent of hearing-impaired people in the congregation which would have made this necessary.
The music was abysmal - strumming guitars - and the Kyrie, Gloria (with clapping!), Sanctus, Agnus Dei, etc, were all made up and only vaguely resembled the proper prayers.
The most serious abuse was when the priest started to read the Gospel. A woman walked on to the sanctuary and stood by the lectern. Father started reading the Gospel which contained the Magnificat When it got to the point of the Magnificat, he stood aside and the woman came to the lectern and read out the Magnificat - which was totally unnecessary.
He then gave his sermon - which wasn’t actually his sermon, as he openly admitted that it had been written earlier for him by a woman.
I couldn’t believe that a National Pilgrimage for Vocations, at the National Shrine of Our Lady, would show such contempt for liturgical norms. What a terrible example to give.
The National Director for Vocations, Fr Paul Embery, was one of those concelebrating, as was the Shrine Director, Fr Noel Wynn.
The whole Mass was an unbelievable shambles and if this was the National Pilgrimage in order to pray for vocations, then no wonder we aren’t getting any.
A group of dutiful priests prepared the following list of discrepancies between "The General Instruction of the Roman Missal" [GIRM], the authoritative Church document on the celebration of the Novus Ordo, and "Celebrating the Mass" [CTM], pastoral guidelines on the GIRM recently issued by the dissident Bishops of England and Wales. The writers further caution that "This is not a full list of the discrepancies, omissions and contradictions between these documents, but of some of the most serious." It goes without saying that Modernist clergy and liturgical dilettantes (aka ‘experts’) are treating CTM as de facto Church teaching and giving the Bishops’ document precedence over GIRM.
~ England’s Non Serviam! ~
1. GIRM 316 states: "In accordance with traditional custom, near the tabernacle a special lamp, fuelled by oil or wax, should be kept alight to indicate and honour the presence of Christ."
CTM omits any reference to the tabernacle lamp (see CTM 100, etc.).
2. GIRM 308 states that "there is to be a cross, with the figure of Christ crucified upon it, either on the altar or near it... which calls to mind for the faithful the saving Passion of the Lord."
CTM 104 adds, without authority, that this figure of Christ "... may be represented in different ways, sometimes by a figure showing the Resurrected Lord ... sometimes without representation of the person of the Lord, but simply by a plain cross."
3. CTM 107 refers to "... parishes where there is a ministry of baking the Eucharistic bread." But GIRM 73 states "... the faithful no longer bring from their own possessions the bread and wine intended for the liturgy."
4. The term "Sacred Vessels" in GIRM becomes simply "Eucharistic Vessels" in CTM (compare GIRM 327 and CTM 108, and passim).
Similarly, where GIRM 336 states: "The sacred garment common to ordained and instituted ministers of any rank is the alb," CTM 111 has "The garment common to all ministers is the alb."
5. CTM 109 states: "Vessels for the Body of Christ preferably have the form of plates or shallow bowls rather than that of chalices or reliquaries."
There is no authority for this statement in GIRM, which in fact refers to "the ciborium" in several places (see GIRM 306, 160, etc.).
6. CTM 110 states that "[The] vessel for the presentation of the gift of wine... should be large enough to contain the amount of wine needed for the Communion of the assembly."
In fact, CTM constantly assumes that Communion under both Species will be the norm at all Masses - something which has no basis in GIRM.
7. GIRM 118 lists the "Communion-plate for the Communion of the faithful" among "The articles to be prepared" and Redemptionis Sacramentum 93 ("On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist") stated explicitly: "The Communion-plate for the Communion of the faithful is to be retained, so as to avoid the danger of the sacred host or some fragment of it falling."
The Communion-plate is never mentioned in CTM.
8. GIRM 334 states: "The practice is to be kept of building a sacrarium in the sacristy, into which is poured the water from the purification of sacred vessels and linens." GIRM 280 also says that "If any of the Precious Blood is spilled, the area should be washed with water, and this water should then be poured into the sacrarium in the sacristy."
CTM has no reference to the sacrarium.
9. GIRM 118 states: "It is praiseworthy practice to cover the chalice with a veil.... ."
The chalice-veil is never mentioned in CTM.
1. Where GIRM 65 says simply: "The Homily is a part of the Liturgy and is strongly recommended," CTM has: "The Homily is an integral part of the liturgy..."  and "... because it is indeed an integal part of the liturgy, a Homily is appropriate at almost all Masses with a congregation."
2. In discussing the Procession with the Gifts, CTM 180 inserts the suggestion that "things that symbolise the particular work or identity of the assembly or occasion for celebration... are best brought to the sanctuary as part of the Entrance procession." GIRM has no mention of such objects as part of the Entrance procession.
3. The respective sections on the Eucharistic Prayer are particularly illuminating as to the difference in tone and theology between GIRM and CTM (see GIRM 78-79, and CTM 147-151, 86-198).
For example, GIRM frequently uses the term "Consecration." The word consecration occurs only once in CTM - in the heading to the section "Institution Narrative and Consecration."
4. CTM 194 states that the Institution Narrative (which, "as a narrative is also recited for the benefit of the assembly") "is an integral part of the one continuous prayer... It should be proclaimed in a manner which does not separate it from its context of praise and thanksgiving."
However, it is important to bear in mind the rubric which precedes the Words of Consecration in all versions of the Eucharistic Prayer: "The words of the Lord in the following formulas should be spoken clearly and distinctly as their meaning demands." This rubric in turn derives from the insistence of Pope Paul VI, in a letter to Archbishop Bugnini, that: "... the words of consecration are not to be recited simply as a narrative but with the special, conscious emphasis given them by a celebrant who knows he is speaking and acting ‘in the person of Christ’." [The Reform of the Liturgy, A. Bugnini, 1990, p.365]
Changing the traditional way in which these words are spoken has weighty theological implications.
5. CTM 198 places great emphasis on the Concluding Doxology to the Eucharistic Prayer "which is endorsed and ratified by all present in their acclamation Amen." It says it considers "this ratification by the assembly to be essential to the thanksgiving prayer," and CTM 199 again refers to "The profound importance of the assembly’s ratification..."
It should be noted that GIRM nowhere uses the word "ratification" in referring to the role of the "assembly." The equivalent paragraph in GIRM 79h reads: "Final doxology: by which the glorification of God is expressed and which is confirmed and concluded by the people’s acclamation: Amen."
Again, GIRM 79d reads: "Institution narrative and consecration: in which, by means of the words and actions of Christ, the Sacrifice is carried out which Christ himself instituted at the Last Supper, when he offered his Body and Blood under the species of bread and wine... ."
6. In a one-sided desire to present the Concluding Doxology as "the climax of the prayer," CTM also omits any reference to the ceremonies mentioned in GIRM 150:
"A little before the Consecration, when appropriate, a server rings a bell as a signal to the faithful. According to local custom, the server rings the bell as the priest shows the host and then the chalice. If incense is used, a server incenses the host and the chalice when each is shown to the people after the Consecration."
The clear meaning of these traditional ceremonies is that the moment of Transubstantiation takes place when the priest pronounces the Words of Consecration over the elements of bread and wine.
7. CTM 204 states "The [Sign of] peace is always exchanged, though the invitation which introduces it is optional."
There is no basis for this statement in GIRM.
8. As noted above, CTM constantly assumes that Communion will ordinarily be given in both Species. Partly for this reason, it also assumes that there will be regular reourse to what it terms "Commissioned Ministers" of Holy Communion.
(Note: CTM 44 introduces this terminology, using the phrase "commissioned ministers" as an equivalent to "Extaordinary Ministers of Holy Communion." But according to Redemptionis Sacramentum 156, "This function [that of Extraordinary Minister] is to be understood strictly according to the name by which it is known, that is to say, that of extraordinary minister of Holy Communion." The same document warns against using terms "by which... the meaning of this function is unnecessarily and improperly broadened.")
CTM 206 says of these "commissioned ministers": "it is desirable that they are in place on the sanctuary by the end of the exchange of peace."
This contradicts GIRM 162 which says: "These ministers should not approach the altar before the priest has received Communion... ."
9. Speaking of the "appropriate sign of reverence" which GIRM 160 requires of the faithful before receiving Holy Communion, CTM says: "In England and Wales it is through... [the] act of walking solemnly in procession that the faithful make their sign of reverence in preparation for receiving Communion."
This perhaps requires little comment, other than to say that GIRM 160 mentions both the Communion procession and the "appropriate act of reverence," without ever suggesting that the one is in fact equivalent to the other!
10. GIRM 163 states: "Upon returning to the altar, the priest... purifies the paten or ciborium over the chalice, then purifies the chalice," here echoing Redemptoris Sacramentum 119, which reserves this purification to a priest, deacon or institute acolyte.
CTM 214 makes no mention of the fact that this purification may not be carried out by an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.