Changes in Liturgy (letter)

Changes in Liturgy (letter)

Valentine Gallagher

Alluding to the composition of the New Mass, Father Duggan states: "It is enough to compare the text of this Missal (the Missal of 1570) with the Novus Ordo of 1969 to see that there has been a revolutionary change (November AD2000).

Fr Duggan's contention that the liturgical change is revolutionary is corroborated by Father Joseph Gelineau SJ whose credentials for commenting on the New Mass could scarcely be more authoritative. Fr Gelineau was one of the most influential of Archbishop Bugnini's Consilium which was charged with composing the New Mass after Vatican II. He was described by the Archbishop as one of "the great masters of the international liturgical world" (The Reform of the Liturgy, page 221). Archbishop Bugnini, it will be recalled, was the principal architect of the Novus Ordo.

In his book Demain la Liturgie (The Liturgy Tomorrow), Fr Gelineau observes: "Let those, who, like myself have known and sung a Latin Gregorian High Mass remember it if they can. Let them compare it with the Mass that we now have. Not only the words, the melodies, and some of the gestures are different. To tell the truth it is a different liturgy of the Mass. This needs to be said without ambiguity: the Roman Rite as we knew it no longer exists (Le Rite Romain tel que nous l'avons connu n'existe plus). It has been destroyed (il est d├ętruit)" (pages 9-10).

Monsignor Klaus Gamber agrees with Fr Gelineau that the Roman Rite has been destroyed. Monsignor writes: "[A]t this critical juncture the traditional Roman Rite, more than one thousand years old, has been destroyed" (The Reform of the Roman Liturgy, page 99).

Father Kenneth Baker SJ, who is editor of the Homiletic & Pastoral Review, concurs with Fr Duggan that the liturgical changes have been revolutionary. Lamenting the numerous changes imposed on the people which they scarcely had time to digest, Fr Baker wrote: "We have been overwhelmed with changes in the Church at all levels but it is the liturgical revolution which touches all of us intimately and immediately" (February 1979).

Cardinal Ratzinger claims that our ecclesial malaise is attributable, at least in part, to the condition of the Liturgy. He writes: "I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the Liturgy" (Milestones, page 148).

Arnecliffe, NSW

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