Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Meeting On Liturgical Changes At Our Lady Of The Atonement

An OLA parishioner writes,
It was reported in the bulletin again about the changes to the liturgy. Part of what was stated:
While the Divine Worship Missal has some flexibility in its rubrics, it still promotes a normative way for the liturgy. Thus on the first Sunday of Advent, we will conform our liturgy to the rubrics of the Divine Worship Missal and to the normative practices it promotes.
There will be an informational meeting this Tuesday.
Here's something I don't quite get. The Sunday liturgy changes from week to week -- different readings, and those also change from year to year. The colors of the vestments change. In our parish, incense is used on major feasts, not at other times. In some seasons and on some days of obligation, the gloria, sanctus, acclamation, and agnus dei are sung in Latin. Sometimes there's the full general confession, other times the kyrie. In Lent, the gloria and alleluia are omitted, and there are no flowers. Our pastor, for whatever reason, doesn't feel the need to call a meeting every time this happens.

I don't know exactly what the changes at OLA are -- unfortunately, the OLA bulletin doesn't seem to be available on line. If it means restoring the peace, or putting it in a different place, I'm not sure what would be upsetting about it -- certainly mentioning it in the announcements after mass for several weeks beforehand might be a good idea, but why a meeting?

This is actually something that's been at the back of my head for a while. Our diocesan parish just had All Saints' Day and a Thanksgiving mass, both of which had the whole routine with incense, taperers, and so forth that Anglo-Catholics would find familiar, along with Latin on All Saints, plus the Liturgy of the Saints in Latin on that day, which they would not. But why do Anglo-Catholics do the whole fuss and feathers routine every Sunday? Doesn't this take away from the significance of the special feasts?

And might this make it more difficult to countenance any change at all? I just don't get why they need to have a meeting.

UPDATE: A visitor notes,

OLA needs to have a meeting because they were out of compliance with the rubrics of the rite approved by the Bishops and the Pope as Divine Worship the Missal. You might remember you thought it odd there were two separate committees working on creating a “Mass” rite that were not communicating with each other until the official version was promulgated. Apparently, Fr. Phillips and Co. were on the wrong side and did NOT conform their Mass to DWM even after they had the opportunity to do so when they joined the Ordinariate.

Some of the changes you referenced in your parish that do not require meetings are simply options allowed the priests within the rubrics of the Mass or are dictated by the liturgical season. The point at OLA must be that the changes they will now encounter are substantially different from what they have been doing and the changes need to be explained. I wondered why Atonement did not opt to purchase parish copies of the DWM Sunday missals (similar to almost every other parish in a regular diocese has for the Novus Ordo Mass). It seemed to me to be a waste of money to keep printing those silly paper booklets when a permanent form was available. Now I know why. They were still doing their own thing. It’s that separate and unique theme again. God bless Fr. Mark. He has his work cut out for him.

My regular correspondent comments,
Perhaps the crowd at OLA is unduly resistant to change of any kind, including change for the better. "In heaven'ly love abiding/No change my heart shall fear; / And safe is such confiding,/For nothing changes here." as the Anna L. Waring hymn puts it---a battle hymn for a certain kind of parishioner probably over-represented at OLA.
It's worth pointing out that resistance to change -- Anglicanism was never "orthodox" -- was a major factor in the "continuing Anglican" movement, to which Anglicanorum coetibus was meant to appeal.