Traditional Mass

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

From RORATE CAELI: The Traditional Mass and the Laity: a Position Paper from the FIUV

The Traditional Mass and the Laity: a Position Paper from the FIUV

The congregation is blessed with incense as the celebrant carries on the prayers and
ceremonies at the Altar. Dominican Rite Mass in Oxford.

Today I am posting a new 'Position Paper' on the 1962 Missal published by the FIUV, the Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce. This addresses the argument, made from time to time, that by not having as many lay people involved in the liturgy in roles such as Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, Lector, leader of the Prayers of the Faithful and so on the Traditional Mass 'excludes' people, and fails to foster their participation.

This argument is confused. When lay people have such liturgical roles, they are by definition going beyond the role of the simple member of the congregation, the lay role, to take on a quasi-clerical role. This can be necessary and good, and it can be a liturgical abuse, but it tells us nothing about the mode of liturgical participation proper to the laity, most of whom are left sitting in the pews. The idea that being an ordinary pew-sitter is not enough to take a proper part in the liturgy is in fact an example of clericalism. It implies that only clerics count for anything in the Church, in in her public prayer, and in order to count for something lay people must become at least quasi-clerics. It also implies that the real role of the laity, of building the Kingdom of God in the temporal sphere, the sphere of politics, business, and the family, is not important.

I've put more commentary on my own blog here.
The paper can be seen as a pdf here.