(New SSPX Mass Guidelines inserted into the pews at the Chapel; blue hash marks indicate innovations)
A few weeks ago, Sodalitium Pianum published an article titled “SSPX Preparing for a Hybrid Mass?,” in which we posted a story by the conciliar Tridentina Malta blog which claimed to have access to highly placed Roman sources who confirmed that as of Advent/2018, the Novus Ordo Lectionary and calendar are to be imposed upon the Traditional Latin Mass everywhere this Mass is said with canonical “approval.” We noted how this development was perfectly in line with Benedict XVI’s expressed wishes in Universae Ecclesiae (in which the former Pope also voiced his desire to incorporate solely vernacular readings, new “saints,” Novus Ordo Prefaces, and the 1983 Code of Canon Law). We reminded our readers that Benedict had also made mention of his intentions in this regard in Summorum Pontificum, where he stated not only his desire to “enrich” [degrade] the Latin Mass by incorporating dubious saints and Novus Ordo Prefaces, but also declared that nobody availing themselves of Summorum Pontificum could be prevented from celebrating the new Mass.
We then went on to observe that all these changes seemed oriented toward reintroducing the “reform of the reform” (of which BXVI was such an advocate), and seemed geared toward the recreation of something very close to the 1965 Missal (really only provisional/transitional rubrics en route to the Novus Ordo of 1969) which had eventually been rejected by Archbishop Lefebvre.
Finally, we detailed some of the curious changes implemented at my own SSPX chapel, many of which had been introduced in the last couple months (and others which had been introduced over the last several years, especially during Holy Week), as well as observing the quiet insertion of Dialogue Masses into SSPX seminaries and schools throughout the world, noting how neatly all these SSPX innovations seemed to converge toward the creation of a hybrid rite of Mass.
Our conclusion was simple: The SSPX and Rome seemed to be cooperating, each within its own sphere, in bringing the faithful along toward a gradual acceptance of the 1965/hybrid Mass, very similar to the method of “gradual change” by which Cranmer stole the Mass from English Catholics.
Fast-forward to today (Feast of All Saints):
I had not been to a sung Mass at my chapel since that article ran, and I had in mind not to stand during the Agnus Dei (despite having been seated in the very front row), when all of a sudden, after the prayers at the foot of the altar, the whole chapel begins to stand.
Startled, thinking I must have daydreamed or something, I too stood.
Then it hit me:
Why are we standing for the priest to ascend the altar (when for 40+ years prior, we had remained kneeling until the Gloria)?
As soon as I asked myself the question, some possible answers readily occurred:
On the one hand, the 1910’s French/Belgian modernist liturgical reformers (and NOT St. Pius X) wanted an “active” liturgical participation. Consequently, if the servers within the sanctuary rise with the priest, then so too must the faithful rise with the priest (otherwise we are being “mistreated” by an elitist clergy, you see).
On the other hand, if we are now ALL supposed to sing, and not just the choir, well, who ever does that kneeling?
Consequently, the whole congregation remained standing all the while, until the priest sat for the Gloria.
Angry at having been caught off guard, my radar went up, and I was determined not to be tricked again. I did not have to wait long for a test of my resolve: The whole congregation rose for the incensation of the priest.
Normally, we only rise after the thurifer has incensed all the servers too, and then turned to the faithful and approached the (open) communion rail.
I remained kneeling until then.
Thinking like a modernist liturgist, I wondered what was the point of rising for the incensation, and then it occurred to me: Just as at the dialogue Mass, the new “rubric” is meant to blur the distinction between the ministerial priesthood of the clergy, and the priesthood of the faithful, by extending the interplay between priest and servers beyond the sanctuary, and into the pews.
We are all being “active,” you see.
Meanwhile, all the faithful continue to stand right through the Sanctus!
Once again, the same modernist principle of “active participation” is the operative one (and no, St. Pius X never endorsed active participation; we will get to that later at the end of this article): You can’t sing from your knees, so kneeling (i.e., piety, penitence, and devotion) will have to give way to “action.”
Same thing with the Agnus Dei.
Furious and disoriented after Mass (an increasingly common result of attending SSPX Masses), I asked my mother if she had noticed all these changes.
Apparently, it was explained to the faithful that just as the priest never kneels during the Mass, it would be good for the faithful to imitate his posture, or some such nonsense!
The priest doesn’t kneel because if he did, he would not be able to see what he’s doing on the altar, not because standing is a more reverent posture than kneeling!
But rendering such an explanation does have the benefit of implicitly verifying that which I surmised earlier: That these new postures are intended to blur the distinction between the ministerial priesthood and the priesthood of the faithful (i.e., The latter is now to imitate the former), perhaps not by the local priest, but perhaps from his superiors (both Roman and SSPX).
It was also interesting that the faithful were told that another reason for all these changes was to instill liturgical uniformity into the SSPX. But what uniformity? Why, the modernist French/Belgian uniformity, which had left the path of sound Catholic liturgical principles in the 1910’s (i.e., decades before the Council, and therefore passed as “traditional” before then), as we were taught in the seminary.
I suppose that I shall now be looked upon as “proud” and “disobedient” as I announce my intention to refuse these changes going forward (You know, just like Novus Ordo parishioners who try to kneel for Communion, or who refuse the stupid handshaking, are called “proud” and “disobedient”).
I suppose it will be my “pride” which observes that the decrease of kneeling in the SSPX Masses closely parallels the decrease of genuflections in the Novus Ordo (“Oh, you see, a deep bow is even MORE reverent than a genuflection, just as standing is allegedly now a superior form of reverence to kneeling).
Shall we all stand, “like the priest,” during the consecration, and when receiving Communion? It would certainly be consistent with the new principle of imitating the “superior” posture of the priest!
It will be my “stubbornness” which allows me to see yet one more manifestation of Bishop Williamson’s observation that “the crisis in the SSPX parallels in all aspects the crisis in the Church after Vatican II.”
The bottom line is this:
Rome’s intention to blend the Novus Ordo and Latin Masses into a hybrid rite closely resembling the 1965 rubrics, rejected by Archbishop Lefebvre, is clear.
Rome is prepping its own people for the acceptance of this, and Menzingen appears to be prepping its own people for the acceptance of this.
The two are in collusion toward a practical accord.
We have known this for some time.
If such were not the case, then it would be inexplicable how Bishop Fellay could read Rome’s clearly stated plans, yet continue toward an accord (even though it is announced that the SSPX will receive no exemption from the hybrid rite, except in the beginning as bait for the faithful), or conversely, how Rome could make such an announcement to create a hybrid rite without fearing Bishop Fellay balking at the accord.
To all my fellow parishioners: Your silence these last 6 years has gotten you to where you stand today.
You have shown your weakness to Menzingen, and they do not even fear to place these cards into your pews.
The day is coming where the local priest will tell you, “We are now going to say the Epistle and Gospel at the altar in English. You know, this has already been the practice in France even in Archbishop Lefebvre’s time, so there is nothing modernist about it.” And instead of doing your homework to learn how that came to be, you will simply take it.
Then they will strip Psalm 42 (Judica me) from the prayers at the foot of the altar and tell you, “You know, in former times this was done in the sacristy before Mass, so this is really more traditional.” And you will swallow that too.
Then they will introduce various prayer options, with one priest preferring one, and another priest preferring another, and they will tell you, “You know, the dialogue Mass which you have swallowed for 20 years already without so much as a whimper also allows seven variations, and it was around 40 years before Vatican II, so this is really traditional, you know.” And you will swallow that too.
You are being acclimated to the acceptance of change.
You are in the process of repeating EXACTLY the same mistakes your parents made after Vatican II, when they went along with all the changes that ruined the Church, and now YOU are contributing to it yourselves.
If you don’t want to fight for your faith, it is going to be stolen from you.
Live with that.
PS to readers: For a great series on how St. Pius X never called for “active participation,” see the first 4 installments of this article (all installments later to be compiled and published as a book) by Dr. Carol Byrne: http://www.traditioninaction.org/HotTopics/f073_Dialogue_1.htm