EARCHING GOOGLE, I stumbled across a book published by the Collegeville Liturgical Press. According to the author, “the purpose of the book is to show the excellence and superiority of the reformed liturgy over the previous one … the ordinary form over the extraordinary one.”
Like so many Collegeville books, this book is riddled with false statements:
False! When the subdeacon chants the Epistle in the Extraordinary Form, the priest does not read it in a quiet voice. Likewise, when the deacon chants the Gospel according to the 1962 Missal, the priest does not read it in a low voice.
Msgr. Kevin W. Irwin of CUA says this book “reflects the best of liturgical scholarship and wisdom gleaned from the liturgy.” Julia Upton of St. John’s in New York says, “For those of us who were shaped by the 1962 Missal, this analysis enables us to see how richer our lives and spirituality are following the Vatican II reforms.” The book’s author, Fr. Patrick Regan, claims it was proofread by Fr. Jeremy Driscoll.
Are all these people comfortable with blatant errors such as the one cited above? The author references Catholics attached to the EF, who are “unaware of the deficiencies of the 1962 Missal.” Yet, shouldn’t Fr. Regan have taken the time to become familiar with the EF before writing his book? 1 Moreover, shouldn’t someone at Liturgical Press have proofread the book before publication?
COLLEGEVILLE LITURGICAL PRESS seems “unhinged” since the publication of Summorum Pontificum. One of their blogs recently published an article by Paul Inwood claiming that excessive dynamic equivalence was more “accurate” than formal equivalence. Yet, that same author admitted elsewhere that the 1970s version (“dynamic equivalence”) CONCEALED the true meaning of the prayers. Here are Inwood’s exact words:
Seventh-century theology, spirituality, and culture are very far from where most of the Church is now. The 1973 translation concealed this fact from us. If we had known what the prayers really said, we would not have wanted to pray them any longer. Now we are faced with that question 40 years later, and it is not any easier.
Not long before that, a Liturgical Press blog published an article attacking the “ad populum conversus” rubric—even claiming this phrase never occurs in postconciliar legislation—but we published screen shots proving this assertion to be false.
Those who write about the “deficiencies” (Fr. Regan’s word) of the Extraordinary Form have an obligation to learn something about it first. My pet peeve is haughty liturgical “experts” telling everyone how horrible the 1962 Missal was, and I’ll never forget reading a comment by the man who ran the Bishops’ Liturgy Committee during the 1990s. This person is an outspoken critic of the old liturgy, yet doesn’t realize the Prayers of the Foot of the Altar were not sung!
NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:
1 Fr. Regan specifically deals with the Extraordinary Form—i.e. the 1962 Missale Romanum—which he calls “the last edition of the preconciliar one.”