I am too tired at the moment to write as much as I want to on this, but I wanted to draw my three readers’ attention to the minor kerfuffle over Bishop Bernard Fellay’s reported comments on the Novus Ordo Mass quoted at the Society of St. Pius X’s website here. The SSPX, naturally, is trying to do some damage control on the matter and Fellay has “clarified” his remarks by not so much retracting what he said as opposed to pointing out what the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre thought about the New Mass in its early days. So it goes. I can’t blame Bishop Fellay for being impressed by the New Mass when it is served with reverence and solemnity. That is exactly how it is served every day at St. John Cantius in Chicago and, God be praised, at an increasing number of parishes in the United States and around the world. Is there still a long way — a very long way — to go? Yes. Keep in mind: the movement to align the Novus Ordo with the liturgical heritage of the Western Church is not a process of restoration; it is the exponentially more taxing challenge of implementation. With few clear rubrics and a woeful history of improvisation behind it (to say nothing of all of the needless “options” worked into the Missal of Paul VI), creating a solemn — and, I pray, codified — Missal for the New Mass won’t take decades; it’ll take centuries (assuming it lasts that long).
As something of a contrast or, perhaps I should say, a “distant complement” to Bishop Fellay’s remarks, I also want to direct you to an online video of an EWTN interview with Fr. Scott Haynes of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius. Besides having one of the most magnificent singing voices of any clergy I’ve witnessed in person (with the exception of a couple of ROCOR folks), Fr. Scott is one of the few “liturgical nerds” (if I can use that expression) I’ve heard preach and wasn’t bored to tears over. His knowledge of things liturgical doesn’t end at the eastern borders of the Western Church. One of the first homilies I heard him deliver spoke about the centrality of the Epiklesis in the Eastern liturgy and how the Orthodox sometimes chide the West for its absence in the Western liturgy. To that charge Fr. Scott remarked that the Holy Spirit is invoked three times during the Eucharistic prayers of the Tridentine Mass. As pointed out, if any liturgical-prayerful element is done three times, it should be perfectly acceptable to the Orthodox.