Monday, April 16, 2012

FIUV Position Paper 4: Liturgical Orientation

Yesterday the fourth FIUV Position Paper was published on Rorate Caeli, on Liturgical Orientation.

Download the pdf here. Look at the paper online, and the discussion on Rorate Caeli, here.

'Rubricarius' is fond of reminding us how early some of the practices we associate with the Novus Ordo began to be popularised; the above picture (from his blog) was published in 1960; he discusses it here. Note the reference in the text to the removal of the tabernacle from the Altar - obviously this is essential to versus populum celebration at the main altar of an ordinary church. The removal of tabernacles was condemned in a decree of the Sacred Congregation for Rites (Sanctissimam Eucharistiam) in 1957. The possibility of freestanding altars was first mooted authoritatively in the decree Inter Oecumenici in 1964. The picture above is therefore a nice example of 'anticipatory obedience': doing, boldly and openly, not what the Church says but what you hope the Church will come round to saying before long. And by so doing, the progressives paved the way for the changes they favoured.

Sanctissimam Eucharistiam is an interesting document, not widely available, and as a service to the Church I am publishing today a full English translation on the LMS website.


  1. Rubricarius5:25 pm

    There are at least two clarifications of this 1957 decree of SRC, published in 'Worship' and Emphermides, stating that in churches where there was only one altar (and the Sacrament reserved on in a tabernacle thereon) there was no issue with setting up a temporary 'table' altar in front of the original altar so Mass could be celebrated versus populum.

    Anson's view expressed in the caption to his illustration (what wonderful, decent, albs) typifies the view of the time that versus populum was somehow the original praxis needing to be widely restored.

  2. Joseph Shaw6:00 pm

    Thanks, Rubricarius. When were these clarifications published? I assume you mean before 1964.