We have had a bit of a break in the series; the first thirteen are now available from Lulu as a short book.
You can also download them as pdfs from the FIUV website.
So today I return to the fray, as the person editing and publishing these things on behalf of the Una Voce Federation, with a real can of worms: the 1955 Reform of Holy Week. Go over the Rorate Caeli to read it. It is in fact only Part I of what will be two parts; Part II is about individual services, this one is about general issues.
It is rare to meet a Catholic attached to the Extraordinary Form who has a good word to say about the 1955 Reform. They swept away a number of much-loved aspects of Holy Week: the banging of the church door with the foot of the processional cross on Palm Sunday, the evening celebration of Tenebrae, where the candles were extinguished one by one in the deepening gloom, popular devotions such as the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday afternoon, the Seven Altars and the Easter Sepulchre. They completely changed the rite of blessing the Paschal candle, on the basis of an over-enthusiastic attempt to capture some supposed ritual of the 8th century, which they failed, in fact, to do.
For myself I recall the rather shattering effect of reading the account of Holy Week in Guéranger's great work, 'The Liturgical Year', during Holy Week a number of years ago. This is a massive, edifying, and very informative commentary on the liturgy of the whole year, and it is one of the joys of the Traditional Mass that something written by a French monk in the 19th century is still applicable to what one is experiencing, liturgically, today. But this isn't true of Holy Week: large parts of it are scarcely recognisable, and Guéranger's commentary is highly confusing, if not useless. There is a discontinuity of the the liturgical tradition.
|Tenebrae in St Mary Moorfields last year, organised by the Latin Mass Society|