Monday, September 21, 2015

Latin Confirmation Novus Ordoized

When I was confirmed a decade ago in the Novus Ordo (a sacrament which I have doubts about the validity), the ceremony took place during a Novus Ordo Mass. After the Gospel, the parish priest "presented" the confirmandi to the Bishop by asking them to stand up when their names were called. After a round of applause and the Bishop's sermon, the ceremony of Confirmation was conducted. 

Unfortunately, at a parish church the only place five out of the seven traditional sacraments are regularly administered (I will withhold the names; those who know me or were present know what I am referring to.), Confirmation was offered in the Tridentine form since 2008 by an auxiliary bishop. But what puzzled me, that the Rite of Confirmation, despite being offered in conjunction with the regular Sunday Mass, was held during the Mass and not before the Mass, as the Roman Ritual prescribes. 

Just like my Novus Ordo confirmation, the candidates names were announced after the Gospel (without applause) and the bishop's sermon and the rite were performed, albeit with some imperfections. While the actual conferral of the sacrament was in Latin and was valid, the schola kept singing over the prescription prayers and the bishop had to gesture to the choir loft to pretty much shut-up. These regular schola members should be suspended by the parish for a couple of weeks for disrupting a pontifical ceremony.

In the old days and today by far more experienced celebrants of Tridentine Confirmations (Cardinal Burke, Archbishop Cordileone, Bishop Schneider, Bishop Perry, Bishop Fellay, Bishop Tissier de Mallarias, etc.), the rite of Confirmation would be conducted separate from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which would not always be said afterwards. Benediction might be held afterwards, if any other liturgical function occurs at all. (The above usually say a Pontifical Mass after a Confirmation.) As with Baptism, Confession, Extreme Unction and Matrimony, the rites are separate from the Mass (although the Nuptial Mass that takes place after the couple has been married goes hand-in-hand with the Ritual of Holy Matrimony). 

I don't know why the Confirmation ceremony was inserted into the Mass for this one, but it must have something to do that this was the Archdiocese of Boston. I don't know if permission was granted to do this from some higher ecclesiastical authority, but it is still a liturgical abuse. Summorum Pontificum explicitly says that the liturgical books in use in A.D. 1962 are to be used as the "extraordinary form", not the hybrid 1965 liturgies. Ironically, Pope Francis' buddy Cardinal O'Malley, who was with His Holiness in Communist Cuba, had respect for the rubrics when he celebrated a Tridentine Confirmation in 2011 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross; Mass was celebrated after the ceremony. (I had the privilege of attending that one.) If His Eminence really cared about orthodoxy and Sacred Tradition he would be operating the Archdiocese as such. 

I am not going to report anyone to the liturgical police because there are more serious issues with the Church at hand within the next five weeks. However, I hope that next time that the rubrics are followed, if there is a next time. 

(P.S. Rorate Caeli has an article on the Novus Ordoizing the Eastern rites of the Church, they are about to be destroyed fifty years after the Roman.) 

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