Wednesday, 28 November 2018

PCED: "Anticipated" Masses, SSPX-Affiliated Groups' Faculties, and More

The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei answers some questions which should be of interest to Traditionalists.

From Rorate Caeli

The Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" responded to a 29-question letter from a priest in Poland on numerous aspects of the traditional Latin Mass and 1962 liturgical law. Posted on the Church Music Association of America's "Musica Sacra Forum," the questions ranged from ultra-specific Gregorian chant methods permitted, to who may function as a subdeacon.

Some of the answers are standard, and some simply point to Summorum Pontificum or Universae Ecclesiae.  But some of the answers are new, or at least newsworthy to see answered in 2018.

Here are a few highlights:

#2:  PCED clearly states the Confiteor before the communion of the faithful is licit, responding "in those places where the practice exists, this may be continued."

#5: The practice of "anticipated Masses" -- sadly, found in a handful of TLM locations -- is illicit.  Although technically a Mass offered on the evening before a Sunday or holy day of obligation fulfills one's obligation for the Sunday or holy day (under post-Vatican II canon law), the traditional Latin Mass may NOT use the next day's propers.  PCED has declared, using the example of a Saturday evening TLM, "the Mass formulary used should be that permitted on a Saturday."  This is perhaps the most newsworthy response of the lot, as it will require some TLM churches to change their current practice.  A TLM offered on a Saturday evening must use Saturday's propers.  A TLM offered on the evening before a holy day of obligation must use that day's (not the holy day's) propers.

#6: Subdeacons and straw subdeacons, again.  Nothing new here, but PCED has again declared subdeacons at High Masses must either be clergy, seminarians, religious or instituted acolytes.  Other laymen who dress up and function as subdeacon at a High Mass -- sadly, still found in some TLM locations -- do so illicitly.

#7: Laymen serving as MC at a pontifical Mass. This is one of those situations where PCED liberalizes 1962 liturgical law without any citation or source whatsoever.  It is likely opinion that can change via subsequent PCED responses (as has happened before).

#12: SSPX-affiliated priests and religious communities fall under Pope Francis' permission for faculties concerning valid and licit absolution.  This may be news to some who assumed the permissions extended only to SSPX priests.

#22: PCED declares its responses hold weight equal to Sacred Congregation of Rite decrees.

#23: The Vigil of Pentecost.  It looks like pre-1962 permissions are slowly being granted by PCED.  This permission formally allows the pre-1962 rites before Mass, concerning baptismal water, on the day before Pentecost, with the last Confiteor-esque "where it exists, this practice may be followed."

#27: Female singer soloists. This is another of those situations where PCED liberalizes 1962 liturgical law without any citation or source whatsoever.  It is likely opinion that can change via subsequent PCED responses (as has happened before).

A lot of good, a little bad -- and an enormous amount of clarity concerning common questions.  We encourage readers to look at both the questions and the answers in their entirety,

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