John Lilburne's journal about articles by Bishop Ryan of Monterey on postures for the people.
1225 L Thu 7 Mar 2002
I found the articles on postures in Mass by Bishop Ryan interesting. I think it is encouraging that there is an attempt to sort out the correct times for standing, sitting and kneeling. Hopefully the issues he raises will lead to clearer legislation.
There seem to be two areas where he is not consistent with the liturgical books.
1. "They stand after the invitation and response, "Pray, Brethren ...".
This is consistent with the 1975 General Instruction to the Roman Missal, n. 21 "... the people should stand ... from the prayer over the gifts...". However in the 1984 Ceremonial of Bishops, for a Stational Mass of the Diocesan Bishop, the people stand slightly earlier:
The 2000 General Instruction to the Roman Missal, n. 43 changes the instruction so that people "should stand ... from the invitatory, Pray that our sacrifice ...". So people are to be standing for this prayer as they would for the Stational Mass of the Diocesan Bishop.
I am not aware of the U.S. Bishops Conference having sought to change this, but they may have.
2. I believe only the priests should extend their hands for the Our Father
Bishop Ryan wrote:
The rubrics in the 1975 Roman Missal are:
The 1975 General Instruction to the Roman Missal, n. 192 has:
The 2000 Study Translation of the 2000 General Instruction to the Roman Missal, n. 237 has:
The Latin text for this is:
The extended hands seems proper to the priests, not for the people. There are warnings about this in the Vatican's 1997 Instruction on certain questions regarding the collaboration of the non-ordained faithful in the sacred ministry of priests, Article 6.2
Bishop Ryan seems to be defying this. The adaptions that can be made by the diocesan bishop are given in the 2000 General Instruction to the Roman Missal (GIRM), n. 387. It is made clear that changes to posture are made by the Conference of Bishops, with the recognitio of the Apostolic See (in n. 390). To the best of my knowledge this has not happened for this.
So as a sign of unity with the Church, rather than with their bishop, I think the people in Monterey should not extend their hands for the Our Father.
Incidentally I agree with Bishop Ryan that "IT IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE POSTURE to genuflect or kneel before receiving Holy Communion." As the Ceremonial of Bishops says in n. 71:
I believe this includes the communion procession.
I also think it is excellent that he is promoting "Serious, continuous study and applications of the principles of the Sacred Liturgy and the GIRM" in his articles.
Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 7 March 2002. Last updated 18 March 2002.
Links to articles by Bishop Sylvester D. Ryan in The Observer magazine for January and February 2002 of the Diocese of Monterey on dioceseofmonterey.org:
A reaction to Part 2 on www.adoremus.org: