Archbishop Chaput's Liturgy Series
I am very impressed with the Liturgy Series of Archbishop Chaput, of Denver U.S.A. He began it on 11 September 2002, describing it as "The first in a series of articles about the Catholic Mass and the new Roman Missal".
There are 17 articles in this series now (18 February 2003). The latest is on communion, explaining how there should not be blessings during communion.
Archbishop Chaput has given an excellent example of fulfilling Canon 392.2 of the Code of Canon Law:
With this liturgy series he has provided intelligent and persuasive information on how the Mass should be celebrated in his diocese. He corrects difficult issues, like genuflecting or kneeling to receive communion.
But here are my criticisms of the Liturgy Series.
There seems to be an error in Part 14 with:
The word "we" is incorrect, with the approved translation having "those". It appears to be accidental, since no arguments are given for changing the word.
In Part 11 he discusses the people's gesture for the Our Father:
I see it as inappropriate for the people to hold their arms outstreched or hold hands. I disagree with the argument "this is not forbidden, therefore its an option". Father Peter Stravinskas wrote in Understanding the Sacraments, (Ignatius Press, 1997) page 115, how abuses occur:
The 2000 General Instruction of the Roman Missal did add some corrections, in the form of "what not to do". For example in n. 160:
But such corrections do not justify an interpretation of: "if its not forbidden its allowed".
While Archbishop Chaput gives reasons for not holding hands, he also has:
Clearly the priest should not be holding hands. The General Instruction directs that the celebrant and concelebrants "extend their hands" (2002 GIRM 237). It would be wrong for the deacon to extend his hands, as if he were a concelebrant. It would also be wrong for the people to do this.
So I believe that some of the people holding hands is incorrect and that Archbishop Chaput should not have said that on some occasions it is "perfectly appropriate".
I praise Archbishop Chaput for going further than any other bishop (that I am aware of) in teaching about the 2002 Roman Missal. The Liturgy Series is not yet complete. But two particularly challenging issues have not yet been addressed:
A bow of the head is to be made when the three Divine Persons are named, at the name of Jesus, of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saint in whose honor Mass is celebrated (2002 GIRM 275, 1975 GIRM 234). In this case the gesture is not directed to the priest (as for extended hands at the Our Father) and so applies to everyone.
The other challenge is instituted lectors. Archbishop Chaput has rightly given considerable attention to the role of deacons. But he has not yet mentioned the new instruction:
He has rightly explained that there are ordinary and extraordinary ministers of communion and who they are. But he has not yet explained that the ordinary minister to read the first reading is an Instituted Lector/Reader, with others being extraordinary ministers who should only do this in his absence.
By J.R. Lilburne, 18 February 2003. I give what I have written on this page to the public domain.