Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year by Msgr. Peter Elliott
I have been reading Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year by Msgr. Peter Elliott.
The book seems to be particular current, with the Forward by Archbishop Hart dated 1 November 2002. In the Preface Msgr. Elliott wrote that: "It is in accord with the revised General Instruction of the Roman Missal (2002) prepared for the third edition of the Missale Romanum." However the imprimatur is dated 21 January 2002, before the publication of the 2002 Roman Missal in March.
Msgr Elliott's Introduction is particularly impressive and is available on the internet at www.adoremus.org.
But in the specifics of the ceremonies there are shortcomings.
There is an incorrect statement on the first page of Chapter 1:
The Apostles' Creed is printed in the 2002 Roman Missal, page 513, as an option for Lent and Easter. Even before the 2002 Roman Missal, the Nicene Creed was not always required on Sundays, for example when there is a baptism.
In a number of places Msgr. Elliott writes of lay people wearing albs to do the readings. For example on page 71:
It is clearly an option for lay people to wear albs. From the 1981 Lectionary for Mass, n. 54:
Vestments are compulsory for instituted lectors. But I see no justification for Msgr. Elliott writing as though they are compulsory for other lay readers.
For Ash Wednesday he writes:
The liturgical books makes no mention of different ways to impose ashes on those of different rank. It is surprising that Msgr. Elliott does. The term "major Orders" is also outdated, referring to the orders of subdiaconate, diaconate and priesthood as opposed to the "minor orders" of porter, lector, exorcist and acolyte. In 1972 these subdiaconate, porter and exorcist positions were removed, but institued lectors and acolytes remained.
For the Stations of the Cross, page 66, Msgr. Elliott wrote:
No mention is made of genuflecting to the Blessed Sacrament. According to the Ceremonial of Bishops, n. 69:
It is interesting to note a slight change on "double genuflections" in this book.
I have been critical of the double genuflection, which is made on two knees, seeing it as contradicting the instructions in the Ceremonial of Bishops:
While in "Liturgical Question Box" Msgr. Elliott wrote:
I wrote about the lack of evidence that Rome confirmed the decision on in my journal of 7 November 2002. I find it interesting that this new book refers to the episcopal conference maintaining the double genuflection, without mentioning Rome.
Even if Msgr. Elliott believed there should be a double genuflection for the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance, why should it occur in this case? The Place of Reposition for this Holy Thursday is a tabernacle.
The 1975 Roman Missal has:
The 2002 Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, n. 141 has:
But Msgr. Elliott would prefer the adoration continue after midnight:
People should faithfully follow the liturgical books. So while Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year has some inspirational material, perhaps it would be better to go to the liturgical books.
I think page 171, footnote 11 is instructive:
I see it as the sort of thinking that says "I am above the liturgical books. I don't have to follow the rules. What I am doing is for the good of souls." Then follows whatever variation one can think of, causing considerable problems in Catholic liturgy today.
In fact the Pope has highlighted that it is OK to have confession during Mass in the Motu Proprio Misericordia Dei published last year:
So there was no need to go beyond liturgical correctness, which should be the aim.
By J.R. Lilburne, 8 February 2003. I give what I have written on this page to the public domain.
Other sites on Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year: