Since this is the 50th year anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council, we thought it might be helpful to review some misconceptions that have arisen as a result of people ascribing to Vatican II things that Vatican II never said .. especially about the Mass.
The first document that came out of the council was called Sacrosanctum Concilium and it was aimed, broadly, at increasing holiness in Church members by a reform of Her litur- gical rites.
But that reform never included so much of what has gone off the rails since then: For example – almost no Catholic really understands that Vatican II NEVER said: Latin should be thrown out.
Vestments should be changed.
The altar should be turned around.
The priest should face the people.
Communion rails should be ripped out.
Statues and paintings of saints should be tossed out. Gregorian Chant should be dumped.
Holy Communion should be given in the hand.
So-called Eucharistic ministers should be the usual and common distributors of Holy Communion.
People should hold hands at the Our Father.
Kneelers should be discarded and people just remain standing. Appropriate dress for Mass should be abandoned.
Guitars and drums should become primary instruments.
The musicians should be applauded for their service.
Altar girls should become a norm.
The sign of peace become an opportunity for socializing.
Preaching and homilies should rarely if ever mention traditional Catholic teaching. This list could go on and on and on.
What happened is that when the door was cracked for change .. a type of change that could be fairly characterized as tinkering around the edges .. many people got it in their minds they could bring the wrecking ball and re-invent the Mass as though nothing had ever existed before 1965.
There are a hundred reasons for this and loads of people were involved with many differ- ent intentions and all of that is worthy of much discussion .. and we have those discus- sions here in the Vortex frequently.
But one thing is certain .. the Mass has suffered greatly in the wake of Vatican II and the proponents of change.
The door was opened for abuses and misunderstandings and an entirely new attitude that was different from that which went before.
And we are seeing the consequences of all that now. In many cases, the Mass has more the look and feel of a protestant service than the representation of the sacrifice of Calvary.
Many things have entered into the Mass that Vatican II NEVER legislated or even ima- gined.
And likewise, many things have been removed from the Mass or have fallen by the way- side that again, Vatican II NEVER legislated or imagined.
We have provided a link to Vatican II’s document on the reform of the liturgy and ask you to read it for yourself .. it’s not very long .. and then ask yourself .. is the situation in my parish every Sunday what was envisioned by the Second Vatican Council?
It’s a fair question. For example .. on the most simple basic question of sacred music .. point number 116 says the following ..
“116. The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.”
Does that square with what happens in your parish each Sunday? When is the last time you heard Gregorian Chant as a staple in your parish?
Vatican II said it should have pride of place .. so what happened? And that is just ONE topic .. the question .. “what happened?” can be asked A LOT.