Monday, November 27, 2006

That Indult Post I've Been Promising

As always, I'm hesitant to post on stuff like this. A reminder: I'm not a teacher of theology, or in this case, liturgy. So don't take anything I say too seriously. I'm merely bringing something up that to my knowledge hasn't been discussed by Catholic Bloggers.

As many of you know, Pope Benedict (who needs our prayers) has been kicking around the idea of granting a Universal Indult for the Tridentine Mass. This is NOT about Latin Mass, as many bloggers (including Cardinal Sean of Boston) correctly point out. The Novus Ordo can currently be said in Latin by any priest ordained in the Latin (Roman) Rite. What this is about is using the Tridentine Rite for Mass. This Mass began at the council of Trent and ended when the Novus Ordo (New Order) was published shortly after Vatican II. It can still be said by those who have permission from their Bishop, but an Indult would give any priest permission for this.

But you already knew that.

In the enthusiasm of Catholic Bloggers towards this issue, though, there seems to be one key element that isn't talked about. That is the Lectionary. The Lectionary that we use today is one of my favorite things in the Catholic Church. It is the book that contains the scriptures we hear proclaimed at Mass. It is on a three year cycle, where the Church hears huge chunks out of all of the Gospels, Acts, and the various letters, and the Old Testament. And thats only the Sunday Lectionary. The weekly lectionary is on a two year cycle, where we hear more of the same. I don't know exactly how much of the Bible we read as Catholics just by showing up to Church, but it is a large fraction. Most of my evangelical friends are surprised to hear that us Catholics get to hear so much of the Bible when we gather every week, or for some of us, every day. I'm very proud of this.

But if the Indult was granted, as I understand it, the Church would have to use (for Tridentine Masses), the Tridentine Lectionary. This lectionary is only a one year cycle, and does not cover the scope of scripture that the new lectionary does. In situations where a Bishop has granted permission for the Tridentine Rite, Rome has not allowed the New Lectionary to be used, but has demanded that the Tridentine Lecionary be used.

Perhaps I am mistaken by some of this, and if I am, please correct me in the comments. But still, seeing stuff like this would be kind of cool:

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