Liturgical Diversity in the Third Millennium | Charles G. Mills | Homiletic & Pastoral Review
The liturgy in the West, today, is far richer than that set forth in the liturgical books promulgated by Pope Paul VI.
In the 1970s, it was generally assumed that the liturgical reform, called for by Vatican II, had taken its final shape with the publication of the new liturgical books. Recent events have shown clearly, however, that the liturgy in the West, today, is far richer than that set forth in the liturgical books promulgated by Pope Paul VI.
Recent decisions regarding the extraordinary or older form of the Roman Rite, the Anglican Catholic Rite, and the ancient rites of religious orders, opened the door to a rich variety of rites. In the 1970s, however, most insisted that, outside of a few places in Milan, Spain, and Portugal, there was only one way to celebrate a Latin or Western Mass: the Roman Rite of Paul VI. The flexibility of the newer, or ordinary form, of the Roman Rite has proven to be an inadequate substitute for a variety of rites.
The most important alternative to the ordinary form of the Roman Missal, promulgated by Paul VI, is the extraordinary or older form of the Roman Mass. This form of the Mass has a much more extensive, richer text of its ordinary parts. It has fewer Gospels, Epistles, and Lessons. Unlike the newer form, there is never both an Epistle and a Lesson on the same day. The older rubrics are much more detailed and strict than the newer ones. There are more allowed variations in the newer form than in the older one. Unlike the very flexible newer rite, there are a very limited number of forms the older right can take. The flexibility of the newer rite has not always been completely positive. The alternatives to the newer form of the Roman Rite are described below, with special attention to the older form of the Roman Rite, which is the only alternative most pastors will encounter.
Many people currently misunderstand what distinguishes the two forms of the Roman Mass.