On a weekend getaway with my family, I went to St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Lindsay, TX. An old German parish. Very beautiful, architecturally and artistically. The liturgy was beautiful too. I thought to myself, well this is a very reverent celebration of the Novus Ordo.
The thought also occurred to me that its beauty was in direct proportion to its approximation to the Extraordinary Form. Direct proportion.
Particulars? Well, obviously the structure of one Novus Ordo is that of any Novus Ordo. The notes of distinct reverence were as follows: Only altar boys, many altar boys well orchestrated with distinct tasks, incensing twice, a choir chanting the various parts of the Mass, a traditional high altar within a distinct sanctuary, etc. There was one feature, in my opinion helpful, that is not a part of the Extraordinary Form as yet, the readings read simply in the vernacular. The marvelous statues and stained glass didn’t hurt either.
The following day, I noticed the fine article by Cardinal Sarah, Prefect for the Congregation for Worship, posted (in translation) by Rorate.
At the end, there is this marvelous paragraph:
In this sense, it is necessary that those celebrating according to the “usus antiquior” do so without any spirit of opposition, and hence in the spirit of “Sacrosanctum concilium”. In the same way, it would be wrong to consider the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite as deriving from another theology that is not the reformed liturgy. It would also be desirable that the Penitential Rite and the Offertory of the “usus antiquior” be inserted as an enclosure in the next edition of the Missal with the aim of stressing that the two liturgical reforms illuminate one another, in continuity and with no opposition.
A promise of development of the Novus Ordo towards the Extraordinary form, at least in two moments of the liturgy. Very hopeful indeed. And in harmony with Pope Benedict’s hope that the two forms of the liturgy fructify each other.