Wednesday, 30 August 2017
1997 Decision of the Ecclesia Dei Commission : UPDATED
Above are shewn decisions of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, given in 1997 in response to dubia posed by an Australian bishop. The name of this bishop is withheld. They concern, of course, the celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Missale Romanum. The letter of the Commission makes it quite clear that permissions extended to Benedictine Communities in France (namely Fontgombault and Le Barroux) by the same Commission, may be enjoyed by other Extraordinary Form Communities. This letter was written ten years before the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.
As far as this writer is concerned, the permissions of the Ecclesia Dei Commission in this 1997 letter have not been revoked. Note well that they are permissions and not obligations.
The permissions of the Commission, shewn in the letter, may be summarised as follows:
1. At a Low Mass, the celebrant may read an approved translation into the vernacular of the Epistle and Gospel.
2(a) At a Solemn Mass, the celebrant and ministers may join with the schola in singing a plainchant Gloria and Credo, without the requirement of reading them together beforehand.
2(b) At any sung Mass, the entire congregation may join with the Celebrant in singing the Pater noster.
3. The additional prefaces, which were included in an appendix of the 1965 Missale Romanum and some editions of the 1962 Missale Romanum (often referred to as The Gallican Prefaces) may be used at any celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Missal. Furthermore, prefaces from the 1970 Missale Romanum may also be included.
In addition to these Decisions, the Commission attached to the letter its permissions regarding the form of the Conventual Mass which may be celebrated by the Traditionalist Benedictines of France. By this was intended that the form of celebration described may be celebrated elsewhere ( a translation is given below ) :
1. If the celebration of the Divine Office precedes Mass, the Prayers at the Foot of the altar may be omitted.
2. The rites accompanying the readings from scripture may be celebrated at the sedilia.
3. The readings may be proclaimed facing the people, whether in Latin or the vernacular and the celebrant is not required to read them or the Gradual chants separately.
4. Bidding Prayers may be offered after the Oremus, immediately preceding the Offertory.
5. The "Secret" prayer may be sung aloud.
6. The celebrant may sing the entire doxology Per ipsum, whilst elevating the Host over the chalice.
7. The Pater noster may be sung by all with the celebrant.
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