changes caused by the Second Vatican Council were perhaps most visible in the
liturgy. They included the Mass being said in English, rather than Latin. The
altar was turned to face the people and so did the priest. Church architecture
went from "classical long and high to contemporary,"
often fan shaped. Communion rails were removed. Music went from being "mostly
Gregorian chant" to "mixed."
"That’s a nice word for what we’re trying to do," Bishop Hanifen said to laughter.
"We’re still trying to develop our liturgical music."
These changes were not cause by Vatican II, only blamed
The document Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy commands
that “the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites” (36.1).
The Council Fathers then add: But since the use of the mother tongue, whether
in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy,
frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment
may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives,
and to some of the prayers and chants (36.2).
In the same document it also says:
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. But other kinds of sacred music, especially
polyphony, are by no means excluded from liturgical celebrations…In the Latin
Church the pipe organ is to be held in high esteem, for it is the traditional
musical instrument which adds a wonderful splendor to the Church’s ceremonies
and powerfully lifts up man’s mind to God and to higher things. But other instruments
also may be admitted for use in divine worship, with the knowledge and consent
of the competent territorial authority (116, 120).
the rest of the changes cited had nothing to do with Vatican
II but where only implemented under the cover of Vatican II implementation.
Going from Gregorian chant to what passes as liturgical music today is not development
and certainly shouldn’t be called "mixed". In most parishes it is
zero percent chant and one hundred percent post sixties music, this is not mixed but a modern music blitzkrieg.
..Priests had to learn to say the Mass in a new way. They had to become more engaged with the people. They
were instructed to give a Scripture-based homily, rather than a sermon delivered on a topic of their choosing. Suddenly, a priest’s personality became part of
the liturgy’s dynamic, which was a challenge for priests.
"There seems to be an overemphasis
on the personality of the priest now, Bishop Hanifen said.
That statement is certainly true. Hopefully we will never get to the point
where the Pastors name is placed on the sign in the front of the Church like
it is in many Protestant churches.
The new partnerships meant a certain loss of control for priests as the Church went from having a "top-down,
monologue-style" leadership, to a more collaborative "dialogue style."
As the changes were implemented, the laity’s expectations rose.
"Priests were trying to be good celebrants, but they felt like they were under the gun a lot," Bishop Hanifen
Oh yeah, trying to be good celebrants is the highest calling of a priest.
Bishop Hanifen said that’s a vast improvement
over the days when a priest’s work was their prayer.
"You dry up pretty fast that way," he said.
I have a pretty hard time getting past that last statement. Work not based
on a solid foundation of prayer will flounder and dry up. Mother Teresa talked
about when they would have a really busy day that instead of spending an hour
in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament they would need to spend two instead.