This past Sunday, I was privileged to assist at a special diocesan Mass with Bishop Morlino in honor of John Paul II. I was happy to see some elements of continuity, as is usual with Bishop Morlino.His normal altar arrangement was in use, which is a wonderful first step in reorienting ourselves towards the Lord. During the sprinkling rite, two cantors sang a beautiful english setting of the vidi aquam, interspersed with a congregational refrain of Alleluia (this is the music, if you really wanted to know).
Bishop also sung most of the celebrant’s parts, such as the preface and collects (more on this below…), which is another wonderful step forward. However, he also did something I’ve not seen before: he used two collects: one for the Ascension, directly followed by the one from the common (of pastors, I believe), for John Paul II. He did the same after communion. While in the OF, only one collect is to be used, that of the Mass being celebrated, there’s a wonderful tradition in the EF of praying more than one collect when there are multiple commemorations or overlapping feasts.
What a wonderful way to express continuity with the past, while also celebrating such a wonderful pope! And before you rubricists of you flip out, don’t forget that the Holy Father also occasionally does similar things in Rome, so this is not unheard of.
Some people say that we don’t need to drag the liturgy into the past. Here’s my simple rebuttal: We’re not going backwards, but sometimes when you get off the road, you need to turn around in your seat to see where the road is.
Veil the tabernacle, the chalice and the ladies! Let fiddlebacks abound! Let every priest tie on a maniple! Let every priest wear a biretta (and use a beretta, if needed)! Bring it on, people!