Monday, December 14, 2009

What If We['d] Said, 'Wait'?

Rev. Michael J. Ryan inadvertently explains where the implementation of the liturgical reform went wrong back in the 1960s.
What if pastors, pastoral councils, liturgical commissions and presbyteral councils were to appeal to their bishops for a time of reflection and consultation on the translations and on the process whereby they will be given to the people? ...

What if, before implementing the new translations, we do some “market testing?” What if each region of bishops were to designate certain places where the new translations would receive a trial run: urban parishes and rural parishes, affluent parishes and poor parishes, large, multicultural parishes and small parishes, religious communities and college campuses? What if for the space of one full liturgical year the new translations were used in these designated communities, with carefully planned catechesis and thorough, honest evaluation? Wouldn’t such an experiment yield valuable information for both the translators and the bishops? And wouldn’t such an experiment make it much easier to implement the translations when they are ready?
Father Ryan is proposing a year of market testing for changes to a forty-year-old liturgy. By that standard, the earlier changes to a four-hundred-year-old liturgy needed a decade of market testing. Instead there were run-throughs for selected small groups in the papal apartments on January 11, 12, and 13, 1968, see The Reform of the Liturgy 1948-1975, by Annibale Bugnini, pp. 359-383. As I've noted before, Archbishop Weakland literally called those three small demonstrations the test marketing of the revised liturgy.

Here in Milwaukee, three months was alloted to prepare for the transition to the postconciliar liturgy. By that standard, the upcoming revision would get a week and a half.

Update: Dad29 on The Dissent Lives in Milwaukee

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