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Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Those outrageous maniples

Recently there was an article at Zenit by Fr Mauro Gagliardi, a consultor of the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, called Liturgical Vestments and the Vesting Prayers. The article is a fine exposition of the vesting prayers that may be said by the priest before Mass. As many bloggers picked up, Fr Gagliardi affirmed that although the maniple fell into disuse, it was never abrogated.

At the NLM, Matthew Alderman introduces a piece about this by saying:
Perhaps as news this is a bit of a stretch, but a few years ago the idea that the manipulum fletus et doloris would be discussed in a remotely mainstream venue, at least complimentarily, would have seemed both outrageous and unthinkable.
This reminds me of a few years ago when I served for a short time as a delegate for the National Conference of Priests (NCP). At a lunch after a Mass in the old rite (all a bit clandestine in those pre-Summorum Pontificum days) I asked the clergy whether they felt there was anything that I should "bring" to the NCP. Fr Martin Edwards suggested, tongue-in-cheek, that I should propose the resolution:
"Conference asserts that the maniple was never prohibited but was merely made no longer compulsory."
I'm afraid that I never did introduce this; it would indeed have been considered "outrageous and unthinkable" alongside such resolutions as:
"Conference affirms that the Eucharist has been sacrificed on the altar of celibacy."
A while later I mentioned the suggestion of Fr Edwards to the late Bishop Henderson when he was visiting my parish. I expected him to laugh but instead, he looked earnestly at me and said "Well he's right, you know."

It seems they were indeed both right. (I have used the maniple at Novus Ordo Masses for some time now.)
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