Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Way Out on the Mandatum Debate

Dr. Ed Peters brings forth an idea that is simple, yet kinda brilliant:

May I suggest that discussion of this matter begin with what canon and liturgical law actually say (and don’t say) about the Mandatum rite, and that serious attention be given, if not this year then next, to eliminating this ill-conceived and merely optional rite from parish liturgies altogether and instead making it a powerful part of the bishop’s Chrism Mass?

Hmm.  I'm not too sure about the history of the mandatum, but there's something to be said here for this.  The rite is meant to symbolize Christ washing the feet of the Apostles, of the High Priest giving an example of service to the men he was about to ordain priests.  The Chrism Mass includes some very powerful symbolism of the unity between the Bishop of the diocese and his priests.  This would be a pretty Ignatian act of symbolism, and by Ignatian, I mean Ignatius of Antioch.  (Where the Bishop is, there is Christ.)

Considering that we traditionalists really don't have this problem with the Mandatum, I would of course be incredibly territorial and ask that we get to keep it.  Yet I gotta admit, I can't seem to rule out the attractiveness of this proposal, even though I'm trying to.

(via Fr. Z)

1 comment:

  1. What irks me about this debate is that people are pitting charity against following the rubrics and there is absolutely no need to do it. There are many options to cover all of the bases including what Dr. Peters has recommended. Everyone can win in this but all too often I think those apathetic to the liturgy don't seem to have the will to actually think outside of the box. l

    As for Dr. Peter's proposal, I could live with it. While the practice of it goes back much further than 1955, he is correct that it was only put back in the Mass during that time.

    My choice would be for the Bishop only to do it on Holy Thursday to his priests and seminarians and then after Mass have them go out and do the same for the poor.


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