Tiltenberg to offer courses in Extraordinary Form of the Mass!
In the past two years, I've heard several times that the Dutch seminaries decided not to offer courses on the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite Mass. Of course, as with all rumours, I am not sure how true this was. Some may spin these rumours into evidence of unwillingness, but perhaps more likely is a lack of priests who are able and willing to teach it to seminarians. Looking at the parishes were the EF is regularly celebrated, we can still count them on the fingers of two hands.
But, contrasting with all of the above, the website of the Tiltenberg seminary today featured an announcement that they are going to start offering a course in the Extraordinary Form! Below is my translation of the publication:
On 7 July 2007, Pope Benedict XVI published the Apostolic letter "Summorum Pontificum". In it the pope decides that the Roman Missal of Pope Saint Pius V, which was rereleased in 1962 by Blessed John XXIII, would now be the extraordinary expression of the same "legis orandi" of the Church and would be kept in suitable regard because of its respectable and ancient use (art. 1). The Saint Willibrord seminary at the Tiltenberg will therefore organise a course for priests and seminarians to learn this rite, to be announced on the day of continued formation for young priests on Monday 2 November.
In his motu proprio, Pope Benedict XVI emphasises that liturgy is an expression of faith, so that liturgy and prayer define faith (lex orandi, lex credendi). This is why the Church asks that liturgical texts, such as prayers and also the acclamations, be authorised by Church authorities, and why the Second Vatican Council emphasised that no one can change, remove or add liturgical texts on their own authority (Sacrosanctum Concilium 22, par. 3). The importance of this decision becomes immediately clear when one considers the close bond between the faith of the Church and its expression in the liturgy.
In the education of priests and deacons special attention is paid to students becoming thoroughly acquainted with the liturgical books and the practice of the several priestly and diaconal liturgical duties, including in the first place Holy Mass, but also the other Sacraments, Adoration, Vespers, blessings, funerals and so on. The appointments which are received in the course of their education, chiefly that of acolyte, must also be practised. The seminarians will receive this practice from the priest who is responsible for this in the seminary: Drs. F.J. Bunschoten. In this, he'll be assisted by Deacon J. Versteeg, who will be mostly working with the candidates for the permanent diaconate. The seminary's MC, Rudy Kinds, will assist him in this. The priest has been mastering the Tridentine rite and gained the required knowledge and abilities to practice this rite with other priests and the candidates for Holy Orders.
It's been two years since the publication of the motu proprio, and slowly but surely the effects become visible. The two forms of the Latin rite, ordinary and extraordinary, are equal but not the same. Both can and should influence each other and what better way is there than to have a priest who is capable in both forms? Last summer I've seen how rituals from the one can support and strengthen the other form, when Father David offered Mass at Bootcamp. This ultimately led to a higher sense of devotion, all through the liturgy which, as the article says, is an expression of the faith of the Church.