|Fr James Mawdesley just after his ordination|
It was the first time that I had attended an Old Rite ordination, and I could go on about the beauty and symbolism. I could also critique the morphing into the new rite, and what has been lost and try to suggest why the changes came in. But actually what struck me most forcefully was that this was not the ‘extraordinary’ form of Ordination at all.
Let me clarify that. I know that it is the Extraordinary Form. Pope Benedict gave us this language. What I mean is that this is not extraordinary in the sense of being refined and restricted. Well at least it wasn’t. This is what would have happened in every Cathedral in every Diocese, until the recent revisions. And it would have been ‘performed’ well in some placed and not so great in others, but it was normal.
Rather like Mass really. We have to remember that the Old Rite (Latin, Tridentine, Extraordinary – whatever you want to call it) was normal. This was Mass. If anything (pace Pope Benedict) it is the new Mass which is extraordinary…