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Stuart Chessman said in December 28th, 2011 at 6:34 pm

From one of our readers:

in regarded to the Midnight Mass atSt. Mary’s Norwalk pictures on http://sthughofcluny.org/ i was wondering why there were two extra people wearing dalmatics / tunics seeing as the celebrant is not a bishop these seems like an abuse to the extraordinary form of the roman rite. i can see maybe having an extra sub-deacon in tunic as the crucifer but the other is not correct. even in the thurifer is a sub-deacon he should not vest in a tunic that’s like a priest siting in choir in a chasuble because he is a priest. please tell me the context of these pictures because i am concerned about what at first glance seems like an abuse

JGKester said in December 30th, 2011 at 10:02 am

It was the custom in cathedral, collegiate, and greater parishes throughout Spain, France, England, and much of Europe, to have the acolytes in tunicle for great feasts throughout the year. This custom has the force of centuries of tradition, which is a far greater authority than any chancery department, though in point of fact there has never been a ruling lauding or condemning the practice. Moreover, both seen here are instituted acolytes.
To speak candidly, it is the mentality that would look at photos of such a glorious occasion such as this, and immediately think “abuse,” that got us into the liturgical mess of the last 50 years to begin with. It was that rigidity that the previous generation was rebelling against. If the liturgy is going to be renewed, the era of the armchair liturgist needs to come to an end, and the freedom of the Tradition and the patrimony of the Church needs to begin.

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