I would urge bishops to familiarize themselves with the usus antiquior as a means of achieving their own deeper formation in the liturgy and as a reliable reference point in bringing about renewal and reform of the liturgy in the local Church. Speaking from personal experience, my own study and celebration of the older liturgical rites has had a tremendous effect on my own appreciation of our liturgical tradition and has enhanced my own understanding and celebration of the new rites.
I would further encourage bishops to be as generous as possible with the faithful who desire and ask for the opportunity to worship in the usus antiquior in their dioceses. Allowing for its natural flourishing will have its own effect on the liturgical life of the whole diocesan Church. It must never be seen as something out of the mainstream of ecclesial life, that is, as something on the fringes. The bishop’s own public celebration of it can prevent this from happening. ~Archbishop Alexander Sample, from his address at the International Conference on the Sacred Liturgy, “The Bishop, Governor, Promotor, and Guardian of the Liturgical Life of the Diocese”
Ignatius Press just published an outstanding book entitled, Sacred Liturgy: The Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church. It’s a collection of all the addresses that were given at last year’s International Conference on the Sacred Liturgy in Rome. BUY IT! Thanks to the New Liturgical Movement for bringing it to my attention.
From many conversations with people in the know, (church leaders, teachers at seminaries, etc.,) I can attest to the lacuna in proper liturgical formation at our seminaries. I’m talking about really understanding liturgical theology, the ars celebrandi, the hermeneutic of continuity, Patristics, Latin, sacred music, and so on. These are often treated as extra-curricular tag ons, rather than integral parts of a priest’s formation. Any wonder why banality has invaded our liturgical life?