The photo on the left, of Pope Francis Saturday morning, 20 April, presiding at Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, has been doing the rounds.
Young lads as servers. Not vested. Simple cross on the altar. Two candles to one side…
Many of those who were disappointed (in disagreement) with the direction that liturgy has been moving in the West since the reform of Vatican II, became enthusiastic about what became called “the Reform of the Reform” – a return to more pre-Vatican II feel, style, and practice. Pope Benedict XVI was their hero, the movement’s leader and prime example.
Ultramontane understanding of the papacy, and catch-cries of “Where Peter goes, we follow” were good covers for what, at a safer distance, look like personal preference and a lot of focus on form over substance.
With the arrival of Pope Francis those same people have significantly lessened their chanting of “Where Peter goes, we follow”. The official end of the Reform of the Reform has been announced. “Reading Francis through Benedict” has become one way for the movement to regroup.
The reform of the reform of the reform has begun.
ps. no prizes for guessing whether my own presiding style is closer to that of Francis or of Benedict.