Fr Hunwicke’s new entry S Pius V: the BIG MISTAKE, THE UNIVERSAL MYTH is worth a look-in. This piece of liturgical legislation is of no relevance to Anglicans, even though many of us are using the Anglican Missal or the English Missal, heavily based on the 1570 Roman missal.
I think Father Hunwicke’s main point was to resist the tendency of some RC conservatives who would claim that Pius V’s bull was only an earlier form of what Paul VI did in 1969 in a series of “updates” of the absolutely uniform Roman rite. That question is of no interest to me as an Anglican. However, he makes the point of Pius V wishing for the continuity of traditional local rites of Sarum, Lyons, Paris, Milan and others.
The standardised Roman missal was to be implemented where the local rite was shoddy and corrupt, as some were in the mid sixteenth century. It did involve a wholesale revision of the Roman rite, from which many valuable elements were lost. I have studied this “codification”, and would probably find more with a more thorough and less partial methodology. Sirleto’s commission left very little information on the revision of the missal, and more about the Breviary and the calendar. The result was quite draconian. Pius V, that grand Inquisitor, did leave the possibility of continuing with local rites. Unfortunately, motivated by the growing ultramontanist ideology, many dioceses that had the right to their own rites and uses did not keep them, but voluntarily switched to the Pius V rite.
Our own times are different from the end of the middle ages and the Renaissance. We have lost our intuitive understanding of liturgical symbolism, and my experience of “traditionalism” has not been a good one. The liturgical life in its fulness is no longer in the mainstream, other than in monasteries. The cathedral liturgy is gone, and the only thing that remains of that tradition is Anglican Mattins and Evensong in the English cathedrals, university college chapels and Royal Peculiars. Liturgical life is reduced to its minimum like in persecuted Churches, said masses and offices in makeshift chapels.
I could take the reflection further, but I feel it would not be healthy. We can’t put the world right, only do the best we can with what little we’ve got. We could lament, but that would do no good unless we wish to become atheists and nihilists. We just carry on as we can…