Ordained, Assistants, and Faithful: On Hierarchical Participation in Three Spheres

Owing to its density and complexity, the traditional Roman liturgy—and the same, of course, would be true of any traditional liturgy—gives rise to multiple “hierarchies” of participation, which I will call here “ecclesiastical, sanctuarial, and congregational.” What I have noticed is that a complex and subtle gradation is of the essence of the rite, although it is sometimes occluded either by a simplified performance of it or by demographic circumstances (for example, Mass in a…

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