In terms of the use of the vernacular languages, it’s pretty clear that the main part of the liturgy that the Fathers aimed to target were the readings. Latin is a holy tongue, and you never want it to go away, but while proclaiming the text in a language that the people don’t understand has a lot of spiritual merit, pastorally speaking, it’s a difficult proposition. In a strange sense, I think the liturgical reforms of Vatican II came too late because there was so much resentment and it was so long overdue that something be done. That being said, I don’t think that the result of the liturgical reform of 1969-70 was entirely consistent with what he council was calling for. There was no reason to reshuffle the church calendar; that was devastating and it continues to be devastating. We have a third of the year that is blocked off as Ordinary Time and it’s just not a very compelling model. There are all kinds of words that were part of the Catholic Life: rogation days, quadrigesima, the ranking of the classes of the feasts. I think it disturbed and destabilized the Catholic life in a terrible way because it messed with people’s rituals at a fundamental level. At the same time, something had to give, and I think they kind of made a mess of it, but it’s probably easier to see now than it was at the time.
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