„Die Neuordnung der Karwoche war also vor allem eine Änderung des zeitlichen Ablaufs“, schrieb ich jüngst. Das stimmt, glauben wir der Wikipedia, nicht ganz. Denn sie beschreibt die Reform von 1955 wie folgt:
The Palm Sunday blessing of palms was freed from elements, such as the recitation of the Sanctus, that were relics of an earlier celebration of a separate Mass for the blessing, and the procession was simplified. Among the changes for Holy Thursday were the moving of the Mass from morning to evening, thus making room for a morning Chrism Mass, and the introduction into the evening Mass of the rite of the washing of feet. Changes to the Good Friday liturgy included moving it from morning to afternoon, and allowing the congregation to receive Holy Communion, which had formerly been reserved to the priest; an end was also put to the custom whereby, at the communion, the priest drank some unconsecrated wine into which he had placed part of the consecrated host. There were more numerous changes to the Easter Vigil service:
- The service was to be celebrated on the night leading to Easter Sunday instead of Holy Saturday morning;
- The triple candlestick which had previously been lit at the start of the service was replaced with the Paschal candle and candles held by each member of the congregation;
- New ceremonies were introduced, such as the renewal of baptismal promises (in the vernacular) and the inscribing of the Arabic numerals of the year on the Paschal candle;
- The prayer for the (Holy Roman) Emperor in the Exultet was replaced with a newly composed prayer;
- Eight Old Testament readings were omitted, another was shortened, and the priest was no longer obliged to read the passages quietly while they were being read or chanted aloud;
- The „Last Gospel“ (John 1:1-14) that had customarily ended Mass was omitted.
At the Vigil of Pentecost, the traditional blessing of baptismal water, accompanied by the Litany of the Saints and six Old Testament readings, was omitted completely. These were still printed in the Missal, which, except for the replacement of the Holy Week liturgies, remained unchanged and was not considered to constitute a new editio typica superseding that of Pope Pius X, which was published by Pope Benedict XV.