Remember that eye-roll-inducing “Liturgical Assessment Tool” issued by the Worship office for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati (that has now curiously disappeared from the archdiocesan website)?  It asked parishes questions about how they celebrated Mass that were reflective of the local hermeneutic of rupture, e.g., the number of “lay ministers” at Mass, whether most parishioners receive from the cup, whether the music repertoire “reflects the variety of styles.”  Fr. Martin Fox, newly appointed as pastor over St. Remy parish in Russia, Ohio, has put together a 44-question assessment tool rooted in a hermeneutic of continuity and the specific directives of Vatican II and the Holy See.  Excerpted below is the section on fidelity to the norms.  How does your parish measure up?

  1. Is everything in the sacred liturgy carried out in accordance with norms set by the Holy See and the bishop – as opposed to what may arise from a particular priest’s preferences, or those of parishioners, either individually or by group?16

  2. Do all – including the priest – refrain from ever adding, removing, or changing anything in the liturgy on his or her own authority?17

  3. If there have been liturgical “adaptations” in your parish, have they been approved by either the Holy See, the bishop or conference of bishops?18

  4. Does the parish celebration of the liturgy reflect visible unity with the bishop?19

  5. Is the homily always given by an ordained minister and never a layperson?20

  6. Is Holy Mass never celebrated outside the church or chapel without the bishop’s permission?21

  7. Is the use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion truly out of necessity, rather than convenience; is it “provisional” rather than ordinary?22