Without taking the time to make a comprehensive review, allow me to state this: the Holy Week reform (1955) was legitimate and completely orthodox.
The Church's preservation of her liturgical patrimony does not rest solely on the minimalist sterility of canonical and doctrinal propriety. For as flawed and deficient as the Novus Ordo Missae is, it does not contain heresy (diabolically muddled perhaps), it is sacramentally valid and was a "legitimate"
manifestation of Papal authority over the liturgy. Yet, we freely and truthfully acknowledge that the NO is devoid of any organic liturgical continuity, has led to a wholesale abandonment of faith and has utterly destroyed any semblance of sacrality in our parishes. Change for the sake of change (even if the product is orthodox and legitimate) is a foreign concept to Catholicism. The argument of "legitimacy" and "orthodoxy" doesn't hold much water.
Anything that people do not like about it (including Msgr. Gromier's comments) are simply a matter of personal preferences of accidentals; nothing doctrinal was touched.
Exactly how is this comment any different from the ones used by NO apologists to dismiss the legitimate claims of traditionalists? As Christus Imperat stated, how can we flippantly regard centuries old liturgical treasures as mere "accidentals"
Nor do I consider the Holy Week Reform to be a precedent for the New Mass; such an accusation not only grossly over simplifies the matter, but it takes it completely out of context
The context is precisely the same as the context from which the NO was borne: committee-concocted liturgy.
Even if you consider Bugnini's own statements that it was indeed the first step toward total liturgical revolution as mere "chest-thumping", it is undeniable that modernist reformers saw in the Holy Week reforms as their first real victory toward the fruition of their machinations.
Though not the end-all argument, if Archbishop Lefebvre was willing to accept the 1955 Holy Week reforms, then I think we can say with certitude that they are doctrinally and liturgically sound.
... that seems to be the only consistent retort that is made by traditionalists who strangely refuse to acknowledge the fact that the NO and their "restored Holy Week" possess the same author and end. For as much as I love and honor the good Archbishop ... he wasn't a liturgist. It is a well established fact that he used transitional missals (i.e. post-'62 / pre-'70) while at Econe. Mgsr. Gromier was an eminent liturgical scholar and a pre- VII papal master of ceremonies (a distinct role of unimaginable liturgical complexity) , and knew an anomaly when he saw it. Knowing this, why is his analysis dismissed out of hand while lauding + Lefebvre's take as practically de fide?
Even a cursory glance at the changes implemented will reveal the radical and sweeping scope at which they operated. They were wholly invented rites in every sense of the word and it is understandable that a traditionalist would box his ears when confronted with the inconvenient fact that Bugnini's legacy is alive and well in TLM communities during one of the most solemn and sacral moments of the liturgical year. However, instead of averting one's attention from this crucial issue in a misguided attempt to protect the near-deified wisdom of + Lefebvre, the SSPX, etc (which seems to be at the root of this debate), we should confront this issue and realize that the road to restoration does not end with being complacent with the half-traditional/half-innovation table scraps of 20th century reformers.