Our Solemn High Mass tonight looked just like this! I'm the one with the glasses, the middle one is Fr. Dawid acting as Deacon and the last one is Deacon Don Coates acting as sub deacon (real pictures to come in a few days!
To say it was glorious is an understatement. I want to thank our combined choirs under the direction of Ms. Nelda Chapman and our assistant organist Mr. Harold McManus and our adult EF servers, our Deacon Don Coates and our Parochial Vicar, Fr. Dawid Kwiatkowksi. Fr. Dawid acting as the deacon chanted the Gospel in Latin flawlessly. I've only heard the Gospel sung in Latin this way since Vatican II in Rome, never in little old Georgia! But of course it took a Polish priest to do it in Georgia. My Latin chanting of the Collect, Preface and Post Communion Prayers wasn't bad either if I do say so my self!
There is no doubt in my mind that Pope Benedict should be made a saint for allowing the older order of the Mass back into common use. It is a no-brainer!
I had people come to me after Mass with tears in their eyes saying how much they felt they were in heaven. In fact I believe the Orthodox have a saying that if the Lord's Second Coming occurred while people were at Divine Liturgy, they wouldn't know the difference!
The EF Mass is more closely aligned with the Eastern Orthodox liturgy in ethos and spirituality. The same holds true of the EF's Solemn Form we celebrated tonight. True ecumenism means recovering the ethos and spirituality of the Western Liturgy which is more similar to the Orthodoxy's experience of liturgy than what the post Vatican II renewal of the Liturgy is. The post Vatican II renewal of the Liturgy pandered to the Protestant Reformation's deconstruction of the liturgy and the priesthood (both are intimately tied together)and thus moved us away from the Orthodox Church which has more in common with the faith and morals of the Catholic Church than most Protestant Churches have with the Catholic Church.
If ecumenism is to work to bring about Christian Unity, shouldn't the first schism in that unity be addressed first? Why did Vatican II move us further away from the Orthodox when it should have moved us closer to them? Nothing makes this more evident that the "Protestantization" of our Catholic Mass and spirituality after Vatican II. But again, the real question is, "Did Vatican II actually intend that or those who designed things as they came to be after Vatican II?" That's the question that Pope Benedict has asked and it is a very good question with very important ramifications about ecumenism.
As it concerns ecumenism and SSPX, we in the Latin Rite should be rejoicing that there may well be a full integration of the SSPX with Rome and thus all of the Church in union with Rome. Are you rejoicing over that or are you anti-ecumenical when it comes to the SSPX but not so when it comes to the Presbyterians and Episcopalians who today have theologies and doctrines that are diametrically opposed to the Catholic Faith? If you love Protestant ecumenism but not that with the SSPX and the Eastern Orthodox, that says a great deal about my premise, doesn't it?
Pictures and possibly a video to be posted later!