Saturday, February 7, 2015

WHEN THOSE WHO VALUE THE EXTRAORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS PUSH THE MAINSTREAM OF THE CHURCH AWAY FROM A RECOVERY OF THE TRANSCENDENT AND REVERENCE IN THE ORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS

Yes, Virginia and Dakota, this is the Ordinary Form the Mass!


Cardinal Burke in an interview in December said the following about the Mass:
The Sacred Liturgy is absolutely the first act of the New Evangelization. Unless we worship God in spirit and in truth, unless we celebrate the Sacred Liturgy with the greatest possible faith in God and faith in the divine action which takes place in Holy Mass, we are not going to have the inspiration and the grace to carry out the New Evangelization. […]
If the Sacred Liturgy is celebrated in an anthropocentric way, in a horizontal way in which it is no longer evident that it is a divine action, it simply becomes a social activity that can be relativized along with everything else — it doesn’t have any lasting impact on one’s life.
I think the celebration of the Extraordinary Form can have a very significant part to play in the New Evangelization because of its emphasis on the transcendence of the Sacred Liturgy. In other words, it emphasizes the reality of the union of Heaven and earth through the Sacred Liturgy. “
My Comments: While Cardinal Burke has been sidelined or marginalized recently, one might also think that his theology of the Mass has also been sidelined. I don't think so if one reads the quote above closely. What I read or how I interpret the quote above by Cardinal Burke is the way that we who care about the Liturgy, as Cardinal Burke describes, it must go.

In the quote above, Cardinal Burke is in no way calling for an exclusive return to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass or exclusive use of Latin in the Mass. He merely states that it has a significant role to play in the New Evangelization  because of its transcendence, the union of heaven and earth through the Sacred Liturgy.

His Eminence knows as I do that the Ordinary Form of the Mass is the Mass that needs to be modeled more closely to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass in terms of TRANSCENDENCE and UNION OF HEAVEN AND EARTH in the Mass. This can be accomplished in an all vernacular Mass as well.

Many advocates of the Extraordinary Form shoot themselves in the foot (and thus the Church in the foot) and the cause of the "reform of the Ordinary Form of the Mass" in the foot by becoming reactionaries and demanding things that eventually marginalize them not only in local parishes but in dioceses and ultimately in the eyes of Rome.

We will never return to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass exclusively and it will never be celebrated in every parish in every diocese. That simply isn't going to happen. And neither will Latin return to widespread use in the Ordinary Form of the Mass. It simply isn't going to happen any time soon. And females are not going to be excluded from service at the altar either as lectors or servers in the Ordinary Form of the Mass. It isn't going to happen. These demands make those who are really concerned about the Ordinary Form of the Mass look like fanatics and throw-backs. All of this marginalizes us and makes us look like radical fundamentalists!

While we might have strong, cogent views on lay involvement in the Ordinary Form of the Mass, especially in terms lay people, male and female serving as readers, altar servers and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion  these are here to stay in the Ordinary Form of the Mass and the Ordinary Form of the Mass is here to stay too!

As you know, I have no problem with males or females in any of these ministerial roles or liturgical roles, although I recognize that an exclusive male corps of altar boys could be used as a way to promote vocations to the priesthood.  I am quite grateful to have men and women bringing Holy Communion to our home bound and hospitalized as well.

What I have advocated, though, is that the Church universal should direct bishops and dioceses to make sure that lectors and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are well trained theologically and spiritually concerning their role and they are selected properly. There should be strong diocesan programs for these ministries. It should not be a free-for-all for anyone no matter what, just a warm body or simply for the sake of showing the multitudes are now participating in the Mass in these ministries. We shouldn't make those who sit in the pews faithfully Sunday after Sunday and never choose to be lectors, Extraordinary Ministers and the like feel as second class citizens. The laity's primary liturgical role is their participation from the pew!

Given the fact that the Ordinary Form of the Mass's Roman Missal will not be revised in any significant way in the near future (barring the allowances that the Anglican Ordinariate Missal will bring about and very soon) what can be done to celebrate the Ordinary Form of the Mass in a way that shows forth  TRANSCENDENCE and UNION OF HEAVEN AND EARTH in the Sacred Liturgy? What is possible and what can we suggest without coming off as shrill, extreme and unrealistic thus marginalizing ourselves or being marginalized from the highest places like Cardinal Burke has been?

1. Seek better music for the Mass and start by recognizing the music of the Mass are the chants of the Mass itself beginning with the Propers, the priest's parts and the laity's parts. If this is well understood by priests and laity, this will go a long way in making the Mass's music better with the right focus.

2. For filler music, emphasize good hymnals with traditional hymns. But hymns are not the music of the Mass, these are fillers and can be used to supplement the Introit at the Procession (not replace) as well as to cover the action of the Offertory and Communion time.  A hymn can also be sung as a recessional (there is no requirement for this in the Roman Mass nor a proper for the recessional).

3. Seek to instill in priests and laity a sense of attention to detail and choreography of the Mass with the Extraordinary Form of the Mass as the template.

4. Make sure that all "ministers" of the Mass are properly trained, vested properly and carry out their ministry with grace and reverence, be they male or female.

5. Seek a cogent understanding as to why Mass with the priest joining the congregation in facing the same direction takes the emphasis off the priest (and thus clericalism) and his facial features and pious looks and acting ability. It also helps the priest to remain focused on the transcendent without be distracted by stupid things going on in the nave that he sees clearly. But barring this, the traditional altar arrangement modified a bit by Pope Francis at the Vatican compared to Pope Benedict should be used more widespread.

6. Promote kneeling for Holy Communion, on the tongue and by intinction rather than the common unsanitary chalice. This should not be viewed in a negative way whatsoever and is in fact allowed by the Roman Missal's USA adaptations in the General Instruction. It is simply stupid to think that this nearly 1500 year tradition in the Latin Rite should be anathema today or not recovered. This is the single best thing to help restore transcendence and reverence to the Liturgy bar none!

7. Place the tabernacle in the middle of the sanctuary and return to sacred silence before and after Mass.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

I disagree with you Father, the Traditional Mass will again be normative in Catholic parishes. It has too because the Mass of Paul VI has emptied churches.

Each year it gets worse. The people who still attend that Mass don't really believe in the Catholic Faith and you can tell that by their behaviour and by the fact that they will tell you things like: all religions are equal, they don't believe in confession, the eucharist is only symbolic, women should be priests, abortion is fine etc etc etc.

Just who do you think is going to be left in the Church in 50 years? The flip flop crowd who could care less or the faithful few who have endured hatred and ridicule from their own bishops, priests and now the pope, and yet have remained faithful. Traditional Catholics have endured and our resolve has gotten stronger to not compromise or change the Faith. We will be left. The Church will be much much smaller but more faithful.

JBS said...

All true. But given the rapid loss of faithful Catholics in what was once Christendom and its exclaves, we should be on guard against defending too strongly the present liturgical forms and canonical norms, or of absolutely ruling out proposed solutions that have the weight of tradition on their side.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Out of a parish that has almost 1400 families, we only have about 150 who appreciate the EF Mass but of that only about 50 come to our once a month EF High Mass on Sunday. I would not call that a resounding success and if I have upwards to 200 attending that Mass I would have gladly made our 12:10 PM Sunday Mass this form of the Mass every week.

The Cathedral in Savannah has a weekly EF High Mass at 1 PM I believe. Savannah has a very large Catholic population, yet only about 100 to 150 attend this Mass and many of them tourists to the city, not Savannahians.

Unless someone can show me statistics that indicate the EF Mass is turning into a rememdy for more people attending Mass, I maintain my position.

Anonymous said...

My experience is that attendance at the Ordinary Form of the Mass is steadily declining.

All the dioceses in my country are undergoing restructure and churches are being sold off. But for immigrants from Asian countries our churches would be almost empty.

Some immigrants say that their children no longer attend Mass once they leave college. So even they are finding it difficult to pass on the Faith.

No amount of tinkering with the OF of the Mass is going to reverse the decline because the reality is the OF of the Mass is not strengthening people in the Faith. The reasons for that have been gone into ad nauseum: the Mass has become a sort of performance to be watched, a celebration where clapping, chatter, etc, are the norm and unfortunately the protestants seem to do the celebration bit better, and so when people get bored that's where some of them are going.

The majority of those who prefer to attend the OF of the Mass like it the way it is. As it is many have complained about the changes to the wording of the Mass. Any attempt to include Latin is complained of. People don't want silence at Mass and they want secular-type music.

Those who prefer all you would suggest, Father, attend the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

It would be interesting to know if you have found your parishioners more receptive to change than priests in my country have. The changes you suggest have led to complaints about the priests to the bishops and of course priests - even the conservative ones - are finding they have to go with the flow.

As things are now, yes, Father, you are right, anyone who wants to attend Mass to worship God is regarded as an extremist. But then Christ was regarded as an extremist so we are in good company.

Jan

Anonymous said...

Father, I would be curious to know the results of any inquiries you have done in your parish - do you think the low attendance is related to the time slot, the fact that the 12:10 is already a reverent celebration, and thus waiting for the EF is not necessary to fulfill Sunday obligation, or that the interest is just slim? Among my friends, none have ever heard an EF Mass, much less understand the differences, and therefore have no interest. At the same time, I know that St. Francis de Sales in Mableton has a low and high Sunday Mass that are both packed, but I believe they are at more standard times and draw from a big city.

Steven

Gene said...

Fr, people have to be educated about the EF. Just tossing one out there at an odd hour on Sunday and saying, "Ok, come and get it," is not exactly forming the attitudes and understandings of the flock. You lead from the front...

JBS said...

It must be admitted that very few practicing Catholics attend the EF Mass, even where it is available each Sunday. However, I'm noticing that "EF families" in my region are more "fruitful" (i.e. larger), and produce a disproportionately high number of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. In my parish, only ten percent of parishioners attend the EF Mass, but they account for 30% of the children, and 100% of the priestly vocations.

Six of the seven seminarians from around our see city either attended an EF Mass, were home-schooled, or both.

In the event of an all-out persecution, what would all these statistics look like?

Anonymous said...

"Unless someone can show me statistics that indicate the EF Mass is turning into a rememdy for more people attending Mass, I maintain my position."

Father, the majority of people who identify themselves as Catholics are only Catholic in name only. They do not believe or practice the Catholic Faith, they pick and choose what they want. This includes those few who still attend the OF Mass on any kind of regular basis. Don't believe me ask them. Ask those Catholics who attend the OF of the Mass if they believe everything the Catholic Church teaches. See how many believe.

Then ask the same question to those Catholics who attend the EF of Mass. You will see a marked difference.

The real reason that more people do not attend the EF of Mass is because they don't believe in the Catholic Faith. They hate the EF because it clearly is Catholic and they don't feel confortable in a truly Catholic atmosphere.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Intentional Catholicism, no matter the venue, EF, charistmatic or any of the many other new movments such as Catholic home schooling all have more children and these communities are highly committed to the Catholic faith. The point of truth is intentional.

I don't disagree with the dismal experience so many have with a poorly celebrated OF Mass that is neither transcendent or an experience of heaven and earth together. Catholics have been malformed not necessarily through a well celebrated OF Mass but precisely by its poor celebration.

Bishops need to wake up to this truth and the truth of intentional Catholics in all of the variety of the new movements I mentioin, which includes the EF!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, for the statistics, Father. Would you be able to say of those 1,400 families how many would attend the Ordinary Form of the Mass? How many would go to confession? And do the majority now kneel at the altar rails for communion?

I am from a small country and we have only five dioceses. By comparison with your statistics we have quite large numbers attending the EF of the Mass.

One diocese now has 50-60 attending the Latin Mass on a weekly basis and it is rising all the time. The parish that hosts that Mass would only have about 200 families.

In another diocese where one priest started saying the Traditional Mass in the 1980s his parish built up to over 300 and he had four Masses on Sunday all full in a small church. He had daily Mass also well attended and vocations to the FSSP have come from that parish. Latterly, actually, more vocations than for the whole of the diocese for the Ordinary Form of the Mass.

Two other parishes also offer the Mass - one once a month gets about 40 people. The other parish is about the same number but weekly. In addition there is the SSPX and they get quite a few I believe. They also have a big group in one diocese with schools, a religious order of nuns and four priests.

What I can definitely say is that attendance at the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is rising here, despite the fact that it is often not allowed to be advertised or mentioned in the parish bulletins and offered in chapels and not allowed in the main parishes except in one diocese where the bishop has been very generous.

Another thing that is interesting is that converts to the Faith show more interest than the average Catholic.

Jan

WSquared said...

Very nice, Father. And yes, I'm in agreement.

Fr. Christopher Smith (now at Prince of Peace in Taylors, SC) celebrates/has celebrated both forms reverently to the benefit of his parishioners. There's an article in the NCRegister about his efforts: those who swore that they'd never attend the EF have found that there's nothing they really object to, and have started going. Those EF advocates who usually stay away from the Novus Ordo find that they have nothing to object to, because Fr. Smith celebrates it reverently. And so there's this nice cross-pollination going on.

So it can happen.

"The people who still attend that Mass don't really believe in the Catholic Faith..."

Anon @ 7:39, watch yourself. I attend the OF regularly, but I know the EF well-- I am, however, the only EF lover in my family, and I'm not going to cause unnecessary tension in my marriage just for the EF.

I don't believe in a single thing you accuse me of believing as a regular OF attendee (and I'm sure I'm not the exception, even as I know that most Catholics are deplorably catechized. That's changing, though. In any one very large parish, there is always going to be a dedicated, devout group). I DO NOT believe that all religions are equal, that regular Confession is dispensable, that the Eucharist is only symbolic (my OF-only parish has a perpetual Adoration chapel, and yes, I have a scheduled slot), and that abortion is fine, or even that contraception is fine. And I know darn well that a "womynprist" is a spiritual and sacramental impossibility based on basic Catholic sacramental theology, which is why I don't waste my time whining about it.

I also do my best to promote the EF among OF goers, telling them that we do not pit the two forms of the Mass against each other, the Church didn't "ban" Latin or the EF, and that they need not be afraid-- that they'll catch on. When people ask, I frequently point to the chapel veil I wear at any and all Masses, EF and OF, and tell them that it's to remind me of Whose Presence I'm in. No OF-goer has ever razzed me for that veil or for kneeling for communion. I promote chant and polyphony in the a capella choir in which I sing, and I do my best to give reasons for why the Church gives us this music, and not simply make demands. In my Bible-study group, I repeatedly draw reference to the EF and to the Church's musical tradition in discussions, and my contribution is sharing insights on how it all fits together-- dogma, doctrine, discipline, devotions, theology, prayer, Catechism, Creed, Rosary, "hard teachings," all of it.

How does your attitude, Sir/Madam, help anyone or anything, most of all the EF, at all?

Cletus Ordo said...

Father, I agree with you that those of us who love the EF can be too "reactionary" and marginalize ourselves in doing so. I know, because I am guilty of doing just that. I am far more likely to be candid in this particular forum than I would be with a bunch of Novus Ordo Catholics precisely because of how unreceptive they can be.

However, I must disagree with your "ain't never gonna happen" prophecy about the return of the EF. I'm not even going to say it IS going to happen. I just think it's not particularly prudent to make such a prediction based on a parish in the deeply Protestant South. I also think such predictions limit the miraculous and transforming capabilities of our God. Finally, you are predicting the future based on, in the scope of Church history, just a 50 year history. In the grand scheme of things, the last 50 years is a very small period of time and it has been a time of ascendancy for the the Evil One in his attacks on the Church, which no one would deny.

Another Catholic also had some prophecies about the future, this one a saint: Anna Katherine Emmerich foresaw a Mass that for a time was unrecognizable, that lacked many of the prayers it once had and eliminated the last Gospel--a good description of the Novus Ordo. She foresaw a Church that was a church focused on man and not God. Does that not describe a huge number of our parishes these days and even much of the "teachings" coming from the Synod hijackers in Rome?

Sure, those are private revelations and we are under no obligation to accept them, but i think they point to the fact that the Church we live in is a mess. Pope Francis says we need to go out and make a mess. I guess I respectfully disagree and say we need to clean the big mess up. Nowhere does that duty present itself more urgently than with our liturgy. I won't say the EF will never be the dominant usage of the Mass again, because I would't dare place any restrictions on what God can do. He always has more options than we do.

John Nolan said...

Fr AJM

Perhaps all the things you mention will not disappear 'any time soon'. They are all of very recent origin and the Church does not think in terms of 'any time soon'; she thinks in centuries.

The new Mass dates from 1970. That 1962 was chosen as the definitive Missal for the now equally esteemed older Rite is significant, not because it marks a milestone in the development of the Roman Rite but because after that the Roman rite was significantly altered in order to signify a new departure; this alteration took place in the years 1964 to 1967. If you read 'Inter Oecumenici' of 1964 you can be in no doubt that the reformers had already decided what the new Mass was going to be like.

It might well be the case that in a hundred or two hundred years' time the Church may come to realize that the 1960s and 1970s experiments have not worked and rethink the whole thing.

Keyser Soze said...

"Unless someone can show me statistics that indicate the EF Mass is turning into a rememdy for more people attending Mass, I maintain my position."

The proof is in the many inner-city parishes in cities with large Catholic populations that have been reborn as TLM parishes. Many of these parishes were shut down or scheduled for closure and are now experiencing a Renaissance. They have drawn in the Catholics alienated by the pseudo-protestantism of the badly-offered New Masses they have suffered for years. They are also being filled with young Catholics who are in awe of the patrimony their pastors have denied them and want more.

Judging the success of the TLM by the experience of a Catholic parish down yonder in Protestantville isn't a good standard for comparison. Instead, look at what has happened when this Mass is introduced where Catholics actually live. We aren't going to evangelize anyone until we win back the alienated Catholics who have abandoned their Church--many of whom feel like their Church abandoned them.

WSquared said...

I have another suggestion, Father, that's sort of a corollary to your #1: Nail the Ordinaries First. Especially if you are starting from scratch.

Most laypeople don't know what the Propers are, but that can come later. Most laypeople aren't even aware of chanted Ordinaries, and they're used to singing hymns and the "four-hymn sandwich." Some people who are used to "singing everything" might complain about a "participation," but having the congregation nail the Ordinaries will probably address that well: laypeople have an important role to play. The Ordinaries are one of the rhythmic and melodic backbones of the Mass. With any processional and recessional hymns plus Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei, that's a lot of music that they'll be singing, right there (and depending on your congregation, you might start with chanted English Ordinaries first, to get them used to the idea, and then slowly introduce motets in Latin or even all of the Ordinaries in Latin-- most people are going to have heard the "De Angelis" or "Deus Genitor Alme" settings). And when Propers are introduced, those can be sung by the choir or schola, along with any Offertory and Communion motets. So the laity essentially gets both kinds of "active participation"-- singing the stuff they're supposed to be singing, and thus internalizing the rhythms of the Church's public prayer, and contemplation. Moreover, when it comes to choir members who are used to "Eagle's Wings," etc., who may feel alienated by this sort of music, reach out to them, knowing that they're trying; we're all trying: help them to see that there is a place for them in a choir that sings traditional music, because of what this music can give them.

I often ask people: what kind of music might a Catholic pop or rock musician who is steeped in Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony write? Not necessarily a hybrid, methinks, but perhaps even better-crafted rock or pop music that has a careful sense of structure and counterpoint with which can be used to evangelize outside of Mass.

Reforms that are put in place slowly, but deliberately, have less of a chance of pushing people off the cliff (and why would we want that, even as this does not get to be about what they, we, or anybody at all "likes" or "wants," but about what the Church gives us and why?). A lot of patience and spiritual growth is going to have to happen on all sides. That's not at all a bad thing.

When it comes to ad orientem, etc., I do notice that a lot of people might say something like "how are we supposed to get closer to Jesus?" complaining of the formality. There, why not say: "true, we are to have a close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ-- in fact the closest and most intimate possible, which is what the Eucharist does. And since it's so important to have a close, personal relationship with Jesus Christ, wouldn't it make more sense to face Him?" I could also go on and on about how the Church's musical tradition of chant and polyphony illustrate so much about what Catholics believe, and also the practice of the Catholic spiritual life.

Faith said...

"We will never return to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass exclusively and it will never be celebrated in every parish in every diocese. That simply isn't going to happen."

....until Lord Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith is elected Supreme Pontiff within the next 3 years.

Jdj said...

Yes, Father @9:23, exactly so! I think the shrill comments you get at times underscore this reality. We have no EF here, none. But we do at least have access to one reverent OF on a given Sunday. Many souls have no access to even this, hence the angst.

Henry said...

WSquared, thanks for a couple of very incisive and perceptive comments in this thread, with solid tangible advice for both lay and priests.

DJR said...

I believe the title to this post betrays an incorrect understanding of the current reality.

Catholics of the Roman Rite who "value the Extraordinary Form of the Mass" are, in the overwhelming majority, powerless in the Church. They do not have the reins of power and, thus, are not pushing "the mainstream of the Church away from a recovery of the transcendent and reverence in the Ordinary Form of the Mass."

It is the modern bishops and priests themselves, those who hold the reins of power, that are keeping "the mainstream of the Church away from a recovery of the transcendent and reverence in the Ordinary Form of the Mass," as many of them are not the least bit interested in such a recovery.

To blame the lack of reverence in the Ordinary Form of Mass on Traditional Catholics is disingenuous at best.

Traditional Catholics have been fighting for decades for a restoration of reverence in the Mass, only to be rebuffed, ignored, ridiculed, and attacked by the very shepherds whose job it is to maintain reverence in the Mass.

No one is pushing "the mainstream of the Church" away from reverence; "the mainstream of the Church" chooses the irreverence on its own. Until the mainstream decides to change, the irreverence will continue unabated; witness the way Holy Communion is distributed at papal Masses.

I agree with the assessment of others here who understand that the Church is in this thing for the long haul. The modern Mass will fall of its own weight, as the majority of Catholics couldn't care less about attending it. The old form will one day prevail, but the Church will be much smaller.

Carol H. said...

A man who is currently living at the Salvation Army was at the Masses at St. Joseph last Sunday. After communion he asked me to explain to him what was going on. He said that he didn't understand anything that was being said, but that he was experiencing the most peace that he ever felt. Then he proclaimed, "It's the ceremony!"

It is the EF that makes him want to become Catholic. I told him about RCIA and I hope he will attend. His name begins with a 'B', and if he wants a Catholic Bible, please provide him with one from the bookstore and send me the bill.

The Holy Spirit is doing much more through the EF than any of us can ever know.

Bee said...

Posts like these begin to worry me that something as innocent as allowing the EF to be celebrated is creating the basis for a schism. That should never be, and could that be the reason the EF was "banned" in most dioceses; to prevent this split.

The liturgy changed when I when I was 9 years old, so for most of my life I have only known the OF. I remembered the EF, and I had loved the Church liturgies and devotions (Benediction, Stations of the Cross, 40 Hours) before the change, yet, I came to love the OF because it allowed me to actually pray during Mass with the priest. That the prayers were said aloud by the priest let me ignore the printed page, and in my heart say the prayers along with him silently (with a millisecond delay, since I didn't know the Eucharistic Prayers by heart) and I found out that Mass was a sustained prayer - one hour of sustained prayer that needed my complete attention. Over time, it came to be that anything that distracted my praying the Mass with the priest made aggravated me. That was not good, but I realized praying the Mass with the priest WAS good. I now try to accept distractions and let them go and get back to the business of praying during Mass in spite of some of the distractions and abuses.

Because of my life circumstances, recently the best time slot for me to attend Mass just happens to be the EF form. I like it too, but it is a lot more work, because I have to read all the prayers, and also flip back and forth to read the daily prayers in order to pray the Mass.

So when I have the choice I prefer the OF, but the OF well celebrated, with dignity and seriousness and not a party or casual atmosphere. If I am there to pray, people talking loudly before and after, kids leaving and entering the pews like a parade, parents or grandparents playing with the little ones, the priest adding thank you's, encouraging clapping, and all the other extras, can destroy my worship of God. Maybe others feel differently, but I am there to spend an hour with others of the Church Militant to give God worship, to receive Jesus Christ in the Eucharist (a huge deal for me), and a party atmosphere destroys it for me.

So for me, the OF celebrated in a serious and reverent way IS the best liturgy, and the EF is a beautiful form, but I would never want it to be normative.

I have found that one of the key determinations of whether the celebration of the Mass is done well, with reverence and beauty, is whether the priest actually believes in God or not. You might think, what priest, if he's a priest, doesn't believe in God? But there are many (some?) who don't believe in the Real Presence, or perhaps even the existence of God as many of us mean it when we speak of Him. And I content THIS is the real issue behind bad liturgy, which is not even being addressed.

Henry said...

"We will never return to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass exclusively and it will never be celebrated in every parish in every diocese."

But we can hope that, within the lifetimes of most of those now living, every parish will have at least one Sunday Mass properly celebrated Mass either EF or OF, reverently celebrated with no substitutions or non-traditional options, with propers, ordinary and order of Mass chanted in the vernacular if not Latin, with solemnity (incense, etc) on appropriate occasions if not ad orientem.

I understand experience indicates that those attending such a properly celebrated Mass begin with time to confess more frequently, to behave reverently before during and after Mass, to genuflect to Our Lord in the Tabernacle, to receive communion reverently and more frequently on the tongue, kneeling when possible, etc. (Fix the Liturgy, fix the Church)

DJR said...

"Judging the success of the TLM by the experience of a Catholic parish down yonder in Protestantville..."

I thought that was hilarious: "down yonder in Protestantville."

In Georgia, we have the following counties: Macon, Crisp, Bacon and Coffee. Say that fast enough, and you'll understand why Protestants here love their breakfasts. We also have Bibb. LOL.

George said...

Thank you for doing that Carol. I'm glad you were there to talk to that person.

Bee
As long as the priest is validly ordained and with the necessary intent says the proper words of consecration during the Mass, then the bread and wine transubstantiate to the Body and Blood of Christ.In order to complete the Sacrifice the celebrant must consume the Body and Blood. If a priest, even if he doesn't believe in the Real Presence does these things, then what is necessary and required has been done.

John Nolan said...

Back in the 1970s, when I was in my 20s, a 'traditional Mass' was one celebrated in Latin with the traditional music (chant and polyphony) but according to the Missal of Paul VI. There were occasional 'indult Masses' in what was called the Tridentine Rite but they were few and far between, and hardly ever on Sundays.

In other words, it was not the EF which carried on the tradition, but the OF (to use a terminology which only dates from 2007). Priests in those days were familiar with the Latin Mass and so adapting it to the Novus Ordo was not difficult. The new Graduale Romanum (1974) rearranged the chants to fit the new calendar, as well as providing music for those parts of the NO which had never been sung in the older Rite.

Thirty years ago I would have told you that the future was with the Novus Ordo but that it needed to be resacralized and reconnected with tradition. This is still important, but the situation is now entirely changed. What we called the Tridentine Mass is far more widely available (every Sunday I have a choice of three within 40 minutes' drive, and I don't live in London).

This makes it easier for those like myself (whom PI regards as non-philistine) to push vernacular chant at parish level, since the EF stands guard as an exemplar and an ideal. This morning I sang all the Gregorian Propers for Sexagesima Sunday, and wonderful they are; but I would happily use simple vernacular settings in the context of an English Mass if I thought I would be doing good thereby.

I am far more tolerant, and far more liberal (in the best sense) than is Fr Kavanaugh.

Anonymous said...

The trouble with your views John Nolan, is they inevitably lead to Mass in the vernacular and then on to all the abuses we have seen. If you wish to attend an EF Mass then leave it as it is or attend the OF of the Mass and tinker with that. We have a woman who now wants to be an altar boy at the EF Mass and be the person to respond. That to me is an OF mentality at an EF Mass and people interested in the form but not the substance.

Jan

Anonymous said...

Correction on my last post:

The priest did not recite the Gloria [it was Septuagesima.] But he did recite the Sanctus.

Sorry.

Marie

John Nolan said...

Jan, don't misunderstand me. I don't want to tinker with the EF Mass and could attend it every Sunday and Holy Day if I so desired. I actually prefer it, for a number of reasons.

I am concerned that the welcome now given to the EF will make us forget that the 're-sacralization' of the OF was also a priority for Benedict XVI. Those of us with liturgical sensibilities and musical competence have a duty, which might indeed be called a missionary outreach, towards those of our brethren for whom (and through no fault of their own) the Mass is a social gathering accompanied by music in the popular secular idiom.

So it's the OF which requires the tinkering. The corrected translation is a start, but much still needs to be done, since many of the assumptions of the last 40 years have become engrained.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, John, I misread what you said and thought you meant you wanted to sing the propers in the vernacular at the EF Mass, but I understand what you mean now.

For myself, I prefer the Mass either totally in the vernacular or totally in Latin (or whatever the language is), so I agree with you that singing the propers in English at the OF of the Mass is a good idea.

Jan