This commentary isn’t about the TLM, but about the modern Mass, but reformed to be in continuity with the TLM.
Everyone has their own opinion about why so many Catholics, up to 83% of them, do not go to Mass and certainly don’t think anything special is happening during the Mass. It is social change, individualism, loss of faith, loss of confidence in the bishops and priests of the Church, to include the pope, loss of transcendence, dignity and reverence. Why go and be bored to death with blah and homilies that put most people to sleep or to a zoning out state of mind?
The Modern Mass is here to stay, but its form and manner of celebration is not set in concrete.
I am angered and frustrated that Pope Benedict did not create a “new Consilium” to reform the Modern Mass, which is in need of reform more so than the TLM at the time of the Council was reformed fixing things that weren’t broken.
Here is what needs to be done:
1. Restore the ancient order of the Mass. The Official Entrance Chant is required and in the form of the TLM’s but in the vernacular or Latin. The priest and ministers process to the sanctuary, but at the foot of the altar, after the chanting of the Introit, the priest begins in an audible voice with the sign of the cross and immediately introduces the Penitential Act with the prescribed words. The Confiteor is said by all with the modern absolution. The Priest ascends to the ad orientem altar as the Kyrie is chanted praying the TLM devotional prayers silently. The Gloria is chanted or spoken and then the priest turns to the assembly and says/chants “The Lord be with you.” Then he goes to the epistle side of the altar and prays the Collect.
All are seated for the Liturgy of the Word.
2. The lectionary is reformed to eliminate one of the first readings and to restore the Gradual/Tract. The Liturgy of the Word is carried out as it is now offered in the Modern Mass. Lectors are officially installed and wear the alb or cassock and surplice to perform their ministry.
3. On Sundays the homily is required and should be 5 to 8 minutes long and relevant to people’s life, not a theological discourse or repetition of the readings.
4. The Credo is prayed with the priest standing at the middle of the altar. The Universal Prayer is suppressed. The Offertory Antiphon is restored to the missal and always offered in the manner of the TLM’s.
5. The Offertory Procession is suppressed
6. The traditional offertory prayers are restored and prayed in a low voice.
7. After the prayer after the priest washes his hands, he turns to the congregation with the full “Orates Fratres” and then prays out loud the Prayer over the gifts.
8. The Roman Canon is prayed on Sundays and Solemnities. Eucharistic Prayer III is the alternative Canon, all the others are suppressed. The canon is prayed in a low voice with the TLM’s restored rubrics.
9. The Communion Rite is restored to the TLM’s format.
10. Holy Communion is distributed at the altar railing with reception on the tongue while kneeling. Only bishops, priests, deacons and formally instituted acolytes may distribute Holy Communion and the installed acolytes vested in alb or cassock and surplus.
11. The concluding rite recovers the TLM’s order. The last Gospel is suppressed.
Definitely my way will restore the vigor and health of the modern Mass and by its beauty and transcendence it will attract the laity to the Mass and inspire non Catholics.