Can you tell which one of these Masses is the Ordinary Form of the Mass and the Extraordinary Form of the Mass? The answer is at the end of this post.
The problem is that most who attend the EF Mass today never attended it when it was the Ordinary Form of the Mass. So these new comers bring their method of participating in the OF Mass to the EF Mass. For those of us old enough to remember, we are now beginning to remember how we did participate in the EF Mass when it was the OF Mass.
Even in the first grade, Sister Lilian taught us, when we learned how to read, how to use the St. Joseph Sunday Missal. The most important thing was to be able to find the particular Sunday that was being celebrated in the book for that had all the changing parts of the Mass in English: the Introit, Collect, Scripture readings and Gradual, Offertory Antiphon, Secret, Communion Antiphon and Post Communion Prayer.
There are only a handful of prefaces in the EF Mass. In the Sundays that we now call Ordinary Time, the Preface of the Most Holy Trinity was always used, no other choices. Lent had one preface and various prefaces for various feasts and the Blessed Virgin Mary and then there was the common preface for weekdays.
Everything thing else in the EF Mass is fixed, so there is no guess work concerning which option the priest will use at any particular time. There is only the Roman Canon and no other Eucharistic Prayers.
If one was a cradle Catholic and went to Mass every Sunday by the time one graduated from High School, one could have memorized all the fixed parts of the Mass in English or at least knew in your mind the general structure of the fix parts of the Mass especially the Roman Canon. There really wasn't a need to keep your eyes glued on the missal, but rather on the altar.
The light bulb moment for me about how one should participate on the EF Mass came when I read Father Robert Taft, SJ's commentary on the Eastern Rite which I posted below. He said this about ceremony: "But liturgy is not ceremonial. It is prayer. And so these ceremonies are the ritual expression of a text."
That is precisely true of the EF Mass. Not only is the Roman Canon in Latin, it is prayed quietly, inaudibly. The lay person participates in this by watching the "ceremonial expression of the priest, listening to the bells, in order to see the "ritual expression of a text." I think that is marvelous!
In other words, the lay participant at an EF Mass watches the Mass, knowing the structure of the Mass and what does not change, but watches it and understands it through "dynamic equivalency" of understanding the priest's "ritual expressions of the various texts." In other words, put down the missal once you've learned the structure and content of the unchanging parts of the Mass and watch the priest and interpret what he is praying using dynamic equivalency or summary of the written texts in your mind in the vernacular! It's so simple what is accurately called "NOBLE SIMPLICITY!"
You can always study your pew missal before Mass to read over the various prayers, but don't look at it too often during the Mass. Keep your eyes and minds on the "ritual expressions of the texts!"
THE FIRST PICTURE IS THE ORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS AND THE SECOND IS THE EXTRAORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS. NOW COME ON, IF YOU HADN'T SEEN THESE PICTURES IN EARLIER POSTS, WOULD YOU HAVE BEEN ABLE TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE? AND THUS MY POINT IN ASKING THE QUESTION: SHOULD THE HERMENEUTIC OF CONTINUITY BE MANDATED TO ASSURE THAT THE TWO FORMS OF THE ONE ROMAN RITE LOOK ALIKE SO THAT THERE DOESN'T APPEAR TO BE ANY RUPTURE IN HOW THE ORDINARY FORM WAS REFORMED FROM THE EXTRAORDINARY FORM LOOK AND THAT EVERYONE KNOWS THAT THE TWO FORMS CELEBRATE THE SAME SALVATION EVENTS?