Tuesday, December 27, 2016


I admit it, I live in a liturgical bubble. I have always tried to make sure that the Mass is celebrated solemnly and reverently in my parishes. I appreciate both forms of the Mass and recognize that the reverence of the EF Mass is built into it whereas one must really work hard to make sure the OF Mass is reverent.

What works against reverence in the OF are built into it. The following must be critiqued and one day officially changed even if nothing else changes in the current OF Roman Missal:

1. Communion in the hand while standing and on the move

2. Interruption of the flow of prayer and spirituality during the Introductory Rite with banal greetings, banter and mini or Maxie homilies

3. Priests acting as actors not as PRIESTS, in the Old Testament sense of the word as well as what is described in the Letter to the Hebrews

4. Priests imposing their own words and actions onto the Roman Missal

I think the art of celebrating the Mass can be witnessed by Masses from St. Peter's in Rome such as the Christmas Mass below this Post. Pope Francis is sober, reverent, does not ad lib and prays the Mass while facing the assembly in an "ad orientem" sort of way.

Also the Propers are Chanted.

When it comes to the Mass I am probably more progressive than many of my readers. I am not opposed to homilies geared to children in so-called children Masses at Christmas. I am also open to a diverse forms of sacred music as long as it is doctrinely sound and in the realm of Catholic liturgical spirituality.

The OF Mass Roman Missal is here to stay and as is for the foreseeable future. Is there a desire by most bishops, priests and laity to pray the black and do the red or is the Staus quo of sloppiness and banality going to remain indefinitely?


TJM said...

Well, it all comes down to priestly formation. If priests are properly formed in the seminary with regards to liturgy and they don't cave into parish liturgy committees (which should be abolished since they serve no purposes other than to perpetuate amatuerish, bad liturgy), then we will be fine. Children's Masses are idiotic and should be suppressed. I could chant 5 ordinaries in Latin by the time I was ten. Sorry Bishop Trautperson.

Anonymous said...

"one must really work hard to make sure the OF Mass is reverent."

Well, really, all that's required is that the priest not be a slob. Though, admittedly, if he's been carefully trained by slobs in the seminary to be a slob like them, then he may have to work hard to overcome his slobbish formation.

Thankfully, the recently ordained young priests I know would have to work hard to celebrate Mass like the slobs of a certain older generation of priests. The worst liturgical abuse I've seen recently among these young "priests of the restoration" is careful and precise celebration of the TLM according to the pre-1955 rubrics. (Of course, only self-absorbed promethean neo-pelagian types quibble about such niceties anymore.) And some of them can look a bit precious in doffing their birettas at every single reference (however remote) to the name of Our Lord.

rcg said...

The other thread that is discussing the accoutrements of the Mass meshes well with this. People from more formal social environments, such as I, are sensitive to the behaviour of the priest and congregation before our Father and Creator. Similarly, family gatherings can become awkward or even icy if proper respect is not shown to the parents and grandparents. Usually a senior uncle will give instruction in the kitchen to smooth things over.

I have come to view the NO as a sort of Lite Mass intended for people of other faiths or even children. So there may be more art in it than the TLM to ensure it is both accessible and respectful.

Victor said...

The key to your answer is Robert Cardinal Sarah. While reading his Dieu ou Rien, I was struck by his constant orientation towards God in life and, which is for him the highest moment in life, encountering God in the "silence of the liturgy. Will this Benedictine mysticism bear fruit through updates to the rubrics of the OF, now that he is prefect for liturgical matters? It depends on the pope of course and the latter's preference for hearing all sides of issues, as the latest appointments to the liturgical congregation reveal.

TJM said...


There is an old line of Clark Gable's which works in nicely with what you're saying: "amateurs, teaching amateurs, how to be amateurs!"

Anonymous said...

I attended a beautiful sung NO Midnight Mass, with the Roman Canon that makes such a difference, which proves there is reverence in some quarters - offered by a younger priest of course. However, I heard that another younger priest recently attended the requiem of an older priest and was horrified to find they were "making" the Mass up as they went along, so there is the two extremes.