Friday, August 4, 2017


At Crux, Fr. Dwight Longenecker has his own ideas about the new order and old order tribalism. But the true tribalism doesn't lie there as the EF group is quite united and homogenous.

The tribalism is in the fractious new order group that wants all vernacular Masses, or some Latin with the other vernaculars of a particular parish also included.

They want contemporary hymns instead of singing the Mass, often with an amalgamation of various modern idioms from glory and praise, folk and worship and praise.

This is Fr. Longenecker' sway of reconciling the non existent OF/EF tribalism after which I will give the way to the actual factionalism in the OF tribes:

Fr. Longenecker's:

So here are some further suggestions about the liturgy wars from a priest in the trenches.
  • To aid participation and understanding, the Scripture readings should all be in the vernacular.
  • Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony can be properly augmented with hymns in the vernacular which illuminate the readings of the day.
  •  New Order Catholics could choose and learn the older hymns that are more rooted in sound theology and Scripture.
  • On a regular basis, the Novus Ordo in Latin could be celebrated by Old Order Catholics as a way to help congregations understand and accept the Novus Ordo.
  • Likewise, the Novus Ordo in Latin could be celebrated by New Order Catholics as a way to re-vitalize the great tradition and make the Extraordinary Form intelligible and acceptable.
  • New Order Catholics could make more effort to understand and integrate historical forms of architecture and art.
  • New Order priests can incorporate more time for silence and adoration into their celebration. While they may not celebrate ad orientem – they might face East in silent prayer with their people at appropriate points in the liturgy. (After the Kiss of Peace, during the Agnus Dei and fraction, and after communion.)
  • Old Order priests could face the people and interact with them at appropriate points. (At the “Lift up Your Hearts” the invitation to prayer, to confession and prayers at the altar.)
  • Both Old Order Catholics and New Order Catholics could focus more on Scripture and invest time and training in improving the quality of preaching.
In these ways and many more, the celebration of Mass could be a real point of convergence and unity rather than division and tribalism. The Old Order Catholics emphasize the sacred sacrifice of the Mass, while the New Order Catholics celebrate the shared memorial meal.
My solution for the New Order Catholic Trbes and tribalism:
Mandate that the propers be chanted in Latin, not to exclude hymns from a national hymnal to act as fillers for processions and the like and as a recessional.
The Gloria, Sanctus, Pater Noster and Agnus Dei always in Latin.
The Canon in Latin offered in low voice.

Ad Orientem

Kneeling for Holy Communion


ByzRus said...

Fr. AJM, your suggestions are more succinct and realistic. The only change I would make would be to include the Confeitor as always being recited in Latin. Ad Orientem should be implemented first. Without a change in mindset, the rest will go nowhere. It becomes tribal dabbling, nothing more.

Eric M. said...


Your suggestions at the bottom are almost my ideal. To that I would simply add mandatory use of the Canon on at least some Sundays, Communion on the tongue and use of the traditional offertory prayers. Some restrictions on musical instruments would also be nice, with a greater emphasis on the organ.

Anonymous said...

The problem is the novus ordo Mass never developed organically and was cobbled together with more than a nod towards protestantism. Traditional bishops and priests warned about that at the very beginning when the new Mass was mooted.

I feel sorry for those few remaining conservative Catholics who would like a more spiritual Mass but really they have only themselves to blame for not standing up years ago before the Mass reached the extremes that it has done now and became so banal in some parishes.

Some people stood up and complained but got no backing from Conservatives. These people warned that the Mass would get progressively worse but were ignored, so the majority of them moved to attending the Traditional Latin Mass where spirituality and beauty could be found. You can be sure they are not going to attend a hybrid Mass that still incorporates lay readers, lay Catholics distributing Communion, Eucharistic processions and sign of peace, greeting each other before Mass etc.

The mainstream Church is now comprised primarily of liberal Catholics who are not even happy with the most recent changes in the language of the Mass. No way will they accept prayers at the foot of the altar, etc. And it appears that there is now an attempt to loosen the language of the Mass once again.

Cardinal Sarah is doing his best but I am sure he will be forced out like Cardinal Mueller before too much longer. I think the only way that conservative Catholics who remain in the Church can get a more spiritual form of the novus ordo Mass will be to form their own parishes with a good conservative priest, which is what traditional Catholics have had to do. It is going to take at least a century to undo what was done with the reform of the Mass.


Anonymous said...

There is no way that Traditional orders of priests would ever turn to face the people and interact with them. Unfortunately, Fr Longnecker - being a convert from protestantism - does not have any idea of what he is suggesting. It goes way beyond preference and being congenial but relates to the Mass being a sacrifice on an altar and offering the Son to the Father as has been done for centuries - rejected by protestants - rather than standing at a table facing people as you would do at a gathering with no appearance of sacrifice at all, which the protestants have done since the reformation.


Carol H. said...

Father, my greatest fear when you mention a national hymnal, is that the U.S. bishops would probably choose "Glory and Praise Volume 2." Dreadful!

John Nolan said...

Fr Longenecker's career path is unusual, beginning in evangelical Protestantism, transitioning via Oxford to middle-of-the-road Anglicanism with a comfortable living as a country parson, and ending as a Catholic priest.

Perhaps his time in the CofE has inclined him to seek an elusive 'via media'. Certainly he has a knack of offending both the NCR (MS Winters in particular) and the Remnant. Yet his dichotomy is a false one. Those who seek out a Latin Mass in either form do not need to be educated as to how the Novus Ordo is celebrated in the vast majority of parishes. They know it all too well and may even attend it faute de mieux.

On the other hand few of those who attend the average parish Mass ever experience Latin or Chant, let alone sacred polyphony. Most of them have probably never heard of Summorum Pontificum and even when the old Rite is celebrated in their parish, they wouldn't consider going to it.

A couple of questions for Fr McDonald - why do you require a mandate from a Vatican dicastery to do what you are perfectly entitled to do anyway? Have you done anything to eradicate practices which are most offensive to tradition, such as EMHC and altar girls?

When the Oratorians took over St Aloysius in Oxford 25 years ago they got rid of a veritable army of EMs (mostly female) and made the principal Mass a Solemn Latin Novus Ordo. The congregation has since increased five-fold. There's a lesson there somewhere.