Monday, November 13, 2017
EF MASS AS DIFFERENT FROM THE ORDINARY FORM AS THE ORDINARY FORM IS DIFFERENT FROM THE EASTERN RITE LITURGIES
Was it back to the future or back to the past or both? This month I am scheduled to celebrate the Cathedral's EF High Mass twice. I did so yesterday for the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost.
I celebrated this splendid Mass, with a splendid schola worthy of making a CD of their Chants after having celebrated three OF's 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Masses. (By the way, the Cathedral's Schola is comprise of teenage and very early 20 somethings, about 12 of them and WOW!)
My parish's OF Masses are well done in the spirit of the OF Mass. We chant the propers but also hymns and this weekend being Veteran's Day, patriotic hymns were chosen, thus giving the Mass a certain of Patriotic theme. Also, after the homily of our 11 AM Mass, we recognized our confirmation candidates, asked them to make some promises concerning their preparation and Catholic identity, gave them a blessing and blessed them with Holy Water.
The Final Blessing we used a special "Prayer over the People" with a veteran's theme.
None of that at the EF Mass at the Cathedral at 1 PM. The Schola flawlessly chanted the Propers, no hymns whatsoever.
As I celebrated the Mass and facing the liturgical east, there could have been one person or 1,000 behind me, but I wouldn't know because my focus was completely on the Mass and praying without in any way being tempted to "play" to the audience, I mean, congregation, no, I mean the assembly behind me. In other words, I could actually pray in a contemplative way without the distractions that go on in the congregation when I face them during the OF Mass. And yes these are distractions and turns my praying into a show, an act, try as I may to avoid that at all costs. The crucifix on the altar facing me in these Mass does indeed help me to focus! Thank you Pope Benedict.
But I now realize that Catholics had their faith and liturgical patrimony stolen from them. Only those my age and older know this. It is as though Vatican II gave me a new religion and one they chose for me, I didn't.
Those born after 1970 think the Mass they experience is what Catholics always experienced. WRONG! The only way they know this, like the young people in the Cathedral Schola is to attend an EF Mass and they will see how much of a rupture that Mass is with the normal OF Mass. Of course the OF Mass is the one in rupture, but they wouldn't know that. They'd think they are joining a different denomination by going to an EF Mass.
And that, my brethren, is the problem with the Catholic Church in the last 50 years. There was a decision to convert Catholics to a new denomination and we were told it was an act of God.
Was it? An act of God, that is?