Monday, November 13, 2017


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?


Joseph Johnson said...

I think you meant to say, "Man wearing HAT (not hate) in church"!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

YIKES! Fixed! A tip of the ๐ŸŽฉ ๐Ÿงข

Marc said...

The difference goes far beyond the liturgy. Along with the Novus Ordo Missae, one finds new rituals for all the sacraments (and even a new theology/ecclesiology for baptism), a new catechism based solely on Vatican II, a new Code of Canon Law, a new rosary and new devotions entirely, new fasting rules, a new calendar, new priestly and religious attire, and new architecture with new table altars.

There is little resemblance between Catholicism pre-1970 and post-1970. They are essentially two different religions.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The solution is for the SSPX to be in full communion with the Church as are the Eastern Rite, with their own patrimony, canon law, theology and bishops. I think bishops in the eastern rite and some countries in the Latin Rite suggest candidates for bishops and the pope accepts or rejects.

TJM said...

Father McDonald, what a wonderful photo at the top. Great to see all of those future priests. I wish Pope Francis would take seriously the many flaws in the OF, flaws which were described by Pope Benedict.

rcg said...

About the error in the masthead: Maybe just use it as a hip new phrase for traditionalists, “Don’t Be A Praya Hata.”

Peace. Out.

Marc said...

Father, I'm not sure that's "the solution" unless you see the problem as the SSPX failing to get on board with the Novus Ordo and its wholesale changing of Catholicism in the ways I mentioned above. I see the lack of "full communion" with the Novus Ordo paradigm as a feature of the SSPX and not a flaw, which is why we go to an SSPX parish in the first place. If I wanted to be part of the Novus Ordo with a Latin Mass, we would go to the FSSP or the Institute of Christ the King parishes.

The Eastern Rites are a somewhat different animal since they have never been Latin, for the most part. On the other hand, the SSPX is precisely what the Roman Church used to be, but no longer is as a result of the fact that Roman Catholicism completely changed in the 1970s, morphing into a religion that didn't exist before and lacking continuity with everything that preceded it.

Henry said...

"They'd think they are joining a different denomination by going to an EF Mass."

And, in terms of shared Catholic belief, they are. I've never met a cafeteria Catholic or "Protestant who attends Mass on Sunday" at the coffee following a TLM.

Anonymous said...

If you would like to see just how badly Catholics had their faith and liturgical patrimony stolen from them read The Bugnini-Liturgy and the Reform of the Reform by the late Laslo Dobszay. It is stunning. The worst thing about it is no one in authority will do anything about it.

John Nolan said...

When the Novus Ordo is sung in Latin, 'ad orientem', with the Proper Chants taken from the 1974 Graduale Romanum and the Roman Canon used, it closely resembles the Tridentine Rite; so much so that most people would be hard pressed to tell the difference.

This is because the basic structure of the Mass was retained, in particular the musical structure. Solesmes did a good job in providing chant settings for those parts of the Ordinary which were not previously sung, and in re-distributing the Proper chants to conform with the new calendar.

Granted, this is not how it is normally celebrated, but there is nothing in the rubrics of the NO which prescribes a sloppy vernacular chat-show with trite music.

Joseph Johnson said...

"There is nothing in the rubrics of the NO which prescribes a sloppy vernacular chat-show with trite music."
Yes, John, that is a true statement. The problem, in reality, is that there are many priests, (my pastor is one of them) who sincerely believe that "Vatican II requires" that they celebrate it in the way that you and I would consider to be a sloppy vernacular chat-show with trite music. My pastor thinks that celebrating the NO in the traditional way that you and Fr. McDonald describe militates against what VII and SC "requires."
It is the mind-set of many priests, largely due to their age and formation that is the problem (Fr. McDonald is a notable exception). These priests see people like us as "rigid" and "closed minded". I see these priests the same way because they will not be persuaded to consider other possibilities, as Fr. McDonald has done. It won't get better until either the Pope or bishops intervene (unlikely) or until a new generation of priests become our pastors. This is at the root of why I can't get the EF in my home parish.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

Your comment:

"there is nothing in the rubrics of the NO which prescribes a sloppy vernacular chat-show with trite music."

Comedy Gold!!! and extremely accurate!