Has the focus on the Extraordinary Form since 2007 been a distraction to the “reenchantment” of the normative form of the Mass of the post-Vatican II Church?
I know that many people had a pipe dream that the EF Mass would supplant the OF Mass and the Church would become the powerhouse she was prior to Vatican II by becoming like the Church prior to Vatican II.
That does not seem to be God’s plan, since it is His Church, but who knows but God?
But what is the state of the normative form of the Mass in most local churches? And now, with the EF Mass being suppressed in many dioceses or severely curtailed, will the priests and communities celebrating these EF Masses now focus on a better and more solemn and prayerful expression of the Ordinary Form of the Mass thus bringing true renewal to it and its celebration?
My own experience of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is that for most who attend, understand and appreciate it, it is very prayerful and beautiful to the eyes and ears. The grand silences of the Mass (while actions of the Mass are occurring, such as the soft-voice Roman Canon) lead to a profound contemplation of the Mystery (Mysterium/Sacramentum) taking place at the altar.
The Low Mass has no singing and thus noble simplicity marks this expression of it.
The High Mass in Gregorian chant, simple or complex or with the more complex polyphony is stately, predictable and prayerful/meditative. There are no surprises for the worshipper as there is predictability and stability.
But what about the experience of most Catholics in normal parishes of the normative Mass? Is it as bad as those in the EF camps believe?
I am not talking about clown Masses, dancing at Mass or the like, while these do happen in some places, these are as rare as extraordinary only parishes, in fact more rare.
What is the normative Mass like today? Is it beautiful, prayerful and participative?
Let me say something about the recent Ordinary Form all Latin Mass I celebrated on a First Saturday with EF choreography and sensibilities.
In our normal daily Masses, the Ordinary Form Mass is mostly spoken, however we sing the Jubilatio Deo parts of the Mass: the Kyrie, the Alleluia, Sanctus, Mystery of Faith, Great Amen and Agnus Dei.
Everything else is spoke and we always say the official introit and Communion Antiphon.
I think that the strength of the OF Mass is that it allows for flexibility of what is chanted and not chanted, it can be a mix.
Thus the all Latin Mass in the Ordinary Form I celebrated, I did the exact same thing. The Kyrie, Alleluia, Sanctus, Mystery of Faith, Great Amen and the Pater Noster as well as the Agnus Dei were chanted.
Our parish knows these in Latin very well and at the Ordinary Form Mass they chanted them with gusto, but not at the EF Mass when we chant it. They also spoke their parts in Latin in a robust way, but not so much at our Low EF Mass on Tuesday evenings.
Apart from that, what is the state of the Ordinary Form Mass you have experienced in your parish or in travels? Good or bad, please don’t be snarky but balanced in your critique of the good and bad.