Wednesday, December 1, 2021


When there is a change in anything, from New Coke to new model year cars, it invites comparisons and disagreements about which is better, the old or the new. As far as New Coke was concerned, clearly the older Coke was superior. In fact, in the early 80's when Coke made their disastrous decision to change the formula of Coke, many secular commentators compared it to the changes in the Mass after Vatican II! It was not a kind comparison but a negative one. I kid you not!

But, seriously, how do we praise both forms of the Mass without denigrating either of them? It seems to me that the hermenuetic used to chorale Catholics into buying into the New Mass after Vatican II was a negative comparison with the old, the new was better, the old was rotten. This alienated many people and it still does. But, to be fair, those who call the New Mass rotten alienate many Catholics who love this Mass and are properly formed, orthodox Catholics!

In my question, though, I am not speaking about the liturgical abuses that were and are in abundance in terms of decisions made after Pope Paul VI issued the New Mass. That is a different question altogether and we have to acknowledge that the pope and bishops in union with him relinquished liturgical authority to modern liturgists and architects who had an agenda concerning the New Mass not envisioned by the Roman Missal. 

And I am not speaking of liturgical abuses in the Ancient Mass. Keep in mind that "ex opere operato" developed in the Church as it concerns horrible abuses of the Tridentine Mass. 

Thus, let's look at the Missals as they are and what would be considered good about both without denigrating either.

Here are some of my examples of trying to do this:

1. The Ancient Roman Missal is tried and true and gives wonderful directives to keep the Liturgy stable, vertical and valid. 

2. The Modern Roman Missal allows for a great deal of flexibility and options to keep the laity and the priests engaged in prayer and on their toes so as not to become complacent in routine.

3. The Latin Mass is universal and because it is a dead language, is neutral in not using any one living language thus uniting Catholics of the Latin Rite in a single language Mass.  

4. The vernacular Mass helps the priest and laity to understand all that is being prayed and spoken without the use of personal liturgical translations. 

5. The New Mass in its noble simplicity shows forth the essence of the Mass and that it is both the renewal in a glorified way and unbloody way of the One Sacrifice of Christ followed by the Sacrificial Banquet or Meal. 

6. the Ancient Mass shows forth the one Sacrifice of Christ in a splendid and vertically glorified way. 

And your comments I await.....


TJM said...

Point 2 is the problem in a nutshell

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

You're breaking the rule of this post--be positive, think positive, don't denigrate and ask the Holy Spirit to vanquish/exorcise/deliver the evil negative spirits that prompt your negativity.

rcg said...

I publicly confess to being a denigrator of the modern Mass. I confess it is valid, because the majesterium says so. I know it could be presented in a respectful way and that is done in a variety of places.

TJM said...

Father McDonald,

LOL - well if the Exorcism was from the old Rituale it just might work.

I see the “options” as a huge problem particularly if the Church is moving toward one form of the Latin Rite. As you yourself have stated, going from parish to parish and priest to priest one can have a radically different experience. My pastor has wisely chosen to use the Roman Canon exclusively on Sundays and major feasts. By the way, the Roman Canon is inclusive of women so the old canard about the Church being “sexist” is absurb.

The only positive with the OF is the dismissal rite. Cheers!

John said...

Re point #

Jesus gave us a very short prayer: the Pater Noster.....if he wanted variety he would have said so.

John Nolan said...

Latin is not a 'dead language'. Fr Guy Nicholls of the Birmingham Oratory has pointed out that Latin was being spoken in Britain before Julius Caesar ever set foot on this island in 55 BC, and since then not a day has gone by when Latin has not been spoken here. Latin hymns for the Office were being written in the 20th century.

'Ex opere operato' is an important principle, but to say it was developed as a result of 'horrible abuses' of the Tridentine Mass is arrant nonsense. What evidence do you have of these 'horrible abuses'?

You are like Mark Thomas (whatever happened to him?) positing a form of dualism of the 'left' and the 'right' which ends up as a sort of Hegelian dialectic. Thesis: the old Mass. Antithesis: the new Mass. Synthesis: the Ordinariate missal - an idealized via media which apes parts of the Roman Rite (but only as an option) and delivers them in mock-Tudor English. It won't wash, and you know it.

By the way, I'm surprised that the word 'denigrate' has not been cancelled by the woke thought police. But then the Left is probably ignorant of etymology, as evidenced by some idiot objecting to the word 'niggardly'.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

The word “niggardly” created quite a stir many years ago when a finance in person in Washington, DC (idiot central) used it correctly. Some ignoramus on the City Council (Democrat, of course) screamed racism!

rcg said...

I have been working all day and am mentally and emotionally exhausted. I am now ready to offer something positive about the OF: it is an effective bridge for people from whatever current place they are in their Faith journey to where hundreds of saints lead us. For most European culture and languages the Latin and tiny amount of Greek gives us an efficient view to the forms of the concepts that is condensed from out native languages. For people not from an Indo-European rooted language they can skip directly to the concepts, which is a distinct advantage.

If the NO had been created as an intermediate step between the captured concepts and the lengthy explanitory translations it would be flourishing.

John said...

I cant't help thinking that form follows, derives from Faith and not otherwise. The EF has emerged during those centuries when Faith was strongest, before secular ways of thinking contaminated theology passed down from apostolic times. The 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th century Popes saw the danger coming and tried to head off the situation we find ourselves today. We know2 now that they were not very successful. The question now is whom do we follow the Council of Trent or the "Spirit of the Council" Vatican 2? Romano Guardini or Bugnini? Benedict XVI or Pope Francis?

We know that the way we pray is the ways we believe. We know that the Church is wrecked by relativist thinking and behaving. Shameful matters are on display in Vatican court rooms. We have criminals in the Church or we would not have had the scandals of McCarrick, the German Synod, Pacha-mama, Fr. Martin and others. We find also that the worst elements want to destroy the EF as they perceive it to be a strong obstacle against the forces of secular modernity.

Reconciling the NO and the EF through formalistic efforts is doomed to failure. It is a defeatist exercise. One must struggle for what one believes to be the truth.

John said...

What if Vatican 2 was not a revolution, but a counter-revolutionary event? What if the Spirit of the Council is fighting a loosing battle? Custos Traditionis being just the latest salvo in this reactionary campaign in a desperate attempt to justify. Some predict the next assault will be on priestly societies exclusively devoted to the TLM.

Read at Settimo Cielo blog the latest posting: “The Church and the secular after the pandemic.” by Sandro Magister In part it reads:

...The pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI set out to save the best fruits not only of Vatican II, but also of the Enlightenment, against the increasingly individualistic, relativistic, and ultimately nihilistic drift of the new culture. There was something “Kantian,” as well as of Christian probity, in the absoluteness of moral principles and in the centrality of reason preached by Joseph Ratzinger.....

..."The proponents of hypermodernity are convinced they have the world in their hands. Who knows, however, whether they are like the pagans of the late empire or the scholastic philosophers of the early modern age, unable to see that there can come even today, as back then, a paradigm shift, a new “metaphysical mutation,” a decisive vaccine."...

.....Hence the importance of keeping the Christian heritage intact, in order to be able to critically re-propose it in the modern empire, and to regenerate it. From the teaching of the first Christians and the Fathers of the Church."...

I close with Fr Z's favorite admonition: Save the Liturgy, Save the World!

TJM said...

The Pope should be saying this, not Cardinal Muller, although I am glad he did:

"Some politicians, mainstream media and Big Tech have “ruthlessly exploited” COVID-19 to promote “totalitarian thinking” that has even led to division within families, Cardinal Gerhard Müller has observed.

In a Dec. 1 email interview with the Register, the prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith also said that the response of some bishops and priests to close churches or deny the sacraments is a “grave sin” that goes against their “God-given authority.”