This WDTPRS blog was born from a project of helping people to know what the prayers of Holy Mass really say, because the Lord knows we are not getting their true content in the translation presently in use.
The idea of WDTPRS is to help people get into the primary texts of the prayers and therefore come to love their content. The content of the prayers is not just words but The Word made flesh.
So, I was interested in an entry on The Undercroft, in which the writer offers advice to a former Protestant now a Catholic interested in liturgy (like myself). The convert wants to know about the older, "Tridentine" form of Mass and if it would be a good thing to have it back.
The writer advises his convert friend to dig directly into the texts and rubrics of the Mass but… and this was probably VERY good advice, avoid "TradWorld".
By "TradWorld" the author seems to mean what he finds on the internet, rather than breathing, flesh and blood communities in parishes where the old Mass is celebrated.
He makes an oblique comparison of the hard core traditionalist "community" to the Gulag Archipelago, of Solzhenitsyn fame. What occured to me instantly was a lesser read work of Dosteyevsky, Memoirs from the House of the Dead.
Look at this thoughtful post at The Undercroft. The following is edited:
A LITTLE while ago an aquaintance – a former Protestant, someone of far deeper theological learning than me … – began expressing a serious interest in the traditional Liturgy of the Roman Rite (as I guessed he would, sooner or later). His questions were characteristically thoughtful and Christocentric; living in a country with a tiny Catholic population, he had no present opportunity to assist at the traditional Liturgy and few sympathetic souls with whom to discuss it, but he had provided himself with a Missal and a Breviary, for the purpose of investigating the differences between Old and New. Having done so, he had drawn the same conclusions as so many of us – not from the romance of Latin nor the ravishing heaven-hungry beauty of the chant, nor the "silence", nor any vision of glamorous externals; no brocaded fiddlebacks nor incense-hazed high altars haunted his imagination (yet). The texts and the rubrics did it all on their own. A man after my own heart.
"Will the Old come back? Should I pray for its return?" – these were his immediate concerns, together with how best to assimilate the traditional liturgy into his devotional life, where no opportunity to live it fully and properly (in the Church and with the Church) existed. I told him right away – pray the Office anyway. Pray the Missal. Adopt both as the primary source and inspiration of your devotional life – but for the good of your soul, keep clear of TradWorld!
The spontaneity of this last advice surprised me as much as its vehemence. "Where did that come from?" I had a vision of myself as a hooded spectre, indicating with horrid warning the unseen pit, from which groans, muted screams and abandoned ullulations were suddenly audible. I am of course, a denizen of the pit, acclimatised to its acrid, sulphurous bowels, having spent most of my adult life there. I’m a Trad: one of those whom the abnormality of the times has compelled into a variety of absurd and unnatural postures; one of the mad, driven in my leisure hours to the digestion of turgid encyclicals in order to defend what ought to be self-evident; to contrive some kind of "systematic statement of the obvious" in the face of universal denial and purblind stupidity. Has it done me any good? Well has it?
I think this post on The Undercroft was very thoughtful.