An interesting take on the older form of Mass is found on Tulsa World.com in a story by Michael Overall. As usual, my emphases and comments.
Reinstated Latin Mass will reduce nonsense
by: MICHAEL OVERALL World Staff Writer
One priest wore an orange wig with a red clown nose and performed magic tricks during the homily. [Okay… in medias res, is it? I’m engaged.] In another video, people brought their pets to church for a K-9 Mass, where dogs surrounded the altar while the priest consecrated the Sacred Host.
Don’t throw pearls before swine, the Bible tells us. But it doesn’t say anything about Labrador retrievers.
Thank God, I’ve never seen this kind of silliness in my own church, but only on YouTube, where traditionalist Catholics have put together a "Hall of Shame" for liturgical abuse.
Another video shows several parishioners leaving in disgust as a nun — at least, allegedly a nun — dances down the aisle in a leopard-print leotard.
I wouldn’t have walked out of that service. I would’ve run. God doesn’t send down hellfire and brimstone often, but when it comes, it comes fast.
Ecumenical foolishness: Buffoonery, of course, is not a uniquely Catholic sin. I was backstage once at a non-denominational "worship center."
The word "church," you know, sounds too churchy. We have convention centers and sports centers and shopping centers, so why not "worship centers?"
The stage hands wore headsets to get cues from a director in the sound booth.
"Spot lights on three . . . two . . . one. Now the smoke machine!"
It was like Jesus on Broadway. Or more like Jesus in Branson, Mo. "America’s Got Talent," and so does the congregation.
Did the disciples give a standing ovation after the Sermon on the Mount? Did St. Paul use dry ice when he preached to the Corinthians?
But I was never more tempted to leave a church service than in Waco, Texas, where I lived after college. New in town, I went to the parish nearest my apartment, and I didn’t notice the sign out front was in Spanish. [Here we go!]
Mass is an interactive ritual — the priest speaks; you respond.
It helps to know the language. [Got your attention yet?]
I could’ve slipped discreetly out the door. But the mysterious beauty of the service — a modern Mass, but celebrated with old-fashioned solemnity — kept me in the pew. [HUH?? What about… about… understanding the language?]
This must have been something like going to church before the reforms of Vatican II, when you could understand what was happening even if you couldn’t understand the words. [Threw a curve, didn’t he?]
The fragile wisp of incense. Sunlight filtered through stained-glass. A hushed reverence as the priest lifts the bread over his head. The silence broken by a crystal-clear bell to announce that Christ himself has come to us.
I didn’t need to hear it in English. I knew to get on my knees. [There is a lot of foolishness out there on the part of the left that people must (nearly under threat of force) understand every word. They forget that Mass is a mystery. Understading that… that it is a mystery is the biggest step. Understanding the words? What if you are deaf and blind? What if you don’t know the language? What if you are, well… not too bright or not very well educated? You can still understand the mystery. Do people need to know every word? Just start asking after Mass what the Second Reading was.]
Back to the future: [Hey! Did this guy listen to my last PODCAzT?] This month, Pope Benedict XVI issued a papal decision that will make the old Latin Mass more widely available around the world. The pope doesn’t want to drag the church back to the 1950s — Latin will remain an exception, and the vernacular will remain the rule.
Instead, I think, the pope wants to use the old liturgy as a kind of fertilizer, [Not the analogy I would have chosen. I think spreading fertilizer is what the nun in the leopard leotard was doing.] sprinkling a little Latin through the church to nourish a sense of wonder.
Or rather, he wants it to be a kind of poison, a weed-killer, [Okay… this is the analogy he really wanted to set up, I guess.] to uproot the childishness that has been disgracing too many parishes in recent years.
Clowns behind the pulpit. Nuns in leotards. Worshipers bringing Fido with them. And some critics are worried that Latin will distract people? [Years ago, I had a discussion, polite on my part, with a sacristan at St. Peter’s. He objected with vigor and threats that the older form of Mass would "confuse" people. I proceeded to ask him how that was possible in a building where each morning you could find Mass in a dozen different languages, by priests who seemd to know a dozen different versions of the Novus Ordo, in a building where you could find Ukrainians singing their Liturgy, Latins stumbling around like dolts, and Syro-Malabar priests dressed in pink chifon and gold lamÃ©, in a building where if a priest says Mass in Latin with the Novus Ordo, people can generally make all the responses in Latin except for the novelities of the Novus Ordo, such as the response after the Mysterium Fidei and the Quia est Tuum est regnum? How could poeple be confused?]
Benedict just wants to give every Catholic what I’m already blessed to have in Tulsa — a church where grown-ups worship like adults. [Oooo…. nice tag!]