Hell’s Bible on the older Mass

The New York Times has an article on attending the Traditional Latin Mass in Merchantville, NJ, near Philadelphia.  One of my quotes about the older Mass is paraphrased in the article.

My emphases and comments.

November 10, 2007
Latin Mass Draws Interest After Easing of Restrictions
By NEELA BANERJEE

MERCHANTVILLE, N.J. — Kelly Rein, 16, used to spend most Thursday nights doing homework. These days, Kelly wears a lace mantilla over her striped T-shirt and stovepipe jeans and attends a class on the traditional Latin Mass[This is so much better than saying "the Latin Mass".]

“I always attended the English Mass, but I never really paid much attention,” said Kelly, who took her parents and sisters to St. Peter Roman Catholic Church in this suburban Philadelphia town, where the first traditional Latin rite is scheduled for December.

At a Catholic summer camp, Kelly was struck by the reverence of the Latin Mass.

“It’s quiet,” she said. “People are paying attention. ["active participation"!]  In the English Mass, it’s noisy. There are babies crying. But here people are completely focused on God.”

More than 40 years ago , the groundbreaking Second Vatican Council introduced Mass in the vernacular, sending the Latin Mass into disuse and alienating some Catholics.

But last summer, Pope Benedict XVI eased restrictions on the rite, and new celebrations of the Latin Mass are flowering. [well, they slipped with the term, didn't they] To the surprise of many, the rite has attracted priests and parishioners too young to have experienced the Latin Mass when it was the norm.

For adherents of the traditional Latin Mass, the interest of young people is proof of its enduring resonance and offers hope that it may revitalize an American church struggling to hold on to the young.

But the groundswell that many backers had predicted has not surfaced and seems unlikely, Catholic liturgists and church officials say. [The amazing things about liberals and progressivists, in any field or sphere of life, is that they want you to deny the evidence that is plain in front of your face, the evidence of your senses.  They will look at the sky and call it green, if blue isn't good for their agenda.] The traditional Latin, or Tridentine, Mass has emerged in just one or two parishes in most of the 25 largest dioceses in the country, according to a phone survey of the dioceses.

In some dioceses, there is so far almost no interest, diocesan officials said. 

“Those that turn to it are looking for a sense of mystery, a sense of the sacred they find is missing otherwise,” said the Rev. Jerome Fasano, pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church in Clifton, Va., which began celebrating the Tridentine Mass in mid-September. “The more people are exposed to it, the more they are drawn to it.

“But it won’t be multitudes. ["pro multis"?] I don’t think the traditional Latin Mass will be normative by any means.”

The Tridentine Mass was codified at the Council of Trent in 1570, after which it is named. In it, the priest faces the altar, not the congregation. He prays in Latin, much of it in a whisper, [Thanks for avoiding the cliches!] although readings from Scripture and the sermon are in the vernacular. A missal in Latin and English allows parishioners to follow along.

After the switch to the vernacular, Pope John Paul II allowed the Tridentine Mass to be celebrated, but only with the permission of local diocesan bishops.

In July, however, Pope Benedict issued a letter giving parishes the authority to celebrate the Mass without obtaining bishops’ permissions.

“What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us, too,” Pope Benedict wrote.

Where the Tridentine Mass is now being revived, the response has been encouraging, advocates said. In Clifton, 200 people show up for the Wednesday evening Mass at St. Andrew’s. Another is held on Saturday mornings.

At the first Tridentine Mass at St. Leo the Great Church in Pawtucket, R.I., on Oct. 21, about 180 people attended the sunset service, filling nearly all the pews.

A sense of the holy and the mysterious pulls across generations, drawing in children and their parents, who themselves are often too young to recall the Tridentine Mass. [The conclusion is that this is probably going to grow.]

“I have no memory of the Latin Mass from my childhood,” Anne McLaughlin said at St. Leo’s. “But for me it’s so refreshing to see him facing the east, the Tabernacle, focusing on Christ.”

Her daughter Aine, 15, agreed and said, “It’s so much prettier.”

Experts on the church say they have been surprised that young people have shown such interest.

“There’s a curiosity, and it is consistent with people looking for the transcendent and holy, which they maybe didn’t see in the Mass they attended growing up,” said the Rev. Keith F. Pecklers, professor of liturgy at Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

Still, those who study Catholic youth say that fewer than one in five attend Mass weekly and that the Tridentine Mass will not draw them in greater numbers. Instead, they are seeking a greater focus on social justice and sexual equality, said Vincent Bulduc, professor of sociology at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt., who conducted a study of Catholic college students in 2004.

The way Catholics came to worship after the Vatican II council has been a source of passionate conflict for some. A tiny but vocal minority [You can hear the Rawlsian undercurrent.] was outraged by what they considered abrupt and misguided changes of the council, and Pope Benedict’s letter was meant to heal that rift.

One priest said on a blog that now we can’t be considered the nutty aunt in the attic,” [That would have been Fr. Z on WDTPRS!] said Jason King of Seattle, a board member of Una Voce America, a group that promotes the Tridentine Mass. “The pope’s letter legitimized our aspirations.”  [Mr. King should remember to cite me when he quotes me!  o{];¬)]

Yet many Catholics, including priests and parishioners who grew up with the Tridentine Mass, recall services that were hasty and with little scriptural content.  [This is why I say, to the dismay of some of the "rad trads" that over the years we have learned something from the Novus Ordo.  There is greater attention to the fact that there are really people out there in the pews.  Also, nothing could have stimulated greater attention and care than having been denied something so important for so long.]

“Most Catholics all over the world who have experienced the liturgy of Vatican II would say it’s not perfect, but most Catholics would admit that they are in a better place than 45 years ago,” Father Pecklers said.  [Note the word "admit".  For Fr. Pecklers it is a "given", not to be questioned.] “They can understand the liturgy. Men and women are invited into celebration. There’s greater diversity and a greater sense of ownership of the parish by the laity.”  [Note that he moves to ownership of the "parish".  That threw me a curve. I expected him to say "ownership of the LITURGY".  In a sense, this is a little bit of a dodge.  It is in keeping with that comment, above, about how young people are interested in social justice and sexual equality.  Mass, therefore, doesn't seem really to be the point: the point is activism, in a sense.  But is this not precisely what Pope Benedict addresses with a warning in Deus caritas est and Sacramentum caritatis?  Liturgy, Holy Mass, must have the logical priority in the locus of sanctification which is the parish.  This is why I also included Rule #4 in my list!  I have more to say about this below.]

On a recent Wednesday evening at St. Andrew’s, young families and the elderly, children in school uniforms and craggy men, along with many women in mantillas, gathered in a hush as Father Fasano celebrated the Tridentine Mass. He leaned over the altar and prayed in a soft rumble of Latin.

Parishioners seemed confused at times about when to sit or stand. Yet no one seemed to be straining to hear the priest. They looked instead to their missals or prayed on their own. Some parishioners at St. Andrew’s spoke about how abandoning the Tridentine Mass weakened American Catholicism.

“The Mass was like this for 1,500 years, and it was changed by committee in the 1960s,” Joseph Dagostino, 35, said after a Wednesday night service at St. Andrew’s. Joseph Strada, 62, said, “When you can change the liturgy, you can change anything.” [Precisely.  That was the impression people were left with.] Mr. Dagostino interjected, “Like the church’s teachings on abortion or the sanctity of life.”

But those hoping that the Tridentine Mass will restore the Catholic Church of 50 years ago are likely to be disappointed, said the Rev. John F. Baldovin, professor of historical and liturgical theology at Weston Jesuit School of Theology [ultra-liberal] in Cambridge, Mass., and a critic of the old Mass.

“A lot of them think this is the way to go, back to the future, because it is really going to revive Catholicism,” Father Baldovin said. “You can produce a Tridentine Mass, but can’t reproduce the world it came from.”   [A telling remark.  He hates the world it came from.]

 

The last comment was most interesting. 

The "Tridentine" Mass cam out of a world different from today’s, but only in some respects.  There have been advancements in many fields, but people are still people.  We are still in the image and likeness of God with the same fundamental needs.  So, the world isn’t that different in its deepest sense.

Also, even considering that the world is different in many ways, and there have been changes over the years, that same form of Holy Mass was actually able to embrace and thrive in many different "worlds" over the centuries.  The big difference was, I believe, that people had the proper logical priority about what the Christ and Holy Church does in Mass and what the world has to give.  True inculturation is at stake.  For inculturation to be authentic what the Church has to give to the world must have logical priority. Otherwise, the Church will be hampered in giving to the world what she is here to give: knowledge and love of Christ with sanctification through the sacraments.  What the world gives to the Church and what the Church gives to the world is continuous process of exchange.  But, this is why we must keep our eyes fixed on the logical priorities.  This is why I made the point about Fr. Peckler’s comments above, saying people have ownership of the parish.  He is touching on the point of logical priority.  Pope Benedict dealt with this in Deus caritas est when he spoke about activism for the poor, etc.

Let’s think just one more moment about Fr. Peckler’s comment. Fr. Pecklers makes a connection for people between the Mass and the parish.  If those of the more traditional leaning want to see success in their aspirations, they MUST get involved in the life of the WHOLE parish and especially in concrete works of mercy.  The "traditional" group MUST be outstanding in getting involved with the food shelves or visiting the shut in people, etc.  Do you see what I mean?  Otherwise, the skeptics will always say that the traditional Catholics aren’t really part of the whole Church.  They will be able to brush them off as "a tiny minority" even if it is clear that their numbers are young and growing.  And since a large number of people interested in the older Mass are still up in years, soon the demographics will take a hit.  So get to work!.

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32 Responses to Hell’s Bible on the older Mass

  1. Malta says:

    [...nothing could have stimulated greater attention and care than having been denied something so important for so long.]

    Ironically, the documents of Vatican II called for a revision of the existing rite, not a brand new one. In creating a new rite, Paul
    VI actually preserved the Traditional Latin Mass, basically untouched, to be reintroduced to the world, whole and intact, after
    40 years in the liturgical desert. If the Vetus Ordo had been watered down and vernacularized, as VII called for, then it would
    have, ultimately, been destroyed. The great irony is that Paul VI thought he was supplanting the old rite with his “manufactured”
    (words of then Cardinal Ratzinger) liturgy. Instead, Paul VI unwittingly preserved the Vetus Ordo for a new generation of believers.

  2. Allena says:

    You know, Fr Z is absolutely right, Get To Work indeed! The late and great Fr John Harding used to tell traditionalist not to worry, we could eventually outbreed the modern Catholics.

    As crazy as this sounds, to my way of seeing things this is the future of the Church. N/O churches rarely have more than one or maybe two “traditional” families, that is to say large. Where as in the Traditional Churches you see many families of 10, 12, 15, or more. In all the N/O churches I have attended (that’s all we have here) I have only seen three other families that were more than 4. Most families around here have one or two children, and no more.

    Certainly not all n/o Catholics contracept or use NFP to avoid pregnancy, but the startling fact is, that they are not growing at the rate the Traditionalists are. In just a few generations, they can be mostly in the minority, all because Traditionalists tend to still be completely open to life.

    It’s an interesting side to the whole idea of the popularity of The Latin Mass. How can it do anything but grow?

  3. danphunter1 says:

    Father,
    Both my mother and my father remember very reverently paced mass’s from the 1940′s and 1950′s.
    They equally remember excellent sermons that fully expounded on and fleshed out the epistle and the gospel, from that period.
    Everything about the Tridentine mass was executed deliberately and with great sanctity.
    They cannot recall an irreverantly offered Sacrifice.
    In this light how can the Novus Ordo possibly have any kind of edifying effect on the Mass of All Ages?
    God bless you and God bless the Corps

  4. Karen Russell says:

    Considering the source, that was a surprisingly decent and interesting article.

    This is a bit of an aside, but the reference to the silent canon reminds me: After the one pre-Vatican II high mass I have ever attended (Christmas Midnight, 1963, my Baptist-to-the-core mother (who had no previous experience of Mass at all and was undoubtedly there only after some internal struggle), lacking the formal vocabulary, referred to the canon as “when the priest was talking to God.”

    If this woman, to whom the whole experience was alien and inimicable, was able to recognize what was going on, why do people today have so much trouble with it???

  5. Matthew Robinson says:

    Novus Ordo functionaries begins to look more and more like the old Soviet Bloc apparatchiks in 1980′s Eastern Europe; aging bureaucrats working for a completely discredited ideology who are only worried about their own job security.

    In a decade they will be gone, period.

  6. Jon says:

    “Kelly Rein, 16, said…’In the English Mass, it’s noisy. There are babies crying. But here people are completely focused on God.’”

    Three years ago, my family and I began attending the Traditional Mass on a regular basis. One Sunday after Mass, I put the question to my oldest son, who was then 10.

    “Will,” I said, “in one word, can you tell me what you thought of this morning’s Mass?”

    “Holy,” he replied.

    “Okay,” I said, “now can you do the same thing for our Mass back home(the N.O.)?”

    He smiled. “Busy!”

    Out of the mouths of babes.

  7. mike conlon says:

    Why Allena, whatever do you mean by GET TO WORK? One can take take your exhortation to mean something other than getting involved in the parish:-) Seriously, the fundamental principle is that WE ARE ALL CATHOLICS. Too many Trads have a semi-sedevacante mindset, viz., those conciliar Catholics are idiots and worse, heretics. Conciliar Catholics view us as mean-spirited, pertually frowning frumps (like the nutty aunt in the attic). While we are in the world, we do not have to embrace it. We can show, without pride, that we are good Catholics and accept the NOM as the normative Mass (as misguided as that might be). Don’t constantly criticize the irreverance in the NOM. Pray for the enlightenment (small case)of the priests and the faithful. If Our Lady could stop the Turks at Lepanto, she can stop the Progressive Turks from destroying her Son’s Church. Be of good cheer and be thankful that you can worship God in a way which I believe is most pleasing to Him.

  8. Paul says:

    A very good and balanced piece, Father! We all need to remember that we are saved by works, and not just by faith, and that it’s better to light a match than to curse the darkness. If we can’t make orthodoxy appeal to “those horrible modernist Catholics over there” we are failing at something the Lord surely wants us to do. And we do so by our personal witness of charity and holiness more than anything else: especially those of us who are laypeople. One of the worst problems with a lukewarm episcopate, I think, is that it tempts laypeople to play the role of the “ersatz bishops,” thundering anathemas.

    To my mind traditional Catholic Christendom was so brilliant precisely because it was so good at nursing many sinners and mediocre souls by sacraments, by simple but profound devotions, and by the external aesthetics of the liturgy, such that many of them could get to heaven who otherwise would not have much chance. It is precisely the remanent of Christendom we lose by scorning normal parishes. The ironic effect of such scorn–no doubt unintended–might well look more like a Calvinist-style “Church of the Elect.” No amount of demographic growth will make up the loss anytime soon. And lost souls are irreplaceable.

    So let’s go out and nurse the mediocre!

  9. Henry Edwards says:

    And since a large number of people interested in the older Mass are still up in years, soon the demographics will take a hit.

    Maybe a slip here, Father, unless I mistake your meaning. In the last couple of years I’ve attended numerous traditional Latin Masses in several states and regions. Everywhere I’ve been impressed to see more youthful congregations than I see at Novus Ordo Masses. Were it not for the TLM, my wife and I likely would know no Catholics in the 20s-30s generation that’s prominent in the older form but missing at the newer form. Everything I see and read suggests the demographics are definitely on the side of tradition. (So all folks like us have to do is to hold out long enough.)

  10. jrny says:

    “In the English Mass, it’s noisy. There are babies crying. ”

    OK, I’m going to take a bit of an issue with this. Anecdotal evidence would suggest that you will likely hear more babies crying at a Traditional Mass than a Novus Ordo just for the reason many have already cited here – the old Mass attendance is demographically younger and has largher sized families.

    Beyond that, are babies crying really that “bad” a thing? No,I’m not advocating unruly children disturbing the peace, but babies are, well, babies and are going to cry for a various number of non-”faulty” reasons (i.e. hungry, etc.) I’m thinking Psalm 8 here folks. Those babies are our future and the most innocent (in fact, absolutely innocent) and pleasing in the site of God compared to the rest of us.

  11. Allena says:

    Mike,
    I was agreeing with Father Z, who at the end of the post said “They will be able to brush them off as “a tiny minority” even if it is clear that their numbers are young and growing. And since a large number of people interested in the older Mass are still up in years, soon the demographics will take a hit. So get to work!.”

    I was sort of making a joke that procreation and having large families is part of why this movement is growing, or at least could be. Also I was speaking about the conditions here in my area, and certainly they may vary in other places. In fact I said that. By get to work, I was making a joke that having a large family was part of supporting the return of the Trad Mass.

    I attend a N/O mass, that’s all I have, so I am certainly the last one to criticize people attending them. Sorry that was unclear.

  12. Cathy says:

    “well, babies and are going to cry for a various number of non-”faulty” reasons (i.e. hungry, etc.)”

    Traditional motherhood makes no excuses for unruly children at Mass. If I know Mass is from 9:30 to 11:00, then I train my children to be quiet at this time every day so there are no surprises on Sunday. This becomes our daily prayer and quiet time.

    By observing my baby and toddlers at this time every day, I learn what precautions to take to insure they are happy and peaceful for this hour. I know when my baby is about to cry before she does. I’m a mother!

    Compare this to the poor women who allow their babes to be jazzed up by children’s TV programming at the hour of Mass all week and then can’t figure out why they rebel at the same hour on Sunday. Sadly, pride prevents these clueless moms from asking woman with well-behaved children what their secret is. And they are insulted if anyone offers advice, no matter how gently. Instead they justify their poor mothering by saying the child doesn’t know any better. Of course she doesn’t! That’s why God gave her a mother!

  13. Cathy says:

    “well, babies and are going to cry for a various number of non-”faulty” reasons (i.e. hungry, etc.)”

    Traditional motherhood makes no excuses for unruly children at Mass. If I know Mass is from 9:30 to 11:00, then I train my children to be quiet at this time every day so there are no surprises on Sunday. This becomes our daily prayer and quiet time.

    By observing my baby and toddlers at this time every day, I learn what precautions to take to insure they are happy and peaceful for this hour. I know when my baby is about to cry before she does. I’m a mother!

    Compare this to the poor women who allow their babes to be jazzed up by children’s TV programming at the hour of Mass all week and then can’t figure out why they rebel at the same hour on Sunday. Sadly, pride prevents these clueless moms from asking woman with well-behaved children what their secret is. And they are insulted if anyone offers advice, no matter how gently. Instead they justify their poor mothering by saying the child doesn’t know any better. Of course she doesn’t! That’s why God gave her a mother!

  14. jrny says:

    Trying not to take this off topic, but my point, Cathy, is that even with great parenting and training like you talk about, babies are still bound to cry. And this is very common place among traditional Masses because of the sheer number of children, so we should not get “too upset” if they “sing to God” during Mass, and of course, we parents (I am the father two toddlers) take the common sense precautions to take them out of the chapel, etc. when this happens. Quite frankly, I can’t understand why the person in the article would even mention “babies crying” as a negative impression of the Novus Ordo. I, for one, cannot quite recall ever hearing a baby cry at Mass back in my Novus Ordo days probably because there were none or it was so loud anyway that the babies were drowned out.

  15. Chironomo says:

    I find this whole issue of trying to project the future success of the EF totally fascinating. The author of the article quotes an individual who makes a totally ludicrous statement in saying “But the groundswell that many backers had predicted has not surfaced and seems unlikely, Catholic liturgists and church officials say..” Oh come on… in just a little less than 3 months, the number of Extraordinary form liturgies has probably AT LEAST doubled in most Diocese (from 1 Mass to 2, or in the case of our Diocese, from 1 to 4 Masses!)and there is every indication, as noted above, that growth will continue, even if slowly, due to the specific demographics of the TLM attendee families. What did these liturgists think we were expecting, that suddenly every parish was going to institute Traditional liturgies on September 14th? Pope Benedict asked for a kind of progress report three years from now… let’s see where we are then, and let any critic try to deny growth at that time.

  16. Allena says:

    I think they meant children and babies just being loud and obnoxious. ALL children will occasionally need to be taken out. Cathy, I agree with you, I teach my children, quite firmly that they must sit still and be quiet, but even so, on occasion we have to take one out.

    I think it’s important to be sympathetic to struggling Mothers, and pray for them, and maybe not be so rough on them, even if we seem to be doing a better job.

  17. Kim says:

    “They can understand the liturgy.” I hear this often when the conversation turns to the Traditional Latin Mass and the Novos Ordo. The reality is however, that often, it does not appear to be the case. While they may understand the English language, by thier actions, it is clear that they either do not undestand the meaning of the words or just don’t care. At a TLM ALL in attendance, even the children who are too little to read a missal, KNOW that something very SPECIAL is happening because what they SEE at a TLM. This knowledge or awareness often times begins before they ever enter the Church becauase this is the day men and boys put on ties and women and girls dress differntly than during the week and grab their veils before leaving the house. “Understanding” has A LOT more to with than just words. There is a big difference between talking the talk and walking the walk . . . both on the exterior and interior.

  18. Geri says:

    Jrny, I am not a parent, but as an aunt of many, and a baby-sitter of more, and a participant at both Forms, and having taken many, many children to Mass, at a great variety of parishes, I have observed that most “baby crying” noise issues not from babies but from toddlers.
    And yes, you do hear less of it at the average EF than at the average OF.
    The devotees of the Extraordinary Form, as a group, seem to have higher expectations of reverent behavior, even from small children, and consequently they obtain it.
    And surely everyone has experienced the phenomenon of one tarzan-howling rugrat inspiring most of the others in the vicinity to answer (even from a block away, on the other side of a large nave.)
    IME babies cry in the same proportion at all types of Masses, but toddlers are DRASTICALLY better behaved, not at EF Masses, per se, but at Masses where adults bahave better, and where commensurately better behavior is expected of toddelers and small children.
    The noise levels at, say, St John Cantius in Chicago, don’t vary much from form to form.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

  19. Tony says:

    I just want to add that Kelly is one of several dozen teenagers attending the classes to learn to assist at or serve the Traditional Latin Mass at St. Peter’s. 30 young men have signed up to serve the Mass, and quite a few young women will be singing in the choir, which will be directed by Michael Lawrence (see the New Liturgical Movement blog) and will also feature a schola singing full Gregorian propers from the Gradual. The Mass will be every Sunday at noon beginning with the First Sunday of Advent.

    Incidentally, Fr. Z and Fr. Anthony, the pastor at St. Peter’s, share the distinction of having preached Mater Ecclesiae’s Assumption Mass.

    For those in the Philadelphia metropolitan area who aren’t already going to Mater Ecclesiae:
    http://www.stpeterrcc.com

    For those with teenagers, the parish also features a wonderful, orthodox youth group, of which Kelly and many of the other teens involved in the TLM are members:
    spygroup.catholicweb.com

  20. moretben says:

    Tie-wearing has nothing – absolutely nothing – to do with the Liturgy. Do not react to slovenliness and irreverence by substituting the notion that middle-class “respectability” = piety. It does not.

  21. Deborah says:

    Let us remember also that since many practicing Catholic families are larger and therefore the parents are performing charitable work first and foremost where God calls them to – their families. A parent’s priority is to work for the salvation of their childrens’ souls first and others come second. All too often this seems to be forgotten by those who quickly judge large Catholic families as not doing enough for the poor, etc. Should families teach and show their children how we can help care for the poor, the sick, and the lonely? Yes, of course. However, too often, these seemingly small works seem insignicant to those who do not have children (most frequently the liberal-sorts who criticize large Catholic families).

    There are times when I can do outside charitable work and other times where things are so busy at home with my four children that it would be negligent for me to leave in order to put my energy elsewhere. I believe it was Pope John Paul II who called the “domestic church” the first priority of parents.

  22. Cathy says:

    “Tie-wearing has nothing – absolutely nothing – to do with the Liturgy. Do not react to slovenliness and irreverence by substituting the notion that middle-class “respectability” = piety. It does not.”

    In cultures where men wear ties to weddings and funerals, and in the presence of popes and presidents, wearing a tie certainly does equal piety. It is an acknowledgment that the Mass is at least as worthy of my respect as these events, and the Lord God present in Sacrament and priest at least as worthy of my respect as these men.

    It doesn’t matter at the New Mass because this Mass is essentially a “Children’s Mass”. It doesn’t matter how children dress in their own home when they are not part of their father’s work. For instance, the president’s children can roam the White House in blue jeans because they have nothing to do with his Office. However, should one of them decide they want to work for him, they will dress in respect for his Office as do all his staff.

    The Traditional Mass presupposes adult Catholics committed to the work of the Church and so we dress accordingly. Our very dressing becaomes part of His work because we know men generally pay more heed to the words of those who dress well. Dressing seriously means we take our work seriously.

    The tie – this silk leash – also is the male counterpart to the woman’s hat as a symbol of humility and Christian service.

  23. moretben says:

    I’m sorry Cathy, this all seems completely American to me. I am not a member of the tie-wearing classes and do not aspire to be. Collars, ties and lounge suits are not liturgical dress. They are the uniform of modern business and, as you mention, politics. “Respectability” of the kind typified by these dress codes is the bane of Protestantism. As an adult and a Catholic I have no use for them. I know to dress appropriately to meet my King and my God. What’s appropriate for your president and his children is no concern of mine. The Church is the home of saints and sinners; the respectable can shift for themselves.

  24. Cathy says:

    “Collars, ties and … suits … are the uniform of modern business …

    In America they are also the uniform of social respect. Gentlemen of all “classes” (most of whom never wear them at work) wear them to religious and social functions.

  25. Royce says:

    moretben,

    I don´t think it has much to do with respectability at all. For me, putting on the
    tie, nice shoes, etc. is part of what tells me that this (going to Mass) is the most
    important thing I´m doing that week.

  26. moretben says:

    Dressing smartly and modestly for Mass = Good

    Fetishising a particular dress code = Bad. Very bad.

  27. kat says:

    Cathy, as the mother of 5 small children (9,7,5,3,16mo) who has attended Mass every Sunday with all the above children umpteen times, I think you are a bit presumptious. Toddlers talk, the gurgle, they chat, but they don’t know when, why, or how to be quiet. They are oblivious, and unlike babies you can’t just nurse them to be quiet.

    We have recently decided to stop attending a TLM because the priest was so uncharitable toward families. He stopped Mass for 3 minutes when my toddler started gurgling and a month later made an announcement in the middle of Mass about babies, right as I was taking him out for the 4th time. This was not screaming or crying, it was quiet chatter, but obviously the priest is super-critical of noise during Mass. We have sat in the front pew of the TLM for 4 years at a FSSP parish so we are experienced in norms of behavior…

  28. kori says:

    Babies and toddlers make noise. It has no correlation as to whether or not you
    let them watch tv.

    Mothers work hard enough as it is, let’s give them a break
    and the benefit of the doubt when it comes to noisy children at Mass.

    Also, let us not forget the wonderful fathers who ALSO work so hard teaching
    their little ones to behave during Mass!

  29. Henry Edwards says:

    It never cease to amaze me that, whatever it is or however serious the original topic may be — whenever someone chances to mention either children’s behavior or proper dress at Mass in any blog, anytime, anywhere — the wheels instantly fall completely off the wagon and the whole discussion degenerates into an orgy of unrestrained self-defense.

    Mind you, I’m not complaining about this Oprah-like phenomenon, just remarking on it.

  30. Elizabeth V says:

    Henry,

    I was just thinking about that. Twice now, I’ve started to post something here and then stopped, because…I don’t know…this isn’t a parenting blog…I guess that’s why I stopped myself.

    But, it is universally true, what you point out. All you have to do is read the letters to the editor in Parenting magazine to see that it’s true everywhere, not just the blogs.

    It makes me wonder why? Why are we moms so defensive and paranoid? I think we must have serious doubts about our parenting skills. Did parents always doubt themselves so much?

    An older person whom I trust once told me he thought it was because of the explosion of experts and parenting books, that they have made us believe we need the help they offer. I sometimes wonder if it’s because of the explosion of divorces and two-income families, that many people are not parenting their own children anymore, and so few of us actually know how to do it.

    I guess I don’t really know why we are so insecure these days, and I don’t really have a solution for my own insecurity. I sometimes need help. So I turn to all the “experts” I need: my own mother, my MIL, my kids’ doctor when appropriate, my pastor when appropriate, and the saints. Right now, I am reading about St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. There’s always the Blessed Virgin, St. Monica, and countless others.

  31. Dominic1962 says:

    “Collars, ties and lounge suits are not liturgical dress.”

    So, what do you wear to church moretben?

  32. This is a fascinating article because the criticism has shifted somewhat. Before the Motu Proprio we were assured by the liberals that NO ONE would want the Traditional Mass. Well, I have spent the last few weeks adding 42 NEW locations for the Traditional Mass in the U.S. and I suspect that my work is not yet done.

    The outpouring of enthusiasm for the Mass has far surpassed my expectations and the fruits will be forthcoming. And I don’t think we will have to wait long.

    Ah the old question of babies crying. The cry of a baby is a beautiful thing, especially now in this day and age. Let it always remind us that that baby is crying because that baby has life. And let the happiness of that thought bury any discontent we may feel about being inconvenienced.
    Mary Alexander
    http://www.latinmassnetwork.net