Help me work through this: Since the TLM is now back, why bother with the Novus Ordo in Latin?

This year in my written articles for The Wanderer I turning my focus less on the Novus Ordo and more on the TLM.  I need to work through some of issues.

Now that the older form of Mass (in Latin) has been derestricted and is growing again in strength,

a) Will the Novus Ordo simply drift more or less totally into being the "vernacular Mass"? 

We must stipulate that there are precious few places that have Latin Novus Masses (e.g., St. Agnes in St. Paul, Brompton Oratory in London, Assumption Grotto in Detroit, etc.).  Will use of Latin in the Novus Ordo now simply fade out?  Will the places which had the Novus Ordo in Latin simply convert those Masses to the TLM?  Also, will the new English translation lead to greater Latin/vernacular polarization?

and b) Given post-Conciliar devastation of Latin in the liturgy, should we simply forget about Latin with the Novus Ordo?

Some people (I am one of them) quip, and not without a firm foundation, that the more the Novus Ordo is celebrated as if it were the "Tridentine" Mass, the better it is.   Of course that scomes from people who have traditional inclinations.  However, there is a lot to be said for keeping the Novus Ordo rooted deeply in the Roman tradition exemplified in the "Tridentine Mass".  That means Latin, right?  That is, after all what the Council Father’s wanted: continuity.   But if that assertion is true (that the more the NO is like the TLM, the better it is), does that not beg the question?  If we admit that premise, then why not simply forget about trying to make the NO like the older Mass, and just celebrate the older Mass?  Would that fly in the face of continuity?

Papa Ratzinger has desired liturgical continuity.  He knew that more celebrations of the older Mass would create important lasting changes in the Church’s liturgical landscape.  Changes will take place The older Mass will exert a gravitational pull on the newer.  The newer will influence the older: but in what ways and to what extent?

So we have (juridically) an ordinary and extraordinary form.  What will that mean?

Here is what I think. 

At the risk of being somewhat provocative, I suspect the older form, the TLM will become (at least for a while) the "grown up Mass", while the Novus Ordo, still reverent and sound in so many ways, will be lighter, less challenging. 

The analogy of a parish having a children’s Mass and a solemn Mass on a Sunday limps terribly, but it is close to what I am getting at. 

Think of how St. Paul speaks to his beloved spiritual children who are being fed milk by him because they are not ready for "solid food".  Get my drift?  This would not mean that the Novus Ordo is bad (and that is what some trads will conclude from this analogy – and they would be dead wrong and will have missed my point).  Think of it this way: little children need food for children.  They don’t benefit from what the adults should eating… yet.  They are not little adults: they are children.  Children aren’t defective.  You don’t put a rare T-bone in front of a 1 year old.  That is not what he needs.  You don’t give pureed carrots to an adult, unless his jaw is broken or he is ill.  Unless he is, in some way, defective. Once people grow up, they normally stop wanting baby food.  They can survive on it for a time, but they won’t thrive

We go from milk to chewier bland food to really chewy food with strong flavors.  This is a natural progression, which individuals experience at their own pace.  The Apostle knew that his spiritual children would grow up and be capable of receiving more.  Similarly, there will be those who will want to move from the easier form of Mass (which is, I think, fair to say about the Novus Ordo) to something more challenging.

How this will sort itself out is hard to envision.  It’ll take time.  Much will depend on younger priests

In fact, the explanation I propose above would actually help priests who prefer the TLM to continue willingly and happily to say the Novus Ordo in various states of connection to the Roman Tradition.  We have to say Mass for people, after all.  The congregation and what they can receive really matters!  A father very properly will prefer a T-bone for himself, but happily swoops the airplane full of goop into the hanger because, right now, that is what junior really needs.  This is far from "condescension" in the negative sense.  It is "condescension" in the old-fashioned sense of the world: a lowering of oneself in humility to match the capacity of others. Thus, father will be joyful to give junior what he needs at every stage.  Out of charity (sacrificial love) he is more concerned with junior’s true good than his own inclination.  A good father will help his children grow up, leading them to new foods when they are ready for the next stage of development.

"But Father!  But Father!" some of you are going to shout.  "Don’t the priest’s needs count?  After all, the connection priest/Mass/Church is so intimate that for the congregation to be healthy the priest himself must nourish his spiritual needs.  He will probably do that better with the older Mass than the newer, right Father?  Right?"  Yes, friends, he has to keep himself healthy too!  But Father is a priest for people as well as for himself.  This will be a hard thing to balance.  But the life of a diligent father is hard.

I will keep the com-box open for a while, but if the comments become overly hostile in one direction or another, or simply ridiculous, I will shut it off – which will hurt everyone.  By all means discuss.  I am interested in insights and well-considered observations.  Don’t even think of chiming in if you didn’t read all of this entry and have also paid attention to real substance of the comments.  

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199 Responses to Help me work through this: Since the TLM is now back, why bother with the Novus Ordo in Latin?

  1. dominic1962 says:

    I would agree with your general observation, Fr. The NO could be the “beginners” Mass and the TLM can be the “grown up” Mass. The problem with this (well, actually with people) is that some folks will take this as condescending (in the vulgar usage of the term) and see it as “elitism”. I get this quite often when I try to encourage people to “grow out of” stuff like Lifeteen or guitar Mass holdovers. For the most part, it is horribly difficult to basically tell them they are liturgically “childish” without them getting in a tiff no matter how sensitive and understanding you try to be.

    I think it has something to do with our culture-we tend to be individualistic and don’t like other people telling us what we need or should do. We are also overly egalitarian-any presumed “elitism”, “clericalism” or anything else that might be perceived as being “better” than other peoples is looked upon as one of the most heinous sins in American Catholicism-right up there along with “judging” other people and shooing Bambi’s mom.

    I think, regardless of what happens between the “Extraordinary” and “Ordinary” usages, the NO needs to get Tradded up and needs to be taken away from the liturgists, layclothes nuns, and performer priests. Maybe the “Ordinary” needs to be reabsorbed into the “Extraordinary” to really get us back to continuity. The Extraordinary form nourished our people, princes and peasants for centuries, its the Mass that missionaries took around the world to implant the Faith amongst peoples and cultures far removed from Rome. It is not necessary, nor would it be prudent to continue a “training wheel” Mass indefinately. If we want a child to really learn to ride their bike, you need to remove the training wheels.

  2. dominic1962 says:

    *that should be “shooting Bambi’s mom” ; )

    One last thing, to develop on Tradding the NO, I think this process will lead to the NO being absorbed into the TLM. This will allow us to continue to organically develop. The 1962 MR cannot remain crystalized but it certainly cannot go the 1970 MR route. I think the celebration of the 1962 MR has improved since Vatican II as the priests who celebrated it (I think at least and from what FSSP priests tell me) have no progressive axe to grind with it and seem to have taken to heart the provisions of Sacrosanctum Concilium to encourage “actuoso participatio” amongst the people. No drastic changes need to be made with the 1962 Mass itself, but I think this internal participation St. Pius X wanted is seen in the TLM of today and will be seen in the NO properly traditionalized. When we get there, I guess I just don’t seen the point of having two different “usages” of Mass when they are both moving in the same direction. If they are moving in the same direction, we should also restore the prayers from the TLM deleted in the NO as this would again help to clarify the staunch and blatant Catholicism shown forth in the TLM that isn’t quite as clear in the NO at present.

  3. Ron in VA says:

    Fr. Z,

    Thank you for the comments, I have also been thinking about the so called “reform of the reform” and where that is going. You make some great points, but ultimately it will be the practical application in the parishes that rules.

    SP wil be like a wedge separating those priests who are traditional/conservative from those who are “true believers” in the reform. The traditionalists have always been for the older form of Mass and the conservative priests either have affection for the old Mass but not permission to say it (before SP) or were believers in reforming the new Mass.

    Now, with SP, there are many who know they can say the TLM without permission of the bishop. Once used, as you say above, they likely will prefer it for themselves and their spiritual health. We have another thing going on here from a practical aspect. In order to “reform the reform” the priest has a ton of work to do. First, he must chase the EEMs out of the sanctuary. Many of these people are prominent members of the parish and deeply believe they are doing something important to help. This attitude will not be changed easily or without hurt feelings. Then there is the use of lay lectors, introducing Latin (or more of it) into the Mass, vestments, music, the role of the liturgical committee and many, more more items. It is a daunting task, if not an almost impossible one, for the priest to make these changes in a short period of time in an average church without losing much of his congregation one battle at a time.

    Alternatively, he could use TLM where none of these things are an issue and he could reclaim the sanctuary for the priests. All of this of course helps the laity in the long run because they will be better instructed in the Catholic faith and learn more through the actions of TLM alone then they have from some of the new Masses and modern instruction they have been receiving. I know this is true because it certainly happenend for me. People are hungry for the faith and want it in its fullness, even of they may protest in the beginning. The TLM in the parish will be the engine that reforms the New Masses that are said because the congregation now has a clear contrast in their own parish not just an idea of what it wil be like. Daily masses can easily be changed to TLM.

    The “sharp knife” of the TLM will certainly be the most harmonious and less divisive in the long run for the priest and the laity rather than the path of reform with dozens of battles such as those listed above. Even if the priest were to make some changes in the paish, when the new priest come along there is nothing stopping him from taking the changes back. Half measures and change over time will not be a cure for the sickness. How is that good for the laity?

    I think the wedge of SP will ultimately shore up forces on one side or the other. The TLM side will have the larger families, the more definitive instruction of the faith and many of the young priests on their side. In a generation or two, we may see an indult to use the Mass of Paul VI under special cicumstances once in a while.

  4. I attended briefly a parish that celebrated the new rite in a manner that was well in keeping with “Tridentine sensibilities”… Mostly in Latin, gregorian chant, ad-orientem celebration, use of the communion rail, and vestments that looked like, well, vestments. If that had been the norm in the US, likely we would have seen far less confusion.

    As a “radical moderate” who listen to all sides and then pleases none, I for the life of me never understood why why the old rite in the vernacular could not have become the norm in the Latin church in the same fashion Greek Catholics have been taking their ancient Liturgy in English for over 57 years now. I have seen video of Anglicans who use the “English Missal” and it forced me to sigh – “why can’t that be us?? Why does their ritual look more Catholic than OL of the Suburbs Catholic Community??”

    I’m meandering I know – please forgive – but it seems the correlation between Latin usage and community type hasn’t been addressed. I daresay that all things being equal, in addition to Latin at the NO in parishes that have it, you also find other external and traditional sensibilities. I have never heard of a guitar Mass in Latin with the congregation gleefully taking 5 minutes to do the “kiss of peace” in Latin “Dominus vobiscum, Bob! Hows the fam?” “Et cum spiritu tuo, Dave, great and yours!?”

  5. James says:

    Assumption Grotto Church in Detroit, MI, has changed its Sunday Latin Novus Ordo Mass to a Tridentine Mass. Fr. Perrone also had a Latin Novus Ordo each morning with Gregorian Chant. That Mass has also changed to Tridentine. It is yet another example of the change from the Latin NO to the TLM. I’m not sure if that’s the best way to do it, but I certainly enjoy it. I was always in favor of offering people the TLM generously, but I wasn’t really that interested. Now that I’ve been attending the TLM weekday mornings at Assumption Grotto, I love the TLM and miss it when I can’t make it.

  6. canon1753 says:

    It will be interesting when the 4th edition of the GIRM comes out, if the rubrics are more flavored with the specificity of the TLM rather than the laizzez faire attitude of the NO.

    I would love to see someone video or give concrete example of celebrating the NO with e spirit of the TLM’s rubrics. That would be very helpful for a lot of younger priests who want to do the right thing to at least celebrate the NO (Latin or not) as a Continuity with the TLM to some degree.

    I still think that there is a great validity to celebrate the NO in Latin. The validity is to show that the NO is not some orphan child of Vatican II, it IS the ordinary form.

    Also for the Priest, it should be easier to celebrate and start with a NO Latin Mass simply because the Mass’ rubrics and order is the same whether Latin, English or any other modern language

  7. schoolman says:

    Father, on one hand what you say makes sense insofar as there will always be Catholics at different stages of spiritual and liturgical development. On the other hand, I think that St. Paul’s analogy of giving “milk” who are not ready to chew the solid food has more to do with those who do not yet have the willingness or ability to profess the Catholic Faith in its fulness. In that sense, the NOM risks assuming an identity equivalent to its own “Mass of the Catechumens” while the TLM will be identified as the “Mass of the Faithful”. Yet traditianally we have seen both aspects in the same rite.

  8. Richard says:

    St Margaret Mary Church in Oakland, where a priest of the Institute of Christ the King is stationed, every Sunday has a Latin Novus Ordo at 10:30 and a TLM at 12:30. The crowds attending either Mass are equally large. Though I always went to the TLM, I knew a bunch of folks who attended the Novus Ordo. At the time (before the Motu Propio) I think they felt that the Latin Novus Ordo was the best way to have both solid orthodoxy with how the Mass was said and at the same time in keeping with how things were perceived as how they were going to be for the future of the Church. It would be interesting to see what people think now, but it’s true that the Motu Propio changes this perception.

    There are a bunch of congregations who have worked on making the best of the Novus Ordo and praying this Mass as it should be, who now will feel the gravitational pull the TLM will have yet at the same time remain praying the Novus Ordo. What may happen is that they will be moved to pray the Novus Ordo in Latin more given the transforming effect renewed devotion to the TLM will have.

  9. ramil6325 says:

    Excellent observations and questions, Fr. Z.

    My earliest memories were the NO masses from 1970 – 1992: growing up I saw and heard it ALL (one doesn’t need to have a vivid imagine, just a realistic experience) . Beginning in the 1990s until the day I entered the seminary in 1999, I had the privilege of being able to attend St. John Cantius in Chicago on Sundays, both the 11 am NO Solemn High Mass, and the ‘Tridentine’ Missa Cantata at 12:30 pm.

    I always saw how SJC ‘shrouded’ the 11 am NO with the same splendor and beauty that was permissible under the rubrics (torches, incense, vestments, kneeling for communion, Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony, and so much more – though not yet ‘ad orientem’ at that time, if memory serves me right), making it seem like a magnificent experience of what we seem to understand as a ‘reform of the reform’, envisioned and notably articulated by Fr. Fessio, Card. Ratzinger and Msgr. Klaus Gamber.

    When compared side by side, I don’t agree that the differences between the NO and the EF are not so major – I think they are quite distinct, not so much in structure (indeed, there was major pruning, and I need to leave that to scholars and more learned friends to debate the wisdom of the revisions) but rather the ethos by which we worship/worshiped.

    Here’s how I see it:

    A) Perhaps the NO follows too closely the model proposed by Fr. H. E. Reinhold in 1960 for a plan of Mass (referenced in Dom Alcuin Reid’s The Organic Development of the Liturgy). I interpret Fr. Reinhold’s approach as thus: 1) active participation is strongly desired; 2)because of the permissions granted by Pius XII in 1958 re: the degrees of dialogue mass, the Low Mass (missa recitata) allowed the (well-prepared) congregation to make server’s responses; therefore 3) the Low Mass was a starting point for revisions to the Mass, not the Solemn High Mass.

    The whole current NO approach to worship thus makes it difficult to celebrate as though we could under the EF – it’s too obsessed with the ‘people’s responses’.

    Something has been lost, and whether one chooses to say in 1958 or 1963, I don’t know. We’ve lost an interior disposition and discipline. We as a society have been on the fast-track, hyperactive and uber-participatory mode of life. The great challenge of the EF is teaching people how to pray with interior ‘discipline’ and in silence. The growing success of the EF is proof that our people recognize this inherently austere call to prayer and adoration. The NO just didn’t allow this to continue – the relentless pace and need for sound contributed (strictly my opinion and experience) to the undermining of how to ‘pray the Mass’ as St. Pius X hoped.

    B) My understanding of how SJC celebrates the NO Solemn High Mass is along the lines of the ‘reform of the reform’ position: given what we currently have in the Missale Romanun Ed. 3a, how would the Fathers of the Council in 1963 celebrated the Holy Mass and thus understand and approve Sacrosanctum Concilium as a revision, but an organic revision? Thus, we should celebrate it in the mind of the Fathers’ understanding of the rubrics of 1963.

    In other words, what is Roman liturgical praxis? “Accept the revisions, but interpret them in the mind of how the Church has always celebrated: an organic revision in light of Roman custom, usage and tradition.”

    Does there seem to be hope for the NO continuing in Latin, as per your posting? I don’t know – and maybe that’s a good thing. The gravitational pull of one to the other certainly makes it a great time to be a priest who loves liturgy, history and tradition! Maybe this is the moment of organic growth or grafting of one to the other.

    EXCELLENT posting Fr., I can’t wait to see how your posters view this!

  10. vox borealis says:

    It seems to me that Benedict XVI, by articulating the “Tridentine” mass as one *form* of the same rite, he has shaped the discourse on tis very question is profound way. It is essentially an admission of–even an appeal to–liturgical pluralism. The old “big Catholic tent” just got bigger, building on the approach of John Paul II (and others) emphasizing the legitimacy of other liturgical expressions of Catholic worship, be they eastern or western (for example, the Ambrosian rite).

    So what does my preface mean with regards to your question, “whither the Novus Ordo”? Maybe the new mass will become irrelevant, or maybe the mass of the ‘youngins.’ but I don’t think so. The massive popularity of the new mass–the speed with which it was embraced by so many Catholics–suggests to me that a good number of faithful find the form appealing, for whatever reason. There is also a practical appeal of the newer form, whose rubrics are “easier” and less demanding with regards to vestments, servers, etc. I can envision instances when it will simply be more practical to celebrate mass in the newer form.

    Ultimately, and perhaps this is crass, I see the future of both forms as market driven. In a pluralistic society, within which different religious communities are themselves pluralistic to a great degree, there will be a significant constituency (market, audience) for all varieties of all forms, from the folk mass to the solemn high mass of the older form and everything in between.

    The issue will then become how to regulate, in the broadest sense of the word, all of the various forms of the mass. If someone wants what I derisively call the “banjo mass,” so be it, so long as it conforms to the rubrical requirements of the form.

  11. schoolman says:

    Let me add to what I said above. I think that liturgy has traditionally maintained food for all. That would be “milk” in the Mass of the Catechumens and “steak” in the Mass of the Faithful. Has the TLM over the centuries lost sight of the spirit and intent behind the “Mass of the Catechumens”? Did Vatican II and SC seek to recover this to a certanin extent yet without the intention of creating a new rite or form of Mass altogether?

  12. Paul Waddington says:

    A good reason to retain the Novus ordo in Latin is that it can be regarded as a stepping stone.

    It is useful for priests who are learning to give them confidence in Latin.

    It is also useful for congregations, to get used to the idea. Not too much of a shock at one time

  13. Joseph DeCaria says:

    There is one option that I haven’t heard discussed on this blog. We have all heard about putting a tridentine template on the Novus Ordo, but it seems to me that it would be as successful as cuff-links on a man with no wrists. Of course the rite is valid, but to me it’s fundamental structure is undignified.

    What about taking a page from the Anglo-catholics, about whom we have been hearing so much of lately? There are several Anglo-catholic parishes in the US that use the English Missal, which is a beautiful, faithful, and complete translation of the Missale Romanum. I’d like to hear what people think of the prospect that, instead of the ordinary form in English for example, the Holy See approving the Extraordinary form in a TRADITIONAL vernacular translation? This could make for some very interesting discussion.

  14. schoolman: Interesting parallel

    Novus Ordo : Mass of Catechumens : milk
    Tridentine : Mass of the Faithful : steak

  15. Marcos says:

    Hi Father,

    Very good posting.I have only one doubt: isn’t it necessary to have only one form of the rite, instead of two different forms of the same rite, which is a little bit strange? And, to have one form, the NO will need to be changed [a lot] or disapear… and/or the TLM will need to change a little and the NO disappear… what do you think that is going to happen?

    By the way, awesome your site, may God help you.

    Cordially
    Marcos
    From Brazil

  16. Marcos: The Church has many rites. The Latin Church has made many for centuries. On the surface of it, it is clear that we can bear more than one rite.

    However, I think after some decades, perhaps there will begin to emerge a single use of the Roman Rite.

  17. Andrew says:

    Fr. Z:

    I might just be an excessively skeptical individual but I do not envision this natural progression from childish to more mature form of worship. As experience teaches us – many strongly resist the “more mature” form of worship. Many high ranking ecclesiastics prefer banalities. Ultimately, the Church must lead and impose – in my opinion. You can’t leave everything up to the common vote. Pop culture cannot rise and mature on its own. The average person has bad taste. And (I know some will strongly object) Latin is superior to the vernacular and one must work hard to harvest the benefits of Latin. It doesn’t come easy, it doesn’t come naturally and it will not happen without an official mandate. There is one in a thousand willing to do the work of learning Latin, clergy or otherwise. Take your Latin podcasts as an example. The first is accessed by 600 people. The second by 300. The third by 100. Make another ten and none will bother to listen once the curiosity is worn off. So without some ecclesiastical discipline imposed from higher ups we will continue to grope. If things are left as they are, there will continue to be pockets of TLM in a sea of NO vernacular Masses. Summorum Pontificum has done nothing for me, personally. In a large metropolitan area where I live nothing has changed. We continue with the all popular “happy birthday” post-communion with applause, cheer, drum roll – led by the dear Father … makes you wonna cry. These folks will not change without the whip. Discipline is the key word. Without discipline, as every parent knows, children will always seek the easy way out of everything.

  18. schoolman says:

    Comment by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf:

    schoolman: Interesting parallel

    Novus Ordo : Mass of Catechumens : milk
    Tridentine : Mass of the Faithful : steak

    ——————–

    Exactly, Father. Yet the council fathers certainly did not intend to create a “milk Mass” along side of a “meat Mass. On the contrary, it seems the intent may have been to recover some “milk” that may have been spilt over the centuries and insert this back into the Mass of the Catechumens. This can certainly help us to understand how the two form of Mass are supposed to “inform” one another — all are fed with both milk and meat in the same Mass.

  19. TJM says:

    THis is a very thought provoking piece but no one thus far has taken up the challenge as to what to do with “Children’s Masses.” I submit they should be surpressed, immediately without delay because pedogically they are a huge mistake and should never have been allowed in the first place. 1) They are condescending and suggest children are stupid. By the time I was 8 I could do most of the Latin reponses and by age 10 I could chant several Latin ordinaries very competently. I don’t think children today are radically different than we were. Moreover, we are constantly being told they “know a lot more than we did.” So let’s test that theory now. 2) Whom are theses liturgies really for? I suggest they are for over-grown juvenile delinquent clergy, mired in the 1960s. Although I resisted going to them , on rare occasion I was forced to go to them with my wife and children to accomodate a particular busy Sunday schedule. My children laughed at them, thought they were idiotic as well as the priest running around trying to “con them” as they put it. To my knowledge, Catholicism is the only Faith I know which debases its most sacred liturgy, for the “Children” (really, for the 55-70 year priests and nuns trying to relive their youth.) Anyway folks, have at it! Tom

  20. michigancatholic says:

    The Latin N.O. is a dead letter. It’s not used in most of the parishes of the English speaking world. In fact, it’s very, very rare in most localities. Most N.O. Catholics would not be able to participate at all–they don’t know the words–and this upsets them because being able to say the words and do the social thing that goes with them is the essence of the popular V2 interpretation. I’ve heard the Latin N.O. precisely once in this diocese in the 22 years I’ve been Catholic. And progressive people said nasty things about it on the way out the door.

    Consequently, for better or worse, the Latin Mass is the TLM in the USA (and v. versa).

    The N.O. (in English) as it sits is stagnant in most of the country.

    I think there’s a double edge to thinking of the N.O. as a mass for the immature Catholic soul, although it’s a tempting idea. However, what does one do with the person who insists on staying where they are, and not growing because they think they get something out of it socially or morally? (I don’t have to think; Birth control is allowed; Maybe my daughter could be a priest, 45 mins and I’m outa here, invincible knowledge, I like easy listening spirituality, etc etc). I mean it’s normal for a 1-year old to wear a diaper but when a 10-year old insists on it, must one let him to spare his feelings? What about those who have to put up with the leaks, the smell? What about the other ravages to that kid’s personality (hen or egg, which first)? (Concretely speaking, what if a family’s parents want the silliest version, and consequently the kids fail to take the Church seriously? It happens.)

    And then there’s the new translation that ought to stir things up a bit IF WE EVER GET IT, but it’ll still be prone to the same PTA mentality, I think, unless some strong measures are taken from high & low to contain that kind of nonsense. I’m all for it, but only because I think it’s what has to happen next, logically. I want to see this kindergarten party grow up a bit……I don’t expect it to be painless however. There will be defections & plenty of foot-dragging, to be sure. It’s not going to be very pretty. But it’s NEEDED.

    I am thrilled that the Extraordinary Form has been announced as the continuous form that it always was through all this. I think it will exist, as the Mass of 1962 forever and always have some kind of pride of place, as it should. Generations from now, it will be accorded hero status–the Mass that resisted the ravages of the wicked 20th century; the mass that represents continuity, a hallmark of the Catholic Church in the world.

    As far as what the 2 forms will do relative to each other, I think that the translation of the N.O. to come, and subsequent corrections of it in years to come, will merge with the essence of the TLM, that is to say continuity, to create a new missal, which will not replace the TLM but complement it. The TLM of 1962, I repeat, will always be esteemed much as the still-used altars in the catacombs are esteemed. We have lived through wicked and perverse times.

    I don’t think that there will ever be an indult for the existing N.O. People who are bound and determined to defect simply will. They won’t bother with paperwork, beyond their own PR releases. The Vatican will be worried about people being properly informed when they walk into heretical churches, pretty much like happened during the latter half of the Reformation. We may pick up some secondary things to help people distinguish they’re in a real catholic church.

    Years from now, I think someone will certainly try to get a N.O. indult. I think it will be an occasion for great hilarity in the Catholic world, because I think the true humor of some of its sillier aspects has yet to be recognized. We may see some very funny pics indeed on the future internet. Myself I like the blinking tennis shoes. On the priest.

    At any rate, the N.O. hasn’t existed long enough and is not important enough for an indult. It doesn’t qualify as the other missals older than 200 years do. It is not and never will be venerable in any way as masses can be accorded. It will be replaced because liturgical books grow organically by the power of the Holy Spirit, as they always have.

  21. Malta says:

    I have children, and they are more well-behaved and, I believe, spiritually enriched at the Vetus Odro. Missionaries for centuries prayed the traditional rite in Latin–often in the open air–for countless converts, who were not only often illiterate, but even spoke non-western languages. They came to the Church through the vetus ordo, Saints were nourished by it, even as children and the novus ordo, if anything has driven away some potential converts which the vetus ordo would have brought it, so the net effect has been negative. So, in my humble opinion, you could dispense with the Bugnini Mass, and just forcus on the Mass of the Saints, the “most beautiful thing this side of heaven,” for people’s spiritual well-being. I would guess that in several decades those who pray at the vetus ordo will be about split with those who pray at the novus ordo.

  22. Habemus Papam says:

    The NO in Latin is such a rarity I don’t see it having the momemtem to influence Reform. It was a kind of safety-valve in the bad old days for Catholics who could’nt access the Tridentine. No, I think the choice now is between the EF and an OF that can get back to the way it was in the late 60s/early 70s. Venacular throughout but regaining the sense of the Sacred which existed then. Otherwise the OF will become extinct in 10-15 years from now as the last of its fans literally die off.

  23. AM says:

    Where I normally attend Mass, the priest in charge, Fr. R, pretty nearly always chooses to say EP2 for Masses with Children (“Blessed be Jesus, whom you sent”) even for Sunday morning parish Mass. (Even for Christ the King! last year at least.) When I have asked him tactfully why, he explains that (a) there are always children present so it’s OK, and (b) it’s easier and gentler for the rest of the congregation. (He omits the additional responses larded into that canon for the children to say, such as “Jesus has given his life for us” and “We praise you, we bless you, we thank you”. I suppose he really should be making us say them, since they’re part of the rite…)

    I think my Fr. R. has taken to a logical conclusion the interpretation Fr. Z. proposes, namely, that the ordinary form is tuned towards a light and gentle pabulum, children’s food.

  24. Henry Edwards says:

    Andrew: We continue with the all popular “happy birthday” post-communion with applause, cheer, drum roll

    These sound like “trash Masses” that most of us — here at WDTPRS, at least — can surely agree are not best for anyone.

    But wouldn’t you agree that a reverent and faithfully celebrated vernacular Novus Ordo Mass is best for the great majority of people you see at Sunday Masses like these? People who may well be sincere Catholics, but are not deeply into either liturgy or theology, and cannot reasonably be expected ever to “grow up” to the point of being attracted by liturgy in an unfamiliar language.

    And that the traditional Latin Mass is best for only a minority of current-day Catholics. Some (if not all) of whom are very seriously interested in liturgy and seek the deeper faith fostered by the older liturgy. And who work hard at prayerful interior participation in a way that it would be unrealistic to expect of the afore-mentioned majority.

    I must admit to some of both in myself. Each Sunday I attend a TLM and start preparing several days in advance, studying carefully all the prayers and readings in both Latin and English to prepare for praying them during the Mass itself. (And now using Father Z’s PrayerCazts.)

    But on weekdays I’m more than willing to attend a simple and reverent Novus Ordo Mass that with my missalette I can follow prayerfully without prior preparation, because both the prayers and the readings are simpler and more “transparent” than most Sunday Masses in the older missal.

    So I think both “Mass lite” and “Mass full” satisfy needs of the faithful and that both give glory to God. Why not both? Perhaps on a low Mass, high Mass basis. TLM as the principal Sunday and Holy Day Mass, the Christmas and Easter midnight Mass. NO as the other Sunday and ordinary daily Masses.

    While realizing that a minority of us will want our full-service TLM parishes without insisting that everyone attend them. Why should anyone insist that one size must fit all? We’ve seen for the past 40 years where that leads — to the lowest common denominator.

  25. michigancatholic says:

    Vox borealis. The N.O. only became the mass in predominance by *force and coercion*. People didn’t have a choice in the matter. They were lied to. This is why the news that the TLM was never abrogated was such a shock to so many people. Some still don’t believe it. They were told that they could never have the “Latin Mass” ever again by people they trusted and they accepted it, many in a great deal of pain.

  26. Hmmm. I respect the analogy, Father. It’s kind of the reverse of what the reformers used to say – that the old rite treats people like children, doesn’t let them in on what’s going on, asks them to kneel and genuflect too much, whereas the new rite treats people like adults, giving them roles to play in the liturgy, allowing them to participate more fully, and because they are adults they don’t need to “grovel” anymore, etc.

    Either way, though, I think the adult/child approach tends to obscure a few things:

    1. For many hundreds of years the old rite worked just fine for children and adults at all levels of spiritual growth.

    2. Watering down the truth (in the prayers and culture of the new rite) for children, and then switching to the whole enchilada (in the prayers and culture of the traditional rite) for the spiritually mature, can seem dishonest. In fact that is precisely the complaint of many modern Catholics about the return of the traditional liturgy. They thought the Church had left all that behind for good. They made their peace with the new order and all that goes with it. And now, from out of nowhere, here comes a gang of knuckle-dragging neanderthals with their latin missals, mumbled prayers, scapulars, chapel veils, and other relics from the Bad Old Days. Modern Catholics feel deceived. And they were, in fact, deceived.

    3. I know the Holy Father wants to demonstrate the continuity between the old rite and the new rite. That’s the only approach that doesn’t give the Church a black eye. The adult/child explanation seems like one way of accomplishing this. But in my opinion, the “black eye” has already been inflicted, and the radical discontinuity is obvious to anyone with eyes to see. Yes, there is a sacramental and juridical continuity, but it seems to me that is where the continuity ends. The theology, spirituality, and religious culture of the Novus Ordo is otherwise a sharp break from Catholic tradition, and I don’t believe this can be finessed by new explanations.

  27. Alli says:

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! for this analogy. My significant other has been so frustrated with my devotion to the TLM, but this is such a wonderful way to describe it. I had never thought of Paul’s words as applying to the NO vs the TLM, but it works so well.

    Thank you again!

  28. michigancatholic says:

    Henry,

    I’ve been Catholic 22 years, and most of the masses I’ve heard in that time have run afoul of one or more distinct Vatican directives. Some of them merely have involved clapping, armies of EMs and a goofy homily. I can generally ignore that. But some of them have been shocking and demoralizing–more than you might think actually.

    I didn’t come to my present liturgical views without a great deal of angst. It’s been bad at times.

    I believe the “mass lite” needs a hefty dose of fumigant, followed by oblivion. Away with it. We need a new translation, soon to be on its way to us I hope, followed by a realization in Rome that they’d better get with it or 1/2 the western world is going to wander off in a areligious stupor.

  29. Habemus Papam says:

    One more reversal of the analogy; the “Milk Mass” is attended by folk in their dotage and the “Meat Mass” by the young.

  30. London Calling says:

    In a spirit of respectful discussion I would like to question two points in Fr Z’s insightful essay.

    The first is that the Latin Novus Ordo has become rare. In London, at least, this is not the case. There are no fewer than 10 parishes in greater London that have a weekly, sung, solemn Novus Ordo Mass with everything other than the readings, bidding prayers and homily done in Latin. Most of these have truly traditional and splendid music – in addition to the Oratory, for example, there are the Jesuits on Farm Street, or St Mary on Cadogan Street. There are quite a few more parishes that celebrate a sung Mass with significant amounts of Latin, or have a regular said Latin Novus Ordo. (I wonder if this is not happening in part because we have many new Catholic immigrants from Eastern Europe; Latin can function as a kind of universal language.) Finally, there are parishes (Fr Tim’s, in Blackfen, or St Mary Magdalen, Fr Martin Edwards’s parish on East Hill, or Holy Ghost, in Balham, for instance) where they celebrate the Novus Ordo in English but in a way that suggests that Fr Z’s “gravitational pull of the TLM” is working powerfully.

    There are regular Latin Novus Ordo celebrations outside of London, as well: Cambridge has two on a Sunday, Oxford one, just as an example. I sometimes get the impression from blogs that much of American Catholicism is a liturgical wasteland. I hope that’s not true; it is not what I have experienced in New York or Washington D.C. Perhaps we are better off here in the UK.

    My second question is more fundamental. Fr Z, you made it clear that you don’t see the Novus Ordo as bad. But you have positioned the TLM as higher, or superior, or as suitable for those who are spiritually more developed: “You don’t give pureed carrots to an adult, unless his jaw is broken or he is ill. Unless he is, in some way, defective. Once people grow up, they normally stop wanting baby food. They can survive on it for a time, but they won’t thrive.”

    My sensibilities may be eccentric or even defective, but I find it helpful that we have both forms; it isn’t that one is superior (‘meat’ vs ‘milk’): they are just different. One is more ‘vertical’, one more ‘horizontal’ in emphasis. One emphasizes sacrifice, another community. Participation in the Tridentine Mass is more silent and meditative; in the Novus Ordo more active. Especially in a parish, I think there is significant benefit in offering both, and in encouraging everyone to assist at Masses in both forms over the course of a liturgical year. To use your food metaphor: you could survive on steak alone, but I don’t think you would thrive, either; a healthy diet needs more variety than that. The great blessing of Summorum Pontificum is that the Church has become wider and more embracing: not just so that the Novus Ordo ‘babies’ can grow into Tridentine ‘adults’ but so that all of us can benefit from both forms. That was what I had taken from your previous WDTPRS posts; this one seems like a move in a different direction.

  31. WFW says:

    While I think that it is fantastic that the use of the Tridentine Mass has been liberalized I think it is important to remember that besides the mass only, all of the other pre-conciliar rites were also allowed. The problem from a parish point of view is that if there is a token Tridentine Mass every week or so but the majority of liturgical rites (i.e. baptisms, weddings, funerals, confirmations) are with the NO then there will be no real change. Perhaps there is a need, and I might sound too radical here, to revisit and reform the entire Novus Ordo. If one looks at the theological underpinnings behind the reforms of the Paul VI MR as well as the drastic simplification of the Roman Calendar and the complete transformation of the Divine Office one will see that there are some interesting differences between the two. Take, for example, the differences between a Tridentine requiem mass and the Mass of Christian Burial. Besides the external differences of structure and vesture there are dramatic differences in the theology of the readings as well as the prayers. Or the suppression of the ember days. These were times to sanctify the different seasons of the year as well as the harvest and were penitential in character. Now there is really nothing in their place. In the Divine Office the whole point of the Breviary lost in favor of making a more efficient and simple scheme.
    For most people in my area, they have no knowledge of what changes are taking place within the church other than the fact that a lot of money was spent recently to change the sanctuary around (to a more pre-Vatican II arrangement). There has been no announcement of SP; no announcement that if they want to be married or buried using the 1962 rites they can. Nothing stating that they can have their children baptized using the 1962 forms and do they mind? Not at all! They see latin in any form as a traditional and something that “the church got rid of at Vatican II.” And I actually think they like guitar masses and the more communal social gathering aspects of the NO.
    Don’t get me wrong, I think that Vatican II did a lot of good things for the church and the reform of the liturgy that occurred after the council was needed. But what I see in the proliferation of personal parishes in many places is an effort to create a more open form of indult church. Now, instead of having one indult parish per diocese maybe there will be two or three. And is this such a bad thing? Do the bishops realize the theological differences and the problems that will occur if latin returns (whether 1962 or NO)? I asked my pastor (who is a canon lawyer and fluent in Latin) if he could say a Tridentine Mass and he said “yes, but” (after turning an interesting shade of green) Yes, he could say it but it would have to be at a time when no one else was around so that no one would think Latin was coming back!
    Many people today say either with sadness or joy that many of the Eucharistic services of the liturgical churches (Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, etc) look very similar. We have the same readings, similar vestments, calendar, music and so on. And while the local Episcopal church might have a Eucharist that looks very much like a Catholic Mass, what Catholics believe (or should believe) is quite different but does the average churchgoer think about this? Our liturgy needs to reflect what we believe (lex orandi est lex credendi). So, if the NO reflects our beliefs what does that say about our beliefs and the fact that many people can’t easily distinguish it from a Protestant Eucharist? Now is the time to be bold and take the initiative. Don’t leave people with a dumbed- down version of the mass. Now is the time to show them the steak and see if their eyes sparkle and their mouths water.

  32. pdt says:

    Fr.Z -

    I agree that the NO Mass in Latin will gradually fade away. I believe it is truly a case of yearning for the good old days that drives people to it. Its language gives it a more respectful setting, but not as much as the TLM. At the moment it is the only Latin available in our diocese and the almost-80-year-old celebrant has stridently exressed no interest in changing to the TLM. With nobody else in the diocese qualified we’ll be awaiting the new seminarians to arrive with knowledge of Latin to share.

    On the other hand I disagree with the milk/steak analogy. The NO is no Mass for infants. For 40 years it has been the primary way of participating in our faith. It has clearly been besmirched by the social brouhaha in which it has grown and is in need of serious reconstruction. But the Pope has made it clear that it is no less a Mass than is the TLM.

    At the last supper, Christ bade the apostles. “Do this in memory of me.” The NO Mass, with its greater congregational vocal/movement participation and (in practice) less rigidity and solemnity, seems to be perfect for an interpretation that the Mass is a re-creation of that meal. The TLM with its greater reverence and participatory listening (i.e., silence) is perfect if the interpretation is that the Mass is an observance of the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord. Both interpretations seem to have merit and the Pope’s recognition of two forms of the rite give opportunity to participate in the liturgy as God speaks to us.

    So rather than steak vs milk, I respectfully submit that a better paradigm is filet mignon vs.lobster. Both require an adult palate to fully appreciate them. They are both wholly nourishing. Lobster may perhaps be more of an acquired taste, but it is in no ways demeaning to prefer the filet. Both are best when surrounded by other nourishing foods as well, such as salads, potatoes and fine desserts in the form of prayer, good works and the sacraments.

    And children can sit at the big people’s table in either House.

  33. Brennan says:

    First, I hope that more parishes, that are celebrating the NO in Latin, move to celebrating the TLM instead. Why not? After all, probably the people attending a Latin NO are doing so because it’s closer to the form of the TLM, so why not give it to them since it’s in Latin already anyway. Plus one must also consider the prayers themselves, and not just the language they are in.

    I can see Fr. Z’s point as far as how the two liturgies might be related to each other.

    However, I would say as far as considering people who are new to the TLM, or are actual children, we need to consider the “trappings” as important. Thus Gregorian chant will lift anyone’s heart and soul, even if they can’t fully understand the Latin. The art and architecture can also help in that way regardless of one’s age or understanding. This goes for things like incense as well. And of course there are the gestures the priest and people make such as the signs of the cross which also help. Hence, when considering people who may not fully understand Latin, we should consider utilizing all the other things which help make the TLM a transcendent experience–and because they help experienced adults as well.

  34. Sean says:

    In my experience a Novus Ordo low mass in Latin is as vanishingly rare as hens’ teeth which must surely tell us something of what really drives the Novus Ordo in Latin crowd. To seek the furthest canonlegal remove from the ubiquitous Novus Ordo low mass in the vernacular. That sounds a lot like the space that the 1962 mass now occupies par excellence thanks to Summorum Pontificum.

  35. Sean says:

    …I would add that the scarcity of Novus Ordo high mass in the vernacular (in my experience at least) would seem to support the thesis.

  36. Simon Platt says:

    “London calling” disputed the rarity of new-order Latin masses, citing several in London and one each in Oxford and Cambridge. My experience is very different. London, Oxford and Cambridge are untypical of England in very many ways!

    I have never been aware of a new Latin mass having been celebrated here in my home town of Preston (200 miles from Oxford). I am not aware of having had the opportunity of assisting at such a mass for over twenty years, when I lived in Leeds where, if I remember correctly, there was one new Latin mass a month in the cathedral. Of course I might have missed something. So far as I can tell the only Latin masses in the diocese of Lancaster are traditional Latin masses – of which we have a few, thanks to a small number of sympathetic priests who are willing to celebrate the traditional mass or accommodate it at their church. In that context I should particularly like to thank the dean of Lancaster cathedral, Canon Shield, who celebrated a traditional requiem mass at the cathedral on Remembrance Sunday, 11 November.

    Readers from overseas might like some background information. Preston is a large town in Lancashire. Lancashire is the most catholic of the English counties, Preston is (or at least was) its most catholic town, with relatively many catholic parishes, relatively many priests and relatively many masses. Sadly, many of our parishes are threatened with closure as part of the diocese of Lancaster’s “fit for mission” review. Please pray for us. The brightest spot is that the ICKSP has permission to celebrate a regular Sunday mass in a southern suburb, just outside the boundaries of the diocese of Lancaster. I thank God for the Holy Father, for Fr. Hudson of the ICKSP, and for the parish priest of St. Mary Magdalen, Fr. Austin Griffin.

    Incidentally, I want to feed my children on the traditional mass, so I’m not at all sure about the wisdom of the grown-up/childish analogy.

  37. Henry Edwards says:

    I’m not at all sure about the wisdom of the grown-up/childish analogy.

    The child/adult analogy really does limp badly. Unless perhaps one thinks of children of all ages and adults of all ages.

    Because many of the most childlike (if not infantile) Catholics are of “a certain age”. And one of the most striking things about the typical TLM congregation is the rapt attention of little boys and girls, who of the same age at a NO Mass are likely to appear oblivious to anything that may be happening at the table/altar.

  38. Mark says:

    Great analogy!

    My assessment over the years, and in particular in the last few since I have had regular access to the TLM, is that the NO is, even when celebrated at it’s best, is Low Mass Lite…Liturgical Text Messaging. If the NO is to be ‘fixed’ (i.e. add back the prunings that desperately need restoration… prayers at the foot of the altar, offertory, elimination of options, expanded rubrics), well then, you wind up working back to the TLM.

    I suspect the NO is doomed to irrelevance.

  39. Atlantic says:

    I’m from a parish that has a regular Latin NO – but a small one, without “truly traditional and splendid music”. The amount of Latin varies, but we always do the ordinaries in plainchant (using those nice pamphlets from the Association for Latin Liturgy, which also includes most of the responses in Latin), and once or twice a month we have all Latin except for the readings, bidding prayers and homily. Using the resources provided by the Church Music Association of America, we’ve started adding the communion propers once or twice a month as well, and I hope that as the congregation gets used to that, it’ll be possible to add more.

    Now, I am really, really attached to the sung Mass and I said so in a comment back in August:
    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2007/08/new-to-the-older-mass-your-experiences/#comment-29014

    I think that the Latin NO is a great stepping stone exactly because you can start subbing in Latin and chant slowly, so that (a) those who are unaccustomed to Latin and chant can acclimatise themselves a bit at a time, and (b) it doesn’t strain the resources of a parish too much too soon. We simply don’t have the resources for a missa cantata every week (and unfortunately, I can’t see that we will anywhere in the foreseeable future), so if the priest replaced the Latin NO with the TLM, we’d be stuck with no chant at all.

  40. Dave Wells says:

    I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the Latin NO masses on EWTN. I’ve often seen the NO Mass celebrated in Latin – twice this week.

    For many of us who have grown up in the Church post-Vatican II (and please note that I didn’t say “the post-Vatican II Church”), the introduction to the TLM is a bit of a culture shock. I’m grateful that the opportunity exists in my city to attend each Sunday, and I’ve found it quite moving each time I’ve attended. But I can’t convince my wife and family to attend with me. For some (including my wife), the TLM is too esoteric. For this reason, I think that the NO Mass has a role to play in the liturgical and spiritual development of many modern Catholics. What is needed (desperately) is a reverent manner of celebrating the Mass.

    While I have some issues with the whole notion of the grown up vs. childish analogy, I think there is a fair comparison to be made with the “Mass of the Catechumen” and “Mass of the Faithful” approach. I think that there is much benefit to be derived by the expanded use of Scripture in the Lectionary, in the vernacular. I also think that the responsorial psalm, the homily, the Creed, and prayers of the people are beneficial in the vernacular, in that they help to catechize the people. But I see no problem with the “Mass of the Faithful” celebrated in Latin – from the Sursum Corda to the Ite Missa Est. This would help connect us to our liturgical heritage, and serve as a bridge (for many) to the TLM.

  41. Tinlin says:

    I believe that Latin should play a part in the Novus Ordo. Celebrate it in the vernacular sure, but keep or promote the ordinary prayers in latin. After all, latin is part of their heritage, and they may not appreciate it in the short term, but perhaps in the long term they will. Kind of like sneaking broccoli into the macaroni and cheese.

  42. Hank_F_M says:

    I expect the Latin ordinary from will pretty much be replace by the extraordinary form. It it’s use will increase two or three times over the preM: use., but remain just what the term extraordinary. The Latin ordinary form will I think be relegated to a one time exercise in for seminarians.

    We (as Catholics of all people) should not forget the power of “tradition”. The traditikon in almost every parish is t celebrate Mass in the ordinary form. A change away form the ordinary form will receive much of the same opposition and grudging support the implementation of the ordinary form received, because it is messing with the received tradition. The ordinary form is going to remain predominate because no one wants to go through the pain of changing. I lived though the last one. In the 1960’s the church had a lot of “good will’ with the faithful that it used to make the change. It no longer has the “good will.”

    Here is where the Pope’s brilliance comes through no one is being forced (well some bishops are being forced to be tolerant) to do anything. If it iw received by only a small percentage of the faithful it will serve to enrich and correct the “new” tradition without rejecting it.

    So how can the extraordinary form help to accomplish the Holy Fathers goals. ?

    If it has a definite support it will set an example that will influence the ordinary form.

    If the extraordinary form (dialogue High Mass, full choir) is used for major occasions (Christmas, Easter, patrons saint day a visit from the Bishop, and such) in parishes that otherwise celebrate the ordinary form this example will have a significant impact over time. This can easily be accepted (with some catechesis) as enriching rather than changing. It will in addition to improving the Ordinary form will help to attract people to extraordinary form participation by providing exposure.

    Father rather than child and adult versions I think a ordinary clothes and “”Sunday go to meeting best” clothes analogy is more useful

  43. Judy says:

    I think I understand your point, Father, that to attend a reverently celebrated Novus Ordo Mass is easier, or “milk” for the average person, since it is said in the vernacular. And I think you are saying that the TLM is “meat” because for that same average person it is a more mentally and spiritually challenging form of worship. This works at first, but as I was reading, something began to bother me.

    It sounds too much like the things that those in favor of the NO used to say to those of us with a love for the traditional form of worship. “You need to grow up and move into the 20th century as the Church has done,” and the like. I don’t think you mean it that way, Father, but I think–to make it clear that this is only me and I might just be too cynical– that if the analogy spread, it might be misused by those who love tradition to make themselves feel somehow spiritually superior to the adherents of the NO.

    Now perhaps the lovers of the older form ARE spiritually superior. Your idea seems to suggest it, if being grown up is superior, but it doesn’t behoove them/us to crow about it. I guess what I fear is a lack of charity on the part of people who might misuse the analogy. These are important times for healing a rift that has caused great harm to individuals and to the Church as a whole. I’m not sure your analogy would always be used to heal the rift. I’m also not sure that it wouldn’t feel insulting to those who love the NO. Just as those who love the older form were insulted by the people who, in one way or another, told them they needed to grow up.

    Of the ideas I have read in your comments, except for the lack of scriptural basis I like the filet mignon and lobster comparison better, if we are talking about a REVERENTLY-celebrated NO as our filet mignon. No one, especially not children, should be subjected to an irreverent Mass. It is deeply spiritually damaging in ways we cannot always understand. And in some ways that are immediately obvious. Our children, ages 18-2, all favor Latin over English at Mass. (If quieter behavior and a more peaceful demeanor are an indication of favoring in two-year-olds.) We have only had the opportunity to participate in one TLM, and that was not as quickly embraced by them. Lobster is a bit more work. They enjoy the filet, but not all have acquired a taste for lobster…yet. When they have more experience of lobster, I expect they will appreciate it, perhaps even more than their father and I do.

    I pray that the majority of parishes will offer both forms, for a long while, in order to allow for the growth of understanding and experience: acquisition of taste, if you will.

    For parents: Maria Montessori’s book, “The Mass Explained for Children,” is very helpful for children who need a bit of encouragement in understanding the older form of the Mass.

    Thank you, Father Z, for all the work you are doing to encourage understanding and appreciation of the most beautiful thing this side of heaven.

  44. Ottaviani says:

    Some people have already posted comments I would have wrote, so I won’t repeat myself.

    All I say is this: the inherent problems of the Novus Ordo will not solved by saying it in Latin. The structure of the mass is such that, even in its most Roman form (as Fr. Z would say) the newer rite is deficient in comparison to the old. This is not just my opinion but the opinion of Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci, when they wrote their Intervention in 1969. The current Holy Father knows this too.

    The problem today is that we have gone so far with the liturgical revolution since 1969, that people are now naturally hooked on something that is, in reality, inferior to its predecessor. People want to go to the older form of mass, but have been so desensitised by the newer form, that true active participation and objectively better liturgy is too much for them.

  45. Jasna Gorak says:

    It’s funny how history seems to repeat itself. When the liberals were keeping the
    old rite under wraps, the line on our side was for liturgical parity, using Sacrosanctum
    Concilium to remind everyone that the mind of the Church allows all lawful options, and does not suppress any of the liturgical rites.

    So, we said we simply wanted the freedom to celebrate lawfully the Mass, since the
    Church ‘preserves all existing rites’, to paraphrase the document.

    Now, after 37 years of chafing against the liberal Stalinists who treated us like pariahs,
    we’re getting ready to do the same thing to the other side that they did to us.

    Not nice. It not only violates the principles of Summorum Pontificum, it also
    violates the Golden Rule. It’s also a formula to re-ignite the very war that the
    Pope is trying to heal.

    Relegating the Novus Ordo to the status of baby food (you chose the picture)
    is simply insulting. Instead of trying to heal the divide, you’re just putting more
    ammunition into the hands of those extreme traditionalists whose principal form of
    Catholic action is to denigrate faithful Catholics who worship in this rite.

    And I thought the Eucharist is supposed to be the “Sacrament of Unity?”

    Was the Polish Pope celebrating a Mass that is the equivalent of baby food?

    I cannot adequately tell you how disturbing this latest post is. You are unwittingly
    and unnecessarily dividing Catholics by this superficial and condescending labeling
    of the two rites.

    Whatever happened to your “Five Rules of Engagement”? I thought you wanted everyone to avoid all polemics?

    I’m really disappointed by this unprecedented attack on a lawful rite of the Church.

  46. vox borealis says:

    Michigan,

    I know that I’m in the minority on this site, but I don’t buy. Yes, there was coercion and suppression in promoting the new mass, but there is also the reality that many, many Catholics actually liked the changes. We can joke that they are aging hippies, or childlike in their sensibilities, but whatever the case, if the new mass were not enormously popular the suppression of the older mass would not have been so easy.

    Now, appreciation for the new mass is deeply entrenched. When S.P. was released, I talked to many people in my parish and in various other Catholic communities with which I am associated. there was some curiosity, but by and large most adamantly preferred the ethos and aesthetic of the new mass. Now, we could argue that once they are exposed to the filet mignon of the old mass, they will no longer want the hamburger of the new mass. But I am more skeptical and less triumphalist about the re-emergence of the old mass. I still contend that for many, many Catholics the new mass will remain the preferred form of the Roman Rite. And so long as there is a large market for this form, it will continue to feature as a prominent part of Catholic worship.

  47. catholiclady says:

    Fr/ Z

    “St. John Cantius Parish stands as a unique parish in the Archdiocese of Chicago. It offers the Novus Ordo Mass in both Latin and the vernacular, as well as the Tridentine Mass.”

    This has been true many years. It might be interesting for you to ask them what attendance is at each form of the Latin offered. For them to continue offering both one might assume some folks still have preferences.

    http://www.cantius.org/

  48. Deborah says:

    vox borealis,

    “if the new mass were not enormously popular the suppression of the older mass would not have been so easy.”

    It is factually incorrect to say that the new mass and catechesis were popular.

    Afterall, 60% of Catholics stopped attending Mass after the (incorrect) implementation of V2 and after being bullied and degraded by “in-house catechists” for trying to fight to keep the traditional teachings and sacred liturgy.

    With a 60% drop in attendance even a secular business would take a long hard look at what is going wrong. Instead of opening up the windows for the Holy Spirit to come in the dissenters opened up the door and kicked the traditional faithful out!

  49. Isaac says:

    Dear all,

    Don’t you think that the biggest loophole of this whole argument is that we’re assuming that Novus Ordo stays the same? When reality bites us we will have to face the fact that in order for Tradition to get restitched to the current fabric of Cafetaria Catholicism (in practice), these two main directions amongst others will hold the key. Thus, in my opinion. Either:

    1) the Novus Ordo will get ditched (in which case I think both clergy and lay people will have to take the blame) simply because many just will not be practicing Catholics or that they will be at the TLM.

    or

    2) The Novus Ordo, as we know it will not be the naked liturgy that we lament about today. Enter in Judica me, Last Gospel, surpress vernacular to a certain extent, allow 62 prayers in. Now, isn’t that called organic reform.

    In other words, let Holy Mother Church be free of ideologies to decide what is good for the souls of her flock. Something’s got to burn. Let us pray.

    Isaac

  50. I’m only coming to this discussion late, so I haven’t read the other comments, however my view:

    I think the idea of what you are saying, Father, is correct. Taking what the pope says in his accompanying letter to Summorum Pontificum, “already from these concrete presuppositions, it is clearly seen that the new Missal will certainly remain the ordinary form of the Roman Rite, not only on account of the juridical norms, but also because of the actual situation of the communities of the faithful” [my emphasis].

    If I were going to read between the lines, I would interpet that to say that the reason the Novus Ordo will remain the ordinary form is 1) that’s what the current liturgical law assumes, and 2) the faithful, in general, aren’t ready for a return to the traditional liturgy. I would guess the latter is due to the confusion of all the “change” after Vatican II, the poor catechesis since then, and either the general apathy and/or heterodoxy of many of the faithful nowadays. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but that is how I read those words.

    I would see the Novus Ordo in Latin as a stepping stone to really getting back to a fuller conformity with the liturgical tradition (since the pope says the Novus Ordo is not a rupture). One of my hopes is that in the future there would be more “required” Latin. If the pope really does want to have the Second Vatican council interpreted CORRECTLY, then more and more Latin needs to be brought back into the Novus Ordo so that the ordinary form will have all the common parts in Latin and maybe even the proper prayers in Latin (as well as the other propers sung in Latin in Gregorian Chant). In my opinion, this will require Latin to be mandated, even if in gradual steps (no pun intended).

    This will also require catechesis, trickling down to the parish level. The popes have constantly talked about pride of place of Latin and chant, but this also needs to come from cardinals, bishops, and priests (and laity in liturgical and catechetical positions). So, will the Novus Ordo simply drift more or less totally into being the “vernacular Mass”? I would hope not! That would just allow the Novus Ordo to drift further away from what the Council Fathers intended. So, I see the Mass (be it Tridentine or a novus ordo) as being very necessary, mainly because the liturgy in Latin IS WHAT THE COUNCIL EXPECTED TO REMAIN THE NORM. Thus, we in the Roman rite need to get back to this. It might be gradual, but that is exactly where the Novus Ordo in Latin comes in. Then that next step to coming closer to (if not fully returning to) the traditional liturgy can happen much more organically.

    Given post-Conciliar devastation of Latin in the liturgy, should we simply forget about Latin with the Novus Ordo?
    I would say the pope would be completely against this, because of what he said in his accompanying letter to Summorum Pontificum, “the most sure guarantee that the Missal of Paul VI can unite parish communities and be loved by them consists in its being celebrated with great reverence in harmony with the liturgical directives.” Again, we need to get back to looking at the council. We can’t already isolate the liturgical directives of the council as a relic of the past. True, the current liturgical laws have the force of law (and allow so much vernacular), but if the Novus Ordo is going to be salvaged (and it should be for the sake of the dignity of the Sacrifice of the Mass which takes place within that form), then we need use the hermeneutic of continuity and include the intentions of the council fathers (which includes Latin in the main forms of the Roman Rite) in our considerations of authentically reforming the reform, which will ultimately, in my opinion, help the Roman rite get back to a closer continuity with the liturgical tradition of the Roman rite. The pope is insisting on a better carrying out of the Novus Ordo than has been done in general up to now, and I think Latin is included in this.

    One thing I’ve always felt, is that the problem with the liturgical upheaval after Vatican II was that, rather than raising the faithful up to level of the liturgy through catechesis, as the authentic liturgical renewal movements before the council were emphasizing, the liturgy was instead “dumbed down” to the level of the uncatechized.

    In some ways, I think that dropping Latin from the Novus Ordo will actually divide the faithful liturgically, because if the Novus Ordo is just left on it’s own, we know (because we have already seen) that it can get ugly. It might be an uphill battle for the TLM, but I think in one sense, we need to gradually drag the Novus Ordo uphill too, even if there’s some kicking and screaming, otherwise I really do think it will further descend into chaos.

  51. danphunter1 says:

    The Novus Ordo, in Latin ad Orientem or versus populum will be gone within a decade.
    The Tridentine Mass by every aspect of its sensible holiness not to mention its insensible holiness, will completely eclipse and then make obsolete the fabrication of 1969.
    God bless the Church

  52. Michael says:

    Personally, I don’t understand why some would prefer the New Mass in Latin to the Traditional Latin Mass, unless they are fluent in Latin. Also, I have a problem with the stripped away offertory prayers which are now “presentation of the gifts” among many other questionable changes. It only brings us back to the original question: what was wrong with the Traditional Latin Mass in the first place? Was it too ‘Catholic’?

  53. Isaac says:

    Also, just to help us focus this discussion, I think many of us should consider Fr. Z’s question more thoroughly. While there is surely a lot of difference between a reverent and an irreverent mass Fr. Z’s opinion more evidently compares both ‘forms’ in their more reverent sense. I don’t think I am far off the mark when I paraphrase that Fr. Z concludes with his *contested* analogy that the NO latin is milk compared to the TLM steak even if both of them are done according to rubrics and assuming that the NO celebration acquires very traditional forms.

    It’s a tough call. And it certainly is controversial. But Fr. Z nails the point head on. This is why we should all do well to consider Ottaviani’s (the contibutor) message:

    All I say is this: the inherent problems of the Novus Ordo will not solved by saying it in Latin. The structure of the mass is such that, even in its most Roman form (as Fr. Z would say) the newer rite is deficient in comparison to the old. This is not just my opinion but the opinion of Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci, when they wrote their Intervention in 1969. The current Holy Father knows this too.

    And I think this is extremely poignant. Lovers of NO should not be offended. The best part of SP was the fact that we are now able to talk about the Roman Rite without any ideological stains. We used to have to toe the party line and pretend that things were not as they really are. This had been my problem with EWTN’s neo conservatism. Traditionalism is now open and not a ghetto.

    My opinion (if there’s any worth to it) is that we need to consider things objectively. I do not doubt the validity of the NO mass, but I do doubt that apart from juridicially we can say that the NO is a continuation of the Roman Rite. The Holy See has the right to make a rite of its own concoction whether it be beautiful or not is a separate question altogether.

    The ‘gift’ of SP it seems, to me at least, is that we are no longer forced to opine that the Novus Ordo is formally the replacement or the revision of the Roman Rite, unlike the Roman Missal of 62. As I have said ‘above’, we cannot be fixated with the today of the Novus Ordo and I’d really love to think and hope that the Novus Ordo will one day grow organically into a rite of its own (beautifully). But I hope it would not be confused with the Roman Rite (perhaps call it the Second Vatican Rite). Rites are not meant to be designed, but lived and meditated upon over centuries. While for political correctness and juridicial terms we have to call the NO the revision of the Roman Rite according to V2, I hope that one day we will all be bold enough to admit that neither was it the Roman Rite nor completely faithful to SC.

    That being said, with all its apparent weaknesses, I still have a soft spot for the Latin NO, even if I really do think we should stop pretending that historically, culturally and doctrinally, the TLM is admittedly more superior. This has nothing to do with validity.

    Isaac.

  54. Isaac says:

    That being said, with all its apparent weaknesses, I still have a soft spot for the Latin NO, even if I really do think we should stop pretending that historically, culturally and doctrinally, the TLM is admittedly more superior. This has nothing to do with validity.

    Isaac.

    Sorry..correction here..I meant to say

    That being said, with all its apparent weaknesses, I still have a soft spot for the Latin NO. But I really do think we should recognize that historically, culturally and doctrinally, the TLM is admittedly more superior. This has nothing to do with validity.

    Isaac.

  55. fxr2 says:

    Father Z:
    I’m sure that some of the folks who feel comparing the NOM to baby food is offensive are truly trying to follow your rules:

    Father Z’s 5 Rules of Engagement for after the Motu Proprio is released:
    1) Rejoice because our liturgical life has been enriched, notbecause “we win”. Everyone wins when the Church’s life is enriched. This is not a “zero sum game”.

    There is room in the church for people who do not appreciate Latin; however Latin must be preserved to ensure the universality of the Roman Catholic Church. The NOM will change over time. I’m sure that many if not most of the priests who are ordained will come from traditionally minded families. Those families will likely attend the TLM at least some of the time as it becomes more available. The influence or as you state “gravitational pull” will be unavoidable.

    I can understand the desire of some for the mass to be said in the vernacular, at least in part. I wager the NOM will be transformed into something akin to the hybrid masses that were said in the 1960’s, with the priest facing east, some of the mass in the vernacular (read that mostly in Latin), and read reverently are likely to survive.

    As I, an uninformed layman, I understand one of the reasons for some of the changes was to allow for more scripture to be read during mass because the communist governments would not allow for proper catechesis outside of mass. I don’t believe that necessity still exists in most of the world. Some of the changes in the NOM were made, I fear, for other misguided reasons.

    I have faith that the mass 50 years from now will be in continuity with what was offered 500, 1,000, 1.500, and even 2,000 years ago regardless of form. That being said the NOM is destined to be with us, minus abuses, I pray, for the foreseeable future.

    The Church’s liturgical life has been enriched! Everyone wins! Vernacular will survive, in continuity with tradition. The TLM will always be with us!

    Thank you Father Z. your work and translations are part of the solution!

    FXR2

  56. vox borealis says:

    Deborah,

    Even if we assume that the 60% drop in mass attendance was due entirely to the introduction of the new mass (an argument of dubious historical merit), then you have to account for the 40% of attendees who stuck with the new mass. Surely not every single one has grudgingly suffered the new mass unwillingly. Even if only 10% of attendees embrace the new mass, that would still indicate a significant market for the form. Moreover, what about, say the Philippines, where the church is very healthy and yet the liturgy tends towards the charismatic (which the laity there seems to appreciate greatly).

    Hey, I greatly prefer the older form, but let’s not kid ourselves that the supposed inherent superiority of the older form will sweep away the new mass. And let’s not deny that many Catholics, some of them reasonable, orthodox, and intelligent, simply prefer the new mass.

    Danphunter et al, if you really believe that in a short time the new mass will simply disappear, you’re kidding yourself. of course, this cannot be proved one way or another now, but I am confident that in ten years we will see a significant market for both forms.

  57. danphunter1 says:

    vox borealis,
    I believe that the termination of the Novus Ordo will come by Papal Declaration, as this is the only way to eliminate a valid declaration…
    God bless you

  58. vox borealis says:

    Dan,

    Fair enough. I think that it will not. All evidence points to a movement toward liturgical pluralism and an expansion of forms (or at least greater variety within the accepted forms), not a contraction of forms. I guess we will see in ten years.

  59. Mary Ann says:

    If we are loyal to Rome, we simply must try to embrace the (actual) reforms to which Rome has called us. A Latin OF is closest to what the Council called for in its dogmatic constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. And reform of the reform is very much desired by our current pontiff.

    SP is a good thing, and I pray that it will go a long way toward good example for the OF. But giving up on the reform of the reform will leave the vast majority of Catholics in the bland or innovative for a long, long time.

    Perhaps a century from now we will be back to the EF as the dominant form, who knows. But God has placed us in this time for a reason, and I think effort in union with Rome (toward cleaning up the OF) is more helpful than speculation.

    St. Cecilia- pray for us!

  60. Father M says:

    The analogy is rich. But as a priest who has in the past tried the NO form in Latin and who now can publicly offer the extraordinary form, I know I would have a hard time going back to the former. And I am not simply speaking of the beautiful spiritual fruits that the priest can receive from the TLM. We do give certain kinds of food to children, but those foods also must be healthy. We’ve seen, for instance, that high fat content in childhood foods can set children up for obesity, heart disease and cancer. The ordinary form IS easier to access for some (although children seem to do just fine with the ef if their parents show the way). But the OF Mass is “packaged” in such a way that it is all too often truly unwholesome for children or adults. And I find the NO in Latin, with far less of that packaging, to be unwieldy still. It feels very much as if the Mass were designed for the vernacular, designed to be pedagogic, which makes the Latin, especially in the spoken canon, clumsy at times. It might be, in the right setting, a transitional vehicle. All in all, it is a conundrum for regular parish priests, who don’t neither to drive away people who cannot be comfortable with the older liturgy or scandalize them by “not recognizing the body” present in the NO Mass, but yet fear that the NO Mass in the long term is not the truly wholesome food that our people need for their spiritual health. Our lot seems to be that of struggling with this while remaining prayerfully patient.

  61. Larry says:

    ONe thing no one has considered here is the fact that the NO and TLM are not simply interchangeable because we have two distinct Calendars in use. Cardinal now Pope Ratzinger has spoken about this as well and any serious attempt to “merge” or “organically grow” is dependent on a solution to the problem of the Calendar.

    At the same time it will be very interesting to “see” and hear the NO in English with the new translation now in the final stages. If the new translations look more like our old hand missals from the 60′s then we may see a larger acceptance of the TLM. I now that sounds backwards; but, the closer the two forms sound the greater the opportunity for the TLM to influence the NO, and I think that is what Pope Benedict is looking for at least in part.

  62. Peter Moscatelli says:

    I live in Italy and mostly go to (very properly celebrated) NO Masses in Italian with my family. From time to time we also have the possibility to hear the TLM. However, in the Italian Mass, my children (8 – 6 – 4 – 2) get bored stiff, in the TLM they stay awake, follow attentively and I almost would like to say that they pray. Yesterday, after evening prayers, our big fellow (8) started reciting the confiteor \”sua sponte\” … Personally I believe that the NO is not \”children\’s stuff\”, being too intellectual and not showing Christ in the middle of the \”activity\”, it quite simply does not help to hand over faith to the youngest as effectively as the TLM. If what I see in my family is true, my children, when adult, will be either TLM or lapsi. NO in Latin is … well … why bother?

  63. Independent observer says:

    Perhaps you can learn in this respect from the experience of the C of E which in the Book of Common Prayer replaced the Mass with a service ambiguous enough to allow over centuries High Church clergymen to develop it so that it more and more approximated to the old service. The Mass exercised a gravitational pull in what had become alien territory. How much more will it operate with a service which is relatively unambiguously orthodox and within a secure Catholic context?

  64. michigancatholic says:

    Dave you said, I’m surprised that no one mentioned Latin N.O. masses on EWTN.
    It’s because one can’t substitute a TV mass for participation in a local mass as long as one is fit enough to attend a local mass. TV masses are fine as aids for prayer, but not substitutes for Sunday Mass going.

    Also you said, for some…the TLM is too esoteric.
    I strongly suspect that the Catholic faith itself is too esoteric for many people who have absorbed the culture thoroughly as their driving animus.

  65. Stephen says:

    One thing that is missing from this debate (and a worthy and important debate it is too) is the possiblility that the OF Mass of being able to be celebrated in a mix of languages. In the Cathedral where I serve, the Gloria, Sanctus, Responsory and Agnus Dei is celebrated in Latin whilst the rest is in English.

    My opinion is that many of the people who attend the OF Mass like to have Latin in the Mass (especially if they can participate in the Latin chants) but do not want the Latin Mass (ie. the whole Mass in Latin).

    The reason for this I think is that it gives them comfort in keeping in touch with the great cultural tradition of the church whilst allowing them the maximum understading of the Mass. Its a compromise but its a very popular compromise.

  66. michigancatholic says:

    Vox,

    The suppression of the old mass WASN’T easy. As someone above said, huge numbers of people just up and left. Some still drive for miles to attend the old mass. Many people did make peace with the N.O. but they did it because they though they had to. Likewise, they accepted what they thought were “modern” views of belief statements because they thought the “church doesn’t do that anymore.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that phrase, and it’s often accompanied by sadness or anger.

    The suppression of the old mass was accomplished by FORCE, COERCION and LYING. One of the things that bothers many people about SP is that they have to face the fact at long last that they were lied to, and it’s hard for them to believe. Many people have also “moved on” and no longer believe in other things catholic, so frankly they care less.

    After all, they reason, if everything you believe can change, then how much of it can be true? Perhaps religion is really about a fun group experience–(or so the argument goes) That’s where the general population is now. According to that line of thought, 45 mins, easy presentation, light on the veracity, my kid is in the presentation oh-lookie, a little bit of clowning around seems fine to them. It also explains why so many seem perfectly okay with going to Holy Communion but never Confession–they don’t take all that seriously any more. Many people would rather not be called to an orthodox rendering of Catholicism anyway–to hard, you have to take it seriously.

  67. michigancatholic says:

    Stephen,

    The difficulty runs deeper than all that, that’s the problem. It’s not only about cosmetic appearances. Throwing a little Latin in for glamour and feel doesn’t fix the most serious problems.

    As someone above said, the changeover in the 60s took advantage of the store of goodwill that the Catholic populace had for the Church. People adjusted because they wanted to stay even though they were being told that, “Everything you know is false.”
    It was a huge shock but they adjusted because they were being told “The Church doesn’t do that anymore; grow up; angels/saints/beliefs/fasting/etc etc aren’t really true.” The fact that things were also changing in the culture at a huge rate reinforced the push for “modernity” and made it all more believable to them. Aha, they thought, modernity is the key.

    So, sad to say, many people simply downgraded their expectations and shifted their “center of gravity,” so to speak. Now that shift has become the norm. This explains so much current Catholic behavior re devotional practices, confession, attitudes toward learning, attitudes towards sin, beliefs about the point of religion, and on and on. It also explains some of the liturgical preferences some have.

    Many Catholics actually and honestly believe that the point of the faith is to “be a nice person.” For them, morals are relative and niceness is king. It’s all about sharing and taking turns–why the handshake is so popular in mass (the high point for many people, I am told). One can be involved in any manner of sin and as long as one can explain it to oneself it’s okay, but one may not be rude, rigid or dogmatic. Ask them.

  68. vox borealis says:

    Michigan,

    We can go round and round on this forever. I concede every point that you make, but in turn it must be recognized that huge numbers did not up and leave. I know many people whole lived through the changes who actually prefer the new mass. Now, maybe they are dupes or lazy or heterodox the lot of them, but I am not so sure. Moreover, just as S.P. cites new groups of young people who have become attracted to the older form, so too are there groups who have been become attracted to the newer form. Again. maybe they are all theological children, still gumming the milktoast of the new mass but soon to crave the steak of the older form. Perhaps. But none of this contradicts what I have argued. There is a huge market for the new mass, and there will remain a huge market for it even as the use of the older mass spreads (and it most certainly will continue to do so).

  69. Everyone: I am very impressed by the level of this conversation so far. Thanks!

  70. Brian Mershon says:

    Interesting post. My pastor, who happens to be the Director of Prayer and Worship for the diocese of Charleston (SC) was one who has been regularly offering the TLM for some time now and initially, tried to Latinize and ad orientem the Novus Ordo.

    The majority of the parishioners wanted nothing to do with it. From their way of looking at it, they were fine with the Novus Ordo completely and entirely in the vernacular, didn’t even want the ordinaries in Greek and Latin, and told Father so.

    Their feeling was that if the Traditional Latin Mass was available for those who wanted Latin and Gregorian chant, why should they have it inflicted upon them.

    When I recently offered Monsignor about 30 of the “Mass of Vatican II” booklets published by Ignatius Press (Fr. Fessio’s Novus Ordo Mass), he said he wasn’t interested and that it was was NOT (the reform of the reform) way of the future and that Fr. Fessio was wrong.

    This Monsignor is 42 years old and has come “full circle” so to speak. I know other priests who went right by the reform of the reform, and are now offering the TLM.

    Other than St. John Cantius in Chicago, I would posit that there is NO DEMAND for the Tridentinized Novus Ordo, although I think that Pope Benedict XVI would like to see it go in that direction. There is no demand from the laity for the Tridentinized Novus Ordo. Once you go Tridentine, you don’t go back.

    The Novus Ordo will be one in one to two generations–Deo Gratias!

  71. London Calling says:

    It’s interesting how personal experience shapes the generalisations we make.

    As far as I know my parish never celebrates the Tridentine Mass: we can’t, because the high altar is placed so as not to permit celebration ad orientem. But in most other respects it seems similar to what I have heard of Fr Z’s old parish of St Agnes: tough, rigorously orthodox preaching, busy confessionals, priests who aren’t afraid to remind us of sin and hell, a solemn Latin (Novus Ordo) Mass every Sunday, reverent ceremonial, beautiful and traditional music with professional musicians (there is a children’s choir for the earlier family Mass). There are 6 Masses on a Sunday, all of them well attended both by older folks and by young families. People fall silent when they enter the church. People dress and comport themselves with reverence. There is a steady flow of converts.

    Does St Agnes celebrate the TLM? I’m sure they are deeply sympathetic to it but I thought that most or all of their services were done with the Novus Ordo. And yet they seem to have a thriving and deeply Catholic parish life.

    As I see it the decisive factor is not the choice of TLM versus Novus Ordo, but the identity or “character” that the priest and people imprint on the parish. For some priests and some parishes, the TLM may be part of this identity; not for others. A good parish priest will make the right choice, and Summorum Pontificum gives him the freedom to do so.

  72. Isaac says:

    Dear all,

    I have to concede with this statement:

    The suppression of the old mass was accomplished by FORCE, COERCION and LYING. One of the things that bothers many people about SP is that they have to face the fact at long last that they were lied to, and it’s hard for them to believe. Many people have also “moved on” and no longer believe in other things catholic, so frankly they care less.

    Yes, yes and yes. This is what I meant in my previous post when I said that we all have to pray and be ‘vulnerable’ enough to admit the truth. I still think (and this is not about triumphalism or making others feel small) that the Holy See should at least admit or apologize for taking all of us (for the past 40 years) on a huge ride to nowhere and at the cost of so many souls being lost. If there’s any good to this it’s perhaps the first and hopefully the last lesson that we should not play God in the Liturgy.

    There are extremes of course, but a lot of us really do not have to make such an ‘ideological’ choice between the TLM and the NO. This is not an ideological game! Similarly, perhaps some of us aren’t being open enough. I would not usually classify myself as a traditionalist but I have to admit that the TLM is just more superior and by that I mean that for my poor, weak, easily distracted soul it is more effective than the Novus Ordo, even if in Latin. In fact, I would opine that perhaps it(the Novus Ordo) is better in that it requires me to pray even harder to make up for the lack of prayers that the Tridentine has. This is why many find the Novus Ordo naked. But this is perplexing precisely because we see the NO by comparing it to the TLM. I will discuss this further down this post.

    To my beloved brethren who still love the Novus Ordo or the Reform of the Reform, by all means continue with your efforts, but don’t get too offended or ignore the scholarly articles and observations of many traditionalists. Remember, they are not attacking the validity of the New Mass. Similarly, a great number of us really could pray a lot more and not provoke each other with “more traditional than thou” attitude. The Truth does not get true-r just because we ‘triumphalize’ it to make others feel small.

    Now to what I was mentioning about making burdensome comparisons. Perhaps this is a little off the thread but I am starting to think that perhaps what we all need is a reorientation of mindset. Should the Novus Ordo be ‘kept’ as a rite on its own (not to be confused as the Roman Rite)? Perhaps, it does do some good if we see it as really something separate. That way, we won’t get into the argument of whether the Novus Ordo is in fact a revision of the Roman Missal or that it is inferior to the ‘Old’ rite. And because we have a choice (hooray) we don’t need to choose either or. That way we will not be angry or sour. I know this sounds naive, but in the future perhaps we would see the NO as just another rite like the one of the Eastern Rites.

    You see, if we don’t have these polar opposites, then we would not lament about the Latin Novus Ordo versus the TLM. It’s not about rewriting history, it’s about seeing the big picture. The TLM will continue in the future with it’s more organic revisions and the Novus Ordo will also be revised accordingly. Don’t confuse the rites. Not now, but maybe in a 100 years’ time the Novus Ordo would evolve on its own trajectory as its own rite. I am not being sarcastic! I am actually beginning to see this vision as a possibility. The Novus Ordo is bigger than Bugnini. The more reverent Latin Novus Ordo will come about because the ROTR-ers persisted and the TLM will of course continue as the mass that simply could not be abrogated.

    More peace?
    Isaac.

  73. BobP says:

    “However, I think after some decades, perhaps there will begin to
    emerge a single use of the Roman Rite.”

    I think this is what the Holy Father intended. However, as long as
    we allow all-vernacular in the liturgy, I can’t see how we will ever
    revert back to the one culture we had before Vatican II.

  74. Habemus Papam says:

    The NO will continue as long as there are people who prefer to attend it AND priests who choose to say it. The description by Father M above of the difficulties in saying a Latin NO are informative. We laity have such a consumerist mentality, we need to keep mind the “no priest=no Mass” fact. My view is that as more older priests who did embrace the NO retire/die the NO will go with them.

  75. Kris says:

    What I want to know is can the NO mass be tampered with when adding a bit of latin here and there in order to toss a few bones to the sad trads? What are the regs re: how the latin should be used in the NO?

    I ask this because when I brought up the interest in the TLM to our parish council (believe me, I’m a lone ranger in there and new) that I heard in a recent parish ministry get together, I had to hold onto my chair for the shock wave that went through the group – eliciting an immediate reply of “what moron would want to go back to that?”. Then feeling my sensitivities possibly being disturbed someone bravely offered “well, I would certainly not call them morons”! This was followed by someone “bravely” asking (again for my wounded benefit) the weak, weak, weak, pastor if there was any possibility of having such a mass offered he replied (expectedly), “I don’t think so since most of the priests who have any familiarity with the TLM have been out of touch with it for years and don’t know the latin”! When my downhearted (disgusted) expression had to be noticed someone else mentioned that perhaps another smattering of latin in the singing or a couple more prayers here or there might make such interested people satisfied. Ugh!

    So, Father Z, if I can handle the various mine fields that I know are still out there in my future if I stick it out (we once again had the prayer to the 4 directional spirits with ceremony, on Thanksgiving) should I only hope that this little by little approach/correction of the NO will have some influence for the better? Or, is such manipulation as suggested by the “innovators” even licit?

    BTW, anyone have any places to cite in order to inform the parish powers (out of habit nun administrator and minions) of the background of such directional “prayers” and their condemnation by the Church? I notice that a lot of Franciscans and some Benedictine spots promote the native ecumenical “spirit” and connect them with Kateri T. Thanks.

  76. Masone says:

    Dear father Z.,

    I’ve just read Mr Tribe’s comments, too (http://thenewliturgicalmovement.blogspot.com/2007/11/avoiding-balkanization-within.html), and I’ve been deeply impressed. I think he points to a VERY important aspect of the problem, and to a real risk.

    Now, rather than discuss the problem from a theoretical point of view, I’d like to make a simple practical suggestion.

    I strongly believe it’s important that we should have not only many classical (or “extraordinary form”) masses, but also many ordinary form masses entirely in Latin (except, if so preferred, for the readings).

    So, here’s my suggestion: we might send a petition to the Holy See, asking for the “novus ordo” Latin mass (entirely in Latin!) to be celebrated (compulsorily), on all Sundays and feasts of obligation (at least once a day), in the main churches — so to say — of all the dioceses of the catholic world: that would mean the cathedral churches, the basilicas, the most ancient and historical churches, etc.; and also, I think, the Benedictine churches and monasteries.

    In doing so, we would be using our right: cf. “CJC”, can. 212, § 2.

    Of course, we need somebody who is willing to take upon himself the task of spreading the petition (also through internet): have you got any idea?

    Thank you very much.

  77. Diane says:

    Just to expand on what James said earlier about the Masses at Assumption Grotto:

    Yes, the 9:30am Sunday which was Latin N.O. is now TLM.

    Yes, the pastor’s 7:30am liturgy, which was Latin N.O. is now Tridentine High Mass, with servers and organist. I’m happy to say that we have no shortage of men and teens eager to serve. Some will even participate in public Lauds just ahead of the Mass. I’ve never seen this many engaged when it was just a Latin N.O. and there are faces I’ve not seen before.

    The 8:30am Latin Novus Ordo was dropped when the number of priests available went down.

    The 7:00pm Mass has been maintained and remains a N.O. However, it is now a Latin Novus Ordo, rather than in the vernacular, which it had been for many years.

    We still have the Noon Mass on Sundays, which is in the vernacular, and the 6:30am (not sure if this is Latin or vernacular) and the Saturday 4:00pm which is in the vernacular.

    This means that, at Assumption Grotto in Detroit, there is a reasonable balance, imho, of TLM, Latin N.O., and vernacular N.O.

    Now, I am aware of a good many people who assist in the evening weekday Mass who have expressed a desire for the TLM on weeknights, but Fr. Perrone has thusfar been steadfast to maintain Latin in the Novus Ordo in that timeslot. I am hoping that should we find ourselves with enough priests, they bring back a Mass at 6:00am and make it a TLM low Mass. We really need priests to offer “working class” Masses and a TLM low Mass at 6:00 or 6:30am would be most beneficial, and probably reasonably well attended.

    Now that my palate has experienced steak, I am at a point where I would love to see our parish become a Tridentine community so that we may have more than one Mass each Sunday in the Extraordinary Form.

    However, my pastor is far more prudent than I in understanding that not everyone is ready for prime rib (using your analogy, which I’ve used myself before, Fr. Z – not in a condescending way, but because it is hard to explain otherwise).

    I agree on the matter of charity. If people don’t have options, it could create a backlash. However, many people I’ve talked to at Grotto have fallen deeply in love with the usus antiquior.

  78. Henry Edwards says:

    Vox and Michigan,

    I’ve been following your discussion with interest, and think you’re both right, though about different things.

    As an itinerant academic during the 1960′s I attended 7 parishes in 4 states in 3 regions of the U.S. (south, midwest, northeast). In all of these places we essentially saw the new Mass before it was officially promulgated in 1969, and in none of them was it “enormously popular”. Nor did I ever hear of a place where it was. An account of such a parish would seem to me just a creditable as a claim that its people agreed enthusiastically with its beautiful old altar being jack-hammered and the statues thrown in the dumpster out back. These things happened only as fait accompli that people were shocked to observe upon arrival at church one Sunday morning, and were then powerless to do anything about.

    However, it seems to me that Vox is correct about what is true now. I suspect that the largest single group now consists of people who are reasonably happy with what they see on Sunday morning. But if one Sunday morning they saw without warning a Tridentine Mass, they probably wouldn’t be back the following Sunday. Either having abandoned their former beliefs or having grown up in the new Church without the older beliefs, they’re simply “less Catholic” than those who stayed with the Church a couple of generations ago (suffering as individual members the travail of the Mystical Body of Christ in our time).

    For this reason, I don’t doubt that the Novus Ordo will be with us for longer than (for instance) I myself will be — despite its introduction having been the worst pastoral disaster that I know about in the history of the Church, and despite the fact that in 40 years it’s yet to attain the stability of form and practice that in the past has been associated with the term “rite”.

    This is why the “reform of the reform” seems as important to me as the restoration of the TLM that is my own principal hope and prayer.

    And, Deo gratias, I believe it’s underway also. This morning I attended a daily Mass in my very modern parish church; both it and its altar are round (octagonal, actually), and in recent years the people and liturgy have reflected the architecture and design. Before Mass the chalice was seen draped in a red veil on the credence table. The procession consisted priest in rich red brocade chasuble with broad gold (EWTN style) stripe and four adult male servers in surplices and cassocks, two of whom later served as candle bearers for the Gospel, which was followed by a brief but meaty sermon about the pertinence of martyrs today. The Confiteor was introduced with the invitation to “consider our sins as we approach the Altar of Sacrifice”. The Kyrie was sung in Greek, the Sanctus and Agnus Dei in Latin. The Eucharistic prayer was the Roman Canon (with no saints names skipped); bells were rung both at the epiclesis and then at the elevations. I noticed no hand-holding during the Lord’s prayer, nor any really unseemly hand shakes. A server held a paten for the communicants, a fair number of whom received on the tongue. At no point in the Mass was any sort of liturgical abuse apparent.

    Granted this was a daily Mass, and changes in the Sunday Mass are coming along more slowly. But the point is that none of the things I mentioned would have been observed just a year ago. Nor would have the celebrant himself, he having been ordained less than a year ago (though a bit older than the norm).

    And this seems to be to be the main point. I don’t personally know an older priest (of my own generation, say) who’s completely bought into Pope Benedict’s program. But every seminarian and recently ordained priest I know personally is on board with our Holy Father in regard to the sacrality of the liturgy, whether NO or TLM. And they (I hope and believe) provide a preview of our future.

  79. danphunter1 says:

    The Novus Ordo is not an orthodox rendition of the Tridentine Mass in the vernacular and somehow good for Protestants as well.
    Neither is the Novus Ordo in Latin.
    It is still the inorganic Mass, but spoken in Latin.
    You cannot mix the two forms and expect to convert many heretics.
    In my experience, I have observed a number of Protestants who are attracted by the Tridentine Mass alone.
    They have assisted at vernacular Novus Ordo Mass, Latin Novus Ordo Mass, and Ad Orientem Latin Novus Ordo.
    To a man they comment that all but the Tridentine Mass seem like their Protestant sessions, in some way.
    The Tridentine Mass will be the Mass that will begin to draw hundreds and thousands of conversions as it did perrenially, before the Second Vatican Council and subsequent fabrication of Holy Mass.
    God bless you.

  80. Little Gal says:

    “Once you go Tridentine, you don’t go back.”

    I would challenge this…there are many older folks who were adults when the VII changes occurred and many of them are not interested in either a latinized NO or the Tridentine. This gray haired group is the core of the active church–check out the stats of the registered in any parish-perhaps this is the group that the clergy is listening to.

    Couple this with the nature of their faith practice. The comment of George Barna who oversaw a poll of Catholics taken in July of this year, characterizes Catholics as “faith aware” vs “faith driven.”

    Check out the results of his study:

    “Compared with the general populace, the average American Catholic donates 17 percent less money to church and is 38 percent less likely to read the Bible, 67 percent less likely to attend Sunday school, 20 percent less likely to share their beliefs with someone of a differing viewpoint and 24 percent less likely to say their faith has changed their lives, according to the poll, which was conducted by phone in the latter half of 2006.”

    “Pollsters found that Catholics were 16 percent more likely than the norm to have attended church in the past week and 8 percent more likely to have prayed.”

    Some results of other polls:

    “A 2002 Gallup Poll estimated Catholic church attendance at 28 percent, compared with the 1950s and 1960s when three-quarters of all Catholics attended weekly Mass. A 2005 report, commissioned by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, on Catholics going to confession at least annually showed a drop in rates from 74 percent to 26 percent over a 20-year period.”

    What polls suggest that the Tridentine Mass or a Latin NO(as a replacement for the vernacular NO) is the solution to these changes in faith practice?

  81. So far, the debate has been framed mainly as “TLM” vis-a-vis “NOM”. However,
    isn’t it possible for the Novus Ordo Missae to eventually morph into a form
    that is far simpler than the 1962 Ordinary, and yet fully conforms to the
    general outline and characteristics of the Classical Roman Rite? Sacrosanctum
    Concilium clearly called for a simplification of the Mass, and while I prefer
    the TLM as it is (and I will love it even more if certain pre-1956 rubrics
    are restored), I think that a simplified form of the classical Roman Mass
    might be preferable in certain circumstances and for certain communities and
    kinds of people.

    Come to think of it, the Dominicans deliberately shortened their Mass and liturgy
    precisely to give more room to the demands of study and the apostolate. (When
    I think of a “simplified” Mass, I think primarily of the Dominican and Carthusian
    Rites). Prudent simplification of the Mass has always been allowed by
    Catholic tradition where this is necessary to achieve certain important spiritual
    ends.

    I can think of the following scenarios where a simplified Roman Mass might be
    preferable:

    1) Mission areas where there REALLY might be need for some inculturation to
    be incorporated into the Mass, as long as this does not result in the
    sacrifice of any essentials. Mind you, I am opposed to most forms of
    inculturation that have been proposed or even allowed so far by the
    ecclesiastical authorities. However, the fact that inculturation has been
    abused does not mean that all inculturation is bad, and in some remote areas
    that are really distant from Western culture, some inculturation is
    necessary in order to get the message of the Gospel across. (Take, for
    example, 17th – 18th century China, and in our own times, in certain areas of
    Africa and Asia. In my home country the Philippines many of the pagan
    mountain tribes were fully brought into the Church only when the missionaries
    adopted certain aspects of the native culture.) Incorporating native practices
    that are fully compatible with Catholicism may be more feasible where the Mass
    is rather “bare bones”, and not as “full” as the 1962 Ordinary.

    2) For daily Mass, especially for busy workers.

    We are, hopefully, past the high-speed Latin that made 10-20 minute TLMs
    possible prior to 1962. (I’m not kidding about the 10 minutes — one of my old
    friends told me about how he used to serve TLMs that lasted exactly 10 minutes
    during the 1950′s. And he has no axe to grind against the old Mass: in fact, he
    loves it.)

    From my experience, a reverent and unhurried TLM Low Mass
    should take about 40 – 45 minutes to celebrate. Now, if only it were possible,
    we should dedicate at least this much time for the Mass every day, if
    not more. Nevertheless, it is a painful fact that many Catholics who are
    in all other respects devout and conscientious, might not even be able to spare
    that much time within the course of the day, especially during mornings. And yet,
    who wants to return to the older practice of simply dropping by Mass for
    Holy Communion without attending the Mass itself in its entirety, especially the
    Mass of Catechumens? (It is the practice recommended for busy people
    by an old book of piety that I have.)

    For many of these people — and once more, I speak from experience, for in
    my country an appreciable number of people continue to go to Mass daily — the
    time dedicated to daily Mass simply couldn’t exceed 30 minutes. Now, I have
    attended weekday Novus Ordo morning masses which were celebrated unhurriedly
    and with reverence, and which lasted only 20-25 minutes (no singing, no homilies).
    On the other hand, I think that the only way that TLM can be celebrated in
    30 minutes or less (and 30 minutes is the duration that many books, counsels,
    horaria and rules of life pre-1965 had indicated as most preferable for daily
    Mass) is by hurriedly saying at least some of the prayers or by having almost
    no one at the communion rail. At least, that is what my observations lead me
    to think. And who wants a (partly) hurried Mass nowadays?

    The solution seems to lie in having a simplified Roman Mass for weekday masses,
    especially those for working people. A Mass that can be decently and unhurriedly
    celebrated in only 20 – 30 minutes, and yet conforms to the general outlines
    of the classical Rite of Mass. The “full” or “longer” Mass — the 1962 Ordinary
    – could be reserved for private Masses, for the principal Mass on working days,
    and for ALL masses on Saturdays, Sundays, Holy Days, major Feasts, and all
    days of Lent. And this “full” Mass should be seen and promoted as the ideal.

    A “simplified” Roman Mass could have the following characteristics, which
    are also the ones normally proposed for a “Reform of the Reform” Ordo Missae:

    1) The prayers at the foot of the altar shortened, and said at the sacristy
    or on the way to the altar

    2) Shortened Confiteor, a-la Dominican or Carthusian Confiteor.

    3) No Gloria

    4) A shortened Offertory reminiscent of the Dominican Offertory

    5) Less complicated or repetitive arrangement of prayers before Holy Communion

    5) “Corpus Christi” as Communion formula

    6) No Last Gospel and “Leonine Prayers”.

    Just some thoughts.

  82. danphunter1 says:

    Little Gal,
    To state a few fact’s attributed to Tridentine Mass assistee’s:
    They are almost all faith-driven.
    They almost all follow the Mgisterial teaching of Holy Church.
    They almost all have an unbelievably deep reverence for the Real Prescence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.
    Hardly any of them practice artificial contraception.
    They have a fathomless devotion to the Mother of God.
    The majority of them practice all six precepts of the Church,
    Included in the above, they almost all contribute great financial support to their pastors.
    Etcetera.
    If this is what the Tridentine Mass produces, why go anywhere else?
    God bless you.

  83. Malta says:

    “From time to time we also have the possibility to hear the TLM. However, in the Italian Mass, my children (8 – 6 – 4 – 2) get bored stiff, in the TLM they stay awake, follow attentively and I almost would like to say that they pray. Yesterday, after evening prayers, our big fellow (8) started reciting the confiteor “sua sponte” ”

    This is exactly my experience, as I stated, supra, my four kids, 11-9-7-5, are much better behaved at the TLM, and I truly believe that they get more out of it, spiritually, than at a NO mass. This may sound ironic (or even disingenuous on my part for trying to make this argument) but I think children are more spiritually enriched at a TLM than at a NO mass. How many children and teens will inspired to be Saints by a Life Teen Mass compared to the Saints formed by the TLM? Oh, I know, life teen masses are cool, and all, but I don’t think we should take for granted a child’s ability to be filled by reverent worship, Gregorian Chant, etc.

  84. Neal says:

    Some results of other polls:

    Little Gal:

    I don’t follow your argument. You write:

    >

    The polls you quote show that Mass attendance was relatively high before the introduction of the Novus Ordo and that it dropped like a rock after its introduction. There is no statistical data that show that Mass attendance goes back up with the reintroduction of the Tridentine Rite Mass because it hasn’t happened yet in a statistically relevant situation. Nevertheless, I think it can be inferred that people found the TRM worth getting out of bed of a Sunday morning for, while the same can’t be said for the NOM.

    Of course, there are other factors such as the wholesale breakdown in doctrinal and moral teaching which doubtlessly had an effect. But then the lex credendi rule can suggest that the breakdown and the NOM are not isolated events.

    Pax tecum,

  85. Neal says:

    Let me try that again (with apologies).

    Little Gal:

    I don’t follow your argument. You write:

    “’A 2002 Gallup Poll estimated Catholic church attendance at 28 percent, compared with the 1950s and 1960s when three-quarters of all Catholics attended weekly Mass. A 2005 report, commissioned by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, on Catholics going to confession at least annually showed a drop in rates from 74 percent to 26 percent over a 20-year period.’

    What polls suggest that the Tridentine Mass or a Latin NO(as a replacement for the vernacular NO) is the solution to these changes in faith practice?”

    The polls you quote show that Mass attendance was relatively high before the introduction of the Novus Ordo and that it dropped like a rock after its introduction. There is no statistical data that show that Mass attendance goes back up with the reintroduction of the Tridentine Rite Mass because it hasn’t happened yet in a statistically relevant situation. Nevertheless, I think it can be inferred that people found the TRM worth getting out of bed of a Sunday morning for, while the same can’t be said for the NOM.

    Of course, there are other factors such as the wholesale breakdown in doctrinal and moral teaching which doubtlessly had an effect. But then the lex credendi rule can suggest that the breakdown and the NOM are not isolated events.

    Pax tecum,

  86. Little Gal says:

    danphunter1:

    Thanks for your thoughts. I do not judge how the Tridentine Mass shapes the faith practice of those who frequent it. I would say the same for those who attend the NO.

    For myself, for many months, I have attended a parish run by Opus Dei. Only NO masses in English (and one in Spanish) are offered. This parish does the NO very reverently and there is great emphasis on frequent Confession and following Church teaching on Chastity,Contraception etc. Only boys function as altar boys. There are long lines for Confession before Mass and during the week. This parish IMO is very spiritually focussed. For example, on the 30th, they will begin a (9 night) Novena to the Immaculate Conception featuring special speakers. So, the NO in English is supporting and fostering a reverent liturgy and active faith practice in the case of this parish. I have this as a comparison to what others here are saying about the Tridentine liturgy and I think we have to be careful in seeing a particular form of the Mass as a panacea. Peace.

  87. Pat says:

    “. . . [W]e once again had the prayer to the 4 directional spirits with ceremony, on Thanksgiving . . .”

    I have a serious question here: Is a Mass that offers a “prayer to the 4 directional spirits” considered a valid and licit Catholic Mass?

  88. Habemus Papam says:

    “This grey haired group is the core of the active church-perhaps this is the group that the clergy are listening to”.

    Perhaps. These are the old foot-soldiers who slogged it out for 40 years often through a sense of loyalty and are now baffled to hear that the Latin Mass which was banned in 1970 is back! How must they feel? They won’t be with us for very much longer,however. A few years from now will be time to see the fruits of Summorum Pontificum.

  89. danphunter1 says:

    Little Gal,
    Yes there are exceptions in so far as there are some reverent and, within its own form, non abusive mass’s in the NO,
    BUT
    these are few and far between.
    However in the Tridentine Mass parish’s, they ALL contain all of the elements of orthodoxy and the ecclesiology that is taught from the ambo dring the sermons are almost always spot on.
    This is in great part due to the indefectibility of the Tridentine Missal itself.
    It does not vary in its ordinary parts and is not conducive to making it up as the priest goes along.
    Thus we have a salutary and orthodox reason based on this great and unwavering truth that the Tridentine Mass is by far superior to all other forms of the NO, and the Holy Ghost wants this form to reign again in the Church for the salvation of souls.
    God bless you.

  90. Diane says:

    Henry: Good posting!

    I agree wholeheartedly with what you describe as I’ve heard so many Catholics talk about how difficult it was when the NOM was forced on people in a less than prudent manner.

    I also agree that it is possible to create a similar problem by shocking people or limiting their choices in a parish that is not yet ready for more Tridentine than it can handle (and I suspect this is why Pope Benedict limited it to once each Sunday as opposed to opening it up wide). It also makes sense that a parish can become a Tridentine community, with permission, which basically tells the Ordinary – hey, we’re use to this, we don’t need the training wheels anymore (no disrespect intended).

    For the sake of charity the transitions need to happen slowly and with much catechesis along the way. That catechesis, if done right, will pull people along. The depth of spirituality gives us volumes to speak about. This Mass can sell itself if the information gets out there.

  91. Also, one thing I would say is just on a personal note, which does seem to support the idea that Fr. Z. presents.

    In my own personal experience, I was raised in the average parish environment. I always hated the hippy fest, happy clappy things I saw in church, but I was also not very favorable to more traditional things (even once I learned those things even existed). Over time, the more I learned and understood about Mass in general, the more “conservative” (although I hate to use the liberal/conservative descriptions) and traditional my preferences for Mass had become. However, this only went so far as the Novus Ordo. So, Latin Novus Ordo became my new standard. With just the rumors of the motu proprio, this was furthered by my studying of the details of the Novus Ordo and Tridentine Mass, and even moreso lately with my trying to study the ENTIRE tradition of the Roman Rite. Again, as I have learned more, I have, in theory, gravitated more and more towards the TLM. I certainly still have a certain “comfort zone” regarding the Novus Ordo because that is what I was raised with, and that is what I attend 99.9% of the time. However, I am also seeing that any “aversion” to the TLM is strictly due to my not being used to it, and that can easily be changed with more exposure to it so that it can become more familiar). In terms of really using a hermeneutic of continuity, actually bothering to learn the history and details of the Roman rite, and seeing the TLM’s “time testedness,” I am much more personally in favor of a returning to the TLM and authentically reforming that.

    So, what Fr. Z. proposes “theoretically”:
    (“At the risk of being somewhat provocative, I suspect the older form, the TLM will become (at least for a while) the “grown up Mass”, while the Novus Ordo, still reverent and sound in so many ways, will be lighter, less challenging,”)
    I can say is true in reality, at least in my case.

  92. michigancatholic says:

    Vox,

    I’m not trying to say bad things about most N.O. attending individuals. I know some fine ones, and I’ll tell you: Some of them pray and try to listen to God the best they can and occasionally holiness can appear there by the will of God and personal willingness, against all odds. The N.O. mass is after all a legitimate form of Latin Rite Mass and Holy Communion is literally Christ in that form too, and He can work wonders. And for many people, the N.O. still the only form to which they have access. That is NOT THEIR FAULT. I think this is what Pope Benedict has said in SP.

    However, I am also telling you that there is an underlying structure of behavior that has accompanied the changes in the Mass over the last 40 years for most people. Many people are not aware of it and consider their commonsense framework to be “the way it is” because “the church doesn’t do that anymore.” That change in conceptual/theological framework was a response to the rapid rate and depth of violence done to the liturgy and to the Catholic people. It came at a crucial time in contemporary history and caused a “center of gravity” shift in priorities for many people.

    It’s responsible for some of the most out-of-bounds Catholic behavior we see. It’s responsible for misplaced emphasis in liturgical matters: ie. the handshake of peace is the most meaningful part for me; you must sing or you might as well not be here; father is entertaining us so he can sing his favorite folk song anytime he wants to relieve the boredom we feel; my daughter HAS to participate to avenge herself of injustice and I will see that she does; it’s all about my feelings and not about anything that might go through my head; I have no soul; I think there’s nothing wrong with cohabitation because love is the most important thing (God is love after all) and so it can’t be wrong for me; mass is the community celebrating and I’m not sure if Christ is literally present (I’m recounting to you common N.O. ideas–I don’t think this nonsense!)

    It’s also responsible for the sugar-coated attendance at classes and so on where it’s all about participation–and asking questions or bringing up legitimate but honest points is seen as somehow EVIL or UNACCEPTABLE. IT’s all about nice. Be nice and accept what the man says. Even if someone rubs your face in ****, is totally incoherent and lies to you. Save the real nastiness for the parking lot or the workplace.

    I don’t know how we recover from this bigger problem. Somehow we have to stitch the practice and theology of the faith back together with its liturgy so they are all of a piece, with God’s help. This is the really big job and it’s going to take a long time and a lot of effort.

  93. Stan says:

    Paradoxically, the milk-to-meat analogy from St Paul implies that it is the TLM that requires more effort and maturity for “full and active participation” on the part of a (largely silent) congregation, while the NO despite having much more priest-people dialogue can be done rather mechanically, with attendant risk of less real participation, at least on the part of some.

    Those who are ready for meat are not to feel superior on that account — but all the same, they must eat meat: it would no longer be appropriate for them to stay on the teat.

    Similarly, I have long been telling people who complain about not having a NO celebration up to their own expectations of reverence in their parish that maybe God is simply expecting them to (shut up and) move to a new parish.

  94. Athelstane says:

    This is a great thread – one of the best Fr. Z has hosted.

    What went wrong, and when? There’s no quick answer. But Ramil6325 gives it an awfully good stab up above:

    Something has been lost, and whether one chooses to say in 1958 or 1963, I don’t know. We’ve lost an interior disposition and discipline. We as a society have been on the fast-track, hyperactive and uber-participatory mode of life. The great challenge of the EF is teaching people how to pray with interior ‘discipline’ and in silence. The growing success of the EF is proof that our people recognize this inherently austere call to prayer and adoration. The NO just didn’t allow this to continue – the relentless pace and need for sound contributed (strictly my opinion and experience) to the undermining of how to ‘pray the Mass’ as St. Pius X hoped.

    We *did* lose something – and so did most of Western society. And it’s a long road to slowly gaining it back.

    But that still leaves us with Fr. Z’s question. And we really cannot know the answer, not in the long term.

    But for the foreseeable future – the next generation – the trend lines are already in place. The TLM will grow, partly by accession by those experiencing it for the first time, party just by the sheer fact that traditionalist families have more children and attend mass more often, patly by the explosive growth in traditional vocations (including diocesan seminarians and young priests sympathetic to the old form) – not to say they are ipso facto “better” Catholics, just observing the reality, a reality not lost on the Pope or a growing number of other observers in the Church. It is not unrealistic to think that in 2020, you could see 15-20%, or even more – seriously, I don’t think that number is out of the question – of the massess offered in the US as traditional.

    That is bound to have some real impact on the lived celebration of the N.O. It could end up creating an exodus of the more sober liturgically-minded from the N.O. and a greater division into two camps. But it’s probably more likely to make many N.O. celebrations more traditional.

    My hope would be what should have happened in the 60′s but did not: that eventually any true liturgical reform takes the 1962 as a starting point and leaves a finishng point not far removed from it: new saints’ days, at least a few of the best of the new prefaces, prayers of the faithful added…maybe a few other very minor tweaks and (if you must) some very limited options for dialogue…but you would still be talking about the classical Roman Rite, not some new fabrication. And by the end of the century, it’s not out of the question that this could be the final synthesis, if I may indulge Hegelian language, that finally emerges.

    In the mean time more plurality would be welcome: bring back the classical forms of the other rits thrown overboard in the 60′s, i.e., the Dominican, Ambrosian, etc.

  95. michigancatholic says:

    London Calling, in this entire diocese we do not have one single mass like the one you describe. You are fortunate but please don’t generalize your experience everywhere because it’s a factual error to believe this is the case everywhere. In fact, the case you cite isn’t the case anyplace I’ve ever visited. AND your comment doesn’t reach down to the discussion of what has happened to the commonsense framework UNDERNEATH the issue of which form to attend.

    Kris said,”What I want to know is can the NO mass be tampered with when adding a bit of latin here and there in order to toss a few bones to the sad trads?
    Kris, that’s exactly what’s happening at a few parishes here in this diocese and I’ve read elsewhere too, but it’s incoherent because to sing the Angus Dei in Latin a few minutes after father has completed his favorite Lituanian Christmas Song to applause makes no sense whatsoever. It’s just more of a consumerist hodgepodge than before, if that’s possible.

    When we’re talking about N.O. vs Tridentine mass attendance numbers in the 60s/70s, we have to include the information that many people took up the habit of intermittent attendance which exists to this day. Many people believe they are not under compunction to attend Mass on Sunday and since they also don’t think they have to go to confession, they never have to personally admit anything to themselves because frankly they don’t think it’s wrong anymore. Along with birth control, cohabitation and all the rest of it. It’s been this way as long as they remember and they like it.

    Little Gal, you give statistics about the change from the TLM to the N.O. What happened is what happened. Shocking data, no? People really did take “Everything you know is wrong,” to heart–after all, Father said it! However, there is no basis (yet) for obtaining numbers on the change back because the change back hasn’t yet occurred. It’s illogical to expect someone to offer them since they can’t yet logically exist.

    Carlos, maybe there’s some merit in giving 45 minutes to God once in a while. Maybe if mass has to be said in 15 minutes because people have to rush off someplace else, then it shouldn’t be said in that time slot. My husband gets mad when I attempt to speed kiss him on the way out the door. I don’t blame him. My family and my faith is supposed to be the center of my life, not my job or the traffic. IF I’m reduced to that kind of behavior, maybe I need to plan better?

    Diane you said,”For the sake of charity the transitions need to happen slowly and with much catechesis along the way. That catechesis, if done right, will pull people along.
    Catechesis, eh? By whom? The same crowd that lies to us every step of the way and abuses the needs of myriad Catholics at present? Nice try–job security is a good thing when you can get it. I don’t think so. I don’t think many of the current catechists are either well-educated enough or unbiased enough to do the job. Perhaps the next generation will be better because they will be better informed by the EF and the rule of Benedict XVI. Many current catechists simply can’t be trusted. The evidence is all over them. Let’s not be cute.

  96. vox borealis says:

    Michigan,

    Thanks for your thoughtful post. We are talking past each other, I think. But in any case, what you posit is simply not provable–I’m not saying it’s wrong; indeed you might be 100% right–but it is not provable. I could cite legions of individuals whom I have met who prefer the new mass to the old, including many who lived through the changes, including members of my OWN family who in fact DO have access to the TLM within very close proximity to their homes. Yet they willingly eschew the old mass for the new. Where I live now there is a perfectly legal extraordinary form parish with a only handful of families in attendance, relative to the dozens of “novus ordo” parishes. By your logic, essentially ALL of the people I know who have expressed preference for the new mass simply don’t know any better, or have been tricked and duped, etc.

    Again, you might be right, but as I say, there is no way to prove it. I can only go by what they say–they seem to know that the older form is legal, many seem to know about S.P., and good number have even told me that they thought it was “fine” or “nice” or even “good” that Catholics have more liturgical options (“if you want the old mass, that’s OK with me), but themselves have no desire to worship according to that form. I interpret this evidence as support for my prediction that the market (as I call it) for the newer form will remain sizable.

    Now, bringing this long post back to the original topic of the thread posed by Fr. Z…I also happen to live where there is an ordinary form mass celebrated in Latin, and this mass is very well attended–better attended, in fact, than the same TLM which I mentioned above. Both churches are downtown, both easily accessible (including by public transportation). The feeling of a good number of the faithful who attend the NO Latin parish is “why bother with the old mass” since we have the new mass in Latin. Ironically, therefore, they turn Fr. Z’s question on its head. For them–if we take their words at face value and not assume they have been tricked or are ignorant–it seems clear that they PREFER the newer liturgy in the large, and especially so if celebrated in its most traditional form. Maybe if they would all be exposed to the older form the shells would fall from their eyes and they would abandon their novus ordo mass, Latin or otherwise. I can’t predict the future nor can I read their minds to know precisely what motivates them and stands behind their words. I just don’t know.

    So, whither the novus ordo in LAtin? It will, I predict, remain a relative rarity. However, I predict that the extraordinary form will influence the ordinary form, and I think that we will see more bits and pieces of Latin (and Greek) slip into more and more novus ordo masses, as it is done on EWTN. And I predict that for a goodly number of Catholics, the novus ordo–its aesthetic and structure and ecclesiology–will be the preferred form, despite increased access to the older form. And, if my prediction is true, we will see even greater variation in liturgical options from parish to parish, and within parishes.

  97. Claire says:

    I’ve been spoiled by ten years in an extremely orthodox and devout parish. Our Novus Ordo masses are reverent, with no liturgical dance, celebrant ad-libbing, applause, clowns, or the other liturgical abuses I know about only from reading blogs or unfortunate experiences when traveling. “On Eagles’ Wings” has been banished from our musical repertoire. We have no altar girls, and use of EEMs is minimized. Our priests aren’t afraid to speak out about the existence of hell, the sinfulness of contraception and abortion, and the need for frequent confession. Our two daily Masses are well-attended, and we have many families who are members of or otherwise involved with Opus Dei or Regnum Christi. There is an extensive adult education program. We have had a Novus Ordo Latin Mass for the past year, and began a regular weekly TLM last month.
    But I have to say that most of our devout, well-educated parishioners did not attend the Latin Novus Ordo Mass and do not currently attend the TLM. The intense desire for the TLM that many of you express — well, I honestly don’t see it among my fellow parishioners, many of whom are (by all appearances, anyhow) taking very seriously the struggles associated with living the universal call to holiness, but are genuinely puzzled by those who insist that they are “missing something” by attending the NO Masses. These are not minimalist Catholics by any means (the minimalists among us long ago fled to less “conservative” parishes in the area), so I think it’s a mistake to posit that those who choose not to attend a TLM, even when one is available to them, are doing so because they are not “ready” for solid food.

  98. michigancatholic says:

    Athelstan,
    I think much of your post is spot on. But the resolution by the end of the century won’t be dynamically Hegelian. It can’t be because it’s not that manner of thing. It will be driven by God and it will happen according to an internal design wrought by God and driven by truth, not according to a Hegelian central tendency.
    This emergence of the true nature of the liturgy and the faith will be fascinating to watch and I’m not sure what vehicle God will use, but it will happen because the liturgy, and the faith that is integrally joined to it, is “a certain kind of divine thing,” not first a human or community schemata.

  99. Tinlin says:

    Other Churches have Novus Ordo type liturgies, in appearance of course, not substance. I believe that the Traditionl Latin Mass is able to effect conversions because it is uniquely Catholic.

  100. danphunter1 says:

    Claire,
    The Traditional Latin Mass is the Mass that every single canonized saint grew up in and was nourished with.
    Now if this does not say something for the Holiness of the Tridentine Mass and its, “solid food” analogy I do not know what does.
    God bless you.

  101. vox borealis says:

    Dan,

    In about 40 years, if there have been no saints canonized who lived largely after 1960, this argument will have a lot more weight. Until then it is a chronological coincidence.

  102. michigancatholic says:

    Vox,

    As a group, many people have come to believe the two forms are equivalent in every way because they no longer believe there’s anything UNDERNEATH IT. (Note that this is different from claiming that the N.O. is not valid and licit; it is. What is being pointed out is what people think transpires at mass–and as a result of mass–in each case.)

    As a group, they find the N.O. shorter and easier to attend. It’s breezy. They have friends that they can talk to afterward, and they don’t feel intense, stickout or nerdy. It’s probably attached to the grade school. It’s familiar. It’s a nice way to start the week. It asks almost nothing of them–they don’t have to learn anything “hard.” It fits their needs for non-directness and niceness; nice is king, remember. It’s been the Catholic way for 40 years. Why change now? (Especially when Fr. Greyhair McWhatever is going to give you a ration of crap over it. Don’t underestimate this.) Everything they’ve ever learned from a “catechist” refers to it. Where would they go for something else? Perhaps they believe they cannot “run counter” to what they’ve been told for so many years. No one really expects catholic music etc to be worth anything anyway. It’s analogical to those white tennis shoes and T-shirts–it’s easy, prepackaged, gives the impression of creativity without requiring anything. You know that.

    The violence has been done. Pointing to the effects of the violence as proof that the violence has turned out okay won’t work. It was still violence and its effects are still visible and deter many people from looking more truthfully and/or deeper at their faith. There are still a lot of obstacles. A lot of things are considered passable now that simply aren’t. The false catechesis machine still runs. (I refer to Kris and his prayers to the 4 spirits in mass above.) How do we deal with all that?

  103. Deborah says:

    Here’s my liturgical nutrition analysis:

    1) Novus Ordo diet(in most parishes) – nutritionally deficient analogous to chips and chocolate bar diet – leads to spiritual illness, dissent, apathy, deformation, Catholic spiritual death will likely occur early on.

    *CAUTION: Care must be taken when weaning people from this NO diet since there will be serious withdrawal symptoms and side effects. At first, their body may reject healthy food violently. Supervision and patience is most crucial.

    2) Novus Ordo diet(incl. Latin, chant, reverence) – nutritionally healthier than 1). A number of traditional Catholic vitamins and minerals were removed from this diet but it is still able to sustain good health. However, this diet is difficult for most people to follow since the instructions are vague and ambiguous with too many varying options, which makes it less likely that people will choose the healthiest options. Easy transition to TLM optimal health diet.

    3) Traditional Latin Mass diet (TLM) – Best diet for optimal Catholic health. This is the healthiest nutritionally balanced Catholic diet currently available in the Latin rite. Those who follow this diet are most likely to have a healthy, long, and active Catholic spiritual life.

    *Note: Since the body requires slight adjustments in vitamin and mineral ratios during different phases of life. There will be improvements and developments always aiming for optimal spiritual health of the entire body (Analagous to organic development in the sacred liturgy guided by the Holy Spirit).

  104. vox borealis says:

    Michigan,

    So again, you return to the argument that those who express preference for the NO must be either lazy (using your terminology, seeking that which is ‘easier,’ ‘breezy’, not ‘intense,’ not ‘hard’) or don’t know any better.

    Fine. This reasoning is impenetrable since it accounts for (or, in effect, rejects) any and all counter-examples. Thus, we seem to have reached an impasse, and as such I will bow out of the conversation here. Perhaps we can renew the discussion in ten or twenty years, when we see how developments relevant to Fr. Z’s thread topic actually play out.

  105. Claire says:

    “The Traditional Latin Mass is the Mass that every single canonized saint grew up in and was nourished with.
    Now if this does not say something for the Holiness of the Tridentine Mass and its, “solid food” analogy I do not know what does.”

    Well, with all due respect, this is not a particularly helpful response. Most people who grew up and were nourished by the Novus Ordo Mass are still alive, and therefore not eligible for canonization (yet). And I’m not disputing the assertion that the TLM is a wonderful thing. What I do dispute is the assertion that those who prefer the NO are somehow lacking in formation or the desire for holiness, and that “real Catholics” will necessarily be attending the TLM. Every wonderful devout young priest I know (and we are blessed to know many of them) grew up in and was nourished by the Novus Ordo Mass. I see devout lay faithful every day who grew up under the TLM, or the Novus Ordo, and who continue to have their faith nourished by the Novus Ordo Mass. And they have big families too.

  106. Chris says:

    This post is very helpful Fr Z.
    Augustus Welby Pugin produced a series of engravings called contrasts. It sought to show the medieval landscape and treatment of the poor vs a modern industrial city scape and workhouse for the poor. By presenting them side by side the lesson is taught.
    The TLM and NOM when contrasted show the poverty of the modern NOM. I do not think those who attend the TLM are against change. If it were organic and subtle. Those who attend the NOM are not against change. It has been the one thing that has been forced on them.
    The NOM in text and approach is manufactured.
    So do we dress the NOM up so its like a TLM? The problem of the text remains… 4 Eucharistic Prayers, all those Childrens Eucharistic Prayers, changes to ancient prefaces, (The whole raft of changes)
    These make the NOM seriously flawed.
    Most Catholics trust and so they accept whatever they are handed. The need to belong and be in the group is a powerful force. Let us not worry too much because as the TLM grows the contrast becomes obvious. That will be the NOM undoing…

  107. michigancatholic says:

    Recall that the N.O. of 1970 has become the norm. Nothing substantially changed due to any of the missal changes since then because of resistance. Even the missal of 2003 really changed nothing at all in most parishes. (I trust, you remember that whole brouhaha.)

    Many of the posts in this thread are dealing with the condition at this point in time which is fine now, but….
    We are going to get a new translation shortly, I hope (2009?), that will introduce a significantly new sound to the N.O. Expect, as usual, all kinds of misinformation and manipulation. It will be interesting to see what happens on the ground when that translation (missal?) is promulgated.

    I suspect that we will see defections as well as reconciliations with orthodoxy. We should not grasp at the material defections because they are the sign that theological defection has already long since occurred. It will be an interesting time. As happened in the Reformation, some people will be swept up in their family & neighborhood contexts.

    However, this new translation may be the first of a series of corrections to come. I think the worst is actually over–it’s just that we have a lot of work to do as a result…..

  108. Deborah says:

    I recall Fr. Kocik stating that it will take two major events before great strides can be taken toward a wide spread reform of the reform (in my words):

    1. The current liturgical structures will have to die out.
    2. Rome will have to take action.

    Most, if not all, of us will likely not live to see these things happen.

  109. Folks: I believe this is starting to drift.

    What we DON’T need here is the sort of “I like the old Mass!” comments that don’t get us anywhere in a discussion.

    I will restate some points: Is the growing use of the TLM going to shove the NO completely into the vernacular? Will Latin disappear from the Novus Ordo? Is the use of more Latin with the TLM going to cross-pollinate the newer form of Mass? Should we even try to promote Latin in the Novus Ordo anymore? Of what value would that be?

    That is where we have been. I want conversations to get back to this.

    Also, I am going to throw in another element. Here is another point to consider:

    Our participation at Holy Mass is really about an encounter with mystery.   If Mass doesn’t not bring us to mystery, we are missing the mark.

    Given the analogy I started with, and given the discussion that followed, if we can say that in one sense, the newer Mass is “easier”, I now wonder if “easier” does not make the whole point of Holy Mass actually harder to access?  Does “easier” make it harder to encounter mystery?  Provoking awe at transcendence?

    Here I go back in a circle:  Some say that the more the Novus Ordo is celebrated like the Tridentine Mass, the better it is.   Better at what?  Bringing about awe at transcendence? 

    We still have a little work to do on the main questions here.  Let’s not get side tracked.  I have been a little tempted to cull out some of the drift, but good points are being raised.  So, please police yourselves and avoid too many tangents.

    This is a very interesting entry so far.

    PS: Over 100 comments, excluding my own!

  110. John says:

    “Should we even try to promote Latin in the Novus Ordo anymore? Of what value would that be?” –Fr. Z

    I would suggest that if your “gravitational pull” theory is to be tested, we need as many priests as possible saying the TLM. No doubt the NO in Latin is better than the NO in vernacular, but I am underwhelmed by the demand for Latin NO.

  111. WFW says:

    Up to Vatican II the general policy within the church concerning liturgy was to simply add to the already existing forms. Take for example of the subdeacon at a solemn mass. In the early Roman use, the subdeacon was needed to hold the large paten to keep the altar uncluttered during the consecration. As the size of patens diminished the practice of having the subdeacon hold the paten was kept. Similarly the multiplicity of different degrees and ranks of feasts in the pre-1962 calendar made things difficult (e.g. Sundays of I Class and II Class Privileged and non-privileged greater ferias, privileged vigils, Doubles of I Class, II Class, greater doubles, lesser doubles, semi-doubles, simple feasts, ordinary ferias and several classes of octaves.) With the reforms of 1962 things were simplified significantly and with the reforms of Paul VI things were again radically simplified.
    The emphasis of the Paul VI reforms was a return to the (perceived) roots of Christian liturgical practice (e.g. the incorporation of the Eucharistic prayer of Hippolytus which is believed to be older, and therefore more authentic, than the Roman Canon). Similarly, there was a reaction to the many medieval and baroque additions to the liturgy–such as the suppression of superfluous clerical attire (mantaletta, buckled shoes) and the return to earlier types of mitres (one might also say that this could have been the reason for Paul VI to give up the use of the tiara). This could also explain the idea behind the reform of the lectionary to incorporate a larger selection of Sacred Scripture not tied so much to the Mass of the Saint being celebrated.
    Why this reaction to medieval and baroque additions? One theory could be that many of the ceremonies and rituals, as well as their accompanying theological symbols were seen as being monarchical and overly class oriented. (regal vestments, papal coronations, episcopal and papal acclamations [which derived from Roman Imperial practice], ritual kisses etc) If one looks at the current translation of the missal one sees that many of the terms once used to address a monarch (and so also God) have been removed. Many people today have a hard time thinking of God as being a monarch sitting enthroned in majesty in heaven. Look at the sacred art produced today. It is great that the pope will wear vesture with a picture of Christ sitting in judgment as King but if you ask people what they think of when one says “monarchy” they usually don’t have good thoughts.
    Will the Extraordinary form replace the Ordinary? Should we do away with the NO or relegate it to be used for shildren? I would say no because the majority of people today do not think like the Tridentine Mass supposes they do. The glory of a solemn pontifical mass celebrated by the Ordinary of his diocese as High Priest of his church (which is the fullest expression of the Tridentine Mass) cannot approach even the most solemn celebrations of the NO and why should it? The emphases are different. If anything we will have a situation similar to the Greek Orthodox Church (i.e. the shorter easier Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom for ordinary occasions and the more solemn, verbose Liturgy of St. Basil for the major feasts of the year).

  112. Little Gal says:

    ““The Traditional Latin Mass is the Mass that every single canonized saint grew up in and was nourished with.
    Now if this does not say something for the Holiness of the Tridentine Mass and its, “solid food” analogy I do not know what does.”

    Daphunter:

    I took a look at a chronological listing of saints and other than the 3rd century(what was going on during the 3rd century?) and perhaps the 11th, the distribution of saints/blesseds per century looks fairly equal. Methinks something else is going on here.

    I like what Fr. Hardon has to say about the Mass… that we have to understand it,participate in it and live it. He continues,”We will benefit only as much from the graces of the sacrament sacrifice of the Mass as we mirror the image of the life of Christ in our lives.”

    I do not think that I would ever judge one Catholic as imaging the life of Christ more just because they use natural family planning,have traditional marital roles and have a check mark by every rule in the Catholic recipe book compared to someone else who falters in these areas, but who for example works in the trenches as a low paid social sevice worker with the homeless. I do not think that this judgement is for any of us to make.

  113. Dob says:

    If the Novus Ordo mass provides a natural spiritual maturing conduit to the TLM then there is no harm in having the Novus Ordo mass. If it blocks the pathway to spiritual maturity then there is harm. I think this is the heart of the matter. My mother’s generation were not very well educated. Most left school aged 14 or so. My grandparents even less so. However, they adored the mass and grew to have great spiritual maturity. This situation shows you obviously don’t need the milk.

    There is however other factors at play in the world. Consider this situation, it is quite interesting. I presented some certificates to a tutor who was responsible for preparing my child for First Holy Communion. The certificates were to be given to the children. I picked them up myself thinking it might me a nice idea. Little did I know the tutor had planned to give out certs and had purchased some herself. My certificates were very beautiful with lovely artwork and classical (but not TLM) in symbolism. Hers depicted stickmen, a loaf of bread and a goblet all in abstract. She looked a mine for a few moments and came to a decision. “Yours are very beautiful but these are modern”. She choose modern over beauty. New is ALWAYS better than old, beauty and truth does not play a part in the decision process. This is the mental programming that people are suffering at the moment. I’m sure it links to the influence of consumerism and television marketing. I am not sure that people under this deceit will be able to connect with the TLM. I do not wish to support the Spirit of Vii, however some of these chaps may have a point. “Modern man” is programmed for novelty. Television and consumerism is a new force that is shaping humanity’s view of good and bad. TV teaches us that old = bad, new = good in order that we buy more products. It is reasonable to expect this to contaminate all areas of our lives. I think this is the blindness that needs to be healed. It needs to be healed because tradition (old) is cut off by it. Without the tradition we cannot go forward. Maybe exposure to the TLM itself can effect the healing. I would hope so. Perhaps that is why so many forces have reared and screamed against it.

  114. michigancatholic says:

    Fr Z: Is the growing use of the TLM going to shove the NO completely
    Only with the help of new missals from Rome and the work of the young who can look beyond the errors and lies of the past. Ignoring the advent of this important event will cause a faulty prognosis, I think. When the new missal (translation, 2009?) is promulgated, reconciliation of forms (embodied in a better more neutral form not to replace the TLM but to complement it) will begin even though the translation may encounter rigid resistance. The whole thing starts with finally recognizing the obvious: “Et cum spiritu tuo” cannot possibly mean “And also with you” and a myriad of other phrases in the mass.

    Fr. Z: Given the analogy I started with, and given the discussion that followed, if we can say that in one sense, the newer Mass is “easier”, I now wonder if “easier” does not make the whole point of Holy Mass actually harder to access? Does “easier” make it harder to encounter mystery? Provoking awe at transcendence?
    That was exactly the point of many of the “reforms” in the 1970s, in reverse. We were not supposed to think about saints and heroism, God and the transcendent. Rather the parish was to be about a community in the here and now. It’s why the altars were stripped and the statues thrown out. And because liturgical matters don’t happen in a vacuum, it’s why altar societies & so on were out & career lay ministers were in. Churches are supposed to be plain now. It doesn’t seem to matter if it makes transcendence more difficult; in fact it’s supposed to be that way according to the powers that rule these things. It’s as if it’s irrelevant in the contemporary parish. Complaints about the grammar of the N.O. or the lack of transcendance/reverence are often ridiculed. (It’s nostalgia!!!)

    Fr. Z: Some say that the more the Novus Ordo is celebrated like the Tridentine Mass, the better it is. Better at what? Bringing about awe at transcendence?
    Yes, of course, except for one very important thing. There is the little matter of truthfulness and veracity. It’s not enough for it to “sound right” as if it were a reality park soundstage. It has to be theologically right. This means that some of the language has got to be changed back to factual translation to the Latin. (beginning with a translation–2009, I hope)

    Fr. Z: Will Latin disappear from the Novus Ordo?
    No, on the contrary, some is being put in now as a bone for people to chew on to keep them in their parishes. There is a fear of defection to the TLM, and it’s well-founded. It’s curious how it’s being done too, very odd and it’s been superficial in my experience.
    So, yes to your next question, the use of Latin at the EF is sneaking into the NOM, but not with its best face on.

    Fr. Z: Should we even try to promote Latin in the Novus Ordo anymore? Of what value would that be? It couldn’t possibly hurt, I suppose. But it’s of middling value, I think, because the very forces that drove the animus of the last 40 years drove a suppression of the Latin NOM also. It’s still very rare and none of the materials used in catechesis and all that reference to it. None. It’s there so we can say we have it but it seldom gets used. It’s too transcendent (see question 2).

  115. Father M says:

    Dear Father, thank for opening these questions. There was a time when the older Mass was NOT “harder to access” because a whole culture, a whole catechetical system opened the way to the Mass and, so, to mystery itself. It’s true that not every one had that experience, maybe especially in the late 50s and early 60s when dialogue Masses and such were evidence of what was a newly emerging ethos–the Mass as Information and as Community. Like Vox, I think many people were and remain drawn to this. Like Michigan, I believe this has also wreaked havoc with the mysterium fidei catholicae. Yet the fathers of the Church clearly believed that the ancient rites are themselves privileged mysteries of revelation, that they themselves are holy. So, it’s not really a question of our “provoking awe at transcendence,” but trying not to obscure what the ancient rites will themselves do if they are followed. But the newer Mass will be with us and will have its huge market share. Those of us who offer both forms need people like you and those on this site to pray for us and help us find a way to avoid obscuring the mystery and to make the NO, when offered, as rich a fare as possible, with great reverence. However, on the question of language, God could have a totally other ideas, but I remain tied to the idea that the NO remains a vernacular Mass and should be so except in special circumstances. And in fact, I fear that the NO in Latin can “vaccinate” people against traditional liturgy. If people are going to go to a “Latin Mass,” let them at least experience the ancient form (with as much preparation as is practical).

  116. michigancatholic says:

    Little Gal,
    Oh stop with the “no judging” routine. We’re talking about the relative properties of liturgical forms here and what we think might happen next. It’s necessary to think about the factors involved and make some judgments about them in order to formulate some prognoses.

    Dob,
    Good observations-a lot of stuff at play, yes.

  117. vox borealis says:

    It seems to me there are three issues at play–the language of the mass, the manner of its celebration, and the actual form (of course, these are all related). All of the above debate, generated by Fr. Z’s thought-provoking questions, turn on these.

    What is really driving the group that seeks the older form? Is it the language and/or the manner of celebration (Latin and reverence v. vernacular and casualness)? If so, then the demand for the older form might actually diminish through the introduction of more Latin and greater reverence in the new mass.

    But if one argues that the form of the old mass is fundamentally more reverent, or more importantly, fundamentally more theologically sound, then ultimately nothing can be done to the new mass to “save it,” so all effort should be put into spreading the older form.

    But this in turn raises a related question. If the older form is inherently better–meatier, yada-yada–is it so because of the structure and form, or because of the language. In other words, could the older form still be the older form without Latin? If the answer is yes, then true liturgical renewal would be best served no so much by promoting Latin the older or newer form, but instead (perhaps) by producing faithful vernacular translations of the old mass.

    And if that is the case, then the forthcoming new English translation of the new mass may be of greater significance than any new mass in Latin.

    Now, I am not necessarily promoting any of these positions per se. Rather, I note that the whole tenor of the thread assumes the implicit superiority of the older form–the steak v. meat, adult v. child, etc. If it is (and indeed, I do prefer the older form), WHY is it the grown up spiritual meal? Let us isolate the key features (ingredients), so that we may best consider strategies to get the most Catholics’ spiritual palates to appreciate the more sophisticated dish (how do you get kids to eat their dinner? Force feed them? Give them small tastes? Give them less spicy versions of the same dish? etc.).

  118. michigancatholic says:

    Well Vox,

    As the mother of grown boys, you start them eating broccoli and onions as early as they can chew them. You don’t wait until they’re 9 or 10, and then insist, because you won’t get anywhere then. But it’s too late for all that now re the liturgy, isn’t it?

    The EF is profound, which means it has levels of meaning and accessibility. There is something in it for every single soul, put there by Divine Providence over centuries. It’s medicine when it’s available.

    That said, I think the new translations to come will be enormously important for most Catholics, especially those who choose not to take the medicine directly because they don’t understand it/have been prejudiced against it by forces they couldn’t control. These translations, and subsequent missals, will begin to heal the rupture and bring back the possibility of transcendance, in little steps. I believe it will pave the way for a reconciliation on many levels of the tradition of the church and her present condition, and the veracity toward the faith will return (Lex credendi, Lex orandi and all it entails included). As I said somewhere above, it won’t be Hegelian and I think that’s a *crucial* point. It will be by an act of God. However, I also think it’s going to be a tough road, and we’re going to lose people, many of whom have already left in their heads & hearts. I wish I could say otherwise, but I don’t see how I truthfully can. There really is no easy way to do this, like there’s no easy way to get a 10 year old kid to eat his first plate of (surprise) brussel sprouts (for dinner tonight!).

    We’ve gone down the Spirit of V2 road, did the Communist fear thing, did the populist thing, did the consumer thing–and now we know where it ends–we including the Vatican. The church is not something you choose from among options, even options of the same church. The church is something that you carry deep within your soul because God is present there from faithful reception of the Sacraments. It’s not that your world dictates your religion; rather it’s that your faith dictates your world. So it’s time to resume the full normal life of the church, which is like nothing else, and we’ll do that shortly, starting with sputtering bits and pieces, I think. In fact, it’s already begun. The election of PBXVI was huge; SP was huge; the new translation will be huge. Praise God.

  119. Paul B says:

    Fr. Z,

    This is a very interesting question. I’ve wanted to attend an all-Latin NO for years so I could compare it with my experience of the TLM. However, I haven’t managed to do it yet, since the nearest all-Latin NO is an i hour drive away! (The nearest TLM, on the other hand, is 20 minutes down the road.) In practical terms, the NO celebrated entirely in Latin just hasn’t caught on very much in the US, and now that we have SP it seems it will have even less of a niche. I certainly don’t think that Latin NO’s should be discouraged if the circumstances in a particular parish seem to favor it, but I think most places will opt for the TLM instead of a fully Latin NO. A “partially Latinized” NO, however, is another story. Quite a few parishes in this area have started adding some chant or Latin hymns to the Mass said in the vernacular, and I suspect that this, along with the new translation, will be the wave of the future for many parishes. I would love for everyone to return to the TLM, but my guess is that this won’t happen. My prayer would be that, at some time in the future, everything will be so leavened that we will have one Latin missal again, which preserves the Tridentine Mass in its entirety but allows for an abbreviated, partially vernacularized option.

  120. Paul B says:

    Sorry, I meant to say “the nearest all-Latin NO is an 8 hour drive away”, i.e. inaccessible for all practical purposes.

  121. vox borealis says:

    Michigan,

    Thanks, but that misses the point of my post. What *is* the broccoli of the older mass? The language? The prayers themselves? The structure? The *way* it tends to be celebrated these days?

    We need to identify the liturgical broccoli before we can decide how best to get the kids to eat it.

  122. vox borealis says:

    Oh, and my last post relates to Fr. Z’s thread because 1] we need to identify the “broccoli” in order to 2] get the kids to eat it, and only then can we evaluate 3] the future role of the novus ordo in Latin.

  123. Francis Brennan says:

    “Should we even try to promote Latin in the Novus Ordo anymore? Of what value would that be?”

    There’s a practical side to this, Father, in addition to the spiritual aspect (the TLM being more “numinous” and “profound” and so forth). You have fisked many negative and restrictive episcopal reactions to Summorum Pontificum since it was issued – e.g. the TLM can only be celebrated if the priest writes Latin exams, or the “coetus” must have existed for decades and all be resident within the parish boundaries, or celebration of the TLM breaches the bination dispensation, etc, etc.

    In many dioceses, the Novus Ordo in Latin may be the only feasible workaround that allows a priest to get away with celebrating something approximating to the TLM without running the risk of episcopal veto or censure. For the immediate future, the Latin Novus Ordo Mass may serve a useful practical purpose to circumvent modernist liturgical roadblocks. So, yes, it is worth promoting. It can bring the “coetus” into existence and sustain it in an otherwise hostile diocesan environment.

    The hors d’oevres, perhaps, while the meat is still being cooked?

  124. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    To answer Fr. Z’s question (a):

    The first signs have already begun. Until last week, the Latin Mass at Wilmington, Delaware, was the old Mass on second, fourth and fifth Sundays and the New Mass in Latin on the other Sundays. Now it is the old Mass on all Sundays. May this be the future!

    A bad product in the vernacular is just as bad in Latin.

    P.K.T.P.

  125. vox borealis says:

    Francis,

    Moreover, it will give the priest experience in Latin lest he be required to prove to the bishop that he is idoneus. At my parish, which does celebrate the NO in Latin, the new associate pastor (one of the newest priests ordained in the diocese) has almost zero Latin–none from seminary and only the slightest recollection from a single classical Latin course taken sometime in high school or college. He is looking forward to the NO Latin mass so that he can “learn the Latin” (or so he told me). Now junior, at least try a bite…

  126. WFW says:

    Maybe the emphasis should be not so much “what do I get out of it” as “what is more pleasing to God?”–first-fruits or leftovers.

    As to language, I think latin is the common heritage of all Roman Catholics and something that set them apart from all of the other Christian denominations and helped in the spread of the Gospel as well as the development of western culture. As such it needs to be returned to its proper place, as the Vatican has said many times. I think the first “piece of broccoli” should be educating people that the main reform of Vatican II was NOT doing away with latin.

  127. Thomas Pink says:

    One part of the liturgy that is of huge pastoral importance is the mass for the dead. It is obvious that in this area more than any other, the 1970 missal was the product of brutal and radical surgery. And thereby it has been deeply (though not solely) implicated in the effective collapse of common belief in two dogmatically significant parts of Catholic doctrine.

    First, it has helped speed the collapse in serious belief in purgatory as being, not at most a mildly meditative waiting room, but a place of purificatory and punitive (ie deserved) genuine suffering, to be feared and avoided (something Augustine clearly believed in, but as for your average early 21 century Novus Ordo parish? You’ve got to be kidding.) This understanding of purgatory is not a medieval accretion , but a belief that goes back to eg the account of the martyrdom of Felicity and Perpetua (remember the vision of the brother’s purificatory suffering). This is not merely medieval but patristic Christianity that, at the parish level, has been effectively lost. So the 1962 missal with its stern prayers and its ‘bleak’ presentation of purgatory is a genuine development of something deeply ancient, but clearly deliberately and unforgivably abandoned by the New Rite liturgical reform.

    Secondly, there is the loss of an understanding of the funeral liturgy as serving also to remind the living congregation of their own coming judgment. We the living still face the genuine threat of loss – hence (if for no other reason) the Dies Irae and Libera Me. So ‘unpastoral’ – but nothing you won’t find in that Gospel of the Supreme Pastor that is St Matthew’s. And if the Supreme Pastor portrayed the coming judgment in these terms, such presentations are not unpastoral.

    This is not an issue of where the altar stands, or whether Latin is used. This is about the content of the texts, texts that have been entirely removed from (or in some cases, at best left as no more than avoidable and avoided options in) the Novus Ordo whatever its liturgical and linguistic packaging. The Novus Ordo mass for the dead is not Protestant – it clearly is a sacrifice for the dead. But it is presented as a sacrifice of form – a gesture of mild piety dominated by a mood of complacent and unreflective ‘thanksgiving’. The sense of deep need and duty, and of the serious predicament in which every rational human soul is caught, and to which Christ’s sacrifice is the desperately needed help – help to which we must freely respond on the basis of a profound sense of the need both for that help and for us not to take the help for granted but actually and repentantly to respond to it – this is just not in the Novus Ordo. It really is not. And that is one of the central scandals of the New Rite. That is why the issue of the liturgy is not one about Latin, nor is it one for disinterested and academic sociological prediction. The spirituality and theology of the 1962 form has to be restored, because it, and it alone within the Latin rite, conveys in unbowdlerised form the spirituality and theology of historical Christianity regarding death. The 1962 missal’s restoration is our duty not just to the Holy Souls; it is our duty to the living whose salvation is not yet assured.

    This view of the disaster that is the New Rite for the dead was shared of course by someone involved early on in liturgical reform, and who was in other respects far kinder about it than I would be – but who regarded the 1970 reform of the mass for the dead as a disgrace. That wise and great Catholic was Louis Bouyer. In this part of the liturgy, reform of the reform is just not enough.

  128. michigancatholic says:

    Vox, About the broccoli:

    I believe it’s the recognition that God is the author of all holiness, portrayed in the events, postures and statements in the EF. There is nothing “do-it-yourself” about it. It is as if it were a pipeline to God via the sacraments with no pretenses or manipulations by those present–when it’s done properly. There’s nobody on center stage but God. It’s transcendent but it’s deeply so without a simple attribution to one factor which can be manufactured at will.
    This mass is an organic product of the faith of the whole Latin Rite for the entire span of her existence. It’s not a construction of an individual committee in any sense of the phrase and it has no agenda driven by political forces, which intrudes or remains. All that, if it ever existed, is cleanly burnt away by age, holiness and yes, hardship. It is given, mutually given. The theology in the words is un-self-consciously direct. The gestures are distinct. There is no mistaking it for anything else. It’s the kind of thing people have gone to the gallows for and the shadow of all that is part of her.
    The Latin is part of it, but not in a linguist’s or hobbyist’s sort of way. It’s there because it’s ours, part of our heritage and part of where we’ve been in our full life as the Church. The concepts of theology and praise can be expressed most clearly in Latin in some kind of a given way, like the way baby Jesus was a Jewish child born of Mary and Rome is the seat of the Church. It just has been given by God this way. It is the Latin Rite we discuss, after all.

    Catholics belong to something bigger and older than themselves–it’s a gift, a gift that we don’t deserve but it was provided for us anyway.

    And you must know, it’s not just this 1962 missal that we should fixate on. It’s the continuity that that missal represents that’s the key. Pope Benedict himself has said so. (There was no break at V2.) That’s where the church will go and God will take it there. I’m not sure when it will happen, how it will sound, how many people will come along, or whether I will see it, but I am sure it will happen.

    So, how to get people to eat the broccoli? Sorry, traditional Catholic answer: We need to pray. We need to avail ourselves of proper reception of the sacraments & watch our moral lives. We need to obey the Vatican and pay attention to the details and learn. Work is necessary–it’s going to be an uphill battle. The liturgy is as out of tune with the world now as it was in early Rome. We may become sport. We have to be careful not to fixate on off-the-goal things. We can only slow progress, not stop it, but there is no point in slowing it.

  129. vox borealis says:

    “We need to pray. We need to avail ourselves of proper reception of the sacraments & watch our moral lives. We need to obey the Vatican and pay attention to the details and learn.”

    OK, great. So what does that mean, in specific terms, with regard to Fr. Z.’x question about the Novus Ordo, especially in Latin, in the post-S.P. world?

  130. Guy Haraldsson says:

    I grew up with what one person above called “trash masses.” They were satisfying until I was about 11 years old. After that, I experience the Tridentine in my twenties, which was an improvement. But once I found the Byzantine Divine Liturgy, I could never go back to any mass that doesn’t have responsorial chanting … in English or Latin or Tagalog or Martian or whatever.

    If the Novus Ordo had hieratic or Elizabethan English, was celebrated ad orientem, was fully chanted, and people dressed and acted appropriately, I’d prefer that to a spoken TLM any day of the week.

    This comment certainly doesn’t meet any criteria of a serious philosophical contribution, but I can’t be the only one out there with this set of liturgical aesthetics.

    GH

  131. Guy H. says:

    I grew up with what one person above called “trash masses.” They were satisfying until I was about 11 years old. After that, I experience the Tridentine in my twenties, which was an improvement. But once I found the Byzantine Divine Liturgy, I could never go back to any mass that doesn’t have responsorial chanting … in English or Latin or Tagalog or Martian or whatever.

    If the Novus Ordo had hieratic or Elizabethan English, was celebrated ad orientem, was fully chanted, and people dressed and acted appropriately, I’d prefer that to a spoken TLM any day of the week.

    This comment certainly is a serious philosophical contribution, but I can’t be the only one out there with this set of liturgical aesthetics, and I’d therefore think that if folks like myself have any play in the coming liturgical game, the TLM and the NO would likely merge.

    GH

  132. “Carlos, maybe there’s some merit in giving 45 minutes to God once in a while.
    Maybe if mass has to be said in 15 minutes because people have to rush off
    someplace else, then it shouldn’t be said in that time slot. My husband gets
    mad when I attempt to speed kiss him on the way out the door. I don’t blame him.
    My family and my faith is supposed to be the center of my life, not my job or
    the traffic. IF I’m reduced to that kind of behavior, maybe I need to plan
    better?”

    It is a mortal sin to celebrate Mass in only 15 minutes or less, said
    St. Alphonsus Liguori, and that’s not what I’m advocating. (I think 25 minutes
    is — for a Novus Ordo — the shortest possible duration without falling into
    hurriedness or irreverence, and 35 – 40 minutes for a TLM Low Mass)

    Besides, I’m not talking here of Mass “once in a while”. I made clear in my post
    that for such masses (and for the PRINCIPAL daily mass), the 1962 Ordinary
    SHOULD be used, and that will definitely take up at least 45 minutes.
    I am speaking, rather, about daily mass. I operate from the assumption that,
    as much as possible, we should attend mass everyday, for the sake of
    its grace and fruit. Daily Mass is far too important a part of our tradition,
    and I am all for a little abbreviation if it means that people can attend daily
    mass on even the most hectic of weekdays.

    The reason why the “30 minutes only” rule existed even during the pre-1965
    era was precisely to allow people to attend Mass daily despite busy schedules.
    What I’m simply saying is that, since the “30 minutes rule” can only be met with
    some difficulty when using the 1962 Ordinary, it might be necessary to use a
    simpler version of the same for such daily Masses.

    Here in the Philippines, there are chapels and “mass centers” located in shopping
    malls and in the middle of business zones, so people can attend Mass during
    their lunch hour or immediately after leaving work. Masses in these places are,
    for obvious reasons, quite short and without frills. Same in the centers of
    Opus Dei: no more than 30 minutes in the morning, short but sweet and full of
    reverence. These short daily Masses are glimpses of heaven in the middle of
    an intense and often dehumanizing work day (we Filipinos are reputedly among
    the most stressed out in SE Asia), and I’d hate to see these Masses go.

  133. Little Gal says:

    “What is really driving the group that seeks the older form?”

    “Is it the language and/or the manner of celebration (Latin and reverence v. vernacular and casualness)?”

    In his comments re: the extraordinary form the Holy Father said:

    “it was presumed that “requests for the use of the 1962 Missal would be limited to the older generation which had grown up with it”, but “in the meantime it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them.”

    Perhaps one needs to determine if the various groups who find that the extraordinary form holds more mystery than the NO are seeking it for the same reason(i.e. seniors who were raised on this form vs. youth)?I wonder what B16 meant by “a form of the encounter….
    particulary suited to them?” I suspect that for youth there
    are sociological/ cultural reasons for its attraction.

  134. michigancatholic says:

    It means, Vox, that we aren’t going to be able to manufacture universally acceptable broccoli, and we probably shouldn’t try. Tinkering via committee is what got us into this mess. Broccoli exists, not everyone likes it, and we’re going to have to admit it.

    The point? We have to work with God, not instead of God, nor in God’s place, nor in a committee we think God would like if he were to pay any attention. Just plugging some Latin in might sound good, but it’s not going to do the job. New vestments, ditto. Different music, ditto. It’s all deeper than that and it’s got to be healed.

    It won’t be right until it not only looks right but is right. This isn’t a hollywood soundstage or a kids’ skit. Or a plate of broccoli. It’s not consumerist, you know.

  135. michigancatholic says:

    Carlos,
    I have to tell you, that’s kind of cool. We don’t have anything like that here. Most American Catholics who work full time don’t go to mass in the morning, unless they work for the church or work at odd hours. It’s just not possible with the kind of commutes most of us have to make and the scarcity of mass locations. (Americans are very spread out geographically.)
    Daily mass attendance can be very small here, consisting of a few homeschoolers, a few businessmen who own their own companies nearby, and old ladies who are retired &/or widowed. That’s pretty much it in the midwest, anyway.

  136. vox borealis says:

    Michigan,

    Again, wonderful words full of wisdom. They don’t answer the question. I happen to subscribe to the theological notion that the Christian God works through his creation–through his church which is both a divine institution and a collection of humans. He uses the sensual aspects of liturgy to draw in his people through the very human senses he gave them. I could go on, you get the point. So I ask you again, in a straightforward way how would apply your general views to the questions that Fr. Z raises vis-a-vis the future of the Novus Ordo, especially in its Latin form.

    By the way, I contend that there is not one type of broccoli, if we wish to continue with this analogy. God is his infinite wisdom has given us not only the older Roman rite, but also the Ambrosian rite, the various eastern rites, and so on, all in their various languages and structures. I find it interesting that you call for us to work with God, and not in his place, but then in effect limit God by assuming he can work only through one liturgical form.

  137. vox borealis says:

    My last post was probably too contentious–Upon review I do see that Michigancatholic attempts to answer Fr. Z’s questions more directly a few posts above. The basic answer seems to be that the Novus Ordo is essentially hopeless in any form, but a little Latin probably can’t hurt. I don’t agree with this assessment, obviously, but I was wrong to imply that the question had been entirely shirked.

  138. michigancatholic says:

    I am Latin Rite, Vox, and a layperson. For me the Latin Rite in one of its forms is entirely appropriate and I have spoken in this context.

    I don’t know how to tell you in another way what I’ve already said in several ways previously. The mass is not a cluster of options that one picks from to make a concoction. That’s an entirely modern idea and one that is foreign to the Latin Rite. It’s what I mean when I say “consumerist.”

    Continuity is the key and it will be the driving force in the organic liturgical developments to come. Scotch-taping things onto the current NOM concoction isn’t going to produce continuity. It’s simply going to produce an NOM with things stuck on it.

    However, Benedict is striving to restore true continuity and rightly so. There was no break at Vatican II and that is the truth. Therefore the future belongs to continuity. The interesting part to watch is how God does it.

    Some people are not going to like continuity anymore than they ever have. Unfortunately for them, it’s not going to matter if they don’t like it. That’s how it is.

  139. Isaac says:

    Dear Fr. Z,

    Mea culpa if my entries dragged the thread away.

    I will restate some points: Is the growing use of the TLM going to shove the NO completely?

    My answer: Yes, but only in places which do take their faith seriously. This is also going to happen in places that abandon ROTR because it’s easier to say that TLM is the answer to everything wrong in the Church (Apply the neat theory principle). This will ALSO RESULT in the further deterioration of the Novus Ordo because practicing Catholics who CAN make a difference in those parishes have decided to give up.

    Our participation at Holy Mass is really about an encounter with mystery. If Mass doesn’t not bring us to mystery, we are missing the mark.

    My comment: Nothing can bring us to mystery and the Liturgy certainly cannot do that on its own. We have to be ‘vulnerable’ in the Liturgy for this to happen. If we are completely hardened with ideological/either-or positions absolutely nothing good will come out of our participation at Holy Mass be it the TLM or NOM. If all we’re thinking during mass is whether this rite or that rite is more superior or defective, perhaps all we’re getting out of Mass is angst.

    Given the analogy I started with, and given the discussion that followed, if we can say that in one sense, the newer Mass is “easier”, I now wonder if “easier” does not make the whole point of Holy Mass actually harder to access? Does “easier” make it harder to encounter mystery? Provoking awe at transcendence?

    My answer: Interesting analogy. But as I said, and not that I think this is exceptionally profitable, but the Novus Ordo Missae is in fact much harder for the very simple fact that its rubrics and text are very simplified and reduced. In a way, you could impute that the TLM ‘can’ be seen as really quite distracting, the Novus Ordo, a more ‘monastic’, contemplative and ‘minimalist’ rite that presupposes a very strong faith that understands the historical and cultural background to why it is so reduced in the first place. Also, I think I can speak for everyone when I say that once you assist at the TLM, the way you celebrate the NOM is augmented. I think that’s what was lost; the presence of the Mother Rite to understand the Child. The introduction of the NOM was made even worse because many post VII children did not have the benefit of knowing the past (Mother) either by its absence or censorship. Listen, I am not joking about this at all! I am really starting to think that we now have to see the NOM as beyond the dictates of the Consilium, we have to see the NOM in light of Church time, over the centuries instead of the here and now. The why’s and how’s of the NOM have been exhausted if we narrow ourselves to the 60′s and 70′s.

    Here I go back in a circle: Some say that the more the Novus Ordo is celebrated like the Tridentine Mass, the better it is. Better at what? Bringing about awe at transcendence?

    My answer: No. I don’t think you can command transcendence. Some rites are more conducive to it frankly because the Church has lived through it and it has nourished and absorbed the prayer life of its devotees. The NOM is a baby. We may desire to debate and bring in Bugnini again, but really, we have to move on. The centuries will shape the NOM now, if we let it grow. However, in answer to your question, I still think the NOM has to be ‘tridentinized’ because a child should not pretend to be an orphan when he/she has a mother. We must now see the NOM as a complement to the TLM. Perhaps we could even see the NOM as the Missa Simplex of the TLM a kind of low mass version. Even if in fact Bugnini clearly wanted to destroy the Roman Rite, we know that the very desire to make something unlike what it was altogether makes the pain/absence of its real nature felt even more. I still think my ‘epiphany’ on the growth of NOM as a particular rite in the future has a possibility though.

    into the vernacular?

    My answer: This is what boggles me. The same crowds who boo the vernacular and run over to the TLM are the same ones who are apathetic and leaving the NOM to die in the sidelines while they relish the ghetto mentality in their Tridentine churches. How can one be a true traditionalist if you also do not push for more traditional elements in Novus Ordo parishes. Whether you like the NOM is a separate thing.

    Will Latin disappear from the Novus Ordo?

    My answer: Yes, if TLM goers, sympathisers and ROTRs give up because it’s easier. You need to be present to make a change. The ‘Masons’ and ‘Liberals’ could change the liturgy precisely because they were working within the Church. Not even Pascendi or Mediator Dei could have changed that. Similarly, we lukewarm ‘trads’ will not be able to help the remaining 99% of the NOM Church if we simply back off to our oasis. The so called modernists don’t want to share their pie with us, so I say infiltrate those so called problematic parishes and make Tradition felt.

    Is the use of more Latin with the TLM going to cross-pollinate the newer form of Mass?

    My answer: It may. But if we become too satisfied with our Tridentine Mass parishes we won’t go elsewhere would we? Cross polination assumes a potential, it assumes that we DO participate at the NOM (both priests and laity). Again, I reiterate, if Tradition is not seen or noticed or present what can these decrepit NOM parishes notice? The danger about SP is that if we get too content at getting our ‘rights’ back we forgo the opportunity we could have of CROSSING THE DIVIDE. This has nothing to do with which rite we think is superior or not.

    Should we even try to promote Latin in the Novus Ordo anymore? Of what value would that be?

    My answer: Yes we should. The value in doing this is to save the Novus Ordo which is the ‘everything’ of most parishes in the RC world. Also, from a technical point of view, by Tridentinizing the NOM we are neutralizing the ground of liberal tendencies and the zeitgeist by taking their homes from them. If we think this is a WAR then we ought to know how to infiltrate, neutralize and control the enemy. Really, really this deserves a lot of thought.

    And we can only do this if we have the TLM on one arm and the NOM on the other. Wars are fought at the border and mostly in hostile territories. You cannot win by staying at home. Even the Freemasons knew this.

    Now to cap it all off, just because I sound like a looney does not mean I have no idea what the TLM is. In fact, I attend the TLM at the SSPX chapel every other Sunday, so don’t even assume I do not know what I am talking about.

    Regards,
    Isaac.

  140. Malta says:

    Fr. Z: “Is the growing use of the TLM going to shove the NO completely?”

    With the help of God, maybe. But since it was arrogance which impelled Paul VI to cast aside a venerable rite 2,000 years in the making, and replace it with his brain child: a novelty created in a liturgical think tank, presided over by Archbishop Bugnini, a suspected Mason, who was shipped off to Iran when allegations of his associations with a Mason Lodge came to light, I am sure the NO will survive for some time, since it is the only rite known to most Catholics alive today, and it is prayed by some very fine priests, who were not allowed to pray the TLM, and they did the best they could with the only rite they were allowed to use; I only hope this travesty in the history of the Church will fade away with time.

    The NO is valid, but barely so; it has kept the Church alive, on life support–the bare necessities. It often validly consecrates the Eucharist, but sometimes (and this point has been verified by at least one Bishop close to BVI) it does not, because the rubrics for a valid consecration are so often flouted at NO masses.

    Let’s look at the fruits of the NO mass: 75% mass attendance before 1970, 25% after. Almost general belief in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist before the Bugnini mass, now it’s at around 25%. With the NO mass we have clown masses, no heads covered, men and women receiving the Eucharist from lay ministers or ministresses, standing, grabbing the Eucharist, popping it into their mouths like popcorn. Men and women dressing to please each other, but not God. Guitars slowly strumming and on off-key choir singing “Here I am Lord” during the Eucharist, or worse, a rock hymn being played by during the reception. Things things are all engendered by the NO mass. Say what you will about the mass before the Bugnini mass, these abuses did not exist, because the rubrics were strict. There was a set plan. One could attend a mass in Germany, Belgium, England, Spain, etc. and every worshipper knew what was going on, even if they were from a different country. Now, we have Clown masses in California, priestess eucharistic-ministressess mass in Holland they’ve invented their own mass (http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=25799), in the U.K. they have gay masses sanctioned by the Bishop, they have Mariachi masses in some dioceses, they have African dance masses in others, and during World Youth Day priests in T-shirts have the Eucharist in buckets, where the Precious body of Our Lord falls into the mud and is trampled underfoot (yes, this really happens).

    These abuses simply did not exist before the Bugnini mass.

    I have heard the argument, “yes those abuses exist, but no in my diocese!” I have lived in Michigan, Oregon, Washington DC, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah. I have been to mass all over the country, and in Ireland and France; and recently I went to two NO masses Arizona. After going to mass in Sedona, I thought maybe the mass had been taken over by an extraterrestrial who had assumed the position of a Priest. He had a headset on to broadcast the mass to the poor, unsuspecting folks there. Behind him was a giant figure of the Risen Christ (not a bad thing, in and of itself), one couldn’t see a Crucifix in site. Everything was happy-clappy feel good. No mention or emphasis on the Sacrifice, even during the Consecration (if it was such, which I highly doubt.) Everywhere I have gone–almost every NO mass I’ve been to–has had abuses. Some worse than others, some almost imperceptible. I don’t buy the argument that the abuses are localized, I think they are universal in our modernistic Church, and I think that is why Benedict XVI has promulgated the TLM at this grave juncture in the history of our Church.

    So, I really hope the TLM pushes the NO mass completely. Children and the greatest Saints the world has ever known were nourished by it. It’s holiness is not just in the comprehension it gives to the people, but in the praise it gives to God. It gives to God what is His. The NO focuses on giving us praise, the TLM focuses on giving God praise. There is no comparison. The one is bright light, the other dusk (which gives us just enough light to get by).

    BTW: Guy, I think your point on the Byzantine Mass is interesting. My points here only apply to the NO (the “manufactured” rite as BXVI called it), not to traditional rites, such as the Ambrosian, etc.

  141. Dob wrote:

    “If the Novus Ordo mass provides a natural spiritual maturing conduit to the TLM then there is no harm in having the Novus Ordo mass. If it blocks the pathway to spiritual maturity then there is harm. I think this is the heart of the matter.”

    Is there any doubt about which of these is the prevailing scenario? The next question is whether it is possible to reform the Novus Ordo in such a way that it becomes a conduit, rather than an obstacle, to spiritual maturity. I suppose that this is possible in theory, but I think the process itself would be harmful. Why? Because the very idea of liturgy as something to be manipulated for the purpose of bringing people to “spiritual maturity” is just more of the same wrongheadedness. The liturgy is for God, first and foremost: it is not primarily, or even secondarily, a tool of catechesis or evangelization. The Novus Ordo, because of its history and origin, is not likely ever to lose its anthro-centrism.

  142. michigancatholic says:

    Isaac you said, “because practicing Catholics who CAN make a difference in those parishes have decided to give up.”
    No, on the contrary, it’s not all about us slugging away in some political quagmire where we might find ourselves. That’s a V2 idea and all of it’s totally unnecessary, a machine which was designed as a change agent and an engine of turbulence. However, one can just step out of it entirely by attending the EF where it simply doesn’t exist. *There was no break at Vatican II, remember?*

    The NOM is not harder unless, that is, you’re trying to invent content which would make it harder, I suppose. It is what it is. Tell me what is your interpretation of clown suits, Halloween masses, balloon masses and Ukrainian Christmas Carols with applause? What deep secrets of continuity do they hold? The world is waiting to hear such wisdom.

    You said, “Even if in fact Bugnini clearly wanted to destroy the Roman Rite, we know that the very desire to make something unlike what it was altogether makes the pain/absence of its real nature felt even more.”
    Sooo, wait. You’re telling me it was put together to destroy the Roman Rite and we should keep it around because it’s so bad it makes the Roman rite look good…… That doesn’t make sense, my friend. That’s incoherent. That’s like keeping your old non-working stove in the kitchen and your new one in the backyard because it makes you appreciate your new one soo much more. That’s just wrong, on so many levels. But it’s really very humorous.

    How can one be a true traditionalist if you also do not push for more traditional elements in Novus Ordo parishes.
    It’s not about picking pieces and parts. It’s not a consumerist thing. It’s not like going to Subway to make a sandwich. How many ways can I say this? Good grief. If you scotch-tape a little bit of Latin something on for your screechy lady to sing, it’s not going to make any difference, because that’s not what this is about. It’s about *continuity.* Besides, proponents of the current state of affairs like the turmoil, but it’s easier just to step out to the EF. It removes the handle they’ve had on people for years and they really, really hate that. Watch them egg us on. Also very funny, especially when one realizes that they have no intention of anything but abuse once we start talking to them. One would think they hadn’t heard of SP. But you know their ability for abuse has gone way down now and they hate, hate, hate that. And fear it.

    The danger about SP is that if we get too content at getting our ‘rights’ back we forgo the opportunity we could have of CROSSING THE DIVIDE. Would it be fair to say that we should cross the divide, ie dicker over preferences rather than talk about truth? And would it be fair to say that you know better than PBXVI what the dangers of SP are? Lots of presuming going on here.

    The value in doing this is to save the Novus Ordo which is the ‘everything’ of most parishes in the RC world.
    WHATTT?? I think maybe that’s the most affectionate defense of the art of concoction I’ve heard in this discussion. That would be the opposite of continuity, I expect. I remember a cartoon that made its way around the internet a few years ago. It was a turkey with a pumpkin head made up in every holiday’s garb and the caption was “Happy Everything!” Perhaps you remember it. I don’t include a link because most links to it are inappropriate for this blog. (That might tell you something.) But you can google it if you want.

    You cannot win by staying at home. Even the Freemasons knew this.
    Sooo, the lesson is be like the Freemasons. No, that can’t be right. Learn from the Freemasons. No, try again. Go start a hospital charity. No, no, no. I give up. Fill me in.

  143. Michigan wrote:

    “So, how to get people to eat the broccoli?”

    People must be required to eat the broccoli. Ultimately, the TLM (perhaps with organic developments, pun intended) will need to be imposed once more. And I believe that it will be.

  144. WFW says:

    Issac, SSPX=excommunicated

    Simply throwing up ones hands and going to an excommunicated church is exactly what the pope is trying to avoid by liberializing the use of TLM. The point is we have to work within the framework of the church as it is now. There has to be a basic acceptance of the validity of the NO before anything else can be accomplished. Sure, it may be that the NO is a banal, drab steralized form of TLM but its still basically alright. Perhaps we don’t like all of the decisions of the church with regard to liturgy but going outside the church is not the answer. I think its ok to have reservations about catholic practice but there still has to be a fundamental submission to church authority. In a strange way its sort of like what Womenpriests is doing–they don’t like the fact that the Church can’t ordain women so they do it themselves.

  145. Isaac says:

    Dear michigan catholic and WFW,

    Hmmm, the fact that two people from completely different angles seem to be misunderstanding or finding fault with my thoughts must either mean I am a lunatic or that you may not get at all what I am trying to get at.

    Michigan catholic: Firstly, calm down. Why should all trads sound like they have to be angry in order to be understood? Don’t let people have a bad impression of traditionalists.

    No, on the contrary, it’s not all about us slugging away in some political quagmire where we might find ourselves. That’s a V2 idea and all of it’s totally unnecessary, a machine which was designed as a change agent and an engine of turbulence. However, one can just step out of it entirely by attending the EF where it simply doesn’t exist. There was no break at Vatican II, remember?

    Response: I did not say ALL trads should slug away. I did not even say the EF should not be resurrected? Why are you bringing the EF into the picture when it’s clearly not the Tridentine that I am attacking but the attitude of giving up completely and retreating from the NO. Many liberals and neo cons did the same with the Tridentine. History is repeating. Maybe my fault in explaining but I am trying to put forward the idea that EF is very very good but that in doing that we should not stop short of tridentinizing the Novus Ordo for those parishes who still want it. By all means, let the EF multiply.

    The NOM is not harder unless, that is, you’re trying to invent content which would make it harder, I suppose. It is what it is. Tell me what is your interpretation of clown suits, Halloween masses, balloon masses and Ukrainian Christmas Carols with applause? What deep secrets of continuity do they hold? The world is waiting to hear such wisdom.

    Reponse: Abuse happen in the TLM too my friend. They happened before the Council, when priests raced through their prayers. This is why Fr. Z highlighted a good point that perhaps now the TLM is celebrated more reverently than before. In addition, I am saddenned that you have only attended poor Novus Ordo masses. Remember, the point we’re trying to discuss is whether or not the Novus Ordo is worth preserving even if it is done in Latin and reverently celebrated. Many here don’t think it’s worth preserving, but you’re talking about a badly celebrated Novus Ordo.

    Sooo, wait. You’re telling me it was put together to destroy the Roman Rite and we should keep it around because it’s so bad it makes the Roman rite look good…… That doesn’t make sense, my friend. That’s incoherent. That’s like keeping your old non-working stove in the kitchen and your new one in the backyard because it makes you appreciate your new one soo much more. That’s just wrong, on so many levels. But it’s really very humorous.

    Response: You’re entitled to that opinion, and I think it’s very coherent indeed. It’s also a very popular and easy decision to make. But the fact remains that until all our liberal priests pass away, pretty much for the next 10-15 years the Novus Ordo will dominate because whether rightly or wrongly that’s the norm. I am not saying that the NO Mass as it exists today in practice is good. What I am saying is that what can we do with it. Yes, there is the EF but what CAN we still do with the many people who want to stay at the Novus Ordo? Hence, the above.

    How can one be a true traditionalist if you also do not push for more traditional elements in Novus Ordo parishes.
    It’s not about picking pieces and parts. It’s not a consumerist thing. It’s not like going to Subway to make a sandwich. How many ways can I say this? Good grief. If you scotch-tape a little bit of Latin something on for your screechy lady to sing, it’s not going to make any difference, because that’s not what this is about. It’s about continuity. Besides, proponents of the current state of affairs like the turmoil, but it’s easier just to step out to the EF. It removes the handle they’ve had on people for years and they really, really hate that. Watch them egg us on. Also very funny, especially when one realizes that they have no intention of anything but abuse once we start talking to them. One would think they hadn’t heard of SP. But you know their ability for abuse has gone way down now and they hate, hate, hate that. And fear it.

    Response: Good point. But like I said, just because they hate it or hate us, does not mean we should give them their bait. The NO is still a valid mass, which means that our Lord is still present, and if we do not exert any traditional pressures on these areas, it will be harder for them to see the light of the EF. Yes, I grant you and many that the EF perhaps is the only answer, but the reality ain’t that cut and dry. There are many who want to be in the in between areas. Instead of letting them rest under that shade of grayness, we have two weapons which are either, bring them to see the traditional mass or if they choose not to, make their masses tridentinized. I am talking about strategy!

    The danger about SP is that if we get too content at getting our ‘rights’ back we forgo the opportunity we could have of CROSSING THE DIVIDE. Would it be fair to say that we should cross the divide, ie dicker over preferences rather than talk about truth? And would it be fair to say that you know better than PBXVI what the dangers of SP are? Lots of presuming going on here.

    Response: You’re still misunderstanding me. I am talking about the in betweens, the people who still want to be in the Novus Ordo. The question about me interpreting better than PBXVI need not be answered. The same question can be asked of Fr.Z versus Paul VI or even Benedict XVI vs Paul VI. I do not know better.

    WHATTT?? I think maybe that’s the most affectionate defense of the art of concoction I’ve heard in this discussion. That would be the opposite of continuity, I expect. I remember a cartoon that made its way around the internet a few years ago. It was a turkey with a pumpkin head made up in every holiday’s garb and the caption was “Happy Everything!” Perhaps you remember it. I don’t include a link because most links to it are inappropriate for this blog. (That might tell you something.) But you can google it if you want.

    Response: I am talking about the NO mass format. Why do you keep bringing in mr Happy Clappy when this discussion is not about liturgical abuses? we’re comparing Latin Novus Ordo vs TLM.

    Sooo, the lesson is be like the Freemasons. No, that can’t be right. Learn from the Freemasons. No, try again. Go start a hospital charity. No, no, no. I give up. Fill me in.

    Response: The lesson is unlike many of the naivety going around the Freemasons and pretty much like all war tactics there was a lot of common sense going around before and during VII. The liberals wanted to win (naturally) of course and if you can’t win in the open daylight, you infiltrate. Need I say that the value of infiltrating liberal hotbeds is ONE WAY of achieving the goals of bringing Tradition into the normal everyday realities of the Church?

    Dear WFW,

    Issac, SSPX=excommunicated

    You assume too many things. First, lay people are not excommunicated for mass attendance. Secondly, you assume that I assent to all the teachings of the SSPX. Thirdly, you insinuate that by mere association with mass attendance, my opinions immediately qualify their deficiencies because they operate outside the Church. Fourthly, you assume I do not attend the Novus Ordo Missae, which I do, every other Sunday.

    Regards,
    Isaac.

  146. ALL:

    STAY

    ON

    TOPIC

    (I will delete comments.)

  147. Isaac says:

    Dear all,

    Apologies to all if my words have given any offence. I have now learnt the art of
    being brief. This will be my last post (I think it has exhausted itself and may
    need other sub headings) I shall leave with this one last rhetorical question.

    If given only two choices (in theory) on how individuals, priests and laity can
    help to reinvigorate the Church with Tradition, would you:

    Encourage the move to EF and leave the Novus Ordo parishes into strictly ‘good’
    vernacular masses without Graduale(s), Scholas, bells and smells?

    OR

    Encourage everyone to move to the EF and allow only the Latin Novus Ordo (with
    traditonal dress-ups or however you opine) to survive in other parishes?

    I hope I am right when I reiterate that Fr. Z only asks if the Novus Ordo is worth
    preserving in Latin (and what this will entail. We are not talking about validity, superiority (this is obvious) or the prudence of the derestriction of the EF.

    Thank you for everyone’s insights. I have lots to pray about now.

    Isaac

  148. elizabeth mckernan says:

    This is a fascinating post showing the importance of a Rite to the worshipping congregation. Until I acquired a computer a year ago I had no idea that the NO could be celebrated in latin. I honestly understood that when the ‘changes’ came that was it – no more latin. I have been astonished to learn that this was not so and am so grateful to your blog, and others I follow, for putting me right. to be able to read that there are so many others out there sharing my own feelings is a real comfort. My great sadness is that my children and grandchildren no longer have any wish to attend Mass. I have been so lucky in being able to remember well the ‘Old Mass’ and this has helped me through attending the guitars and modern english of the NO. They have not had this memory to help them through.

  149. kat says:

    “Given the analogy I started with, and given the discussion that followed, if we can say that in one sense, the newer Mass is “easier”, I now wonder if “easier” does not make the whole point of Holy Mass actually harder to access? Does “easier” make it harder to encounter mystery? Provoking awe at transcendence?” Father Z

    Yes, as a convert from Anglicanism, I find the NO easier to follow, but much more difficult to put myself in a state of mind that brings me closer to God. When everyone around you is holding hands, popping the host like a wad of gum, and laughing at Father’s jokes, it is harder to remind yourself of the solemnity of Christ’s sacrifice, the need for personal holiness, and the duty to pray the Mass. It is easier to fall into relaxation and turn Mass into only a celebration amongst ourselves. Even in a more reverent and latinized NO the central part of the Mass, the Consecration is reduced to equal the Our Father and sign of peace in importance. The fatal flaws in the NO lead me to believe that the only fix is a wholesale, but gradual return to the TLM. We must be concerned about our own soul and those of our families, not to work “within the existing system” to fix the problem. The trash Mass parishes cannot be fixed by a few brave souls, that would be suicide for those persons with no chance of change. The same can be said of homeschooling; it is not our duty to “change the public school system from within” we cannot do so and it would be educational suicide for our children to try. Only by growing the TLM we can slowly change the view of church and our role.

    As an aside, I wonder about all the hordes of people who gladly attend the NO when the TLM is easily available and the few who traverse the countryside to track down a TLM when the NO is just down the street. Why are these groups so different? Do I only prefer the TLM because I was brought up in a home that prefered the old over the new in furniture, dress, style, and tradition? Do I prefer the TLM because of the recollection of old hymns and the childhood feeling of safety within the wall of house of God? If so, that doesn’t bode well for the future of the Church, in that most people prefer the modern and have grown up with the banal.

  150. elizabeth mckernan says:

    Kat asks ‘Why are these two groups so different?’ Thinking back were we not similarly divided when some of us preferred to attend ‘High Mass’ and others preferred ‘Low Mass.’ However, it was never thought of as a division. Perhaps there is hope that in the future the differences may be regarded in a similar fashion? After all Pope Benedict has told us that the TLM and NO are two versions of the same rite.

  151. EDG says:

    This has been a fascinating thread, which I have been reading off and on as I travel for Thanksgiving. Vox (I believe it was) posed an interesting question about the 2 masses: is the issue about the language (Latin or more respectful English), the manner of celebration, or the form itself?

    I frequently attend Mass in Spain, where the NO is generally much better celebrated than in the US, and where the vernacular translation (into European Spanish) is better and more accurate. But this has only led me to see that there actually is a big difference between the NO and the Old Rite. Using the old architectural dictum that form follows function, I would say that the function of the two rites is different. The main event, so to speak, may be the same; I am certainly not saying that the NO is invalid. But the function, from the “user’s” point of view, is entirely different.

    Fr. Z suggested the NO as a kind of teaching mass, but I’m not even sure it’s suitable for that, because I’m not sure it teaches the same thing as the TLM. The NO is all about togetherness, listening to the “presider,” and – as someone once informed me – saying the Our Father together.

    When I see the NO celebrated in Spain, in some lavish baroque church in Madrid filled with glowing Virgins, enraptured saints, and images of the wounded, suffering Christ, I realize that there is a profound difference. The NO is the sanitized, tame, Protestant version of Christianity, and people from sanitized, tame, Protestant countries such as the US like it because they recognize it. It is non-challenging, non-transcendent and easily within the control of poor mortals like us. But that type of Christianity is dying out in general simply because it has no substance, and I think the NO will die with it.

    On the other hand, I think changes will occur to the TLM that will solve any problems with its “accessibility.” The fact that priests are already celebrating it better than they did when I was a child (1950′s-60′s) is an example of this. There will probably be more room for the vernacular in certain parts. I remember vernacular masses (which sometimes were used as teaching masses, btw), and personally I have no objection to having some of it in the vernacular. So I think perhaps phase II, after the TLM is fairly well established, will perhaps be to do some tweaking of the TLM and let the NO quietly die out. I don’t really think the latter form has a future, no matter what is done to it.

  152. Norman Lee says:

    “At the risk of being somewhat provocative, I suspect the older form, the TLM will become (at least for a while) the “grown up Mass”, while the Novus Ordo, still reverent and sound in so many ways, will be lighter, less challenging. ”

    I can think of one reason why this is true. Human beings are creatures of habit and many people do the same things week in, week out as a matter of routine. Hence, the Novus Ordo will be less challenging to the vast majority of people simply because they are used to it.

    Whether Novus Ordo or TLM, I think everyone needs to question themselves constantly as to whether they are doing the right thing. Choirs have to ask themselves exactly what kind of music is suitable for Mass. Priests who say “the congregation is not ready for Chant/Latin yet” (I get many of those) must then be prepared to answer the question, “so when and how?”. Even TLMers must ask themselves if they are too focussed on the “rubrics” and what the “proper way” is – I was extremely reluctant to get into an argument abt what a suitable style of a certain liturgical vestment is!

    However, I think some structural changes in the Novus Ordo are needed. Why have 3 options for the priest’s greeting and the penitential rite? Why allow hymns to replace the Introit? I could go on.

    (Apologies if my remarks go off tangent).

  153. Habemus Papam says:

    The growing use of the TLM is going to shove the NO completely Father, its just a matter of time. One reason for this being a decreasing base for the NO, ageing supporters and fewer priests willing to say it.
    Mystery, awe, transcendance are inimical to the NO. It was designed specifically to eliminate these elements from the Roman Mass and thereby make it accessible to laity, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.
    The NO has degenerated to its natural state, found its plateau. It is a comunal meal. Latin is really alien to the NO, it jars, it just don’t fit. Dressing it up can’t turn this celebration of gifts into an Offering of the Divine Victim.

  154. Norman Lee says:

    I am all for promoting Latin in the Novus Ordo. I am sure we want to continue saying that we are doing things in fidelity to Vatican II, emphasize our continuity with tradition, among other things.

    However I also realize that this requires slow and patient education. For example, those used to OCP trash need to have a paradigm shift that music at Mass must have its own qualties – A national anthem must be written differently from a children’s song and the same goes for Mass. If the right question is not asked then the answer will not come …

    Therefore, I see that one of the ways is to use and promote English adaptations of chant. Hopefully people will then start asking questions. Unfortunately, I have had many people dismiss this idea. Or dismiss the idea of Gregorian chant propers with Mass in the vernacular.

    But as I have said, people are creatures of habit and the reality is that some people are not going to want to learn Latin pronunciation rules. There are people who don’t want to attend Mass and have to read translations etc etc . And so, if these people can come into contact with English chant and hence use music that fulfill the criteria for Sacred Music, then I absolutely cannot see what is wrong with that.

  155. Little Gal says:

    I think it’s important to remember that there is a link between culture and ceremony(Mass); liturgy is not created nor maintained in a vacuum. The culture-especially in the wider Church- today is different from the culture prior to VII. Who is to say that our current culture will not drive changes in the EF just as it has in the NO?

  156. vox borealis says:

    Little Gal,

    Undoubtedly there will be changes to the EF (organic of course), just as there always had been. This raises interesting questions, which also bear on the issue of the ordinary form in Latin. For so long the traditionally-minded have been in “recapture” or “restore” mode, emphasizing a return of the older form, I wonder how they will respond to possible changes to that form in the future. Indeed, what if Rome takes the documents of Vatican II and the missal of 1962 as starting points, and reform the 1962 missal along those lines (introduction of some vernacular, for example)? Also, will there be a future attempt to bring the two forms into greater synchronization? Along these lines, the biggest obstacle may be the differences between calendars and reading cycles.

    It will be intriguing to see what happens in, say, forty or fifty years (or more) when the next version of the Roman missal of the extraordinary form is promulgated. If the current or next pope have a long-term vision for that future missal, that MIGHT influence plans for the ordinary form.

  157. Habemus Papam says:

    vox, remember that the 1962 Missal WAS reformed in 1965 along the lines mandated by Vatican II. 1969 was a New Order.

  158. vox borealis says:

    Habemus,

    No dispute here. But we have returned to 1962, not 1965, and those in favor of the older form may be more skeptical of change now than they were forty years ago. I wonder what the response will be if in a number of years 1965 style missal is promulgated, especially if it is used to bring both forms into synchronization. And if the goal is a 1965-type reform, with a good deal of vernacular, that shapes our discussion of the role of Latin in the post-S.P. novus ordo.

  159. Little Gal says:

    “what if Rome takes the documents of Vatican II and the missal of 1962 as starting points, and reform the 1962 missal along those lines (introduction of some vernacular, for example)?”

    Vox:

    Yes. And instead of one form replacing the other, a hybrid will result combining the strengths of both liturgies while responding to the worship needs of the faithful. This issue of liturgy reminds me of a quote from a book called, White Smoke. A character who is Pope states that,” the Church must change in order to stay the same.”

  160. Re: Latin in the NO
    One thing this question hinges upon is the “why” of having a Latin liturgy at all. Is this the language of mystery, helping the congregation to focus on the divine liturgy? Is this the language of tradition, allowing us to use the same words our Fathers did when they worshipped? Is this an issue of universality? Of precision in the face of insufficient translations? (In the last three cases, I submit that it would be helpful if the congregation actually understood Latin. In the first, not so much.)

    Another important question is if the NO has anything of “solid food” to offer us at all. I sumbit that it does, and that it would be productive to have a Latin NO. In order to keep this short, I won’t go into all my reasoning, but the NO does have beautiful elements to offer us — such as the new prefaces and collects, the expanded lectionary, and the audible canon (though not all agree with that last one). Just as we should not allow our liturgy to completely break from its tradition, neither should we allow the goods of the liturgical reform to be lost, and thus allow our liturgy to become a fossil.

    The NO in Latin would help us preserve such goods, while providing the smoothest means for the two rites to influence each other.

    If one hindrance to a Latin NO can be named, I would say the drastic decline in the knowledge of Latin among clergy and laity alike. The liturgy is supposed to be accessible to the faithful on at least a certain level — when the Mass was coming into existence, Latin truly was a common language — even as it is an encounter with mystery and directs our attention to that mystery. Many who cling to the NO are desiring that minimum accessibility which they do not find, or do not know HOW to find, at any Latin liturgy. If we do not teach them how, the divide between the TLM and the vernacular NO will become more and more pronounced, perhaps irrepairably so.

  161. Danjmu says:

    Dear Father Z,

    I have to say, I visit your excellent site most days, but I disagree with your view on this issue. It all sounds a bit two-tier to me. Your “child” (OF) and “adult” (EF) distinction ultimately means an educated / ill educated distinction. So I think the labels you use are loaded, not just in the sense that YOU prefer the EF to the OF, but that anyone that doesn’t agree with you is a child who can “grow” to your more enlightened state. Surely, this is not in the spirit of Summorum Pontificum – and furthermore, it’s unrealistic. We are all grateful that we now have a deserved status for the EF of the Roman Rite, but given that you cautioned against triumphalism in the days surrounding this great event, I am surprised you would now use what seems to me to be patronising language towards a valid Rite that sustains so many of the Catholic faithful.

    Just some (not intentionally provocative) thoughts from a man who attends both forms in London, UK. Most happy to hear responses,

    Best wishes,

    Danjmu

  162. michigancatholic says:

    It’s not about hybridizing for two reasons.
    1) There is strong objection to defacing the Missal of 1962 among the Ecclesia Dei groups and other groups. That missal will stand as it is in perpetuity with honors, I believe. There will be a new missal based on that one that goes forward into the future, but that one is sancrosanct as it stands, even if a time comes when it is no longer said very often. And it should be. It was the mass that wouldn’t die–the mass that survived the most serious challenge to Catholicity since the reformation.
    2) A hybrid between the Missal of 1962 and the Missal of 1970, if you could even get such a thing, would be a hodgepodge, a complete shambles, as they are incomensurate in kind. As someone put it so well above, the two forms of mass have a different objective and a completely different tone.
    No, we need to take an older form and allow it to grow organically into the future. The N.O. must be allowed to die out since it is a product of the belief that there was a break at V2–all of its amendments from the beginning have been aimed at promoting that thesis. It is completely contrary to continuity and for that reason absolutely unacceptable as a foundation for further organic development.

  163. Danjmu: I think you misread my intention in posting this.

    I very pointedly asked questions.

  164. Folks: I believe this is drifting.

    What we DON’T need here is the sort of “I like the old Mass!” comments that don’t get us anywhere in a discussion.

    I will restate some points: Is the growing use of the TLM going to shove the Novus Ordo in LATIN completely into oblivion?



    That is where we have been. I want conversations to get back to this.

    Also, I am going to throw in another element. Here is another point to consider:

    Our participation at Holy Mass is really about an encounter with mystery.   If Mass doesn’t not bring us to mystery, we are missing the mark.

    Given the analogy I started with, and given the discussion that followed, if we can say that in one sense, the newer Mass is “easier”, I now wonder if “easier” does not make the whole point of Holy Mass actually harder to access?  Does “easier” make it harder to encounter mystery?  Provoking awe at transcendence?

    Here I go back in a circle:  Some say that the more the Novus Ordo is celebrated like the Tridentine Mass, the better it is.   Better at what?  Bringing about awe at transcendence? 

    We still have a little work to do on the main questions here.  Let’s not get side tracked.  I have been a little tempted to cull out some of the drift, but good points are being raised.  So, please police yourselves and avoid too many tangents.

    This is a very interesting entry so far.

    PS: Over 160 comments, excluding my own!

  165. michigancatholic says:

    Currently, the N.O. has reached a stagnant point because it’s exhausted, played out. It’s why it sounds like it does–70s style folk music and all that. Yes, new nuisance things appear and fall away, but the condition is largely stagnant at present. This has got to be knocked loose and made to move again toward continuity with the past. The new translations, I believe, will be the key to getting this going again in the right direction, and starting the release of the maneuverability logjam. The Vatican however, is going to have to move to get the job done. First the new translations, then a strong injection of theology, then into latin and back into vernacular, and then theology again, etc etc. The whole “consensus machine” has to be bypassed/hobbled too. This must happen over a period of 15-20 years or so until essentially, the mass is the missal of 1962 internally. And then we go forward.

    On the issue of Latin, language looms large for laypeople who tend to focus on it out of ignorance, but it’s only one factor. Latin is the language of the Church and it is a given like many revealed things in the Church. People seem to have trouble with that nowdays and need to be helped to accept that they cannot pick and choose some things like one does at a sandwich shop. It’s not the way of God. There are a lot of things that aren’t “electives” for Catholics. That’s how it is.

    (Besides why are we ashamed that we are *Latin* Rite?)

    Also not to be discounted is the fact that some people are simply going to drop out when the mass stops being a local party, latin or no. There’s nothing we’re going to be able to do about that. People can do that and we can’t stop them and we have to accept that. They’ve internalized the culture of the world instead of the culture of the Catholic church. If it’s any consolation, many of them are already gone in their heads anyway, but because of the N.O.’s stagnant state haven’t reached the critical decision point yet. Some small fraction will reach that point when the next round of changes occurs, no matter what they are. But nobody said this was going to be easy OR automatic, did they?

  166. Danjmu says:

    Dear Fr Z,

    Yes it’s true, I was commenting on the text that follows your two questions rather than the questions themselves, but that is what I really took issue with. Regarding the questions, I really can’t claim any expertise in this area, but for what its worth:

    a) No, I don’t think the NO will “drift more or less totally” toward the vernacular given that the Liturgies in Rome and elsewhere are increasingly provided in latin.
    b) No, I think the latin OF is always to be encouraged. I was educated by the Jesuits at school and experienced the most wonderful OF latin Masses (c1980s!).

  167. fr william says:

    Father,

    It’s not only Danjmu, but others here such as London Calling and Jasna Gorak who think there is a problem with the terms in which you have expressed yourself in this post.

    The Latin of the NO is the definitive version, the Urtext, of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite – it is not just any old language version of any old form of Mass, but absolutely and uniquely central to all worship in the Roman Rite, whether one likes it or not. Those who would ditch it because a Latin Mass more in accordance with their preferences is now available thus show a contempt for the Rite as a whole – a contempt which I am afraid I hear echoed in your “baby food”/”goop” analogies.

    Your query is a valid, even important one, but personally I think you have shot yourself in the foot by going beyond the originally question to what I would call a highly personalized caricature of the relationship between the two Forms. If I were hostile to the TLM (which I am not) I would pounce on this with glee as evidence that if you give TLM fans an inch they’ll grab a mile.

  168. fr william: You, like Danjimu, are now making this about me.

    I asked questions. I meant what I asked.

    This entry exists, as I state clearly, to help me think through the issues I posed.  So, I feel free to guide it in whatever direction is useful to me.  If it can’t stay on topic, then I can close it down and try to start another fruitful entry. 

    I am serious about the question: Whither Latin in the Novus Ordo?

    The useful comment you made for this discussion is, as I see it: “The Latin of the NO is the definitive version, the Urtext, of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite”.

    I disagree. I suspect others will also.  I say this partly from the way the Novus Ordo came be be and partly from the point that what you suggest really would constitute a rupture in continuity with the Roman Rite.  It is fine by me if someone wants to stand on the claim that the Novus Ordo in fact constituted such a rupture.  However, if we want to salvage the continuity position, I think we have to say that the “standard” is the very solemn celebration of the older form.

    Furthermore, I would be delighted if the Novus Ordo was actually celebrated along the lines the Council Father’s desired: in Latin, with occasional use of the vernacular when merited.  I would frankly prefer that the lion’s share of every NO Mass should be in Latin, even with the readings in the vernacular.  People can bring hand missals and follow, and also simply listen after coming to be familiar with the sound of the Latin, as surely they would. 

    However, in light of the fact that we now have Summorum Pontificum and the older form of Mass will spread again, I suspect that the Novus Ordo is simply going to be left entirely in the vernacular.  The narrow label of “the Latin Mass” (neglecting that the Novus Ordo should be in Latin too), is going to become the truth in practice: only the TLM will be in Latin and the Novus Ordo will almost never be.

  169. michigancatholic says:

    It’s not about *preference*, Fr. William. It’s about truth–as reflected in goal and method. There are distinctive differences of goal and method between the two forms of the rite.

    Fr. Z asks about transcendance. Transcendance doesn’t have to be understood merely in the perceptual sense (or as it might be put, the preferential sense). Truth is transcendent even if one feels no emotions, no consolations about it. It is a necessary part of worship that God transcends the temporal. One knows it in faith even if one doesn’t feel consolations.

    Some celebrations of the N.O. strive to suppress the transcendant. It’s done by various means, but it’s clear that’s what the intention is. That intention is a decisive break with Catholic tradition from the very beginning. Let me put it this way: Catholicism makes truth claims. Religious truth claims of the Christian sort are inherently transcendant. Truth claims about Christ and what he was about are constitutive of the Catholic faith. Transcendance is constitutive of the faith. It must be part of Catholic worship for it to be Catholic worship.

  170. michigancatholic: Some celebrations of the N.O. strive to suppress the transcendant.

    And some strive for the opposite. Therefore, this point is not relevant to what we are discussing.

    This is not a “let’s beat up the Novus Ordo” conversation.

  171. michigancatholic says:

    Okay, Fr. Z. I shouldn’t have used the word “some,” because I’m referring to the relative structure of the masses instead of the way specific instantiations occur. There are properties of the OF that the EF doesn’t share and v. versa, important properties.

  172. Masone says:

    “[...] I suspect that the Novus Ordo is simply going to be left entirely in the vernacular. The narrow label of ‘the Latin Mass’ (neglecting that the Novus Ordo should be in Latin too), is going to become the truth in practice: only the TLM will be in Latin and the Novus Ordo will almost never be.”

    I don’t know whether that is really going to happen. But this I know, that I do hope that WON’T happen!

  173. Habemus Papam says:

    fr.william: yes, speaking objectively the Latin of the NO is the definitive version of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. However for the majority of Catholics the practical form is in the venacular and the “Latin Mass” refers to the Extraordinary Form. I think Fr. Zs question relates to the realities of liturgy for practicing Catholics rather than an academic argument. Where do we REALLY go from here?

  174. Neal says:

    I doubt there is much place for Latin in the novus ordo missae. The vetus ordo benefits from being in latin because it is a mysterious expression of a mysterious event, namely, Christ’s sacrifice on the cross made present again on the altar. The novus ordo belongs in the vernacular because it is more about a worshipping community rather than about priest and victim. (I believe it was London Calling who some days ago made mention of a vertical versus a horizontal event; this seems to me the best way to describe the difference between them.) The only thing that would be mysterious about a novus ordo missae in latin is why a group of people would come together to “share” in a language relatively few of them can speak or understand.

    To put it simply, the novus ordo missae belongs in the vernacular; my read is that it will remain in the vernacular as long as the matter of the rite remains as it is now.

    Pax,

  175. michigancatholic says:

    “The Latin of the NO is the definitive version, the Urtext, of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite”.
    I disagree. I suspect others will also. I say this partly from the way the Novus Ordo came be….

    And yet the new translations that are in the works are supposed to be made from this Latin version of the N.O. Is that not correct?

    BTW, on a practical level, you are completely correct when you say,
    \”I suspect that the Novus Ordo is simply going to be left entirely in the vernacular. The narrow label of “the Latin Mass” (neglecting that the Novus Ordo should be in Latin too), is going to become the truth in practice: only the TLM will be in Latin and the Novus Ordo will almost never be.\”
    Most unfortunately, it’s been that way for many years in huge sections of the English speaking world. Part of the agenda, you know.

  176. Andrew says:

    I believe some clarification of terms might be useful here. What some posters call a “Novus Ordo in Latin” is really an English Mass with some Latin mixed in here and there. As for example the poster who wrote: I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the Latin NO masses on EWTN. I’ve often seen the NO Mass celebrated in Latin – twice this week. These Masses are only partially in Latin, correct me if I’m mistaken, with large parts in the vernacular (such as the entire Eucharistic Prayer, etc.).

    When I say Novus Ordo in Latin I mean a Mass that contain no words of English at all other than the homily. I have never seen such a Latin NO Mass celebrated publicly anywhere. I think it’s deceptive to call a NO Mass “Latin” just because someone sang “Agnus Dei” during an otherwise vernacular Mass.

  177. Deborah says:

    “I suspect that the Novus Ordo is simply going to be left entirely in the vernacular.”-Fr.Z

    I think you are correct, Father. There is already a very driven movement by some to keep anything resembling the TLM, including Latin, from “their creation” of an entirely vernacular and modern liturgy. However, the majority of priests and faithful forces behind this movement due to age will be out of the picture within the next 10-15years causing its demise since the few younger ones involved will not be able to sustain it.

    My prediction, based on facts currently available, is that the TLM will eventually be the only form of the sacred liturgy in the Latin Roman rite. Here’s why:

    1) I do believe that the Latin Novus Ordo will disappear over time. For now, though, it seems to be a stepping stone to the TLM for some priests and the faithful therefore worthy to keep going for that reason.

    2) Many priests who once were zealous for the Latin Novus Ordo Mass are now replacing it with a zeal for promoting and celebrating the TLM.

    3) Most likely with the spreading of the TLM we will see an increase in vocations to the priesthood as statistics have shown that most of these communities have many more vocations than the Novus Ordo communities.

    These TLM formed priests will then naturally want to celebrate the TLM since this is the Mass from which they received their liturgical formation. As a result the Novus Ordo will eventually disappear.

    The Holy See will sooner or later have to act on the fact that the majority of their priests will be from the TLM communities. (I think this will be the BIG push, in my opinion.)

  178. fr william says:

    Fr Z, I had no intention of becoming ad hominem, but was concerned at how those who are not favourably disposed might view such analogies. Having said my piece, I’ll leave it there.

    I am surprised that you would disagree with my statement that “The Latin of the NO is the definitive version, the Urtext, of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite”. The Latin of the NO is the original from which all other language versions of the NO derive (or are supposed to derive, despite some of ICEL’s efforts). It is the Urtext: if one wishes to know what constitutes the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, purged of abysmal translations, corruptions and liturgical abuses, that is where one must look.

    I wonder, michigancatholic, how many celebrations of the NO in Latin strive to suppress the transcendent? I should have thought that was almost unheard-of. (Anybody ever seen a Latin clown mass? Thought not.) In my opinion, almost all the things which rightly repel people about the NO as experienced only get in because the almost exclusive use of the vernacular (and a rather debased vernacular at that) encourages and enables an entertainment-focussed make-up-your-own-liturgy approach, which no-one would dream of doing in Latin and most people wouldn’t be able to do even if they wanted. The priest can’t go off the rails in the same way. And that’s the risk with abandoning the NO entirely to the vernacular – it no longer has any anchor (beyond the bookshelves of an academic library), and caricature becomes reality.

    I would be delighted to see a “mixed economy” of NO and TLM happily and fruitfully co-existing. (Given that both are different forms of the one rite, arguments about rupture seem to me to carry much less weight where the two forms live side by side than where the NO effectively supplants the TLM.) The greater celebration of the NO in Latin would do much to make this a fruitful co-existence rather than a hostile stand-off, by demonstrating (quite practically, and not as an academic theory) that the NO is not, after all, in flat contradiction to the ethos and theology of the TLM – as some people on both sides seem intent on saying in the aftermath of Summ. Pont. – but complementary and mutually beneficial elements of a healthy (and adult!) spiritual diet.

  179. Little Gal says:

    “if we can say that in one sense, the newer Mass is “easier”, I now wonder if “easier” does not make the whole point of Holy Mass actually harder to access? Does “easier” make it harder to encounter mystery? Provoking awe at transcendence?”

    Perhaps a way to approach the differences in the forms would be to use a different comparison-music. I would like to tackle the ‘easier’ aspect(of the NO) with this in mind. Easier has several definitions, but I interpreted this (perhaps incorrectly per the above quote)as simple, meaning lacking in ornamentation, not involved or complicated.

    Using the comparison of music,some would say that for example that Mozart is simple. Simple to play and simple to listen to. Actually, due to his clean, bare melodic lines-the lack of frequent ornamentation of say the Baroque period or the massive chords of a romantic composer,Mozart can be quite difficult to play because, “it’s all there-exposed.” There is complexity in its simplicity. And, Mozart is certainly transcendent to listen to.

    I find the NO-done reverently-spiritually fulfilling. The Masses I attend do include ‘smells & bells’, but no Latin. Since the Mass is in the vernacular, I can concentrate on an inward worship state and attend to what the priest is saying rather than having to follow along in the missal because the Mass is in Latin. I would find this very disruptive to cultivating this interior state during Mass. The NO in the vernacular allows one to move from an interior space to listening to what the priest is saying to participating in the community responses. The latter two being almost an echo at times. The only time that I have difficulty moving inward so that I focus, is when I have significant personal issues–I think that this would hold true for a person attending either form. Perhaps others like myself close their eyes during the NO and listen to what the priest is saying and hold an image in mind. Perhaps I am the only one here who experiences the NO in this transcendent way? May I suggest that if the NO appears simpler (has less structure than the EF) that perhaps more teaching is needed on how to utilize the form both for clergy and laity?

    I cannot resist commenting that I experienced the EF as a child and clearly remember how disengaged many adults were during Mass. Latin was taught in schools at the time and so I do not think the language issue was as much of a obstacle at that time. There were good reasons why reforms were made…

    My apologies to the moderator if this post is too “I” oriented, but I thought it might be important to communicate what the NO experience is like for some.

  180. michigancatholic says:

    I wonder, michigancatholic, how many celebrations of the NO in Latin strive to suppress the transcendent?
    Fr. William, you obviously don’t know the people I know. I recently met a priest here who can clown in Latin. It happens.

    The greater celebration of the NO in Latin would do much to make this a fruitful co-existence rather than a hostile stand-off, by demonstrating (quite practically, and not as an academic theory) that the NO is not, after all, in flat contradiction to the ethos and theology of the TLM – as some people on both sides seem intent on saying in the aftermath of Summ. Pont. – but complementary and mutually beneficial elements of a healthy (and adult!) spiritual diet.
    Well, to your credit, you quite clearly don’t work for the professional liturgical crowd in the USA. That kind of truce, besides being logically odd, would get in the way of agendas on every side here. I don’t think that’s going to happen, honestly.

  181. EDG says:

    I love Latin and I think the world would be much improved if everyone would learn it.

    However, reading this thread, I want to go back to Vox’s question: “Is it the language, the manner, or the form” that people are focusing on in the NO/TLM contrast.

    I think it’s the form. The manner changes, depending on the celebrant. As for the language, the normative language of the NO is always going to be the vernacular, and the Latin celebrations are going to be the whim of the celebrant, much like the clown mass. The entire NO is the whim of the celebrant, including its multiplicity of canons, its optional hymns, etc., etc.

    The form of the TLM is simply the form of the TLM. I think there are tweaks and changes that could be made to it, and I would not mind having the propers in some masses in the vernacular for the many clergy and laity who are severely deficient in Latin. But the form is not the property of the priest; the form is the property of the Church and tradition and hence, of Our Lord. What people want is not the language, and not a better celebration of a rite that has to be “reformed” even though it’s only 40 years old; what people want is the form that directs them to God and stands on 2000 years of tradition.

  182. Rafael Cresci says:

    Fr Z: a) “Is the growing use of the TLM going to shove the Novus Ordo in LATIN completely into oblivion?”
    b) “Given the analogy I started with, and given the discussion that followed, if we can say that in one sense, the newer Mass is “easier”, I now wonder if “easier” does not make the whole point of Holy Mass actually harder to access? Does “easier” make it harder to encounter mystery? Provoking awe at transcendence?”
    c) “Here I go back in a circle: Some say that the more the Novus Ordo is celebrated like the Tridentine Mass, the better it is. Better at what? Bringing about awe at transcendence?”

    I’m going to reply this based on practical and current issues and situations when possible.
    For question (a): No, it will not. The NO Latin mass is the standard for most “conservative” groups like Opus Dei or the Legionaries of Christ/Regnum Christi, or SOME Jesuits. They hold a view of a “Roman Standard” that is universal and avoid to promote “localization”, and such groups are growing in numbers every day, at least here in Brazil. The Charismatics are also starting slowly to appreciate latin in Mass (being it celebrated in any of the two forms) because it just brings in the “unintelligible transcendent” element (Padre Pio’s spirituality and recent canonization brought in to tradition or to a tradition-friendly position many of them, as they were attached to a devotion of him and now that he is canonized, it simply made them know more about the life of the saint and his preference for the TLM), and that further brings in the (b) point:
    The Latin NO is “easier” for priests in the learning curve because it is the rite they currently celebrate in and no extra learning is required. As for people, you can have the latin NO as a connecting point between the TLM and the vernacular NO, and for those who carry the old concept of “virtus in medio”. Those see the latin NO as the “medium” point, not leaning towards a “progressism” that leads to those postconciliar disasters, nor towards a “nasty” “traditional-ism” that is flagged by some extremist people or groups that simply try to disconnect the people from their reality.
    It needs not in fact to be the whole liturgy in latin, most of these conservative people are satisfacted with only smelling the incense and the ordinary singing in gregorian or plainchant in latin instead of guitars and drums. The use of latin in the rest of the rite is welcome but they won’t whine if it is in vernacular, as long as it is not “shouted” nor “interpreted” by the priest as if it was a theatrical act where he is the protagonist dissimulative actor. They force in the Latin when they see a lot of abuses happening in the vernacular, to be a counterposition and balance the things.
    The NO Latin mass is really useful for converting the people’s spirituality from a modernist-mind to a more Catholic mind. It is working already, and works as an acceptable alternative to those whose brain is already washed by the progressist arguments against the Traditional mass. No one celebrates (at last where I’ve seen) the NO in Latin with irreverence or disrespect, in contrary, they normally are more sober and solemn and prayerful than the vernacular ones as there IS the smell of sacred in the air.
    As for (c), I think that would be more of a fake simulation than to be a useful resource. The
    non-traditionalist conservatives will run away because of the “back to the people” and “too silent”, the progressists will run from it because it is “in latin” and with the “back to the people”, and the traditionalists will run from it because it is “the devilish masonic lutheran protestant ritual” and not the “original” formula, not caring in what language that is. Practical result: it will be emptier than the NO and the TLM not only in numbers but in content. Esthetically it simply “doesn’t fit”, and we have already tried to do some trials on those in the parish, with all sets possible, from mixing TLM and NO elements (like the introductory prayers done in the sacristy then proceeding with NO mass and the leonine prayers after the prayer after communion), or using the TLM offertory and bell sets in the NO mass, or the priest doing all the movements of the TLM in the NO “versus populum” and it simply made a revolt at the people. It was easier to celebrate the NO fully in latin and separately celebrate the TLM in its own time schedule, both parish groups got satisfied and no strange mass was being celebrated and no reason for the bishop coming in for a hard time with father (as some parishioners threatened while he was experimenting with mixing the rituals) was being given.

  183. peregrinator says:

    Fr. Z et al.,

    I’ve stumbled on this discussion rather late in the game, and have attempted to read all the previous posts but have probably done so in too much of a hurry.

    By way of full disclosure: A poster towards the beginning of this thread mentioned St. Margaret Mary’s in Oakland, California. I am a (young) product of that parish from Baptism to Confirmation and have attended the N.O. in Latin (there and elsewhere) for the bulk of my life. I also know enough Latin follow both the N.O. and the TLM.

    So the question is: “Given the analogy I started with, and given the discussion that followed, if we can say that in one sense, the newer Mass is “easier”, I now wonder if “easier” does not make the whole point of Holy Mass actually harder to access?

    I deeply but respectfully disagree with the analogy in the original post and with the majority of the posters here who support it. As someone else has already mentioned
    this discussion involves both the issue of the changes in the structure and prayers of the Mass following Vatican II and the value of the Mass (either Form) in Latin.

    My opinion isn’t particularly well-educated and I’m certainly not qualified to discuss some of the theological issues that arise when examining changes to the prayers of the Mass, but on the basis of the profound effect the liturgy has had on me, I think that to describe the NO in Latin as “easier to access” and “watered down” is not accurate.

    Another poster has described the NO as being “obsessed with the congregation’s responses.” This seems to me a misunderstanding. To me the dialogue form of the NO, particularly in Latin, is of immense value. Fr. Z frequently posts audio of Latin prayers, in order to help priests learn them. Because I have been able to speak and to hear the prayers of the Mass all my life, I know them. As a female layperson, I will never pray the Roman Canon aloud but I know it almost by heart and it, along with the other prayers of the Mass, has become fodder and fuel for meditation and for my own prayer life. Part of learning a language, even a dead one is hearing and speaking it; I would never have learned the prayers so well if I grew up with the silent Canon and never chanted the responses.

    The words of the liturgy are (I think!) meant to lead us into the Mystery of the Mass; I find that the act of hearing and speaking the words of the Mass makes them, for me, anyway, more effective in doing so. So, I don’t think it’s correct to say that “easier”[makes] the whole point of Holy Mass actually harder to access?

    I don’t think this is all there is to say on the subject; however, as my arguments aren’t expert by any means (and I don’t want to make this much longer :-p ) I’ll leave it at that.

    Will the TLM drive out the Latin NO? I hope not. Happily, I think many of my fellows who grew up in my parish think the same way (I’m heartened when I see them still attend the parish now with their own children) and I think there are enough of us to keep it alive at St. Margaret Mary’s at least.

  184. vox borealis says:

    This will be my last, very late post on the subject. Will the TLM drive out the Latin NO? I predict not, at least not in the foreseeable future. In the last few years I have attended mass regularly at a few parishes, and once in awhile at many others. Two trends have struck me. First, the troubling irreverence and ‘funny business’ at a large number or parishes, with many abuses far more widespread than I saw in the 1970s. Second, and perhaps surprisingly, I have seen more and more Latin making its way into parts of the mass. Maybe just the Agnus Dei, or the choir’s Gloria at the sung mass–or the sometimes largely Latin NO on EWTN and the parish I now attend and at papal masses on TV. Whatever the venue, I have seen more Latin in the NO in the last 5 years or so than I did in the previous 20 or 30 years combined.

    So, I predict again what I have predicted many times above: in the short and medium term we will witness increased liturgical pluralism (And perhaps greater ‘consumerism’ to use Michigancatholic’s term). Some parish will continue to spin into wackiness, others will embrace the extraordinary form, and the vast majority will fall in the middle. And this will include, I predict, more (not less) Latin in the NO in many parishes.

    Whether this is a good development or not, or the broader ramifications of this development–should it play out as I predict–I will leave for others to debate.

  185. Isaac says:

    Dear all,

    I know I ‘promised’ to back off, but after 1 day, I saw how the thread was moving
    and perhaps Fr. Z and others, in particular michigan catholic would like to
    know that I am beginning to have second thoughts. I think this will benefit
    everyone, because I still think many people are not really answering the question
    but stating their preferences mainly.

    Whither the NO in Latin?
    For years, I think it’s also because of the exile of traditionalism and the
    ROTR from mainstream liberals, that both sides had their icons. ROTR = Novus Ordo
    Latin and Trads: Their indult masses. Post SP Traditionalism is made more
    accessible. For 40 years, those who have wanted to maintain the sanity of being
    in the New Rite church (I don’t mean that these are less holy/ in the mind of
    the church) saw the Novus Ordo in Latin as the next best thing to the Old Rite,
    since the indults were rare and had a stigma attached to it.

    By God’s grace the traditional portion of the cake is just much larger now, so we
    are all trying to find a divide. If you can imagine pre SP as having three parts
    to the cake the clown masses to solely vernacular masses are one part,
    the novus ordo in latin the next, and the TLM as the last.

    Fr. Z is absolutely spot on when he says that the TLM is the gold standard. You
    simply cannot deny that the Novus Ordo in Latin had the TLM in mind when they
    tried to add any crevice in the NO with the rubrics in the old, simply because
    in the absence of any legislation or rubrics, tridentinizing the NO was the best
    thing one could do. While the NO was ‘designed’ in Latin, more and more I am
    having to admit to myself that it was clearly desired by the Consilium to be
    celebrated in the vernacular. Leave SC out of it because the Consilium was not
    truly faithful to Vatican II. That Latin is the norm in Novus Ordo is merely
    lip service that the Consilium owed to the Holy See.

    Many parishes are starting to wonder now: if the TLM is the gold standard, why
    persist in the Novus Ordo in Latin when you can get SO MUCH MORE in the TLM? Please
    forgive me when I say this but we have tried to reinfuse tradition in the NO to
    make a pseudo TLM in the past. I think it was worth it. It was a temporary measure
    prior to the SP. But I can completely understand why many former NO Latin-ers
    are changing. My earlier accusation of the ‘new’ trads abandoning the NO stands
    corrected.

    Thus, in light of my explanation above, YES, the NO in Latin will become rarer
    and will evaporate. That’s how I see it. These aren’t my preferences as how
    I’d like it to go.

    But,

    Since I do have a small soft spot for the Novus Ordo, I think (and this is where
    michigan catholic and I get into logger heads), the only way the ROTR-ers can
    save this rite from destruction is to pressure the Holy See to:

    - withdraw permission for it to be in the vernacular
    - to reinstate stricter rules with penalties and clamp down on non traditional
    practices apart from the texts (though they are novelties). This means ban communion
    in the hand, freestanding altar, make traditional altar ‘settings’ law.
    - add prayers like Judica me,Last Gospel and Libera nos…

    I don’t presume to know how this can be done. The part that some may find quite
    a self contradiction on my part is when I say that I do not think there’s any
    point saving the NO in Latin at this rate unless we do as I suggested above AND
    that the Holy See has in mind a place for this “Pauline Rite” to develop as a
    rite organically and distinctly from the TLM. There’s no point trying to make
    a pseudo TLM rite in the NO. People just want the best. Certainly the NO can be
    influenced by it but we now have to be prepared for a ‘new’ optional rite that
    has to chart its own life. It has to be useful to the Church if it does not die
    out naturally.

    So, for the timebeing, tridentinizing the NO in Latin is a temporary measure to
    keep what little loopholes in the Novus Ordo as Catholic as we can make it to
    ensure that Catholicism, essentially survives in the Novus Ordo world. But
    after a while the ROTR’s and TLM will have to chart their own spiritual desires
    in the mass distinctly if they want to keep their sections of the pie.

    Thank God for the SP, but this is the time where sides will be taken, only this
    time i don’t think we’ll be arguing about which Roman Rite is better, since I
    believe that we will gradually come around to admitting that the TLM is in fact
    the perpetual Roman Rite and the Novus Ordo, a chance/beginning of a different rite.
    But now, we can choose so we don’t have to argue which mass is better. It’s better
    to keep it separate (if at all) but reverent and conservative.

    Regards,
    Isaac.

  186. London Calling says:

    I, too, will make this my last comment in a long and interesting conversation. I have three things to add.

    The first is that it’s disappointing that people feel they have to say “the Novus Ordo is inferior, even though we may grudgingly admit that it’s valid” again and again and again and again. That theme has taken up a lot of space on this post: Pope Paul VI was “arrogant”, Bugnini, Mass attendance down, etc. Those of us who disagree won’t be convinced by this vain repetition, nor does it shed much light on the question Fr Z originally posed: should we view the Novus Ordo as a lower step on a developmental staircase that runs up to the TLM? I answer in the negative; the ‘lobster and steak’ analogy works better for me. But why repeat all the old Novus-bashing arguments?

    The second is to respond to Andrew’s post: there are, here at least, a good number of celebrations in the Ordinary Form that are done entirely in Latin except for the readings, homily, and (sometimes) the prayers of the faithful. At the Oratory they sometimes go a step further and sing the Gospel in Latin, with no English reading at all. The Association for Latin Liturgy, website http://www.latin-liturgy.org.uk, maintains a directory of Latin Masses, with a key that runs from “mostly English with bits of Latin” to “all in Latin” and also includes Tridentine. Is there a drift in the direction of the Tridentine? I haven’t seen it yet, not in this diocese. It may be that, with our next Archbishop and under the influence of the Holy Father, we will move in that direction; it may be that we will move toward a ‘mixed economy’. Time will tell.

    And my third comment is to agree with Fr William: I don’t think that the Novus Ordo in Latin will disappear. Rather, a ‘mixed economy’ will prevail, with the Latin Novus Ordo playing a special role in places where the faithful speak many languages and the TLM bringing greater reverence to the Church’s liturgy in all of its forms. Our Holy Father is like the wise head of household in Matthew 13.52 who, instructed in the kingdom of heaven, brings from his treasury both the new and the old.

    Whichever way it goes I will take it as an expression of the profound inner wisdom of the Church operating as a whole: the same wisdom that brought us the Novus Ordo, the same wisdom that brought us Summorum Pontificum. The important thing, the one thing needed, is not to be a Novus Ordo Catholic or a Vetus Ordo Catholic. It is to be Catholic.

  187. RBrown says:

    The Latin of the NO is the definitive version, the Urtext, of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite – it is not just any old language version of any old form of Mass, but absolutely and uniquely central to all worship in the Roman Rite, whether one likes it or not. Those who would ditch it because a Latin Mass more in accordance with their preferences is now available thus show a contempt for the Rite as a whole – a contempt which I am afraid I hear echoed in your “baby food”/”goop” analogies.
    Comment by fr william

    1. Hard to miss the irony of the use of the word urtext and the German influence in Vat II.

    2. Is the Latin NO the definitive version of the Roman Rite? It seems I have to restate the following comment every few months.

    Juridically, it is certainly to be considered the Roman Rite because it was promulgated by the Bishop of Rome. But the identity of the Church cannot be circumcribed by the juridical authority of the pope. And so, we must ask:

    Is it historically the Roman Rite? Partly yes but mostly no.

    Yes, because it contains elements of the historical Roman Rite, e.g., the 1st Eucharistic Prayer, which is the Roman Canon (albeit with some changes).

    No, for various reasons:

    First, it uses an offertory not found in the Roman Rite used for 500 years, nor in the rite of the ancient Roman Church–and for that matter, not in the Gelasian Sacramentary. The NO offertory prayers bear a striking resemblance to the Jewish prayers at Passover.

    Second, it contains many elements which are not to be found in the historical Roman Rite. This includes not only the aforementioned Offertory but also all Eucharistic prayers except #1.

    Third, celebrants are discouraged from using the 1st Eucharistic Prayer, i.e., the Roman Canon.

  188. Simon Platt says:

    London Calling linked to a listing of Latin masses in Britain provided by the Association for Latin Liturgy. This included some traditional masses. But beware! The information for the north west of England is several years out of date. Some of the masses listed have been discontinued, and several regular traditional masses are not listed. There are similar problems with the listings for some other parts of the country with which I have some familiarity. The listing at the Latin Mass Society web site (http://www.latin-mass-society.org/masses.htm) is more reliable, although this also is unable to keep completely up to date as new traditional masses are being scheduled under the provisions of Summorum Pontificum.

  189. Simon Platt says:

    Father’s first question was:

    Will the Novus Ordo simply drift more or less totally into being the “vernacular Mass”?

    This happened years ago, surely? Even without Summorum Pontificum traditional Latin masses far outnumbered novus ordo masses in Latin, at least in those parts of England with which I am familiar.

    His second question was:

    Given post-Conciliar devastation of Latin in the liturgy, should we simply forget about Latin with the Novus Ordo?

    Surely not! All the reasons that make Latin important for the traditional liturgy surely apply to the novus ordo too.

    Latin really has disappeared from the novus ordo mass for most catholics. More Latin would be good in itself – for example, as a sign of unity across nations and centuries – and I think that a greater familiarity with liturgical Latin in the novus ordo might help ordinary catholics approaching the traditional mass for the first time.

    Father also said:

    If Mass doesn’t not bring us to mystery, we are missing the mark. Given the analogy I started with, and given the discussion that followed, if we can say that in one sense, the newer Mass is “easier”, I now wonder if “easier” does not make the whole point of Holy Mass actually harder to access?

    I feel something similar. At a typical novus ordo mass, it requires a conscious effort to remind oneself (at least, myself) of what is really happening. I don’t know whether that’s the rite at fault or the ceremonies. It has never been a problem for me at a traditional mass, and I thank God that, for now at least, the traditional mass is available to me. If the novus ordo mass could be routinely celebrated more worthily, that would surely bring benefits to ordinary catholics. I think that increased use of Latin might play a part here.

    So, (i) there could hardly be less Latin in the novus ordo, and (ii) more Latin would be better.

  190. Henry Edwards says:

    RBrown: celebrants are discouraged from using the 1st Eucharistic Prayer, i.e., the Roman Canon.

    Rarely a week goes by without my hearing the Roman Canon at least once at a Novus Ordo Mass. Certainly on every major feast or solemmity. Every day within an octave of Easter or Pentecost. (Several years ago I thanked my pastor for this during an octave, and he replied “We’re supposed to”.)

    And when I hear a Latin Novus Ordo, it’s almost always the Roman Canon. EP III on occasion, but never EP II or IV in Latin.

    Who do you think is discouraging celebrants from using the Roman Canon? (Evidently those I frequent haven’t heard about this and — whatever your answer — I’m going to keep it a secret.)

  191. Folks: Keep in mind in this discussion that if Fr. X, or a whole troop of Fr. X’s, “discourage” use of any part of the legitimately promulgated Novus Ordo, in Latin, that is not the fault of the Novus Ordo. It is the fault of those priests, etc. Similarly, if you hear lousy music all the time, the fault is not that of the Novus Ordo: blame the people choosing the music.

    I offer this reminder with full awareness that actual practice is what we are trying to get at here. Will, in fact, the Novus Ordo simply slide into the vernacular for good now that the older Mass is derestricted?

    Also, for those who (above) misread by questions and responded (effectively) with and ad hominem attack. I have been pushing for years the Novus Ordo in Latin, while putting good translations in people’s hands.

    Still, I am fascinated about this, especially when I hear that celebrations of the older Mass are multiplying and in some places where the Novus Ordo was in Latin, that Mass has shifted to the TLM, not the Novus Ordo any longer. In no way am I criticizing that change: after all, it is hard to find fault with the decision in light of the Motu Proprio. It is hard to say we can’t prefer a Mass celebrated for centuries to one celebrated for less than 40 years. Moreover, the men making that decision are smart and well-informed. I know some of them personally. I understand what they are doing.

    Still… there seems to be a trend.

  192. Sean says:

    All this talk about urtext makes me wonder what kind of stemma the historical-critical people might create to explain the transmission of the 1962 and 1970 missals into the future. Considering the significant differences between them perhaps they would see a long parallel development from an urtext they can proudly reveal no less than Jesus’s lost shopping list from the Last Supper. Worse still, ‘correcting’ matters by creating a 2570 (CE of course!) Neo Novus Ordo missal from it. Are you testing me Satan?

  193. Bert says:

    I am a priest, ordained in 1978 in Rome, who has always celebrated Mass according to the traditional Roman Rite. On occasion I have celebrated the old Mass partly in the vernacular, with Communion only kneeling and upon the tongue, when needed to fill in for a priest at a Novus Ordo Mass. I ahve always said that i would rather celebrate the Old Mass in the vernacular, rather than the New Mass in Latin. It is not merely a questin of language: it is a question of Rite, of Rubircs, of Ceremony, of Vestments, of Spirituality, of Orientation, of Tradition, of Piety, of Orthodoxy, of Reverence and Sacrality. On all these points the Novus Ordo fails, even in Latin.

  194. Bert says:

    Enfin, my proposal is this: why not allow the Traditional Mass to be translated into official vernacular versions for liturgical use on weekdays only, for example? Or, partly in the vernacular, during a weekday sung Mass, in which the Kyriale would be sung in Latin, but the readings read in the vernacular, the orations and some other prayers recited in the vernacular? This would satisfy those catholics used to the Novus Ordo, but who would really prefer a more ”sacral” vernacular translation and the traditional Mass ceremonies, and would favour learning to understand the Traditional LIturgy by being able to attend it in a partly-or-wholly-vernacular edition on weedkays. Also, i would propose to restrict the Low Mass to truly private Masses of Priest with altar servers only, and to insist upon the Sung or Solemn Mass when the faithful are present, esp. on Sundays. A low Tridentine Mass is subjectively not much better than a Novus Ordo Mass.

  195. RBrown says:

    Who do you think is discouraging celebrants from using the Roman Canon? (Evidently those I frequent haven’t heard about this and—whatever your answer—I’m going to keep it a secret.)
    Comment by Henry Edwards

    No need to keep it a secret. It’s public knowledge.

    From the GIRM (1975)

    22. The choice of the eucharistic prayer may be guided by the following norms.

    a. Eucharistic Prayer I, the Roman Canon, which may be used on any day, is particularly apt on days when there is a special text for the prayer, In union with the whole Church or in Masses that have a special form of the prayer, Father, accept this offering; also on the feasts of the apostles and saints mentioned in it and on Sundays, unless for pastoral considerations another eucharistic prayer is preferred.

    b. Eucharistic Prayer II has features that make it particularly suitable for weekdays and special circumstances.

    Although it has its own preface, it may also be used with other prefaces, especially those that summarize the mystery of salvation, such as the Sunday prefaces or the common prefaces.

    When Mass is celebrated for a dead person, the special formulary may be inserted in the place indicated, namely, before the intercession, Remember our brothers and sisters.

    c. Eucharistic Prayer III may be said with any preface. Its use is particularly suited to Sundays and holydays.

    The special formulary for a dead person may be used with this prayer in the place indicated, namely, at the prayer, In mercy and love unite all your children.

    d. Eucharistic Prayer IV has a fixed preface and provides a fuller summary of the history of salvation. It may be used when a Mass has no preface of its own.

    Of the four, only the second is recommended for weekdays.

  196. Bert:  It is not merely a questin of language: it is a question of Rite, of Rubircs, of Ceremony, of Vestments, of Spirituality, of Orientation, of Tradition, of Piety, of Orthodoxy, of Reverence and Sacrality. On all these points the Novus Ordo fails, even in Latin.

    Let me understand this.  The vestments fail?  The orientatiion?  How does the use of a Roman style vestment fail in the Novus Ordo?  How does eastward orientation fail in the Novus Ordo?  How does ceremony fail in the Novus Ordo?

     

    Can people not get it into their heads that virtually all of the traditional traditional things like orientation, language, music, ornamentation, bells and incense, etc., can and should be used in the Novus Ordo?   Can people not get it into their heads that the older form of Mass does not have to be celebrated in a particular style of vestment?   Modern music could be composed for use in the TLM as well.

    We cannot and must not tolerate a “fly in Amber” Church.  This is not Jurassic Park. 

    I fully understand and accept that a priest would rather celebrate the older form of Mass in any language, were that permitted, rather than say the Novus Ordo.  I can see reasons for that.  However, let’s get our heads around the styles of vestments, the individual reverence of the priest celebrating Mass with any book, etc.

  197. RBrown says:

    NB: The last line (Of the four . . . ) is my own comment.

  198. michigancatholic says:

    Bert,

    Would that not open it up to the abuses which have tortured the N.O? BTW, I believe what you are doing is either doing a 1965 type dialogue mass, which is not allowed–or mixing rites, which is not allowed.

    I beleive that if the CDW saw fit, they could allow a separate version–an approved vernacular translation, of which there is not currently an official one. That translation could conceivably be used instead of the TLM. It could be a good idea; I leave taht to them to decide. But to mix the forms or just contemporaneously translate on your own steam or from some old book from the attic is wrong and not allowed for absolutely good reason. It opens the door to anything and everything and the church has forbidden it.

    This is the Roman Catholic Mass we’re talking about here, which is solely the property of the Church, not some skit one might put on to get something off one’s chest or make a point. The Mass is not the property of the priest–if the priest takes the mass and uses it for his own ends, he steals it. If a priest uses the mass for his own ends, it’s very bit as much theft as a factory worker who steals parts to put on ebay–ie to use for his own ends. It’s theft. It might even be well-meaning theft, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that it’s still theft.

  199. EVERYONE: I think this has run its course. We can’t keep this on topic anymore.