From a priest reader:
I hope priests continue to write in. I would like their contributions to be a regular feature here.
I am a pastor who recently began offering Mass in the Extraordinary Form.
In fact, today marked my third Sunday! I have a reflection on my experience that I’d like to share with you. It is, perhaps, related to the story on the altar rail you posted recently. [Here and here.]
Offering Mass in the EF is difficult. I think I spent a few hours learning the OF. In fact, in a couple of hours, anyone could learn to do all the page turning and gestures of the OF. On the other hand, I spent probably 20 to 30 hours learning the EF.
Also, you would have the add the three years I spent studying Latin in the Seminary.
My point is simply this: whether consciously or unconsciously, there is no one in the congregation who could say "I could do that."
In the EF the priest and the people would sense more strongly that the priest is doing something out of the ordinary (no pun intended); that he is doing something that no one else could do.
This practical reality helps to disclose his ontological reality. Just thought I’d share that with you.
Thanks for that! And keep up the good work!
In his observation that the Ordinary Form is so simple that anyone could learn to do it in a short period of time, the writer brings to my mind a serious error made by those who support the ordination of women and those who don’t grasp what a "minister" is the in Catholic sense.
Priesthood and ministry are not merely grounded in "doing stuff". If that were the case, then it would make sense to put in those positions the people who do the better job of it. Saying Mass, or being a minister in the deeper sense goes beyond simply being the one who can do the job better than others who might have been chosen.
I think this could also apply to the "altar girl"/server issue. Just because some girls could do a better job serving than some boys of the same age doesn’t mean that it is a good thing for girls to serve Mass.
At a certain point we must check ourselves to see if we are falling into this trap when we consider ministry in the Church.