From a reader:
A TLM community blog included the following entry. Is it correct in asserting that everyone, everywhere has a right to a nuptial or funeral TLM?
"It is also important to remember that anyone, at any parish, anywhere is entitled to a Traditional Latin Mass for their marriage or their funeral. ….. Tell your friends! Perhaps they don’t know that they are entitled to be married and even buried the same way their family has been for centuries."
I don’t know what blog that might have been, but my inclination is to say NO, we do not have the right to a nuptial or funeral TLM. We have the right to a nuptial or a funeral Mass, but not necessarily a TLM.
Because this gets into an area for which I am not expertly trained, I consulted a canonist I trust.
Here is his answer, which strikes me as on the mark (my emphases).
Personally, I think it’s unfortunate that our legal system went in the direction of "rights" full bore after the Council. To me it always seems a bit…American, maybe?… to talk about rights and the sacraments.
That said, I think it’s a stretch to maintain that Summorum pontificum has given the faithful the right to have the sacraments or funerals celebrated according to the usus antiquior. They certainly have the right to request that, and the right to expect that their request will be treated with respect. They don’t have the right to force a priest to celebrate an EF wedding or funeral against his will, nor do they have the right to expect that the bishop will produce a priest out of thin air to provide them with the fulfillment of their desire.
The law establishes that all the faithful (not just the lay faithful) have "the right to worship God according to the prescripts of their own rite approved by the legitimate pastors of the Church" (c. 214). Since our rite now includes both an ordinary and extraordinary form, I don’t see how a priest who provided the ordinary form of the liturgy, properly celebrated, could be seen as violating the right of the faithful who request a funeral or wedding. Article 9 of SP gives the pastor the right to utilize the former ritual "bono animarum suadente," which places the discretion clearly in his hands, not in the hands of those who request it for themselves.
I also maintain, that if we talk about rights, we need to speak in equal voice about obligations and responsibilities – the faithful have a responsibility to foster and encourage vocations, to support their pastors, to maintain full communion with the Church, to evangelize, to assist the poor, etc (see cc. 208ff).
It’s important that we not start looking at the Church as some entity outside of ourselves, from whom we demand the sacraments according to our need.
I think that is a well-balanced answer.
I am certainly in great sympathy with those who want the TLM not only for special occasions, but for everyday worship. But that will come about only if in the future we have fostered vocations and given proper support to our legitimate aspirations.