What happens when we get out of the way

I am convinced that if we simply follow the liturgical books, say the texts and carry out the gestures properly, in a style continuous with our tradition, the Church’s liturgy has power the capture minds and hearts and transform them.

I starting forming this conviction before I became a Catholic through my experience of Novus Ordo Masses done in an entirely Roman traditional style, closely following the books. 

The late Msgr. Richard Schuler would eventually articulate to me in words what I was experiencing in the church.  "Just do what the Council asked… do what the Church asks."

Why is worship well executed according to the mind of the Church so effective? 

Christ is the true Actor in the sacred action of the Church’s worship.  He makes our hands and voices His own as He raises our petitions and offerings to the Father for His glory and our salvation.

Christ’s Holy Church has determined the way by which we may have this encounter with mystery in the liturgy, be taken up in the sacred action.

Pope Benedict addresses this in his highly ignored Sacramentum caritatis.  He teaches sacred ministers about ars celebrandi, our purpose and comportment.

We must learn to get out of His way.

Although we have the right to our Rite celebrated as the Church desires, liturgy is not about me or us or even you in the pews.

All of this is a preamble to a note sent me by a priest friend overseas (edited):

Fr. Z,  I have a story to tell and I am not bragging at all but my point is simply how good it is just doing things the way they should be done without putting one’s personality in the forefront

A lady came to my Sunday Mass just this last Sunday and she stopped by the sacristy to tell me that I say the Mass better than any priest in ____.  We have 7 priests here in total.  I had never seen or spoken to her before so any partiality is non existent.  Also, the Saturday evening before, I said the evening Mass in another town … and after Mass an elderly lady said to me, "What a beautiful Mass.  We’ve never seen such a nice Mass and to think! .. We had to get it from an American!" 

I am not bragging because I didn’t do anything special.  I say Mass soberly and simply preach.  I am truly convinced that less personality is better and is liberating during the Mass except when showing enthusiasm for Catholicity and all its realities during the homily.  I owe a great deal of my formation to you for I learned the Mass on my own and my attitude was formed in a very large part through my disposition and the truths of liturgy that you have taught.

This not a hard formula friends.

All we need to do is what the Church asks.

We just pass on what we have received.

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53 Responses to What happens when we get out of the way

  1. joe says:

    So the question naturally arises…WHY do some people (laity and priests) find it so difficult to grasp with this subject?

  2. Martin says:

    Because they don’t read Fr Z’s blog? =p

    But seriously, I wish my local priests would read Fr Z’s blog. Of only…

  3. I know exactly what this means. I attended a Mass once where this happened. When the priest bowed his head just before the words of consecration, at that moment, it was not him at all at the altar, but — well, Him. It could be felt. And this is exactly how I put it to myself when I thought about it: the priest got out of Christ’s way.

  4. Incidentally, I don’t think it’s necessary at all to feel such a thing. We can always know it by faith. But this experience served as a needed reminder.

  5. Rachel says:

    I was about to ask the same question Joe. Why is it soooo difficult? Could it be the way we were taught as children, especially in this culture that prizes the here and now, entertainment and above all–instant gratification? I am more convinced that we have completely lost the virtue of delayed gratification, silence, and contemplation. Instead, its all about “me, me, me.” My needs. My desires. So, everything that we experience in our lives, sadly within the Church herself has been geared to entertaining us and “validating” our feelings. That of course, is not what the Faith is about, especially in regard to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass where Our Lord Jesus Christ is offering Himself to the Father. The priest is the vessel. Hence, it is useful for him to humbly face the altar, adoring God together with the rest of us.

    In order for many to get it, they have to have a complete paradigm shift in thinking. It requires submersing themselves into a completely different world view. Into a different culture. I recognized this when I was still a protestant. I knew that if I was to become a Catholic that it would require a complete shift in thinking and culture for me. So, I went all the way. Anything less was not acceptable.

  6. Ann says:

    Oh, that is just beautiful. It is so wonderful a vision in the mind of churches everywhere following the liturgical books neatly and without theatricals. Every action, every word in its place, freeing up the participants to focus through the present into the timeless now of the heavenly liturgy.

    Just beautiful.

  7. priest up north says:

    Amen!

  8. QuaerereDeum says:

    But Fr. Z, didn’t you say you almost celebrate EF these days ?
    Isn’t it contradictory ?

  9. MenTaLguY says:

    Obedience has very distinct fruit.

  10. Dino says:

    An old saying:
    When all else fails, follow the directions.

  11. Geoffrey says:

    Amen!

    I once complimented two priests on how wonderfully and beautifully they said Mass. One responded with a blank stare of shock before managing “thank you”. The other said “Oh, well thank you… I try!”

    What did they do? They followed the rubrics!

  12. Tominellay says:

    …a great post, Fr. Z…You had me on the first sentence…

  13. Irish says:

    Joe asks why some people find it so difficult to grasp this subject. One word:

    Pride.

    We are fallen creatures and we’ve made ourselves into little gods. And petty tyrants.

    Pride. The gateway sin.

  14. Margaret says:

    I think the celebrant can take one of two attitudes towards the Mass: either it is already intrinsically of infinite value and beauty, and everything else– music, gestures, demeanor, etc– flows from and reflects that; or the Mass is something we the people (cuz after all, we are Church!) need to “make special.” You can tell the latter right away because of all the extras– drums, legions of “lay ministers,” gather the kiddies up at the altar, etc.– that need to be thrown in to make the Mass “special.”

  15. Henry says:

    Ann: …following the liturgical books neatly and without theatricals. Every action, every word in its place …

    Precisely how the (Novus Ordo) Mass in my parish was celebrated this morning. Everything absolutely perfect from the moment the priest processed in silently carrying the chalice in its veil topped with burse, wearing Roman vestments, his eyes downcast — indeed, no eye contact with the congregation was apparent at any time during the Mass — until he recessed in similar silence at the end of Mass. Whenever he addressed God, even from the \”chair\” (e.g., the opening prayer and the confiteor) he turned to face the altar directly, rather than the people. For the consecration, he bowed deeply over the Host to enunciate the words of consecration slowly and distinctly. At the elevation, he raised the Host very slowly as high as he could reach and held it long enough for 3 distinct rings of the bells, before lowering it equally slowly; similarly with the Chalice. His brief sermon — about how the \”Holy Sacrifice of the Mass\” (which exact phrase he mention 3 times in hardly a minute and a half) is necessary the redeem the world of Creation — was beautiful and even poetic in emphasizing how necessary it is for us to offer sacrifice to God, which Holy Sacrifice alone joins us in communion. Probably half the 40 or so present received on the tongue. In short, every moment of the Mass was quietly reverent and solemn by any standard, whether old Mass or new Mass. At no point did the personality of the priest intrude on the person of Christ for whom he was acting. His every gesture was precise and careful as his words — for instance, bowing his head at every mention of the Holy Name throughout the Mass. I realize that this type of daily Mass is not typical of most local parishes.

  16. Tzard says:

    “We just pass on what we have received.”

    That’s one reason you’re called a “Father”.

  17. Compare to poetry. Sure, you can have freeform poetry with no rules, but the really good poetry is brought to perfection precisely because it conforms to some set of rules, be they rhyming, meter, or otherwise. Likewise, the liturgy is the epitome of worship, and a good liturgy is good because it conforms to the limitations intrinsic to the rite.

    We’ve seen what happens when poetry has no rules (c.f the inauguration), and what happens when liturgical rules are thrown out the window.

  18. momoften says:

    This is so true. I am blessed to know a priest that celebrates the NO so reverently. He is a true model for HOW the NO should be celebrated. He is an older priest in the Detroit area, and I wish I could attend his Masses more frequently. Everytime he finishes Consecration he has to stop to wipe the tears from his face. They aren’t tears to entertain, but sincere tears of joy for what he does. Please pray for him as he has many ailments in his old age….he has brought MANY people back to the church!

  19. “We just pass on what we have received.”

    Sounds familiar. I remember a certain society bishop that said something similar. As a young person (and at 29, by elder brother knights call me “kid” still, so yes I am young), I grew up in the “Spirit of Vatican II” atmosphere. Particularly, my faith was formed, in what I think history will call the most destructive point in recent church history, the 80′s. The society had its issue (which is now resolved of course), and I really think thats the time that the progressivists really started digging their heals in. I approach it from a musical perspective, since thats what I know best. Alot of the aweful, inappropriate music came out during that period. Plus the very atmosphere of the 80′s was that of rebellion. Not alot of people realize that, there was a strong counterculture that developed out of the 80′s that is still developing. That unfortunately crept into the church as well. We were collectively so scared to honor our past, our traditions that we collectively did what we could to forget about it.

    Really, it comes down to passing on what we have recieved. That’s how the church started, and why it has such solidarity, even amongst people on both sides, who have tried to tear apart the church (unsucessfully). It worked for 1930 so years, all you need to do is do what you have always done, and you are good. That’s what the martyrs did, they simply passed on what they had learned. They didnt out of the blue decide something totally different. In the old days, those people were ran out of town as heritics. We seem to not like to use the “H” word now adays. Maybe its time we started calling a spade a spade

  20. John Enright says:

    Father Z. said “All we need to do is what the Church asks.” I agree, and I wish he put the sentence in bold type.

  21. FSB Agent says:

    I’m in my first year of pre-theology so I have a long way to go before ordination to the priesthood, God willing. But that is how I want to offer the sacrifice of the Mass. That is what I want: to decrease so that He may increase. I attend a seminary in a large Western Archdiocese, and it’s been made clear that we won’t be learning the Tridentine Mass here (not yet anyway; a lot can happen in the six years I have left.) My ex-girlfriend sent me a copy of the FSSP’s How-To DVD. I hope to be able to offer the Tridentine Mass some day. Even if I don’t receive any formal instruction in it here, I can offer the NO Mass in the manner described here. Supply will create its own demand :)

  22. paul says:

    Well said Father. If the clergy stick to the books- the laity will too. If the clergy want to get creative- be creative in the Homily. I would like to add clergy who don’t stick to the books encourage laity to be disobedient too.

  23. Joan Ellen says:

    “All we need to do is what the Church asks.” I, like some of you, see Bishops and priests doing this. Surely, they are living (and some dead) saints.

  24. mr. crouchback says:

    “I am convinced that if we simply follow the liturgical books, say the texts and carry out the gestures properly, in a style continuous with our tradition, the Church’s liturgy has power the capture minds and hearts and transform them.”

    Fr. Z, this is right on the money. The irony/tragedy is that priests who try to “improve” the liturgy by interjecting their own personalty into it only coarsen and diminish the mystery and beauty that is inherently there.

  25. Spot on.

    The Mass is one thing that does not require any “dressing up”. The many perversions which were never truly a part of Vatican II, have been utterly destructive. They are like inclusions in metal which can make it brittle (think of those cheap screws and tools that break….if you look at the microstructure, they are full of inclusions, which are impurities. It makes the metal weak! And, so it is with “impurities” or “inclusions” in the liturgy that are not meant to be there).

  26. Paul says:

    Spot on! A visiting priest friend of mine said his daily Mass in our Cathedral over the period of a recent short visit. Many people commented on how beautiful the Mass was. He was simply saying the black and doing the red. One woman commented that she hadn’t heard Mass like that in this place for thirty years!

  27. Sam Schmitt says:

    Michael Davies and others have said (I hope I got this right) that if priests simply followed the rubrics and did what the Church asked, there would have been far less anguish and upheaval on account of the liturgy following Vatican II. Still, it is not simply a matter of the priest desiring to follow the rubrics. Fr. Peter Stravinskas has written that he would die a happy priest if he could simply celebrate the mass of Paul VI as it was intended to be celebrated – which I take to mean that there are circumstances and pressures which are obstacles to his doing this (on a regular basis at least).

    I myself have gotten into the habit of keeping my head down or my eyes closed during most masses, sadly enough. I find that it is usually too distracting to watch what is going on at the altar – guessing at how he might alter the next prayer next (and wondering *why* he is doing it) can be distracting enough!

    If you actually look at all the rubrics in the mass (Novus Ordo), though they are less numerous and involved than the extraordinary form, you might be surprised. There are many that I almost never see done – bowing at the consecration, or at the “By the power of the Holy Spirit . . ” in the Creed, for example. The NO is not as “loose” as you might have been led to believe.

  28. Hugh says:

    Scott Hahn once wrote:

    “The Catholic Church is like a Lion;

    it doesn’t need us to defend it so much as it needs us

    to unlock its cage and let it out.

    Once out it can take care of itself.”

    Ditto for the liturgy.

  29. A simple piece of humility goes a long way.

  30. memoriadei says:

    Just doing what the Church says is a 2 way street. The priest could be a terrible homilist but if I, in the pew, have on the right mind, I would be open to the Holy Spirit reaching me through that homily, no matter how well it was spoken.

  31. A Random Friar says:

    I am going to try to present this from the other side: it seems to me, from talking to a number of faithful who want more “vibrant” (their word, generally) priests, is that they are looking at the priest as Christ but not so much as the Paschal Mystery, but as a friend and someone they want to like. They want an “accessible” and likable priest/Christ figure.

    The danger at Mass, beside perhaps leading to a too-low Christology, is that then the priest becomes Christ, but not as the priest “taking on” Christ. Rather, the entertaining, friendly, very human person of the priest may lead us to think of Christ as less-than-God, and perhaps, as someone whom we can influence, rather than the other way around. If the priest does not take the Sacrifice seriously… why should anyone?

    This is not to say that priests should be cold fish and aloof, remote from their parishioners, but that during the Sacraments, we would do better to let Christ act through us, rather than to try to “act out” who Christ is, or whom we think He *should* be.

    Humility in offering Mass inspires the thought among the faithful (hopefully) that, “Aha! The Mass is bigger than Fr. Bob! There is something important here!”

  32. Well said friar. Where we should think of Jesus as our friend (Benedict XVI refers to him as this), we have to remember he has the upper hand in the relationship.. he is God incarnate. That changes the perspective we have to have incredibly

  33. Jim Dorchak says:

    We have 7 priests here in total”

    We have 7 (COUNT SEVEN) Priests in total! At ONE 1 Church!

    That should be a sin. I think it is a sin. The sin of neglect and slouth.

    We have 1 “ONE” Priest for our 6,000 parishoners. That is ONE Priest for our whole parish.

    Jim Dorchak

  34. Maggie J. says:

    Amen, Father. It requires surrendering and obedience (as mentioned by others) which we find so hard to do.
    Thank you for posting.

  35. redo says:

    Totally agree with “A Random Friar “.

    I’m from a West Cost seminary that is becoming fairly middle of the road……from the holding hands around the altar, happy-clappy shout to the Lord and no kneeling days.

    BUT, the powers that be in this place still choose to (as Random Friar said) “act out” who Christ is.

    The priest described in your post sounds just like the right-wing Jesuit priest professor at my seminary…excellent priest!

    (And YES, there are some Orthodox Jesuits out there)

    Pray for us and all priest!

  36. Geri says:

    I once heard a “name brand” clinician/facilitator from the Liturgical-Industrial complex bemoan the lack of appreciation for the wonderful liturgies we musicians and “lay ministers” had, and this is the verb he used, “MADE” for our parishes.
    Oh, yeah… I’m going to “make” the Sacred Liturgy more meaningful.

    What day is today? I heard something about a speech…

    “We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
    But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground.”

    Hmmm…Wouldn’t it be something if all priests, liturgists and musicians had this humility in their approach to their actions in far, far more sacred arena than a battlefield in Pennsylvania

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

  37. Michael UK says:

    Whilst kicking my heels, waiting to attend an SSPX Mass in an hotel, I ventured into a close-by CofE cathedral. There was being celebrated a morning service [NOM High Mass equivalent] it occurred to that had the post-Vatican II adherents clergy celebrated Mass in a similar manner and demeanour perhaps matters might not have deteriorated to the extent they have.

    However, Latin is the mortar between the brickwork, binding one to another and intelligible to one and all.

  38. teresa says:

    Yes, the less personality the better.

    And that is why the progressives don’t like the TLM.

    I have seen a priest celebrating, he put himself in center and read the Gospel as if it was a drama.

    He preaches very long and like to tell us all his personal opinions, and left very little time for the mass it them, and read the mass in such a celebrity that you can rarely follow nor concentrate yourself.

    It is disgusting.

    I won’t go to him anymore.

  39. Bob says:

    The Mass at my parish could be irreverently characterized as the Jim and Jeannie show. The male member is the priest and the female is the Music person. We have some jokes, stories of my career kind. Jeannie provides a medley of piano and voice solos. Some like it some do not. Only show in town.

  40. LeonG says:

    The main problem with reverence and the other liturgical norms and values we would usually expect from a Roman Catholic Mass has been admirably intimated once by the Holy Father himself in that it is fabricated and has not developed organically. Unfortunately, you can do what you want with it even respecting the rubrics. As one who has worked seriously with both liturgical forms from within the ceremonial as musician, master of ceremonies and altar server, the NO permits too much liberal interpretation even with the rubrics. If we add the other liberal praxis of women on the sanctuary (which space no longer exists in many Sunday buildings), the not-so-extraordinary ministers of the eucharist and so on, ad infinitum, then the NO is at a severe loss to replace all that we can find in The Holy Mass in Latin.

    When I was in a parish in UK we had a youngish priest who said and sang the NO really well and we produced some wonderful liturgies fully respecting the rubrics as he was a stickler for this. However, many of the Masses still lacked the compelling worshipful atmosphere of a properly celebrated Holy Mass in Latin. There were times when it lapsed into its intended anthropocentric focus – lay readers; offertory procession; kiss of peace; popular handling of the Host and the temporal imbalance between the liturgy of the word and the Consecration which can often be 6:1 respectively, etc. While it is true a Latin Mass can be poorly said and sung it does not contain the same potential for the un-catholic behaviours we all too frequently witness in the “worship space” in modern Catholic buildings on Sunday.

  41. LeonG says:

    Michael UK
    Your interesting comment reminds me that in the early years of the liturgical revolution I used to go to an Anglican Church near my home as it was then. There in the Lady Chapel was a Anglican Mass ad orientam in Latin. It was always full and Communion was at the altar rail on the knees. It could have easily been mistaken for a Roman Catholic Mass.

  42. Vianney33 says:

    It would be wonderful if our priest would simply follow the rubrics as has been pointed out here. Like many who have posted, it is hard to concentrate when there is constant activity and noise during Mass. We get approximately 30 seconds of quite at the beginning of the Liturgy, then all h### breaks loose. First we have all the little kids run down to the “dance floor”, which is at the center of our stadium style “worship space”, for a kid homily then they march out to the “gathering space” for crayons and construction paper time. Sometimes they litterally come running back in at innappropriate times. After which they grab there food item and run up to the altar and slam dunk it into the food basket that is up in what would be considered the sanctuary, then of course run back to their seats. All the while everyone is smiling and laughing at their antics. We have the “little ringers” entertain us with thier multi-colored bells, a praise band that performs right behind the altar where the chior stage is. Our priest in in such a hurry after the consecration that he often times drops hosts on the floor so all the while I am watching to make sure someone picks them up. One time my wife had to go up and pick one up because none of the extraordinary ministers were paying attention. Communion time is a free-for-all with people all over the place and of course everyone partakes but the infrequent confessions are poorly attended. We have a great Archbishop (Neinstedt) who has put an end to lay homilies but our priest gets around this by doing an “interview” with a lay person. Two weeks ago he did this with a parishoner who has a child with autism and who wrote a song about it. First we heard his story about the breakup of his marriage because of the challenges of his one child (who was right there), then we had to endure the playing of this song on our state-of-the-art sound system to which several women across the way started crying. After this mercifully finished came the petitions. The women who was doing them got through the first two then was overcome with emotion and another woman came up, hugged her and barely finished them before succumbing herself. Once this happened the floodgates were open and most women were weeping. So now every parishoner who has a semi-sad story to tell should be able to petition Father to tell their own heart wrenching story then follow it up by playing a sad song of their choice. I am sure certain people won’t feel like they are being fed now unless the sermon sparks some emotion in them. And if this does not happen on a frequent enough basis they will find an ecclesial community that does this every Sunday. How many more years must we endure?

  43. frv says:

    Our Holy Father, John Paul II, of blessed memory, put this reality up to the level of love for Christ and the Church:

    “Priests who faithfully celebrate Mass according to the liturgical norms, and communities which conform to those norms, quietly but eloquently demonstrate their love for the Church.” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 52).

  44. chironomo says:

    Jim Dorchak;

    There are certainly inequities in where there are many priests and where there are fewer, but it really has little to do with how many parishioners there are (although that should be a criterion you would think). We have 3 (three) permanently assigned priests at our parish of 13,000 registers parishioners ( a weekly attendance of about 4,500), but because we are in a retiree area, we have several retired priests who say Mass here on a regular basis, giving us effectively 6 or 7 priests working in the parish at any one time. On the other hand, the parish I was at previously had only two priests for a much larger parish…

    I have noticed in the past few weeks that after attending the “convocation” in January, our priests seem to be paying more attention to their posture during the Mass, and are keeping their eyes on the book during the Eucharistic prayer more than I had noticed in the past. I have surmised that there is an effort by our Bishop to emphasize this to the Priests, and it seems to be having an effect.

  45. Maureen says:

    I will add that I don’t think “say the black, do the red” is just for priests. By which I mean that it’s best to put secular concerns out of your mind. Worry about how you look beforehand, not in church. Don’t bother with feeling nervous about what other people think while you’re spending time worshipping the Lord God. God should be our focus. We’re there for him.

    That said, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with intertwining personal devotion with the Mass, like mentally saying, “My Lord and my God!” right at the Consecration. Or in bringing your personal concerns to God mentally. (Apparently some people were taught in some places that mental prayer was anti-participation in the Body, which causes me to wish to meet their teachers — in an alley, with a blunt object.)

    But it’s not fair to demand that priests put themselves aside in favor of Christ, if we out in the pews are not prepared to “lift up our hearts to the Lord” and let ourselves spend time with Christ.

    As for those of us who are asked to participate in non-pew roles, it would be good for us to immerse ourselves in our roles, instead of bringing our own personalities forward. It can be hard to do that if you are naturally nervous or dramatic. It’s definitely hard to do that if you haven’t practiced enough. :) But seriously, as long as you go from Point A to Point B as told, and do Thing C in a plain ordinary dignified way, you’ve done your job. The more you prepare and immerse yourself, the more room there is for holiness to flow in. It’s the opposite of being a performer, in some ways; it’s being a well-oiled cog that doesn’t stop the gears in God’s Mass process.

  46. Bryan says:

    Maureen:

    Truer words were never spoken.

    While privileged (and it is a privilege, at least to me) to be a reader, I never (ever!!!!) have, nor would I want to assume, that my feeble attempt at proclaiming Scripture is something I do on my own, or by bringing my personality into the effort. I’m just the tool God uses to bring into sound the lessons He’s given us.

    I think most lay ‘participants’ in the celebration, whether it’s participation by prayerfully assisting at Mass in the pew, or in a minor role assisting as a reader, acolyte, and I’ve done both as an adult, both in the OF and EF (I’m not even going to approach the EMHC mess…which should disappear in a cloud of pixie dust yesterday), should ALL realize, as Fr. Z often states, that it’s an encounter with an ineffable mystery, and comport ourselves accordingly.

    There are two phrases that always go through my mind and I approach the ambo in righteous fear, one is the motto of the Jesuits (can’t help it..the indoctrination at Fordham was too complete): “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam” …To the Greater Glory of God…and, as a previous poster stated “I must decrease so He may increase”.

    If I become the focus of attention, than He is hidden, and my whole reason for being there is nothing but an attempt at self-aggrandisement. Pride.

    I’m not boasting, mind you…just trying to express in words what is a most difficult gift to realize. I can’t even BEGIN to imagine what it’s like for a holy priest, imbued with the absolute desire to let Christ take over his actions at Mass, and how it must be if, for this unworthy lay person, the feeling is so overwhelming sometimes.

  47. Luigi says:

    WHY do some people (laity and priests) find it so difficult to grasp with this subject?

    For priests, who knows what leads some to innovate?

    For laity it’s a simple matter of catechesis and faith.

    A well-formed Catholic at a Mass in which the priest deviates from “what the Church asks” will naturally experience the bitterness of that shameful display, but if one KNOWS what is going on in the sacred action (part of which is knowing that the liturgy is also sacred mystery that transcends human knowledge), and truly BELIEVES it, then the Mass can be recognized – even through the haze of disobedience – as Heaven on earth.

    Of course the gravity of that “haze” is nothing to be minimized. It does great damage to the Body of Christ. My only point is that a well-formed Catholic will still be able to see through it in faith.

  48. Mitchell says:

    FSB Agent,

    Document or record this information and send it directly to Rome in relation to “We will not be learning the Tridentine Mass here”. I believe Cardinal Hoyos would have some opinion about that. Is Latin taught at your seminary? Perhaps an anonymous copy of Veterum Sapientia should be put on the head master’s desk. These things can not be allowed to continue in seminaries.

  49. Ave Maria! says:

    I recall a priest friend of mine who was once chastised when he went to confession nd his confessor told him to stop trying to be the brightest candle on the altar!

    NOw the NOvus Ordo is more of a ‘spectator’ event; many parishes do not even have missalettes to pray from so the actions and entertainment have a tendency to become more pronounced. I generally do not watch much of the Mass at my parish and there are liturgical abuses. I am tired of noticing them. A friend went to the pastor to ask about tham and, of course, she is now disliked by him. BUT in this past week, he corrected one abuse–he would not ever taka small piece of Host and add it to the Precious Blood. He told her that he ‘mingles them in his mouth’. Well, that just changed. He still changes words to those of his choosing here and there. After Mass, he does hear confessions which is wonderul. I applaud that. I think there should indeed be confession times daily. BUT he leaves on his vestments and does not purify the vessels first; he leaves them out. That does not seem right.

    But in the rare times I am able to attend the Holy Mass that my spiritual director offers, I almost do not want to breathe for it is done with so much care and love and reverance. He now only offers ad orientem but een so, there is something just so wonderfully holy in the properly offered Holy Sacrifice and I appreciate every moment.

    NO so hard to follow the norm…is it?

  50. Ed Francis says:

    Fr. Z – “I starting forming this conviction…through my experience of Novus Ordo Masses done in an entirely Roman traditional style, closely following the books.”

    Thanks for this signpost. Our OF needn’t be, and may not often be, the circus it is so often depicted to be.

    I could never accept that the Holy Spirit, Pope Paul VI, Pope John XXIII, as well as Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI were all “mistaken” in their insistence on the need for and importance of Vatican II. Thank Heaven for their long view.

  51. Matt says:

    Keep in mind that ALL of the popes since VII have stated that “The smoke of satan has entered the Church.”

    The NO will NEVER have the reverence and link with tradition that the EF does. The OF is an innovation and not an organic development. While the council may not have intended this outcome, it is here with us today.

    The SSPX advocates discussion on these points. The left and modernists do not want this discussion as they would have to admit that what they helped to advance may have been in error. This would mean they would would need to acknowledge that they may *loud gasps* have erred.

    The Secretary of State demands acknowledgement of VII and all popes thru Benedict XVI. The SSPX have always acknowledged that VII happened and have expressed devotion to the hold father. Devotion is not blind however. Even the pope is human and does make mistakes. What the Secretary of State and others want the SSPX to pledge to should apply to them as well. They defy and thwart the pope and then expect others to do the exact opposite.

    Remove the log from thy own eye before trying to pull the splinter from mine.

  52. Joe says:

    I had the opportunity recently to attend the Latin OF Mass at St. John Cantius, Chicago. They had a classical string quartet with the choir. I still recall thinking (after a very beautiful and stirring rendition of Panis (sp) Angelicus with the words available in English during the Offertory) would 3 of my 4 sisters have left the Church if the Mass had become more like this instead of what we went through which caused such perplexity (among other things)! How much more involved with the ordinary part of being Catholic would I have been in terms of sacrifice, penance, devotion, fasting, fervor, and all the other ways we can earn a crown of merit in Heaven? Just where would certain professed catholics be in the political spectrum, and how about the status of abortion, etcetera?