You decide.

A study in contrasts.

Or else…

Do we need Summorum Pontificum and the Corrected Translation?

I think so.

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45 Responses to You decide.

  1. Sam Urfer says:

    *groan*

    The first picture is from my geographic parish. Beautiful old Portuguese church; too bad about the sheenanigans.

  2. Maria says:

    Oh my…
    The first picture reminds me of one of those epic films I used to watch as a child – where the temples were desecrated. I know this is not the intention of the people in the picture, but it does remind me of those films nevertheless.

    The second picture reminds me of Mass.

  3. Gaz says:

    Let me guess Father. You’re saying that one of these perhaps is about our Catholic identity. Right?

  4. Ike from Sweden says:

    Choking… on… coffee…………… no more, I beg of you…. miserere…

  5. Hieronymus says:

    I am just waiting for papal liturgies to start featuring in these segments. Those orchestrating these variety show Masses can certainly appeal to the papal precedent.
    ___________

    JPII: Are these liturgical tambourines and neon stoles yours?
    Hip Priest: No, I …
    JPII: Cardinal Ratzinger said he found it in the sacristy.
    Hip Priest: I don’t know, one of the altar girls must’uv…
    JPII: Must’ve what?
    Hip Priest: I don’t know, Papa, I…
    JPII: Where did you get it?
    Hip Priest: I….
    JPII: Who taught you to do this stuff?
    Hip Priest: YOU, PAPA!! I LEARNED IT FROM WATCHING YOU!!!

    FATHERS WHO PRACTICE LITURGICAL ABUSE, HAVE SONS THAT PRACTICE LITURGICAL ABUSE.

  6. Pachomius says:

    Ah, the famous troparion quisquam euntes of the Divine Liturgy of St Cole the Pastorally Enabled.

  7. Gail F says:

    What are they doing in that first picture???? It looks sort of like a Greek dance troupe, except for the guy all in red. (Orthodox readers: I mean a Greek folk dance troupe, not a Greek liturgical dance troupe!)

  8. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    Red and white for Pentecost? Divine Mercy Sunday?

  9. traditionalorganist says:

    The top picture reminds me of the vestal virgins in the old movie “Quo Vadis.” And if you listen to what the Vestal Virgins are singing in that movie, it reminds you of the average post-Vatican II hymn.

  10. Hieronymus says:

    Did someone find a photo of the Loudun Ursulines? I didn’t even know they had cameras back then…

  11. Giambattista says:

    And to think that some people can’t figure out why there are Catholics who describe themselves as “traditional” and that many of them are “angry”.

    Maybe if these people would have studied Latin, as Fr. Z’s other article suggests, they would have aquired the ability to think coherently; the reason for the “anger” would no longer be a mystery.

    Yes we need Summorum Pontificum APPLIED. Yes the translations used at the NO should say “what the prayer really says”.

  12. Legisperitus says:

    Is there a priest anywhere in that mess at the top?

    Once again, all I can hear is the “Green Orion Slave Girl Dance Theme” from Star Trek.

  13. AnAmericanMother says:

    The evidence continues to accumulate . . . . “liturgical” “dancers” are in church because they could not possibly get a gig anywhere else.

    I can only recall one or two photos of this sort of foolishness where any participant gave any evidence of having actually studied dance (and profited from the instruction). They usually look like spectators who were talked into getting up on the Scottish County Dance platform during the Highland Games to try to stumble through “St. John’s River”.

  14. Patti Day says:

    The first picture looks like a place that has a $5 cover charge and a two-drink minimum.

  15. Goldfinch says:

    Looking at the top picture, with this much celebration in the Sanctuary do they really need a priest?

  16. bmadamsberry says:

    You’ve created a false dichotomy. It’s not an either this horrible, liturgical abusing Mass OR this Latin, traditional Mass (to be honest, I don’t like either one). There is that middle, where the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form are BOTH practiced and BOTH appreciated and BOTH done with reverence.

    Besides, let’s not kid ourselves. The salvation of the Catholic Church does not lie in the Extraordinary Form. There were still tons of abuses Pre-Vatican II in regards to the liturgy. It’s not about which one is used, it’s about HOW they’re used.

  17. APX says:

    @Legisperitus
    Is there a priest anywhere in that mess at the top?

    Yeah, stage left, sitting and reading something. You can spot his red chasuble and outwardly worn burgundy stole. He’s behind the girl kneeling.

  18. BaedaBenedictus says:

    It fits well with Mahony’s vestal virgins with the incense bowls parading around that monstrous marble million-dollar slab of an altar in LA.

    Upon further examination, perhaps all of their writhing and stretching is an effort to please that flying Buddy Jesus above them. You know what they say about Buddy Jesus: Hard to displease, easy to satisfy…

  19. Henry Edwards says:

    Hieronymous: I am just waiting for papal liturgies to start featuring in these segments.

    You need wait no longer than yesterday, when Father Z featured a photo from a recent papal Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica

    http://www.wdtprs.com/images/11_03_31_san_pietro.jpg

    Those orchestrating these variety show Masses can certainly appeal to the papal precedent

    Wrong. If papal Masses in St. Peter’s were taken as exemplary around world, liturgical abuse could become only a bad memory. Go to http://www.vatican.va and look at a recent papal Mass. From entrance procession to a Silvestri trumpets fair to the closing Marian antiphon, Gregorian chant propers, everything but readings and sermon in Latin, traditional Roman vestments as often or not, reverence and solemnity that no one but a liberal wacko can complain about.

  20. BaedaBenedictus says:

    “There were still tons of abuses Pre-Vatican II in regards to the liturgy. It’s not about which one is used, it’s about HOW they’re used.”

    And of course you saw the same kinds of abuses. I think everyone of a certain age remembers the antics of the Dancing Deacon and Spinning Subdeacon at Solemn Masses in the 1950s. ;-)

  21. Andy Milam says:

    @bmadamsberry;

    “You’ve created a false dichotomy. It’s not an either this horrible, liturgical abusing Mass OR this Latin, traditional Mass (to be honest, I don’t like either one). There is that middle, where the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form are BOTH practiced and BOTH appreciated and BOTH done with reverence.

    Besides, let’s not kid ourselves. The salvation of the Catholic Church does not lie in the Extraordinary Form. There were still tons of abuses Pre-Vatican II in regards to the liturgy. It’s not about which one is used, it’s about HOW they’re used.”
    —Exactly, it’s about HOW they’re used. Look again at the “litugy” in the first picture. There is an out and out disdain for Tradition. There is an out and out disdain for the liturgical action itself.

    You say there were “tons” of abuses in the pre-Vatican II liturgy. What were they? What abuses come to the magnitude that the Mass has been subjected to since Vatican Council II? I daresay that while abuse is abuse, there are varying degrees. Some abuse is worse than others. Just like there are varying degrees of mortal sin, the same applies to the abuses in the Mass.

    You have proven by your own words that there is no false dichotomy by your last statement.

  22. traditionalorganist says:

    With regard to the pre-Vatican II “abuses,” not having been alive at the time, but having heard from others who are reliable sources (i.e., not liberal nuts), the problem with the time running up to Vatican II was that there was a lack of “spirit” in the Church. Chant had been reduced to only the Missa de Angelis in most cases, and there was a need for a spiritual revival of sorts to combat the surge of modernity and all its minions. I mention chant because there was a direction towards mediocrity in the liturgy, just following the rubrics but making no effort to get some life out of them. Most on this blog would agree that the solution was the wrong sort and took away something good instead something bad. So, the abuse was of a different kind. Maybe someone who lived at the time could elaborate, if they agree.

  23. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Doesn’t the salvation of everything including the Church depend on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?

  24. Brooklyn says:

    bmadamsberry – You say: “Besides, let’s not kid ourselves. The salvation of the Catholic Church does not lie in the Extraordinary Form. There were still tons of abuses Pre-Vatican II in regards to the liturgy. It’s not about which one is used, it’s about HOW they’re used.”

    Yes, I’m sure there were abuses with the EF, but none rise to this level. We never had clown masses, puppet masses, liturgical “dance”, kool aid pitchers of wine, pagan rituals, etc. introduced into the Mass as we have seen in the past 40 years. Padre Pio said: “”It is easier for the earth to be without the sun than without the mass” The only Mass he knew was the EF. Somehow I don’t think he would have said this about the Mass as pictured at the top. Many of us subscribe to “Save the Liturgy, Save the World.” I’m sorry you don’t see it that way.

  25. JKnott says:

    We have only to reflect on the Sabat Mater.
    Why is it then that so many of these abuses at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass include women who are acting as an antithesis to Mary at the foot of the Cross? I think it is because the devil despises Mary and her hunility, and therefore all women, so he “inspires” stupid women to mock her purity and sorrow. Is there no meditation on the Passion of Christ anymore in large part in the NO family?
    Priests, by their self-effacement, in the EF emulate and manifest Jesus and that is why they are manly. “Simon-says” priests cause themselves to apprear otherwise; henpecked by the dancing dolls.

  26. Brooklyn says:

    JKnott – that is an excellent insight. I believe one of the biggest problems in the Church today is the inability to deal with suffering, and specifically, with the Suffering Christ and his Mother. Everything now is about feeling good. One of the biggest strengths of the Church down through the centuries has been her understanding of suffering leading to salvation. Christ, when he was at his physically weakest, accomplished the greatest good – the salvation of mankind. The suffering Christ on the Cross is the ultimate symbol of love. But far too many in the Church no longer seems to want to deal with that anymore. Now we just want to feel good and be happy. We have forgotten that the devil offers instant gratification, with death at the end. Christ offers us the Cross, with salvation at the end.

  27. jamie r says:

    I’m not certain this is an argument for Summorum Pontificum or the new translation. I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure the current OF rubrics don’t really provide for this sort of trash, and that the people who first decided to do this stuff were all raised and formed in what is now the EF. The older form of the mass isn’t a magic bullet to prevent liturgical abuse – after all, it didn’t stop Vatican II. What we need are priests and bishops who are going to focus on teaching people what the Mass is. The OF, even in its current, defective translation, when done according to the norms, is still a Mass, and wouldn’t give a lay person the impression that this sort of crap is acceptable. The problem is priests, lay liturgists, and Bishops thinking that the Mass should be something other than what it is. If the revised 1962 missal became the ordinary form tomorrow, we’d still see this sort of foolishness take place.

  28. Henry Edwards says:

    Bmadamsberry: I certainly agree with you that both forms of the Roman rite can and should be celebrated well and appreciated by all. However, in regard to your impression that . . .

    There were still tons of abuses Pre-Vatican II in regards to the liturgy.

    Actually, there weren’t. I think this must be largely a late post-Vatican II myth started for polemical purposes, repeated incessantly, and now believed by many who were not there then.

    But I was. Before the post-Vatican II discontinuities, I had been a member of 9 parishes in 4 dioceses in the south, midwest, and northeast regions of the U.S., ranging from rural to urban. In none of these, at either Sunday or daily Mass, did I ever see anything that would today would qualify as liturgical abuse. Nothing whatsoever.

    I never saw a single instance of a Mass celebrated by a priest in an evidently irreverent manner, nor a single congregation acting in an undignified manner. Not one. Of course, there surely were inattentive individuals, though surely not as many at some typical parish Masses today.

    Certainly, actual prayerful participation in the liturgy needed improvement, and was constantly urged by pre-Vatican II popes, whose recommendations were reiterated by the Council. But now, after years of the ordinary form, this same prayerful participation is lacking more than ever before, and unfortunately one must in most places go to the extraordinary form to find it.

  29. irishgirl says:

    Oh my word-I thought the stuff shown in the first photo went out with the 1980s! Doesn’t seem that way…looks like chaos.
    In the second picture, order prevails, and reverence, too.

  30. albinus1 says:

    Once again, all I can hear is the “Green Orion Slave Girl Dance Theme” from Star Trek.

    Nice place you have here, Father Pike!

    (Sorry, in-joke for the Star Trek fans.)

    ***
    I keep staring at that first picture looking for the sacrificial goat on the altar.
    ***

    the problem with the time running up to Vatican II was that there was a lack of “spirit” in the Church. Chant had been reduced to only the Missa de Angelis in most cases, and there was a need for a spiritual revival of sorts to combat the surge of modernity and all its minions. I mention chant because there was a direction towards mediocrity in the liturgy,

    I have always maintained that if the 50s had really been so wonderful, then the 60s wouldn’t have happened.

  31. Dirichlet says:

    Fr. Z, these posts are really making my skin thicker.

    Fortunately, Papa is well aware of this situation. All we need to do is pray, report abuses, support the SP motu propio, educate others and… yes, pray.

  32. Centristian says:

    The title of this post commands, “you decide.” If only I could decide for the rest of the Church that the nonsense represented by the first image would never occur in any Catholic Church ever again, and that the beautiful solemnity represented by the second image would always characterize both the ordinary and the extraordinary forms of Mass.

    The fact of the matter is that that very decision is made by the very nature of the Eucharistic sacrifice, only we have a clergy, today, that are often disobedient to that inherent expectation of Catholic Mass.

  33. MichaelJ says:

    I’m not so shure if the top image can truly be characterized as an “abuse”. The things that seem to violate the GIRM are subjective. You and I know that the Mass in the upper image is “undignified” and not fitting for Our Lord, but I wonder if this has (or really can be) defined.

  34. Henry Edwards says:

    albinus1: I have always maintained that if the 50s had really been so wonderful, then the 60s wouldn’t have happened.

    I don’t know about you, but most who say such things were not there in either the 50s or the 60s. What you suggest would be true only if the chaos of the 1960s had been caused by those whose were ordinary believers in the 1950s. But I did not then and don’t now think that was the case.

    The Church of the 50s was, by any ordinary measure, old or new, wonderful for Catholics with historical and traditional beliefs. However, that was a time when most people born in the Church stayed in the Church. Whereas today most leave when they no longer believe. So there were lots of dissenters still within the Church. Especially in clerical and religious ranks, I suspect, partly because at that time these offered the greatest opportunity for social advancement for many members of a still-immigrant Church.

    Then the 1960s saw a confluence of tremendous historical forces and societal conditions in which most institutions–governmental, secular, and religious–were overwhelmed by people who dissented from previously accepted values of those institutions. In particular, the revolution in the Church in the 1960s appeared to us who had been believers in the 1950s to be carried out by people we suspected had not been believers in the 1950s.

    I suppose you need to have been both alive in the 1960s, and pretty cognizant of Church mechanisms–which was less common in those pre-internet days–to have any comprehension of what happened then. Except that there’s a clue in the whacko behavior of those featured in some of these whacko photos. They are folks still frozen in the 1960s, no more devout believers now than they were then or had been in the 1950s.

    Finally, to boil it down for those who still haven’t gotten it, what happened in the 1960s is that a large part of the Church at all levels was taken over by people who in a different time would have left it, but instead stayed within the Church to fight it from within.

  35. Centristian says:

    “Finally, to boil it down for those who still haven’t gotten it, what happened in the 1960s is that a large part of the Church at all levels was taken over by people who in a different time would have left it, but instead stayed within the Church to fight it from within.”

    Tragically. It’s clear, I think, that there were good reforms to the Roman liturgy on the way that were, alas, disrupted and ultimately pre-empted by what happened in the 1960s. Such a shame, too. I can only imagine what the liturgy would be like, today, had the Church not been hit by the cultural chaos of the 60s, but I think it would look something like a hybrid between the best of the extraordinary form of Mass and the best of the ordinary form.

    I think you would see a Mass ad orientem with the Canon (perhaps more than one Canon) in Latin, but with the Epistle and Gospel (or, perhaps, two readings before the Gospel as is the in the ordinary form today), chanted in latin at solemn Masses but read in the vernacular at recited or dialogue Masses. It is possible, too, that the propers might be read in the vernacular at Masses that are recited rather than sung. I think it is also very likely that the Last Gospel would have been eliminated.

    I wonder if the General Intercessions would have been restored. I suspect they would have. At least, I think, the vestigial “Dominus Vobiscum…Oremus” that dangled awkwardly in the pre-Conciliar Mass where the intercessions once were would have been eliminated.

    The thrust of the reforms that were on the way was, I think, to strip away some of the Gallican superfluities that had begun to overwhelm its clarity and to re-Romanize the Mass of the Roman Rite, not so much to modernize it. I think it was a good hope and a good plan.

    My interpretation of the movements and words and example of Pope Benedict is that he hopes to be able to return the Church to a place where it can sort of recapture that lost moment and opportunity. It seems to me the Pope hopes to recapture the traditional beauty of Roman Rite liturgy while retaining some of the positive reforms of the Conciliar era, reforms that it seems to me were going to occur in any case.

    I think one day the Church will have one form of the Roman Rite, and that it will be more or less the form we would have, today, had the liturgical disruptions of the 1960s not occurred.

  36. Mark R says:

    I am all for S.P. and the Corrected Trans., but this will not stop abuses dead in the tracks. People will be disobedient if they want. The positive effects will just take time.

  37. Brooklyn says:

    I think we need to remember that none of these abuses could happen if there were not consenting priests and bishops. The women dancing the altar were there as the result of some priest somewhere consenting to it. St. Leonard of Port Maurice wrote this:

    “Is there any state in the world more favourable to innocence, in which salvation seems easier and of which people have a higher idea than that of priests, the lieutenants of God? At first glance, who would not think that most of them are not only good but even perfect; yet I am horror-struck when I hear Saint Jerome declaring that although the world is full of priests, barely one in a hundred is living in a manner in conformity with state; when I hear a servant of God attesting that he has learned by revelation that the number of priests who fall into hell each day is so great that it seemed impossible to him that there be any left on earth; when I hear Saint Chrysostom exclaiming with tears in his eyes, “I do not believe that many priests are saved; I believe the contrary, that the number of those who are damned is greater.”

    When I see pictures like the one above, I fear of course for those involved in it, but the ones who will really have to answer are the priests and bishops. Yes, we need the Summorum Pontificum and the Corrected Translation, but even more, we need good and holy priests and bishops who will truly take seriously their job of pastoring God’s people. That is certainly something we should be praying for each and every day.

  38. To be honest I find each photo ridiculous – the second photo has far too many people dressed up with no possible role other than to be ornamental distractions – a clerical attempt at “active participation”. Give me a well celebrated Mass in the Ordinary Form every time.

  39. robtbrown says:

    Christopher Mc Camley says:

    To be honest I find each photo ridiculous – the second photo has far too many people dressed up with no possible role other than to be ornamental distractions – a clerical attempt at “active participation”.

    Do you think maybe those who you assume are little else than ornamental distractions might be receiving minor orders or first tonsure?

    Give me a well celebrated Mass in the Ordinary Form every time.

    How’s your Latin?

  40. Maria says:

    Brooklyn says:
    4 April 2011 at 10:21 am
    JKnott – that is an excellent insight. I believe one of the biggest problems in the Church today is the inability to deal with suffering, and specifically, with the Suffering Christ and his Mother. Everything now is about feeling good. One of the biggest strengths of the Church down through the centuries has been her understanding of suffering leading to salvation. Christ, when he was at his physically weakest, accomplished the greatest good – the salvation of mankind. The suffering Christ on the Cross is the ultimate symbol of love. But far too many in the Church no longer seems to want to deal with that anymore. Now we just want to feel good and be happy. We have forgotten that the devil offers instant gratification, with death at the end. Christ offers us the Cross, with salvation at the end.

    Very nice respectful post Brooklyn. :0)

  41. SusanfromCalifornia says:

    I am reposting my experience at The 2011 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress . I did attend a workshop on the new liturgical language comming this Advent. I honsetly didn’t get a good feel from it. The priest presenter of the workshop promoted “women to be ordained”. There is a rebellious spirit being perpetuated at this LAREC. You can read my entire weekend experience below.

    I have been attending and observing the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress for the past 16 years. This year I set out to specifically to speak with my new archbishop, Archbishop Gomez, about a issue that was troubling my heart. Thanks be to God , I was able to speak with him. On the Friday afternoon of the LAREC. I approached him after a radio interview he was doing. I bent down to kiss his ring and introduced myself and my young daughter to him. I said to him ” I came out here specifically to speak with you on something that has been troubling my heart.” He told me to proceed. I said ” I am toubled that you my new Archbishop ,would join forces with the organization La Raza.” “They are a racist,marxist, militant organization whose goals are to reconquest the western region of the United States.” The archbishop said “They were not that type of an organization.” I said,” No they are. I have done research on them.” ” I suggest you do research yourself or have someone you trust do the research.” The Archbishop said ” I joined with them “, because the USCCB works with them on public policy. ” The Dream Act”. I said” It would be like if Cardinal George of Chicago worked with the KKK or some neo-Nazi group for a public policy issue.” “That as well would be very troubling. ” You and the USCCB must renounce working with La Raza.” Archbishop Gomez said” I will ponder and consider what you are telling me.” I said ” Thank you , for your time.” I bent down again to kiss his ring . I spoke respectfully but with a firm purpose in my heart towards Archbishop Gomez.
    The keynote speaker on the Saturday was Jack Jezreel of “Just Faith” ministries( a social justice organization with ties to Call to Action, women priestess movement,and Industrrial Areas Foundation a Saul Alinsky type organization). I had several heated conversations with representatives for this LAREC and with a man representing” Just Faith” ministries. These individuals were outspoken in their belief of the “seamless garment”,which they admitted justified their voting for Barack Obama. I also attended a workshop given by a priest who spoke on the” New language for the Mass comming this Advent”. The priest promoted women to be ordained and said that, “Pope John Paul II left it open for women to be ordained deacons.” I attended a Mass on Saturday evening, which had liturgical dance. The priest apologized to the women present for St. Joseph having a Solemnity. I took it he was calling the Church “sexist”for doing that. His entire homily was very bizzare. It had a politically left bent to it. I walked out when he finished his homily.
    On Sunday afternoon I attended Archbishop Gomez’s closing Mass. I was shocked that there was liturgical dancing. I was hoping for a change around.The entire weekend was pretty much a disapointment ,except for the few solid Catholic vendors like a Pro life booth, Ignatius Press, and Fr. Barron you tube ministry. I also saw a women dressed up as a priest ( a black suite with white colar) walking around the vendor area. Several priests spoke with her and didn’t seem surprise by what she was wearing. That was something I never witnessesd before. So I took a picture of her to show my husband.
    I was optomistically hoping for a 100% solid Catholic Religious Edcuation and Liturgical Congress, but I left very disheartned with what I experienced that entire weekend. My young son whose first time at the LAREC, told me during the Archbishop’s Closing Mass . “Mom they make Jesus look silly, I don’t like it here.” Needless to say I had a long conversation with him on the way home

  42. robtbrown says:

    Or the subdiaconate.

  43. Hieronymus says:

    Wrong. If papal Masses in St. Peter’s were taken as exemplary around world, liturgical abuse could become only a bad memory. — Henry Edwards

    First, I did not say masses in St. Peter’s at this point in time, I referred to papal masses broadly. It is true that this Pope has begun to move in a more traditional direction with his masses that are offered at St. Peter’s. By and large, though, he continues to offer show masses while visiting other places, where the effect of offering mass correctly could be most acutely felt in that country since the visit is a focal point of the national media and many see at least images or clips of the mass that would not normally sit down and turn on EWTN. But instead of heavenly splendor, we feed the nation images of a hokey, insipid liturgy that comes off like a very bad variety show.

    The main referent in my comment, though, was not Benedict XVI, but his predecessor. We cannot so heartily praise the direction BXVI is sailing in right now without equally loathing that port from which he set out. John Paul II’s masses were horrendous. It was like a 25 year long traveling circus. In the midst of the craziness — the insipid music, liturgical dancers, incense bowls, costumed natives (or uncostumed, as the case was on at least one occasion) — JPII apologists always excused his liturgies by placing the blame on Piero Marini. That excuse only works once. If Pius X had walked in for Mass and found himself on the set of a Marini production, I am pretty sure Marini would have lost his job and possibly his clerical status on the spot. Instead the circus went on for decades, and made its way all over the globe, so millions could be formed in the new liturgical style. And amidst all the liturgical craziness that was going on, I never heard of anyone being disciplined for the abuse — and how could the Vatican condemn them? As I said above, any condemnation would have been undermined by the pope’s own example.

  44. GirlCanChant says:

    Did anyone else think that the top pic might actually be from *gulp* Good Friday?

    I’m completely horrified right now. Don’t mess with Triduum. Just don’t.

  45. annieoakley says:

    traditionalorganist,

    ” . . . there was a direction toward mediocrity in the liturgy, just following the rubrics but making no effort to get some life out of them . . . so abuse of a different kind. Maybe someone who lived at the time could elaborate, if they agree.”

    How about if they disagree? The issue of getting “some life” out of the Mass would have been a foreign concept to pre-Vatican II Mass-goers. We went there to worship, not to be entertained. The old Mass had an inherent beauty that gave it all the life it needed. No one mentions the Low Masses very much but they were wonderful in their own way. This was because they were very quiet which led to a more meditative experience than the High Mass, (imho). Otoh the High Mass was more transcendent – the best of both worlds, since parishes always had both of them.

    Btw, pre-Vatican II Masses were packed every Sunday. If you got there late or even just on time you usually stood and people were lined up from front to back against both walls, as well as standing at the back. In that long ago world I remember bicycling to Benedictions on weeknights when they had them – the nuns would announce ahead if there was going to be one. We weren’t required to be there; we’d just show up. I’d see other classmates there who had come on their own too – remember, these were on school nights but there we’d be – it’s hard to relate to you how deep the average Catholics’ sense of devotion was. Churches were open throughout the day and into the evening and people would stop in to say the Stations of the Cross, or the Rosary, or because they were doing a Novena. Sometimes people would just come and pray. On Saturdays people would be lined up to have their Confessions heard. People said grace before and after meals, had crucifixes and statues and holy water in their homes, prayed to the Saints, didn’t eat or drink hours before Mass, wore Miraculous Medals or Scapulars, ate fish on Fridays, carried prayer books to Church that held holy cards of deceased family members, considered it an honor to have a child become a priest or a nun. Catholics were taught to live with one foot in this world and one foot in the next world and that’s what we did. I can only presume that those who say that there was a lack of life in the pre-V2 Church were very young at the time of the changeover and that a lot of their “memories” were influenced by the brainwashing of the “new order” which informed all of us that what was done before the Second Vatican Council was bad.