Our friends at Rorate have posted about comments made by His Excellency Most Rev. Robert Lynch, Bishop of St. Petersburg in Florida, on his blog … did you know he had a blog?… about the bad old days, the older form of Holy Mass, etc.
Here is an excerpt:
My personal memory of the liturgy prior to Vatican II is an awful one. I remember the daily Requiem Masses screeched by the eighth grade girls of St. Charles Borromeo parish in Peru, Indiana, mandatory prior to the start of every school day, and even with their screeching, the Mass gratefully only lasted about twenty minutes. Communion distributed to the kneeling at the altar rail was more comic than reverent (remember hearing the words “Corpus Domini. . .as the priest started at one end and then eternam” as he reached the thirtieth person kneeling?). Also strong in my memory remain Masses on Holy Days of Obligation when at the beginning of Mass, during the Offertory and at the Pater Noster, the assistant priests would come out and give communion to anyone who needed to “duck out” and get back to work (this was especially true at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York even when the Cardinal was the celebrant). Adult choirs attempting Mozart were only slightly better in most churches than the eighth grade girls at St. Charles. My grandparents and parents taught us to distract ourselves during Mass by following their example and either praying the Rosary continuously throughout Mass or attempting to follow along using a Missal which had Latin on one side of the fold and the English translation on the other. It was mystery, for sure, but not the kind of mystery which is reverentially spoken of now for the past. [And not content to run down the older form of Holy Mass, he goes on to run down Joseph Ratzinger's thoughts on the arrangement of the altar...] Monsignor Wadsworth calls in his talk for more attention to be paid by celebrants to the General Instruction to the Roman Missal which guides the liturgical celebration. I agree but he had better be careful for the growing practice of shielding the celebrants from congregants with candles and crosses of such size as to block the vision of many at Mass is explicitly forbidden in the same GIRM. In this diocese, we have a diocesan sponsored Latin Mass in what is called the Tridentine Rite each Sunday at the Cathedral. [Not many people really call it that anymore.] About 150 people attend. I increased its opportunity from every other week to every week when I came. [And now that Summorum Pontificum is out, His Excellency has been relieved of the burden of making decisions like these.] There is also a Latin Mass offered in Hernando county and a Tridentine Mass offered in Pasco county. Work is being done to see about the possibility of the same for Hillsborough county. But there is far from a deafening roar of the crowd for such opportunities.
Rorate had a good idea. Bp. Lynch has been so kind as to share his memories of the older Mass. Therefore:
[W]e would invite you to share your own personal liturgical memories of the New Mass. Those memories often explain why so many of us do our utmost to seek refuge from the Ordinary Rite of Paul VI. Please, share all your best (worst) experiences with the New Mass.
You can post here on this and you can post there as well. Be sure to give Rorate some good traffic.
I’ll start you off.
It isn’t unusual to find coffee and doughnuts at parishes on Sunday. But I have actually seen them being consumed during Mass.