From a reader…
Can you provide or refer me to a resource that explains the beauty of the Traditional Mass for those who have never experienced it – in a simple and easy-to-understand way? A soft-of Traditional Mass for beginners?
I have an opportunity to invite large numbers of men to attend it in a local Church and am looking for a some content to share with them about it.
I can think of something off the top of my head.
Try this 1941 video by Ven. Fulton J. Sheen. It’s old but it is good. The advantage is that this is Ven. Fulton, whose cause is progressing well. He has a wonderful ability to break things down into understandable, bite-sized pieces.
Sancta Missa, the nice people at St. John Cantius in Chicago, has some good resources. HERE
The SSPX have some good resources as do the FSSP, but they tend in the direction of explanations for priests about how to celebrate the older form of Holy Mass. That doesn’t eliminate them as a possibility, but they are more specialized.
Also, go to the Extraordinary Form as often as you can. Looking at the texts ahead of time will help. Don’t sit in the front, at first. If you sit a little farther back you can see what other people are doing in regard to posture.
There are often booklets available at churches where the older Mass is offered. They are helpful too.
Another thing. You may be coming from a parish where you have been told that “active participation” means that you have to be doing something outwardly. If you aren’t singing everything or saying everything or looking at the priest look at you, then you “aren’t participating”. Critics of the older form of Mass claim that the congregation is forced to be “passive”.
That’s simply false.
True active participation is active receptivity to what Christ, the true Actor during Mass, wants to give us through Holy Church’s liturgical worship. Our baptism makes us capable of participating at Mass and then we engage our will and minds to follow carefully the words and gestures of the sacred action. This culminates in the perfect form of active participation, which brings the outward and physical and the inward and spiritual together: the reception of Holy Communion in the state of grace.
What I am aiming at here is that you may need a deeper view of what “active participation” means so that you are not from the very first moment left scratching your head about what to do or why people aren’t more outwardly expressive. They aren’t passive, friend. Not in the sense critics use.
I don’t think this should be seen as hard or daunting. After all, lots of people over the centuries got along very well with the older form of Mass, people of every age and level of education. It isn’t a mystery, even if it is the mystery, if you get my meaning.
Fr. Z kudos for your interest and for the men who will undertake this project!