The use of Latin in our liturgical worship must not be limited to the Usus Antiquior of the Roman Rite. Latin is the language if the Latin Church. That means Extraordinary and Ordinary Form alike.
For this reason I object to the phrase “The Latin Mass” when speaking about the Usus Antiquior or Extraordinary Form. We should at least say “Traditional Latin Mass” or TLM.
That said, His Excellency Most Reverend Michael Barber, SJ, Bishop of Oakland has a great entry at his page (HERE) about their All Souls Requiem, celebrated in their Cathedral.
Here is a video:
What really caught my eye was something Bp. Barber wrote about the Mass. Emphases in the original:
I was so pleased with the turnout at our first Solemn Requiem Mass for All Souls Day, where our Cathedral Choir sang Gabriel Faure’s Requiem. The beauty of the music led so many to a heightened interior participation in the Eucharist. The choir and musicians did a superb job, and I look forward to making this an annual tradition.
Did you catch that? The music led to heightened interior participation! He absolutely nailed it.
The actual/active participation we are called to is, first and foremost, interior action, indeed actively interior receptivity. This is made possible by baptism, which allows us to receive graces and instruction which the Lord, the true Actor in liturgical worship, wants to give us through the mediation of the Church’s rites and her sacred ministers. Active, attentive listening is a key mode of actual participation. It is not automatic and it is not easy. It is hard to listen in an attentive way, with real openness to the content. Music, therefore, is of critical importance.
Liturgical music must be both sacred and true art. It is art from the point of view of both composition and performance. It is sacred, or should be, from the point of view of its texts and its music idiom. Music is not an add on. It is not simply an ornament. It is part of the liturgical action itself.
Bishop Barber put his finger on an important point. The act of choosing to listen to the sacred liturgical music brings about interiorly active receptivity which is a profound mode of actual participation. This in turn heightens appropriate outward expression in participation at the right time.
Alas, the Bishop – a Jesuit – quoted Karl Rahner, who said, “When a person is with God in awe and love, then he is praying.” Immediately, I must counter the effects of Rahner by quoting St. Augustine, “cantare amantis est… Singing belongs to one who loves” (s. 336, 1 – PL 38, 1472).
So, Bp. Barber had All Souls Mass in the Cathedral, in Latin, in the Novus Ordo, in black vestments, with worth sacred music.
More photo there.
Brick by brick.
Fr. Z kudos to Bp. Barber.