I was alerted by a thoughtful reader to an entry on the blog of the Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish in the USA established on August 15, 1983. I have always been interested in the folks of the Anglican Use. The late pastor of my home parish in St. Paul (MN), Msgr. Richard Schuler, was the one who accompanied the first Anglican priests on their visit to Rome to see Card. Seper many years ago. But I digress.
The parish priest speaks of his experience of having the "Tridentine Use" in his "Anglican Use" parish at the request of their bishop. His experience echoes what I have seen in various places, though not all, where the older form of Mass is celebrated in the context of a parish that also has the newer form.
Here is the edited entry. My emphases.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a happy experience for us. We made every effort to incorporate this into our Mass schedule so it would be seen as an integral part of the parish, but those who had requested the rite wished for it to be very much separate. While we provided bulletins for the Mass, including parish announcements, the Tridentine “organizers” made it a point to throw ours away and provide their own. There were attempts to engage other celebrants for the Mass without even mentioning it to me as the pastor of the parish. There were complaints to me if I used any Sacred Hosts from the tabernacle, and people would refuse Holy Communion if I did, because the Hosts “might be from the English Mass.” In following the rubrics of the Mass, I would receive complaints from some because “that’s not the way I remember it being done.” All I could do was assure them that the rubrics were being followed to the letter. The result was that fewer of those who had requested it continued to attend, and the congregation became more and more comprised of those who didn’t necessarily have an attachment to the tradition Latin Mass, but attended because the time happened to be convenient for them.
I know these things aren’t the fault of the 1962 Missal. The problems arose because of people’s attitudes and expectations. However, it’s not a situation I want to repeat unless I am told I must – but in saying that, be assured I would be immediately obedient if the archbishop told me that he wished for the motu proprio to be implemented here.
I hope our experience might be cautionary for those parishes which will be implementing the provisions of the motu proprio. There will be a temptation for some people to erect an “us and them” attitude. There may be creeping sense of exclusivity (“We attend the real Mass.”). There may be the danger that some will see their life in the parish as consisting only of taking part in the traditional Latin Mass with little or no need to be integrated into the totality of the parish.
On the other hand, perhaps our experience was unique and no other parishes will have these difficulties. Our Holy Father has granted this out of his pastoral love for the Church. We need to work and pray that it will produce the intended good fruits.
Nearly all these points are things I have experienced. I have heard people bleat about not having to be exposed to Hosts consecrated at any Mass other than a "Tridentine". I have heard people actually ask if the priest wore a biretta when blessing Holy Water. I have been hectored by people who knew very little about things, because I didn’t do something the way their priest did it when they were growing up. The list could be lengthened. However, there are some places I will not go back to. This was the experience of this good priest at Our Lady of the Atonement.
Let us take careful note of how the people at that parish separated themselves from the life of the parish. This is terribly damaging. Remember Rule #4:
4) Be engaged in the whole life of your parishes, especially in works of mercy organized by the same. If you want the whole Church to benefit from the use of the older liturgy, then you who are shaped by the older form of Mass should be of benefit to the whole Church in concrete terms.
Take this all to heart, you who are determined to have the "Tridentine Use" at your parish. Take this to heart or you will hurt a lot of people, including yourselves.