Newspaper of Archd. of Vancouver on MP

Here is an article on the older form of Mass from The B.C. Catholic, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Vancouver. 

My emphases and comments. 

Ne timete: old Latin Mass still ‘extraordinary’

By Jeff Graham

Ne timete: be not afraid, is the response for some Catholics fearful they may have to learn Latin.  [He leads with fear and something silly.]

Pope Benedict XVI’s recent apostolic letter regarding the celebration of the older form of Mass is all about helping the faithful discover the treasures of the Church.  [Close… pretty good.  It is more than that, but this is a good statement.]

However, after the letter was released, one of the first questions Father Tien Tran heard was, "Father, is it true we going to be celebrating Mass in Latin instead of English from now on?"

The All Saints pastor and Chairman of the Vancouver Archdiocese’s Liturgy Com-mission replied that the current form of Mass will remain the most commonly used, while the older form of the Latin Mass will be used in extraordinary circumstances.

"It’s not getting back to the Latin, it’s just making Latin more available," said Father Tran. "The Latin form will be called the extraordinary form, and we have to be aware of what we call it. Right now, what we have is the ordinary form, and the Latin would be the extraordinary form."  [Ehem… Reverend Father… this is not about the language, it is about the older form of Mass, which is in Latin… as is the Novus Ordo.]

Simply put, in his recent apostolic letter in the form of a Motu Proprio, which signifies the Pope’s personal interest in the subject, the Holy Father told the faithful that Mass should ordinarily be celebrated in its current form, but that if a stable community of Catholics wish to participate in the older form of the Mass, they may if they can find a priest capable of following the older form.

In the Archdiocese of Van-couver, with the permission of Archbishop Raymond Roussin, SM, Father Charles Ryan, FSSP, has been regularly offering the Mass in the older form of the Roman rite at a number of churches.

As Msgr. Stephen Jensen pointed out, the older form goes beyond the language used.  [At last!]

"The Pope’s letter called for a wider availability of the older form of Mass, specifically the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal, which is a separate issue from using Latin in the liturgy."

He said that some fail to recognize the difference between using Latin in Mass, and celebrating the older (extraordinary) form of the Mass.  [Exactly!]

"The difference is more than the language used. The form of Mass we’re most familiar with, according to the three successive editions of the Roman Missal published since the Second Vatican Council (what Pope Benedict calls the ordinary form), has always been celebrated in either Latin or the vernacular languages. Some parishes already use Latin for the common parts of the Mass, like the Gloria and the Sanctus (the Holy, Holy)."

"The older form (the 1962 edition of the Missal) was always in Latin, of course, but beyond that, it looks very different from our current Mass celebrated in Latin."

Father Tran pointed out that both forms bring richness to the Church.  [A good positive statement.]

"We should [!] be using both forms, with the form we are using right now remaining as the common and ordinary form," said Father Tran. "We need to be open to both and allow people to be more open to the treasures of the Church. What earlier generations held sacred, we hold sacred too."  [Very good.]

As head of the liturgy commission for the Archdiocese of Vancouver, Father Tran will no doubt be fielding a number of questions regarding the use of the older form.

"We should welcome this apostolic letter with open arms and with the intention to work toward the unity of the Church. It is the Holy Father’s work; we should welcome it and support it, and it should not be a cause of division, because it is the liturgy of Christ, not anyone’s liturgy."  [I like this guy!]

Father Tran also stressed that the Pope’s decision to foster an increased use of the older form is intended to be a unifying force in the Church, and should not be something that causes division between those who prefer the older form or the newer form. Father Tran said he is particularly hopeful that the Pope’s message will help change the hearts of Catholics who prefer the older form, but have disdain for the newer.

"Some people think the vernacular Mass is nonsense, [Well…. given our terrible translations presently in use, perhaps this is not too far from the truth.]  but that is not the mind or intention of the Church. The intention of the Church is unity; we have to be unified."

While the older form of Mass may become more available, Father Tran points out that it may take a while before celebrating Mass in Latin is common.

"In principle it is available. In practice, it may have to be more regional and limited. Perhaps more parishes will be able to make it available."

An obvious factor that will limit the celebration of the Latin Mass is that most Catholics, both priests and laity, are not familiar enough with the older form to either offer it or participate in it.

For now, those interested in attending the older form can go to Divine Mercy Quasi-Parish, which has Mass on Sunday at 9 a.m. at Aldergrove Elks Hall, and at 12:30 at Holy Spirit Church in New Wesminster. From Monday to Friday it is offered at St. Michael’s in Burnaby at 8 a.m., on Saturday at 7:45 a.m., and on first Fridays at 7 p.m. at St. Anthony’s in Vancouver.  [I like this.  Locations and schedules!]

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, has clarified the Pope’s personal usage. Claims that the Pope offers the Mass privately using the Roman Missal of 1962 are incorrect, he said. They spring from photos which show the Pope offering the Mass in his private chapel at an altar against a wall with his back to a tiny congregation.  [I wonder if the editor of CWN is reading.]

The fact that the Pope’s two private secretaries concelebrate the Mass with him each morning "obviously means he is using the new Missal," since the old missal strictly limits concelebration, he pointed out.  [Of course, no one is in a position really to know about this, are they?]

At public Masses with an international congregation, Pope Benedict uses the post-Vatican II Mass with most of the prayers in Latin. However, on occasions such as the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, which is considered a Rome diocesan celebration, although there is an international congregation, the Pope recites the prayers in Italian.  [The writer was well coached on this.  This is insider ball.]

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  1. Maria says:

    Isn’t it “Noli Timere”?

  2. vox borealis says:

    Canada speaks! Well, Vancouver anyway. Deafening silence still the case here in Montreal. The diocese web site is kind enough to announce that updates are on hiatus until August 10, offering a blanket excuse for passive avoidance. After that, ignoring Summorum Pontifum will have take a more active form (actuosa vitatio, in the Spirit of Vatican II).

  3. Charles Robertson says:

    I went to seminary with Fr. Tran. He’s a truly solid individual. Vancouver has always been a very traditional diocese in a lot of ways. Bishop Exner was fantastic. Most of the priests there spent some part of their formation at the Seminary of Christ the King in Mission which is run by some very solid Benedictines. The liturgical formation at the seminary is very good.

  4. Augustinus says:

    Vancouver is also getting an excellent co-adjutor in Archbishop Michael Miller, currently No. 2 at the Congregation for Catholic Education at the Vatican.

  5. Augustinus: I lived with Archbp. Miller for 4 years.

  6. JaneC says:

    Maria: “noli timere” means something like “not to be afraid” (a statement), and “ne timete” is “be not afraid!” (a command).

    The article starts off a little weak, but ends up quite well. Good to see.

  7. CBM says:

    I am a priest and pastor in the A-diocese of Miami. over the summer a few of the brethern have expressed interest in learning how to celebrate the 1962 missal. I have not been able to find a viable e-mail for you so am using this space in hopes that you might respond to me.

  8. Jane: “noli timere” means something like “not to be afraid”

    No. Noli timere means “Do not be afraid!”. The construction with a form of nolo, nolle and an infinitive is not an uncommon circumlocution for a negative or prohibitive imperative. It literally is something like “be unwilling to be afraid”.

  9. Phil Lawler says:

    Yes, the editor of CWN is reading. Father Lombardi’s speculative response to the CWN story– that maybe someone misinterpreted “photos” (actually he mentioned a video)– is now being passed off as fact. It’s not.

    For the record I was uanware of the video at the time we learned– from a rock-solid Vatican source– that the Holy Father uses the 1962 Missal. We confirmed that report with another reliable source before running the story. I would not stake my journalistic reputation on a report based on speculation.

  10. Richard says:

    “Be not afraid”, the laity won’t have to learn Latin?

    What about “steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them”?

    About time we had some enforcement of Vatican II.

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