The Jesuit ultra-leftist weekly America Magazine had an article by a self-described liberal-minded priest who made a decision to celebrate the traditional form of Mass when a group asked fo it.
I posted the whole article and made comments here.
There are some very good comments in this article what deserve discussion.
I will preface this with a point I have made fairly often. When younger priests who never knew the older form of Mass begin to learn it, it will change their perceptions about what Mass is and who they are as priests. Older priests will have much the same experience when they reaqcuaint themselves, especially after decades of having had only the newer forms of liturgy. This must be a motive for Summorum Pontificum.
An excerpt from their latest number with my emphases.
Having decided to offer the Tridentine Mass, I began the arduous project of recovering—and reinforcing—my Latin grammar and vocabulary so that I could celebrate the liturgy in a prayerful, intelligible way. As I studied the Latin texts and intricate rituals I had never noticed as a boy, I discovered that the old rite’s priestly spirituality and theology were exactly the opposite of what I had expected. Whereas I had looked for the “high priest/king of the parish” spirituality, I found instead a spirituality of “unworthy instrument for the sake of the people.”
The old Missal’s rubrical micromanagement made me feel like a mere machine, devoid of personality; but, I wondered, is that really so bad? I actually felt liberated from a persistent need to perform, to engage, to be forever a friendly celebrant. When I saw a photo of the old Latin Mass in our local newspaper, I suddenly recognized the rite’s ingenious ability to shrink the priest. Shot from the choir loft, I was a mere speck of green, dwarfed by the high altar. The focal point was not the priest but the gathering of the people. And isn’t that a valid image of the church, the people of God?
The act of praying the Roman Canon slowly and in low voice accented my own smallness and mere instrumentality more than anything else. Plodding through the first 50 or so words of the Canon, I felt intense loneliness. As I moved along, however, I also heard the absolute silence behind me, 450 people of all ages praying, all bound mysteriously to the words I uttered and to the ritual actions I haltingly and clumsily performed. Following the consecration, I fell into a paradoxical experience of intense solitude as I gazed at the Sacrament and an inexplicable feeling of solidarity with the multitude behind me.
Let me toss a couple ideas onto the table.
First, many opponents of the older Mass claim that its spirituality is contrary to, or at least out of keeping with, the spirituality of Vatican II.
Second, in Holy Mass (and elsewhere), because of the sacrament of Holy Orders, the priest is alter Christus. When he says Mass, he is both acting in the person of Christ (in persona Christi) as Priest and Victim.
Third, sacramental reality is not less real than tangible reality we perceive with our senses. The sacred mysteries of Holy Mass make present the very events they portray: the Last Supper, the Sacrifice of Calvary. By our baptism we participate in these sacred mysteries.
Fourth, one of the most important elements of a proper ars celebrandi described by His Holiness in Sacramentum caritatis is that the priest must be "transparent" (my word). It is an abuse to impose your personality unduly on the liturgy. By staying out of the way of the true Actor in Mass, Christ the High Priest, the priest is a greater bearer of the person of Christ in a special way in the liturgy. That is an act of charity: sacrificial love, sacrifice of self for the good of others. That is service.
One of the things that I was very struck by was the writer’s comment that during the Canon (which makes Calvary present) the priest felt loneliness.
I would like to open this to some discussion. However, I will try to direct it. Please follow my lead if I cut off tangents or try to get more thoughts on some point that has been raised.
If I delete comments that are leading down rabbit holes, don’t freak out. If people take the discussion in directions I have ask that we avoid, and I delete comments, don’t freak out.
I especially invite comments by priests. As a matter of fact, if we can get priests talking together about this, I will then ask lay people not to comment, but to read carefully.