Fr. Farfaglia is surprised! Fr. Z offers solace and some observations.

The other day I posted about a piece by Fr. James Farfaglia, a sensible Catholic priest and no liberal, who shared thoughts about his love for the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.   He rambled a little and left an impression that the Extraordinary Form “wasn’t quite the thing”, but in the main I thought his reflections were useful.  They were surely well within the pale.

He seems to have gotten some flack from his defense of the Ordinary Form.  This is just a guess, but I suspect that there may be some cross-over with the readership here!

He posted today in an entry entitle Reaching Out to My Disgruntled Critics:

I was rather astounded at the amount of negative comments that the article generated.  The negativity came from people who have an affinity to the Tridentine Mass, or what is now called the Extraordinary Form.

I am surprised at such a negative reaction. I assumed that with Pope Benedicts’ decision to freely allow the use of the Tridentine Mass and to lift the excommunication of the Bishops ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre that those who have an exclusive affinity to the Tridentine Mass would be happy campers.

Surprised?  Really?  Perhaps this is tongue in cheek?

Really, Father, we should have jackets made.

Dear Father, as you made clear, you are a happy priest (well… mostly.  You can, fact be happy and mad at the same time!).  Sadly, the trad thing in the past has tended to attract the sort of person who is happy only when she is unhappy.  (Note my application of inclusivity.)

I think that is changing.  Not only are some of the perennially unhappy beginning to unclench, younger people without the baggage are embracing the more traditional forms and injecting some additional joy into their communities.

There is a slice of our traditional Catholic brothers and sisters out there who need time to heal after the decades of disappointment and sheer abuse from bishops and priests and others in their parishes and perhaps also families. All they wanted was what was Catholic and they were ridiculed for it.   They were deeply sensitive to the discontinuity and rupture inflicted after the Council, decades of craziness that left them angry, and not without cause.   They asked for bread and got scorpions.

When you get scorpions for long enough, you eventually sting back.

Time and TLC are needed.

Keep engaging those who offer those negative comments, Father.  Also, should you ever want to learn the Extrarordinary Form, just give me a shout.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Brick by Brick, Lighter fare, Linking Back, Mail from priests and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Sandy says:

    Your comments, Father, are a good explanation for what those who love the EF have gone through. I would tell Father Farfaglia that I have great respect for him, having read some of his writings in the past. He is a solid and orthodox priest, I just disagreed with part of his description of the Novus Ordo and what has happened since Vatican II.

  2. asophist says:

    In the latest issue of the Remnant, Mr. Michael Matt, in his excellent editorial column states:
    “Speaking of victims, there is one group that could stand a spare apology here and there from the Catholic Church. I’m thinking of the millions of disillusioned and even disenfranchised Catholics who were left spiritually maimed and emotionally scarred for life by errant churchmen over the past half century of revolution in the Church.”
    I highly recommend reading the rest here:

  3. baymedlevel says:

    Fr. Farfaglia has said the TLM for his family and for the parish. He chose not to continue the TLM at his parish once the regular priest found out he had to find a new diocese. On the flip side, he did offer his parish for the TLM communty, if the FSSP was to leave town.

  4. Henry Edwards says:

    I would not have criticized Fr. Farfaglia’s love of the Ordinary Form, which I share when it’s celebrated with propriety, reverence, and sanctity. It’s his title “. . . The Mass of Vatican II” that I might have quibbled with a bit.

    I recall a recent Novus Ordo Mass at which each person attending was provided with an Ignatius Press booklet entitled “The Mass of Vatican II”, with the official Latin on the left-hand pages and an English translation of the Order of Mass on the right-hand pages.

    The Mass was celebrated ad orientem in Latin by a priest wearing beautiful Roman vestments, mostly sung (including the antiphons, orations, and dialogues), with the usual bells and smells and with Holy Communion received on the tongue by people kneeling at the altar rail.

    Ignatius Press must have intended with the title of the booklet to imply that this is the real Mass of Vatican II, though Fr. Farfaglia’s blog does not give the impression that this is the way he celebrates it.

    I would call it instead the “Mass of Paul VI” celebrated as provided in his promulgation and missal as provided in 1969. The real Mass of Vatican II would surely be “The Mass of John XXIII” celebrated using his missal promulgated in 1962 (as was used daily at the Council). Of course, this is the only Mass that Blessed Pope John XXIII ever knew or could have envisioned.

  5. Jim Dorchak says:

    Fr Z
    I think that the good Father also misses the fact that even after SP, there are many of us who are still fighting to have the Latin Mass (or the EF) on a consistent and regular basis. [May I beg you never to use the term “the Latin Mass” again? Especially in this sort of context? The Novus Ordo is, properly celebrated “the Latin Mass” as well! We must eradicate this limiting term!]

    So the Mass is not “Free at Last, Free At Last” at least in the practical sense.

    For instance here in South Carolina the Diocese and Bishop are still not supportive of priests who would wish to say the Latin Mass. Many priests here are afraid to say or learn the Latin Mass for fear of the political fall out from the higher ups and in some cases fear from brother Priests like Father Farfaglia, who belittle them with kindness and in charity. In addition there are areas (not just here in SC) where the Latin Mass has been pidgeon holed, where a token Latin Mass is “On Again /Off Again” (like people can turn on and off their devotion to the Latin Mass like a switch for a vacation from God).
    As you say often Fr Z, brick by brick, and this is where the Latin Mass has been winning. Many of us Latin Mass attendees have boys who also have affection for the “Beauty” of the Latin Mass to use Father Farfaglia’s own words, and many of these young men are intertested in the priesthood. It sure is sad that this fact is ignored in many of the places / dioceses where priests are needed most. [Your comments make me wonder about something… I think I will create a new entry about something…]

  6. Bornacatholic says:

    Dear Father Zuhlsdorf. Thank-you so much for speaking for some many of us. That was so kind of you. God Bless and keep you

  7. edmontonn18 says:

    Hey, well I’m definitely in the happy traditional camp. But maybe that isn’t too hard. Our church is served by three wonderful traditional priests, everything is EF, we have a Missa Cantata (almost) every Sunday and our congregation is full to terrific, kind, thoughtful and generous souls. And – in my case – I’m to young to remember all the hurt that went on during the liturgical changes after the Council. For all of these things I should remember to thank God far more often than I usually manage.

    I think Father Z’s description of the traditional Catholics is very balanced. There really are people out there who are still smarting really bad, and who are going to take a long time to start trusting the hierarchy. But things are surely going in the right direction, even if there’s a way to go yet. Pope Benedict must be one of the best Popes we could have had to start sorting out the problems in the Church. May God bless him with a long life to carry on his work.

    In the meantime, please be patient with our traditional brothers and sisters who are still recovering from bitterness and harm that has been done… and perhaps the Trads can try and be patient back?

  8. dominic1955 says:

    Maybe he didn’t intend it as a scholarly defense piece, but these sorts of issues will come up when facts are involved. I wouldn’t say that the criticism comes from the hurting older folks, or hardcore SSPXers and so forth but from folks who studied up on these matters more and are simply not satisfied with a call for all of us to just drop our issues and get along.

    He answered one poster on his own blog in this way-
    “All of the concerns and comments expressed on Catholic Online are answered in all of the liturgical documents of the Catholic Church. ”

    This is somewhat true, in a sense, but it is not as if it is that obvious. Also, Church documents do not take many of the more pointed criticism of the NO into account, i.e. I think we’d be pretty hard pressed to find a solid defense of making up new Canons or taking the “Mysterium Fidei” out of the words of Consecration.

  9. Pater OSB says:

    TLC = Traditional Latin Care

  10. cpaulitz says:

    “Sadly, the trad thing in the past has tended to attract the sort of person who is happy only when she is unhappy.”

    Father, while there are indeed some older, grumpy trads at every traditional Mass site, maybe we should consider how the modern Church may have turned them into the poor souls they now are?

    I know how it upsets me even today to see the typical novus ordo, even from afar. Now, imagine you’re in your 40s or 50s in 1965, then in 68, and the Hell that broke lose in 69, and you wake up one Sunday morning and the Mass you have loved since your birth is gone.

    Maybe others are stronger than I, but I know I would have been in the closest independent TLM chapel, and probably awfully grumpy as well.

  11. SkiingCatholic2010 says:

    “I think that is changing. Not only are some of the perennially unhappy beginning to unclench, younger people without the baggage are embracing the more traditional forms and injecting some additional joy into their communities.”

    When I discovered the Traditional Latin Mass I read a lot of angry traditionalist websites and became pretty indignant myself. I’m actively trying to change that. When I introduce other young people to the Traditional Mass the reaction is occasionally an angry one. They’re mad as hell that they were raised with hand-holding kumbaya liturgies. They feel robbed, and rightly so. I just tell them they’ve discovered the pearl of great and should rejoice. There is no need to succumb to A.T.S. (Angry Traditionalist Syndrome).

    I just recently started a blog, and my first post was a promise to avoid angry traddy polemics.

  12. robtbrown says:

    Fr Farfaglia is no doubt a very good priest, but I was puzzled by his response (“all of the comments and criticisms are answered by the documents”). The comments I made were all buttressed by documents.

  13. Geoffrey says:

    “The real Mass of Vatican II would surely be ‘The Mass of John XXIII’ celebrated using his missal promulgated in 1962 (as was used daily at the Council).”

    Actually, the real “Mass of Vatican II” has yet to appear, and how many years has it been? Neither the current Ordinary Form or Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite are what the Council Fathers intended!

  14. Matthew the Penitent says:

    After reading Father F’s response as well as his original post, I don’t think he understands the criticism. Even his own statement that those criticizing don’t understand the documents when it is he who in places doesn’t seem to understand the documents. For instance, his misinterpretation of the council on the use of the vernacular. Also, he seems perfectly fine with the horribly mistranslated and poorly phrased English language of the Novus Ordo.
    Of course we in the English speaking lands only know about the English version. Apparently other languages didn’t suffer as great an abasement of the liturgy as we did. I would like to know if my assumption is true.
    Otherwise he seems to be a solid pastor/priest trying to do the best he can.

  15. TJerome says:

    I did not chime in on the Father Farfaglia piece, since he had Father Z’s seal of approval as an orthodox priest. I would say, unless he lived through that terrible time, he may not have a real idea of the terrible pain and suffering that traditional Catholics went through. It was gut wrenching. However, that is now past. We are all adults and should be greatful for the return of sacred tradition. Whether the OF remains in the form it is today or not, surely in the future, because of the young priests we see coming up through the ranks today, it will be celebrated with far greater dignity and reverence than most of us have been accustomed to.

  16. archambt says:

    Fr. Z, I like your comment here, and I think it is quite pastoral. We should keep it in mind. On the one hand, folks who have fought to worship in the EF have faced a lot of flack, ridicule, and outright cruelty by some segments of the Catholic Church. They still do. We should be willing to be gentle with these folks, and try to understand what it has been like for them.

    But, I think “Angry, Dour Traditionalist Syndrome” needs to be opposed as well, and as you say, the younger the attendees get, the more joy and charity will be present. I can’t really stand the EF crowd here, because they are so depressing (The EF here being offered through a society that colonizes a local parish every Sunday…there is an EF crowd in Virginia/DC that is rooted in the parish life and is quite vibrant and joyful)! They aren’t friendly! You would think you would welcome a young face at one of these things, but instead, I get scowls, as if I’m some sort of enemy. I’m not. The enemy never comes to the EF. How are the scowls charitable? How is that welcoming? Why do you expect sympathy if you can’t muster kindness? Its the same reaction, to be honest, that one gets at a liberal parish when you chose to kneel for the consecration.

    Frankly, with the passing of both the generation of hippy Libs and the dour Trads, a new sort of Catholicism will arise that will respect both the OF and the EF, I think. Just as one side seeks to rid themselves of anything remotely “Roman Catholic,” I sometimes fear the other side takes a hyper-reactive view that places too much emphasis upon externals, without due interior conversion.

    Not to lob a hand-grenade comment out there. But so I have.

  17. RichardT says:

    I agree with Jim Dorchak – although we can now dare to hope, and should be more optimistic, for many of us the Tridentine Mass is still no more available than it was a decade ago.

    Yes, my diocese now has a Tridentine Mass at 3pm every Sunday, but in a different church each week:
    – on the first Sunday of the month it is a 220 miles, 5 hour round trip drive;
    – on the second Sunday of the month it is only 180 miles, 4 hours;
    – the third Sunday of the month is good, only 130 miles and a mere 3 hours drive, but still rather a challenge with children;
    – on the fourth Sunday of the month it is 150 miles, 3.5 hours;
    – fifth Sundays would be a challenge – 300 miles and 6 hours drive.

    And this is not a reflection of a general lack of Catholic churches; there must be 7 within 15 miles of me.

    No, I don’t do those ridiculous trips every week, or even often. I can still get to a Tridentine Mass occasionally when I am in London, as I always could, but in my home diocese it is still, for practical purposes, no more available than it was ten years ago.

    Yes, things are getting better, and we should be optimistic and shouldn’t criticise decent priests. But we are a long way from being “happy campers.”

    Mind you, I suppose camping might be one way of getting to Mass.

  18. jficthus says:

    [This is from Fr. Farfaglia… ]

    The purpose of my article was not to get into the subject of the Tridentine Mass. The purpose of my article was to talk about the Ordinary Form as a lead article to begin a catechesis on the new English translation of the Ordinary Form. [A worthy project!]

    “Father Z” there is no need to teach me how to offer the Tridentine Mass. I already know how to offer the Mass in the Extraordinary Form. I have offered it on numerous occasions for family and friends who prefer the Extraordinary Form of the Catholic Mass. [Very good.]

    “Father Z” and everyone else – there was a Vatican II. [Come now! The things you tell us! o{]:¬) ] Vatican II is a valid Council of the Church. It is not going to go away. Some Pope is not going to come along and condemn the Second Vatican Council. [No need for this, you know.]

    As priests and laity, we need to be one with the mind of the Church and the direction of the Church. It is imperative that we implement the Council correctly, not come unglued every time we mention Vatican II.

    I understand the hurt and disappointment of so many people who have suffered for their faith. I am among them and I have the scars to prove it. [Again, we should have jackets made! o{]:¬) ]

    The advances that Pope Benedict XVI has made for the Tridentine Mass movement and for the proper implementation of the Ordinary Form [which are the one and the same movement, since this is about continuity…] should be welcomed with a great sense of gratitude to Almighty God. Granted, we have a long way to go, but we are moving in the right direction.

    Just as I accept anyone who prefers to offer Mass or attend Mass using the Extraordinary Form, these same people need to accept those who prefer the Ordinary Form, offered correctly according to the liturgical norms of the Church. Any other posture will only continue the ideological battlefield tearing apart the Church. Every Catholic needs to be obedient to the Church.

  19. Sid says:

    Coming in late to this discussion and the previous:

    The MOF lectionary is the better one. Otherwise, the MEF is better.

    1. The four evangelists each have a different perspective, and thus a different theology. Their theologies certainly can be harmonized, yet without reading to the people all of the Gospels, The Gospel’s very width and depth would be neglected. E.g., and awaiting the Advent Season: For Luke and maybe Matthew, St. John the Baptist is the last of the former age; for Mark and John, is the the proto-Christian. (n.b. Luke-Acts is really one work.) Matthew sees Christianity as the fulfillment of Judaism; Luke sees Christianity replacing Judaism; John sees Christianity as the transfiguration of Judaism; Mark, writing to a church under fire, stresses the theme of failed discipleship. Etc. etc.

    So the Gospels should be read at Mass over the 3 year cycle in their entirety. Ditto the rest of the New Testament. And as for the OT, maybe the selection at the MOF shouldn’t be there just to prop up the Gospel, as it seems to be in the MOF, but it still should always be included. So, three readings. (Fr. Z is right about the “responsorial psalm”; it ought to go.)

    2. Does a lengthy lectionary belong properly in the Office of Readings? Perhaps, but good luck getting folks to come to this Office! The readings at Mass are the only practical option.

    3. Is this any time for Catholics to neglect a thorough knowledge of the Bible? Hardly. The Bible is Catholic; so to claim that using it is “Protestant” is really quite risible. What is more, and regrettably, clergy don’t have authority any more. People aren’t going to believe what the preacher says because he, or The Church, says so and invoke his or The Church’s authority. They will believe it if they hear it coming from God. If authority is rightly invested and the sermon preach Biblically, then if one doesn’t like a sermon, then the proper response isn’t to call the Chancery, or stop going to Mass, but to hand in one’s Baptismal certificate, because one’s quarrel is with God Himself. Let the texts for the readings provide the authority; Or why say “Verbum Domini”?

    4. Catholics, in religious discussions with Protestants will get nowhere by quoting Church documents. They will get somewhere by using scripture wisely. Case in point: what St. Paul says in Romans 2 shatters Lutheran “justification by faith alone”.

    5. Finally, the Bible’s home is the liturgy. The Canon was selected by the rule, What is to be used in worship? So the books so chosen ought so be used. To neglect the Bible is to neglect liturgy itself.

  20. Fr_Sotelo says:

    I would not argue with Fr. Farfaglia about which Missal is better, superior, etc. based on the rubrics, parts of Mass, eloquence of prayer, or other external forms. When a parish priest says he is happy with the Mass of Paul VI, I believe it is an experience which goes beyond what is on the paper of the two Missals (and of those things we can argue till the cows come home).

    My guess is that Fr. Farfaglia, being a pastor of thousands of souls, sees that the “sensus fidelium” find that the OF Mass is more spiritually effective for them, and gives them greater joy. Even when you educate the orthodox Catholics who truly love the Church on the “superiority” of the Extraordinary Form, they still choose as a majority to worship in the Ordinary Form and find more happiness with that.

    Many priests with the care of souls, when they see greater joy in the hearts of the faithful at the OF Mass, cannot help but also feel themselves that greater joy and happiness. Thus it is that many pastors and priests will say to me, “I would love to start the EF Mass in my parish, but insofar as my people embrace the OF Mass far more, I will stay with just the OF Mass.”

  21. Mitchell NY says:

    Maybe it is a good way to guage the amount of pain the way the NO Missal was heaped onto people. The suffering was enormous. Imagine a Faith driving away possibly millions of its’ own people. Puts things really in perspective. I would guess circa 1970 – 75, those negative comments could have been amplified by at least a million. Most are gone now, one way or the other. Silenced. This is a time for reflection for many. Even those of us after the Council. Some people are saying what could not be said just a few years ago. Healing, just like in any type of abuse takes lifetimes. You are not suddenly happy.

  22. robtbrown says:


    A few points:

    First, although you are certainly correct about the necessity of being exposed to the Gospels, that doesn’t necessarily mean that every word of every Gospel need be read.

    Second, the readings from the 1962 Missal are selected to be part of the theme of the mass. For example, the readings for a the feast of a Doctor of the Church are appropriate for that life. The same is true for the feasts of a Martyr, Apostle, etc.

    Third, the Breviary is coordinated with the 1962 Missal. The patristic readings at Matins are commentaries on the Gospel of the feast, with the Gospel being read at the end of Office. A few hours later the same Gospel is read at mass.

    I invite you to examine the old Breviary .

  23. Jim Dorchak says:

    Fr Z please forgive the infraction on the nomiclature issue, it is just that for 15 years prior to the EF being made the “EF” by the MP it bacame the name which was then best described. Old habits are hard to break.

    There are similar situtions to yours here in the south. I call it the “Musical Chairs Pidgeon Hole”. One day it is here, then there, and then rescheduled 40 miles over there, followed by an unexpeced cancellation where families with small children have traveled hours only to find Mass has been cancelled.
    Part of the Musical Chair shell game is that there are no meeting facilities made available to the attendees after Mass, and then you have no sense of community and therefore no coheision, no growth. The diocese and bishop comes out smelling like a rose, since the EF is provided to devotees (in all charity), and the growth of the EF effectively is squashed (read snicker, snicker). I have to wonder how many EF attendees have been playing this same stupid game all over the good ole USA?
    So we pray and continue to be obedient and complaicent all the while continuing on and on for years of unsatifactory provision for our devotion. I have been dressed down more than once by a family or husband about “we read that the EF was there every Sunday at a regular time and we drove 1, 2, 3, or 4 hours and there was no Mass”! When a mom or dad who got the kids up at 4 am to go to Mass some hours away asks “What were they thinking when they cancelled the EF Mass?” What do you say? I wonder what would happen if they cancelled a scheduled Novo Ordo Mass, or a whoa… dare I say a Spanish Mass? God save us.

  24. RichR says:

    I’ve met Fr. Farfaglia before…when he assisted at a Pontifical Nuptial Mass (EF) that my men’s Schola Cantorum sang for (so I’d say he’s a far cry from anti-EF). He’s a solid priest who has seen, firsthand, the devastation that radical traditionalism can do to families. He has also suffered many injustices for speaking out against the evils of our time so candidly from the pulpit. He has a marriage prep program that is very rigorous and faithful to the Church’s teaching, and he is very Pro-life. He reminds me of a soldier who has survived shell-shock, captivity, and torture….and still insists on staying on the front lines and fighting the battle. Yeah, he may have some battle scars and rough edges, but I know I’d have a serious case of pride if I had done half the things he has for the Kingdom of God…..and Fr. F. Came across to me as very humble. He’s someone the church needs right now.

  25. Andrew says:

    I would hope that our opinions are based on something more concrete and accurate than “who had been hurt by whom” or “who needs to heal” or who is a “traditionalist” or who is pious. I don’t consider any of that when I try to form an opinion, or rather, when I try to find out what the Church teaches about something.

  26. Stvsmith2009 says:

    I converted to the Catholic Church 6 years ago. I have only experienced the OF Mass. The priest who was at our parish at the time attempted to offer the EF Mass, but stopped due to a lack of attendance. My job at the time prevented me from being able to attend the EF, and I am not aware of any of the 5 parishes here in my western North Carolina county offering the EF Mass. I have however, on at least 2 occasions, had my being Catholic dismissed by some of the more overzealous traditionalists. One even called me a free mason and implied that I and “other converts” like me are “intent on destroying the Church”. I love the Church, and for the last five years have run a series of blogs (22 of ’em last count) dedicated to the Church, and have attempted to defend the Church and it’s teachings in my simple less than scholarly way. I really appreciate Father Z’s blog since discovering it a couple of months back. I have learned a good deal here already and hope to learn more. So, if I make a comment that seems lacking in knowledge here, or ask a question, please be patient. This North Carolinian may be slow at times, but I hang on to what I learn.

  27. Jayna says:

    Stvsmith2009: I don’t know how west in North Carolina you live, but Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh does an EF Mass on 1st Sundays. Might be worth the drive once a month.

  28. jficthus says:

    This is Father Farfaglia again before turning in…

    Father “Z”:
    With all due respect from one priest to another, placing your comments in red in a reader’s comments is not a common practice in the blog world. If you want discussion and debate, then it should be free flowing, free from arrogance, prejudice and ad hominem immature comments. Let’s talk about official Church teaching as defined by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.
    This comment from a Catholic lawyer in Corpus Christi may place everything in perspective (at least it does for me). Here it goes…

    I am an ardent lover of the Tridentine Mass, but I appreciate the benefits of the Novus Ordo Missae while recognizing its liturgical shortcomings. I am also a stickler for the rubrics, regardless of the form or rite one uses. What one form gives in participation, the other takes away. What the other takes away in sacredness, the other gives.

    In the debate between the two, I always try to remember St. Lucian (a third century priest), who after being imprisoned and tortured for days, with broken bones and dislocated joints, had the opportunity to say mass while in chains, bound to the ground, using his chest as an altar when some Christians brought him some bread and wine. I should think that if mass on St. Lucian’s chest is valid and licit, we ought to be a little less intolerant on the matter of form. Recall also, that the Church had dozens of rites or uses, from Sarum, to Ambrosian, Gallican, African, Syrian, and a whole slew of Eastern rites. Choose your enemies and befriend your allies.

    For all their personal preferences the conservative, orthodox Novus Ordo priests and the Tridentine priests ought not to be fighting, especially when the new translations are a step in the right direction and our common enemies are legion. The Tridentine, for all its tradition, is not quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est. Jesus in the Upper Room in the First Mass, for one, or St. Peter or St. Paul or any of the other apostles, or a whole slew of Saints for centuries, never uttered the Tridentine rite. Aren’t we in communion with them? – Lex Christianorum

  29. Norah says:

    It is my opinion, from reading The Feast of Faith, that then Cardinal Ratzinger likes the Ordinary Form of the Mass when celebrated according to the rubrics.

  30. Now Father F!

    Dear Friend of kneeling Catholics! You are ‘giving’ as well as ‘receiving’ in this scuffle!
    I like colored ink comments otherwise I lose track of who is speaking. your quote above is a good illustration….I totally forgot by the end of it whether it was your friend’s words or yours.

    I think your/his ‘Upper Room argument’ is weak! Otherwise the Holy Father is wrong to crack down on the Neocatechumenical people….they are just trying to rigidly imitate how they ‘imagine’ It to have been. Probably, if they become convinced that everyone was reclining then they will want chaise lounges installed in our cathedrals! or recliners!

    Your//his argument is the ‘archaelogism’ argument which is often used to undermine any modern practice one ‘can’t imagine’ existing in the early Church: E. g. increased Eucharistic devotion which took time to develope. Did the early Church celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi? No? Well then pardon me while I forego its celebration and feel justified in doing so!
    Didn’t the hand Communion people trumpet this argument powerfully as they destroyed Eucharistic devotion?

    I have just heard the ‘I just can’t imagine Jesus and the Apostles doing ….(fill in the blank)’ argument fall from the lips of so many protestants, agnostics and scoffers. If it is a valid argument, then I’m in the wrong Church!

    your faithful admirer


  31. SonofMonica says:

    Father Farfaglia,

    From your comments, it seems that you believe Fr. Z’s blog to be an EF-only blog. Far from it, I don’t know that many people would take issue with what you said about the Ordinary Form, celebrated according to the rubrics. I find this blog and its comments (and yes, Fr. Z’s red-text interjections) to be of the mindset that the good is not the enemy of the perfect, the OF (were it to be properly implemented and celebrated) is not the enemy of the EF, and the multiple rites of the Church to be a great treasure. I, for one, am about to attend my parish’s CRHP retreat, where Mass will be offered in the OF, vernacular, as is life in my normal parish. Then in a couple weeks, I will assist at a solemn high requiem in the EF (although I have to drive an 1.5 hrs to get there).

    In short, I think you imagine having many enemies here, due to a little criticism or slight disagreement with what you said in your article. Nothing could be further from the truth. Keep up the faith and the good fight!


  32. Henry Edwards says:

    Fr. Farfaglia,

    I appreciate your sincerity and your evident devotion to the faith and to your vocation as a holy priest and pastor. However, it occurs to me that your arguments here may be directed to largely to someone other than us.

    Few here would (and no one should) quarrel with your preference to offer the form of Mass that best needs of your parishioners, and certainly not with your love of the Mass in either form. But what surely seemed curious to some was your felt need to address the EF initially in the first of a series of articles on the new translation of the OF.

    At any rate, you may not know that many if not most of us here are happy with a properly celebrated Mass in either form of the Roman rite. I myself have experienced beautiful, reverent, and even transcendent celebrations in both forms within the past week. Like most here, I eagerly anticipate (and have long awaited) the impending new OF translation, realizing that the OF will continue to serve the preponderant majority of Catholics, and that its reform was a principal objective of Pope Benedict in liberating the EF (at least to provide a model for OF celebration).

    Moreover, most of those I attend the EF Mass with are fully open to the OF, as evidenced by the fact that they attend it regularly with devotion. However, most of those we attend the OF with are not equally open to the EF, or at best are indifferent to it. So the traffic on this street flows mostly in one direction, while you may think it goes in the opposite direction.

    Finally, it should be mentioned that–for many of his followers here as well as readers of his hundreds of columns on English translation of the newer Roman missal–Fr. Zuhlsdorf has long been a visible public face of the drive for an accurate and faithful English translation, and since long before general articles like yours began to appear. Indeed, I myself recall reading his OF translation columns for years before discovering his additional interest in what is now called the EF.

    I forward to your own continuing articles, hoping and trusting that the discussion here has served constructively to flesh out some of your background.

    (As a postscript, I might add that Father Z’s interpolated comments are a hallmark of this most popular and prominent of Catholic blogs.)

  33. Sedgwick says:

    How is it a negative comment to want to restore Holy Mother Church, and to help her recover from the abomination that is the Novus Ordo? [This sort of comment isn’t welcome.]

  34. Gail F says:

    Archampt said: “I can’t really stand the EF crowd here, because they are so depressing ”

    Hear, hear. The first Latin Mass people I ever met were so bitter and nasty that they turned me off for years. I didn’t know what their grievances were and frankly did not care. At that time, what they were talking about seemed to me like ancient history. Now of course I have a good idea about what they meant and I agree with them in principle on many things. But do I want to be around them? NO. The OF mass I went to and loved — like the EF mass I attended in Latin and loved — were with different people. I understand what the bitter crowd went through and perhaps I would be like them myself if I had been through it. But priests have to be priests for everyone, and today all the majority of people know is the EF. To pretend this isn’t so is silly. That’s why the Pope brought the OF back, he didn’t wipe the EF off the map.

    I think Mitchell NY said it best: “Healing, just like in any type of abuse takes lifetimes. You are not suddenly happy.” We are all just going to have to get through this, and as Catholics we have to do it together and not at each others’ throats.

  35. Sam Schmitt says:

    Father Farfaglia:

    I echo what Henry Edwards and Son of Monica have said. I have no quarrel with your love of the mass of Paul VI – I love it as well!

    At the same time I have come to the conclusion that it is not all that the Council Fathers intended. Of course it is approved by the Church’s highest authority and as such is vaild, worthy, and efficacious. Still, it is not above criticism – any more than the “Tridentine” form is. So (in my humble opinion) it is not enough to imply that all criticisms of it are somehow illegitimate or are “answered in the documents.” Of course any blog post that mentions the two forms of the Roman rite will bring out people who claim the new rite is the work of Masons, etc., but there are also saner voices who have what I believe are legitimate concerns which are not the same as a wholesale attack on the ordinary form, much less an attack on your love and esteem for it.

    These concerns are not merely academic but figure in Benedict XVI’s project of restoring continuity between the traditional liturgy and the mass of Paul VI that has been obscured since the Council. He would like to see the traditional form enriching the newer form of the mass, something that cannot take place unless there is a critical look at how the reforms were carried and how the rite is celebrated today.

    So legitimate questions and concerns are only allowed but are to be encouraged – they can lead to an improvement not only in the way the mass is celebrated but also to an understanding of what may need to be changed in the ordinary form itself. It’s perfectly fine with me if you are not particularly interested in this project, but a wholesale dismissal of it is not particularly helpful either.

  36. TJerome says:

    “Many priests with the care of souls, when they see greater joy in the hearts of the faithful at the OF Mass, cannot help but also feel themselves that greater joy and happiness.”

    I think one is projecting what they want to see when I see a statement like that. I see happiness and joy on the faces of the faithful at a Missa Cantata (OF or EF) but when I attend the typical parish OF I see NO joy nor happiness. Most faithful Catholics are there in spite of the banality of it all. I watch the faces of folks often times at the OF. I see expressions of boredom, ennui, but seldom, if ever, joy or happiness. If there was such joy and happiness with the OF, we wouldn’t be talking about a reform of the reform and re-enchanting the Liturgy. Why would one fix something that brings happiness and joy.

  37. Fr_Sotelo says:


    I think one is projecting what they want to see when I see a statement like that.

    I know of what I speak, and you may rest assured I am not projecting. Besides, in psychology, the act of projection takes place in isolated cases. I am speaking of thousands of parishioners who express their joy after attending an Ordinary Form Mass. There is no guessing game. They flat out speak of their preference for the OF Mass, and there rejection of the EF Mass. Now, I am not denying that your experience is what it is for you, but I do appreciate not having my experience second guessed because it disagrees with yours.

    This is not a convenient truth for those of us who wanted thousands to flock to EF Masses when they became available, and did not see this happen. This is not a convenient truth for those of us who invited the orthodox, faithful Catholic families only to see them continue attending their favorite OF Mass. Because of my love for the EF Mass, it does bother me when I see even the majority of devout and orthodox Catholics avoid the EF Mass even when there are no obstacles at all to attendance.

    My point is simply to state that I can understand Fr. Farfaglia’s points. In addition to the defense he gives of the OF Mass, many priests who are faithful like him say very bluntly, “I know the OF Mass needs reform and improvement, but even so, most of my parishioners prefer that form, not the usus antiquior. They have received the form of the Pauline Missal as a legitimate exercise of the papal magisterium for their good. They are happy with the new Missal, and I am happy to offer it with them, so no, I’m not about to cancel OF Masses in my Sunday schedule to put EF Masses which very few will attend.”

  38. TJerome says:

    “thousands of parishioners who express their joy?” Well you can believe that if you like but that’s simply not true. I find most priests in a parish setting are surrounded by folks who tell them what they want to here. In my parish the pastor is a big-time lefty and his whole staff are other lefties. It’s an echo chamber. In terms of ordinary parishioners, they may say it’s their preference probably because they’ve never been exposed to anything else . It’s kind of like hamburger is fine until one is exposed to filet mignon.

  39. Fr_Sotelo says:

    TJerome: Since the parishioners are just telling us what they think we want to hear, then I guess parish priests have good reason to deny the faithful the Extraordinary Form Mass, correct? After all, if any say, “I love the Mass of the 1962 Missal; it gives me such joy” that is just being said to please Father.

    Or is there one standard for the OF Mass afficionados and another standard for the EF Mass afficionados? As a priest, I know that a small minority of parishioners connected to parish politics may have a reason to say what they say. But the vast majority of the faithful are not connected to church politics and have no reason to have their sincerity or truthfulness called into doubt.

  40. TJerome says:

    Fr. Sotelo,

    No one needs to ask for an OF, so I am missing your point. I doubt most pastors would be pleased if the faithful asked for the EF because it would mean they would actually have to spend time learning it. I for one would like to see some of your evidence for the “thousands” that fine “joy” with the OF. In my opinion, the way the typical OF is celebrated in a typical parish, for a person to find ” joy” in the banality of the language, the banality of the music, and the banality of the praxis, would lead me to conclude that the person is dead to the senses. Indeed, we must have raised a generation of religious and cultural phillistines. This type of celebration brings is tolerable at best. And by the way, I was in Church music for over 40 years, so I have a bit of experience in judging the “joy” factor from both the choir loft and the sanctuary. The only time I remembered receiving a compliment on the music was when the choir occasionally did some Latin polyphony or chant. An exchange I had with one 12 year old boy was memorable. After we chanted the Pange Lingua, he came up to me and asked what it was and I explained it to him and explained that it was a common chant in the past. He looked puzzled and then said “why would anyone want to get rid of something that beautiful!” Indeed. No one ever told me they just loved “Gather us In.”

    One question for you. If this Mass brings such “joy” why is it necessary to provide an entirely new translation? Why would the Church want to deprive the laity of their joy?

  41. Fr_Sotelo says:


    First, I am recounting my experience as a pastor in nine parishes. I don’t have evidence of the thousands who have spoken to me of their joy at Mass, because I was not followed by a documentary crew, especially in the poor, mission chapels. Secondly, the joy at Mass that people recount does not mean that the Mass is in amber, sealed in a state of perfection that admits of no improvements. The outward form undergoes improvement because the Church responds to a need in the liturgy with the passage of time. Improvements and reform are not undertaken because there is no joy. They are undertaken to make something good become better.

    But I do not understand this resentment and brooding over the fact that the majority of priests and Catholic faithful prefer the Missal of Paul VI to that of John XXIII. When Fr. Farfaglia says “there was a Vatican II” and it is not going away, I believe that statement reflects the intransigence of some to any good or fruit that came from the Council and the reformed liturgy.

    To tell the clergy that they are feeding the faithful hamburger while filet mignon awaits those who offer the 1962 Missal is going to be followed in most sectors by raucous laughter, then indignation, and finally the terse comment, “If you who call the EF Mass filet mignon cannot go beyond resentment, sour grapes, and brooding, while you are enjoying your filet mignon, then by all means leave me to my hamburger, because it tastes quite good and I’m never nasty and resentful while I enjoy it.”

  42. TJerome says:

    Father Sotelo, why not answer my simple question. If the Mass today is so fantastic and creates joy, then why is the Holy See ( you know, the Vatican, the Pope, your boss) [ o{]>:¬( ] insisting that this vehicle which creates such “joy” be changed? Why do you dismiss John XXIII who wrote “that Latin is the language that joins the Church of today” in Veterum Sapientia” and who never uttered one single word of the Mass of Paul VI ?

  43. TJerome says:

    Father Sotelo, one last thing. If this “new and improved” Mass is so fantastic, then why did 80% of American Catholics attend the mass of John XXIII weekly compared to 23% who attend the Mass of Paul VI today? In the secular world, its creators would be fired for creating an inferior and unpopular “product.”

  44. Fr_Sotelo says:

    TJerome: Is it really necessary to tell me “( you know, the Vatican, the Pope, your boss)” ? And I did answer your question, “why is the Holy See insisting that this vehicle …. be changed?” My answer in the above post is as follows: “The outward form undergoes improvement because the Church responds to a need in the liturgy with the passage of time. Improvements and reform are not undertaken because there is no joy. They are undertaken to make something good become better.” An improved translation is meant to make the prayers more eloquent and elevated. It doesn’t mean that at present the prayers and rites are of no use or value at all. What you are calling a “change” is a revised translation for the English speaking world. I don’t see anything in the rites which is “change” of the rites per se so much as how it sounds to us.

    Again, I don’t know why you think I “dismiss” Bl. John XXIII. I have not said anything to dismiss him or the 1962 Missal. Why would I want to dismiss either? I have merely pointed out that the reformed liturgy, with all its many problems, has been received by the majority of the clergy and Catholic faithful as the form of the Roman Rite in which they wish to pray.

    As far as drops in church attendance, that has happened all across the board, not just in the Catholic Church, so it would make no sense to blame the OF Mass. The Eastern Orthodox have seen the same drops and they do not have a “Novus Ordo” to blame nor did not they revise their Divine Liturgy.

    The point here is not that the Missal of Paul VI is “so fantastic” while the Missal of 1962 is to be dismissed. The point I am commenting on is that Fr. Farfaglia is happy to offer the OF Mass and believes that for the vast majority of the Church, it has been well received. He offers the EF Mass also but believes that when implemented correctly, the OF Mass is the choice of liturgy for the majority of the Church and has much to offer (and will continue to offer much with the revised translation for the English-speaking world). I concur with his points and believe that the vast, vast majority of the Catholic clergy do as well.

  45. Dear Father Sotelo!

    Post hoc ergo propter hoc is not always true, but it is almost irresistible with our topic. The aftermath of Vatican II left many faithful scratching their heads! Eamon Duffy recounts this in the ‘Stripping of the Altars’. how he, as a young man, couldn’t understand why the clergy was pushing the laity to make some of the same changes that the laity had, during the Reformation, resisted to the point of martyrdom. Certainly he was not alone. Many other laity, e.g. Alec Guinness, made very judgemental statements about the value of the changes.

    Some sheep never wonder why the shepherd does what he does. But some do. The Church lost many of the latter. There was never a good explanation of why, after we remodel our churches and liturgy to be pseudo-mainline protestant why it wouldn’t just be better to be the real thing! or just chunk it all since the Church, the Foundation which had been seen to be timeless, was now worried about being ‘out of date’, and even trying to correct her ‘errors’. Some left because of rising secularism (your point). But not all! Many left because the changes scandalized them and weakened their faith. Surely you know this is true.

  46. robtbrown says:

    A few points:

    1. It is apparent that when people speak of the OF, Novus Ordo, Mass of Vat II, or the Mass of Paul VI that they mean vernacular versus populum liturgy. Of course, concretely that’s true, but juridically it’s incorrect because the Novus Ordo can be said in Latin ad orientem. As I’ve said before, the conflict is not between the 1962 Missal and that promulgated in 1970. Rather it’s between vernacular/versus populum and Latin/ad orientem. IMHO, if most US parishes were given the choice between vernacular versus populum celebration using the 1962 Missal and Latin ad orientem celebration using the 1970 Missal, the preference would be for the former.

    2. I think it’s very important not to isolate liturgy from the rest of Catholic life (cf SC no. 10). Thus to speak of how people react (“the look on their faces”) during mass is of little import. The purpose of liturgy is generally to give those present a sense of the Catholic Church and specifically of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Thus: When any priest says that his flock likes the present liturgical situation, I wonder what per cent of that flock is contracepting or habitually voting for pro abortion candidates.

    3. Although I do think that liturgical changes have had a profound effect on attendance at mass, nevertheless, I also think it’s a mistake to quantify pastoral success. It must be noted that St Benedict, whose name was adopted by the present pope, can be considered to have initiated the Middles Ages by retreating the cave at Subiaco. I think it was Josef Pieper who noted the chronological correspondence between the closing of the School of Athens and the composition of the Holy Rule.

  47. susanna says:

    …”If you who call the EF Mass filet mignon cannot go beyond resentment, sour grapes, and brooding, while you are enjoying your filet mignon, then by all means leave me to my hamburger, because it tastes quite good and I’m never nasty and resentful while I enjoy it.”…

    At the OF mass I used to attend we got general absolution every Saturday night. Boy were we happy. Loving my filet, still happy.

  48. TJerome says:

    Father Sotelo,

    The Mass of Paul VI was imposed upon the Faithful. At the time it was imposed most Catholics pretty much went along with whatever the heirarchy said. If that “reform” were to occur today, I doubt the Faithful would be as supine as it was then.

    If the reformed Mass evokes so much joy, then the numbers of Catholics going to Mass should be going up, not down. I believe that the new Mass translations are a needed antidote to the banality and ordinariness of the current ICEL translation. It may help stem further defections (except for the rigid, doctrinaire, spirit of Vatican II types). I also believe the Holy See is trying to re-enchant the liturgy since the OF has NOT been a rip-roaring success. I think the clergy is engaging in self-deception if they think people really like the banality, triteness of the status quo. Catholics go to Mass in spite of its current form.

  49. Jerry says:

    @robtbrown – “When any priest says that his flock likes the present liturgical situation, I wonder what per cent of that flock is contracepting or habitually voting for pro abortion candidates.”

    A good question. Likewise, of what benefit is the sacredness of the Extraordinary Form to those who defend it with arrogance and a lack of charity, as has been demonstrated by at least one participant in this thread?

  50. robtbrown says:

    Jerry says:

    @robtbrown – “When any priest says that his flock likes the present liturgical situation, I wonder what per cent of that flock is contracepting or habitually voting for pro abortion candidates.”

    A good question. Likewise, of what benefit is the sacredness of the Extraordinary Form to those who defend it with arrogance and a lack of charity, as has been demonstrated by at least one participant in this thread?

    I agree about the attitude of some who arrogantly defend the EF. On the other hand, the Church teaches that contraception is always grave matter. I don’t know of anyone who considers arrogance grave matter.

    I intentionally left out “lack of charity” because frankly I’m tired of it being thrown around as a euphemism for someone not being nice.

    The loss of spirited debate, which sometimes becomes overheated, is one of the sad deficiencies of the present age. I have been told stories of the famous Fr Gredt coming to Fr Garrigou LaGrange at the Angelicum for Confession. Afterwards, they would engage in intellectual “conversation”, during which Garrigou would be sometimes be heard loudly calling Fr Gredt a liar, an idiot, or accusing him of not being able to read.

  51. robtbrown says:

    Also: When the above exchange had finished, Fr Gredt and Fr Garrigou would bow to each other, then Fr G would say he would see him in two weeks.

  52. Henry Edwards says:


    I think Fr. Sotelo has made a point that is both valid and pertinent.

    Without doubt, the vast majority of people choose hamburger regularly, not filet mignon. Clearly they prefer to do so, for perhaps a variety of reasons. But the fact is undeniable, with regard to both beef and liturgy.

    On the other point of discussion, I’d predict that the introduction of a beautiful and dignified translation of the Missal of Paul VI will not only increase people’s joy and satisfaction, but ultimately may well improve their taste. Once they’ve seen the real beef, they may want more of it.

  53. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Henry Edwards: Without doubt, the vast majority of people choose hamburger regularly, not filet mignon. Clearly they prefer to do so, for perhaps a variety of reasons. But the fact is undeniable, with regard to both beef and liturgy. LOL! I believe the philosopher, Dr. Charles de Koninck, would be proud at your ability to elucidate a self-evident principle with such clarity.

    What I am speaking of is the practical experience of a pastor. What TJerome seems to wish to do is argue the merits or lack thereof of the OF Mass. So, we are speaking past each other during which he happens to enlighten me on what the Holy See is.

    Dr. Brown now mentions the contracepting or pro-abort Catholics. I am well aware of those in the congregation, but that is not the crowd I am speaking of in my experience of liturgical preference. That crowd would naturally be expected to reject the Tridentine Mass. Rather, I am speaking of the faithful, non-dissenting families who love the Church. I am speaking of very good families who have the EF Mass available to them, and yet prefer to continue attending the OF Mass when this Mass is properly and devoutly offered (extremely important for me to add this condition). And I hear this comment from priests across the board, so it is not my isolated outlook.

    From the point of view of a parish priest evaluating a “sensus fidelium” or reaction of the devout faithful to the forms in the Roman Rite, this is going to have an effect on how priests judge the reception of the Missal of Paul VI. The conclusion, from pastors (not from the academics or the periti of liturgy) is going to be that if orthodox and devout faithful, in spite of the objective merits or defects in both forms of the Roman Rite, continue to adhere to the Missal of Paul VI, then there is good reason to investigate the merits of this Missal.

    Fr. Farfaglia is an example of a good, orthodox priest. He has investigated the Missal of Paul VI and presented what he believes are its merits. In addition to his article and its conclusions, I added another element in this comment box. I added the possibility that Fr. Farfaglia has also seen what other parish priests see and he has taken notes–that another argument in favor of the OF Mass is that among the obedient, faithful, and devout, it is their preference, more so than the EF Mass.

    That would make us parish priests conclude that the OF Mass has another strike in its favor, in addition to what arguments can be gleaned from principles of liturgy, theology, etc. By “in its favor” I do not mean superior to the Tridentine Mass. What I mean is that when Paul VI was moved to publish the OF Missal, he was not contradicting the will of God or displeasing the Holy Spirit, because if that were the case, the sensus fidelium would have reacted against this Mass, even when it was properly and devoutly offered.

  54. Fr_Sotelo says:

    robtbrown: I wholeheartedly agree with you that if the 1962 Missal was offered facing the people, and in the vernacular, it would be attended by more people than a Novus Ordo in Latin facing ad orientem.

    Personally, what I believe would be most popular would be the 1962 Missal ad orientem, with most of the Mass in the vernacular (at least Canon in Latin), with the congregation hearing the priest’s raised voice or at least audible voice throughout, and Communion kneeling on the tongue, with male servers only.

  55. TJerome says:

    Henry Edwards, thanks for your perspective. I think where I disagree with Father Sotelo is his characterization of “thousands of people feeling “joy” at an OF. If he had said, most people are “satisfied” with their Sunday liturgy, I probably would’ve agreed. On the other hand, most folks tend to be “satisfied” until they experience something much better. Anyone who has participated in an OF or EF at St. John Cantius in Chicago, will find their individual parish experience severely lacking, and they will never quite be satisfied again, unless of course, the person is sensory challenged, or goes to Sunday Mass only to have their obligation fulfilled and to clear out of Church as quickly as they can. Best, Tom

  56. M.D.R. says:

    As a former bitter trad myself, I have sympathy for those Catholics who, as has been mentioned, asked for bread and got scorpions.

    I think it is appropraite to ask about how many traditional Catholics, who are opposed to the OF, have been influenced by trad Cath websites that, for the most part, exist to highlight the most extreme abuses in liturgy, as well as point out the personal sins of priests and bishops. In viewing these websites (What Does the Prayer really Say is not one of them, of course) a Catholic would get the impression that the Gates of Hell have prevailed against the Church. I am saddened and sometimes angry when I view these sites, and see that otherwise well-intentioned Catholics, who attend the EF, take delight in participating on threads where the presummed sins of others are exposed. I used to one of these types, and I have asked God to forgive me.

    I believe that the worst enemies of the EF are not modernist priests and bishops, but extreme Catholics who have allowed themselves to be influenced by an inaccurate and sensationalised account of the supposed misdeeds of the Church heirarchy. Of course there are abuses to the liturgy, and sinful priests and bishops. But they do not make up the norm of the Church as trad Caths have often been led to believe.

  57. robtbrown says:

    Fr_Sotelo says:

    Personally, what I believe would be most popular would be the 1962 Missal ad orientem, with most of the Mass in the vernacular (at least Canon in Latin), with the congregation hearing the priest’s raised voice or at least audible voice throughout, and Communion kneeling on the tongue, with male servers only.

    I don’t know about its popularity, but I think that’s generally what will be the situation in some years, but I suspect the consecration will still be sotto voce and that the only vernacular would be the readings.

  58. jficthus says:

    I thought that you might be interested in my second article on Catholic Online regarding last week’s discussion/debate.
    God bless,
    Fr. James

  59. TJerome says:

    Father Sotelo, perhaps we are talking past each other because we probably share more in common liturgically than not. I guess where I went off is when I saw you use the word “joy” when speaking of the OF. In the typical parish setting, I’ve seen far more resignation and boredom on the part of the congregation than joy. One example. My territorial parish has a “family” Mass at 10:30. It is an affluent parish with fairly well educated folks. The priest is bouncing around the altar, making things up as he goes along and the choir is up front belting out tunes. I was watching from the transept that morning and other than the first few rows of pews, NO ONE was singing nor either bothering to pick up the hymnal. Yet, I can assure you that this priest and his minions were congratulating themselves after Mass on an “awesome” liturgy when in fact very few people were paying much attention at all. I’ve seen this dynamic over and over again in my 40 years plus of musical ministry. The best I have ever see in terms of participation in this parish is when an old standby like Immaculate Mary is sung and surprisingly when it’s allowed during Lent, the congregation singing the Agnus Dei in Latin. I am hopeful that the new translations will restore much needed dignity and provide the Church with the opportunity to sing the Mass once again as was the desire of Sacrosanctum Concilium. Anyway, I wish you well. Tom

  60. robtbrown says:

    I was watching from the transept that morning and other than the first few rows of pews, NO ONE was singing nor either bothering to pick up the hymnal.

    I have also noticed the same thing.

    IMHO, the core of the disaster of the liturgical reform (including the Breviary) lay in the fact that they wanted a mass that was primarily parochial, thus disconnecting liturgy from its monastic roots.

  61. Henry Edwards says:

    robtbrown: “IMHO, the core of the disaster of the liturgical reform (including the Breviary) lay in the fact that they wanted a mass that was primarily parochial”

    In what sense would you say the Mass they constructed is more “parochial” than the one it replaced?

  62. robtbrown says:

    Henry Edwards says:”

    In what sense would you say the Mass they constructed is more “parochial” than the one it replaced?

    The 1962 Missal (and its ancestors) had a considerable contemplative core and could be used in monasteries and in parishes.

    Monastic liturgy is contemplative–done for its own sake, a celebration of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. It is not adjusted for pastoral reasons. Although lay people can attend mass and the Divine Office, there is no liturgical change made to accommodate their presence, and so the purity is preserved.

Comments are closed.