Priests. The older Mass: Just Do It.

Summorum Pontificum was a great gift to priests and, through priests, to their congregations.

I have written many times that when priests learn to say the older, Extraordinary Form of Holy Mass in the Roman Rite, they are changed by the experience and they never say the Novus Ordo again in the same way.  They come to know something more about who they are at the altar as priest/victim, and they learn something more about an ars celebrandi which is apt for the Roman Rite.

This is one of the ways in which Pope Benedict’s “Marshall Plan” will have a slow but sure effect on the larger Church.

With that as a preamble, Fr. Kyle Schnippel, vocations director for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, wrote on his blog Called By Name about his first experience as a deacon at a Solemn TLM.

I hear from Fr. Schnippel that he will be celebrant for the first time for a public TLM.  In advance of this Mass he has written some points of advice for priests concerning the older, Extraordinary Form.

Here are a few of his parting shots.  You can read the rest at his place.

6) Switch your private Mass from Latin NO to the EF and keep praciticing.

7) Offer to assist as a Deacon or Sub-Deacon at the Solemn High Mass

8) Step to the Center and DO IT!

For me, this was a four to six month process, some days I put in more time (when I had it), some days/weeks, I didn’t get any progress made; but I tried to keep an upward trajectory.

This is worth it for your priesthood!!!!! It has helped me to celebrate the NO better, with more reverence.  It has made me appreciate the Mass all the more.  This will also help in appreciating the new texts we will be using this Advent.

As a priest, we get many demands, and this seems like a huge burden to learn and make progress.  Break it down into the steps and timeline that works for you and DO IT!!!

WDTPRS KUDOS to Fr. Schnippel.  I look forward to his reflections on being celebrant for a public TLM.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. New Sister says:

    Father, thank you for this post. Our new priest (Army Chaplain) in Afghanistan has committed himself to learning the EF Mass. We ordered the materials from the FSSP bookstore for Father and a server (or two) to train from – utterly from scratch. We shall be grateful for all prayers, through the Holy Curé of Ars especially.

  2. Christopher says:

    I have written many times that when priests learn to say the older, Extraordinary Form of Holy Mass in the Roman Rite, they are changed by the experience and they never say the Novus Ordo again in the same way.

    This begs a question though: why did so many priests, who learned *only* the EF in seminary back in the 50s and 60s, go on to celebrate some of the most irreverent liturgies in the postconciliar period? Their familiarity with the EF didn’t seem to affect their celebration of the Novus Ordo in any positive manner, and they regarded it only as a burden to be cast off.

  3. St. Rafael says:

    Celebrating the TLM will help priests recover the traditional Ad Orientem position that was the fruit of organic development and was the norm for centuries. Priests should start celebrating the Novus Ordo, facing the liturgical east, Ad Orientem immediately. There is no rubric, law, or order that priests have to celebrate facing the people. A bishop cannot force anyone to celebrate facing the people. Just do it already! While priests are at it, they should replace those Cranmer wooden picnic tables in favor of a real marble fixed altar!

    Versus Populum is purely a custom influenced by Protestantism in order minimize the sacraficial aspect of the Mass in favor of a community meal and after 40 years, it’s no wonder only 25% of Catholics believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

  4. Golatin5048 says:

    Man, do I LOVE my Vocation Director! Might be calling him here in the next year… ;)

  5. wolfeken says:

    Excellent advice. Sadly, I know several diocesan priests who have been TALKING about learning how to offer the traditional Latin Mass for the better part of four years. Just do it! Goodness, in four years the average person can learn a new job and a new language — it is not that hard. Priorities, I guess.

    The good news is the younger priests will influence brother priests by sheer peer pressure. It is no longer fringe, but cool, to have a traditional Latin Mass or two on the schedule each week. Let the pope and the Vatican keep issuing documents and statements on Gregorian chant and the traditional Latin Mass!

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