QUAERITUR: Missing Masses with the “corny music”

From a reader:

I am having difficulties reconciling my love of the EF Mass with the
fact that sometimes I miss the OF Mass and it’s corny music. You know, sometimes I miss being able to expressively belt out Table of Plenty or something classic like Peace is Flowing Like a River or something hip smacking like Lord of Glory. I don’t know what to do, and I can’t help but feel like I’m sinning because it’s the sheer comedic enjoyment I get out of such Masses rather than the most holy sacrifice.

What should I do?

First, make sure you fulfill your Mass obligation on days of precept and receive Holy Communion in the state of grace in either form of Holy Mass

I have here sometimes used the provocative image of the TLM being the grown-up Mass (T-Bone steak and Cabernet) and the Novus Ordo, at least as celebrated in many places, as the kiddy Mass (jar of pureed carrot and milk). Condescending? I suppose. I can live with that. While milk and pureed carrots are the proper food for the very young, sometimes adults eat it too, as for example when she has a broken jaw. Each form of food has its time and purpose.

So, if you want to attend Holy Mass with the out of tune guitars and tambourines and poorly written, self-referential music, I say go for it!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. I have been known to refer to the Novus Ordo (N O) as the Nervous Order. No disrespect intended, but I actually get the nervous jitters if I have had to attend Mass in parishes other than my own, where they make it up as they go along.

  2. buffaloknit says:

    Thank you Fr. Z. for posting this rather gutsy note! I also sometimes miss the “variety” of music at OF Masses (I don’t miss OF Masses, qua OF masses; I’m very lucky to be close to several beautiful EF ones. This is also a bit embarrassing to discuss with my more well-cultured and better informed EF buddies) and about 2 years ago, I regularly had a sing along with my Protestants friends and other Catholics-who like the reader-enjoy the ‘corny’ music sometimes heard at Mass. We sang both good, bad, ugly and corny hymns along with other songs while knitting and drinking pleasantly.

    I don’t think there can possibly be a sin involved with this sort of *at home* sing-along. Let’s be honest, some “corny” music is sometimes pleasant to sing, especially with others who can do so well. I encourage you to find some folks who will indulge you in this in home, as corny music really doesn’t belong in any Mass. I don’t know how common a dinner get together/etc + singing is, but it is a shame that one’s time at Mass is frequently the average adults *only* occasion for singing with others.

    Host a sing along in the New Year! Catholic identity and all that! You will have fun!

  3. priests wife says:

    buffaloknit- I agree- singing Be Not Afraid around a campfire is nice- just not the best choice for the Mass.

  4. BV says:

    Some of the songs are nice songs, but I just don’t feel they belong in mass. Some I just can’t stand (Soon and Very Soon, this Quaker tune we often use, anything to the music of “Morning Has Broken”)… and as much as I love the music of Beethoven, they are writing too many songs to his Ode to Joy from the 9th Symphony! I like when I see that a hymn was written in the 1800’s or earlier. When I see anything 1960 and newer, I just groan and try to grin and bear it.

    Ok, 3 Sundays of Advent down, and I still haven’t heard O Come O Come Emmanuel at mass. Grrrr…. (I expect it this coming Sunday… I hope!!!)

  5. BV says:

    There’s a place for chant and good old (and the very rare good new) hymns, and there’s a place for John Michael Talbot and Matt Maher. One’s at mass, and one’s anyplace else. Guess which is which? ;)

  6. nasman2 says:

    On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception I had the opportunity to attend an OF. It was the first time I had been to this particular parish since the new translation went into effect. The book used for the missalette was published by GIA and the music was set by Marty Haugen. Ugh. I can say I never miss any of his compositions. I found it very discouraging. At least the translation was correct. Thankfully I didn’t have to subject the children to it, they prefer more adult fare.

  7. mjballou says:

    I think a sing-along is the way to go. You can format it along the lines of a shape-note singing – taking turns choosing and leading a song. And don’t forget the sentimental songs from the 50’s – “Mother, at thy feet,” “On this day,” etc. For the folks with memories that run back to the late 60’s, I would also include “If I had a hammer,” “Blowing in the Wind,” and “As Tears Go By,” along with a serving of selections from “Joy is like the rain.”

  8. Carolina Geo says:

    Fr. Z: While I appreciate your food analogy, it fails in one important respect. It discounts the generations upon generations of faithful who never had to be weaned on the Novus Ordo and who immediately flourished on a diet of the traditional Mass.

    I have also tried to formulate various analogies between the NO and the TLM. One is automotive: the TLM is a Rolls Royce, whereas the NO is a VW Microbus. The Rolls Royce is elegant, beautiful, and refined, and it evokes awe for its style. The Microbus is a silly-looking holdover from the days of hippie-dom. The Rolls Royce has a powerful engine that will get the driver and passengers to their destination. The Microbus typically doesn’t even leave the yard because the engine is either in disrepair or missing. You can put leather seats or an air conditioning system into a Microbus to make it look nicer or be more comfortable, but in the end it’s still a Microbus. It might get you to where you want to go, but often times not, and definitely not in style.

  9. Bryan Boyle says:

    Hey, Carolina Geo: They just sold a restored VW Micro out on the Left Coast for close to 190K USD. That’s Rolls territory. And, having owned both at one point or another (yeah, imagine that…) they both have their place.

    I’d prefer, like the good Father, to compare the NO against the EF by comparing a White Castle slider to a fine filet from Morton’s. Both are (at least ostensibly for one) beef. Both can be called food, and, having subsisted on the former while doing hard time at Fordham, can assure you that the latter is more nourishing. But you can survive on the former, if only to get you to the place where you can enjoy the latter…

  10. AnAmericanMother says:


    Even the shape-note (Sacred Harp in my case) singers know that it’s not church service music. It’s Saturday Hymn-Singing-Dinner-on-the-Grounds music.

    One of the traditions in our choir is to have a sing-along at the choir party, which rotates among all the houses with a piano — fortunately our music director can sight read anything. We sing pretty much everything, from sentimental Irish songs to old mountain ballads to musicals to hippie stuff. At the moment I’m thrilled to have discovered an edition of Thomas Moore’s Irish Melodies with the accompaniments by C. V. Stanford. That will be on tap for the next get-together. Especially “Dear Harp of My Country” and “Though the Last Glimpse of Erin” and “As Vanquished Erin Wept” . . . great stuff!

    Get it all out of your system so you don’t feel tempted to sing it at Mass!!!!!

  11. Ed the Roman says:

    I don’t like most Haugen. But My Soul In Stillness Waits is just *good*.

    You know what it’s saying just by hearing the melody – you hardly need the words.

  12. Mary Jane says:

    I respect the person who asked the question, of course, but I must say I personally don’t understand. There is a place for that sort of music, and it really doesn’t belong at Mass. The music the EF has to offer is sublime. Take any of the Gregorian Chant propers, or any polyphonic work by Victoria, Guerrero, Lasso, Palestrina…just gorgeous. There is a reason these works were approved for use at Mass.

    I wonder if we could revive a sort of musical “Forbidden Index” for music at Mass? ;-)

  13. Tantum Ergo says:

    I really miss the bongo drums and electric accordions in the Novus Oh-No, but then again, I miss my rhino fungus too.

  14. Tom Esteban says:

    I would advise against Father’s advice. Don’t go. This is more than just about preference and I am surprised the good Father didn’t pick up on it. Notice how the NO promotes self-centeredness and how it caters to the individuals tastes in order to entertain and keep you interested – it is no wonder then that the person in question has some conflict. To give in would be to give into ones instinct to be entertained with pop folk music that is devoid of any theological meaning. Yes, it is sometimes nice to belt out a tune and sing about the goodness of Jesus. I am positive that many Saints did such a thing. They didn’t do it in Mass though because it wasn’t appropriate. The NO has convinced people that unless they are making a racket they may as well not be there; as if being noisy and singing tunes means you are participating more fully. In my experience, most of these songs are protestant anyway or childishly shallow.

    Stick with the Tridentine Mass. Embrace the quietness of it all… once you’re home stick on a tune and sing to whatever you like!

  15. Centristian says:

    “I’d prefer, like the good Father, to compare the NO against the EF by comparing a White Castle slider to a fine filet from Morton’s.”

    The modern clergy of the West would make junk food out of the liturgy in any form; that’s what they’ve been trained to do, that’s all they know. Those who present the liturgy are really the problem, not so much the liturgy, itself.

    Mass in the Ordinary Form, when “cooked” well and “served” correctly at a properly appointed “table” can also be (and always ought to be) a fine dining experience over fast food. It is supposed to be the gourmet fare and not the junk food and baby food served at the kiddie table.

    It’s the fault of the cooks that hot dogs are substituted for the flilet mignon prescribed by the menu and the recipe, and of the servers that kool aid is being poured instead of the Merlots or Cabernets shown on the wine list. It isn’t the fault of the food that is meant to be served that the restaurant staff leave it in the freezers and the wine cellars, substituting garbage for it. Blame the staff, not the food that was purchased but is not used.

    If we’re going to make dining analogies, actually, I would opt to frequent the restaurant at which the Ordinary Form is served rather than the one at which the Extraordinary Form is served, provided that the chefs at both and the staff at both are equally talented. Because if the Extraordinary Form (when cooked well and served properly), with its single canon represents a steak dinner, then the Ordinary Form, with its four canons, represents a steak dinner, or lobster, or filet of salmon, or shrimp scampi. You haven’t got to settle for the same dish at every visit. There is a greater variety in the side dishes, too.

    Unfortunately, restaurants that serve up the menu of the Ordinary Form well are few and far between. As Father Z points out, the Ordinary Form is typically offered as the “kiddie” Mass. But sometimes you find a restaurant that serves it up as gourmet. Not every town has a restaurant like that, though. Most major cities I think, at this point, have at least one restaurant that serves up the EF steak dinner once a week, but if you’re craving OF lobster or shrimp, you’ll most likely be out of luck. Such restaurants are hard to find, leaving diners with better trained pallets to settle for steak every week…or hot dogs. It’s a shame.

  16. catholicmidwest says:

    There is a place for “devotional” or social music in the Church and a place for liturgical music. They might overlap a little, but not much.

    Don’t throw stones now, but I really enjoy old hymns from my childhood (I’m a convert, so they’re protestant) and I enjoy the music of Rich Mullins in my private life. But that doesn’t mean those songs should show up in Mass, although some of them do. When they show up in Mass, I’m often not sure about whether I like them then or not because Catholics have this droney thing they do. I can’t explain it but they can’t sing hymns like they’re supposed to be sung at all. They all come out the same which is kind of strange. But there you have it.

    I think we need liturgical music-meaning chant-for Mass, and devotional music for sing-alongs, picnics, informal get-togethers and private devotions. It would be more useful and make far more sense. It would also help Catholics develop a little more Catholic identity to have more things they enjoy that are patently Catholic and devotional outside Mass.

  17. APX says:


    I regularly had a sing along with my Protestants friends and other Catholics-who like the reader-enjoy the ‘corny’ music sometimes heard at Mass. We sang both good, bad, ugly and corny hymns along with other songs while knitting and drinking pleasantly.

    Hmm…the Irish have their drinking music. I wonder if this corny music would qualify as Catholic drinking music?

    I confess, I have an iTunes playlist entitled, “Uber Lame Church Music” and that I sing along to it in my car. That I have in fact been so caught up in singing “Gather Us In” that I didn’t notice my speed limit and got a speeding ticket on Holy Thursday. I have a special place for Dan Schutte and the St. Louis Jesuits, and I have been know from time to time to dance along to Alle Alle Alle in my car at red lights while people stare at me funny. I frequently check iTunes to see if there are any new album releases containing such music, and I felt a sense of joy when I noticed a new Dan Schutte album recently. I heart, “Sing a New Song” and “Hosea” has been known to bring the odd tear of gladness to my eye after I’ve gone to Confession. And yes, I know such music doesn’t belong in Mass, but sometimes I too miss the OF Masses and this music.

  18. dominic1955 says:

    Oh, please. The other “eucharistic prayers” are all made up, even if based loosely on old/Eastern sources. The whole thing is made up, piecemeal, with a decided emphasis towards being less uncomfortable to non-Catholics and to the World. I do not care how dressed up you make it, its still the Novus Ordo with all the negative implications that come along with that. It is practically all made up, it is the Roman Rite de jure and in no real other way. It is as if the old edifice being demolished and the new edifice being set up with bits and pieces of the old incorporated into it was said to be the exact same thing. Simple common sense can tell us this isn’t the case.

    Like I never tire in saying, the NO is a universalized Neo-Gallican Rite. The main difference (besides being more radical in what it changed by far) is that the authority that promulgated it is much higher than the various French bishops. The sow’s ear has never, will never, and can never be or become the silk purse.

    To continue the food analogy, Protestant “liturgies” would be styrofoam or some other inedible material, NO would be making the rounds at the fast food joints and the TLM (and other truly traditional liturgies) would encompass everything from simple and healthy home cooking to a banquet at the Imperial Palace.

  19. Christine111 says:

    My dear Fr. Z, you’re going to get yourself in trouble talking like that…

  20. teomatteo says:

    Father, the analogy that i have used with my family members who dont understand the appeal of the EF mass is along your same lines. I like to say that if you had a good friend coming into town and you wanted to take them to dinner and catch up on things which restaurant would you choose. There are two places to eat. They both serve the exact same dinner, the wine in the same, the steak comes from the same butcher, menu identical etc. The difference is this: the first place is an old mansion that has been a fine dining resteraunt for 50 years. The waitstaff owns the place and the family works the kitchen etc. Linen table cloths and fine china, crystal stemware. There is a string quartet that plays in the adjoining room. Each table has a candle and the atmosphere is one of intimacy. Reservations are needed due to the demand. The second place is the “Hollywood Cafe”. A large warehouse like metal and steel structure built on two levels. The large wall has a jumbo video screen with Lady Gaga videos, and the latest in Justin whats his name. But there are a vast number of other t.v.s for your distra.. er.. entertainment. The music is loud enough so the waitstaff can read your lips to get your order. No table cloths, plastic stemware. Remember, he food is the same between both places. Just as nutritious, and the costs is the same. What would be more fitting for you and your friend to have a conversation about your lives? Whate place would you and your friend prefer to relax and intimate at? I’m just throwing it out.

  21. rogue63 says:

    …and I suppose all of you EF-lovers go out of your way to welcome new people at your EF masses, too, hmmmm? Do you help create a warm, loving environment for them, or do you create a hostile, cold place, full of stares and unproffered handshakes? Every EF Mass I’ve been to (and I”ve attended for three years) is populated by sour-faced lemons. Nobody smiles, nobody laughs, and everybody stares at you if you’re new. What a great way to show the love of Christ to a neighbor. I don’t blame this guy for missing it—–most EF masses have nothing like real human interaction before or afterwards. My wife and I have been run out of our EF parish, and we’re happy to see at the local OF parish, people actually smile and say things like, “Hi! I’m glad you could make it!” I love the EF mass, but the traddies are too sour.

  22. Back in the day, when Catholics had their weekly meetings of guilds and clubs and sodalities down at the parish or at some member’s home, they often also had devotional hymnbooks and prayerbooks for use at their meetings and activities and marches and good works. And a lot of the songs were either stirring or syrupy, but they were fun to sing and good for continuing faith formation. Before printing was cheap enough for this, there was probably plenty of singing done from memory. Very often, devotional songs were to the tune of some other song, popular or sacred.

    I think you’ll find that, if you go to a Rosary Rally or similar event, you’ll end up singing a broad selection of devotional “Catholic hits”. And it’s a lot more satisfying to sing devotional songs by Haas and Haugen in this kind of informal setting; it sets them in their best light because that’s what they were written to be — devotional songs, not sacred music.

  23. Banjo pickin girl says:

    apx, Hosea helped bring me into the Church. A friend had just died.

    rogue63, I hear you loud and clear. If you came to my parish people would smile and introduce themselves and offer you a doughnut.

  24. Fr_Sotelo says:


    I always look forward to your posts, because although you are not a priest, you have a very keen pastoral sense. Part of a good pastoral sense is to avoid the easy simplifications which might jump out from appearances (e.g. the EF is usually good, the OF is usually bad) and to explore other issues. For instance, you mentioned that the OF menu also calls for fine dining, but the chefs and waiters too often depart from the menu and dumb down the ambiance. What a juice comment, as the old saying goes.

    Your post also responds to the question of why people, even the highly educated, very orthodox, and of great refinement, when given a choice, will make a beeline for the OF Mass which is offered well and bypass the EF Mass. It is not that they do not like a good steak and Cabernet; it is that they do not necessarily want that every Sunday, every month, every year, immutably and without variation, as could be seen in many parishes before the liturgical reform. Yes, as a matter of fact, it is nice to have a steak and lobster, shrimp scampi, or even the fine fare of another culture, such as exquisite Asian or Indian.

    And as many of the newer priests offer the OF, the Catholics of the present generation are seeing chefs of many hues and fine talents offering the OF without departing so much from the menu and with an excellent sense of the “ars celebrandi.”

  25. APX says:

    @ rogue63
    While I don’t deny there is a significant amount of what I call “Traditude” among the traditional crowd, and it’s something I don’t tolerate, but to be honest, I’ve been far more welcomed in the parish and EF crowd than I’ve ever been at any OF Mass both priest-wise and parishioner-wise. When I needed my OF priest and his priestly and pastoral services, he turned me away. On the otherhand, my EF priest has been more helpful in the pastoral/priestly way in the past few months or so than my OF priest has ever been.

  26. rogue: “I suppose all of you EF-lovers go out of your way to welcome new people at your EF masses, too, hmmmm? ? Do you help create a warm, loving environment for them . . . . ?”

    Based on my experience, the answer is YES. First-timers at our local TLM, meeting and greeting afterwards, often comment on our unusually warm and inviting folks. Unusual, perhaps, only in comparison with the typical parish, where it’s often pell mell for the parking lot after Mass. But I’ve seen TLM communities like others in numerous places. Too bad you happened in on the exception rather than what I believe to be the rule.

  27. Christine111 says:

    Fr. Sotelo wrote: “Yes, as a matter of fact, it is nice to have a steak and lobster, shrimp scampi, or even the fine fare of another culture, such as exquisite Asian or Indian.”

    With all due respect, this really highlights the problem with the post-VII mentality: Mass has come to be too much about personal taste rather than about the timeless and unchanging Holy Sacrifice. I don’t think Fr. Z’s allegory about the steak and fine wine was meant to be interpreted along these lines; I think what he was trying to say (and correct me if I’m wrong) was that the *theology* of the Traditional Latin Mass–expressed through its prayers and liturgy–is a richer and fuller expression of our Catholic faith than that of the Novus Ordo.

    Even attendees of the Traditional Latin Mass can be guilty of this if they attend solely out of personal preference (because they like the liturgical trappings). If it all comes down to yearning after a different dish each week, Fr. Sotelo is correct: the Novus Ordo is undoubtedly the way to go. But if it is about conforming our wills to the Divine, forgetting self, and being lifted up to the heights of heaven (rather than trying to pull it down to our level), then the TLM is it.

  28. Christine111 says:

    Rogue: What on earth did you and your wife do to be “run out” of your EF Mass parish? I have a feeling you’re not giving us the whole story…

    The TLM parish I attend has always been very friendly. If there are dour-faced trads, I don’t know who they are, and I would ignore them anyway if I did. In all frankness, I don’t care if someone greets me with a smile when I walk in the door; I’m more interested in being immersed in the sacred beauty of the Mass of the ages, as well as hearing orthodox homilies, worshipping among fellow Catholics who believe in the Real Presence, who show their reverence by their respectful silence and genuflections, who understand modesty in dress, and who are serious about becoming saints. If those sorts of things matter less to a person than a big handshake and being invited for doughnuts after Mass, then I wonder if that person’s priorities are not in order…

  29. Tom Esteban says:

    If you aren’t running up and down the sanctuary, sharing a joke with your priest and tuning your electric guitar before Mass it makes you a sour person. In order to please people you have to pander to them. People engaged in solid prayer before Mass are sour. People who take the Sacrifice of the Mass seriously are cold hearted.

    As if Christ present in the Eucharist is not a warm environment.
    As if the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass where we are surrounded by the angels and saints as we glorify God is not welcoming.
    As if Holy Communion is not ‘neighbourly’ enough.

    No. One cannot take the Mass too seriously; for we offend the sensibilities of those who see us as radical.
    No. we cannot sit in prayerful silence; for we will offend those next to us for not greeting them while we greet Our Lord.
    No. We cannot give God our absolute best; for this will take away from the human god who deserves attention, entertainment and praise even in the presence of God Almighty.

    Sigh. Well, in my own experience I have never met people more kind, warm and loving than the ones who only attend the Tridentine Mass. It’s probably all an act, because during Mass they kept giving me funny looks while I tried to tell them a few jokes I heard on the radio I was listening to during the unimportant parts. They’re so sour.

  30. Martial Artist says:

    De gustibus non disputandum est, … certis finibus.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  31. Centristian says:


    “The other “eucharistic prayers” are all made up, even if based loosely on old/Eastern sources.”

    And the Roman Canon issues forth from eternity? It, too, was “made up”. That’s how original texts come into being. Human beings write them for the first time.

    “It is practically all made up, it is the Roman Rite de jure and in no real other way.”

    It’s all fashioned by human hands, dominic. The Roman Rite wasn’t plucked from the Divine essence and dropped down from heaven by the angels. True, Christ Himself fashioned the first Eucharistic celebration, but something tells me most traditionalists wouldn’t care for that particular form of Mass. Reenacting the Crucifixion as such would, I imagine, be even less desirable. Since the Last Supper and the Crucifixion, however, the liturgy of the Christian Church has undergone many, many changes at the hands of men, and will continue to.

    As to the charge that the Novus Ordo Missae is somehow a Gallican liturgy, I’m not sure how you arrive at that conclusion, to be honest. It is the Tridentine Mass that represents a Western liturgy that, by the time of the promulgation of the Missale Romanum of 1570, had become a very Gallicanized liturgy. It was basically the old Roman edifice, to borrow your own analogy, embellished (or disfigured, depending upon one’s point of view) by lots of Gallican add-ons and stylistic features.

    The Tridentine Mass was hardly the liturgy of the Roman Rite in her purity. The liturgical reforms following the Second Vatican Council, at least, attempt to correct that and make of the Mass a Roman liturgy once again. Granted, they didn’t do a great job of reforming the Mass, no argument there. But you can’t make the argument that the Tridentine Mass was Roman and that the Novus Ordo, on the other hand, is quite Gallican. The reverse is much closer to the truth, in fact.


    “Every EF Mass I’ve been to (and I”ve attended for three years) is populated by sour-faced lemons.”

    Yes, there is the matter of the…environment…that can often (not always, but often enough) obtain at Masses celebrated in the “EF”. One may sometimes encounter a rather discernable scolding and scowling element, and often times there are a number of fringe-dwellers present, to0, who are only too ready and willing to pounce on newcomers (or on each other, for that matter) and bewilder other worshippers with every bizarre notion imaginable.

    I was, just last weekend, in fact, accosted at a Tridentine Mass the very moment I walked in the door by one of the traditionalist crowd. Later, as I toured the old church, another scowling traditionalist approached me–quite weirdly–and said, almost angrily, “and who would YOU be?” while looking down his nose at me with one eyebrow raised. I offered my first name and excused myself; I was in no mood to determine what his problem was. Two bizarre encounters in any other place, but hardly unusual in that crowd. “Just like old times,” I thought to myself.

    I used to attend the Tridentine Mass offered in my diocese each week, and before that, with the Society of St. Pius X. It was precisely that negative and often bizarre social atmosphere that you describe, Rogue, that turned me off and ultimately turned me away from the “TLM” crowd for good, except for the occasional unscheduled Mass promoted by local choral ensembles.

    I did manage, however, quite by chance, to find a Sunday Tridentine Mass at one point at a suburban parish attended by actual parishioners and not by the “Latin Mass” crowd. I loved it. No nuts; no self-righteous scolders. Just normal parishioners who minded their own business and left each other alone, like everywhere else. The pastor was normal too, and very friendly. He and I became friends, in fact.

    But once that pastor was transferred to another parish, the Tridentine Mass wasn’t continued by his successor and I had no desire to go to either of the other two “TLM” venues in the area and to thereby re-immerse myself into that…crowd. I decided it would be better to endure some of the liturgical disappointments that can often come along with the typical presentation of the Ordinary Form than to do that.

    I’m not saying that “TLM” congregations are that way everywhere, but except for that one improbable, wonderful suburban Mass I recounted, your experience, Rogue, has been mine, as well. None of that detracts from the Tridentine form of the Mass, itself, of course, which, despite its Gallican influences, is, like the Ordinary Form of Mass, sublimely beautiful when presented properly.

  32. hicks says:

    I think maybe this blog should have a contest to see who can come up with the very best metaphor to explain how the TLM is super awesome and the Novus Ordo is completely busted. I have this great one about how the Novus Ordo is a VCR and the TLM is a Blu Ray. Get it? Really drives it home doesn’t it? Remember how much it used to stink having to rewind the tape every time?

    I mean, come on guys, I would love to have the option of a TLM, but the nearest one is three hours up the freeway. A lot of people are in that position, where if there was one in our town we would go all the time. I wish it was different, but it’s not. Right now my choices are novus ordo or novus ordo. It’s still the place where the Gospel is proclaimed and the bread and wine become the Body and Blood, and it’s still the place where God is leading many faithful Catholics to holiness. I know that Novus Ordo’s not ideal, but it frustrates me to read so many faithful Catholics running down what is still a Mass. If you really want a resurgence in the TLM, your best bet is to pray for it without ceasing and to become a saint. Pray for your pastor and talk to him about it. If you were a pastor and you had all these faithful and holy parishioners breaking down your door asking for Latin masses, what do you think you would do?

  33. Joanne says:

    The OF that I assist in at my EF/OF parish, as well as the daily OF at my local OF parish, are nothing like fast food or kiddie food or whatever. That’s kind of a strange way to refer to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. And lol @ hicks – the pastor at my EF/OF gave a homily once on the importance of the people who assist in the two different forms refraining from engaging in an us and them mentality. I wonder if he gave the same homily at his Sunday EF. Seems like EF-goers are the ones who could use it more.

    Since someone else raised the topic – in my experience, it’s true that charitable and joyful Catholics (as well as those most active in the prolife movement) tend to be more highly represented at the OF than the EF.

  34. dominic1955 says:


    Yes, the Roman Canon was written and no it didn’t fall out of the sky-but it was written back in the mists of time immemorial and no one had the hubris to dare to touch it in even the smallest way until 1962. When proposals were brought up to add things to the Roman Canon previously, they were answered basically by saying, “No, the Canon has not been touched since the time of Gregory the Great.” Regardless, it simply belies a thirst for novelty to come up with new “options” in the Roman Rite whereas the various Popes and Saints would have not dared.

    I didn’t say the Novus Ordo was Gallican but NEO-Gallican, huge difference. Short history lesson, in the 18th Century most of the French dioceses (led pretty much by Paris) had their own liturgical rites made up whole cloth in the 18th century. Even dioceses that had their own Rite/useage (i.e. Lyons) modified those venerable and traditional liturgies after the image of the modern Parisian missal and breviary, thus destroying the real and actual Gallican liturgies that still existed. These changes were introduced ostensibly to preserve actual Gallican customs and useages but really were used to push political and church Gallicanism, Jansenism, liturgical archaeologism, etc. Thanks in large part to the heroic efforts of Dom Gueranger, these Neo-Gallican liturgies were ditched in favor of the Roman books by the end of the 19th Century.

    Granted, the NO obviously isn’t neo-Gallican because it isn’t the liturgy of some French diocese in the 18-19th Century. However, the NO did the same thing to the Mass as the Neo-Gallicans did-the antiphonary is completely different, the prayers are completely different or out of place, the saints and various offices are often moved around and/or downplayed, etc. At least the Neo-Gallicans didn’t screw around with the Canon even though they did with practically everything else. The NO (and the LOTH) actually went farther in destroying our liturgical patrimony then the Neo-Gallican rites ever did. The “Tridentine Mass” (basically the missals from 1570 up to 1964/5ish) is an authentic handing on of the Roman liturgical tradition in the proper sense of being actually handed on organically. Now, admittedly, we got one “version” of the Roman Tradition, basically the Missal of the Roman Curia which was significantly “simplified” from other versions but it is definitely the Roman Rite whereas the Neo-Gallican and Neo-Roman (NO) Rites are NOT the Roman Rite and the NO is only so de jure.

    For a scholarly take on this parallel (that I reached on my own through hobbyist reading) take a look at Laszlo Dobszay’s book “The Bugnini Liturgy and the Reform of the Reform”.

  35. dominic1955 says:

    Also, the food analogy has nothing to do with the Real Presence or the objective nature of the Sacrifice. The NO is a real Mass that confects the Eucharist and it is used by the Roman Church and local Churches in union with Her. However, that is not what is at issue here. What is at issue is that the way in which the Roman Mass (as typified by the Tridentine/EF) was reformed basically destroyed the Roman Rite in its liturgical tradition.

    Great example, what is tomorrow? For my fellow TLM-ers its Ember Wednesday in Advent. What is it in the new Calendar? Don’t know, but whatever it is has only been that way for the last forty some years. Why did they get rid of the Ember Days? Who knows. Was it for any good reason? I can’t imagine one. All I can think of is that Ember Days are too penitential and too Catholic, both of which are two things that “Modern Man” and the “World” aren’t too keen on and heaven forbid that we should make those two uncomfortable…

  36. Veronica says:

    Hubby and I will be visiting our family in California next week. I have heard so many horror stories about the liturgical abuses that I’ve been less than excited about going to midnight mass there. Can someone recommend a good church close to the Torrance, CA 90505 area where nobody is going to force me to hold sweaty hands and sing Gather us in? Please let me know.

  37. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Christine: The outer shell, or “form” of any Catholic rite, can only be a vehicle of Catholic Faith according to the way that the clergy and people treat that vehicle and utilize it properly. So, while it may seem wise to think of the Tridentine form as a “richer and fuller expression of our Catholic faith” than that of the Novus Ordo, the reality is that both forms are rich in Catholic expression so long as they are seen properly. Fr. Z has done well to show that even the Novus Ordo prayers, collects, feasts, ceremonies, etc. can be a mine of wealth if we but catechize ourselves in the liturgy and (priests and people) make every effort to say the black and do the red.

    Do you believe that the EF as a form always reinforced the essentials of Catholic belief, which leads to orthodox practice as well, while the Novus Ordo always deprives and leaves impoverished those who try to live the Catholic Faith? But that thesis would go against the historical evidence, that during different epochs, entire swaths of the Catholic people, even while attending the Tridentine Mass, corrupted into heresy, apostasy, and schism. In some epochs, Catholics raised in the Tridentine Mass actually participated in genecide and other crimes against humanity (see the European period leading up to and including WWII).

    What I would say, and perhaps Fr. Z might agree with me, is that the form of the liturgy (whether Tridentine or Novus Ordo) alone cannot transmit faithfully the Catholic Faith without a clergy who preach well, conduct themselves in holiness, and pastorally attend to the souls in their charge. Both the Tridentine Mass and Novus Ordo have been utilized by clergy who did not believe and live out the purity of Catholic dogma. So in addition to the “form” or outer ritual, prayer, and pomp, there absolutely must accompany an interior love of Our Lord, the Church, and the effort to persevere in charity. Do not discount the power of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite to richly transmit Catholic Faith in the hands of fervent and faithful clergy and parishes.

    The reference to steak and lobster, or the rich fare of Asian and Indian cooking, is not a reference to emotionalism, sentimentalism, and personal tastes. It refers to the fact that in the Novus Ordo there are more options for Scripture lessons on Sundays; you also have more options for the Eucharistic Prayer, which means, again, a variety of Scriptural images (EP # 4 is immersed in Johanine imagery); and you have the allowance for different cultures to adorn the form of the liturgy with their own music, ritual, and gestures. I have offered Mass for the Korean community, and I believe personally that the music, dress, gestures and ceremonies of Asia give the patrimony of Europe a run for its money. Even if that might not be important to European Catholics, it certainly would be to Asian Catholics.

    St. Thomas Aquinas said that what is received in something, is received in it, according to the mode of the receiver. It only makes sense that in the reform of the liturgy, numerous other options were introduced with Scriptures and prayers, not to indulge the personal taste of any person, but to bring people to the fulness and richness of the Catholic Faith in a way that they are able to receive it (usually in their vernacular, in a way that conforms to their cultural way of receiving spiritual and divine things). Even the Blessed Mother changes her language and cultural expressions when she visits different peoples with different cultures (thus, Guadalupe does not look at all like Fatima, and had a different way of communicating the Catholic message).

  38. James Joseph says:


    ‘Redemptoris Custos’ gives us an answer. Blessed Pope John Paul II is a tough read sometimes but truck through it. It is one of those documents that sets the stage for St. Joseph’s re-emergence.

    Greeting folks at the door is the role of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mother. He is afterall the Gatekeeper of the Blessed Gate of Heaven.

    He is commonly called a ‘porter’. That is a title noble enough to have it’s own lovely and warming ale variety. For those in tune with the liturgical offices (as door greeting is appropriate to men) I believe St. Joseph is what we call a ‘sub-sacristan’… you know those wrinkled fellas with the musty tweed jackets and elbow patches…. or perhaps sometimes a sub-sacristan is a priest. Once an office is attained it remains, as in the case of Fr. Solanus Casey the Healing-doorman.

  39. CarismaTeaCo says:

    I would recommend a Catholic Charismatic prayer GROUP, not a Charismatic Mass, but a prayer group. You can sing all the hippies songs to your hearts content. Then go to the EF Holy Offering on Sunday :)

    the charismatics at my parish started holding prayer meetings IN the church instead if the hall. Ironically they close their eyes to concentrate on receiving prophecy, and lift a basket of petitions to pray over them… When Jesus is right in front if them all!!

    The group is preparing for a Charismatic Mass to celebrate their anniversary. You can just imagine all that will go down at the Lord’s meal.

  40. dominic1955 says:

    However, where do we see the justification of such drastic changes concerning the Canon (and the addition of new “Eucharistic prayers”) in the tradition, especially when the overarching impetus to such changes had always been along the lines of the Canon is not to be touched and had not been substantially since Patristic times? Who was chomping at the bit to change this? The same radical litniks who later practically destroyed the liturgy for us. I forget exactly where (Maria Laach perhaps?), but some of them actually had the gall to re-write the Roman Canon on account of its “deficiencies”. This same spirit animated every other radical liturgical “reform” movement, the notion that the liturgy as had been handed on and received in the Roman Church for so many long centuries was somehow “deficient” and had strayed far from the “purity” of the Early Church and now these people, full of hubris as they were, are going to “fix” it all. The only real difference this time around was that the people who were pushing the kind of changes promoted by Protestants, Neo-Gallicans, the Pseudo-Synod of Pistoia, etc. instead of being handed anathemas got handed the reigns by Rome herself.

    That the changes in the Neo-Roman (as Dobszay accurately terms it) are not all heretical is also not the point whatsoever. Sure, there is more Scripture in this 3 year cycle. But at what cost? The “marinating” effect of the 1 year cycle that linked us through century upon century of our predecessors in the Faith. EP 4 is full of Johanine imagery? Great. There is lots of nice biblical imagery in various writings of the Saints but it doesn’t mean we need to start inserting it all in the liturgy. What auctoritas does it have in the liturgical tradition of the Roman Rite? None and that is where it goes wrong.

    What is also not the point is that the NO can convey the Catholic Faith. It can, and so could the Neo-Gallican liturgies. Did not St. John Vianney pray the Neo-Gallicanized Lyonese breviary and thus probably said the Neo-Gallicanized Lyonese Mass? Yes, he did. Did the fact that the French bishops during the 18th Century illegally manufacture these liturgies somehow cause God to stop the flow of grace to the ignorant peasant who knew nothing of their historical lineage? No, of course not, for one primary reason-they were not an actual denial of the Catholic Faith like the Book of Common Prayer but we do see that those French bishops could have done so the way their 16th Century English counterparts did. The fact that manufactured and historically illegitimate liturgies can validly and licitly confect the Eucharist and can convey the orthodox Faith (and do so beautifully, as it seems the Neo-Gallican ceremonies would have been quite grand) is no argument for their continuation. Rightly did Dom Gueranger work for the extermination of the Neo-Gallican rites, they should never have existed in the first place.

    As to different cultural expressions, we did that in the TLM. The Mass would have been the same, but the Polish parish would have had their hymns, decorations and devotional customs, as would the Irish, the Italians, the Mexicans, etc. etc. Also, legitimate liturgical diversity is seen in the existence of other ancient Rites (like the non-Roman Western and Eastern Rites) and furthermore, culture should be transformed by the liturgy not vice versa.

    If we are really serious about presenting the Catholic Faith in all its fullness, there is nothing better than tradition. An authentic “reform” of the liturgy would have been working for the promotion of the other ancient but non-Roman Rites of East and West and an effort to make the “Low Mass Mentality” into a “High Mass Mentality”. Maybe some vernacular could be useful, but never to the exclusion or even sidelining of Latin. The chant and Latin language have ways of expressing the faith that are far more profound the mere comprehension of words can produce. Books are cheap these days, if people really care what the liturgy means and says they can read it and the priest should be fulfilling Trent’s call for him to explain the Mass to the people as well.

    Bottom line, there was nothing wrong with the traditional Roman Mass and the NO should not have been made in the first place. However, that didn’t happen so we have to live with this reality. I think that those who wish to make use of the NO to foster their Faith should focus precisely on that. Something tells me that even though St. John Vianney used the Neo-Gallican books for his own eternal merit and that of thousands of others, he would never have stood in the way of Dom Gueranger.

  41. Christine111 says:

    Fr. Sotelo wrote: “the reality is that both forms are rich in Catholic expression so long as they are seen properly.”

    Both forms are indeed rich in Catholic expression, but one is objectively richer than the other. It is no secret that Abp. Bugnini, chief architect of the Novus Ordo, set out to protestantize the Mass. He openly admitted it:

    “We must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren, that is, for the Protestants.” –Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, L’Osservatore Romano, March 19, 1965

    Thus the almost wholesale removal of mention of sacrifice, holocaust, oblation in the Novus Ordo, as compared to the TLM–and what is the Mass but THE Sacrifice? The revised liturgy was such that Lutherans have come out and said they could in good conscience attend the Novus Ordo. That could *never* be said of the TLM. Never. The theology is unmistakable in the TLM. Not so much in the NO, which is why it is so open to abuses.

    “Do you believe that the EF as a form always reinforced the essentials of Catholic belief, which leads to orthodox practice as well, while the Novus Ordo always deprives and leaves impoverished those who try to live the Catholic Faith?”

    No. Neither did I say this anywhere.

  42. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Christine: If you believe the EF Mass to be objectively richer than the OF Mass, then it logically follows that the OF Mass is a “poorer form” and therefore does indeed deprive the faithful of what they should be getting if they were attending the EF Mass. You did not say this anywhere, but that is the logical conclusion of the assertions of the “objectively richer” thesis which you state. And if that is the case, then it presents us with the question of whether the Pope has imposed upon the Church a form of the liturgy which is defective, thereby damaging the economy of grace in the Church. I am sure you can understand why the sedevacantists, who propose the same thesis, no longer accept the legitimacy of the present pope, precisely because he is a de facto “accomplice” in the “destruction” wrought by Paul VI.

    dominic1955: While the argument of “immemorial custom” is a strong one for not introducing changes into the liturgy, it is not sufficient to order the liturgy of the Roman Rite into a state of complete stasis, to freeze it in amber, as it were. Nor does it hold water for declaring “illigetimate” any changes which follow from the promulgation of the Pope, who as the bearer of the papal primacy, is free to approve of and promulgate any changes into the “forms” of the Mass which he judges to be for the good of the salvation of souls, which is the supreme law of the Church. Also remember that besides the authority of the papal primacy, which is “the” “auctoritas” behind tradition and Tradition in the liturgy, the reception of any form of the liturgy by the faithful constitutes a weighty argument in favor of legitimacy. The OF Mass has been received by the entire Church as legitimate, and even with the option of the EF Mass now available, has not been supplanted as the overwhelming choice of the Catholic faithful for worshipping God.

  43. kjh says:

    re: @mjballou “Joy is like the rain”…
    Oh, goodness! Brings back memories (not necessarily *good* ones) from elementary school at St. Mary’s in New Kensington, PA: “Christ asleep within my boat, whipped by winds, yet still afloat… Joy is like the rain…” wow…

  44. dominic1955 says:

    Oh please, not with the “frozen in amber bit” as well. Pruning unfortunate experimental failures is not putting the liturgy into “complete stasis”, it would be just like when they got rid of that other most unfortunate experimental failure, the Quinonez Breviary. It had the full approbation of Rome, but luckily there were enough more traditionally minded prelates around that knew that keeping the traditional form of the Roman Breviary was more important that making the obligation shorter. Did this spell and end to the Church even though a subsequent pontiff decided what a previous pontiff had allowed before was indeed illegitimate, deficient and poorer?

    As to the economy of grace, well, words have meaning do they not? Actions have meaning, do they not? While this isn’t as big of an issue with most of the Mass (comparing the two) it does become more problematic when we expand the scope of the issue to related books like the Rituale and the Book of Blessings.

    Yes, the Pope has the authority to basically do what he wants-even if it is completely asinine. However, if he does something foolish and detrimental for the Church, people need to call him on it. The Pope is not God nor is he an autocratic tyrant, he is a servant of Tradition just like the other bishops, indeed, he is the Servant of the servants of Tradition to ape the traditional papal title-the first and foremost among them. That means it should be his primary duty to pass on what he has received (with all things) and not to screw around with it just because he can. The protection of the Holy Ghost to all parts of the Magisterium being primarily negative, it follows that while the Pope could never promulgate a liturgy that was actually objectively invalid he certainly can do practically anything but and there is nothing that guarantees that such tinkering is in any way good by itself. That goes for any Pope, not just Pope Paul VI. The Pope could also order that St. Peter’s Basilica be torn down and some East German office building look-a-like be erected in its place. He has the authority, I would hope though that those around him would have the guts to tell him that if he would do such a thing he would be complete fool. Only the Ultramontanes will say that it is sufficient merely to have come from the Pope for something to be just unquestionably peachy keen.

    Also, the Pope saying something is “traditional” does not make it so. He could tomorrow say that the Maronite Liturgy is now the Roman Rite, and de jure that would be the case. Anyone with half a brain could see that in reality this is not the case and has not been the case-the two are simply not the same thing.

    The acceptance by the people basically proves nothing, what are they going to do? Aside from a very few brave souls who rebelled against the Anglican heretics, almost all of them fell in lockstep with Cranmer and Co. Practically all of France had Neo-Gallican liturgies imposed on it, and barely a soul made a peep. At the time of the introduction of the interim Missals and finally the NO, only a handful of brave men and women dared to oppose the drunken liturgical exuberance that followed the Council. After the dust has settled, after decades of experience of this new liturgical springtime, we can see even more clearly what happened. Not that it was ever any big secret, if you read Bugnini’s tome, he pretty much just lays it out. Same thing if you page through the liturgical journals of the day you can read all the other hairbrained ideas of the other architects of the brave new liturgy, not only on the Mass but the rest of the Sacramental rites. It is far too early to really get a sense for what the Church Militant has indeed chosen and most people are content with whatever you give them. The extermination of the Neo-Gallican rites was not a grassroots affair, by and large they were accepted by the people tossed about by various winds of politics. They might grumble a bit (or even straight up loudly complain to whomever will listen) but they will not put forth much effort to change what they dislike or get to the root cause of it. At the present, most people will not choose the TLM because 1) they don’t even know it exists, 2) if they are old enough to remember, they are probably also old enough to have been indoctrinated with all the lies about the bad old days before the Council and how absolutely AWFUL Mass was back then 3) they could care less, put whatever in front of them as long as its at the same building 4) they do care but have no sense of what liturgy should really be anyway and some a 5) who do have some sense but choose the NO for various reasons.

    The NO is valid and licit and also legitimate so far as it has been promulgated by a lawful Pope-but so was the Quinonez Breviary. In this same way is the NO illegitimate, not because of a defect of the promulgating authority (Pope Paul VI was indeed the Pope) but because historically and factually it simply isn’t the Roman Rite.

  45. AnnAsher says:

    I went for the first time this past Sunday to the new translation NO Mass. It seemed there is hope in the translation. But this community is not prepared so words were fumbled. The visiting fill in priest fumbled words and at some points plainly used his own words – Doxology and Peace Passing in particular. That combined with the new most hideous most spiritually vacuous chapel they have built … Left me running for then liquor store with a screaming headache and horror.

  46. Christine111 says:

    Fr. Sotelo: In legitimate criticism of the Novus Ordo, the sedevacantist card is inevitably drawn, which successfully ends the conversation.

  47. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Christine, it’s not about doughnuts, it’s about acting like Christ. Christ does not look down his nose at people and ask “and who might YOU be?”

  48. Christine111 says:

    “Christine, it’s not about doughnuts, it’s about acting like Christ. Christ does not look down his nose at people and ask ‘and who might YOU be?’ ”

    No, He doesn’t–but I’ve known about enough Novus Ordo Mass-goers who look down their noses at trads to say the sword slices both ways.

  49. Fr_Sotelo says:


    Your argument that Catholics received the OF Mass because they usually just accept anything without hardly a peep does not give too much credit to the intelligence and fortitude of the Catholic faithful. Are you sure this theory is not more founded on your anger toward the “illegitimacy” of the reformed liturgy, or sour grapes for the way the EF Mass has not been welcomed back?

    You fail to mention that the Catholic clergy, the Catholic bishops, the theological faculties of the pontifical universities, the various schools of sacred liturgy, and the catechetical institutes throughout the world could hardly be accused of being blathering idiots in the years leading up to the Council. Trained in the Thomism of the Leonine revival, purged in the crucible of the Modernist crisis, nourished in the Tridentine Mass and Sacraments, and more schooled in the Faith than any previous generation, the Catholic clergy as well as people were in a far better state to judge and reject the OF Mass after Vatican II.

    Yet they did not. In this country, the Gallup research shows that after Vatican II, the Catholic people together with their clergy accepted the reformation of the sacred liturgy in overwhelming numbers, and church attendance showed it for 1965 (when the Council ended) to 1968 (when Humanae Vitae was published). The great plunge and crisis can be traced not to the introduction of the OF Mass (1969), but the encyclical Humanae Vitae, which happened a full year before the OF Mass was even promulgated and caused attendance to go down.

    And while it may be convenient to revise history and speak of Bugnini as the “architect,” you would know that the First Session of Vatican II ordered the liturgy to be reformed in 1962, and the texts and changes were constantly circulating between different bishops, committees, and theological schools in the seven years it took to promulgate the OF Mass.

    You might describe the changes and experiments as “screw around” and “tinkering” with the rites, but there were theological reasons behind every revision. We may not agree with those reasons, but they were not haphazard and arbitrary, nor were they the work of any one person or committee, by any means. The Roman commission may have collated and edited, but by no means (along with Protestants) authored the present form of the liturgy. Bugnini might have bragged to the contrary, but that is not a rare thing for certain personages in the clergy.

  50. Fr_Sotelo says:


    The sedevacantist card would only make sense if one speaks of the EF Mass being objectively richer, which would then, logically, make the OF Mass objectively poorer. But the term poorer necessarily involves the sense of deficiency, and the lessening of grace. And if the papal primacy has inflicted upon the Church a truncating or lessening of grace, it can only raise the question of the legitimacy of the papal office to do so. The sedevantist argument with the liturgy, though, falls apart in that no form of the liturgy is capable of being objectively “the best Catholic form for all time” because times and people change, and the pastoral leadership bequeathed by Jesus Christ was given authority over the external forms of the liturgy to judge how the form of the liturgy serves the people in any epoch of the Church’s history.

    There is, of course, always a right to criticize either the EF Mass or the OF Mass in its objective structure, but that criticism is not based on the objective structure of the rites alone, their external expressions of the spiritual mysteries of the Faith (although one assumes that if certain words or gestures are not even Catholic, they would not be promulgated by the Holy See).

    Rather, in every age, legitimate Catholic criticism of the rites comes from the conviction that certain forms no longer adequately move the people towards liturgical piety. This takes into account not only the form, not only the objective externals, but the conditions of the times and the ability of the people to engage the outward signs and forms.

  51. dominic1955 says:

    That wasn’t the main point of what I said, but no I did not say nor did I intend to give much credit to the “intelligence or fortitude” of the Faithful and I provided instances in which the supposed “Faithful” were anything but.

    My theory is not founded on emotion-neither anger or sour grapes but nice try to take it to that level. Sure, I am disappointed that we have to live through such a time when our liturgical tradition has all but been destroyed and I do find it frustrating that more people do not see the beauty that this tradition has to offer and the dire importance of preserving it but ultimately, I am blessed to live in an epicenter of Traditionalism and I don’t loose sleep over what happens in the sillyseasonland around me, saying along with Bl. John XXIII-its Your Church Lord, I’m going to bed!


  52. Fr_Sotelo says:

    dominic1955: I don’t know how Fr. Z does it. He is a trooper, that is for sure, reading what must tire him on certain occasions. It seems as if the EF Mass and the OF Mass can hardly be discussed in his blog without polemics and the same old line that the OF Mass is invented, that it is banal, that it is not the Roman liturgy, that et cetera, et cetera, et cetera (to use our beloved Latin). And yes, while you may not recognize it, there is anger and polemics in your words about the OF Mass, even now describing our liturgical tradition as all but “destroyed.” Someone should tell Pope Benedict XVI. He has been duped, I guess, into celebrating only the OF Mass as Pope, even though he is Pope and could do otherwise.

    Or is it that the Pope perhaps does not agree that the liturgical tradition of the Roman rite is destroyed, and that the OF Mass is an excellent form when offerred properly, and that it is not God’s will to supress it and revert exclusively back to the EF Mass? I hear the drama and histrionics about the eventual destruction of the OF Mass; people have told me they even pray for this every day; I have heard of the return of the EF Mass as the dominant form for the entire Church, and I cannot help but wonder if that many people really do live and think in that dimension of fantasy.

  53. Christine111 says:

    As soon as the charge of sedevacantism arises, which only serves to discredit the other person and thus end conversation, I lose all interest in argument. I kindly direct you to the book “Pope Paul’s New Mass” by Michael Davies (whom the Holy Father called “a true son of the Church”), which will do a much better job of summarizing legitimate criticism of the Novus Ordo than I can here.

  54. Fr_Sotelo says:

    I have given my two cents. I do thank you for yours as well. But at the risk of being a broken record, because I have said this countless times in the combox: if the adherents and afficionados of the ancient rite, and I am one of them, do not come to peace with the reality of the OF Mass and propagate the Gregorian Mass with the joy and manifest peace which should accompany a worthy and holy cause, the rest of the Church will always see us as a pitiable lot. And by extension, they will continue to see the EF Mass as something which should be avoided and confined to the fringe. It will never, and I believe firmly, it will never, ever, command respect and awe among the faithful or clergy beyond a very small minority, who will also be looked at simply as “fringe.”

  55. dominic1955 says:

    Of course there is polemic in what I’m writing, but its a style not a mental disorder. There is more to the criticism of the NO than to say those who do so suffer from cornered animal syndrome, it is not just emotional reaction to perceived injury, but I digress.

    Secondly, ultramontanism isn’t an argument. Who knows why the Pope does what he does. He has full and immediate universal jurisdiction-why doesn’t he just “clean house” and fix everything? Probably because it isn’t all that simple. Also, what Christine proposed is not a “sedevacantist” position, nor does it even smack of sedevacantism. Part of actually being a sedevacantist involves denying the very validity of the “popes” (as they would put it) since Pius XII or John XXIII. Their liturgical argument does not say that the NO is merely deficient or inferior to the TLM but rather that it is straight up invalid-the exact equivalent of a Protestant service. I fail to see where she proposed or even implied such a thing.

    As to the NO being done away with, who knows. I personally entertain no such “fantasy” about it happening any time soon, certainly not within my lifetime. However, practically no one would have thought that something like it would have even came into being a century ago or so. Stranger things have happened…

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