Signs of revival

At the site of Catholic World Report there is and interview with author Roger Kimball about his new book, The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia (UK link HERE). Within the interview you will find this gem:

Catholic World Report: You point out in several places that there are signs in our country of religious revival and true interest in orthodoxy. What are some of those signs? Who or what are the main enemies of that revival and interest?

Kimball: To confine myself to just one example, I think the new interest in the Tridentine Mass among Catholics is one such sign. For several years, my wife and I were privileged to attend Mass with Bill Buckley in a small chapel in Stamford. The priest traveled half an hour most Sundays to say Latin Mass in the old rite for four or five of us. When Bill started doing that, the Tridentine Mass was vanishingly rare, almost a verboten exercise. It has made a big come back and is evidence, I think, of a serious religious renewal in our culture. Of course, there are plenty of countervailing evidences, but I think the appetite for that majestic rite is a cheering phenomenon.

I also enjoyed his discussion of the book The Dangerous Book for Boys (UK link HERE.)

Summorum Pontificum was a great gift to the whole Church.

As the Biological Solution continues its relentless work, and as young priests emerge without the baggage of the aging-hippies, the older, traditional form of Holy Mass in the Roman Rite will slowly exerts its “gravitational pull” also on the way the Ordinary Form is celebrated.  Priests who learn for the first time, or who re-learn, the Extraordinary Form gain new insights into who they are as priests and who they are as priests at the altar of sacrifice.  Priesthood cannot be separated from sacrifice.  The older form helps priests to reconnect all the disjointed signals.  In the course of things, their ars celebrandi will change also in the Ordinary Form, which must have a knock-on effect for their congregants.

The New Evangelization must begin with a revitalization of our liturgical worship.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I wonder if what we are seeing is a trending away from lukewarmness – either you take your faith seriously in which case you might tend toward the EF as well as traditional piety, plus the values that go with it such as respect for life, NFP, etc. ; or alternatively you gravitate to the local mega-church, or just become completely secular.

  2. Gus Barbarigo says:

    Good interview. The reference to utopianism, in the context of the growing nanny-state, was right on the mark.

  3. This is as good a place to share this observation…

    It is certainly true that becoming familiar with the Extraordinary Form affects a priest’s ars celebrandi–so it has been in my case. Now, I don’t mean importing particular rubrics from one form to the other. I’ve seen that done by other priests and–while I don’t say they are wrong–I’m not at all clear what their rationale is, and until I am, I’ll refrain from doing that.

    Nevertheless, there are certain things that are maddeningly ambiguous in the Ordinary Form that are much clearer in the older form. For example, the method of incensing things, and the posture and demeanor during various parts of the liturgy: the priest is directed to gaze at the Eucharistic Lord during the Our Father, which makes perfect sense; yet the newer rite gives no direction at all. Some priests gaze upward (so I was taught); others gaze at the assembly.

    In any case, while I make (very) slow progress learning the older form, it has helped my approach to the Mass in the ordinary form. And a funny thing has happened.

    More and more, folks are thanking me: “for a beautiful Mass” or for “celebrating a reverent Mass.”

    My point is not to say my own ars celebrandi is that refined; I’m pretty sure it isn’t. I attempt to chant, but as often as not, I start on the wrong note and so fail to hit the appropriate “interval” for the solemn tone. I was attempting to chant the new translation of the Roman Canon, until a parishioner kindly, but firmly, informed me it wasn’t as edifying as I hoped. I can think of many other ways my approach could use polish.

    The thanks, I think, are less about my skill, but the light that shines rather strikingly if only one doesn’t get in the way.

  4. aragonjohn7 says:

    Ooh Latin

  5. Rellis says:


  6. AnnAsher says:

    The Dangerous Book for Boys is excellent and fun! We also have The Dangerous Book for Girls and The Indian How Book.

  7. NoraLee9 says:

    I attended an EF last week, followed by an OF “Healing Mass,” celebrated in English and Spanish. The second went over three hours, because everything had to be done twice. The young priest, who came up with a miraculous image from New Jersey, had a large following. It struck me, yet again, how the EF is about worshipping G-d, and the OF is about, quite often, the cult of personality. There was a lot of “ad-libbing” and the announcements were about someone coming from Medjugorie, etc… Sigh. It’s SO DIFFICULT to make up one’s own script in Latin, with one’s back to the congregation…. Why don’t we just pitch this other thing….
    I was listening to EWTN the other day, and every fifth word was Vatican 2. Doesn’t anyone read any other Church documents? There WAS a Catholic Church before 1965!

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