The Older Courtesies and the Gravitational Pull

A deeper sense of decorum is needed in our worship.

The older form of Holy Mass of the Roman Rite, the Usus Antiquior, must return – and will return – in strength.  Recovery of the older form will exert a “gravitational pull” on the way the Novus Ordo is celebrated.  As priests learn or relearn the older form, they change the way the say the newer form.  The deepening of their ars celebrandi will have a knock-on effect in their congregations.  Revitalized worship of God is a necessary element of a New Evangelization.

The Biological Solution continues is scything work.  New priests, free from the dominating hermeneutic of the 60’s-80’s, are rising up.  In the next few years, we should see a more rapid increase in the number and places where the older form is used.

With a tip of the biretta to Reluctant Sinner:

In his introduction to the extended version of A Bitter Trial: Evelyn Waugh and John Cardinal Heenan on the Liturgical Changes, Joseph Pearce begins by recalling how Sir Alec Guinness lamented the passing away of the “older courtesies” that our Catholic liturgy had preserved for centuries. Yet, being a man of God, Sir Alec also knew that it was only a matter of time before the Mass of Ages would once more be restored to its proper dignity and place within the Church’s worship. Here is how Pearce puts it: –

“Much water has flown under the Tiber’s bridges,” wrote Alec Guinness in his autobiography, “carrying away splendour and mystery from Rome, since the Pontificate of Pius XII.” Writing in the mid-eighties, Guinness lamented the “banality and vulgarity of the translations which have ousted the sonorous Latin and little Greek” from the liturgy and regretted that “[h]andshaking and embarrassed smiles or smirks have replaced the older courtesies.” Although dismayed by the nature of the liturgical changes, Guinness was sure that the Church would recover from such nonsense, “so long as the God who is worshipped is the God of all ages, past and to come, and not the Idol of Modernity, so venerated by some of our bishops, priests and mini-skirted nuns.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    “Ben? Ben Kenobi? Boy, am I glad to see you.”

  2. jarhead462 says:

    When we turned to the Bugnini Side, the Mass as we know it ceased to be.

    Semper Fi!

  3. dans0622 says:

    I’ve seen a lot of embarrassing/scandalous, ecclesial things in my life but I guess I haven’t seen everything (“mini-skirted nuns”).

  4. Marlon says:

    For those in the St. Louis area, Joseph Pearce will be speaking at 7 PM on Sunday, December 9, at the Kevin Kline Theater on the St. Louis Priory Grounds. The topic: “The Death and Resurrection of the Mass: Evelyn Waugh and the Liturgical Madness Revisited.” I am SO looking forward to hearing what he has to say!

  5. vetusta ecclesia says:

    At a local monastic church (I live in the UK) a young member of the community was ordained in the autumn. He celebrates the us.ant. on occasions and his first Mass (novus ordo) was celebrated ad orientem. As Fr Z says ” brick by brick”>

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