GUEST POST: “Why I’m Not a Traditionalist (But We’re Going to Latin Mass Anyways…)”

From the blog The Back of the World, comes a blog post worthy of everyone’s attention.  I’ll add this fellow to my blog role.

Here it is with my patented Fr. Z treatment (you know… emphases and comments):

Hi, my name is Ryan. I’m 27-years-old, and I’m new to this diocese. And for the love of all that is holy, can someone please do something about all of the $@#!&* tambourine playing going on around here?!


I apologize in advance if this post comes off as too much of a rant. And I should say this from the start: I’m not a Traditionalist Catholic. I’ve never found the criticisms of Vatican II to be very convincing, I’m a big fan of some theologians that Trads usually aren’t fond of (e.g., von Balthasar), I think that Pope Francis’ simpler style is (for the most part) pretty awesome, etc. I guess you can say I’m a “JP2 conservative”…faithful to the Magisterium, adherent to the hermeneutic of continuity, etc. All that to say, I was never interested in picking on the Novus Ordo liturgy…

But we’ve made a decision as a family to start attending the Traditional Latin Mass regularly. And here’s why:

When we were received into the Catholic Church, we lived in Boston. There, it was never hard to find a beautiful, reverent, Novus Ordo Mass. Life was good, and when I was on the right side of town, I even enjoyed the occasional Anglican Use Mass or Maronite Divine Liturgy.

If you don't have it, buy it.

Last year, I read Pope Benedict’s “Spirit of the Liturgy” (a must-read, by the way), [Ahhhh… subversive literature!] and began to re-think a lot of the views I held on the liturgy. I began to agree with the need for kneeling to receive Communion, having the priest celebrate ad orientum, [ooops … ad orientem … but I can’t be too hard on this fellow.  I read recently a letter from a US bishop to his priests in which he all but forbids the use of Latin, the biretta, wearing a cassock, or celebration ad orientum – and he misspelled it three times.  It wasn’t a typo.etc. But, I have to admit, I didn’t see these things as really pressing issues, mostly because what I saw in and around the city of Boston was (for the most part) in keeping with the solemn nature of what we as Catholics believe to be taking place at the Mass.

Now, though, we’ve moved to the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida. And, if I may be blunt, the state of the liturgy around here is utterly atrocious.

Imagine seashell-shaped parishes filled with Baby Boomers dressed in Bermuda shirts and khaki shorts. Imagine complete strangers holding hands with each other during the Our Father. Imagine jamming out to contemporary Christian songs that were popular 15-20 years ago. Imagine all sorts of improvisations on the part of priests. Heck, imagine everyone getting called up to stand around the altar together during the Eucharistic prayers, rather than kneeling back in the pews–yeah, that happened! I was there!

It’s enough to make me want to scream: “People! We are attending the re-presentation of the once-for-all-sacrifice made for us on Calvary, and simultaneously realizing the eschatological Wedding Supper of the Lamb made present in the Eucharist! PUT DOWN THE TAMBOURINES! [Speaking of tambourines… HERE]

And so we attended the Latin Mass this past Sunday. [We could quibble and say that the Novus Ordo should also be “Latin Mass”… but let’s move along…] And it was breathtakingly beautiful. And you know, it wasn’t that hard to follow along in the missal. [Never has been… never will be.] And, in what is no doubt a bitter irony to the kind of people that like contemporary Christian music, at a Latin Mass of about 100 people, there were probably triple the number of young people than at any other Mass I’ve been to since we moved here

And maybe this will sound extreme to some of my readers, but I don’t really want my kids exposed to what’s going on in the Novus Ordo in this diocese. [Reason #6577 for Summorum Pontificum.  God bless Benedict XVI!] I think liturgy has a huge pedagogical component to it, and I don’t like what those liturgies teach my children. [Do I hear an “Amen!”?] I think they take away from the utter seriousness of what the Mass is, I think it says “this is just a Sunday get-together” rather than “this is a Holy Sacrifice”, I think it teaches that liturgy is about your musical preferences rather than worshiping God…Besides which, my two-year-old was way better-behaved than he has been at the Novus Ordo, [Many parents report that same thing!] and I’m sure that’s because he picked up on the reverent and serious silence, rather than looking at a guy his grandfather’s age rocking out on a guitar and thinking “aw man, it’s party time up in here!”

If this is where we are at, if this is what the Novus Ordo has become in some dioceses, then maybe the best thing to do is to hit the reset button and start from the beginning. [That is about reason #2 for Summorum Pontificum.] Maybe we need to all go home, re-learn the 1962 missal, then calmly re-read Sacrosanctum Concilium in about 5 years to learn what the Council actually said, and we can have this discussion again.

Until then, you can find me and mine down the street at the TLM on Sundays, reclaiming my heritage and birth-right as a Roman Catholic–i.e., good liturgy.

Fr. Z Über-Kudos.

If and when this fellow contacts me, I’ll send him a coffee mug and car magnet of his choice from my store.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Brick by Brick, Fr. Z KUDOS, Hard-Identity Catholicism, HONORED GUESTS, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. iPadre says:

    Great post! I have always said the same thing. “Maybe we need to all go home, re-learn the 1962 missal, then calmly re-read Sacrosanctum Concilium in about 5 years to learn what the Council actually said, and we can have this discussion again.”

    Thank God Paul VI put the brakes on Bugnini. When I read about the workings of Anibelle Bugnini my whole perspective on Liturgy changed. I was shocked to learn he wanted to eliminate the Sign of the Cross and the Roman Canon, among other things. I smelled a rat! True reform according to the Second Vatican Council has to begin with the 1962 Missal. We may all be dead before it happens, but that what will have to happen.

  2. Deirdre Mundy says:

    Any chance you’ll tell us WHICH diocese is banning all Latin, Cassocks, etc?

    And how will this square with favorite hymns like “Immaculate Mary” and “Adeste Fideles” and “Angels we have heard on high?”

    If a parishioner says Pax tecum, will he be ejected from Mass?

  3. Pingback: Why I’m Not a Traditionalist (But We’re Going to Latin Mass Anyways…) | The Back of the World

  4. CatholicMD says:

    The Diocese of St Petersburg is led by Bishop Lynch. This report on the state of the liturgy there is sadly not surprising.

  5. Well said.[ It’s obvious you’re not SSPX.]Here it was never an issue though. I grew up with the Latin Mass(still remember bits and pieces;brother was an altar boy and had one of those little cards to learn the Latin) and came mid stream to the Mass in the vernacular.Our priests never ventured into the ridiculous and Mass was reverent from day one. Some of the folks did start holding hands but i had the option to refuse believing that the Eucharist was the cause of our unity and not hand holding.Other than that none of the nightmare stories you hear about.
    Our town is too insulated-too cut off from the world and seems to remain unaffected by anything that is going on ‘out there’.It has been an advantage. Again well said. In your case( and anyone else in the same boat) don’t blame you.

  6. Steven Surrency says:

    I often attend that same High Mass. While my experience of Liturgy in our diocese has not been as bad as what he has reported (there are good and bad priests, of course), I can certainly believe he has had these experiences. I am so happy that our Bishop has allowed this and other T.L.M.s to go on here. I also love the N.O. celebrated properly. It is my hope that the T.L.M. will exert the pull on the N.O. that Pope Benedict also hoped for.

  7. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    “Freeze! Put down that tambourine and step away from the altar!”

    “NOW! DO IT NOW!”

  8. Mike says:

    This post simply ROCKS.

  9. msc says:

    Brilliant! I love that “People! We are attending the re-presentation of the once-for-all-sacrifice made for us on Calvary, and simultaneously realizing the eschatological Wedding Supper of the Lamb made present in the Eucharist!” I don’t think one can really scream that–it’s a bit too wordy, but beautifully put. I suggest a new internet acronym to join LOL, TEOTWAWKI, “PDTT”, to be used to indicate displeasure with anything eucharisticaly unpleasant.
    I’m also so glad to see someone else self-identify as a JPII conservative: despite my love of and respect for Benedict XVI, that kind of sums me up. I only wish the JP had had better taste in music: he was definitely into the folky when he was a chaplain in Poland.

  10. johnmann says:

    I wouldn’t necessarily blame the bishops. I’ve noticed regional differences within dioceses. Parishes of the same neighborhood tend to worship similarly but very differently from other neighborhoods in the same diocese. And there doesn’t seem to be a neat liberal/conservative correlation. It probably has more to do with the age and educational makeup of the neighborhoods. College-educated 25-45 year olds don’t seem to like tambourines.

  11. benedetta says:


  12. Bruce Wayne says:

    I shared a similar progression as described by Ryan.

    When I lived in NYC I attended Fr. George Rutler’s N.O. services at the Church of Our Saviour (he recently moved across town). He celebrates the ordinary rite in a fantastic and beautiful manner. In fact, that specific liturgy would yet be my preference. But I returned to the diocese of my youth to complete my dissertation and here in Atlanta, as it is in St. Pete and most of the deep south, the influence of the mainstream American Protestant culture has been unbelievably destructive of Catholic liturgy and parishes. I could walk to a parish that I will not even set foot in (I did once for a funeral and that was enough). Soooo . . . I began making a 45 minute drive to make a Mass at the lone EF parish, run by the FSSP. I had attended the EF many times, generally for a nice change of pace from Fr. Rutler’s NO or because of scheduling issues. But now that it has been my sole option for a reverent liturgy I have naturally developed a deeper appreciation of it and fondness for it. In a perfect world there would be options everywhere for beautiful OF-NO services such as Fr. Rutler celebrates, and the pentecostal nightmares would be relegated to just a few fringe parishes. I am not even going to start listing the garbage typical of local NO dioceses (or my memories of Catholic school here in the 80s). This diocese of my youth, its parishes and liturgies, the catechesis (ha!) of its parochial schools is not the reason I am a Catholic today.

    Just for amusement sake I researched where in this entire diocese one can find an actual confessional (i.e. the box that Hollywood and satan’s minions mock b/c they recognize its true power) that is *also in use* (important caveat) and I found that to the best I can tell there is none. The closest is of course at my FSSP parish but the constraints they have to deal with of inheriting terrible suburban parish buildings means that the confessionals are built into the wall, but yet are internally traditional, so close enough. The architecture (is that the correct term?) of the Confessional is one of my pet peeve issues; that is, I think the style of them and the manner in which they are placed and utilized (and how often priests make themselves available in them) is a great indicator of the spiritual and liturgical health of the parish. Fr. Rutler, for example, tried as often as he could to have a visiting priest or even two (such as on Good Friday) hearing confessions during Mass, at least until the Canon begins.

    Does anyone remember the requiem mass for JPII as celebrated by then Cardinal Ratzinger? In my opinion that should be a standard to emulate for the N.O.-O.F. liturgy.

    By the way . . . I think a whole heap of the angst and passion of traditionalists and N.O. haters is a very upscale first world western phenomena. In places like suburban America that wasped themselves out to get a piece of that b.s. “American dream” the parishes and liturgies have been particularly susceptible to wreck-o-vation because the laity has been particularly susceptible to modernism (a term to stand in for the synthesis of all heresies). Hence traditionalISM (as an ideology) can be surprisingly parochial/provincial even when it thinks it is universal and historical.

    Sorry for the rather biographical soapboxing and spewing I just let loose on the combox. As a rule I try and be impersonal online. (I doubt my maturity otherwise).

  13. mamajen says:

    Cool! Although I’m not a TLM-goer (though never say never), I’d describe myself the same way. I don’t like having a label. It’s funny, my first experience with really wacky NO masses was during my family’s travels to Florida. Even the most “liberal” parishes where I grew up were not that bad by comparison. We’re fortunate to have a beautiful NO to attend close to home. But if the TLM was the only way to get a reverent mass around here, I’d make the leap, too.

  14. Scott Woltze says:

    @Bruce Wayne

    Great thoughts, but one complaint. Very few lovers of the old mass are “very upscale”, and it is certainly not a phenomenon driven by intellectuals and aesthetes (as one German cardinal recently put it). It’s mostly blue collar/working class people–the very people that Cardinal Heenan predicted would flee the new mass. Cheers.

  15. ” I only wish the JP had had better taste in music: he was definitely into the folky when he was a chaplain in Poland.” And Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was definitely not. Is there a reason? Cultural differences? Anyone know?
    Good discussion due to a gr8 opening comment. Nice that it didn’t turn into the battle of the languages. Latin is a beautiful language(and the official language of the Vatican of course)but i don’t think the language change was the downfall of reverence. Nor was it Vatican II but it’s a good way for those who dissent from the Church or the abuses at Mass to find an excuse.
    To be honest the only Mass i can ‘attend’ at this point is Mass on EWTN. When i was healthy i actually left the Church.Since i returned(ironic)i ended up homebound a few years later and televised Mass from EWTN is the best i can do-with communion at home. (I have Menneire’s disease-while it’s not life threatening ;it is definitely a life changer).Mass on EWTN is celebrated both in English AND Latin
    while the Papal Masses are in Latin. I’m thankful to see both. Sometimes i can actually make it to church for confession and a short visit to the Blessed Sacrament. It is simply breathtaking. Sorry digressed …back to some questions:
    The institution of the Eucharist was probably in Aramaic(yes? no?)and the language of the early Christians? Aramaic? Greek? Hebrew? It sounds like many are striving to clear the parishes of the garbage we either hear about or experience simply by finding a parish that offers the reverence we have a right to. I just don’t think language is the heart of the problem. Pls do not take this as disagreement. It’s not.

  16. Post Script:not a single tambourine in our parish. EVER

  17. Bruce Wayne says:

    Ok, I will just have to doubt my maturity because I can’t seem to stop myself from semi-publicly getting off my chest the experience of attempting to attend one of the local suburban parishes here on a Sunday when I had failed to get moving in time for the 45 minute drive to the FSSP parish.

    I walked in (mea culpa) right at the scheduled time for Mass to begin and found that the priest (in terrible vestments that reminded me of the material of those horrid felt banners) was standing at the back in the center aisle with his altar boy and girl and a couple others (lector and E-M lady I suppose) waiting for the processional to begin. But he had to wait because some guy at the lectern was asking everyone new to the parish to stand up to be recognized . . . after which applause ensued (maybe the single biggest “no-no” from a congregation in my book). The booming voice then demanded that “because there are no strangers in this parish” everyone must turn to their neighbors and introduce themselves. Lots of noise, laughing and tumult ensued all the while the voice intoned like Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller “no one a stranger . . . no one a stranger.” Again, all the while the priest and his entourage waited and yucked it up. I felt sad for the Man of Infinite Sorrows that was waiting patiently on the crucifix held at the front of that procession going nowhere.

    I won’t even begin to describe the architecture and trappings of this clearly very wealthy parish (or dress of the “adults” there, forget about their kids). I have not yet been to Rome but did visit the Chora Church ( ) in Turkey 15 or so years ago and even if I only had that lone experience of a truly awe-inspiring tribute to God through the constructive work of faithful hands from centuries ago, it would be far more than enough to make me nauseous at the typical American suburban parish.

    I understand the focus on a reverent and beautiful liturgy here, really I do, but the architecture and statuary, icons, chapels, etc. are a huge factor in shaping the attitudes and behaviors of the congregation and, I believe, even of the celebrants. It is existentially harder to be irreverent in liturgy or in the pews in a beautiful church.

  18. J_Cathelineau says:

    My wife and me we are laughing out loud here after reading. Its exactly our story. Even the well behaving boys part.
    The difference is that in our case we didnt move, but a hippie choir arrived to months ago to our parish and our priest decide that maybe more people would attend. Result: we left.
    from S. America, regards.

  19. HighMass says:

    Hi iPadre,

    I am a bit confused about your post “Thank God Paul VI put the brakes on Bugnini”???? [?!? Where is that?] How so since Paul VI allowed the N.O. to replace the Mass of 1962…has anyone ever read Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani’s & Cardinal Antonio Bacci’s letter of intervention to Paul VI???? I encourage those who have not read the letter dated Sept.25, 1969.

    The two Cardinals voiced there concerns on the N.O. and predicted what would happen if the “new Mass” was implemented ….but there concerns along with others who voiced there concern fell on deaf ears…..I may have my facts wrong….but there is a lot of info out there to support what i have typed…..

    Ryan you so beautifully wrote how you see things…..couldn’t agree with you more….my children are grown now….and the Mass in the E.F. is foreign to them….someday they will see what those of us who Loved the Mass of 1962 have seen and continue to see after so many years of suppression…..and believe you me the suppression is still out there Pastors object tooth and nail to allow the Mass of 1962….S.P. means nothing ….

  20. Bruce Wayne says:

    @ Scott Woltze,

    I was not being clear in my phrasing above so thanks for your criticism.

    I did not mean to suggest that lovers of the old mass simpliciter are “very upscale.” I am one of these lovers and am far from upscale (to my chagrin) nor is the EF parish I attend full of elites/snobs/yuppies, whatever the German cardinal wants to say.

    That sentence of mine hid a distinction that I did not make clear. I assumed a distinction between proponents of an ideology of traditionalism (having in mind SSPX, etc.) and what you call “lovers of the old mass” (which includes myself). So I was basically following Ryan’s original construction of stating that he was “not being a Traditionalist” but yet attending the EF.

    I am criticizing the “traditionalists” for parochialism who display a too high level of “angst” and “hatred for the N.O.” which can lead to sedevacantism, for an extreme example. I am suggesting that they are basically being reactionaries in a specifically western setting. Wealth is relative, so I am saying that the problem of unbelievably degraded N.O. liturgy and parish architecture (while by no means non-existent all over the world) is more on display in the relatively speaking “upscale” parts of the world, such as many American dioceses. It is the region that is “upscale” not necessarily the people.

    I am certainly much closer in sympathy to these “traditionalists” I am critiquing than the pentecostal/liturgically progressive Catholics who keep me from ever, like Ryan, attending local N.O. parishes. The traditionalists who I am saying go tooar have gotten “being repelled” correct, as well as “admiring the EF.” I just think if they had ever attended the High Novus Ordo Mass as Fr. Rutler celebrates it (for one example) they could see the over-“reactionary” (and hence parochial) aspect of their ideology.

    I probably should not have used “traditionalist” as a generic term as many non-SSPX, non-angst ridden types DO try and appropriate the term for themselves as a recent survey of Fr. Z’s readership demonstrated.

    Ok, now I will let this combox return to normal w/o my verbose attempts at cathartic release. (“Get your own blog!” I can hear Fr. Z saying).

  21. johnmann says:

    Now that Bruce mentions it, maybe it’s a suburban thing. The quality of Mass in Manhattan is generally excellent. It drops off in the surrounding suburbs.

  22. pvmkmyer says:

    The writer’s experience sounds pretty close to what I’ve experienced in the LA Archdiocese. My family has been “shopping” for a new parish all summer because our pastorin Pasadena spouts heresy during some of his homilies: belief in the existence of Satan is optional; divorce and contraception teachings are out of touch with the modern world, etc. There is a TLM about 25 minutes away and it is beautiful, but it’s at a very inconvenient hour. I admit, not my shining moment since I know others come much farther to attend. Most of the other parishes are similarly dismal in LA: hand-holding, talking, party atmosphere, Haugen and Haas music exclusively, etc. Three years into the episcopacy of Archbishop Gomez and I see no perceptible change in the archdiocese, and he’s a member of Opus Dei! You can count on one hand the number of places in the archdiocese that offer the TLM, and this covers a huge area of LA, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. My wife doesn’t care for the TLM and we’re trying to find liturgy the whole family likes, but we may end up worshiping separately at this rate. It’s all very depressing. I haven’t felt so dejected about my Church since I converted in 1980.

  23. Bruce Wayne says:

    To experience really terrible liturgy in Manhattan you have to go to the NYU Catholic Chapel, or a very select few radically progressive parishes. For some reason liturgists for many (most?) colleges, Catholic or not, push the really terrible expressions of the N.O. but yet you always see young Catholics filling the pews at EF parishes.

    Like Johnmann says the suburbs are more spotty. One thing I loved about life in Brooklyn was getting to every so often attend one or another of the Polish churches in my neighborhood. They were N.O. and I don’t know a lick of Polish but the reverence was palpable and there was none of the nonsense I find at many “American” (i.e., multi-ethnic but many generations removed from being immigrant) suburban parishes. There are also some really gorgeous churches around there that have no congregations at all anymore. I wish the buildings themselves could be relocated. I would love for my EF parish in suburban Atlanta to get the physical building of my first NYC parish, St. Cecilia’s in Greenpoint Brooklyn. The last time I attended there I was shocked at the decimation of the congregation and the fact that the pastor then in charge of its care asked everyone to just come up and sit in chairs circling the altar and thus fully in the Chancel (in part so they could just leave all the lights off in the Nave and transepts). I remained in a pew.

  24. “The difference is that in our case we didn’t move, but a hippie choir arrived to months ago to our parish and our priest decide that maybe more people would attend.” of course any priest would hope that more people would attend but it may not happen. It’s not a movie theater where the Church is trying to get ‘box office sales’. Reverence and truth might bring more people-on the other hand it may not. The non Catholic denominations are forever trying to get more attendance. I have a friend who has been grocery shopping for some time. The goal is to keep it entertaining and interesting. He moves along every so often anyway. Why do some priests think we have to go that route? Maybe the Church is meant to end up smaller but more devout? It’s all summed up here:

    We are attending the re-presentation of the once-for-all-sacrifice made for us on Calvary, and simultaneously realizing the eschatological Wedding Supper of the Lamb made present in the Eucharist!”

  25. johnmann says:

    @Bruce, Brooklyn is sad. A 100 year old church on every corner and maybe one or two souls to fill each. Apparently hipsters don’t attend Mass even ironically.

  26. “Apparently hipsters don’t attend Mass even ironically.”
    There may have been a lesson in it all. When i could attend Mass i left the Church..came back and attended often only to take ill a few yrs later.Always a reason. Hipsters?Disheartening.There may be a wake up call around the corner.

  27. James Joseph says:

    Regarding how young children act better when it is more beautiful….

    I am not a parent. I have been to maybe 6 ancient Masses. I am struck every time. I must say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Neither does the nut. The children at the ancient Mass out-behave the better behaved adults at my regular Sunday drill.

  28. RobW says:

    Sounds like a reasonable guy. Would like to read more of his writings. One thing that is getting old is Catholic bloggers that think they will win hearts by putting one foot in the gutter (hasnt worked and never will). We recently had a couple bloggers come out for gay “marriage, some of them curse, are very uncharitable towards certain groups of people (like “Faithful Conservative Catholics”). I do like reading Fr. Z and a couple others but I think reading the writings of the saints is more worthwhile.

  29. Matthew says:

    I too am in the Diocese of St. Pete, our Bishop is a fine man, but not too keen on the TLM although the side chapel in the Cathedral does one every Sunday (12:30). There are a few other throughout the diocese.

    However the silliness that the writer describes is all too common. I try to go to a TLM, but I often end up at a Spanish language Mass. The Mexican people in my city are primarily from Hidalgo, Mexico and they don’t go for all that silliness. They like a traditional (N.O.) Mass without the usual ‘entertainment’ component you get these days.

    I pray for a return to our beautiful Mass, and the traditional ways but thankfully I speak Spanish :)

  30. Charles E Flynn says:

    Search on this page for the word “applause”:

    THE SPIRIT OF THE LITURGY, by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, reviewed by Brian W. Harrison.

  31. Therese says:

    “Until then, you can find me and mine down the street at the TLM on Sundays, reclaiming my heritage and birth-right as a Roman Catholic–i.e., good liturgy.”

    Hooray! Posts like these make my week, Father.

  32. The institution of the Eucharist was probably in Aramaic(yes? no?)

    NO. There is no evidence that Our Lord was anything but an an observant Jew. Prayers at the Last Supper would have been in the liturgical language of the Jews, not the spoken vernacular, Aramaic. To this day, Jewish prayers (at home and in synagogue) are in the liturgical language Hebrew. No Jew uses the ancient vernacular (Aramaic) any more, except in Talmud studies and for the few OT books whose original is (ancient) Aramaic. If a Jew prays without using Hebrew, he uses his local vernacular.

    On the other hand, outside of Palestine, 1st cent. Jews prayed and did their rituals in Greek, the usual vernacular. This seems to have been the practice of 1st century Christians, at least outside of Palestine. So, Our Lord’s practice validates use of a liturgical language that is not the vernacular. The usage of the Apostles validates use of a vernacular.

  33. LadyMarchmain says:

    @ Father Augustine Thompson,

    That is for the most true and an excellent point. In the interests of absolute accuracy, I wanted to point out that there are some portions of the Jewish liturgy in Aramaic–the Kaddish (prayer for the dead) for example.

  34. contrarian says:

    “People! We are attending the re-presentation of the once-for-all-sacrifice made for us on Calvary, and simultaneously realizing the eschatological Wedding Supper of the Lamb made present in the Eucharist!”

    Indeed. But perhaps….just perhaps!…those Bermuda-shorts-wearing baby boomers, singing idiotic music, swaying in their shell-shaped St. Zwingli’s church, are acting more in line with the concepts contained in the the prayers and scripture readings of the Mass of Paul VI? :) I mean, I’m glad this guy is annoyed by ‘bad liturgy’, but you get what you pay for. :) I’m always happy to see reverence at a Mass of Paul VI, but I also find it ironic.

    That said, I am sympathetic to this guy’s opinions. I like a few VII philosopher-theologians myself. :)

  35. contrarian says:

    In the author’s imaginary ‘People!’ invocation, if he would have used the word ‘propitiation’ in his rant, the Bermuda-shorts-wearing congregants would have looked at him with utter confusion. Then they would have skimmed through the prayers and scripture readings of their pew missal before responding, “Nu uh!”

  36. Phil_NL says:

    I reckon that much, if not most, of any growth in EF attendance would be for similar reasons, and that this situation will continue for quite some time.

    I could easily have been in the author’s footsteps, word for word*, were it not for one big coincidence: our parish has the most reverent OF for miles around (not to mention the rest of the ‘package’: neo-gothic church, capable choir, lots of latin, no ‘introduce eachother’ nonsense; ad populum is about the only thing not called for by VII that has crept in). Lots rides on that; should the silly season erupt again – which is unlikely, but there are still some priests in the mold of the bad old days, even some who are quite young – I’d scramble for the nearest EF.

    In fact, I think that parishes where the silly season isn’t wound down quickly or decisevely enough will also bleed members in the direction of the EF, as many don’t have much of an emotional connection to their parish these days, especially if one has moved around a bit in the preceding decades.

    To take it one step further, I think that the FSSP and similar institutes might employ some smart marketing if they primarily set up shop in areas with exclusively poor liturgy (rather than gauge existing interest in the EF, which tends to be a different crowd). While relations with the local bishop would probably prevent such a strategy (no doubt he’d be fuming if a request would mean the liturgy in his diocese is judged to be awful), I daresy it is what you need if you want to expand the EF mass more rapidly. Perhaps the time will come someday.

    * OK, frankly I’m not bothered either way regarding kneeling for communion (I agree it’s best, but it would be very low on my list of things that are important to my choice of regular Mass attendance), nor do I care overly much for Pope Francis’ style, but those are really minor things.

  37. Lin says:

    Love this post! If the bishop is not to blame for Protestant masses, who is? Why is there no discipline imposed on progressive priests? Our progressive pastor has told us the bishop needs him more than he needs the bishop?!? Meanwhile, the parishioners are fed baloney until he retires! But WHY no discipline?????

  38. Blaine says:

    I’m moving my family to the Diocese of St. Petersburg this coming winter, and I’ve seen what he describes often. My parents live there now and I make it a point to try different parishes when we visit to get a feel for where we will be most comfortable. I’ve come to the conclusion, because I too have a two year old, that we will be making the drive to the cathedral every Sunday. See you there Ryan.

  39. polycarped says:

    Excellent post.

    “I read Pope Benedict’s “Spirit of the Liturgy” (a must-read, by the way)”.

    Written as Cardinal Ratzinger – but yes, absolutely. If you haven’t read it, read it. It’s like having a refreshing drink on a hot day.

  40. PA mom says:

    Good for him.
    I think it is wonderful when a husband demonstrates such purpose on account of his soul and those of his family. Still praying for a spark to be lit in my own…
    While I am still wishing for kneeling for communion, the funny business (and tambourines) is absent from our experience. When we travel, it does lead to a sense of concern over whether or not to seek out a Sunday Mass! I have come to the decision of leaving the children and going by myself before they are awake, if it is a new location where I am unsure of what to expect.

  41. samwise says:

    The novus ordo Mass I attend at St. Patrick Church, Columbus OH has the following:
    1) Tenebrae
    2) kneeling at the communion rail to receive Eucharist
    3) latin or equivalent english Mass parts
    4) ommission of the sign of peace
    * It is possible to still be reverent with the new translation of the Novus Ordo!

  42. dominic1955 says:

    I sympathize with this guy because that was basically me 6 or 7 years ago. However, the more reading one does, they begin to see that all the short wearing, progressivist, tamborine shaking nonsense is basically what Bugnini and Co. wanted. You see, those folks are moving according to “The Spirit” and liturgy is developing in its fluid patterns to speak to all God’s children!

    What the Church got as the 1970 Missale Romanum was the compromise between the Concilium and Communio (both liberals, and you all know it if you’re honest in your reading) camps. Had Bugnini and Co. gotten their way to its fullest in subsequent years, we probably wouldn’t have anything that is even a shadow of the Roman Rite. Think of the silliest suburban or college chapel Mass you’ve ever seen-that’s pretty much “ideal liturgy” to the Concilium school.

    The Communio answer is this “reform of the reform”, or celebrating the NO seriously or some such. They take the “gift” of the Modernists and foolishly act as though its some grand prize of the Church, writ large. No matter how reverently someone celebrates or how much Latin they throw in, does it actually offer the Roman Rite as we’ve known it for centuries? No, and again, no! Dobszay aptly characterized the Novus Ordo as the Neo-Roman Rite. Like the Neo-Gallican Rites of the 18th Century, they may claim a traditional pedigree but they were mostly a contemporary fabrication hiding under the veneer of what came before. Same with the NO, if you compare the two you can see just how little of the old edifice the new rite maintains. It is a lot like they tore down the old church, built an in-the-round monstrosity with some of the stained glass windows and moldings thrown in here or there and then told the parishoners that this is the *same* church, just updated a little bit. I’m sorry, but it absolutely is not the same.

    Again, I sympathize with not wanting to be labeled, but he implicitly doing what many of us now explicitly do. The NO Mass and other sacramental rites as given to us in their typical editions are part of the problem. Ultimately, they will not be part of the solution if we as a Church ever come back to our liturgical senses.

  43. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Fr. Thompson,

    You wrote,

    “Prayers at the Last Supper would have been in the liturgical language of the Jews, not the spoken vernacular, Aramaic.”

    True, but each of the Institution Narratives, Mat 26:26, Lk 22:19, and 1Cor 11:24), the texts read:

    1. Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”

    2. And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

    3. and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

    The Breaking and giving thanks portion would, obviously, have been in Hebrew. They correspond to the Seder Motzi, or blessing over grain:,

    But the actually institution, “This is my body,” is a gloss on the Motzi-Matzah prayer:

    “Baruch Ata Ado-nai Elo-heinu Melech Haolam, Asher Ki-d’shanu Be-mitzvotav Vetzivanu al Achilat Matzah.
    Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us concerning the eating of Matzah.”

    Jesus was specifying that He was both the Motzi (bread) and the Matzah (lamb) and issuing the commandment to eat it, as God did to Moses. Jesus is fuctioning as the giver (God) and the receiver (the new Moses) of the commandment to eat the lamb = His Body. He collapsed the motzi and matzah into one by making the bread into His body.

    The problem is that this is a deviation from the text. It is part Old Ritual and the Institution of the New Ritual. There would have been no official Hebrew text for this, although I definitely agree that, as a liturgical practice, it would have had to have been spoken in the official language of liturgical practice – Hebrew.

    The Chicken

  44. restoration says:

    I have a job offer in St. Petersburg (moving from the Northeast) and I am very concerned about the state of the diocese. Bishop Lynch has a couple years until he hits 75, so he soon won’t be able to do any more damage–not that there is much left to destroy. From what I have read, homosexuality is a big part of the diocesan culture. There are few vocations (except for the kind the Church doesn’t need) as well as illicit liturgies of every kind as described above. We’ll see how the small local TLM community goes, but if one wants a traditional parish with actual traditionalists (as opposed to a collection of refugees from the Novus Ordo), it appears that one must drive down to Sarasota to the FSSP parish in the Diocese of Venice. There is a schismatic community an hour north of Tampa, but I am uncomfortable with becoming a regular there. I’ll be reaching out to Ryan and Blaine for support as I have young children, too!

  45. Basher says:

    My story is very similar, but my ultimate solution is different. We now attend the best Novus Ordo Mass in the diocese, and drive a bit to get to it. We wish we could be at the TLM, which is actually closer to the house, however we became weary of the political conspiracies, six-day creationism, implicit and explicit disobedience to the Bishop, separation from the diocese, and general air of mistrust, bunkerism, and paranoia there. ‘Bishop’s annual appeal fundraiser’ is a surreal time at the TLM parish.

    We still occasionally attend the local TLM, but are obviously modernists since we swing both ways. ;-)

    I cannot help but wonder what the writer’s opinions will be in a few years, particularly if he happens to be involved in science or technology or politics, or if he wants his kids to have a quality secular education.

  46. Gretchen says:

    I noticed a couple mentions about ethnic parishes, how the usual NO silliness is largely absent there. It makes sense, of course, because of the cohesiveness of the community. We drive 35-40 minutes to a TLM each Sunday. Still, after having visited several parishes, it remains the best option to have a reverent, God-honoring Mass. At our FSSP parish, there is every race and numerous ethnicities present, reminiscent of Galatians 3:28. And yes, the place is teeming with young families.

  47. Robbie says:

    I’m glad to read this account and it gives me hope the tide is turning on liturgical matters. It’s a shame Benedict didn’t require each parish to offer the TLM at least once a week or even once a month because I believe it would have a positive effect on the NO. The days of guitars and tambourines would have long since passed.

    I must also note the situation the writer encountered in NO masses in St. Petersburg is much what I’ve seen in the diocese of Louisville. Regardless of the parish, people hold hands during the Our Father, many invite the Eucharistic ministers to stand on the altar during prayers, and kneeling is severely limited. Everything I’ve read suggested Archbishop Kurtz was a conservative, but the liturgies remain a sore point, at least with me.

  48. Magash says:

    Yes if the bishop is not responsible who is? However I can see how it might be difficult even for a good bishop. An outright dissident might be easy to take action against. Often however the progressive priest knows just how far he can push things, and will. More problematic is the situation which is caused by the good priest who will just not take in hand the choir master or music director of his parish for “pastoral” reason. He just doesn’t want to deal with the problems that are likely to result. I’ve seen parishes turn into battlegrounds over dismissal of a beloved music director. Of course a man wise in things can change a parish be slowly introducing changes supported by proper catechesis. Often there is still hard feelings and disruption, but at least more people understand its not just the result of some whim on the priest’s part.
    Much of the problem in the U.S. stems from the way that the suitability of musical materials is left to the control of the bishops of Chicago and Portland. Most parishes use hymnals produced by either GIA or OPC. The USCCB has place the responsibility for monitoring the musical products produced by these companies on their local bishops. Unfortunately As far as I’ve been able to determine those bishops have taken no real interest in regulating these entities. There is no requirement that the publishers submit their music to their respective diocese for review of suitability for use in liturgy. So you have one of the loopholes so beloved of progressives. At the diocesan and parish level they say, “But surely if the music was unsuitable then a Catholic publishing company wouldn’t be allowed to include it.” While in reality their is no one looking at the music for suitability outside the diocese. The pastor must take that responsibility upon themselves, since on one else is doing it. Unfortunately I believe that many priests do not feel qualified to do that, so they defer to their music directors, who often have no formal liturgical musical training, or worse like Marty Haugen, aren’t even Catholic. Often they are either hired for their musical talents or not paid at all.
    So one solution is for priests to be exposed to good liturgical music during their formation, and to receive good liturgical formation in seminary (including , of course, exposure to the EF). I am afraid that this is a generational problem that will only be solved by effort in the long term. The appointment of bishops to Chicago & Portland interested in regulating GIA and OCP would be a helpful action on the part of the nuncio of the United States and the Holy Father. A change in the expectation of review by the dioceses of Oregon and Chicago would be another improvement. Put oversight of these companies in the hands of a USCCB committee run by bishop with a good background in liturgical music and staffed by classically trained liturgical music experts, rather than the usual suspects. I don’t expect it to happen, but it is what is needed.

  49. edm says:

    The state of the liturgy in northern New Jersey is appalling. The choice of “music” is horrid. When our town was planning for the once-a-year community Thanksgiving ecumenical service, one of the Roman Catholic priests gave a long speech about how in the RC Church the choir is only to lead the congregation in music. They are not supposed to sing anything that is not sung by the entire “assembly” and went on to say this has always been the case. Those present swallowed his statement hook, line and sinker. In the same town’s largest and growing parish there has not been an organist for decades. They rely on unpaid guitar playing for all masses, only bringing an outside organist for weddings and sometimes funerals. At the same parish every weekend mass is preceded by a “meet and greet” lead by the pastor. In the parishes where large numbers of Mexicans have joined, mariachi music is the norm. The Polish parishes have not had as much wreckovation of the interiors but one would be hard pressed to find an English language mass there. Praise music is creeping into the English language parishes, etc… For a really reverent mass with decent music one would probably have to drive around quite a bit or go to Manhattan.

  50. wolfeken says:

    There are now plenty of good TLM options in that area (I have visited several of them). So — thanks to Pope Benedict — it is really a matter of making a solid choice. Yes, it is easier to travel two minutes for Hamburger Helper, but in the end it is well worth it to go the extra mile for Prime Rib.

    On those who don’t want to be called traditionalists, one way to not see how the sausage is made is to get off the Internet. Every movement has movers, shakers and even complainers (hello, the pro-life movement, the 2nd amendment movement, the traditional marriage movement…?), but no one is required to be in the trenchers to be a member. Attend the TLM, make some friends there, start a social after each TLM and put a happy face on the community. None of this involves the Internet; it involves old-fashioned, in-person, efforts.

  51. HighMass says:

    and believe you me the suppression is still out there Pastors object tooth and nail to allow the Mass of 1962….S.P. means nothing ….

    Sorry What I meant to say was this….S.P. means nothing in many areas… is simply ignored….S.P. has produced Tremendous FRUITS and will continue to do so…..Yes we have to go back to 1962 Mass to continue the reform of the reform….I would be simply delighted with attending the Mass in the E.F. only……

  52. HeatherPA says:

    “… rather than looking at a guy his grandfather’s age rocking out on a guitar and thinking “aw man, it’s party time up in here!”
    This sentence fragment says all that needs to be said about the who, what, and why.

    Is it a mortal sin to be longing for the days of these people to finally be too old so they are physically and mentally unable to “assist” at Mass?

  53. Sonshine135 says:

    This guy sums it up perfectly for me. I am a member of a Parish that “rocks it out” to the point that the music has become an utter distraction. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I experienced a TLM for the first time last Sunday. It will certainly be the first of many.

    P.S. We have one drummer boy that hits the skins so hard, it makes my head hurt. That should NEVER be allowed in a Mass….ever ever ever ever!

  54. donato2 says:

    It is not true that Spanish language N.O. Masses are better than the typical English language N.O. On the contrary. I live in Los Angeles and have been to Mass at many different Hispanic parishes. They tend to favor Mariachi and guitar-strumming folk music. Some go for the electric guitars, electronic keyboard and drum set (when I see that being set up, I steel myself for a miserable experience).

  55. Fr AJ says:

    dominic1955, The basic structure of the Mass is the same in the TLM and NO. I can’t see how any reasonable person can say they are completely different.

  56. contrarian says:

    Hi Fr. AJ,
    Respectfully, dominic1955 is right. The ‘basic structure’ of the two masses might be the same (more or less), but the content of the orations and scripture readings are vastly, vastly different. I’m concerned that you might not know this, given that you are of the opinion that no ‘reasonable person’ could say they are different. To do a quick compare-and-contrast of the orations and prayers of the two masses is to lead every reasonable person to the conclusion that they are vastly different.
    Moreover, I think dominic1955 is right: the orations and scripture readings of the new mass much more easily align with the sorts of things that the author of this guest post sees in his Florida diocese.

  57. Fr AJ says:

    contrarian, I was clearly referring the basic structure of the Mass (introduction of some sort, readings, offertory, canon, distribution of Holy Communion) not the exact words of each prayer, obviously they are different in many cases. The basic structure of the Mass is the same in either form.

  58. Lynne says:

    Boston? Yeah, there’s a handful of nice N.O. Masses floating around…

    Bishop Lynch may indeed be a fine man but as a shepherd, well…

    not too strong on Life issues

    Doesn’t sound like he’s a strong liturgist either. What’s a bishop’s duties again? Something about ensuring the salvation of souls?

  59. LorrieRob says:

    I live in Clearwater and attend St. Catherine of Siena(part of St. Petersburg Diocese). I am a 3 year convert from(Episcopal/Anglican) and very happy with my parish. It is subject to the same criticism and I do wish that there was more of at least a blend of the Latin..the agnes dei,e.g. But, all in all, it is still very reverent. I suspected our Bishop was more “liberal” but from what I’ve seen he is a fine man and for the most part seems to run the diocese with a steady and balanced hand. As noted there is a TLM at the Cathedral. I was disappointed when he did a very supportive blog on that negative survey of priests and their opinions of the new translation …he seemed to take a few potshots which I didn’t appreciate…but I guess we’re all entitled to our opinion. We actually have a pretty good # of vocations in the diocesan seminary I’m told…35-40 I think…and our Director of Vocations is a very passionate and orthodox priest in his late ’40’s. He was the Parochial Vicar at my parish for a couple of years…Father Melchior. I learned a lot from his homilies at the daily Mass. We have to work with what we’ve got and I think keep as positive an attitude as possible…there’s plenty to be positive about in the Diocese of St. Petersburg!

  60. Marcus de Alameda says:

    A great post and excellent comments (5 stars to the Chicken).
    My family’s weekly Sunday Mass is a NO Mass (in Latin) that offers beautiful liturgical music, pipe organ , chant, and retains kneeling at the altar rail for communion. A beauty of Latin is that it stands apart from the lingua of the modern confused world. My resolve is that the liturgy of most NO masses (vernacular) are noisy and distracting, and lack coherence and beauty. Such weak liturgy fails to inspire the minds and hearts of children to embrace the foundations of the Catechism. Our beautiful small magnet parish also offers the TLM (Christ the King Inst,) of which I love and attend when possible during the week and on major feast days. It’s too bad that the NO after VII was hijacked by the progressive media into using the vernacular when clearly that was not the intent (refer to Pope BXVI). With the growing persecution of our faith and Church via the hyper-secular state, the teaching of the magisterium will be more frequently challenged and/or silenced from many parishes and dioceses. To survive the confusion, my prayer and action plan is to promote and attend the TLM.
    Viva Summorum Pontificum!

  61. Cordelio says:

    Dear Fr AJ,

    Perhaps I missed where dominic1955 argued that the parts of the TLM and NO had different names, hence my failure to grasp the nature of the disagreement you seem to have with him.

    The TLM and the Congregational service I grew up with also have many of the same basic parts (introit, epistle, gospel, offertory, communion, blessing, dismissal), as do Episcopal services I have attended in the past. Would I err if I described these services as completely different from the TLM?

    Is it a quibble over the “completely” of completely different? No two things are completely different, I suppose, if one very strictly construes “completely.” Although, looking back, dominic1955 never said they TLM and NO were completely different, either. Absolutely not the same is the general turn of phrase he used – which I took as a rhetorical device signifying “not the same in very substantial respects” while not excluding any similarity, whatsoever.

    Now I’ve confused myself. What was he said that you disagreed with again?

  62. samwise says:

    Another great parish for reverent novus ordo Mass is St. Isidore in Grand Rapids. They even bow their heads at the mention of the Name of our Lord!

  63. Fr AJ says:

    cordelio, I was disagreeing with his statement that the NO maintained little of the edifice of the TLM. An edifice is a building or structure so I took him to say the NO has little of the structure of the TLM to which I objected saying the basic or essential structure of the two forms of Mass are the same. Again, I’m talking about the basic underlying structure or outline of the Mass, not specific words or specific minor additions/subtractions such as the Last Gospel for example. Perhaps this is not what he meant.

  64. rbbadger says:

    The parish where I was baptized a Catholic was the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, UT. Those who’ve been there know just how impressive their music program is. Though the Mass is in English, you will hear lots of chant and polyphony. They also have sung vespers with Benediction every Sunday.

    I later entered the seminary for the diocese where I actually grew up. For my college seminary years, I was sent to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia where we had a wonderful liturgical life. My late bishop felt that it wasn’t good for us to have an East Coast view of the church, so he decided to send us to St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California.

    The liturgies at St. John’s ranged to mildly offensive to sheer torture. The seminary thought that we needed pastoral experience by being a parishioner in the pews. To those in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, I fully sympathize with your predicament. I’m saddened that not much has changed. I decided that since they didn’t mandate where we had to go, I would go to an Eastern Rite parish. And so, St. Ann’s Greek Melkite Catholic Church in North Hollywood became my refuge. I was thankful to be able to learn a lot more about the Byzantine liturgy. Also, I began serving at the Cathedral, as the Masses there weren’t too too bad.

    While I am not opposed to the forma ordinaria, I will always go where I can get good liturgy. If the choice is between bad liturgy in a local parish and a Forma Extraordinaria Mass 30 miles away, I will take the Forma Extraordinaria.

    Blessed John Paul II did write that the faithful have a right to authentic liturgy. How many of these clergy who treat the Mass as if it were their own creation know they are depriving their congregations of something that is their right?

  65. av8er says:

    Great post. I regret that I wasn’t that conscious of these matters at 27.

    I’ll be moving to San Antonio next year. There is a TLM parish there that I hope to go to. It will be the first time for my family since we do not have one in Laredo TX. At the very least I would like to find a reverent N.O. Mass. I travel for my work and therefore visit many churches when I’m away on Sundays and I’ve seen some reverent and other not so much (putdown the tambourine). It has been my experience that reverent masses have more people than non-reverent.

  66. One who understands the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass sufficiently well can see that the OF and EF Roman Missals prescribe two forms of the same rite–however well or poorly (or even outrageously) either may be celebrated.

    From the guide that we have sometimes provided to newcomers at our TLM:

    The Mass of the Roman Rite

    The table below shows the close correspondence betweens the various parts and prayers of the old and new Masses. The fact that the principal parts of one form of the Mass are virtually the same as in the other — and that they occur in the same order, with many of the prayers worded almost identically — corroborates the declaration of Pope Benedict XVI that the ordinary form (1970 Missal of Paul VI) and the extraordinary form (1962 Missal of John XXIII) are indeed two equally valid forms of one and the same Roman Rite of Holy Mass.

  67. MarkG says:

    Back in the 1970’s, the parish we attended was very late to switch to the new Mass. As soon as the Mass was switched, they started a folk Mass in the parish hall. One day we got a new pastor who moved that Mass to the church in place of the Mass we attended and ended the separate parish hall Masses.

    In the church Masses, quite a few people still knelt for Communion, but the new pastor put a stop to it. He announced one Sunday he would not give Communion to anyone who knelt. Several people went to the Communion rail and knelt there refusing to leave the rail. The priest continued Mass and they were still there at the end of the Mass. The next Sunday the Communion rail was missing. He had a demo company come in and remove it.

    I remember my mother having us sit in the last row and we would wait until the end so we could pick a Communion line where a priest was giving out Communion. They had also started to use glass for ciboria, but had one last gold ciborium that was kept in the tabernacle and used for Communion. My mother only let us receive Communion if it was from a priest and from the gold ciborium.

    Finally my mother hit her breaking point and we didn’t go for several months. Then someone told us about a priest who got thrown out for refusing to say the new Mass. He went independent and started saying Mass at a local tobacco barn that was converted as much as possible for Mass but oddly it would still be much more dignified than the average new Mass church of today.

    We finally got an SSPX Chapel a couple of years later.

  68. Shonkin says:

    Over the past two years our parish in the Helena (MT) Diocese has been feeding us all the Three Minute Catechesis. It has nothing at all to do with the Church’s Catechism, so I wondered who wrote the abomination.
    I did a little search on the web and found it is the product of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions. Our parish has gotten to the point where it requires everyone to stand and sing (insipid Oregon Catholic Press hymns, of course) during Communion. No time for actual quiet prayer before, during, or after reception of the Sacrament! The choir won’t Shut Up even after Communion. The tambourines and guitars can’t be escaped. I won’t even start on the maracas.
    We have started attending Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Helena, where the choir sings the Communion Antiphon and then stays quiet. We attend the Cathedral and we mail our checks in to our parish, because it still needs the money for its other ministries. (It’s in a poor town, lost its main industry a decade ago, unemployment is high, there’s a meth lab on every second block, etc. That’s about the only contact we have with the parish, though. We live in its attendance area, but we refuse to sacrifice reverence at Mass.)

  69. bernadettem says:


    If you are interested check out Our Lady of the Atonement, Anglican Use Catholic parish in San Antonio. The also have a great parish school which has a very high academic standing.

    From what I have heard, it is not a small parish and the Pastor is wonderful. Besides the beautiful Anglican Use Mass on Sundays, they also have a Latin OF Mass in the evening.

  70. pookiesmom says:

    @iPadre–I never heard that Pope Paul VI reined in Bugnini either–in fact Dietrich von Hilderbrand was convinced that Bugnini was a closet Mason , personally warned Paul VI of this and was angrily dismissed. It was after this and the introduction of the New Mass that he wrote “Trojan Horse in the City of God”. Can we just restore the Missal of 1962!?!

  71. theresag says:

    For all those who are looking for the Tridentine Mass in the diocese of St. Petersburg, I would like to explain a little known, but wonderful fact. There are Tridentine Masses offered in several parishes now, as mentioned in the replies. However, the Cathedral Parish of St. Jude has established Our Lady’s Tridentine Mass Society in their Parish. This means that the Tridentine Masses at St. Jude’s are run by Our Lady’s Tridentine Mass Society, not the parish priest! This is a huge difference. We have an actual canonical Society which ensures us of having the Tridentine Mass and the sacraments (except Confirmation) forever. If our priest, God forbid, were to get sick or die, Bishop Lynch is required to give us another priest to say the Tridentine Mass and give us the other sacraments. This is NOT the case in any of the other parishes. The continuation of the Mass depends on the availability of that one particular priest, who could be transferred at a moment’s notice. And then what?
    To further explain the benefits of having a Society: “Our Lady’s Tridentine Mass Society is a public association of the Christian faithful according to Canon 301 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law. It’s purposes are to foster the holiness of its members, to promote public worship according to the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite provided by Pope Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, and to exercise other works of the apostolate such as initiatives of evangelization, works of piety or charity, and those which animate the temporal order with a Christian spirit. The society is directed by a priest, made up of lay Catholics and governed by Trustees, elected by the members of the Society.”
    I would like to emphasize, having a Society allows us to have weddings, funerals, baptisms and First Communions. We are not simply a bunch of misplaced Catholics coming sporadically to the Tridentine Mass on whim each Sunday. We are an actual Society, with by laws, members, staff, property, a mission in Gabon to support, a bulletin, continual gatherings, and hopefully classes and other forms of instruction which will be forthcoming. We are a vibrant society, blessed with many large families, intelligent young people and many older couples who bless our group with their generous hearts. We have become a large family, knowing everyone, celebrating Baptisms, First Communions and Weddings together. We mourn together when there is a tragedy or death. We celebrate Feasts together, have picnics, parties, plays and dances.
    So, when you sign up to become a member of Our Lady’s Tridentine Mass Society, you are becoming a member of an actual “association of the Christian faithful”, not to mention becoming part of a wonderful and joyous group of friends, who you will soon love as family. There is always a sign up sheet in the back of the church.
    We have always felt so blessed to be part of this group because we have lived “parish” in the way it should be lived. We know everyone, pray for everyone and encourage one another as a true family in Christ.

  72. contrarian says:

    Father AJ,
    Sorry for misreading you (and the unnecessary pontification!).

  73. Diane at Te Deum Laudamus says:

    Many of us can relate to this. To think that I once played that tambourine in the early 1990’s – in a folk band, along with guitar at times. After visiting Assumption Grotto on Pentecost of 2005, I never looked back. The experience of sacred polyphony and Gregorian chant really opened my ears and eyes on worship.

    That said, my thought turns to younger priests who are being assigned as new pastors and administrators in parishes where this stuff is flourishing. No one has taken notice that in certain parishes, like the one described in St. Petersberg, are often missing younger children and teens. Walk into any TLM community or parish and you will find the opposite – a demographic that is at least balanced or even biased towards young families. I noticed that right away about Grotto: Children and young people everywhere (of course the culture embraces Humanae Vitae).

    But, at least I can escape from a parish that is stuck in the 70’s unlike the poor priest who is assigned there, and in some cases told not to change anything for fear of upsetting people. Some bishops in some dioceses will back their priests if they are being prudent about bringing change in a gradual manner rather than trying to change everything in 3 months. However, some bishops will punish priests when the complaints come flowing in rather than standing by his priest.

    Looking at some of the younger bishops, I think all will only be suffering another half decade or so, give or take a few years. Bishops need to be concerned with the many who are not in the pews because of the banality of the past 50 years rather than with the few who might walk out with a dose of truth.

    Pray for priests, especially for those suffering in liturgically wayward parishes who are not permitted – directly and indirectly – to bring them in to harmony with the mind of the Church.

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  75. robtbrown says:

    Fr Augustine op says,

    On the other hand, outside of Palestine, 1st cent. Jews prayed and did their rituals in Greek, the usual vernacular. This seems to have been the practice of 1st century Christians, at least outside of Palestine. So, Our Lord’s practice validates use of a liturgical language that is not the vernacular. The usage of the Apostles validates use of a vernacular.

    I’m not so sure it’s that easy to determine the vernacular in ancient situations. Was it the language spoken at home, or among friends, or in commerce and government (e.g., Empire)? They haven’t always been the same, especially in areas with a history of occupation or immigration, e.g., ancient Rome in its heyday, where it could be supposed that Latin was the vernacular, was full of immigrants who didn’t know Latin at all.

    IMHO, there’s little doubt that Christ spoke in formal Hebrew at the Last Supper, when Aramaic was the vernacular. For the Apostles, esp. Paul, I wonder how much of the pre-Hellenistic languages were still to be found in places like Ephesus and Corinth. There is little doubt that Greek was the architectonic language, but perhaps the vernacular was a dialect or such an informal Greek that Paul’s Greek was as understandable as Elizabethan English is to a 21st cent American.

  76. dominic1955 says:

    “dominic1955, The basic structure of the Mass is the same in the TLM and NO. I can’t see how any reasonable person can say they are completely different.”

    Read my analogy again. OK, lets tear down the old church again and build the new one. The new one still has an altar (lets throw the mensa from the old one in there for more connection), it has pews, it has a crucifix, stained glass, etc. etc. but its all put together in the round with all sorts of different things, with different emphases on the design,etc. Does it perform the same function as the old one? Sure. Is it the same? Nope.

    Compare ALL the orations, the readings, the order etc. between the traditional Mass and the new one. Heck, even ignore all the accidental aspects that are obvious but superficial parts of the how the old Mass is generally done (Last Gospel, prayers at the foot of the altar, etc.) but it really doesn’t change the matter. The New Rite is still Mass, but its not the Roman Rite as it has been understood until 1970. Hence, “Neo-Roman Rite” as Dobszay named it.

    The problem is, the Anglican or Lutheran order of services as found in the Book of Common Prayer or the Lutheran equivalent have the same basic structure. I know why, but one needs to make all the distinctions.

    Other than in the realm of legal fiction, are the traditional Roman Rite Mass and the Novus Ordo the same thing? Can any reasonable person assert this with a straight face?

    If we are the most ultra of ultramontanists, we could say that the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom or the Ambrosian Rite, or Lyonese Rite, or Sarum Rite (etc. etc.) if the Pope says so, but its pretty obvious that they differ-and differ in very profound ways even if they all follow the same very basic form of “Mass of Catechumens/Mass of the Faithful-Readings/Eucharist) thing, but they are not the same.

  77. Ella says:

    Tambourines are what I expect to hear if I hear if I am so unfortunate as to be sent to hell.

    Not all of Florida is a liturgical disaster. I live in the panhandle and Father Perez at St. Stephen’s in Pensacola does a wonderful job whether he is conducting an NO or Latin Mass. Even my youngest behaves herself there.

  78. voiceinthewilderness says:

    This is similar to my journey too. But in my case I did not move. I belong to a parish where the priest was traditional–he kept mass reverent, preached real catholic teaching, offered the TLM, etc. He left last year and we have been in a fix ever since. Rather than return to the banality of the regular masses offered around here we find ourselves fleeing to the nearest FSSP parish–an hour away. We recently attended mass at another local parish (novus ordo) and my 11 yr old leaned over to me and whispered, “Mom, aren’t these camp fire songs?” We are in a fix! I wish our bishop and priests could or would understand the suffering we the faithful are enduring at their hands. And the sacrifices we are willing to make to support traditional teaching and practice in our parishes. We have not given up and we will keep squeaking (wheels…grease) but really, does it have to be this hard?

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