I had to make a call to a local parish office today, and while chatting with the secretary, found out that she attended her first Extraordinary Form Mass on Christ the King Sunday. [Last Sunday of October.] I asked her what she thought, and her response was:
“I had the sense that that Host was REALLY consecrated.”
She went on to explain that she understands that the two masses are the same, [Both are valid.] but that she definitely felt there was something more solemn going on in the Sung Latin Mass.
Her comment made my day, and I thought it might make yours as well!
This comment opens up many issues.
First, she isn’t saying that a Host is more consecrated because it is the Extraordinary Form. To be clear: When I consecrate a Host in the Ordinary Form it is not more or less consecrated than it is when I use the Extraordinary Form. Nor is it more or less consecrated were I to consecrate using the Maronite Rite or the Ambrosian Rite or the Byzantine Rite or the Braga Rite. Nor is it more or less consecrated than when I am eventually named a monsignor or, for my sins, a bishop, cardinal or pope.
However, considering Mass merely from the point of view of the bare minimum of validity is dangerous.
We mustn’t fall into that trap.
Mass is more than the sine qua non, all important, valid consecration. Mass is a whole.
Yes, something more is going on during a Missa Cantata in the traditional form, and even more in the Missa Solemnis and even more in the Missa Pontificalis. It is important that the older, traditional form be revived, relearned, reclaimed far and wide. We need its influence. We need it to rehabilitate liturgical worship in the Latin Church everywhere. No initiative of “New Evangelization” or of renewal of the Church will have any concrete effect unless we renew our liturgical worship.
THEREFORE, I am deeply grateful and encouraged when I hear from seminarians that they and most of their seminarian colleagues are open to and/or eager to learn and then to use the Extraordinary Form.
Benedict XVI gave us a vision and a mission. The vision and the mission remain. They have not been superseded. They have not been cancelled, annulled, repudiated. As I have said before, it is time to take the training wheels off and ride the damn bike! If you want the TLM, work for it. If it is hard, keep working. This is NOT the time to ease up. This is exactly the time to keep pressing onward, petitioning for more and more and more, not just for little crumbs off the liberal cool-kids’ table. Young priests will be with you. Support them 250%.