My friend Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, whom I just saw in Rome during the Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage, with some of the wonderful Sisters in Santa Rosa, has this at his place. HERE
He talks about learning the Traditional Form of Holy Mass, the Usus Antiquior.
I, personally, had no desire to learn how to do the Extraordinary Form. My intention was to celebrate the Ordinary Form in the manner that Sacrosanctum Concilium imagined it: In Latin, with English readings and orations. If it stayed the same Mass after Mass it would be in Latin. If it was for this mass only it would be in English. Of course, Mass would be celebrated “ad orientem.”
I learned the Extraordinary Form because a Bishop asked me to, telling me that there were 100 families in the region asking for it. So in 2012 I celebrate my first Extraordinary Form Mass. On a two week vacation I celebrated in the Extraordinary Form every day so that I could really learn it and be comfortable with it.
Three things happened. First, it completely transformed my priesthood and it affected the way I celebrated the Ordinary Form. Every Mass became completely Christocentric. Many people recognized this and it caused a greater spirit of prayer in believers. [THERE IT IS! That’s the “knock on effect” I keep talking about!]Secondly, boys who served the mass began to think of vocations to the priesthood. [Of course!] Ordinary boys who would play and roughhouse with great abandon became little soldiers of Christ with great seriousness in the celebration of the Mass.
Thirdly, it caused a reaction of visceral anger and anguish on the part of liberals who were now convinced that I was completely nuts. [I’ve written about this reaction before. Lately, HERE (scroll down).] Their angry letters caused my provincial superior to judge me in a manner that had little relation to reality. So from 3000 miles away he made decisions which changed the nature of the parish and disrupted my life. And I am grateful. Because I landed in a place that appreciates the Extraordinary form, that loves reverent prayer and even has 24/7 adoration. And I am no longer subject to that provincial.
Fr. Z kudos to Fr. Keyes.