At NLM Peter Kwasniewski has a great post in which he lays out the typical debates that engage those who frequent the Traditional Latin Mass and those who attend the Novus Ordo.
Let’s have a taste:
In the world of the usus antiquior, we find certain disagreements. Here are some examples:
- whether orchestral Masses (e.g., Mozart’s) should be performed, or whether they run contrary to the spirit of the liturgy;
- whether to follow exactly the Solesmes rhythmic markings or to incorporate the findings of chant paleography;
- whether the people should sing the Mass Ordinary together with the choir;
- whether a Gothic chasuble is better, worse, or equal to, a Roman fiddleback;
- whether to remove the chasuble before preaching, or only the maniple;
- whether buckled shoes are worth reviving or may be considered an affectation;
- whether this much lace is too much lace.
In the world of the Novus Ordo, we also find disagreements—indeed, quite a number of them. Here are examples:
- whether the Mass is primarily to be understood and enacted as a sacrifice or as a meal;
- whether the language used should be the age-old Latin, a “sacral” vernacular, or a contemporary vernacular;
- whether traditional sacred music should be employed a lot, a little, or never, with modern popular styles in its place;
- whether the priest in accord with bimillenial tradition should offer the Mass facing eastwards, or rather facing the people;
- whether the priest should pray the only traditional Roman anaphora, the Roman Canon, or choose another one from the menu;
- whether Mass should be recognizably the same throughout the world or radically inculturated;
- whether women should serve in as many liturgical ministries as possible, or the tradition of men only in the sanctuary should be retained;
- whether lay people should handle the true Body and Blood of Christ, or whether, in keeping with the entire Catholic tradition, only bishops, priests, and deacons should do so;
- whether this sacrosanct, august Mystery of the Flesh and Blood of God should be placed on the tongues of kneeling faithful, or into the hands of people standing in line.
It is not difficult to see that the number, nature, and magnitude of disagreements in this realm vastly exceed those found in the traditional realm. These disagreements, let us be honest about it, are more like warfare between countries. The sides are embedded in their trenches; they fire away with belligerence and take no hostages. Indeed, if someone in 1950 had been given a list of the disputed points above, he would have reasonably assumed that it was an accurate statement of disagreements separating Catholics from Protestants, or believers from modernists.
This monumental contrast between the two worlds should give us pause and prompt serious reflection. How does this welter of deep disagreements across the board about the lex orandi of Paul VI (and, therefore, inevitably, about the lex credendi of the People of God) square with the consistent teaching and practice of Paul VI’s namesake?
Read the whole thing there.
I’m am especially interested in how changing demographics in the Church will affect this bifurcation.
From what I read, many dioceses will experience a sharp drop in the number of working priests pretty soon. Also, it looks as if fewer and fewer young people will self-identify as Catholic. Hence, the numbers of Masses (and graces) will drop off like an anvil shoved out of an airplane.
That said, traditional groups are growing, their ordinations and locations are rising. Younger priests may not be well-versed in tradition, but – from what I can glean – a majority want to know more and want to have their heritage.
It is NOT time to rest on your achievements, if you have obtained what you wanted.
Now it is time to GET TO WORK.
Get out there and evangelize among young people and fallen-away Catholics, especially. Be inviting! And when they say, “Yes”, after the fifth invitation, make sure they have a good experience.
Every one in every traditional parish or chapel anywhere and everywhere: be on your vest best, joyful, behavior every time you are in any situation where there could be newcomers, which means principally Sunday Mass.
Put aside your small quibbles and JOIN TOGETHER.
We can no longer afford stupid bickering and tenaciously selfish protectionism when it comes to pet points or pride.
BURY THE HATCHET and COME TOGETHER.
To do this, your first step must involve some examination not just of conscience but also about GOALS. Some might say “values clarification”. What is it that you truly value? What do you want to accomplish?
IF you love what you have, then how can you stand not sharing the joy with others?
IF you long for something enough, then how can you stand not trying to make it happen?
Fr. Z asks: What’s your “WHY?”
Do you have a big enough WHY? to change the way things are or to attain new goals?
WHY are you in this?