“The Novus Ordo can be reverent!”, many will claim, “You just have to celebrated it as traditionally as you can!”
“You mean, by sticking to the Roman style, adapting elements of the traditional Mass, gestures, and so forth?”, you respond.
“Right! Make the Novus Ordo like the Traditional Latin Mass and it’s pretty good, all in all!”
“If that is what it takes,” you muse aloud, “if the more the Novus Ordo is like the traditional Mass the more reverent is seems, then why not just use the Traditional Mass?”
“Well… you see… it’s like… ummmm… you, know, Scripture and… things….”
That serves merely as an intro.
Our friend Fr. Hunwicke has a provocative post at his ever-engaging blog.
He touches on a neuralgic point which I occasionally poke at here.
Fr. Hunwicke raises a question: Does anyone really want or like the Novus Ordo? Really?
He is, of course, being a little pugilistic. He uses the example of an absurd and sacrilegious LGTB rite perpetrated in England, with options. The perpetrators just made stuff up, did things that don’t have any options in the Novus Ordo. Clearly they don’t want the Novus Ordo or they would have stuck to the book.
However, in the Novus Ordo there are so many options that make the rite so fluid, you have to wonder sometimes just what the Novus Ordo is. Hence, it can be bent and shaped and molded and modified into forms that barely resemble one another. Is that really a rite?
There are indeed some churches where these condemnations of the Novus Ordo would be unfair; but they are largely churches where the clergy would prefer to be saying the Old Mass but for ‘pastoral’ reasons are unable to do so; they therefore say the new rite with greater or lesser amounts of the spirit and spirituality of the old.
If you are in the Diocese of Black Duck and attend the Novus Ordo at Mournful Mother Weeping or you are in the Diocese of Libville and attend the Novus Ordo at Sing A New Faith Community Into Being Faith Community, you are going to get versions of the Novus Ordo so different that you will barely recognize them in their details and will be amazed at the choice of options that break into the overall structure of the Mass. On the other hand, if you are back in Black Duck and you stop in at the Sacred Heart Loaded Down With Opprobrium chapel of the SSPX and St. Joseph Terror of Demons, the local territorial parish which has the TLM, you will be entirely comfortable at either place and have no surprises other than the choice of donuts afterward (actually, Mrs. Nguyen brings spectacular Vietnamese eggrolls to St. Joseph’s). Msgr. Zuhlsdorf has suggested to the bishop that, ad experimentum, the SSPX chapel and the territorial parish be merged into a cluster along with St. Philip Neri Oratory of Mary Cause of Our Joy where Fr. WoJo (short for Fr. Włotrzewiszczykowycki-Brzęczyszczykiewic has been for a few years). The new cluster could be called, “Through My Fault My Fault My Most Grievous Fault”.
There is one incontrovertible FACT about our Catholic identity and our rites.
We are our rites.
Change the way we pray and, over time, our beliefs will change, along with our conversatio.
If you can go from parish to parish and find Masses profoundly different though they claim to use the same book… maybe there is something wrong. A negative side effect is that the community gets more and more fragmented as specialty Masses spring up and some churches become Sunday destination parishes.
If only there were a language and a rite that could bring us together.
Fr. Hunwicke (before his transition into talking about Francis) concludes…
Any re-appraisal of the liturgical situation in the Latin Church should begin with an honest acceptance that nobody … almost absolutely nobody … whether Traddy or Trendy … actually wants the Novus Ordo … either its Order or its Calendar..
On both sides, it is disliked, or regarded as of little relevance, and, very widely, largely set aside.