Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Traditional Mass

Pride of Place.

"Consider that the rite of Mass, with its texts and rubrics, both reflects the Church’s Faith and undergirds the Church’s Faith. Lex orandi – lex credendi … the way the Church prays has a reciprocal relationship with what she believes. If we believe certain things, we will pray in a certain way. If we pray a certain way, we will more strongly hold to certain things." - Fr. Zuhlsdorf

News reports are attempting to confirm what has been rumored for months now, the Holy Father is expected to sign an universal indult for the Tridentine Mass to be celebrated freely throughout the Catholic world. From what I understand it will be on equal footing with the reformed Mass known as the Novus Ordo. Although I thought it always enjoyed this status, it just wasn't generally permitted for the sake of establishing the reformed rite as the norm.

It will not surprise anyone that I am no scholar on the subject. I'm very happy with the Mass of Paul VI as it is celebrated at the Church of St. Agnes in St. Paul, Minnesota. It is offered in the traditional style - much like the Tridentine Mass pictured here. I grew up with the Traditional Mass and was an altar boy. We learned Mass Latin in Catholic grade school, as well as practised Gregorian chant; my favorite was the Mass of the Blessed Virgin.

When I returned to the Church in the early '70's, the Mass was in the vernacular, which I loved as well. I was fortunate to have returned to daily Mass in a Church that never turned the altar around, thus the Mass differed little from the old rite in that respect. I guess I was always graced with a somewhat contemplative approach towards liturgy irrespective of form. My focus was always upon the Eucharistic sacrifice and presence of Christ. I never had much awareness of the rubrics, except when I encountered blatant abuses. As a layman, I learned to avoid liturgies that were badly celebrated.

My seminarian friends would often get into discussions about liturgy, that was their vocation, I was more interested in prayer. As a novice in the monastery, I never talked to anyone, so the topic never arose. Though the liturgy had been reformed, no one celebrated liturgy as well as contemplative monks. Perhaps after leaving monastic life I became more aware of the liturgical crises, yet found places where the Mass was celebrated well.

Now days, with many lay folk studying theology and going to Rome for studies, it seems the average person knows a great deal about liturgy. I hear many discussions about it where I work. Not a few are very excited about the indult predicted to be granted. Again, I know little about the details, but this is one of those times Fr. Zuhlsdorf comes in handy. Of course he has a very good grasp on the subject. Go to "What Does The Prayer Really Say" for his take on it all.

1 comment:

  1. Just FYI, the old Mass is in no need of a universal indult. It already had one as established by St. Pius V when he promulgated the Tridentine Missal.

    "Furthermore, by these presents [this law], in virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used."


    "Therefore, no one whosoever is permitted to alter this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree, and prohibition. Should know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul."

    I highly recommend that everyone read this document. It shows that the so called "indult" of today is really just empty words. There already is a universal indult as the sainted Pope here has said and no one may force a priest to use any other missal. Not even under obedience. Any priest may say the Mass of old at anytime and no one may say otherwise. It is not wrong, it is not disobedience. Long live the Tridentine Mass and may the world soon see the end of the fabricated Mass of Vatican II that Ratzinger himself called an "on the spot product" made by a commitee.

    "We left the living process of growth and development to enter the realm of fabrication. There was no longer a desire to continue developing and maturing, as the centuries passed and so this was replaced - as if it were a technical production - with a construction, a banal on-the-spot product." -Ratzinger on the Liturgy

    Read it and weep boys. (:


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