They who truly adore God must adore Him in spirit and in truth.
I watched a bit of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert on PBS last evening. I think it was from last year and it was very grand, as usual. They had a live nativity which was styled and costumed very much like a Neapolitan creche. I thought the presentation was rather Catholic. If the presentation could have included a priest and deacons dressed in elaborate vestments, along with a couple dozen altar boys, partially obscured amid clouds of incense, it would probably attract crowds of traditional Mass Catholics.
The idea came to mind after I saw a couple of Facebook notices that the FSSP church in North Minneapolis is hosting Cardinal Burke tomorrow for a Pontifical Mass. Today the had a Rorate Mass - candlelit. I do not recall attending either as a young boy, but I knew the school sisters were happy to attend. Friends on Facebook noted they would be attending both events this weekend. The Masses are beautiful indeed, yet the notices do impress me as promotional ads for a special performance - staring Cardinal Burke, and that sort of thing. Before you get mad that I said that, please know that I understand that it is not like that - but it may seem like that to outsiders.
See that your bodies are living temples of the Holy Spirit, Who dwells in you.
It's a curious situation the Latin rite finds itself in. One Mass in two forms, as well as two calendars for the two forms. A week or so ago I praised the beauty of a Mass celebrated at a Baroque altar and a friend suggested I go to All Saints, the FSSP parish, mistaking my admiration for the beautiful setting, as well as my regret that many churches got rid of so much ornament, as a sort of unhappiness with the Ordinary Form of Mass. I'm not at all unhappy with the Ordinary Form.
Many traditionalists complain the Ordinary Form is all about the people and the personality of the priest-celebrant. That's not my experience. That said, advertising this Cardinal or that Bishop appearing for a Pontifical Mass at the Throne with several priests and deacons and dozen of altar boys in attendance, amid clouds of incense, seems like promoting an episode of Great Performances. It is said the Ordinary Form is narcissistic with all the attention upon the celebrant and not worship, all about 'us' and not God. I think not.
I love this.
The interplay of light and darkness speak to the meaning of Advent and the coming of the Light of the world.
I also believe it is an error to think that one form of Mass is holier than than the other, or more efficacious than the other. This seems to be the defense on some level, and that simply is not true. (I'm also thinking it is very wrong to play the EF against the OF, and/or to discuss its use in terms of regime change and who is for it or against it, as well as to enlist new followers or promoters as one would for a theatrical production, and that sort of thing.) The Rorate Mass is a beautiful celebration in honor of Our Lady, and the theological/mystical symbolism is very rich, so I am not at all dismissing it. But what exactly is a Rorate Mass?
The Rorate Caeli Mass is a traditional Advent devotion wherein the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary for Advent is offered just before dawn. In many instances families and individuals travel an hour or more, rising and arriving very early for this stunningly beautiful Mass. The interplay of light and darkness speak to the meaning of Advent and the coming of the Light of the world. - Finish reading at FSSP
I think some people are drawn to deeper devotion in and through the traditional liturgical rites. Nothing wrong with that at all. It is their personal experience but it cannot be stated that therefore the extraordinary Form is holier or more pleasing to God when in fact the Church celebrates the Ordinary Form as the central form of the liturgy. (I'm not a liturgist so I'm not sure I expressed that well.) Playing the two forms against one another, or saying one is more efficacious than the other is an error. It seems to me that attitude is also a form of snobbery which is often observable in other areas of the lives of such people. (It's sometimes fairly obvious on social media.)
Something to think about from St. John of the Cross...
The reason, then, why some spiritual persons never enter perfectly into the true joys of the spirit is that they never succeed in raising their desire for rejoicing above these things that are outward and visible. Let such take note that, although the visible oratory and temple is a decent place set apart for prayer, and an image is a motive to prayer, the sweetness and delight of the soul must not be set upon the motive or the visible temple, lest the soul should forget to pray in the living temple, which is the interior recollection of the soul. The Apostle, to remind us of this, said: 'See that your bodies are living temples of the Holy Spirit, Who dwells in you.' And this thought is suggested by the words of Christ which we have quoted, namely that they who truly adore God must adore Him in spirit and in truth. For God takes little heed of your oratories and your places set apart for prayer if your desire and pleasure are bound to them, and thus you have little interior detachment, which is spiritual poverty and renunciation of all things that you may possess.
In order, then, to purge the will from vain desire and rejoicing in this matter, and to lead it to God in your prayer, you must see only to this, that your conscience is pure, and your will perfect with God, and your spirit truly set upon Him.
Of certain evils into which those persons fall who give themselves to pleasure in sensible objects and who frequent places of devotion in the way that has been described.
Many evils, both interior and exterior, come to the spiritual person when he desires to follow after sweetness of sense in these matters aforementioned. For, as regards the spirit, he will never attain to interior spiritual recollection, which consists in neglecting all such things, and in causing the soul to forget all this sensible sweetness, and to enter into true recollection, and to acquire the virtues by dint of effort. As regards exterior things, he will become unable to dispose himself for prayer in all places, but will be confined to places that are to his taste; and thus he will often fail in prayer, because, as the saying goes, he can understand no other book than his own village. - S. John, Ascent
There is an often repeated
complaint that the 'Presider's Chair'
in the 'Novus Ordo' either
took the place of the tabernacle
or blocked the view
of the tabernacle,
and made the narcissistic celebrant