Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A soapbox moment

Mark Shea is in rare form today, doing what he does best:

So, after three years of this nonsense, you finally head for another parish because you feel you must, just to keep your family safe from the boredom punctuated by nuttiness. All this I grant as a perfectly legitimate thing for a Catholic to do who is really surrounded by grotesque distortions of Catholic teaching.

But the problem is this: You can get hyper-sensitized and bitter. The shock of discovering that the average Catholic is average leaves you prone to see not just a gross violation as a sign of creeping apostasy, but everything as a sign of creeping apostasy. The distance between the vision of the Universal Church you have seen in the theology books and life as it is lived at the parish level throws you into crisis.

At which point you have a choice. You can face the fact that the Church has always been a hospital for screw-ups with Simon Peter (and, um, you) as chief of the cowards, shufflers, and snobs who make up our band of sinners in desperate need of treatment… or you can scan the herd with your gimlet eye and decide that they are a pack of “clapping fornicators” whose only wish is to profane the Eucharist with their “grubby hands” (as my reader above so generously put it elsewhere).

You can choose to sit in judgment of a priest reverently celebrating a valid Mass and accuse him of “turning his back on God” while admiring your own “humble awe” as you sneer in disgust at your average neighbor for not being up to snuff. In short, you can enter into the prideful fantasy of believing that the average Catholic is not merely average but your enemy, and that there exists somewhere the Perfect Parish with Perfect Liturgy and Perfect People. Because, as we all know, the Tridentine Rite Catholic is blissfully free of fornication and all other serious sin and always was until the damned Second Vatican Council introduced the Seven Deadly Sins into Catholic life.

My reader’s impatient contempt for, well, about 99 percent of the Church outside the hothouse of his tiny subculture will sooner or later run up against the George McClellan Principle of Utopian Christianity: namely, that though he has arrived, for the moment, in what he fancies is the perfect sect within the Church and escaped the pollution of, well, virtually all of what the Church herself calls “the Church,” he has also brought himself. And that means that sooner or later he will again confront the imperfections of the people around him — and his own imperfections as well.

At that point, he will either have to face the fact that the Church is basically made for slobs and screw-ups and the incorrigibly Average or else blame his troubles on everybody else and leave again for someplace still purer. To the question, “What’s wrong with the Church?” he will have to answer either humbly, “I am” or proudly, “They are!”

Read the whole thing here.

Now, Mark framed this blog post in terms of a Rad-Trad Catholic's view of the Novus Ordo Mass-attending Catholics because he actually had a Rad-Trad Catholic call his fellow Catholics who attend the Ordinary Form "clapping fornicators" and the like. I recall the exchange well, and found it astonishing that someone could speak so sweepingly of his fellow Catholics in such an unjustly judging way.

But I know perfectly well--and I'm sure Mark does too--that there are "Stanford Nutting" types out there who are just as intolerant and judgmental about people who like a little Latin or the E.F. Mass; to the Nutting N.O. Catholic, anybody who rejects the architectural pinnacle of the Church in the Round, dislikes clapping, thinks that a parish full of wealthy Americans can afford to do better than a guitar and a pair of cymbals for their musical instruments, or is noticeably uncomfortable at a Mass that is clearly being haunted by that unquiet ghost, the Spirit of Vatican II, is just a fuddy-duddy Pharisee from Company T (the T, of course, stands for Tradition).

The point, of course, is that if we're all about roaming the aisles of our parish church with a pair of tweezers to remove the splinters from our neighbors' eyes while we ignore the fact that they are ducking and covering to avoid being smacked in the head by the giant two-by-four jutting out of our own ocular organs, we're not really approaching the matter as Christ would. He made it pretty clear that He wants us to practice charity toward each other instead of being fixated on other people's sins, foibles, and shortcomings while ignoring our own. And we can't practice charity toward people if we've already decided the only way to deal with them is to shake the dust of their parish off of our feet and march off in high dudgeon as we search for the elusive Church of the Purely Pure.

None of that is to say either that liturgy is not important--it is, tremendously so--or that we never have a reason to leave a parish where, for example, heresy is being openly and defiantly taught, rubrics are being laughed out the non-stained glass windows, and naked contempt for the Pope, or the teachings of the Church in serious areas, or any such thing is being practiced; we do, and should, leave such parishes, and we should also document all of the irregularities and send them to the proper authorities in the diocese and beyond.

But there's a big difference between being aghast and frustrated at a parish priest who teaches that Mary and Joseph went on to have other kids and that Mary certainly did sin, and that the Eucharist isn't really Jesus (to use some extreme examples) and being just as aghast and frustrated that lay people are allowed to assist in the distribution of Holy Communion, or that there are altar girls, or that some people receive Our Eucharistic Lord in their hands. Whether, within the confines of an abstract liturgical discussion, we can opine that some of these practices are misguided or have had unfortunate if unintended consequences is one thing; whether we insist that we really know better than the Church does and that liturgies or liturgical practices which the Church allows and celebrates are dangerous to the faith and ought to be eradicated is quite another.

Which is why I was a little bit amused--darkly, perhaps--that one of Mark's combox critics scolded him for writing all of this and not even mentioning Summorum Pontificum or the recently released Universae Ecclesiae which clarify the faithful's right to ask for the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and the duty to grant that request provided there are priests properly trained to celebrate it available: because, presumably, Mark's whole point is somehow invalidated by the existence of these two documents. Mark's quite reasonable reply that he had written the Crisis piece before Universae Ecclesiae had been released (owing to the publishing world's tendency to want to have things in hand, read them, edit them a bit, etc. before hitting the "publish" button) was a mild and irenic response; I'm afraid, in such a situation, I would have been tempted to use the commenter's gripe as a Soapbox Moment. Yes, these documents have been released. And yes, they make it clear what Summorum Pontificum did: the faithful may ask for the Extraordinary Form, and the priest who is able to say it may agree. But what these documents do not say--what, I learned, many online RadTrad bloggers and commenters had secretly hoped that Universae Ecclesiae, at least, would say, is that henceforth and forthwith the Novus Ordo Mass is no longer the Ordinary Form, and is, in fact, so egregiously deficient, Freemasonish, and dangerous to all the faithful that it is hereby banned forever, and its books shall be burned and their ashes salted and buried, and the Church humbly apologizes to everybody for ever thinking it was a good idea when clearly no reform was ever necessary at all, and a forty-year period of penance and reparation is immediately instituted and shall be binding upon all the faithful except those who had the wisdom and foresight to attend the E.F. Mass exclusively from the earliest days of Ecclesia Dei who are exempt from these penitential requirements, and from now on the Extraordinary Form is the Ordinary Form and lay people are prohibited from--well, everything--and every Catholic high school in the world has to teach in Latin exclusively after the freshman year. Oh, and women have to wear waist-length lace veils over their no-less-than-eight-inches-below-knee-dresses whenever they are within ten miles of a Catholic parish.

I may be exaggerating a tad. But seriously, I have seen, in the days leading up to the release of Universae Ecclesiae, the confident opinion expressed on all sorts of Trad sites that the Novus Ordo is on its way out; the Church plans to do away with it; it will die a natural death in the next thirty or forty years; the Extraordinary Form Mass is the true Mass and the other is a sad mess; if any good ever comes out of an N.O. parish it's certainly not the fruit of that horrible liturgy; souls are being lost because they go along with the whole EMHC/Communion in the hand/altar girl unholy trio; God is not looking favorably on anybody who thinks the Ordinary Form is just fine.

It's a little shocking to encounter those sorts of opinions, and realize that these Catholics are not only speaking so contemptuously of their fellow Catholics--they are speaking contemptuously of the Church's Ordinary Form of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

I find it just as shocking when, say, the National Catholic Reporter or some similar paper or site speaks contemptuously of the Extraordinary Form of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, or of the people who assist at it. Examples of that have abounded in the past, and continue to crop up; perhaps that's why those who assist at the E.F. Mass feel entitled to bash the O.F. But both sides need to cut it out: the Mass is the Mass, and bashing either Mass is bashing Our Lord and His Eucharistic gift to the Church and to the world.

Which is why Mark is right to warn that allowing oneself to stew in negativity and bitterness of this sort--whether from the side that wants Latin and veils, or the side that likes EMHCs and Communion in the hand--is ultimately a path out of the Church altogether. It's terribly easy to go from "Thank you, Lord, for not making me like these idiots!" to "Why, Lord, are you making me put up with these idiots?" to "Okay, Lord, I'm going to find You somewhere where there aren't any idiots at all!" even if that last option leads away from the Church and down the road of schism, sedevacantism, Protestantism, or whatever "-ism" most appeals to the person concerned.


Anonymous said...

"Whether we insist that we really know better than the Church does and that liturgies or liturgical practices which the Church allows and celebrates are dangerous to the faith and ought to be eradicated is quite another"

No, not necessarily.

First is the issue of what you mean by "the Church". A nat'l episcopal conference can wreak havoc with the practice of the liturgy in its official documents, but, as Ratzinger once reminded us all, such conferences per se do not belong to the ecclesial structure willed by Christ. So if the USCCB issues something liturgically unhelpful, I'd call it out -- rationally, in a theologically-informed manner, I hope. (I remember a 1980s document on architecture that said that edifices were nothing more than "skin for liturgical action." Horsehockey.)

Second, what the Church often approves is abused. For instance, consider how most parishes do EMsHC in light of a relatively recent document, Ecclesia de mysterio.

Third, what the Church legitimately gives us can be better or worse, since we live this side of history. Every rite that the Church has ever used has a particular shape, a particular semiotic. Some are better than others. And if a whole bunch of people can critique the TLM, I'll feel just as free to critique the NO as such -- again, rationally, on good theological and liturgical grounds.

Now, I'd never say the NO is invalid and I'd never be a sedevacantist. I attend the NO more often than not (especially since moving there's no TLM to be found, nor Byzantine parish, for that matter). But I do think, compared to all known rites in history, the NO comes in last. It simply doesn't capture the grandeur of the moment; it doesn't form a fitting frame for the Eucharist. The best that can be done with it is what the Canons Regular at St John Cantius in Chicago do with it, when they do it in Latin ad orientem -- and in doing so, they seem to be doing what the Council Fathers intended, as Sacrosanctum Concilium mentions the retention of Latin and does not envision versus populum (iirc).

I do think it's important that we never "let any bitter root grow up" inside us, and certainly some people conduct themselves poorly in discussing the TLM vs the NO. For me, it's an important spiritual discipline not to become crabby, and in the midst of crappy, quasi-Baptist liturgies, to focus on Christ in the Eucharist.

That said, I wish Shea would get off his soapbox sometimes, and think about how those of us who wish the liturgy to reflect the beauty and transcendence of God Almighty feel. For the worship of Almighty God matters, for God's own sake as well for the salvation of souls.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

In short, people disagree, and much of it isn't essential to understanding what God really expects of us, and anyway, who knows who is right about what?

That's why there are several monotheistic religions and many denominations or sects within each.

"You can face the fact that the Church has always been a hospital for screw-ups with Simon Peter (and, um, you) as chief of the cowards, shufflers, and snobs who make up our band of sinners in desperate need of treatment…"

Well, exactly. So what makes this chief of cowards any more authoritative than the next band of sinners?

Red Cardigan said...

Irenaeus, I don't usually think of innovations of bishops' conferences as "the Church" in terms of what is liturgically binding.

But having spent some time lurking and reading on RadTrad sites, I'm not talking about people with legitimate complaints about, say, EMHCs or Communion in the hand (or Communion under both species, for that matter). I have reservations about some of these things, and I'm never shy about expressing them.

What I'm talking about, instead, are people who pretty much pour scorn and contempt on the O.F. Mass itself. The official and main liturgy of the Roman Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, that is. These complaints tend to make no differentiation between the Mass, itself, and such things as altar girls, EMHCs, the admittedly poor English translation we've been muddling along with all these years, etc. One gets the idea that if they attended a Mass such as that celebrated by the very wonderful Fr. Paul Weinberger, an O.F. Mass in Latin with no schlocky songs or extraordinary anythings as far as I know, etc., they'd still have the supercilious air of knowing they are "slumming it" compared to what they're *used* to.

Now, I've heard the sort of thing you've said, about how the "shape" of the N.O. makes it inferior to every other Mass. I'm not sure I'd agree, necessarily--there's an Eastern rite that lacks the actual words of institution in the Canon, for instance, and though it's seen as a fully valid Mass (it's ancient) some argue that the words of institution ought to be "grafted on" so to speak. The debate is above my head, but it's there.

The point, though, is if you start acting like the Church is in the wrong for continuing to celebrate the O.F. Mass you're pretty much saying you know better than the pope. And that's a dangerous spiritual attitude to have, I think.

Red Cardigan said...

Siarlys, your question was answered by Christ: "And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven." Matt 16: 18-19

All of Christendom had a pretty good idea of what that meant for the first thousand years or so.

Red Cardigan said...

Oh, Irenaeus, one more thing which I forgot to add because my comment was already too long: the EMHC directive at Fr. Z's website is interesting, but when I first saw it I realized that we get back to the debate about Communion under both species. I, myself, don't think it's necessary at every Mass (wasn't brought up to it, etc.). And the instructions about Communion at the USCCB website seem to indicate that, for instance, if regular EMHCs are necessary for Communion under both species then it may be better to distribute only the Body of Christ to the people.

However, there hasn't been the guidance on this issue that we need from our bishops, and too many faithful have come to think of receiving under both kinds as both a right and a duty of sorts. That's terribly unfortunate--but pastorally, how, in the absence of a Vatican directive saying, essentially, "That bit about both species? Never mind," will the bishops be able to express the idea that Communion under both kinds is to be reserved for only those occasions where there are a sufficient number of ordained ministers present to the people (e.g., practically never in my diocese, or in many dioceses in America) or where the occasion is so special that it may be permissible to commission EMHCs for the occasion?

The point, though, once again, is that this is a complicated thing, not easy to fix in an expedited manner--yet I get tired of hearing RadTrads complain about "...all those EMHCs prancing about distributing Communion as if they're even remotely worthy to do so..." as a sore point and a reason to hate the O.F.

In a nutshell: the reform of the reform is just not that easy. We've got decades of bad practices and horrible catechesis to contend with--and it's not the fault of the O.F. Mass, but instead, of a spirit of indifference to religion and eternal verities that has spread throughout the world.

For proof, just look at Siarlys' comment in the thread below this one, declaring that anencephalic babies aren't human and suicide is something we all ought to have the right to choose. Compared to problems like the ones displayed in that abysmally evil outlook (sorry, Siarlys, but it's the truth), I find myself out of patience with people who get so bent out of shape over EMHCs or altar girls that they refuse to go to Mass if only an O.F. is available.

The Sicilian said...

Believe it or not, it wasn't until I started reading blogs that I learned about this thing call the Latin Mass, also known as the Traditional Latin Rite...and is also known as the Extraordinary Form, and although the TLM and the EF are the same, that Latin Mass can also refer to the regular Mass (also known as the Novus Ordo also known as the Ordinary Form) said in Latin. Yeah. There was a bit of the scratching of the head before I figured it all out. (Even though the TLM was the norm for my much older siblings in their childhood, neither they nor my parents ever mentioned the form of the Mass changed a few years before I was born. Neither did anyone else.)

And then I found out that the TLM/EF had its groupies and some really, really, really don't like the NO/OF, whether or not it's said in Latin, and some won't step foot in a church that has female altar servers. In fact, one site run by some (ahem) TRADITIOnal fathers doesn't recognize the pope or any NO priests as being valid. Holy moly, indeed.

Of course, I've had to attend a TLM - twice - to see what the fuss was about. Honestly, there is a difference I appreciate, although I don't like veiling and thought Erin did a fabulous analysis of the veiling issues in one of her veil posts a few monts ago. I can see the merits of both sides.

But here's the thing: I don't see a preference for either being an indicator of one's holiness or adherence to Church doctrine. In fact, I think judging someone by such (and holding yourself up as being better than someone else) smacks of a lack of humility...a cardinal virtue, yes? Does the Church not have enough enemies on the outside that the factions have to make enemies of each other on the inside?

Geoff G. said...

As a bit of an amateur classicist and medievalist, I do have to say I rather like the idea of teaching high school in Latin. But then, I'm a bit of a stick in the mud on such matters.

The TL;DR for this article seems to be that those focused on the outward trappings of liturgy miss the inward meaning of the Mass.

May I point out a practical value of Latin? Many parishes these days have sizable immigrant populations with significant numbers of people who don't speak or understand English well. Latin, being a second language for everyone, has the happy effect of putting everyone in the congregation on the same footing.

Chris-2-4 said...

As someone who has never attended an EF/TLM or otherwise Latin Mass, but still hungers for more richness and beauty in the mass I attend, my own private solution would be to return to the schema of a true high/low mass. As I understand it, there's not really a true high mass/low mass form other than a "Sunday Mass" vs. "Daily Mass".

My vision would be that what most of us experience on a typical Sunday would be considered a "low mass", but that a "high mass" could be offered regularly which included a latin O.F. mass with all the "smells and bells" that are still allowed in the O.F. but have largely disappeared or diminished.

Charlotte said...

Geoff, how is Latin a second language for everyone? Are you serious? You think the Mexicans coming over the border know Latin? Or the Chinese immigrants?

That argument is bogus and I plan to blog on it soon. I am so sick of hearing this trotted out over and over. Latin is NOT universal other than in theory.

Chris-2-4 said...

Uh... Charlotte. Chill. "Latin, being a second language for everyone" simply means "nobody speaks Latin as their native tongue".

It doesn't mean, "everyone is familiar with latin".

JMB said...

Around where I live, Spanish seems to be the second language of everyone.

Charlotte said...

Not gonna chill. Never.

I understand what you're saying. I do. But do you understand what I'm saying?

People have a right to understand the mass and have it be graspable. Even if you have a Spanish-to-Latin translation at the door of a Mexican parish, it's cumbersome and distracting.

Chris-2-4 said...

I do not consider the Mass as something to be grasped.

Chris-2-4 said...

Incidentally, it is you who don't seem to understand what Geoff is saying. I could be wrong about it too, but what I take him to be saying is that neither English, nor Spanish (nor Chinese/Mandarin?) speaking people would be looking at a translation, but rather contemplating the mysteries of the mass during those times when Latin is prayed.

It seems to be a somewhat modern and also somewhat American conceit to suppose that we must or should or even are capable of understanding the mass.

Anonymous said...

It seems that there have been two massive victories acheived that would have been unthinkable 25, 15 or even ten years ago. One is freeing up the EF to be more available. Cleary this is an inheritance and, as one person put it, if you found out the executor of your father's will witheld something he wanted you to have, use, and keep alive, you'd be hoppin' mad. The second is the better translation of the OF. When you add the fact that the "sharing a meal" view of Mass is fast circling the drain and what we've got is rising tide of better liturgy lifting all boats. Ride the wave and enjoy it.

Red Cardigan said...

Geoff, you'll actually get no argument from me--or from my pastor, who wanted to use Latin at Mass (not, nota bene, say the E.F. Mass) when both the Spanish-speaking and English-speaking were present.

My ideal Mass, as I've said before here, is a reverently celebrated O.F. Mass where the common prayers and Mass parts (e.g., the familiar and unchanging) are in Latin, and the Propers, readings, homily, etc. are in the vernacular (e.g., the unfamiliar and that which changes from Mass to Mass). I'd also like, as a choir member, to be singing the Antiphons wherever possible instead of mere hymns, with a heavy preference for Chant for the Antiphons, Mass parts, etc.

Amazingly enough, that's pretty much what the Council wanted, too. :) Anything that moves us in that direction is good with me.

Patrick said...

We have a remedy for these current ills: Eucharistic adoration! The Real Presence should make the existence of stained glass or use of Latin seem small indeed.

Patrick said...

@ Red Cardigan:

"I'd also like, as a choir member, to be singing the Antiphons wherever possible instead of mere hymns, with a heavy preference for Chant for the Antiphons."

If you've got a minute, could you explain this? The choir director at my parish says, "look; the archdiocese gives me the music and I have to play it." But it sounds like there is an alternative; antiphons. If they are like the antiphons in the Liturgy of the Hours, then wow that would be way better than the "Christian pop music" we get. Please give me a clue as to how the music for Mass is chosen.

Red Cardigan said...

Patrick, I'm still a noob on the chant/antiphon thing (but I'm still really excited and wish our parish would do them). Here are a couple of links that will let you know what I'm talking about:




That last link is to an English translation of the Gradualae Simplex containing chants for use at Mass.

Boz said...

There was a lot in this post. It starts with the notion of changing parishes and then goes on EF liturgy matters. I've attended all sorts of parishes with all sorts of liturgies. I've had all sorts of complaints about the parishes of which I've been a part (straight up heresy; terrible liturgy and music; nothing going on for young adults; thundering sermons on political controversies of the day (EF I attend intermittently with a friend); meandering sermons on saints whose feast days occurred during the week with no reference to the gospel (yes, I kept a spreadsheet; the parish priest managed to avoid mentioning the Gospel for two years, even on Christmas). Although I'm still single, I realized that the breaking point for me on a parish would come down to my children. If I thought my children were being misinformed or miseducated, I would change parishes. It's a delicate balance, however. My parents essentially followed this course when I was growing up. It helped save my faith; none of the people who finished up at the parish grade school practice their faith any more. The anger and bitternness in which one of my parents stewed, however, led them into various criticisms of the institutional church until a couple years ago I realized that they are no longer orthodox Catholics. To be sure, they claim they still are orthodox, but even a cursory comparison with the Catechism shows that they've wandered far off the straight and narrow. It's deeply distressing. The only lesson I can draw is that you need to be ready to walk away when priests are preaching heresy, but you also need to be careful not to fall into your own world, absorbed solely in your own anger and own ideas. Mark's pretty good at satirizing trads but there is a more complex reality out there.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

"Mary and Joseph went on to have other kids and that Mary certainly did sin, and that the Eucharist isn't really Jesus."

Lutherans would object to some of those statements, but I certainly would embrace each and every one of them.

"This do in remembrance of me." That's all one really needs.

Patrick said...

@ Red Cardigan:

Thanks for the links.

eulogos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eulogos said...

Charlotte, I think you don't understand about having the mass in Latin. First of all, mass in Latin all over Europe nourished many many Catholics for over a thousand years, among whom numerous saints arose, so you can't reject the idea out of hand. (And those people for most of that thousand years, some for all of it, did not speak Latin as their vernacular.)

Second, I can tell you that one can follow a mass in a language one does not know with a side to side missal, because I have done it at an Eastern Rite parish where large parts of the liturgy were in Church Slavonic, and I even did it once at a service entirely in Ukrainian! I have done it with a Latin missal at the old mass, but I didn't put that example first because I did take four years of Latin in high school, so Latin is somewhat familiar to me. The other examples show that this is possible even without a familiarity with the language.

Furthermore, there are other aspects of the old mass that people can follow, including the very stylized gestures of the priest. In the old mass the priest says the main Eucharistic prayer silently anyway. That may seem odd to you, but it is a very old tradition. In the Eastern rites the older tradition was for the priest to say the main Eucharistic prayer, the canon, or anaphora, behind the closed doors of the iconostasis, sometimes with an extra curtain drawn during this time. There is an analogy here to the Jewish high priest going behind the veil into the holy of holies once a year. Obviously 'this is a moment too sacred for common eyes-or common ears' is a basic element in human religious feeling and certainly in our religious heritage. It is somewhat foreign to people with the democratic sensibilities of our age, including myself, but we shouldn't reject so lightly the insights of a long tradition.

Why should the way the Church celebrated the mass for over a thousand years be so utterly unacceptable to you? Could there be something you are not seeing? I think we always have to ask ourselves such questions.

Susan Peterson

Charlotte said...


With all due respect, I am fine rejecting LATIN out of hand. (Note I said Latin, not the older mass - although that's another subject itself.)

Saints aren't made from masses or languages. They are made from holiness and devotion to God. I've heard this argument you offer about the Latin mass being the mass of all the saints, and I reject it out of hand for its short-sightedness.

First, all kinds of saints in the church were saints during a time that pre-dates the Latin liturgy. Second, such assertions are essentially saying that all languages except Latin act as a road block to proper worship and the nourishing of holiness (which could lead to sainthood.) What a crock! GOD created the languages, himself, for heaven's sake! With that argument in hand, we might as well (as the rad-trads want) abolish ALL N.O. masses.

I am sick to death of people equting Latin with some gold-lined path to perfection and salvation. IT'S NOT. If you like it, great! But I'm sick of people (not you, Susan, obviously) pushing, pushing, pushing the E.F. on folks.

Besides, while I am a huge fan of history - love to read it, understand, and respect it - the fact remains that we aren't living 1000 years ago. And I'm glad we don't. I live in the here and now. I live at a time where my sinful distractedness literally requires bein smacked upside the head with something to wake me up to hear the word of God and the words of the consecration. I guarantee you that I couldn't be smacked upside the head in Latin.

Like I said, I plan on blogging about this in the future.

Charlotte said...

Susan, P.S.:

No offense, but your comments to me assume that I've never looked at this topic before. I have. I've read about it ad nauseum, in fact, and I have been to Latin masses.

I agree one CAN get used to a side-by-side translation. I don't want to and I'm not going to. If I were forced to go to a Latin mass for the rest of my life, I wouldn't bother with a missal at all. I'd just sit there and pray a rosary and bide my time. Oh wait, that's what most of those people do anyway.

I'm not pro-overly-particapatory masses. No siree. On the other hand, the TLM is the antithesis of all that is meaningful in terms of grasping the mass in the modern day.

And again, I live TODAY. I can't be responsible for how screwed up the modern era is - can't answer for our collective impatient distractedness - neither can I fix it by insisting that everyone pray or follow along in Latin. That's the difference between me and the Latin Cheerleaders - I'm satisfied with my understanding of the mystery of the Eucharist as it's presented to me in the N.O., even with all the accompanying problems that can come with that mass. The solution to those N.O. problems is neither an entirely different mass or the inclusion of an essentially dead language.

Just my opinion.

eulogos said...

A thousand years ago...or how about fifty? Not in the remote past, but in my lifetime.

I didn't say only Latin could make people holy, that would be silly. I said going to a mass which was not in the vernacular did not prevent them from being holy, and that they considered that it nourished their faith. The same with the people I go to church with, the majority of whom would prefer divine liturgy in the Church Slavonic chant they grew up with and all know very well.

But if you read my comment elsewhere, I said that eventually I thought there would be one mass, the "mass of the ages" or "Mass of St. Gregory" or the EF, but in the vernacular, except for some familiar parts in Latin like the Agnus Dei, ad orientem, with a canon said or chanted aloud, and more verbal, responsorial participation by the people. Which is what we were supposed to get after VII, I believe. Of course some people will disagree with me because they love the silent awe of the silent canon and feel that they can worship best uniting themselves to the sacrifice in reverent silence. I can't say they are wrong, only that I am not good at this.

Susan Peterson

Anonymous said...

Well, I took the comments in stride because Shea does have a way of offending those who prefer the EF. You have to expect them because of his history. He will admit he has a knack for mowing down people without reason...not that it should be done even if deserved.
I'm not shocked.
And he is right to a point and it stems from pride - being critical and judgmental all the time.