Friday, July 21, 2006

I'd Like To Point Out The Obvious
How I spent my first Latin Mass

I swung over to Carlton's posting at Upper Canada Catholic, concerning his first ever Traditional Latin Mass. It was a fair and honest assessment for his point of view concerning such... and I can respect that.

But Carlton's post prompted my to cruise to other blogs concerning a "First Timers" experience with The Mass of the Ages. One common thread I found with the folks who were raised (or converted into) the Novus Ordo Missae, was that they complained about a lack of Communal Feeling at the Latin Mass.

Don't get me wrong. Most of the First Timers were pleasantly stunned by the reverence, respect and sense of the sacred at a Latin Mass... they, for the most part, decried a lack of community feeling.

To those good folks, I ask you to consider the following -

1. The primary purpose of a Catholic Mass isn't about a communal meal. It's about the Unbloody Sacrifice of Christ at Calvary. That's why the mass is sometimes called "The Sacrifice of the Mass".

2. Even Pope John Paul II stated that "silent prayer is active participation in the mass" .

Remember folks, the emphasis at mass is suppose to be vertical, not horizontal.


Blogger Gaufridus said...

"...they complained about a lack of Communal Feeling at the Latin Mass."

If Catholics want a feel-good, grip-and-grin, bleary-eyed, side-to-side-rocking, God damned Protestant hootenanny, they are welcome to attend the Novus Ordo.

For my part, I'll stick with the Mass of All Ages. It was good enough for our Fathers; it's good enough for me.

Pax tecum

P.S. That sounds like the beginning of a running cadence... ;-) "It was good enough for Pius..."

6:50 AM  
Blogger A. Carlton Sallet said...

Caveman, thanks for the equally honest reply (and if you noticed in my combox, the parish’s secretary took the yardstick to me for my post, so you’re definitely restrained in comparison!)

Anyway, I think the crux of the “lack of community” thing is that we Novus Ordo types go to our first Latin Mass expecting to see a different kind of mass, but what we find when we get there is that it’s not a difference in kind but a difference in type; the Tridentine Mass is a different thing from the Novus Ordo, not a different kind of Novus Ordo.

And this is the shock. Think of it as our first ever actual Mass, If you like. Understanding this, it’s not hard to see why we react as we do.

Now, first reactions are just that – initial, honest and without reflection, context or consideration. So put them in that context.

One part of my concern you may be able to help me with – in the Novus Ordo, the most important part for me is the consecration – This is My Body … This is the cup of My Blood. In the Tridentine Mass, you can’t really see this or hear it. Yet it is central, no? In the Novus Ordo, it’s like I’m there and part of it. Truly humbling. In the Tridentine, it’s like watching a play of a Mass and not being at Mass.

I’m still working this through, and will return. But it takes some getting used to and informed guidance.

Take credit for one thing though – it was your website that got me curious enough to go. Thanks.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

If I may be so bold as to borrow from you...

it’s like watching a play of a Mass and not being at Mass.

to use the play analogy, I liken it more to watching Shakespear at The Old Globe, or all of us at some beer festival participating in The Chicken Dance.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

I enjoyed your comments.

Gee, I never thought the Consecration was the most important part of the Novus Ordo (though it should be). Most of the ones I've attended, the importance was on the homily cum floor show or the greeting of peace (for that awe-inspiring N.O. "communal feeling"). And I can't say in larger churches I was always able to hear the words of the N.O. consecration either.

In the Traditional Mass, bells are normally rung at both genuflections and the elevation during the Consecration so every one will be alerted that this important part of the Mass is occurring. Also, how can anyone (who acctually knows what is happening) not see and be moved by the priest, acting in persona Christi, lifting/offering up His Body and Blood to the Father in this unbloody re-enactment of Calvary?

If someone wants communal feeling, let them organize a parish supper or "fellowship" over donuts and coffee after Mass. Let's leave the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for worshipping God.

7:59 PM  
Blogger tucsontrad said...

Interesting post by all. As a refugee from the Novus Ordo maddness, I will never forget my first Traditional Latin Mass. My heart lifted to the heavens, and I, falling to my knees said, "My Lord and my God!" I knew I had come home.

Attending the TLM in the land of "Homo-friendly" Bishop Kicanas.

8:51 AM  

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