Arguments for the NO Mass?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,523
    If salvation is the goal, the language of the Mass is irrelevant
    Thomas Aquinas considers two questions about praising God. (Summa Theologica, part II Q 91) :-
    First, whether it is permissible to use words: answer YES, we use words for our own benefit and for those around us, but not, obviously, for God’s benefit.
    Second, whether we should use song: answer YES, as we use words … to arouse devotion, so whatever is useful in conducing to this result is becomingly adopted.

    It is not essential to worship God with words, certainly not words heard and understood, but it is beneficial, "legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi" won't work well if the prayer is incomprehensible. [added]or if the prayers are impoverished, as with the first translation by ICEL
    Thanked by 1MarkThompson
  • So what's the big deal....

    Understanding is fundamental to a living faith, a well-formed conscience, and a genuinely converted soul.

    Without it there is no actual, true, 'Christian', 'Catholic', or, for that matter, 'Hindu', or any other - unless, of course, one thinks of salvation as something 'pasted on' to a submissive but ignorant subject, like the forced baptisms of whole pagan tribes in times past - which produced very few real Christians who had undergone true conversions. The mass is not different. Anyone who doesn't 'understand' what is being said, offered, and received is an unworthy participant-receiver. Not understanding leads precisely to Charles' analogy of the ignorant masses watching a magic show - Kabuki Christianity. I, for one, would not dare to partake of what I did not understand - I might defile it, or it might harm me.

    I don't at all understand this argumentation against understanding - yet more Catholic cultivated ignorance.
    Thanked by 2a_f_hawkins CHGiffen
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    My last comment was about the silent canon. It was a practice that was condemned into Late Antiquity. So obviously there was no such developed theology supporting it...


    Do you have a source for that?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,108

    Irish scholars visiting Rome in the early Middle Ages were quite shocked at what they viewed as the exceedingly poor quality of the Latin they found Roman prelates using.


    I had heard that there was a significant degradation of the language in the later days of the Roman Empire. The old story is that when Constantine visited Pope Sylvester, the two needed interpreters since they could barely understand each other. Constantine's Latin was very upper class and the popes the other extreme. Latin scholars have told me that church Latin derived from the degraded Latin, not the refined and upper class Latin.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,108
    Nor English. That is the whole point. If salvation is the goal, the language of the Mass is irrelevant. So what's the big deal about "understanding" the Mass?


    Then next time you are at mass, put your fingers in your ears and sing loudly, "la la la la la la." You don't need to understand it anyway, or so you maintain.
  • Latin scholars have told me....

    Charles -
    I, too, have heard and read that, and have repeated it to others numerous times.
    However, I have heard more recently from scholarly sources (particularly from a certain highly respected lady scholar of the early XXth century whose name I can't remember) that the Church's liturgical Latin is actually a peculiar educated style that borrowed heavily from the Roman religious dialects and was developed in the early centuries as an heiratic idiom, and that it would have sounded very stilted to ordinary Romans. I have likened it unto Cranmerian English, which would, likewise, have sounded strange to educated and uneducated alike. This doesn't necessarily call into question your mention of Constantine's and Sylvester's encounter. As for the degradation of Latin in the late empire, this is a matter of historical record, major contributing factors being the closing of the grammar schools, social upheaval, and the influx of large numbers of non-Romans. Isidore of Seville is often said to have been antiquity's 'last educated man'.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,108
    My last comment was about the silent canon. It was a practice that was condemned into Late Antiquity. So obviously there was no such developed theology supporting it...


    Do you have a source for that?


    It was condemned here on 26 March 565 by the Emperor Justinian.

    As few people have access to the eight hundred pages of Justinian’s Novellae, or Decrees, here is a translation of the relevant part of Novella 137, ‘Moreover we order the bishops and presbyters not to say the divine Oblation and the prayer in holy Baptism silently, but in a voice that can be heard by the faithful people, so that the souls of those who listen may be roused to greater compunction and to glorify God our Master. For this is what the holy Apostle teaches when he says in the first Epistle to the Corinthians, “Otherwise, if you pronounce a blessing with the spirit, how shall one who holds the place of the uninstructed say the ‘Amen’ to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? For you may be giving thanks very well, but the other person is not built up.” [1 Corinthians 14:16-17]. Again, this is what he says in the Epistle to the Romans, “For it is by believing with the heart that one is justified, and by confessing with the mouth that one is saved” [Romans 10:10]. For these reasons, then, it is proper that the prayer of the Offering and the other prayers to our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, with the Father and the Holy Spirit should be said aloud by the most reverend bishops and presbyters. As the very reverend priests know that if they disregard any of this, they will answer for it too at the fearful judgement of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, we too will not acquiesce in this, or leave it unpunished.’
    In his preface to this Novella Justinian even goes so far as to say that, quite apart from not living in accordance with the canons, there are clergy, and this seems to include bishops, who do not know the prayer of ‘the holy Oblation and Baptism’. Justinian’s edict never seems to have widely observed in the Orthodox world in general. On the other hand, there can be little doubt that originally all the prayers of the services, including the divine Liturgy, would have been heard by the congregation.

  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,570
    I, for one, would not dare to partake of what I did not understand - I might defile it, or it might harm me.


    As in, completely understand, or only partially understand? Are we talking 100% 50% 99 44/100th? What is the threshold of understanding that makes it acceptable to partake?

    Let's be real here - the Mass, just like the sacraments, just like a lot of the teachings and doctrine of our faith, is imbued with mystery. We can never understand a mystery, at least fully. We strive to understand more, but we realize that its full comprehension will only take place when we have arrived at the Beatific Vision. Doesn't mean we stop trying to understand more. But the fact that we don't understand it fully doesn't stop us from participating.

    No one is so absolutely, totally unaware of what goes on at a mass. Even your drunken bum stumbling in off the street realizes that "something different" is going on. On the flip side, no is a "Super-Gueranger" who has a complete understanding of every. single. meaning. at Mass.
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,570
    Then next time you are at mass, put your fingers in your ears and sing loudly, "la la la la la la."


    I know a few masses in my general area that would benefit from this, actually. Plus, no one's going to try and grab your hand at the "Our Father" if you have earwax on your fingers! :D
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,108
    Plus, no one's going to try and grab your hand at the "Our Father" if you have earwax on your fingers! :D


    I think some of the touchy-feely types would grab your hand anyway. LOL.

    On another note, I have wondered if the silent canon developed partly because of distance between the altar and congregation. In those huge churches, you might not hear the priest. No microphones to carry father's last labored sigh to the back pews.
    Thanked by 1ClergetKubisz
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,570
    An acquaintance of mine had a perspective on Latin that I've thought quite apt, if not entirely historical - so take this with a grain of salt, Charles!:

    Latin has in many ways become the West's equivalent of an iconostasis, standing as sort of a linguistic veil to the sacred proceedings of the temple. Vernacular is used sparingly in the same sense that the Royal Doors are fully open only occasionally.

    I'll admit this analogy fails to take into account Rood Screens. But then again, everyone fails to take those into account anymore. :(
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    It was condemned here on 26 March 565 by the Emperor Justinian.

    As few people have access to the eight hundred pages of Justinian’s Novellae, or Decrees, here is a translation of the relevant part of Novella 137, ‘Moreover we order the bishops and presbyters not to say the divine Oblation and the prayer in holy Baptism silently, but in a voice that can be heard by the faithful people, so that the souls of those who listen may be roused to greater compunction and to glorify God our Master. For this is what the holy Apostle teaches when he says in the first Epistle to the Corinthians, “Otherwise, if you pronounce a blessing with the spirit, how shall one who holds the place of the uninstructed say the ‘Amen’ to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? For you may be giving thanks very well, but the other person is not built up.” [1 Corinthians 14:16-17]. Again, this is what he says in the Epistle to the Romans, “For it is by believing with the heart that one is justified, and by confessing with the mouth that one is saved” [Romans 10:10]. For these reasons, then, it is proper that the prayer of the Offering and the other prayers to our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, with the Father and the Holy Spirit should be said aloud by the most reverend bishops and presbyters. As the very reverend priests know that if they disregard any of this, they will answer for it too at the fearful judgement of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, we too will not acquiesce in this, or leave it unpunished.’
    In his preface to this Novella Justinian even goes so far as to say that, quite apart from not living in accordance with the canons, there are clergy, and this seems to include bishops, who do not know the prayer of ‘the holy Oblation and Baptism’. Justinian’s edict never seems to have widely observed in the Orthodox world in general. On the other hand, there can be little doubt that originally all the prayers of the services, including the divine Liturgy, would have been heard by the congregation.


    Ok, Charles, try not to take this one personally. First, Justinian was not a Pope, and I personally doubt that he would have the authority to condemn or banish anything relating to Church practices. I understand from very brief research on the topic, since admittedly I didn't know much about him, that he was very interested in theology and the disciplines of the Church. I am aware of the collection of documents titled Corpus Juris Civilis, which I am currently attempting to get a copy of so that I can read it and more properly respond to you. All I was able to find were the Institutiones. Second, and this question is sincere, do the Easterns regard Justinian's Novellae as law? Third, at the Second Council of Constantinople, at which Emperor Justinian I was present, no issues of the liturgy were discussed.

    I also wanted to say that even though we disagree on some points, I rather enjoy our discussions, because I learn so very much from them. God bless you.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,108
    The popes took on powers belonging to the emperors as the western empire faded. Justinian had greater power than the pope, could call councils, direct them and validate their conclusions. When the Orthodox say they would accept the papacy as it existed in the first millennium, this is an example of what they mean before popes became Medieval and Renaissance kings. Interestingly, even the Austro-Hungarian emperor overruled a papal candidate selected by the cardinals. On 4 August 1903, Giuseppe Sarto was elected pope with the title Pius X. Not least thanks to the veto that Franz Josef, the emperor of Austria, put on the Sicilian Cardinal Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro.

    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,303


    Nor English. That is the whole point. If salvation is the goal, the language of the Mass is irrelevant. So what's the big deal about "understanding" the Mass?
    checkmate
    Thanked by 1Settefrati93
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,303
    Then next time you are at mass, put your fingers in your ears and sing loudly, "la la la la la la." You don't need to understand it anyway, or so you maintain.
    i have seriously considered using earplugs at Mass. Last week they were playing music from a computer for the ordinary and the songs. Mariachi polka style. I left the sanctuary until the shenanigans were over each time and then returned from the church hall. Another person couldn't take it and left for good after the "presentation song". Perhaps the Mass was valid, but almost certainly excessively illicit. I think Jesus' eyeballs were rolling up into his forehead.
    Thanked by 1ClergetKubisz
  • As in.... mystery [et cetera, et cetera]...


    Nothing pertaining to God can be fully understood. We all know that, don't we. As St Paul saith: 'we see through a glass darkly'. I will settle for understanding all that can be humanly understood through apprehension of the ritual text and its import. I don't understand the apparent disdain for understanding by some of us. Not understanding is not a virtue.


    Justinian was not a pope...

    True, he wasn't. The concept of caesaro-papism, though, has its origins in the realities of the Byzantine emperors' active role in church affairs and theological formation, in addition to calling oecumenical councils for centuries to a degree far beyond western experience. The historical record makes it rather evident that Constantine's hand was ever present at Nicea, even to the point of 'knocking heads together' and indicating the course of certain desired theological outcomes. And, for how many centuries did the Church in the west stoop to claim its authority and assumed profane legitimacy on the basis of the preposterous forgery that was the Donation of Constantine? In the west throughout the middle ages, emperors decided who would be pope, chose their own bishops, had a running feud with the papacy over their investiture, and, in general, kept the Church under their thumbs. There was even respectable scholarly debate over whether the consecrated emperor was or wasn't a layman. Even the saintly Louis IX (Rex Christianissimus) said something similar to 'I protect the Church, so it owes me cooperation'. The concept found further expression in the west with Henry VIII's break with Rome and making himself the head of the Church of England. Seen in the light of the history of eastern 'church-state' relationships this was not exactly a novelty. Other monarchs made it clear that they could go the way of England unless the Church was suitably malleable. The last western monarch to veto the choice of a newly elected pope was Franz Josef II - barely a hundred years ago.



    ...fails to take into account Rood Screens...

    Not in the Ordinariate!
    We have one, as of last autumn, at Walsingham.
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,570
    All this . . .


    If by "this," you mean the Christian Faith, and by "you", you speak in the plural of believers, then yes. I totally agree. None of us are worthy of the truths revealed to have God Almighty reveal the truths to us that have been revealed.

    However, if by "this" you mean my comment, and by "you", you mean me, trust me - I've been "worthy" of much worse condescension.

    the apparent disdain for understanding


    It isn't disdain. It isn't "cultivated ignorance". It's humility. I think sometimes it benefits us in our faith not to rush in too fast and comprehend something that's way above our mind.

    Take Latin for example. It's not an impassable wall. It's a language that has a fairly rational structure that anyone, with a little effort, can learn enough rudiments to follow what is going on at mass. (Scanlon's primer on church Latin, for example, can fit the entire lexicon of the Missal and the Breviary into its back glossary. It's not a huge book.) I've found it comparable to the idea that, yes, sacred truths can be grasped. But it will take effort. Anything worth knowing takes effort. Latin in the mass keeps us mindful of that.

    (I think Schumacher described my train of thought much better in the opening pages of A Guide for the Perplexed. You'd probably be better off reading that than wasting your time on my obscure meanderings.)

    Not understanding is not a virtue.


    But is understanding always a virtue? By which I mean, if a grace received is not consciously apprehensible, it isn't efficacious? By all means, people should be encouraged to understand what is going on at mass. I just don't want to get any further into a quasi-gnostic mindset that's a tendency for today's liturgical gurus to fall into.

    But your parish has a rood screen, MJ, so you're going in the right direction. ;)

    I also wanted to say that even though we disagree on some points, I rather enjoy our discussions


    Speak for yourself! I'm as much in awe of your learning as Mr. Durufle, but trying to keep up with you two when I could be eating/sleeping/studying etc. is killing me. And now I'm rambling . . .
    Thanked by 1dad29
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,554
    @MJO here is your "respected lady scholar" courtesy of Fr. John Hunwicke's blog,

    One of the greatest scholars of the twentieth century was a Dutch Classicist called Christine Mohrmann. In a long series of articles and books in all the main European languages, she demonstrated that Liturgical Latin (and, indeed, Liturgical Greek) were never intended to be be vernaculars; that, indeed, they were deliberately designed to be formal, archaic, and hieratic. I will let her speak to you in her own words (1957):

    "Liturgical Latin, as constituted towards the end of Christian Antiquity and preserved unchanged - in its main lines at least - is a deliberately sacral stylisation of Early Christian Latin as it gradually developed in the Christian communities of the West. The Latin Christians were comparatively late in creating a liturgical language. When they did so, the Christian idiom had already reached full maturity and circumstances rendered it possible to draw, for purposes of style, on the ancient sacral heritage of [pagan] Rome ... As regards the plea which we hear so often for vernacular versions of the prayer texts, I think ... that we are justified in asking whether, at the present time, the the introduction of the vernacular would be suitable for the composition of sacral prayer style. As I have pointed out, the early Christian West waited a long time before adopting the use of Latin. It waited until the Christian language possessed the resources necessary to create an official ecclesiastical prayer language. ... the modern, so-called Western languages ... are less suitable for sacred stylisation. And yet we must realise that sacral stylisation forms an essential element of every official prayer language and that this sacral, hieratic character cannot, and should never, be relinquished. From the point of view of the general development of the Western languages - to say nothing of the problems raised by other languages - the present time is certainly not propitious for the abandonment of Latin".


    Much more can be found here,
    http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=Mohrmann+
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,108
    i have seriously considered using earplugs at Mass.


    Understand that! I don't think I could put up with what some of you folks deal with every Sunday.


    Not in the Ordinariate!
    We have one, as of last autumn, at Walsingham.


    We have one, also. It was installed when the church was built in 1926. I like them.


    True, he wasn't. The concept of caesaro-papism, though, has its origins in the realities of the Byzantine emperors' active role in church affairs and theological formation, in addition to calling oecumenical councils for centuries to a degree far beyond western experience.


    Some look at more recent history and don't realize that during the first 1,000 years give or take a few centuries, popes did not have political power. Illustrating that is when one of the popes, I don't remember which one, traveled to Constantinople over a heresy current at the time. He said something to the emperor along the lines of, "you've got to do something about this."


    Speak for yourself! I'm as much in awe of your learning as Mr. Durufle, but trying to keep up with you two when I could be eating/sleeping/studying etc. is killing me. And now I'm rambling . . .


    LOL. And we respect each other when we disagree. Wish the Congress could learn how to do that.

  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,108
    All I was able to find were the Institutiones. Second, and this question is sincere, do the Easterns regard Justinian's Novellae as law? Third, at the Second Council of Constantinople, at which Emperor Justinian I was present, no issues of the liturgy were discussed.


    Yes, and no, since in some places there were deviations from it. People tend to behave similarly everywhere. We Easterners tend to accept what was defined by the first seven councils and tradition as law. Those councils dealt with the essence of what it meant to be Christian. The writings of the early fathers are also important.

    See my earlier note emphasizing the lack of political power in the papacy. The popes had great moral and spiritual authority, but were subject to the political power of the emperor.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,747
    if a grace received is not consciously apprehensible, it isn't efficacious?


    Regrettably, I cannot agree with the right-honorable and most learned MJO when he assesses that the un-learned do not 'participate' at Mass. That's not all that far from saying that they just shouldn't bother showing up.

    Tens of millions of souls lost!! Not to SIN, but to LATIN!!
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,303
    as one who would categorize himself as an intellectual of sorts, intellectual understanding of the liturgy is highly overrated as compared to one who loves from the heart
  • if a grace received is not consciously apprehensible, it isn't efficacious?
    I didn't say that.
    Don't attribute that or what it means to me.

    It has occurred to me that we may be going 'round in circles over this matter of understanding. I think that, at root here, is the preference for some for a sotto voce canon in Latin, a preference that is in the minds of some bolstered by the suspect assertion that understanding it is anyway unnecessary. Of course, it cannot be refuted that the sacramental action bears its promised fruit regardless of the congregation's understanding the ritual text - ex opere operato. That is not at issue. That understanding of the ritual text is, or may be, efficacious for the individual worshipper is another matter. There is really no point in continuing back and forth on this issue.

    I don't think that any of us on either side of this matter are in any doubt about the value of understanding and the realities of limited human comprehension. Nor do I doubt that those who prefer for the canon to be silent and in Latin are quite familiar with the ritual text and do understand it to the limit of their particular abilities. 'Understanding' here is a red herring. The real issue is the real or imagined efficacy of a silent versus an audible canon and experiencing the atmospheric affect attendant on the one or the other.
  • We have one, also.

    Charles -
    This is amazing! How, by what blessing of fate, did your church maintain its rood screen through all the vicissitudes following Vatican II? The order of the day was banishing statues to basements, tossing thuribles to the back of dark and cluttered closets, the whitewashing of marble, and, in general, a mindless iconoclasm that hadn't been seen since the Reformation. How did your rood screen survive all that? A Catholic church with a rood screen in post-Vatican II American is astonishing.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,108
    Ours is the high screen near the ceiling. Had it been one closer to the floor it might not have fared as well.

    http://holyghostknoxville.org/inside/

    We are East Tennesseans. Mess with our church and we beat the crap out of you.
  • Many thanks for the pictures!
    Now I can put you in visual context.
    About your rood 'screen' - it isn't a rood screen, but a rood beam.
    We had a rood beam at Walsingham until the screen was installed late last year.
    Your church is beautiful.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,108
    You couldn't tell from the picture but the communion rail is intact and still used. BTW, the cross and statues atop the beam were shown in one of the international expositions in the late 19th early 20th century before the church was built in 1926.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,747
    at root here, is the preference for some for a sotto voce canon in Latin, a preference that is in the minds of some


    Doesn't include me. Don't care if it's natural speaking voice or sotto voce.

    I simply assert that the flag-waving about "understanding" the Mass is a red herring. Grace is bestowed no matter what, right? The objective of attendance at Mass is salvation--which is NOT contingent on "understanding." We all agree on that.

    Is "silent" or "speaking voice" going to impact salvation? Nope. So I'll ask again: "So WHAT?" if it's silent, spoken, or sung?
  • On the question of understanding.

    To the best of my knowledge:

    1) No one claims that knowledge of the Church's teaching and understanding of her liturgy is a bad thing.

    2) No one calling himself Catholic should claim that understanding is necessary for the communication or reception of grace: a) a priest who doesn't speak English can still give me absolution; b) babies can be baptized.

    3) The problem isn't with the possibility of the vernacular, or with receiving under both kinds or.... [skipping to end of appropriate laundry list], but in the idea that these can be required for validity.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,303
    If one goes to the NO Mass and never prays out loud nor sings the silly
    songs, are they still considered a practicing Catholic in the state of grace? Yes or No?
    Thanked by 1dad29
  • As much as I seek comprehension and feel blessed by understanding what the limits of my particular endowments will permit, I will ever treasure most greatly the blessing of a vast 'cloud of unknowing'. This doesn't prejudice understanding, but puts it in a wider context. The vaster the 'cloud' the greater the blessing - just knowing, understanding, that there is something beyond me - far, far, beyond me, yet lovingly immanent. I have frequently asserted that it is very often better to wonder than to know.

    Yet, both the 'understanding' and the 'cloud' are something to sing about, joyfully to express outwardly and inwardly our gratitude for the gifts we receive in all 'the means of grace and the hope of glory'. With all due respect and some extra to Dad29, I cannot compute his 'so what', as if the nature of our response makes no difference. Of course, we are not saved by singing and making the sign of the cross, bowing and kneeling, and voicing our parts of the mass: but one beside himself with gratitude and joy will demonstrate inwardly and outwardly, in silent awe as well as with loosened tongue, the absolute and tearful profundity of his thankfulness to his heavenly Father, his awe at being in his Father's house. There is something almost Lutheran in asking 'so what' - since we are saved anyway the 'works righteousness' of outward praise is unnecessary. But then, St Paul saith 'show me your faith and I will show you my works'. In our worship, both inward and outward expressions of faith and gratitude are the works, the opus Dei, which define our worship, and form, together with God's gifts, the depth of our ritual relationship with God.
    ___________________________________________________

    It occurred to me this afternoon while driving to the Croissant Brioche sandwich shop in The Village that there may be an analogical relationship betwixt the understanding versus not understanding which we are discussing and the 'not seen' of Jesus' words to Thomas the Doubter in the upper room. Might one suggest that Jesus' assurance that 'blessed are they who have not seen, yet believe', apply, as well, to those who understand (see) not, yet believe, who perceive but 'through a glass darkly' or not at all? Perhaps so. I think that we should not enthrone either understanding or not understanding as universally to be sought after and universally apt. Each plays its part in a mature faith. Neither should be demeaned. The same goes for inward and outward expressions of praise, thanksgiving, and comprehension or non-comprehension. A deeply rooted living faith will exhibit both and.

    Thanked by 2CharlesW CHGiffen
  • Venite, exultemus Domino -

    O COME, let us sing unto the Lord; * let us heartily rejoice in the strength of our salvation.
    Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving;* and show ourselves glad in him with psalms.
    For the Lord is a great God;* and a great King above all gods.
    In his hand are all the corners of the earth;* and the strength of the hills is his also.
    The sea is his, and he made it;* and his hands prepared the dry land.
    O come, let us worship and fall down,* and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
    For he is the Lord our God,* and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
    O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness;* let the whole earth stand in awe of him.
    For he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth;* and with righteousness to judge the world, and the peoples with his truth.
    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,* and to the Holy Ghost;
    As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,* world without end. Amen.


    Jubilate Deo
    -

    O BE joyful in the Lord, all ye lands;* serve the Lord with gladness, and come before his presence with a song.
    Be ye sure that the Lord he is God, it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;* we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
    O go your way into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise;* be thankful unto him, and speak good of his Name.
    For the Lord is gracious, his mercy is everlasting;* and his truth endureth from generation to generation.
    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,* and to the Holy Ghost:
    As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,* world without end. Amen.
    Thanked by 2a_f_hawkins CHGiffen
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,554
    Can we ever understand the Mass?

    We seem to have plenty of illiterate martyr saints, did they understand the Mass? Of course, but did they hear every word? No, did they understand the meaning of every gesture? ... did they actively participate? ...

    Just because they did not participate in the Mass to the standard expected by a couple of Popes, did not prevent them to be willing to be martyred for the love of the Latin Mass.

    Just one of many examples,

    The Prayer Book Rebellion, Prayer Book Revolt, Prayer Book Rising, Western Rising or Western Rebellion was a popular revolt in Devon and Cornwall in 1549. In that year, the Book of Common Prayer, presenting the theology of the English Reformation, was introduced. The change was widely unpopular – particularly in areas of still firmly Catholic religious loyalty (even after the Act of Supremacy in 1534) such as Lancashire. ... the enforcement of the English language liturgy led to an explosion of anger in Devon and Cornwall, initiating an uprising.
  • Yes, and in the north of England they made bonfires with it.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CHGiffen
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,303
    MJO

    many churches do not sing the songs (chant of old) that you mention. They sing nuchurch ditties sometimes with texts that are erroneous or even heretical. Would you loudly and heartily sing these songs? What is this NO phenomenon? Is it something destined to come to an end?
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,747
    I think that we should not enthrone either understanding or not understanding as universally to be sought after and universally apt.


    Thanks! Thus, to claim that Latin is (somehow) an impediment to the faith or salvation of the PIPs is an error so egregious as to require utter scorn from legitimate liturgists.

  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    ... did they actively participate? ...


    This depends on how one defines “active participation.” It is an ambiguous term.

    Here we go:

    Participate:

    1. to take or have a part or share, as with others; partake; share (usually followed by in):
    to participate in profits; to participate in a play. verb (used with object), participated, participating.
    2. Archaic. to take or have a part or share in; partake in; share.


    Both definitions are congruent: they both indicate that something or someone is taking part or sharing in something. When we receive Communion, whether in the NO or the TLM, we participate in the Mass, as we are taking part in the Communion Rite, which is part of it. The congregation was already participating in the Mass form the very beginning, by this definition.

    Active:

    1. engaged in action; characterized by energetic work, participation, etc.; busy: an active life.
    2. being in a state of existence, progress, or motion: active hostilities.
    3. involving physical effort and action: active sports.
    4. having the power of quick motion; nimble: active as a gazelle.
    5. characterized by action, motion, volume, use, participation, etc.: an active market in wheat; an active list of subscribers.
    6. causing activity or change; capable of exerting influence (opposed to passive ): active
    treason.
    7. effective (opposed to inert ): active ingredients.


    1. The first definition indicates that an action is taking place. It also mentions the word “busy,” as in “doing something.” The term “active participation” is redundant per the first definition, because it includes already the word “participation.” By way of assuming different postures, listening, praying, and coming forward for Communion, among other things, the congregation has always taken actions during the Mass.

    2. The second definition indicates that something exists or is in progress. Participation in the Mass already existed in the form of partaking of the Body of Christ during Communion.

    3. The third definition is related to the first, as it even mentions the same term, “action.” As in the first definition, the congregation made physical efforts, however small, to take actions in the Mass from the very beginning.

    4. The fourth definition indicates that the motion or activity is quick or fast. This does not apply to the Mass.

    5. The fifth definition is again related to the first, as it mentions the same terms, “action and participation,” but also includes “motion, volume, and use.” The same can be said about the fifth definition as the first, whereby the congregation had always taken actions during the Mass, by way of postures, listening, praying, coming forward for Communion, etc. Assuming different postures requires motion.

    6. The sixth definition indicates that something that is active causes activity or change, and “exerts influence,” over something else. By way of the sixth definition, it would seem that “active participation” seeks to give the congregation the ability to influence and change the Mass with their actions.

    7. The seventh definition indicates that whatever is active has an effect on something else. This is related to the sixth definition, as by way of the seventh definition, “active participation” would then mean that the congregation is having an effect on the Mass by participating in it.

    To synthesize the definitions into the term, “active participation,” we can reasonably come up with a few definitions for it:

    “Active Participation”

    1. Taking part, or sharing in something through actions.

    2. Effecting change, or exerting influence upon through taking part, or sharing in something.

    3. Having an effect on something through one’s actions.

    Of these three, the first has always occurred during the Mass, by way of assuming postures, listening, praying, and coming forward for Communion, among other things.

    The second definition could be considered blasphemous, as it places the congregation in a position where they would have the power to change the faith by way of lex orandi, lex credendi. Only God has power over the faith, and it would be blasphemous to attribute that power to the congregation or any other mortal. To clarify, the Pope has the power to influence the faith only through clarifying it: he may not change nor deviate from it in any way.

    The third definition is reasonable, although without context it is ambiguous. One’s actions always have an effect on something.

  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    The contention over “active participation” is what specific actions constitute participation. There were already things for the congregation to do during the Mass, such as partaking in it through Communion. The modernists felt that the participation already in the Mass was not active enough, and sought to have an expanded role for the laity. Joseph Jungmann devotes an entire chapter of his Missarium Solemnia to this exact subject. Here are some excerpts:

    Thus for our own
    time a situation has arisen which would have been incomprehensible to
    Christian antiquity, even aside from the laws of the disciplina arcani-a
    situation where at our divine service every sharp boundary between Church
    and world is broken down, so that Jew and heathen can press right up to
    the steps of the altar and can stand in the very midst of the faithful at
    the most sacred moment. Such a situation is possible and tolerable so long
    as the faithful are only onlookers and listeners at a sacred drama, and it
    will be substantially and actually overcome whenever and insofar as they
    take up a more active role.
    -Jungmann, Missarium Solemnia, Chapter VI, p. 234

    Besides the words by which the participation of the people in the celebration
    was made manifest, we have to add also some activity, doing something.
    The "Partaking," simply, the )(.Otvwv(et, which consists in receiving
    the Sacrament, we see gradually disappearing, its early bloom shrivelled,
    shrunk into well-defined and all too few occasions. This receptive participation
    stands in contrast to the contributive, the upsurging motion of the
    offertory procession which grew increasingly strong near the end of the
    ancient period and remained a living practice for over a thousand years.
    As an introduction either to the :Mass proper or to the reception of Communion,
    we have the kiss of peace, already known to the primitive Church
    and still remaining at the present in a residue of stylized forms. We will
    also come across traces of a transient handwashing by the people.
    -Jungmann, Missarium Solemnia, Chapter VI, p. 238

    For the hand washing, Jungmann gives an internal citation which eventually leads to another section in Missarium Solemnia, Vol. 2, p. 380, footnote 43, which itself cites several sources: St. Anathansius in what he lists as Ep. Heort., which I assume is one of his letters, but I am unable to find it to verify, and the citation for which does not appear in the bibliography; St. John Chrysostom in Homilies to the Ephesians nos. 3,4, which he again fails to include in the bibliography (I had to look it up myself online); and Caesarius of Arles in his Sermons, no. 227, which again was not included in the bibliography of Missarium Solemnia.

    Besides these short acclamations, the people's share in the Mass since
    earliest times also included a certain ever-increasing number of hymnic
    texts. The most venerable of them is the Sanctus along with the Benedictus,
    which also remained the people's song the longest. Of a similarly
    venerable age was the refrain in the responsorial chants, namely, in the
    Roman liturgy, the chants between the readings .. ; but these, with their
    ever-varying texts, were at an early period turned over to the schola in
    their entirety. Similar in character to the refrain was the Kyrie eleison in
    the introductory litany which came substantially later. After that the
    Agnus Dei was added. The two larger chants, the Gloria and the Credo
    (which appeared quite early in the northern countries), were perhaps
    intended principally for the clergy assembled around the altar. The individual
    fortunes of all these songs will occupy our attention in connection
    with the detailed explanation to come. Taken together-aside from the
    refrains of the interposed chants-they form the chants of the so-called
    Ordinary of the Mass which, along with the ancient acclamation, were
    taken over from the people by the choir of clerics and finally by the church
    choirs.""
    -Jungmann, Missarium Solemnia, Chapter VI, p. 238

    The footnote given here leads to a document called Canones Basilii, which I attempted to research briefly but could not find. Jungmann cites the Riedel text Die Kirchenrechtsquellen des Patriarchats Alexandrien, which appears to be a secondary source for the Canones Basilii. In the footnote, Jungmann, I assume is quoting from the Canones Basilii when he states, “…the express charge: the congregation should answer lustily after all the psalms.”

    The translation from the German in the Riedel text can be somewhat different depending on how you look at it. The original text that Jungmann cites from the Riedel book is this, “Die Gemeinde soll nach allen Psalmen mit Kraft antworten.” First, if you piece it together rather word-for-word, which as a former language teacher I don’t recommend because important idioms and syntax can sometimes be lost, you get something of the following, “The community should reply after all the Psalms with force.” This is more along the lines of what Jungmann was stating in the footnote. Google Translate gives the following, “The church should answer with force according to all the Psalms.” This could be interpreted quite differently depending on how someone were to look at it. It could be that the “answer…according to all the Psalms,” is not referring to a vocal reply, but to something else not stated explicitly. This is implied by way of the phrase “according to,” because “according to,” can be interpreted to mean, “in agreement with,” from the definition of the word “according.” Also, the first translation has “Gemeinde” meaning “community,” and the second has it meaning “church.”

    The Riedel text follows with, “Wenn jemand an seinem Liebe krank ist, so das ser nach ihnen antwortet, ruht keine Schuld auf ihm; ist er jedoch gesund und schweigt, so stelle man ihn allein: er ist des Segens nicht wert.” Google Translate gives the following for this, “When a man is sick in his love, so that he answers after them, there is no fault on him; but if he is healthy and silent, stand him alone: he is not worthy of the blessing.” The word-for-word is more like this, “When someone at his love is sick, that after them responds, rests no fault on him; however he who is healthy and silent, place him alone: he is not worth the blessing.”

    So, in this, Jungmann cites a source that supports an expanded vocal role for the laity in the liturgy: one that condemns those that don’t partake in it. A detailed breakdown of Jungmann’s sources would be interesting, but is beyond the scope of this post.

    If anyone has links to pdfs or websites where the documents that Jungmann cites can be found, specifically those mentioned in this post that I was not able to find, please provide them and I will check them out.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,523
    There is an entry in The Coptic encyclopedia, volume 2, which doesn't get us any closer to an English text of the Canones Basilii. I can't say that it is terribly relevant to Latin liturgy.
    199K
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,523
    The Caesarius appears to have been given in Migne's Patrologia Latina as Pseudo-Augustine sermo 229, on page 2166ff of vol 39. I haven't yet looked for any reference to handwashing!
    Thus from bede.net -
    Sermo 227 [CAES.ARELAT.Serm.227]:
    CPL 223 (sermo 18); CPPM 1.1014, 5951. ed.:
    CCSL 104.897–900.
    MSS
    1. Cambridge, Pembroke College 24: HG 130.
    2. Cambridge, Pembroke College 25: HG 131.
    3. Salisbury, Cathedral Library 179: HG 753.
    4. Worcester, Cathedral Library F.94: HG 763.2.
    Lists – Refs none.
    This sermon for the dedication of a church circulated in both the HOMILIARIUM of ALAN OF FARFA (AF II.106: Hosp 1937 p 240; Grégoire 1966 pp 69–70, 1980 p 188) and the HOMILIARIUM of PAUL THE DEACON (PD II.127: Wiegand 1897 p 64; Grégoire 1966 p 113, 1980 p 477) and is printed by Migne as PSEUDO-AUGUSTINE,
    SERMO 229 (PL39.2166–68) and as PSEUDO-MAXIMUS, SERMO 18 (PL 57.879–82). Copies appear in Pembroke 24, fols 308r–309v; Pembroke 25, fols 157r–159r; Salisbury 179, fols 43v–44r; and Worcester F.94, fols 177r–178r. A post-Conquest copy appears in Oxford, Bodleian Library Bodley 451 (Winchester, s. xii1/4), fols 112v–114v (see Hall 2005 p 213). In addition, a passage at the beginning of item 77 in Pembroke 25 loosely quotes from this sermon (see Cross 1987 p 41).
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,907
    If one goes to the NO Mass and never prays out loud nor sings the silly
    songs, are they still considered a practicing Catholic in the state of grace? Yes or No?
    I ask only out of curiosity mind you, but do you feel graced?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,303
    usually i feel slimed
  • usually


    Do you mean to imply that it happens with any noticeable amount of frequency?
  • Usually I feel....

    I have felt that way.
    I will never ever again submit to it.
    Go somewhere else - even if you have to drive 50 miles to do so.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,108

    Go somewhere else - even if you have to drive 50 miles to do so.


    At a young age, I was taught a valuable life lesson. You get what you are willing to put up with.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,303
    closest church run by same parish is 50 miles. next closest church is 100. AND the one 100 miles away has the same NO aberrations.
  • Francis,

    Better solution: pray for vocations.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,303
    i do not pray for vocations for those that would subscribe to the NO. i am praying for the abrogation of the NO. i pray for vocations of the fssp and sspx

    The Society of St. Pius X is an international priestly society of common life without vows, whose purpose is to train, support, and encourage holy priests so that they may effectively spread the Catholic faith throughout the world.

    The SSPX was founded in 1970 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in the diocese of Fribourg, Switzerland, adhering to all canonical norms, receiving the blessing and encouragement of the local bishop.

    The spirit of the SSPX is essentially apostolic; it was designed by its founder to operate much like a missionary order, spreading the faith far and wide. This apostolate is today especially necessary considering the spread of atheism, agnosticism, and religious indifference.

    The SSPX, to this end, seeks to draw souls closer to Christ primarily through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, as well as through its preaching, its schools, its seminaries, and its other houses of religious formation.

    All this can be summed up in our founder’s motto: “We have believed in charity,” that is, in the love of Christ.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,478
    I have been away from this conversation, and have just been reading through some comments. I was struck by MJO's mentioning that Ordinariate or olim Anglican priests celebrate Mass "differently" than the average OF priest, I think it has to do completely with formation : a priest who was reared on Percy Dearmer and his admonition that (to somewhat paraphrase) "when conducting the service he does not stand at the altar as Mr. A or Mr. B, but stands as the minister of the people offering with them the Common Prayer of the Church. All of these things : the gestures, the vestments, the Eastward position, are there to hide the man &c., &c., &c." (Cf. The Parson's Handbook)

    You can't be trained on that, and then stand at the altar as the headliner of a burlesque.
  • Francis,

    Evidently, your prayers are being answered: the Fraternity ordained its largest class ever this year.

    May I encourage you, though, to include the following, too: the Institute of Christ the King; the Institute of the Good Shepherd; the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius?


    Additionally, pray for your local bishop. (I don't know who yours is, so this advice isn't based on knowledge of anything but what you've described). We pray before the Blessed Sacrament every first Saturday for His Holiness Pope Francis (not your posting, yet) and our local ordinary. Remember: Nolo mortem peccatoris of Thomas Morley.
    Thanked by 1ClergetKubisz