How many of us are observing these points from "Musicam sacram"?
  • The main issue with the NO is that you can drive a truck through the loopholes in the GIRM. If it's done properly, with the Roman Canon and ad orientem, and without all the frills that suburban parishes love to include, there isn't all that much separating it from the EF.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,108
    Exactly! I had a discussion with several people at the breakfast between masses today, and one gentleman was pointing out the differences between English law and Roman law. In English regulations, if it isn't specifically forbidden many if not most will think it is OK to do it. The continental Europeans don't think quite that way.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,108
    ...so that the law of praying might establish the law of believing


    It doesn't quite work that way anymore. The law of praying assumed a level of belief that is no longer present.
    Thanked by 1MarkB
  • MarkB
    Posts: 265
    Relevant to this discussion about "the deep problems and issues in the church result from internals," I'm going to start a separate thread about the newest PEW research that shows a collapse of Christianity in the United States. The issue certainly is lack of belief, as Charles put it, and we need to talk about that. It's not a problem that following this or that document or restoring this or that liturgical practice is going to solve. It's much, much deeper. So, new thread coming in a couple minutes...
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,747
    loss of reverence because of the loss of reverent rites just might have something to do with that


    (Here, I am using your phrase "loss of reverence" to include flat-out "loss of Faith as a whole"--i.e., the vast number of baptized Catholics who are now "nones."

    I'm quite a bit older than you and have had great fortune--was part of an excellent secular chorus which regularly sang excellent Catholic music. Also had classical keyboard training.

    I share your pain and frustration.

    But Vatican II and all its pomps are merely contributors to this immense falling-away in the West, IMHO; the real source of the problem is wealth and comfort. After all, who needs all that 'redemption' stuff when you already live in Lux-o-land?
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,747
    traditional Anglican-leaning hymns


    "Traditional" how, Charles?? Is it "traditional" to use hymns in the Rite prevailing from 1500-1965? (That is, the Rite as designed: Solemn High or Missa Cantata.)

    I join with Jacob who finds your dismissive remarks less than useful. So I'll join you!! GET OFF MY LAWN!!

    There. We have something in common.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,108
    I wouldn't consider walking on your lawn because of fear of what I might step in.

    We are not using the specific rite from before 1965, but a revision of it. It allows for hymns, contrary to what went before when clericalism froze the people out of participating. Hymns are not going away.

    I submit, that like in the eastern rites, the people could have sung the Propers assuming any were written not needing a near professional choir to sing.

    If we are going to use hymns, let's use the best ones out there. They are Anglican, for the most part, since the Anglicans mastered hymn writing some many years ago. I have said many times that when we started masses in English, we should have followed the Anglican model. The work was already done and it was done well. Instead, we reinvented the wheel. That wheel was square since it never quite rolled well.

    What happened after Vatican II was the church attempting to follow the culture. It picked the worst possible time to follow rather than lead.

    I agree with MarkB on the loss of faith and submit again the problems now are internal. No beads of gold chanted repeatedly, fine liturgical vestments, and liturgy choreographed to the most minute detail can compensate or cure a basic loss of faith.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,521
    No beads of gold chanted repeatedly, fine liturgical vestments, and liturgy choreographed to the most minute detail can compensate or cure a basic loss of faith.
    But words of liturgical prayer are of fundamental importance, they are not sufficient but they are neccessary, sine qua non. And that includes the people singing the Propers. That we did not have singable music for the vernacular Propers in the early days of the OF infected the liturgy with woodworm and rot. Or allowed the decay in the TLM to infect the OF
    Thanked by 2CharlesW tomjaw
  • TCJ
    Posts: 639
    People are sensory creatures and need the aid of externals to help the internal. Don't separate the two because the externals "are not important."
    Thanked by 2tomjaw JacobFlaherty
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,747
    We are not using the specific rite from before 1965, but a revision of it.


    What, you made up your own? There was 1962, 1965, and the current one. 1962 and '65 allowed hymn-sing at Low Mass. Current one is mishmash.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 769
    I find it funny how some Trads want to restore orthodoxy with a rite that is 500-years-old. That is hardly orthodox but a created rite from another age. It was the NO of its day.

    Do you mean that the rite of Pius V was composed like the rite of Paul VI 500 years later. This is simply not the case. It was also not mandated to the exclusion of tall other rites. I also don't understand how the age of a rite 9500 years) is an argument against it - quite the contrary.
    The problems in the church don't result from either the presence of, or the lack of, externals.

    I never get the argument that the externals are completely irrelevant. If this is the case, why are you arguing against the trads having their 500-year-old museum piece? If it's just some useless external rite, what harm can it do?
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,521
    'Current one' abolished the distinctions between Solemn, Sung, and Low (Read) Mass, in favour of singing the liturgical texts (or at least some of them) at any Mass.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,108
    Last I looked, we are using the 2010-2011 third edition of the Roman Missal and applying the regulations in the current GIRM for that missal edition.

    Externals are not completely irrelevant, but they can not substitute for the lack of internals - something they get called to do far too much lately. This can become like my Episcopalian friend who says, "I don't believe any of that but the ritual is comforting."

    And that includes the people singing the Propers.


    Yes, but we need Propers people actually can sing.

  • I would agree there are exceptions in every group.

    Sorry, Charles, you are missing the point - by a mile. I'm not trying to say (as you seem to imply) "there are exceptions where TLM people actually behave well" or "there are exceptions where NO people actually behave badly". You continue to ad hominem observations from your own limited (whether it is 1 year or 150 years, it is limited) experience. It is rather like someone who decries racism... by making racist statements against another race. Which is why I made the statement:
    Argue facts, not people.

    Instead of talking about "inbred" TLMers who are married to a false liturgical principle, talk about the principles, not the people. To denigrate the people involved merely cheapens your argument and implies you don't have anything substantial to offer.

    But I think the major difference between the antics of Henry VIII and the current situation, is the NO is the result of actions resulting from a church council and a pope's decrees. Not the actions of a lustful and self-serving English monarch.

    Let me be clear... YOU were the one to draw that comparison between the Protestant Reformation and the NO. That comparison was not the point I was making. I was merely showing a situation where "the majority" has nothing to do with the ultimate religious truth - the illogic of trying to argue that because some viewpoint is held by the majority, it must be right. If you prefer a different example, consider St. Athanasius... who was deprived of his see and condemned for a period of time - because he upheld the true Faith against heretical bishops and lay people. Athanasius was certainly in the minority... which had nothing to do with the fact that he was right - and the majority were wrong.

    I don't think the majority of bishops in this country intended to undermine the church and trample sacred rites, although those rites had become empty rituals seriously needing reform. We have a living, breathing church not a dusty museum. It can get a bit off course but means well and tries to do good.

    This the way to frame the discussion so that it could be a starting point for actual meaningful dialogue. I may disagree with your viewpoint - but at least you are talking about principles and not people. Thank you for that.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,108

    Instead of talking about "inbred" TLMers who are married to a false liturgical principle


    It is really hard to separate the two. On the other hand, there are some good folks in
    both camps. Some TLM folks are not married to a false principle, just some questionable practices.

    YOU were the one to draw that comparison between the Protestant Reformation and the NO.


    Actually, someone else brought up the Protestants, St. John Fisher, and etc. I merely responded to it.

    Good luck separating people and principles. Sometimes the two are inseparable.

  • clericalism froze the people out of participating


    My goodness, Charles. Have you decided, too, that clericalism caused the sexual abuse of minors?
  • davido
    Posts: 190
    I think the externals are important because they demonstrate how we perceive the relationship between God and man. Mosebach’s primary point is that the error of our times is informality, which goes back to Charles’ comment on dignity.

    I think the world wars are ultimately to blame for most 20th century trends, not that the philosophies weren’t there before, but the wars are what radically influenced society toward a new, informal direction.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw NihilNominis
  • ...are important because...
    I propose that there may be externals with no internals, but no internals with no externals. Just as a sacrament is 'an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace', externals are in a similar relationship to internal faith and zeal. (However, there are those who cultivate a minimum of external distractions - I was told once by a Trappist monk that Trappists were the Puritans of the Catholic Church. There is most likely some truth to that. [On the other hand, it could be argued that the absence of externals is in itself, for the Trappist, an external.].)
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CharlesW
  • It is my experience that most people who are always going about saying, usually in a grumpy voice, that externals don't matter are rather colourless and grumpy people. These are the same ones who like to pontificate that, in reference to chant and other good music, that 'God doesn't care about that'. One wonders how they know this, particularly because they show so little signs of knowing God. Also, they never seem to say that 'God doesn't care about guitar music, or sacro-pop, or broadway music' - only chant and Bach, etc. Externals are the clothing of Internals.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen tomjaw
  • Problems abound in this conversation.

    You can't really compare the two forms as now practiced. One is normal, one is specialist. The specialist one is naturally self-selecting, and the people there as a rule may be presumed to care more, not necessarily because the thing itself makes them care more, but rather because to take the extra effort to do the specialist thing, often at inconvenience, indicates a greater devotion / level of care preceding, rather than following, the decision to do that.

    So yes, modern traditionalist communities may exhibit features uncommon in modern OF communities, including, but not limited to: higher incidence of doctrinal orthodoxy, conscientious commitment to living out the Christian life, concern for and desire for adherence to the Church's norms on liturgy, etc., etc.

    People barely hanging on to faith by a thread, who go only out of a sense of duty, to please their mothers, or out of habit or convenience, will not, in all likelihood, take that extra step. They will therefore be found in large numbers at the normal form. They bring with them a great deal of messiness, theological sloppiness, personal problems, brokenness, and confusion. The OF did not cause these, but rather, by being the ordinary rite of the Latin Church, practiced almost universally, is the natural recipient of these things that have always existed, in greater or lesser numbers, depending on a huge variety of pressures and factors.

    As we well know, vocations are born primarily out of the family life. So, yes, the disproportionate vocations boom in the EF communities, in my humble opinion, is explicable, essentially, through the exact same mechanism of self-selection, rather than for reasons intrinsic to the rite itself.

    So this is a huge problem: a practical comparison of present-day situations is clearly useless. We would have to compare the Church at the time when the EF was ordinary, to the Church at present.

    Now again, advocates for the EF will declare premature victory: for, on their view, the flourishing US American Catholic Church of the 1950's is theirs, and those advocating the OF will have to answer for the floundering version of that Church of 2019.

    But I don't think it is so clear-cut. Let's lay aside for now a contention we could easily make and dwell on, namely, that greater cultural forces were at work in the intervening years than those internal to the Church.

    Let's also lay aside the pretty glaringly obvious point that we have *absolutely no way of knowing* how the Church would have fared through those years and pressures without Vatican II and vernacular liturgy in the Western Church, had She adopted instead an Ottaviani-esque "Semper Idem" mentality in the face of such vast challenges. Although, I think, the conflict over Humanae Vitae, where the Church did not flex on an inflexible point, gives us an indication of the sort of thing that might have happened in more areas, had the Church not chosen to flex pastorally on pastorally flexible points.

    More germane to our forum's purposes: a good friend of mine, and church musician of exquisite accomplishment, who lived through the era suggests to me that the explosion of utterly crap music has as much to do with the years of absolute lockdown on creative, pastoral solutions for liturgical music, as it does with the newfound freedom of the 1960s.

    But I think history teaches us one thing, namely: a liturgical rite does not have to answer for the evils of its age. Otherwise, there would be a lot of reckoning for the EF to do. After all, if the OF has to answer for 2019, here are some things the EF has to answer for:

    1945
    1914
    1848
    1789
    The Enlightenment
    {. . .}

    Now, it has become fashionable, even boilerplate, to blame those catastrophes in Western Europe on "The Revolution"(tm). That's hardly fair. The thing is: Revolutions are not external forces. Like what is alleged by certain partisans to have happened at and subsequent to Vatican II, revolutions are born from within, rather than without.

    So you have the essential problem: Catholic Austria, nourished by the traditional Latin liturgy, can give birth to Hitler. Catholic Italy, Mussolini. Austro-Hungary, that great Catholic Monarchy, can be the matchstick that lights Europe on fire in the Great War. Latin Masses everywhere, said by thousands upon thousands of chaplains on both sides of these great armies, amidst the carnage.

    France, the Catholic State par excellence of Europe, whose intellectual class and common folk become so corrupt as to beget the utter, horrific godlessness that was the French Revolution.

    Indeed, in the middle of the 20th Century, not from the optimistic perspective of a victorious USA half a world away from the remains of the carnage, but from the perspective a still then-Eurocentric Church, looking out over the barren wasteland of bombed-out Germany, centuries of imperialist, racist nationalism that subjected the peoples of the world for economic interest, centuries of unremitting, brutal war, centuries of revolution, social and intellectual fickleness and upheaval, I think it made a lot of sense to ask the question: Where did we go wrong? How is it that on the continent in which Christianity most solidly made its home, for a millennium and a half, it is so little in evidence? That the Gospel as we proclaimed it, lived it, and institutionally maintained it, was powerless not merely to stop wars, but to stop the escalation and prosecution of wars and mass murders, the likes of which the world had never before seen?

    Because, if as Belloc said, "Europe is the Church, and the Church is Europe," then these crises of European civilization were, eminently so, crises of the Church.

    St. John Vianney found rank impiety among his flock at Ars. People cut out of church, habitually, at various times and various places during the Mass, long before Angelo Roncalli was a twinkle in his parents' eyes. People in various Catholic nations abandoned the teaching and practice of the faith for other sects, for the ideologies of the day, due to political pressure, out of exaggerated disgust over the corruption of the clergy (and the ruling class of which they were part), in discouraging numbers at numerous points throughout history. This, when the EF was the "OF".

    And, conversely, just as the EF did as well, the OF nourishes the faith of communities of Christians who exhibit remarkable devotion and courage. It, too, is the Mass of martyrs, in this age of nearly unprecedented persecution for the Church. And we, in climes and places where having these theoretical discussions on liturgy is, thankfully, possible, where we do not live in fear of the sword, or the dull table knife, or the bomb that might be seated two pews away from us at Mass as our daughter prepares to make her first Holy Communion, we should never forget this fact.

    I am deeply unworthy to pronounce the sacred words that the holy martyrs of our time have pronounced with courage. I am not fit to celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice with the rites and gestures that they risked and ultimately lost their lives to carry out.

    Just as the Roman Canon was hallowed by the memory of the martyrs it commemorated, so the Mass of Paul VI is being dipped daily in the blood of fresh martyrs. It is a holy thing, for which many of them, in very direct ways, have shed their blood to protect and celebrate.

    And it is far, far beneath the dignity of a Christian man or woman to insult it, even if, in love, we wish to see it improved.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,108
    And it is far, far beneath the dignity of a Christian man or woman to insult it, even if, in love, we wish to see it improved.


    I think we all might like to see some improvements but lack the means and authority to do it.

    Now again, advocates for the EF will declare premature victory: for, on their view, the flourishing US American Catholic Church of the 1950's is theirs, and those advocating the OF will have to answer for the floundering version of that Church of 2019.


    I was 15 at the beginning of Vatican II so I saw both before and after. The before was not as ideal as some would propose. The signs of weakness, the pent up desire for change, and the rejection of the old were already present before the council.

    My goodness, Charles. Have you decided, too, that clericalism caused the sexual abuse of minors?


    It could have contributed in terms of the secrecy and willingness to sweep everything under the rug. A lady advanced the idea at the parish breakfast yesterday that sex abuse did not exist until very recently. It was there. It just didn't get the publicity it gets now. There are no new sins.

  • ...There are no new sins.
    You can say that again - There are no new sins. Every one of them, any one of them that you can think of, has been there since Eve tempted Adam and they were expelled from Eden. (One can, though, say the same about Virtues.)
    Thanked by 2CharlesW CHGiffen
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,553
    specialist one is naturally self-selecting
    This may be true in the past but here in England we now have exceptions...

    A few parishes have been closed, and the churches transferred to various Trad orders, interestingly most of the congregation and even choirs have stayed. We now have families coming to us because we have plenty of children, and a family friendly atmosphere. Many young people looking for a community of similar ages are also joining our trad organisations... They are joining us because the N.O. church is not able to provide for their needs. In general the N.O. church in europe is no longer thriving, and has become ageing and inward looking.
  • A few parishes have been closed, and the churches transferred to various Trad orders, interestingly most of the congregation and even choirs have stayed. We now have families coming to us because we have plenty of children, and a family friendly atmosphere. Many young people looking for a community of similar ages are also joining our trad organisations... They are joining us because the N.O. church is not able to provide for their needs. In general the N.O. church in europe is no longer thriving, and has become ageing and inward looking.


    Excellent observations, which does lead me to point 1(b):

    When the English were evangelized, Augustine of Canterbury, somewhat counter-intuitively, first set up a monastery and began living a religious life with his missionaries. They deliberately created a stable Catholic culture, a "root," onto which other souls could be grafted.

    This is the great potential of the EF today, and one that I have seen time and time again: because these small, self-selecting communities can be fervent and stable from their commencement, without the drama of the exodus of a number of disaffected souls as the preaching or music improves, without the counter-pull of "pillars of the community" who decide to pull out, let the building fall, and take everybody with them, when they disagree with the direction or mentality of the priest, they can successfully create flourishing, deliberate Catholic communities in the modern world, which are very attractive as such. Hopefully, those that graft on catch, rather than diminish, the fervor, and small, fervent communities grow into large ones.

    This is why, though I will defend the OF vigorously, and defend normal parish life with equal fervor, I am agnostic as to whether the EF or the OF will ultimately predominate in the Anglosphere, or indeed Europe, in sixty years. These communities are powerful forces, and Providence may well be at work in setting up the conditions in which the older form of the liturgy is perfectly placed to build the very kind of community needed for Christian life to flourish in a largely post-Christian age, and an age of declining religiosity.

    I think there are concomitant dangers, however:

    1) Ignoring these pretty obvious group dynamics, and beginning to attribute the success of this work to ourselves, rather than to Providence who has permitted history to play out this way.

    2) Attributing, as I wrote in my post above, the success or failure to the form of the rite, rather than to these pretty obvious group dynamics, and belittling or ridiculing other Catholics living out their faith with ardor and devotion on the different, ancient paradigm of loyalty to their local church and parish, taking their catechists, priests, bishops, and pope at their word as authorities when they promote the OF, and attending it with love, piety, and a good disposition to receive graces.

    3) Believing that success and fruitfulness are the rewards of radicalism, rather than of sincerity, and taking ever-harder lines that drive a wedge between these socialogically healthy communities and the broader Church which they, in a spirit of co-operation, could enrich.

    I realize that all of these dangers were learned in the trenches, fighting for a certain part of our patrimony against confused, or even malicious, forces -- but the battle scars don't make these attitudes correct or helpful.

    You never escape the Devil until the very end. If he doesn't get you one way, chances are, he's not even going to try to get you in a way to which your sensitivities are hyper-vigilant. You're not going to profane the Sacrament to please Southern Baptists, after all.

    He'll come around on the other side, and play to your sympathies, and whisper sweet nothings in your ear about how smart you are indeed to have left that "wasteland without food" at St. [N.]'s parish over there, coax you gradually into disowning and insulting the graces God has given you in the past through Holy Mass when it was not celebrated according to your preferences, slowly untie the bonds of visceral charity between you and those Catholics who are not traditionalists, through suspicion, pity, anger, pride, and a host of other unsavory frames of mind. And finally, his triumph: he will use your zeal, your courage to buck the trend and seek an uncommon good, to breed factions and schisms wherever you go. He'll trample the fruit God was trying to produce through you.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,108
    Communities can flourish and become a positive influence on those around them. I would think we all hope for exactly that. However...in some dioceses, the chancery has found it can isolate a group of traditionalists in one parish, OF or EF, and keep them out of everyone else's hair. It becomes a good place to assign priests who are too conservative for the other parishes. It happens, I have seen it, and know of a parish where that has been routine for a number of years.
    Thanked by 2NihilNominis tomjaw
  • You never escape the Devil until the very end. If he doesn't get you one way, chances are, he's not even going to try to get you in a way to which your sensitivities are hyper-vigilant.


    I agree completely, and yet such a comment could paralyze one into never doing anything to improve their situation. In my thinking, I never praise God "that I (in my position as a director of music at an FSSP parish) am not like that man" (our Lord's parable about the proud man and the tax collector) because as was stated above, I could be led to fall in a different area, and that is pride. But I can't just accept what is less than ideal or wrong because fighting it might cause me to become proud.

    And this is the issue I take with Charles' comments on this topic in general. The assumption that because one has high standards, necessarily saying "no" to certain other things, is not an automatic foray into self-gratification. "I may never boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Galatians 6:14) If my eyes are on Jesus Christ with the glimpse of supernatural Faith, then I can be certain of staying on-course. "I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth." (Psalm 121:1-2) To assume this motive reveals a prejudice and a tendency to sweep people into a broad classification scheme that is hurtful, not just in general, but to me (and to others like me), one of your fellow forum members and somebody who cares greatly about joyfully leading my family (and the friends God has blessed me with) to Heaven.

    NihilNominis' comments about how the EF (then the OF) was the rite during the great European wars and catastrophes is well-taken. However, the words of our Lord seem to be able to be applied to this situation when He says, "If they do these things when the wood is green, what will they do when it is dry?" (Luke 23:31) Certainly men, since the dawn of Original Sin, have committed sin after atrocious sin, even with the graces of God through the beauties of a transcendent liturgy in their grasp. But now consider a rite that downplays the sacrificial love of God and instead elevates the community, that cheapens the sacramentally Real Presence of Christ with a greater emphasis on meal, etc... that a minute or two after receiving that Real Presence allows us to be inundated with announcements about hog raffles and Bouya being sold after all Masses, etc..., only to snip them back into prayer with the words "The Lord be with you." The underlining message of this is "God is only present when we conjure Him up in our minds." Thus the young church-goer begins to believe that it is only through emotions of religious experience that God is near, and, by extension, has no where to turn when times get tough and that inner feeling is dry or absent. And if God is not near when one most needs Him, then why bother?
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,822
    The most perfect homily I ever heard concerned the Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican we will hear this coming Sunday in the OF. My recollection is was in the early 1970s, and 1971 would be a candidate given the cycles. The celebrant closed the gospel book, and paused at length in silence. Then he said one sentence, the following effect:

    < I wonder how many of us are thanking God we are not like that Pharisee. >

    (Then the celebrant let that bomb detonate prolonged subsequent silence.)

    * * *

    C.S. Lewis noted something related:

    "The Devil always sends errors into the world in pairs -- pairs of opposites. And he always encourages us to spend a lot of time thinking which is the worse. You see why, of course? He relies on your extra dislike of the one error to draw you gradually into the opposite one."
  • I agree completely, and yet such a comment could paralyze one into never doing anything to improve their situation. In my thinking, I never praise God "that I (in my position as a director of music at an FSSP parish) am not like that man" (our Lord's parable about the proud man and the tax collector) because as was stated above, I could be led to fall in a different area, and that is pride. But I can't just accept what is less than ideal or wrong because fighting it might cause me to become proud.


    I don't understand how a healthy awareness of the spiritual dangers involved leads to paralysis. There are, after all, also spiritual dangers of inaction, of which one should be equally aware.

    I am very sympathetic (as you know) with your first-person account of your own motives in moving to your current circumstances. You took a sober view of your skill set, the spiritual health of your prior placements for you and your family, and found a place in the Church, in communion with the Pope and bishop, in which those skills could be put to fruitful use and gainful employment, where they would be loved and appreciated. And indeed all of this obtains in spades where you are now, as is obvious to anyone with eyes and ears who cares to visit. Although I lament the loss of your rehearsal room, and its cool light switches.

    Our provident Lord has provided for your needs and your family's. Glory to Him!

    I'm more comfortable every day with the idea, however, that the Providence of God has provided grace in abundance for others, supplying what they need in different circumstances, perhaps even in circumstances I might have been led to deprecate.

    I'm increasingly uncomfortable labelling this as grace "in spite of" the external form of the rites, etc., especially when the people in whom I see apparent fruit in abundance are adamant that the rites themselves are nourishing them. Because, after all, how would you react if someone said, "Well, I'm glad you could find grace in spite of the deficiencies and grave inadequacies of the Vetus Ordo."

    There are an abundance of prudential decisions to be made in everything surrounding the essential matter and form of the Sacrament. These decisions do not fall within my competency. So long as people are abiding by these decisions, made by competent authorities (the motives of these authorities actually don't matter that much), they are behaving reverently. And reverent attendance at and participation in the Divine Mysteries, in my experience, bears fruit in abundance.

    But I must discern for myself, where Our Lord wishes me to be.

    And this is the issue I take with Charles' comments on this topic in general. The assumption that because one has high standards, necessarily saying "no" to certain other things, is not an automatic foray into self-gratification. "I may never boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Galatians 6:14) If my eyes are on Jesus Christ with the glimpse of supernatural Faith, then I can be certain of staying on-course. "I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth." (Psalm 121:1-2) To assume this motive reveals a prejudice and a tendency to sweep people into a broad classification scheme that is hurtful, not just in general, but to me (and to others like me), one of your fellow forum members and somebody who cares greatly about joyfully leading my family (and the friends God has blessed me with) to Heaven.


    I agree with not classifying people, particularly our brothers and sisters in Christ.

    NihilNominis' comments about how the EF (then the OF) was the rite during the great European wars and catastrophes is well-taken. However, the words of our Lord seem to be able to be applied to this situation when He says, "If they do these things when the wood is green, what will they do when it is dry?" (Luke 23:31) Certainly men, since the dawn of Original Sin, have committed sin after atrocious sin, even with the graces of God through the beauties of a transcendent liturgy in their grasp. But now consider a rite that downplays the sacrificial love of God and instead elevates the community, that cheapens the sacramentally Real Presence of Christ with a greater emphasis on meal, etc... that a minute or two after receiving that Real Presence allows us to be inundated with announcements about hog raffles and Bouya being sold after all Masses, etc..., only to snip them back into prayer with the words "The Lord be with you." The underlining message of this is "God is only present when we conjure Him up in our minds." Thus the young church-goer begins to believe that it is only through emotions of religious experience that God is near, and, by extension, has no where to turn when times get tough and that inner feeling is dry or absent. And if God is not near when one most needs Him, then why bother?


    Much depends on how the rite, in its celebration, "elevates the community." Certainly the community is viewed as a much more prominent aspect in the OF, but theologically for reasons of elevating and clarifying the nature and effects of our participation in the sacrificial act of Christ.

    Here's the hinge: "Reverence" for the Holy Eucharist is conventionally interpreted in terms of a personal experience of divine intimacy and union of the communicant and the One received in Holy Communion. Much is made of the union of Christ and the soul in Holy Communion, and rightly so.

    However, there is in these reflections nothing specific to the Eucharistic liturgy. What about this Eucharistic piety could not just as easily be applied to Communion outside of Mass? As, indeed, most Catholics during a certain period primarily received it, and as they still notionally do during the EF. In fact, certain EF-dedicated clergy I've met even argue for vernacular communion hymns during High Mass on the explicit basis that the Communion Rite is not technically part of the liturgy, like the sermon.

    But Communion *at Mass* signifies something much deeper. We are all baptized into Christ Jesus, and members of His Body, which is a priestly, prophetic, and kingly Body. The liturgy is not either "the work of the people" or the "work on behalf of the people," it is in fact both, for it is the work of the Body of Christ, accomplished by Christ on behalf of His Body, which is the Church.

    The Ordinary Form, whatever its faults, was constructed in large part to renew the rites in such a way that the corporate nature of the action would be more readily perceived and taken part in by the faithful. That the faithful would see themselves as a real part of the priestly Body that offers the Sacrifice, a Body whose Head is Christ Jesus, into which the priest by Ordination is conformed. Partaking of the Eucharist at Mass is partaking of Christ, yes, but partaking particularly of Christ the Victim, at the Sacrificial Banquet.

    And in that light, we consider the teaching on the Real Presence, namely this: the Entire Christ is present in the Smallest Fragment. Under the Old Covenant, sacrifices were apportioned. Some to God, some to the priest, some to the offerer. In this case, however, we receive, we all receive, the entire Victim, in a miraculous way.

    It's not just that we receive the priest's portion of the sacrifice, as part of that Body offering the Sacrifice. We receive God's portion of the sacrifice, which is also God Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ. And just as the "Todah" of the Old Covenant prefigured in its sharing of the banquet equally between God and offerer the future restoration and union of God and His People, this Eucharist of the New Covenant actually symbolizes it perfectly and effects it completely.

    More needs, in my opinion, to be made of these truths, and of this way of relating to our Lord in the Holy Mass.
    Thanked by 2toddevoss Elmar
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,521
    In fact, certain EF-dedicated clergy I've met even argue for vernacular communion hymns during High Mass on the explicit basis that the Communion Rite is not technically part of the liturgy, like the sermon.
    Perhaps they have not read the Ritus celebrandi Missam ch.X,para.6, or the brief reference back ut supra at the end of para.9; note it is not called Ritus celebrandi Missam plus some bits that are not part of the Mass. These sections are almost the same in 1604 as in 1962.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,521
    "like the sermon" OTOH Trent session XXII ch8
    ... the holy Synod charges pastors, and all who have the cure of souls, that they frequently, during the celebration of mass, expound either by themselves, or others, some portion of those things which are read at mass, ...
  • Jacob,

    There is a difference between having bad behavior happen in spite of good training (on the one hand) and having bad behavior happen because of slipshod training.

    God allows us free will, so the homosexual abuse crisis in the church and the French revolution are expressions of our choosing against God, not expressions of doing what God asks and has taught us to do.

    Just like good music predisposes someone to virtue, but doesn't compel virtue (if that isn't a contradiction in terms) the Extraordinary Form predisposes us to correspond with grace. (It's God-centered, it's regular and predictable, it's beautiful intrinsically and more beautiful when properly executed. The Ordinary Form, on the other hand is only arguably God-centered, only regular and predictable when the celebrant chooses to make it so, and beautiful by the fact that the sacrifice of Christ Himself is there despite multiple opportunities to obfuscate that fact.
    Thanked by 1MusicaEtCervisiae
  • Popping in here to say that, regardless of its binding status, I'm happy to be working in a parish which uses MS as a guiding principle for how Sunday Mass ought to look. The priest doesn't yet sing the Pax Domini or prayer over the offerings, but everything else is in its proper place and order. Hooray.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen tomjaw
  • I have a thought on the direction the Novus Ordo (OF, for the diplomats out there) should take, and I say this as someone who is very much adamant in the superiority of the "Usus Antiquior." The Roman Canon ought to be the only Eucharistic Prayer used, and, if it is not said lightly, then why not chant it like they do at St. Agnes in St. Paul, MN? It seems like an opportunity to Do a Cool Thing. The reason I bring this one point up, is because the practice of the priest simply saying the Canon with a loud voice, with his microphone on, just doesn't seem right. I'm hardly a liturgical scholar, but I know it enough to know that it isn't like that in many other, if any other rites. The Maronites (yeah, I know many bought the versus populum posture) have this wonderfully beautiful chanted Canon, and have so for many years. Although it may be more in line with known Latin Rite tradition, to simply say it silently like in the 1962 missal, but I don't think it would be contrary to the spirit of the liturgy to chant it, in Latin, of course. Plus, I find it could be an opportunity of true liturgical renewal and reform.

    With regard to Musica Sacram, I find it interesting how there were some really good ideas presented in the 1964-68 period, including the one I note above, but sadly many seemed to have been ignored.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,142
    ..." So, yes, the disproportionate vocations boom in the EF communities, "
    I'm not aware of any fact that would indicate this as true. As a seminary faculty member, considering the hundreds of seminarians I have known, I can recally only one has come from a TLM parish. This may be a myth, like many myths about the OF and NO and the people who support them.
  • As a seminary faculty member, considering the hundreds of seminarians I have known, I can recally only one has come from a TLM parish.


    I suspect that those from a TLM background don't primarily wind up in diocesan seminaries, but are far more likely to go to FSSP or similar - something dedicated to TLM. And I think that in that context, it isn't pure numbers but proportionality that is the key to potentially understand the nature of this kind of statistic.

    The SSPX indicates that it ordained 5 in 2019 from the US... and US diocesan seminaries ordained a total of 481 for the year. There are 51 million Catholics in the US (nominal). Of the nominal number, some 15 million (under 30%) report that they attend Mass weekly, although a Pew Center poll put the number at 39%.

    The ratio for the US from diocesan seminaries would be 1 new priest to just over 31,000 faithful who attend weekly (or 1 new priest to just over 41,000 if you go by the Pew Center percentage). Conversely, the SSPX counted 25,000 weekly attendees at US chapels, or 1 new priest to every 5,000 faithful regularly attending at their chapels.

    Further, apparently the median age of new ordinands from diocesan seminaries is apparently mid 30's... and the median age for the SSPX is typically mid to late 20's (there is an outlier this past year with one new priest ordained in his late 40's).

    Clearly, it isn't as easy to consider the ratio in a strict sense - there are a host of other factors, and these numbers are only reflective of the SSPX in the United States.

    It is interesting to note, however, the statistics regarding belief in key doctrines of the Faith, frequent reception of Holy Communion, percentage of weekly attendance between the typical diocesan churches and churches (whether under a diocesan umbrella or "independent" that are geared toward the TLM either exclusively or at least on an equal basis with the OF.

    In the US, only 30% of "Catholics" believe in the real presence. Some 50% believe abortion is a viable option. Another 89% feel there is nothing morally objectionable with birth control. Finally, 64% find homosexuality to not be a moral issue.

    Obviously, these numbers change when you poll those who attend Mass weekly... but there are still 10-20% (depending on the issue) who don't follow Church teaching.

    It is more challenging to find poll numbers geared to the TLM community (and to be fair, most TLMers are weekly attendance) - but a poll I saw about a year ago (can't find it now) had the percentage of TLMers not following the teaching of the Church on these issues at between 1-2%.

    Where weekly attendance is higher, and where adherence to these teachings mentioned above are also higher, it isn't hard to imagine that vocations would be somewhat higher for TLM communities, whether diocesan or not.

    Personally, I think that there are good things happening in diocesan seminaries - in yours, Greg; in ours here in Cincinnati. Unfortunately, we also are aware of other diocesan seminaries where the opposite appears to be true... I won't mention locations, but I'm sure we could identify them if we really needed to.

    I was reading from a book recently published by a bishop regarding the sex-abuse crisis in the Church (specifically in the US). One statement he made at the beginning of his booklet was something that (I think) demonstrates the extent of what we are combating. He mentioned how, in his seminary days, Satan was trivialized into a concept rather than a physical being - a concept of "evil" in a very generic form. (He did not make it clear whether he believed in Satan or simply the concept - I'll have to read further, but I suspect he doesn't go any further than what he has already said.) Of course, we had a discussion on this forum regarding the authenticity of Sacred Scripture - and someone pointed out that the NAB states that whole books of the Bible are meant to tell a parable rather than being (whether with some degree of allegory or not) a factual recounting.

    Given these fundamental attacks on our core beliefs from within the hierarchy, why would Catholics believe in the real presence any more? Why would they accept that birth control or abortion or homosexuality are intrinsically wrong and contrary to God's law? Why would they bother attending Mass weekly? And what incentive to becoming a priest or religious? Do we not see that generally speaking, the proportion of priest to faithful is going the wrong direction?
    896 x 675 - 70K
    357 x 749 - 48K
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,521
    To pick up on the comment by MusicaEtCervisiae about chanting the Roman Canon (OF). Richard Poore (Dean of Salisbury 1197–1215), writing probably in Paris where he was teaching while England was under Interdict, had time to compose an Ordinale and a Consuetudinarium detailing the use of Sarum as it then was. He says that the celebrant should pronounce the Canon 'rotunde et distincte' (Sarum used the Roman Canon, of course).
  • toddevoss
    Posts: 104
    The Ordinary Form, whatever its faults, was constructed in large part to renew the rites in such a way that the corporate nature of the action would be more readily perceived and taken part in by the faithful. That the faithful would see themselves as a real part of the priestly Body that offers the Sacrifice, a Body whose Head is Christ Jesus, into which the priest by Ordination is conformed. Partaking of the Eucharist at Mass is partaking of Christ, yes, but partaking particularly of Christ the Victim, at the Sacrificial Banquet.

    And in that light, we consider the teaching on the Real Presence, namely this: the Entire Christ is present in the Smallest Fragment. Under the Old Covenant, sacrifices were apportioned. Some to God, some to the priest, some to the offerer. In this case, however, we receive, we all receive, the entire Victim, in a miraculous way.

    It's not just that we receive the priest's portion of the sacrifice, as part of that Body offering the Sacrifice. We receive God's portion of the sacrifice, which is also God Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ. And just as the "Todah" of the Old Covenant prefigured in its sharing of the banquet equally between God and offerer the future restoration and union of God and His People, this Eucharist of the New Covenant actually symbolizes it perfectly and effects it completely.


    THIS. A wonderful and insightful meditation on the relation between the two covenants as manifested in sacrificial liturgy and its realities. Talk about the New laying hidden in the Old and the Old unveiled in the New!
    Thanked by 1a_f_hawkins
  • The Ordinary Form, whatever its faults, was constructed in large part to renew the rites in such a way that the corporate nature of the action would be more readily perceived and taken part in by the faithful


    Given that more people think that the Mass is about fellowship than about the Sacrifice of Calvary or the Banquet of Heaven, it is entirely fair to ask this question: is the renewal of the rite the cause of the collapse, or merely a reflection of the collapse, or perhaps an indication that the collapse would have been much worse without the revision/renewal of the rite?

    Given that more people clearly think "participating" in the liturgy means doing things which aren't theirs to do.... how well did the corporate nature get communicated? Did the renewal aim at the proper corporate understanding?
    Thanked by 2tomjaw Incardination