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Full Version: The Tridentine Mass: Why I Couldn't Go Back (America Magazine)
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I think I'll try my hand at one of these commentary-style threads I've seen around.

"Peter Schineller
March 08, 2012

An ordinary Sunday morning. No parish assignment, no preaching. So I decide to go to a church that celebrates the Latin Mass every Sunday at 11 AM. I knew it would be in Latin, but I wasn’t sure if it would be the old Tridentine or new post-Vatican II Latin Mass. Clearly it was Tridentine! One reason to attend was to see if I could feel comfortable being the main celebration of the Latin Mass.

Quote:I think he means "celebrant" instead of "celebration." It reads strangely as is.

In most churches this Sunday would be the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time, but following the old liturgical calendar, it was Sexagesima Sunday. The priest wore purple vestments, and a purple cope since it began with the Asperges. On the altar were six large candlesticks, 3 altar cards, the missal stand with Missal and the covered chalice. Incense abounded at the beginning, at the gospel and the preparation of the gifts.

Quote:Is "preparation of the gifts" used in any of the Vatican II documents, or is it still properly called the Offertory? I know I used to attend a NO Mass where the priest used the word "Offertory."

The Kyrie was sung. After the opening prayer the readings were chanted by the priest in Latin from the pre-Vatican II, 1962 Missale Romanum for Sexagesima. The celebrant ascended the pulpit and read the two readings in English using an old translation, probably the Douay version, with “thy” and “thee." He preached for about 10 minutes.

Quote:I don't understand the alternating between 'priest' and 'celebrant.'

The Creed followed, in Gregorian chant with choir and congregation alternating. The priest said the creed privately. He finishes and sits and listens with the congregation while choir continues. There is no prayer of the faithful. The offertory prayers are not heard at all by the people. Then incense over the gifts, the celebrant, servers and congregation. At the Orate Fratres, only the servers respond, even if the congregation knows the response in Latin. 

Then the lengthy preface of the Trinity, traditionally used for Sunday Masses.

The Sanctus is sung by the choir, while the priest continues with the Roman Canon which the people could barely hear. 

Quote:At this point, all this talk about what the people can't or don't do just sounds like this priest doesn't understand what active participation is.

Before the words of institution, the priest stops and waits so the Sanctus can be completed. After the institution (with incense and bell ringing) the choir sings the Benedictus while the priest continues the canon up to the great Amen. Again he waits until the choir has finished singing.

Although the altar servers remain kneeling, the people stand for the Pater Noster. (I suspect that the congregation should have remained kneeling too, but maybe that is one effect of the new liturgy that has strangely carried over to the old.) No greeting of peace. The Agnus Dei is sung. The servers recite the Confiteor, and the priest turns and says the prayer over them asking for forgiveness of sins. The priest holds up the host, “Ecce Agnus Dei”, followed by the triple fold response by the people: “Domine, non sum dignus.”

Communion is distributed at the altar rail, kneeling, and only on the tongue.

Quote:As it was for time immemorial until Pope St. Paul VI allowed an indult to attempt to curb a liturgical abuse, IIRC. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I know that the early Church had Communion in the hand because they mentioned making a throne with the hands, but I've heard Michael Voris explain that they veiled their hands first, so no flesh was touching it. Slightly different scenario there.

After the postcommunion prayer, the priest turns, blesses, and sings Ite Missa est. He moves to the left and recites the last Gospel, the prologue of the gospel of John. The priest and servers exit. Somewhat to my surprise since the liturgy had been so faithful to the pre-Vatican II Mass, there were no Leonine prayers.

Quote:Two things. One, it's not "the pre-Vatican II Mass," it's the Latin Mass. "Pre-Vatican II" implies that it was only the Mass before Vatican II, at least to me. It's still in use now regularly throughout the world, so it's obviously pre- and post- Vatican II. Two, it's weird that there were no Leonine prayers.

REACTIONS. During the celebration I felt very uncomfortable. 

Quote:There's no mention here or in this article of the word Sacrifice with regard to the Mass.

It was strange and foreign. Even though I was very familiar with the Tridentine Mass from my childhood, it seemed remote and distant. The Mass seemed to focus on the priest 

Quote:...because the priest is the one who offers the Sacrifice...

whose words for the most part could not be heard (they were in Latin anyway!) 

Quote:Missals are available for people who want to follow along with the quiet prayers the priest prays, and people can still learn Latin.

and who rarely faced the people. 

Quote:Because it's not about us, Father.

The choir performed well and their singing overrode the priest, who had to wait several times until they finished singing.

Quote:Well, in the NO, the priest tends to wait until a hymn is finished, too.

In my mind I could not but think back to the Second Vatican Council, and all that the Council and subsequent documents tried to bring about – active participation, 

Quote:"I don't think it means what you think it means." - The Princess Bride

emphasis on the important things, 

Quote:The emphasis was on the important things the entire time you were there.


Quote:"36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites." - Sacrosanctum Concilium, Vatican II

elimination of accretions and repetitions, etc. 

Quote:Nothing wrong with holy repetition. We have it in the Rosary, and Scripture mentions it positively. Only vain repetition is bad.

It was sad and disheartening. What happened? Why would the Catholic faithful seek out and attend this older form of the Mass? 

Quote:Because it focuses on God and people are confident they won't see or hear guitars, clappy songs, and liturgical abuse.

Is the Tridentine Mass an aberration? What does it say about the reforms of Vatican II?

After the Mass, I was tempted to talk with some of those present. But I decided not to as I feared I would have been negative and perhaps controversial. My feelings were still very raw. One thing I know: I myself will never freely choose to celebrate the Tridentine Mass."

Quote:I understand the rap that America Magazine gets now.
Hmm...I went to the Traditional Latin Mass this past Sunday for the first time in several months. I had a personal situation that did not allow me to be available in the middle of the day on Sundays, when it is offered. I had missed it so much. It did take me attending it several times to really appreciate it though. Still, I suspect America magazine just wanted someone to bash it.
Quote:Why would the Catholic faithful seek out and attend this older form of the Mass? 

Does... not... compute. Can't... understand...why? ? How ever did St. Ignatius and all those Jesuits down through the centuries actually celebrate and promote this... sad and disheartening aberration? ? ? How ever did this foreign, remote, and distant Mass convert all those pagans that the Jesuits imperialistically evangelized? ? ? ? Why would anyone seek out this uncomfortable... thing? ? ? ? ? 

[Modern day SJ-lib-bot explodes]

Also, the Leonine prayers aren't said after a sung Mass, only low Mass. Just to clarify Fr. and IHL's confusion.  ;)
(02-28-2019, 03:59 AM)richgr Wrote: [ -> ]Also, the Leonine prayers aren't said after a sung Mass, only low Mass. Just to clarify Fr. and IHL's confusion.  ;)

Oh, okay! Thank you for clearing that up for me!
I know this article has been posted here before, but anyway I can state for 100% certain that I pray a whole lot more when I go to a TLM vs. an NO. NO just feels robotic in a way. The interior disposition is pretty much empty and it's all focused on external actions. All focused on hearing and speaking. You can go to an NO and get through the entire thing, feeling like you "participated", but never actually turning inward to really pray.