Sunday, November 20, 2011

Some More "Some More"

“Some more, some more, Summorum Pontificum!”
Heck, around here, we’d be happy at this point just to get back what we had before a certain Apostolic Administrator came into power, let alone “some more”! But yes, we would like “some more”, too – all over the diocese.
Our heroic Fr. Christopher is still away in Nigeria (due to the death of his brother), and so we still are without a Mass in the forma extraordinaria.
Tonight, my husband and I went to Mass at a nearby “mission” church, and witnessed reason #7392 for why we need Summorum Pontificum. We were prepared for the worst: a friend had told me she was in charge of the music, and that she simply played CD’s – alternating English and Spanish songs. She had also warned me that the priest gave his homily in both English and Spanish, and that some of the prayers were done the same way. Now there’s unity, eh? Didn’t Vatican II say something about everyone knowing the Latin ordinary so that even in multicultural congregations, those prayers could be prayed and sung together? Why, yes, in fact, it did (Sacrosanctum Concilium, paragraph 36).
Back to our adventure: tonight, at this particular Mass, there was no music at all, thanks be to God. The whole thing was fairly painless, until the end. Instead of simply proceeding to the final blessing, Father asked everyone to sit, and then he began an impromptu dialogue with some people who were visiting. “I want to welcome our visitors! Thank you for coming! Where are you from? How were your travels? I wish you would stay here!” Finally, that all ended, and he gave the final blessing.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “What was so horrible about that?” Well, nothing, if you’re at the Pentecostal church down the road. You might say, “But I like it when I’m a visitor and people are friendly like that, and acknowledge that I’m there!” Okay, fine. But I don’t like it – never have, at any church, even when I was a Pentecostal myself.
But it’s not a matter of opinion. The Mass is about worshiping God, not acknowledging visitors. There is no place in the rubrics for such a meet-and-greet act. It is not the mind of the Church that the visitors should be greeted in that way. That’s not Mass. That’s not the liturgy. If only all priests would take Fr. Z’s advice and simply

In the extraordinary form of the Mass, the meet-and-greet would not happen. For one thing, the priests who learn to say the EF Mass seem to “get” that it is important to follow the rubrics, and in fact, they are held accountable by that liturgy to follow the rubrics faithfully. For another thing, the EF Mass, in my opinion, engenders awe and reverence, and everything about it makes clear that we are there to worship God. The meet-and-greet act would be so out of place, so ludicrous, that no one – least of all the priest! – would even consider it.
Are there liturgical abuses in the EF Mass? I’m sure there are, have been, and always will be, because we are all human. But I maintain that there is less opportunity for abuse in the EF. Most priests can’t adlib in Latin! And since the EF Mass is said ad orientem – with the priest and the people all turned toward the Lord – the priest is not likely to take on the role of talk-show host; in fact, it is almost impossible. I’ve noted before my impression that the EF Mass allows the priest to actually be a priest. I know personally only a couple of priests who have learned the EF Mass, but they say that it changes them, and I think that is the experience of many others.
I believe it changes the laity, too. I know it has changed me.
And yet, there is such resistance! Our Apostolic Administrator gives lip service to supporting the EF Mass in our diocese, but his actions have undermined it. A chancery priest has openly (and rather ignorantly) denounced Latin in general. In Idaho, a sizable group of faithful has repeatedly asked for the EF Mass, and their bishop has repeatedly denied their request. There are many cases like this, apparently, all over the world. As “Ihidaya” notes in the comments on the other “Some More” post,
"That Mass is liberal dismay..." Indeed. And so long as Liberal is in control, God forbid that the Faithful should have access to it - even in death!
Here he references a post on Rorate Caeli, where we learn of “Another Tradition Funeral Mass Denied by a Diocese”. The authors of that post examine why the funeral wishes of the deceased would be denied when it comes to the EF Mass. They write:
…[B]y allowing one individual case, the practice would spread…and parishes and dioceses, out of respect for the faithful departed and to pay homage to the present Pontiff, would be forced to allow the celebration. At this point the contagion would be uncontrollable: other faithful participating at funerals both beautiful and dignified would be struck favourably and would say “I want this too”.  Other faithful, curious about the original liturgical style, would discover the Mass of Pius V and some, perhaps, would begin to attend it. It would be the fulfillment on a planetary scale, of that “democracy of the dead” which G.K. Chesterton referred to, on the grounds that, they, the dead, have also the right to vote when something extremely important must be decided. In other words: a real disaster. A disaster, we mean, from the point of view of those who want to bury the Old Rite forever.
So the EF Mass continues to be squelched, and the talk-show host mentality of the Novus Ordo Mass continues to run rampant.
And Mass attendance continues to decline, belief in the Real Presence wanes, the vocations crisis continues. When will we see a reform of the reform?!
In the meantime, “some more, some more, Summorum Pontificum”, please.

1 comment:

  1. Jay, thought you might get a chuckle out of this- I commented about a year ago to a few teacher friends of mine that my church had begun using the Latin Mass again and how I liked that. One of the teachers, who was several months away from her Bachelor's degree said: " Oh, I didn't realize that there were that many Latin-speaking families here in La Grande." I paused, needless to say and figured she must have misunderstood. So I said: "No, no, I mean Latin, Latin." Her response- "I know what you mean." Kinda sad huh? The other teachers just walked away.


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