Friday, October 13, 2006

The Return of the Latin Mass?

Not really a return, it has been around. If you live in a big city, you can attend it every Sunday. Typical misreporting on this--a "widening" of its use would no doubt lead to it being done in a few more places, but it is hard to concieve that it will be many and if it so one can only hope that the young priests will have had lessons in Church Latin.

What I long for is the experience that I had as a young student at Saint Meinrad in the 1980's where in the monastic chapel the reformed rite of the Mass was celebrated exactly the way it is in the ritual. Only one hymn, a post communion thanksgiving hymn. The antiphons chanted at the entrance and other places, the psalm chanted, most of the prayers chanted, incense used, the homily on target with the Readings--something that if others experienced would have made the longing for the old days totally unnecessary...but what we all have experienced is a far cry from that and therefore the crisis in the liturgy continues...

From Time magazine:

The new permission, or "indult," would most immediately address a longstanding schism with the ultra-traditionalist group founded in 1969 by the French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who opposed the Vatican II reforms. Lefebvre was excommunicated in 1988 after he consecrated four bishops without Rome's consent. But Benedict is believed to want to bring the Lefebvrites back in the fold.

Yet his olive branch may complicate matters in the American Church. Certainly, traditionalists who had to drive a hundred miles to find a priest with permission will be thrilled. More theologically liberal Catholics, however, may see it as a Lefebvrite-tinged step back from the principles they feel inspired Vatican II. "This would make it much more difficult for people to engage in full conscious and active participation, which was the goal of the Council," says Rev. James Martin, an editor at the Jesuit magazine America. Congregations could theoretically split on the issue, and many current priests would have to learn the old Mass (and more Latin, if they wanted to understand it).


Or buy a missal and follow along like they did in the old days.

For a real concise and excellent review of the issues surrounding this issue. Check out More Catholic Than The Pope: An Inside Look At Extreme Traditionalism by Pete Vere and Pat Madrid:

2 comments:

  1. I'm not one of those who thinks we need a return to the good ol' days of yesteryear (HeighHo, Silver!). I was there & I know that the "spirit' of VII didn't happen in a vacuum.
    That said, I'm very excited by the prospect of being able to attend Latin Mass regularly simply because it helps me focus on the Eucharist. Period.

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  2. It will be interesting to see how this developes.

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