Sunday, August 23, 2015

Mass hysteria

Sometimes Catholics tell me, "The Novus Ordo can be quite beautiful when it's celebrated like the Traditional Latin Mass." Yes, it can be. However, if you're going to Trad up the Novus Ordo by adding Latin, chant, incense, bells, organs and all the rest then why not just go ahead and celebrate the TLM? For what specific reasons do you prefer the NO to the TLM?

If you compare the two missals side by side, you see that they are significantly different in more ways than language and music. They have different assumptions about God, Jesus Christ, the Church, and man's relationship with them. That's why so many bishops and seminary faculty are violently allergic to anything that smacks of pre-Vatican II Catholicism: the old Mass is incompatible with their liberalism. That's why it wasn't so long ago that expressing an interest in the old Mass or wearing a cassock to class could get a man expelled from seminary on the spot. These days they'll just have you sit down in their office and ask you if you're still insane.

In my early days as a convert, I always found Sunday Mass to be something of a let down. I'd spend the week reading apologetics, the writings of the saints and Doctors and popes, and Sacred Scripture. I'd get myself all pumped up on how I was going to kick ass and take names for the Lord after the Eucharist strengthened my soul for the week. I'd be eager to witness the sacrifice of Calvary made present on the altar. Then I'd go to Mass and be surrounded by soccer dads in cargo shorts and polo shirts, old ladies with sensible hair-dos and a taste for gossiping before Mass, children who played with their phones, empty spaces where unmarried young adults should be, and a priest who assured us that Jesus is our boyfriend and the real point of Christianity is to be nice to everyone.

One of the urgent problems in the Church is the Grand Canyon sized chasm that exists between praxis and doctrine in most dioceses. If we really believe this stuff, then it ought to be reflected in the way we worship.

6 comments:

  1. For what specific reasons do you prefer the NO to the TLM?

    Mass in the vernacular is easier for outsiders to understand. That's pretty much the strongest case for the NO. And the only strong argument. I've heard the NO has some better ties to scripture, but even if true that is lost in the cacophony. Perhaps an argument could be made that the laity singing and participating in parts of the Mass is an improvement. But with most of the music that is played in NO masses? As if. And few seem to really care to participate-they simply go through the motions.

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    1. Personally, I'd take the Tridentine Mass in English over the Novus Ordo in Latin any day.

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    2. Yes, I think I agree with you on that. I do like that the NO features an OT reading, especially when you get a good homily. But otherwise I lean EF. Although I should note that I prefer the Byzantine Rite over either.

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  2. Sadly that idea of Jesus being our boyfriend seems to have poisoned all modern Christianity. At my own church, I can't go a week without hearing the need to "fall in love with Jesus". I wrote a few posts about this before and immediately had my faith questioned. It's gotten that bad.

    I believe this idea comes from the taming of Jesus' image in the Bible. There's this idea that Jesus was simply a hippie picking lilies with his buddies who taught Christians to be complete doormats. Modern Christians have completely whitewashed the badass side of Jesus who was so offensive he was killed for it. Christians forget about that Jesus when preaching passivity.

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    1. "Sadly that idea of Jesus being our boyfriend seems to have poisoned all modern Christianity"

      Follows naturally from the notion that parents should be 'friends' to their children, while abandoning the duties of parentage

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  3. Speaking as another recent convert, I was more or less braced for Novus Ordo. What really bugs me is every time I have sought advice on some matter that seemed difficult, I've been told the easy path is the right one. I don't dare ask my priest for advice anymore.

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