There are two basic types of Mass in the Roman Church, the Ordinary (OF) and the Extraordinary (EF).
Please do not say at this stage: "But all Masses are the same". They are evidently not.
One is in the vernacular and is missing many of the key elements that Quo Primum stated quite clearly, should be preserved and the other is a reasonable representation of the Mass that gradually evolved over the four or five hundred years after the death of Our Lord - in Latin.
|The OF Altar|
Some may say that both Masses are the same because the outcome, in the manner of the renewal of the sacrifice of Calvary in an unbloody fashion, and the subsequent changing of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ are identical at both forms of Mass.
But that still leaves the question hanging in mid air; the two are different in format - so which one does Jesus Christ want?
Many would claim that He wants both kinds but that does not wash; let me change the question to: 'Which Mass does Our Lord prefer?' Which one does He believe will benefit us the most?
Which Mass attracts the most grace?
|The EF Altar (Civitas Dei)|
My conclusion, which, of course, I believe to be perfectly logical, is that Our Lord prefers the Mass that is closest to the one that His Church first created; the one that was so greatly influenced by the Apostles who loved and served the Lord.
The Mass that is the more comprehensive of the two, more demanding of the celebrant (and of the server) and requiring a greater demonstration of reverence and piety from those attending.
The Mass that is not divisive in areas where a variety of tongues are spoken, a Mass that is, as the Faith itself, universal.
A Mass that is basically unchanged since early times and ratified by The Council of Trent in 1535.
A Mass that does not allow for personal liturgical expression by the priest or the laity; a Mass that is easy to follow (if you have a missal) and easy to meditate at if you haven't.
So why is this Extraordinary Form of Mass so ignored by the priests?
I can understand the episcophobic issue, the Bishop might well come down heavily on any priest wishing to introduce the EF Mass.
I can understand, also, the fear of upsetting the liberal parishioners who, quite frankly, have no concept of the matter other than an irrational dislike of the Latin.
But some priests also come up with the corny line: "I just don't speak Latin"
That is a copout. They quite merrily take their holidays overseas and indulge in café French or Italian as the case may be. To learn to read and pronounce Latin is not hard.
As a child, all altar servers in our parish had to be able to give the Mass responses in Latin by the age of seven. Hard at that age but far from impossible.
So, we come back to the question as to which Mass Our Lord wishes us to take part in.
The answer seems plainly clear to me.