Friday, 30 May 2014

It's not the Latin, stupid!

I have watched, with some fascination over the past few weeks, several bloggers and FB commentators making statements with regard to the Ordinary Form of Mass celebrated ad orientem and in Latin.

They state that such Masses are reverent and inspire one to greater devotion.

I do not deny that.

                         The EF Mass evokes reverence, instils piety

Many years ago at Courtfield (Mill Hill Fathers) we attended the Novus Ordo celebrated in a most reverent fashion.
 If we had not moved to Wales to a parish where Sunday Mass took on all the aspects of a play centre for 3 year olds, we would probably still be (unthinkingly) attending our reverent OF Mass back in Herefordshire.

So I do understand....up to a point.

And that point is that the new Mass, whether said in Latin and facing East, is nothing but a pale shadow of what it should be.

Great chunks of the Tridentine Latin Mass (I still like to call it that) were cut out and ditched by Bugnini's committee and a very hard element of Protestant liturgy was inserted.

A horse designed by Mgr Bugnini's committee
The SSPX like to claim that there are 62 different elements of change between the two forms.

Well, I'm not counting but I do know that the late Fr Hugh Thwaites referred to the Novus Ordo as "water" and the TLM as "milk" and I think that is a very charitable way of describing the distinction.

I might have used the analogy of alcohol free lager and red wine but, there you go!

So it's not just the Latin, it is the structure of the Mass and the words incorporated into that structure that are vital and, just as you cannot serve two masters, so, you cannot, fruitfully, combine the OF and the EF.

The very essence of the Novus Ordo encourages an  indifference to piety and a lack of reverence most commonly portrayed by the lack of respect shown to the Blessed Sacrament.

Yes, the OF Mass can be reverent and certainly, celebrating it in Latin and ad orientem helps but it is not enough - it still remains 'ordinary' and, for the Lord, only the 'Extraordinary' will do.


  1. I can never get over the fact that the Novus Ordo was devised in a 'backroom' by around five people who disregarded (and discarded) the more theologically and liturgically accurate 1965 Missal, and were lead by the 'oft quoted' freemason, Bugnini.

    Having said this I am not sure that even keeping the 1965 Missal would have held back the protestant floodgates of the 1980 National Pastoral Congress which ignored Vatican II and gave every lay catholic an opportunity to 'play' God and change the church at their whim.

    Your post is really about the Reform of the Reform (which I've mentioned here before).

    The churches where the Reform of the Reform is embedded seem few and far between. Unless the priest is fully on-side it never takes off. The ccWatershed liturgical music resources have been a great help, but here's the crux of it..... parishes where it does take off the more liberal end of the congregation complain that the music and liturgy is now too complicated, blah, blah, blah.....

    Is it all worth it when hardly anyone ever appreciates it? Like I have said before, if people are unhappy with the novus ordo then go to the E.F. Mass (if you can) and let the liberals get on with it. The only thing which is now slowing the advance of the E.F. Mass is the traditionally minded who persevere with the Reform of the Reform.

    Maybe they should read the article via the link at the bottom of this comment.

    They will be far happier attending the E.F. Mass and memories of all those liturgical abuses will soon fade away. The Reform of the Reform people are greatly needed at the E.F. Mass where their skill set will be greatly valued.

    Maybe you should have a poll of those reading your blog who are still persevering with the Reform of the Reform or are E.F. only (or have a foot in both camps)?


    Mike (Louth).

  2. You're dead right Richard. Thanks.

  3. Just say NO to the NO!May 30, 2014 10:44 pm

    As it was UNLAWFUL for Paul vI to change the Mass as he did, the "Old Mass" is and always will be the "ordinary" Mass of the Catholic Church.

    Since the Freemason service does NOT offer the Holy Sacrifice for propitiation for our sins as Our Lord intended, it matters not in the least what language is used in the Novus Ordo or what direction the priest faces. The Novus Ordo is DEVOID of anything good and it should be shunned by any real Catholic.

  4. That is simply fact. Most people do not know this - they have been denied even the right to know of their living liturgical tradition.

  5. My family attended a Novus Ordo Mass this past Christmas Eve. We are lucky enough that our pastor provides no extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion and kneeling is provided for Holy Communion during the Novus Ordo Mass. Still I found myself distracted and bored. I didn't feel like I had time to pray. I didn't feel like my assistance was needed. Our pastor provides the most reverent and orthodox Novus Ordo in our Diocese (Fr. Robert Sirico) you may recognize the name. Still it pales in comparison to the Latin Mass, the Novus Ordo is a compromise at best and while I accept it's validity I am sad that so many Catholics desire more but perceive no alternative. This is why I cannot compromise. The world is full of people who accept compromise. If it's not worth my entire will why would anyone stop to wonder why?

    1. Nate, that is a most perceptive comment that matches my thoughts precisely. Many thanks.

  6. The Western Catholic Church in free fall due to the new alternative form of the Mass which was introduced by Paul VI, and is now normal in its infinite variations in what is left of the Catholic Church.

    It is a valid Mass but was designed and implemented by liberals and periti to gradually alter Catholic doctrine.

    And how successful they have been! How you worship expresses what you believe. Change how you worship and sooner or later you will have changed belief. It’s really quite simple.

    I have gone off the Reform of the Reform. A heroic attempt I witnessed last week by a priest to reform the Mass amounted to no more than yet another variation.

    The sixties generations will be dead within a few years. Young Catholics are just not attracted to, or more importantly, convinced by, the banalities and false inclusion of the Novus Ordo. They can find all that and more so in the local disco.

    The Church will survive, a small faction within the confusion, but it will be those who follow the Mass of Ages either in the traditional orders, or by individual priests determined to say it.

    1. Jacobi, eloquently put and I agree with every word.

    2. I agree with Jacobi as well. May the Holy Mass Immemorial be restored as the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite.

  7. No matter how reverent the Novus Ordo is said and how tradtional it may look the well known Critical Study by Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci still applies. What puzzles me is why priests who can say the TLM prefer to say the NO in latin.

  8. I confess to having a foot in both camps, being a member of both the Latin Mass Society and the Association for Latin Liturgy. Forty years ago, despite the Heenan indult, the bishops would not have countenanced a scheduled Sunday Mass according to the 1962 missal, so if you wanted Latin, traditional ceremonial and music it had to be NO. In the 1970s I didn't travel without the ALL Latin Mass Directory and the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. Nowadays real ale is found everywhere but real liturgy is still thin on the ground. Thirty miles away there is a Sunday EF Mass which on the first Sunday of the month is sung (I'm part of the schola) and on the third Sunday there is a Missa Cantata in north Oxford (40 minutes drive). Since I prefer the sung Mass I am happy to attend the Solemn Latin OF at the Oxford Oratory, and I sometimes get up to London for the 11 o'clock at the Oratory. I can get to Birmingham Oratory, which is the only place that does a solemn EF every Sunday, in an hour and ten minutes (ignoring, like many others, the motorway speed limit - is this a venial sin?) so there is choice.

    The NO is not, of course, the Roman Rite, but taken on its own terms and celebrated objectively (preferably in Latin, although the new translation is a great improvement) without serviettes, Extraordinary Monsters and suchlike excrescences, it is acceptable.

    Regarding the 1965 'Missal' it was an interim arrangement (read Inter Oecumenici 1964) and was the first step in the dismantling of the Roman Rite which was completed two years later (Tres Abhinc Annos 1967). And don't blame Bugnini, he was only the monkey. The organ-grinder was the soon-to-be-beatified Pope Paul VI.