Monday, July 23, 2007

Poll-Release Monday #22

To make up for a week-long haitus, I have two polls for this week:
  • How often do you go to the Latin Mass?
    • Every Sunday
    • Once a Month
    • Once a Year
    • I've never been to the Latin Mass
    • Other
  • What was your reaction to the motu proprio?
    • "Hey, that's pretty cool"
    • "Ehh" [shrugs shoulders]
    • "Why was THAT necessary?"
    • "Way to turn back Vatican II"
With the recent release of the motu proprio I was curious to see how acquainted my readers are with the "extraordinary form" of the Mass and what their reaction was to the Apostolic Letter that allowed for even wider use. I regret that I wasn't home, in front of my computer, waiting for the clock to strike midnight so I could celebrate with everyone else. I also regret that I've been so out of the loop when it comes to the reaction from the blogosphere and the media regarding the release.

When I heard about the motu proprio, I was pretty excited. My actual acquaintance with the extraordinary form of the Mass is minimal (I've gone to the Latin Mass about half a dozen times), but I still recognized the magnitude of what had taken place, and I already knew how truly invaluable the extraordinary form was (and still is) to the life of the Church.

Now that I've had time to ponder it a little bit, I think what I look forward to seeing the most is not how faithful our pastors will be to the pope's words or how many parishioners will request the Latin Mass. The big question on my mind is this: What impact will the extraordinary form have on the ordinary form? How and to what extent can greater sacrality be brought to the former?

In my opinion, the most intriuging part of the pope's letter accompanying the Apostolic Letter is when he briefly addresses the potential for the two forms of the Mass to enrich each other:
"It is true that there have been exaggerations and at times social aspects unduly linked to the attitude of the faithful attached to the ancient Latin liturgical tradition. Your charity and pastoral prudence will be an incentive and guide for improving these. For that matter, the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching: new Saints and some of the new Prefaces can and should be inserted in the old Missal. The 'Ecclesia Dei' Commission, in contact with various bodies devoted to the 'usus antiquior,' will study the practical possibilities in this regard. The celebration of the Mass according to the Missal of Paul VI will be able to demonstrate, more powerfully than has been the case hitherto, the sacrality which attracts many people to the former usage. The most sure guarantee that the Missal of Paul VI can unite parish communities and be loved by them consists in its being celebrated with great reverence in harmony with the liturgical directives. This will bring out the spiritual richness and the theological depth of this Missal.
Somehow, by the celebration of the two forms in the same parish, "The celebration of the Mass according to the Missal of Paul VI will be able to demonstrate, more powerfully than has been the case hitherto, the sacrality which attracts many people to the former usage." Perhaps the Latin Mass will introduce a heightened since of awe and reverence to churches that are otherwise bereft of it. Perhaps it can foster within the laity a greater since of the glory of the Mass and of the Real Presence in the Eucharist. Perhaps it will give priest and laity alike a greater awareness of the fact that the Mass is heaven on earth (not hell, or purgatory, but HEAVEN!).

Of course, besides the possibilities for mutal enrichment by the two forms, I also believe, with the pope, that when the ordinary form of the Mass is celebrated in strict observance of all the liturgical directives and with a full knowledge and intense love of what takes place in the Mass, it can demonstrate the sacrality previously mentioned. I sincerely believe that, and I have witnessed it myself.

Ultimately, I suppose my hope is that the combination of...
  1. the presence of the extraordinary form, and
  2. obedience to the norms that govern the ordinary form
...will finally bring to Catholic churches all over the world a celebration of the ordinary form as it was truly intended. Paul VI, I haven't given up on you yet......

As for last week's poll, I want to briefly go over the results:

Of course, this poll had more time than usual to collect votes, but I was still impressed with the results. It appears that more people go to Adoration than to Confession! Pretty interesting. Is that the case with you? Leave a comment and tell me why.

Pax Christi,


CatholicInTheAcademy said...

I've never been to the Latin mass bc I've only been Catholic for a year and a few months + there is none offered in my part of the diocese. Wish I could go! My pastor basically said, "don't worry, none of that stuff here. we need too much training + we're dominicans, so we never celebrated that form of the mass anyway (they had a special Dominican rite mass)". Def. made me feel like some crazy nutter for being interested in the Latin mass.

bethalice said...

On the first poll, I had to pick "other". I belong to a TLM an hour away. I used to go every Sunday, and sometimes during the week. It was well worth the drive!Unfortunately my car has been uncooperative lately, and I have been unable to go. However, I also belong to a conservative N.O. (tabernacle front & center, a communion rail that is used, beautiful statues everywhere - it actually looks like a Catholic church.) The priest at the N.O. I attend is already in training to say the TLM. Soon I will be back to my weekly (perhaps daily) dose of the TLM!

God is so good!

Michele Peate said...

We have adoration at our church and my husband and I live 3 minutes away from the Church so we go a couple of times a week. I go to confession once a week and have been doing that for over 30 years. Confession is such a great sacrament. If people realized what good it did for them they would go more often.

I grew up with the Latin Mass and the only attachment that I have to it is that it was fun to say Mass in Latin(my brother and I use to play Mass as kids). What you said about the ordinary form of the Mass being sacred is important. I'm not one to look for a Latin Mass - if my parish has one I will attend it from time to time but any Mass is beautiful because of Our Lord. He is why we go, He is what makes each Mass special and therefore sacred.
I do think though that the old Mass will help many find the sacred and it will be hard for a priest to inject too much of his personality into which is what can be distracting at the ordinary Mass.

Christina said...

I've been a Catholic my whole life and I've never been to a Latin mass. Had you asked me a year ago I would have said I had been, because I'd been to masses where Latin was used (Agnus Dei, Gloria, Kyrie, etc). Six months ago I thought the Latin Mass was the NO in Latin (prayers & readings), I had no idea it was a different format.

I would love the chance to go to a Latin Mass. There must be something special about it if it was able to come back after at least 30 years.

catholicintheacademy - I go to a Dominican parish as well, one thing they were interested in is whether or not this would allow them to practice their Dominican rite. I would love to go to a Dominican rite mass, more so than the Latin Mass. Why? Because I love the Dominicans, it was the Holy Spirit working through them that kept me a Catholic.

Anonymous said...

I've never been to a Latin Mass. I have a hard time even when they sing songs in Latin. It's hard to partiscipate when you don't know the laungage.

As for my reaction; I'm happy for those who want it. We have a church that says a Latin Mass and I guess it has been recievd well.

Scott said...

I've never attended a Latin Mass, and can hardly wait to do so. So, that ought to explain my views on the second question. I am Glad the Pope has come out in favor of, and re-established the Latin Mass.

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