- 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
- What was your reaction to the motu proprio?
- "WOOHOO!! PRAISE GOD!! FINALLY!!"
- "Hey, that's pretty cool"
- "Ehh" [shrugs shoulders]
- "Why was THAT necessary?"
- "Way to turn back Vatican II"
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...
- the presence of the extraordinary form, and
- obedience to the norms that govern the ordinary form
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.