Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Spiritual Contraception

This is a reply to Phil from the previous post regarding the Latin Mass.

If confronted with the choice of a Latin Mass or a High mass - Novus Ordo, I'd rather have a high Novus Ordo to be honest. I've never even been to a Latin Mass. But the reason for the Motu Proprio wasn't because the TLM was inherently better but because the Novus Ordo has been so abused that there needs to be some remedies. I think the pope is hoping that the manifest reverence of the ancient Latin Mass would shed light on the shortfalls caused by recent liturgical abuse.

The Catholic Church is (hopefully) coming out of a 'liturgical holocaust'. I don't know how the Anglican church is, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if their average liturgy was at least as reverent as the average Catholic Novus Ordo.

The Eastern Orthodox Churches have done a much better job at retaining the beauty of their ancient liturgy.

We've ditched Mozart for Brittany Spears, Bach for Beyonce, Filet mignon for chicken McNuggets and fine wine for spoiled milk.

And if the people don't like the Latin mass - fine dont go to it. But can't they just toss the orthodox Catholics a bone? (This really isn't a conversation to be held with an Anglican but I unfortunately suspect your ears would be more sympathetic than those of my pastor).

They say they're afraid to do this or that because they might offend someone. They're afraid to speak about contraception or abortion in homilies because they're afraid to offend someone in the congregation. Well how come no one's worried about offending the orthodox? Those who simply want a more reverent mass? We're not asking them to be more reverent - just let us be more reverent. We're not asking you to change your worship style - just let us worship how we feel God would have us to worship Him.

Let us each be judged according to our own ignorance. I don't judge anyone - even myself just like Paul said. I assume you worship God in good conscience - even if at a folk mass.

I'm sure I'd be just as happy with high mass novus ordo as with a Latin mass.

My problem is just with these guys who want to deny the Latin mass for trivial reasons or look for any excuse they can to deny it. This repulsive act is called, in the brilliant words of Peter Kreeft, 'spiritual contraception'.


Phil Snider said...

As I said, I really don't have anything against the Latin mass, provided that it is understood by the congregation what the words mean. Besides, I got to a very high (not quite nose-bleed, but a lot of pressure on the sinuses) Anglican Church, so I get the whole wanting to do ritual well thing.

The thing is that, as you note, the whole issue is touchy one between liberal and conservative Catholics, largely because of the wars before and after Vatican II. I'm out of those, so I was trying to figure out the vehemence of your last post.


Vic Romero said...

I was an altar server for four years, serving at the Tridentine Mass, until the Vatican II Mass was implemented. When I was not serving at Mass, I was in the choir. I remember singing the Kyrie, the Gloria, etc., at High Mass every Sunday. I used to know the words of the Mass in Latin by heart. Of course I loved the Tridentine Mass. It was all there was at that time.

When the Vatican II Mass came, I loved it too. The priest faced the people! The Mass was in English. (Language, however, was not an issue, as I was in the seminary by then. We all studied Latin, so Latin was never an issue.) In fact, we had the Vatican II Mass in Latin on occasion, with the priest facing the people, and with the three Scripture readings, as opposed to just the two in the Tridentine Mass. Yes, I love the Vatican II Mass.

It's not a question of language. The Vatican II Mass can be said in English (or Spanish) as well as in Latin. What significantly differentiate the two rites are: 1) where the priest faces, 2) the choice of Scripture readings, and 3) the choice of Eucharistic prayers. The Tridentine Mass only has the one Roman Canon (or Eucharistic Prayer I in the Vatican II Mass). The Vatican II Mass offers a richer fare of Scripture readings. Of course you can sing Palestrina and Mozart and what have you at a Vatican II Mass, just as we sang Gelineau psalms as well as Gregorian psalmody at the Tridentine Mass.

For a person who can handle Latin as well as English, I prefer the Vatican II Mass, whether it is celebrated in English or Latin, because of its richer fare of Scripture readings and Eucharistic Prayers. The music is incidental. I would sing Gregorian chant, Gelineau and Haas or Foley. Too, you can--and we do--have a procession at the beginning of the Mass, with thurifer (carrying censer), crucifer (carrying Crucifix), and acolytes--the whole nine yards--just in the old days.

TheGodFearinFiddler said...

I love the ordinary mass too - I just don't like the abuses. I see absolutely no reason though to deny the Tridentine Mass.

Hans said...


I know I'm in the minority, but I am a Catholic "liberal" who actually prefers the Tridentine Mass to the new one. The old Mass connects me to my ancestors, focuses attention on Christ in the Sacrament, is not about "us" in a direct sense, etc. Latin (which I somewhat understand) emphasizes for me the fact that faith transcends intellect. We believe in order to understand, not the other way around. I also find the position of the priest (facing east and the altar along with the people, leading the people, acting as an intercessor) to be greatly moving. The Tridentine Mass in it's first English transaltions was actually quite reverent too.

I mention all of this to illustrate that this is not a black and white, wither/or issue for many of us. I find my "liberal" Catholic views to be in harmony with the example of Christ. I believe that God gave us intellect and that His Church is open to fresh understandings of ancient teachings. It always has been. Still, I value the power of ritual and ceremony, and would love to see the old Latin Mass regain its rightful place in the daily lives of Catholics, along with the Novus Ordo.



Tim A. Troutman said...

Hans thanks for the comments. You're definitely in the minority you're right but thanks for reminding us that there are those on both sides who prefer a more reverent liturgy.