We Need an End to ‘the Liturgy Wars’

sacrifice, mass, wine, eucharist, chalice

It’s been over 50 years since the Novus Ordo became the Ordinary Form of the Mass.  The Sacred Liturgy changed after Vatican II and the change has been a bone of contention ever since.

Some Catholics strongly feel the Traditional Latin Mass is still the best way to worship God.   Other Catholics, however, like the Novus Ordo.  And so we have what has been referred to as “the liturgy wars.”

As George Weigel said in an article at First Things, “the liturgy wars broke out in earnest” on November 30, 1969.  This is when “the Catholic Church marked the First Sunday of Advent with the universal implementation of the revised Roman Rite of the Mass, approved by Pope Paul VI in response to the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.”  And, he added, “They have not abated since. If anything, they’ve intensified in recent years.”

Strong Opinions  

Examples of strong, even intense opinions abound.  I recently read an opinion by a lay person in a comment section on an article that someone attending a Traditional Latin Mass receives more graces that someone attending a Novus Ordo Mass.  And, of course, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, at 1P5, is an outspoken proponent, along with others, of the Latin Mass. He strongly opposes the Novus Ordo (Example here, in a counter argument to an article by Dr. Mary Healy on the Novus Ordo).

On the other side of the spectrum, however, are the wacko views expressed by people such as Zita Ballinger Fletcher:

“The Latin Mass fosters clericalist structures in the church. The liturgy — spoken in an ancient language no longer in modern vernacular usage — places all power in the hands of the priest. The priest keeps his back turned to the people for most of the ceremony. Aside from making occasional responses, the congregation plays no active part in worship.  . . .  The priest is at the center of the spectacle. He is separated from the people he is supposed to serve by an altar rail — a barrier that gives him privileges. To receive the Eucharist, people must kneel at his feet.”

The opinions expressed by both the EF proponent commenter and Ms. Ballinger Fletcher are, of course, complete nonsense.  But they do serve to point out the strong opinions held on the subject.   Some pro-Novus Ordo (the Ordinary Form, or OF for short) folk would like to see the Traditional Latin Mass completely done away with.  At the same time, some pro- Traditional Latin Mass (the TLM, Usus Antiquor, the Extraordinary Form, or EF for short) folk would like the OF abolished.  And apparently never the twain shall meet.

The Third Camp

But there is most certainly a third camp as well.  This camp is made up of what may be the majority of Catholics.  The Church says both forms of the Mass are valid and that is all many Catholics need to know.

These Catholics may or may not have an in-depth understanding of the intricacies of the Mass but they have been going to Mass regularly all their lives.  They are Catholic and they believe what the Catholic Church teaches.  They know that the Mass is where, as Weigel says, we “encounter the real presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity.”  Life does not get any better than that.

In all likelihood Catholics who do go to Mass every week, and even daily, understand that the Sacred Liturgy is “the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed.”

[Note: There is a wonderful new seven-minute video on the Mass-produced by a group called “The Veil Removed” that depicts what is taking place at every Mass.  It’s well worth watching.  Here is a link to the organization and video.  When the site comes up, click on the button next to “Play the Film.”]

My Preference

For the record, I prefer the EF to the OF.   I wish my parish offered EF Masses but it does not.  I’ve even asked our Pastor to consider offering one EF every weekend.  His response was that he doubted there is a priest anywhere in the area who knows how to celebrate an EF Mass.  (This was most likely a not-well-thought-out, off the cuff remark, since there are three parishes within a 30 mile radius of ours that offer EF Masses.)

I did not press the issue with our Pastor because, more likely than not, at 60-something years of age he is comfortable saying OF Masses.  What’s more, he has the complete support of a liberal parish Worship Commission.  Our parish’s Worship Commission no doubt honestly thinks that a ‘welcoming and friendly’ OF Mass, with modern ‘hymns’ played on keyboard and guitar, along with hi-tech projection equipment, will draw more people than an EF Mass.

The Extraordinary Form

I do understand that for some Catholics the EF was/is mysterious and maybe even boring.  Perchance this is because the Mass was never properly explained to them.  Or maybe it is just that they want to more actively participate in the Mass in some way that is more meaningful to them.  For such Catholics, participation in an EF Mass may be difficult because participating in the EF often means praying silently while the priest/celebrant does all the heavy lifting.

But the silence that is part of the EF is there for a reason.  As explained by the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius at their Sancta Missa website, the silence is a “hushed awe in which the faithful render thanksgiving unto the Father for the mystery of Christ’s supreme sacrifice made present again on the altar.”

For the most part, during an EF Mass, the congregation stands or kneels in silent reverence while the priest prays, sometimes quietly, sometimes a bit louder, and sometimes loudly enough for all to hear.  And, of course, the priest does pray (or chant) in Latin.

Participating by Being Present

The opportunities, if you will, for the congregation to pray out loud along with the priest or offer responses during an EF Mass are not as numerous as during an OF Mass.  And if the EF Mass is a High Mass, someone who does not really understand what is taking place may feel quite lost, even alienated.

But whether it’s a Low EF Mass or a High EF Mass, the priest/celebrant leads the congregation in celebrating the Sacrifice of the Mass.  In one respect he is like the leader of a parade or a marching band – he is leading the congregation in persona Christi and the congregation follows along behind him as he ascends Calvary.

As the leader of the congregation, the priest faces east, along with the rest of the congregation, toward the altar, where the miracle of the Eucharist takes place.  But even though the congregation is actively participating in a meaningful way during an EF Mass, it is not like the active participation that takes place during an OF Mass.  During an EF Mass, the congregation participates by praying and primarily by being present.

Reverence and Silence

The periods of reverential silence that is a quintessential attribute of the EF is one of the things I and many others appreciate most about it.  The reverent silence affords those present the opportunity to silently pray in the presence of God.  This is why one often sees people silently praying the rosary throughout the Mass.

In my many years on this earth, I have a lot to be thankful for to God.  But even after all those years I still need a lot of help in becoming a better, more Christ-like person.  So during the periods of silence at an EF Mass, I offer prayers of thanks, and I pray for God’s continued help and guidance.  I also pray for loved ones, the clergy, and the souls of the departed.  I also kneel or sit or stand in reverent awe, in anticipation of the miracle that takes place during the Consecration.

The Ordinary Form

OF Mass proponents, however, probably think Sacrosanctum Concilium, and Pope Paul VI’s subsequent introduction of his New Rite of Mass in 1969, was the best thing to hit the Catholic Church since Bingo.  They like ‘the new Mass’ and they like being able to actively participate in the Mass in a way that is meaningful to them.  For these Catholics, Vatican II’s goal of “full, conscious, and active participation” in the Mass was achieved with the introduction of the OF.

OF aficionados also like that the Mass is in the vernacular. They may like the new ‘hymns’ being played on guitars and pianos (or keyboards), and they like seeing what the priest is doing at the altar as well.  And some certainly like being able to participate by bringing up the gifts, by being lectors or being Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.  They may even like the fact that there are only a very few moments of silence during an OF Mass.

For OF proponents, the post-Vatican II Mass allows them to be more vocal in their worship.  And there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as the proper reverence is present and the rubrics of the Mass are followed.

Unfortunately, in far too many OF Masses the solemnity and reverence that still should be present is often replaced with less desirable characteristics.  And sometimes additions are made that are not in keeping with the rubrics.  The blame for this, I think, can be laid firstly at the feet of liberal bishops.  But parish Worship Commissions and parish priests who let their parish Worship Commissions stray too far from the General Instruction of the Roman Missal also bear the blame.

A Protestant-ized Mass?

In some ways, some (certainly not all) Catholics who prefer the OF remind me of a non-Catholic Christian friend of one of my sons.  My son invited his friend to attend an OF Mass one Sunday.  After Mass, my son asked his friend what he thought of the Mass.  My son’s friend replied that it was much too subdued for his liking.

The Sunday service at his church, my son’s friend said, is very lively.  The preaching is more animated and engaging and the congregation is very vocal in shouting out “Amen” when the minister makes a good point during his sermon.   The songs of praise too are more upbeat.  This is what praise and worship should be, he said.

So even the OF Mass is too subdued. for my son’s friend.   It is not lively enough to suit him.  He would probably feel very uncomfortable at an EF Mass!  But then again, since he does not believe in the Real Presence, he did not understand that Jesus Christ was physically present during the Mass.  Had he understood this I have to wonder if he might not have been struck with a sudden attack of piety, reverence, and awe?

Joyful Praise and Worship

Now, there is nothing wrong with joyful worship.  All Catholics should look forward to going to Mass with joyful anticipation.  It is, after all, the most important thing we do each week.  The only thing that I can think of that could possibly be better than hearing God speaking to us in the Liturgy of the Word and becoming one with Him in through the Eucharist is experiencing the beatific vision.

But at the same time, this joy is tempered by the reality that the Sacred Liturgy commemorates our Lord’s passion, death, and resurrection.  We are, after all, sinners.  Remembering the suffering and painful death Jesus Christ endured to open the gates of heaven for us should rightly evoke a mixture of sorrow, penitence, piety, reverence, and awe in us.  And even though the ‘new mass’ is meant to bring the communal Passover meal more to mind, we need to keep in mind that Our Lord’s Passover meal was not exactly a joyful occasion either.

Poor Implementation

Four years ago in an article here at CS, I offered this observation:

“Whether the Novus Ordo Mass was part of a grand scheme to secularize the Church, a dumb idea from the start, a good idea gone wrong, or something else altogether is a debate that is still going on, and since I’m neither a Vatican insider nor a theologian I will stay out of it. Maybe the Mass did need to be updated because a number of good Catholics I know say they do prefer “the new Mass” to the TLM. But maybe a compromise of some sort might not have been a bad thing from the start – like allowing parishes to offer both the Novus Ordo and the TLM in some kind of alternating arrangement.”

My opinion has not changed.  I still prefer the EF Mass, and I dearly wish that more parishes would offer EF Masses along with OF Masses.

Active Participation vs. Solemnity and Awe

Some Catholics feel a need to more actively participate in the Mass.  They prefer the OF Mass. But some Catholics want the reverent silence, solemnity, and awe that are part of the Extraordinary Form.

Active participation means different things to different people.  It’s too bad more bishops do not recognize this.

It’s sad that the liturgy wars exist.  If all parishes offered both OF and EF Masses we could put the liturgy wars behind us and move on to more important things.  This is a simple solution to the liturgy wars.

This solution is, of course, not easy-simple.  Seminaries will have to train tomorrow’s priests on how to say both forms of the Mass while many parish priests will require instruction in the Usus Antiquor.  Deacons, altar servers and probably a large number of bishops would require instruction as well.  A number of churches built during the last 30 or 40 years may also have to reconfigure their sanctuaries.

So while the solution is simple it is not easy-peezy.  But such an undertaking is not sending-a-man-to-the-moon complex either.  It is certainly do-able.  It would also bring about an end to the liturgy wars.

******

About the EF . . .

If you are interested in learning more about the Extraordinary Form of the Mass you can do so by visiting the Sancta Missa website [use the link previously provided].

Clicking on “Rubrics of the Missale Romanum 1962” takes you to the complete set of rubrics for the Traditional Latin Mass – the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

Also, by clicking on the heading “Spirituality of the Tridentine Mass” you open a page with links to 16 different documents relative to the Latin Mass, including:

  • Explanation of the Prayers and Ceremonies of Holy Mass, by Dom Prosper Guéranger, O.S.B., Abbot of Solesmes;
  • The Attractiveness of the Tridentine Mass, by Alfons Cardinal Stickler;
  • The Case for the Latin Mass, by Dietrich Von Hildebrand, and
  • Ten Years of the Motu Proprio, by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

There is also a Frequently Asked Questions section with some of the more common questions about the EF.

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27 thoughts on “We Need an End to ‘the Liturgy Wars’”

  1. Actually, there was an interim liturgy in 1965, which was essentially a partial “vernacularization” of the traditional Mass, i.e. the EF: some parts in vernacular but the Canon still in Latin, and with more responses being made by the laity rather than the servers (both in vernacular and in Latin). The traditional calendar of feasts and readings was also the same, as far as I can tell from the Missal I have of that liturgy.

    This was actually fine with everybody. Even those who didn’t like Latin just wanted the same Mass said in vernacular. If there had been no other tinkering, everything would have been fine.

    But instead of a translation, we got a rewrite. In fact, continual rewriting. And a progressive dumb-down (check out the changes in the Gloria and Creed, for instance. Thank the Lord for Pope Benedict changing them back.) And possibly even worse, a gutting of the calendar and one-year cycle of readings. (When I dug out my ancient EF missal, I was amazed at the spiritual richness of the calendar. As well as the collects, etc.)
    Like most people, I have had no choice about which type of Mass to attend for most of my life. Recently, a nearby parish has had an occasional traditional Dominican rite Mass. And I discovered how much I had been missing all these years.

    (Just as an aside, having to buy a ton of missals every year has been a boon to publishers, and a huge drain on parish resources.)

  2. There is an presumption in this article that raises an interesting point. That is the idea that we make our choice of form because we personally prefer it rather than because it is objectively “better” (assuming each are available). Now, I think both forms are equally worthy so there is no problem choosing the one you happen to like better. Nevertheless, does anyone truly believe one form really is objectively “better” and choose to attend it for that reason even though they don’t personally prefer it?

    1. Larry –
      Dr. Dr. Kwasniewski (below) raises the same point. You might want to read my response to him.

  3. The return of the EF is very gratifying. Of course, Pope Benedict said that it was never forbidden. The EF praises and worships God with a sublime dignity that is his due. Sometimes at the OF I feel that I am at an Elks club. the clapping, joke telling, hand shaking, and general mayhem defeats my purpose for attending mass. It is hard for me to imagine that our blessed saints and martyrs would go forth, if their point of reference is the modern application of the OF. The empty churches, schools, monasteries, and convents tells us that something has gone wrong.

    1. Thomas –
      Yes something has gone wrong, but we can’t lay all the blame on the OF or on Vatican II. The fallout from the sexual revolution of the 60s is still being felt in a big way. One might say the 60s began a 40-year ‘perfect storm’ wrought by the devil himself.

    2. We did experience a tremendous cultural shift in the 60s and 70s, but in times past the church was always a bulwark, and a refuge against such happenings. The spirit of VII aided and abetted this mindless shift, and seemed to hop aboard. Our traditions were, in many ways discarded for an attempt to attract young people. After the passage of 50 years we are left with scandals that embarrass the faithful, plus empty pews, and pliable morality, exemplified by ordained priests, and consecrated bishops openly espousing the homosexual lifestyle.

    3. Sunday Mass attendance has declined precipitously since 1965, as have the country’s moral values. Millions of words have been written examining the causes for this. To sum them up: there are lots of reasons. The philosophies of progressivism, secularism, moral relativism, modernism, and scientism, have all had deleterious effects on our culture and on the Church (clergy and laity alike). And as Pope Paul VI said in 1972, “Through some fissure the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.”

  4. I agree that useless wars should cease. However, as the old saying goes, “if you want peace, work for justice.” The highest form of justice is the virtue of religion, by which we give to God what is owed to Him, for His honor and glory. The traditional Latin liturgy developed over many centuries to do precisely that. Unfortunately (indeed, scandalously), the new liturgy stripped away countless signs of reverence, from major things like bows, genuflections, and kisses, to smaller details like tweaking prayers to make them less transcendent and demanding. Therefore, the liturgy war is a just war, because it is about the most important thing human beings can do.

    Moreover, justice itself is based on truth. We have to tell the truth about what happened in the liturgical reform and what the fallout has been. This will not be comfortable to those who are seeking peace “at all costs.”

    Most importantly, however, this article — whose author is clearly well-intentioned and sincere — ends up refuting itself. If all that matters is the validity of a Mass, why should anyone be allowed to have any preferences whatsoever? Why would some Catholics have fought for decades to keep the old liturgy, if they knew all along that a valid Eucharist could be had at any Mass where the words of consecration are uttered? The reason is that validity is the “low bar” — where we begin, but not where we should end.

    I’ve gone into this in a number of places; here are a few:
    https://onepeterfive.com/is-the-mass-just-the-mass/
    http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2017/07/the-long-shadow-of-neoscholastic.html
    https://onepeterfive.com/man-does-not-live-by-bread-alone/

    In addition to the link already included in the article (the response to Dr. Healy), this one also might be helpful to readers:
    https://onepeterfive.com/twelve-reasons-longenecker/

    Finally, Catholic theology does indeed maintain that Masses can produce varying effects of grace in the souls of the celebrant and faithful — that is, a greater or lesser access to grace — because grace is not just an objective fact but a gift that has to be received according to the subjective dispositions of the recipient. The reason we have liturgical rites is, on the one hand, to glorify God, and on the other hand, to maximize our receptivity to what He wants to give. In short: not all valid Masses are equal. Two excellent treatments of this subject are Fr. Chad Ripperger’s (http://www.u.arizona.edu/~aversa/modernism/Merit%20of%20the%20Mass%20(Fr.%20Ripperger,%20F.S.S.P.).pdf) and Robert Siscoe’s (https://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/944-mass-confusion-why-all-valid-masses-are-not-equal).

    May the liturgy wars cease by means of a just peace based on truth.

    1. Dr. Kwasniewski,
      Thanks for taking the time to read my article, but I obviously disagree that “the article ends up refuting itself.” The Catholic Church says the OF is a valid Mass. I agree that it is less reverential than the EF, but it is, nonetheless, a licit and valid mass. A High EF Mass is also more reverent and solemn than a Low EF Mass, but both forms of the Mass are licit and valid. And some Catholics do indeed have a preference for one over the other.

      I have read many (maybe all) of your articles on the ‘behind the scenes activities’ surrounding Vatican II and the ‘new Mass.’ But sometimes the unintended consequences of a negative action can be positive.

      As we grow in faith and as our love of God increases so, too, should our piety, our humility, and our sense of awe/reverence. Many of us will not become saints here on earth, even though that is our goal. And everyone’s faith journey is different. The OF Mass can be a step on that journey. As a person’s faith deepens he or she will hopefully desire a more reverent form of worship and may come to realize that the EF offers that reverence. This is why I do not have a problem with the OF Mass, and why I think both OF and EF Masses should be offered in all parishes.

      I was an altar boy and learned to serve at the Traditional Latin Mass. I understood the Mass and what was happening. But once my days as an altar boy were over, there were many times that I longed for those days – I wanted to again more actively participate in the Mass. So I get it that for some Catholics the Latin mass does not / did not allow for a lot of active participation. The OF may not have the reverence of the EF but it does provide for more active participation. Some Catholics still on their faith journey may need participation more at certain points in their journey than reverence and solemnity. But this cannot and does not take away from God’s majesty or greatness. It is only an acknowledgment that we are all imperfect, we are all sinners, and we all struggle at times.

      And finally, yes, “Masses can produce varying effects of grace in the souls of the celebrant and faithful.” The problem I had with the commenters statement is that it’s not automatic that someone attending an EF Mass will receive more graces than someone attending an OF Mass. Can we agree that someone attending as EF Mass whose mind is wandering and who is thinking about things other than worshiping God is not going to receive the same graces as someone attending an OF Mass who is 100% there and focused on worshiping God?

  5. So, like, specifically, what was deficient in the TLM in the 1960s that it needed to be corrected and eventually shelved? Nothing.
    The TLM is a sacrifice to the Lord God of Old and New Testaments. The TLM is sacrifice offered by a priest, which since the beginning of time has been the role of any priest. It is not meant to be fun or happy.
    The NO is a friendly get together which frequently gets out of hand with jokes, clowns, dance and other distractions. A ‘presider’ is present but female lay persons run the event.
    No one in their right mind would come to the conclusion that at a N/O mass the host is the body and blood of Christ…the Real Presence. That is ludicrous, indeed. The ceremony and atmosphere, the tone and speech and music are so casual, so unpredictable, so undisciplined, that to try and plead the case for the Real Presence is futile. Just ask that question to any Catholic, especially any young Catholic, who has already to voted with his/her feet by leaving Mass, altogether.
    As always demographics rule. As an earlier post made clear, the TLM is growing and the N/O mass is imploding. So be it.

    1. Mark,
      I agree with you that the Mass is not meant to be a fun or happy get together, but to say the OF Mass is the reason Catholics, and especially young Catholics, are not going to Mass is not really a fair assessment of all the factors behind low Mass attendance and unbelief in the Real Presence. We’ve got two or three generations of poorly catechized Catholics out there who have been heavily influenced by a culture that is becoming more and more paganized.

  6. Mr. Van Son:

    I am very sympathetic to the EF Mass (I was a Latin major in college) and would love to celebrate it more often. So I have absolutely nothing against. I think, though, that maybe you paint the OF with too broad a brush in terms of the style of worship. I’m at a parish that uses the OF Mass, but it is very traditional, reverential Mass with organ music and traditional hymns sung by a. choir. No guitars or keyboards are used at all (thankfully!). The point is that I don’t think most OF Masses (in my diocese) are of the ilk you’re describing (except for some of the “life teen” Masses Sunday evening (cantor with guitar and modern singing style, I don’t like it…). Most are of a more traditional style.

    God bless you!

    1. Bryan –
      You are fortunate to live in a parish and diocese where OF Masses are celebrated with reverence. Unfortunately this is not the case in all of the roughly 177 Catholic dioceses/archdioceses and 17,000 parishes in the US. But even if it was so, an OF Mass is still distinctly different than an EF Mass by design. Even if an OF Mass is celebrated with reverence it cannot quite match the solemnity and reverence of an EF Mass.

      Be that as it may, it is the consequences of Sacrosanctum Concilium, whether intentional or unintentional, that has been problematic. The Revised Rite appears to offer some leeway that allows for interpretation. As I noted in one of my replies below, for some parish worship commissions reading the GIRM, there seems to be and attitude of ‘if it does not specifically say something cannot be done, it is okay to do it.’ As a result, the Sacred Liturgy has been, and still is too often subject to irreverent experimentation in far too many parishes in the US.

      Offering both forms of the Mass in parishes just might put a stop to the experimentation. If nothing else, it will provide two or three generations of Catholics who maybe have never experienced the solemnity of an EF Mass an opportunity to choose which form they prefer. I tend to think more will choose the EF Mass over the OF Mass. But I could be wrong.

  7. I deeply wish there were an exemption allowing people to attend a weekday Mass instead of the Sunday Mass. The weekday Masses are quiet, reverent, humble, and above all do not seek so much to entertain. (I’m talking about those horrid amplified guitars.) It is possible to sit quietly after Mass and just experience the Holy Presence. Also, parking is really easy.

    1. I prefer the EF, but attend daily Mass in OF during the week in our Parish (EF is only celebrated on Sunday). I, too, like the quiet that is present in these w/d Masses. Our Parish has switched to ad oriens, so it adds to the focus on Our Lord. I sympathize with your desire to escape the spectacle and conspicuous display that Sundays can present. Our EF found me, and I so thank God for that. I was lost in understanding what Mass was all about until our 12:00 OF switched to the EF 12 or so years ago.

  8. @PC Brown

    Perhaps you live in an area where the TLM is fairly ignored or suppressed. Here’s what my numbers suggest: Right now for every 10 children raised in the NOM, there will be 16 raised in the TLM (TLM moms have a 60% bigger family size). It doesn’t seem like a big difference. But, going forward only 1 in 10 NOM children will continue practicing as an adult. 15.9 of the 16 TLM children will continue practicing their faith. So 1:15.9! That ratio will yield phenomenal demographic changes in just the first generation (20-25 years).

  9. I have been a parishioner in six different churches, three prior to 1969 and three after 1969. All six churches were constructed before 1969. In none of them does one face east, if facing the main altar. I prefer the OF, but dislike the hymns, which, in my judgment, are typically irrelevant to and a distraction from the Mass. One notable improvement I would like to see is the altar referred to as ‘the altar of sacrifice’, rather than ‘the Lord’s table’ as a hymn is introduced at the offertory.

    1. Bob –
      I hear ya. I completely agree with you in regard to the ‘hymns,’ and for some reason the altars in most of the churches in our vicariate face south. Poor planning, disregard for tradition, or a deliberate break from tradition? We may never know.

  10. I commend you for this thoroughly researched and far-reaching article. My thoughts almost exactly mirror yours. I would also like to note that pope Benedict XVI had the right idea when he opined that having both forms of the Mass available would be beneficial to both forms.

    My main concern regarding the OF, however, is how easily it can (and is) be manipulated in a variety of horribly creative ways. I also long for a lack of its busyness and much more sacred silence.

    If my wish was granted, there would never be a Communion hymn at all. I find it so distracting to try to give thanks after receiving, while everyone around me is blaring out the lyrics to some sort of song, “hymn“. I would happily settle for the OF, celebrated ad orientem and in Latin.

    Even the OF is very gratifying when celebrated exactly according to the rubrics. Unfortunately, I can only think of one priest who does so in our diocese. However, having both available would be the best option for all. That will never happen in our diocese. When asked, our bishop responded that our priests were too busy learning Spanish to worry about learning Latin.

    1. Birgit –
      Thank you for your kind words. I agree with you about the Communion hymn – I have the same problem in my parish. Our parish’s Worship Commission Is headed up by our parish’s Music & Liturgy Director who likes the new ‘hymns’ and loves to sing them. She does not seem to appreciate the desire for sacred silence that I tend to think is shared by many parishioners. Also her reading of the GIRM seems to be ‘if it does not specifically say something cannot be done, it is okay to do it.’

  11. Great article. I’m one of the 3rd option. I love the EF, but I’m also a regular attendee of the OF. My main wish is that the reverence so inherent in the EF be applied to the OF. Too often the OF slides down the slippery slope of the ‘me-too’ and entertainment movements. If it were easier to attend the EF, though, I’d probably regularly attend it.

  12. Fr. Donald Kloster

    2 National Studies.

    I am in the process of wrapping up my second National Study on the Traditional Latin Mass (I cannot bring myself to label the ancient Mass as somehow “Extraordinary!”).
    The 2018-2019 Study of all ages encompassed 24 states and 1,751 samples. The almost completed 2nd National Study on Adults 18-39 which started in October 2019 and will end in late February 2020, has 39 states and 1,571 samples.

    I can unequivocally write that the Novus Ordo is dying at about a 3% rate per annum. The Traditional Latin Mass is growing conservatively at about a 22% rate. The 18-39 year old demographic is almost not present at the Novus Ordo and has a flood of new arrivals in the Traditional Latin Mass.

    The younger priests coming up are overwhelmingly eager to say the TLM. At around 2050, there will be almost no priests willing to say the NOM. By 2070, the NOM will be virtually non existent. The NOM advocates are gray and not long for this world.

    1. Fr. Kloster

      This study is good news indeed however I’m at the age now that it is unlikely that I will still be alive or able to go to Mass by then lol, at least in this life!

    2. I’m the mother of two millennials and of course know dozens of other millennials. None of the Catholic youth I know attend the Latin TLM Mass. Have not encountered a single one.

    3. Father –
      I concur with Bob that this is good news indeed! I read your article on the 2018-19 survey at the Liturgy Guy (last year). I hope you will share your 2019-20 results with us here at CS.

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