Sunday, October 19, 2008

What Do People Want?

By Patrick Archbold

I am curious about something. What is it that people really want? What type of liturgical reform do the traditional minded hope for down the road? Is it realistic to hope that some future Pope will do away with the Novus Ordo entirely and start from 1962 scratch? I don't think so.

So what is it that people hope will happen? What is it that YOU hope will happen?

Do think that Novus Ordo will be reformed to be more in line with Tradition? Will the two forms of the Rite eventually become one? Will the reforms called for by the council be applied to the Gregorian Rite resulting in a Reformed Gregorian Rite along side the Novus Ordo? Does the status quo of a more available Traditional Mass along side the use and abuse of the Novus Ordo continue for generations to come?

Tell us what you think? How will it play out? How do you hope it will play out? I know what I think, but what do you think? Let's hear it.


Napa Needlepoint said...

I converted to Catholicism in 1982, having been a High Church Anglican.

In the ensuing years, unless I was at a Novus Ordo Mass in Latin, or a Uniate Rite Liturgy, I rarely felt a nice sense of ritual or as if I had really worshipped.

A few months ago I was at a Novus Ordo Mass celebrated with Gregorian chant, incense, Eucaristic Prayer 1, and according to all the rubircs. And to be quite honest, I don't even remeber which way the priest faced.

But it was lovely, plenty of ritual and sense of the Holy. It's almost all there, even in the Novus Ordo, but people just need to do it properly, and I'd like to see that being the norm, not the poorly done Masses and improperly trained servers we see these days.

Dan Hunter said...

Does the status quo of a more available Traditional Mass along side the use and abuse of the Novus Ordo continue for generations to come?

I believe this will be the case.

My hope, though, is that the Novus Ordo Missae will die off and the faitful, by the Grace of God will recognize the superiority of the Gregorian Rite and assist at it with deep devotion.

Dan Hunter said...

The Novus Ordo Missae offered reverently is still a fabricated Mass that does not adequately give the best adoration to the Almighty.
The Gregorian Rite is much more pleasing to the Almighty, since it soundly and with great orthodoxy represents the Sacrifice of Calvary.

After all the Mass is not about what we get out of it, or how it makes us feel, but rather are we adoring God in the best way that we can, and that is in the Traditional Mass.

David L Alexander said...

"Will the two forms of the Rite eventually become one?"

In a manner of speaking, yes. But to understand that, is to go beyond thinking of the "Roman Rite" as merely one set of books versus another (including the question of whether one "dies off" to the benefit of the other). More than ten years ago, I wrote of a "Dichotomy/Convergence Scenario," which I will attempt to explain in brief here -- which hardly does it justice, nevertheless...

Any cultural tradition, by its essential nature, is composed of two components in a dynamic tension. We might refer to them as "roots" and "branches." Tradition does not stay the same, but evolves, at the same time never losing sight of its origins. For the fifteen centuries of a discernible Roman Rite, these components have co-existed, one being unable to exist without the other. The years following the Second Vatican Council have seen an artificial dichotomy between the two, thus our tradition developed what might be called a "split personality."

What happened to these two forces then? The roots had to be kept "preserved in amber," so to speak, in order to maintain their integrity. Thus it is that any changes to the Traditional Mass would understandably be met with reticence. The branches lost any sense of their origins, and by extension, any clarity and coherence. Thus we have an official liturgical reform that has lost any true sense of its heritage, rendering it doomed from the start.

Eventually, through a major event or series of major events, these two components of our living tradition must eventually converge, in order to become whole again. Some have referred to this as a "reform of the reform" of the liturgy (including Pope Benedict himself, lest we forget). How that convergence would appear is a matter of conjecture, and another matter entirely, but the scenario itself, I submit, is what eventually must happen.

Reactionary said...

As another convert, I want The Mass back. The Mass, not the kitschy-guitar drivel that would disgrace Fisher-Price. A friend recently gave me a copy of the Baronius 1962 Roman Missal, recently reprinted, and I realized that the Faithful have been deprived of real liturgy for a generation.

When we ask for bread, don't give us styrofoam.

-- Mack

Jim said...

One of three things will happen:

1. The Novus Ordo will prevail, with some tweaking after its exposure to the Gregorian Rite. The Gregorian Rite will be available here and there, as it is now. Somewhat likely.

2. The Gregorian Rite will prevail and the Novus Ordo will die out over time. Very unlikely.

3. The Gregorian Rite and the Novus Ordo will eventually converge, with a united calendar, some vernacular, and it will look and feel like a pre-Vatican II liturgy. Most likely scenario.

Brian Kopp said...

The attempt to create a "hybrid mass," i.e., the convergence of the Gregorian Rite and the Novus Ordo, will continue for another decade or two, out of a sense of loyalty to both the (false) "spirit of VII" as well as to its language on reforming the liturgy. As long as sons of VII continue to lead the Church, the Novus Ordo will continue to exist, and any efforts at true reform of the Novus Ordo will fail. I suspect our current Pope envisions just such a "hybrid mass" as a given, but I do not believe that is what God intends for His Church.

With the passing of the sons of VII, the Novus Ordo too will pass. It will be seen as an abject failure, an embarrassment, and subsequent generations will look at its failure and be loathe to change the Gregorian Rite in any way whatsoever that may be deemed inorganic.

Of course, all this will occur in the context of the smaller, purer Church that our current Pope has foreseen.

David L Alexander said...

"I suspect our current Pope envisions just such a "hybrid mass" as a given, but I do not believe that is what God intends for His Church."

How do you reach this conclusion? More to the point, how do you reconcile it with the fact that an ecumenical council managed to render an opinion on some kind of reform of the liturgy?

Brian Kopp said...

As far back as 1982, Cardinal Ratzinger spoke about this "hybrid mass." (I used to have a link to the quote, but can no longer find it.) Look at all the "interventions" so far by PCED. Not one has been aimed at preserving the Gregorian Rite from post-VII innovations. They have ALL been aimed at introducing post-VII innovations. I see these moves as attempting to hybridize the Gregorian Rite.

As far as the "reform of the reform," look at the most recent headlines: "Vatican approves alternatives for 'Ite Missa Est'"

Why in the name of all that is Holy, when the Novus Ordo is so desperately in need of true reform and elimination of so many awful "options," would the Vatican approve MORE silly options?!?

Finally, the best known intervention to date was the Good Friday Prayer fiasco. When the Novus Ordo is so desperately in need of true reform, why change the Gregorian Rite?

I am a bit cynical. I don't see evidence of any true renewal in the Novus Ordo, and I see too much evidence of attempts to hybridize the Gregorian Rite.

David L Alexander said...

"As far back as 1982, Cardinal Ratzinger spoke about this "hybrid mass." (I used to have a link to the quote, but can no longer find it.) Look at all the "interventions" so far by PCED. Not one has been aimed at preserving the Gregorian Rite from post-VII innovations."

That being said, are they without merit? And if they are without merit, are you suggesting that the Second Vatican Council be completely ignored with respect to any possible (and inevitable) "organic development" in the Roman Rite?

I'm not using this occasion to argue the merits or detriments of recent proposals for the reformed missal. That a proponent of the Traditional Mass might insist on its being "preserved in amber" in order to maintain its integrity, is precisely the point I was attempting to make. You have essentially helped me to prove that point.

Brian Kopp said...

Here's one of the quotes I was thinking of regarding a "hybrid mass," from a Letter of Cardinal Ratzinger to Dr. Heinz-Lothar Barth, dated 23 June 2003:

"I believe, though, that in the long term the Roman Church must have again a single Roman rite. The existence of two official rites is for bishops and priests difficult to “manage” in practice. The Roman rite of the future should be a single rite, celebrated in Latin or in the vernacular, but standing completely in the tradition of the rite that has been handed down. It could take up some new elements which have proven themselves, like new feasts, some new prefaces in the Mass, an expanded lectionary - more choice than earlier, but not too much, - an “oratio fidelium”, i.e., a fixed litany of intercessions following the Oremus before the offertory where it had its place earlier."

We need to analyze VII again, and recall what exactly it recommended for liturgical reform, before we bandy about charges of desiring a liturgy stuck in amber.

Furthermore, up to now the post-VII Church has proven itself incapable of prudent, organic reform of the liturgy. Therefore, the Gregorian Rite should be preserved from arbitrary changes for at least a decade or two, until the Church has proven itself able to resume prudent and organic liturgical development.

Brian Kopp said...

"are you suggesting that the Second Vatican Council be completely ignored with respect to any possible (and inevitable) "organic development" in the Roman Rite?"

I'm simply suggesting a moratorium on "organic development" in the Gregorian Rite until the Novus Ordo approaches something resembling what VII prescribed.

Until then, the Church has no business reforming the Gregorian Rite.

David L Alexander said...

"We need to analyze VII again, and recall what exactly it recommended for liturgical reform, before we bandy about charges of desiring a liturgy stuck in amber."

Agreed on the first part, but in the interim, the natural inclination is toward the complementary characteristics of a living tradition, to operate in a vacuum, unless they are again in a state of co-existence.

If this doesn't make sense, I'll use an example out of science fiction. Click here.

Try not to read too much into it.

Dan Hunter said...

"how do you reconcile it with the fact that an ecumenical council managed to render an opinion on some kind of reform of the liturgy?"

Mr Alexander:
The ecumenical councils opinion was wrong.
Just look at the fruits, or should I say, lack therof.

David L Alexander said...

"Mr Alexander:
The ecumenical councils opinion was wrong.
Just look at the fruits, or should I say, lack therof."

If ecumenical councils were to be judged that way, Florence would have been a failure because it did not reconcile us with the Orthodox. Vatican I was also a failure, by your definition, as one of its "fruits" was the Old Catholic schism. And if the Council was misapplied or misinterpreted, it is not the fruits of the Council to which we are witness.

pertinax said...

I agree with Dr. Kopp about placing a moratorium on changing the Tridentine Rite and would further call for a thorough re-examination of VCII in its totality. The precedent of questioning Roma locuta est, causa finita est has been set by the fathers and now sons of VCII itself.

As Cardinal Koenig, architect of the JPII papacy and key VCII Rhine leader pronounced:

… people give too much importance to the fringes [the radicals] that tried to push ahead, and forget the authentic progress Vatican II produced. In the Church this progress took place primarily through the acknowledgment of the positive aspects of history, the sciences, and the arts - in short, those human categories that less than 100 years earlier the Syllabus had rejected and only 48 years before [the Encyclical] Pascendi had again condemned.

None other than Cardinal Ratzinger declared:

“If one is looking for a global diagnosis of the text [of Gaudium et spes], one could say that it (along with the texts on religious liberty and world religions) is a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a kind of counter-Syllabus ....”

“Let us content ourselves here with stating that the text [of Gaudium et spes] plays the role of a counter-Syllabus to the measure that it represents an attempt to officially reconcile the Church with the world as it had become after 1789. On one hand, this visualization alone clarifies the ghetto complex that we mentioned before. On the other hand, it permits us to understand the meaning of this new relationship between the Church and the Modern World. "World" is understood here, at depth, as the spirit of modern times. The consciousness of being a detached group that existed in the Church viewed this spirit as something separate from herself and, after the hot as well as cold wars were over, she sought dialogue and cooperation with it.”

This dialogue deemed the Virgin Mary as problematic and, at its core, the zeitgeist demanded the elimination of Sacred Tradition as a source of revelation and the boys from the Rhineland sought to achieve this as a primary objective. Although they were not successful in achieving its official elimination they have supplanted a new paradigm in its stead. They call it “Living Tradition” which should never be confused with anything organic, it is a contrivance.

Their blitzkrieg worked to perfection in that it deceived the enemy, controlled the air-waves, broke through, struck deep and what we are now witnessing in the last phase – followed up. The classic response and only means of defeating a blitzkrieg is to counterattack focusing on the flanks and expose and infiltrate their extended logistical lines of support. Make no mistake, this is war.

SSPX is the Bastogne of this modern day Battle of the Bulge, threatening their logistics, and that is why the post-VCII administrations are so sensitive to any utterance or action be they legitimate or preposterous. VCII has become more important than the faith itself and woe to those who don’t pledge their allegiance to this “pastoral” council in and of itself. Bishop Fellay has basically said: “Nuts” to this German and once again they are none too pleased.

Jn 15:18 – If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you. Do we dialogue and compromise or have patience, provide a witness and thereby convert? I’ll rely on my Polish grandmother rather than a German Pope on this one – but I am patient and I do hold out hope for him.

Peter said...

As a convert now of 7.5 years I feel I'd like to see a Novus Ordo said well each Sunday. Or at all. In all that time, even surrounded by the best preists in our country, I think I have seen a Novus Ordo done to Vatican II specifications only once!

That is, all set parts in the Latin, some prayers (which change week to week) allowed in English, with reverent and excellent music and hymns with suitable silences.

Even the excellent preaching of my current priest can't drown out the horrid 70s scratching of the wannabe Woodstockers.

Chironomo said...

With so much talk about changing this and changing that, reforming this book and reforming that book, there seems to be little talk about the "reform" of the clergy and the "reform" of the faithful. These "reforms" will be the foundation of any real liturgical reform. The question is a good one: What do People Want? When people again need authentic and profound worship, they will WANT authentic and profound liturgy. At that time, the question of NO vs. EF will be meaningless as the church will again worship in the way that God intends. We see the beginnings of this in the gradual changes in the younger clergy... it will spread but it will take TIME and lots of it.

I agree with the above comment, however, that the most likely immediate scenario is a dying out of the "Spirit of Vatican II" crowd followed by a reworking of the NO liturgy to follow the actual directives of VII. How long... only God knows!

Agellius said...

Chironomo writes, "The question is a good one: What do People Want? When people again need authentic and profound worship, they will WANT authentic and profound liturgy."

I think the idea of worship following what the people want is a major cause of our liturgical problems as well as other problems in the Church. The authority to govern does not come from the people, it comes from God. I think government of the people by the people has always been a terrible idea. Government of the Mass by the people is even worse.

This is the main problem with our current situation. We have now given people a choice, and it seems the long-term success or failure of the TLM will depend on how many people "vote" for it. Whereas before, the TLM *was* the mass. If you wanted to obey the Church's precept to attend mass, you attended the TLM. Now the TLM is made available only when requested. When Summorum pontificum was issued you had bishops talking about how little "demand" there was likely to be. We've adopted a a free-market system.

The introduction of the NO coincided with the introduction of the idea of "liturgy of the people by the people and for the people". People were given the idea that they could have anything they wanted: Folk music, rock music, OK maybe some classical now and then. Whatever they might happen to find "relevant", that's what we'll give them.

The tragedy of V2 is that it's unlikely this genie can now be stuffed back into the bottle.

So to answer the question: What I *want* is for the NO to be scrapped, and the TLM to be revised according to the strict provisions of V2 (although unfortunately some of them were rather vague -- but was it misfortune as opposed to design?). Do nothing except what is specifically provided for in the text. If the text doesn't provide for a specific revision, ignore it. Primarily, Latin preserved and Gregorian chant given pride of place.

But what I *expect* is continued liturgy of the people by the people for the people. The bishops have neither the backbone nor the conviction to oppose their wishes. Of course we never know which way the Spirit might blow in the future. But that's in God's hands, I can only predict based on what I see around me.

By the way, the comments have been quite interesting and informative, thanks to everyone.

Brian Kopp said...

There is a good discussion of what VII intended regarding the mass in this essay by Fr. Fessio:

Agellius said...

That's great, Brian, thanks!

David L Alexander said...

The "discussion" to which you refer started about ten years ago. At the time, Cardinal Ratzinger had read a proposal written by Father Brian Harrison, of what the Mass would have looked like had Sacrosanctum Concilium been scrupulously followed. The cardinal pronounced it worthy of further study. It inspired the "reform of the reform" movement, as well as the organization known as "Adoremus."

Chironomo said...


Perhaps you misunderstood me, or I didn't set my statement in an appropriate context. I would TOTALLY agree with you that the basis for liturgy (and reform) is what the CHURCH wants and not what the people want. My point was that there needs to be a sort of redirecting of "the people" such that they desire what the church wants. I fear that otherwise there is a great risk of yet a greater widening of the rift that progressive liturgy has caused. I apologize that I don't always capture what I'm thinking too clearly!

Pedes Christi said...

Havig just read Dom Alcuin Reid's book on the Organic Development of the Liturgy, some things have become much clearer. The NO Mass is clearly a break with tradition, just as the Quignonez Breviary, the revised neo-classical hymns in the breviary, the psalter of St. Pius X, and other changes; but the NO is on an unimaginable scale. The previous two were finally gotten rid of (the latter after centuries, and still not if you do the 1962 Breviary) and the unwieldy psalter of Pius X is with us still if you do the 1962. I believe the traditional Gregorian mass with lectionary will finally be restored as the standard of worship for all Catholics of the Roman Rite, as IT IS the Roman Rite, except in a very dubious positive law. However, some of the changes and additions that have occurred with the NO will be incoporated in the framework the the Roman Rite, proving themselves as legitimate developments of the tradition, and some things, such as some of the new prefaces will be seen to be real treasures. However, for those who remain and continue as Roman Catholics, the Gregorian liturgy will be restored as an objective part of the Tradition. It cannot be otherwise, as a subjective and changeable product such as the NO Mass simply has not the power to inculcate the faith and ascetical life needed to be a Christian. Those who manage to get and keep the faith nowadays seem to do so in spite of the official liturgy, and turn to devotions or other means to provide that which the liturgy is supposed to provide, or import as much as they can from the tradition to supplement a liturgy whose texts are too often weak, insipid, and lacking in spiritual power. Only the faith once delivered ("traditioned") offers any hope: and as the Holy Father has pointed out in his Spirit of the Liturgy, the liturgical tradition is both part of that deposit and the means of its transmission.

Agellius said...

Pedes Christi:

Excellent post.

You write, "The NO Mass is clearly a break with tradition . . . but . . . on an unimaginable scale."

I learned this for myself from reading Michael Davies' Liturgical Revolution trilogy. He also has some good talks available on on this subject, especially the one on the development of the mass.

It's just frightening how fast the Church has become "de-traditioned".

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David A. Werling said...

I think most people posting here, and almost everyone I’ve read in regards to liturgical form and organic development, have a tendency to see the liturgy divorced from it’s historical context. Those who criticize the novus ordo are more apt to point to its historical context, the confusion of the post-Vatican II Church, the social pressures of the post-WWII, and the social and moral revolutions of the 1960s and 1970s in the Western World. However, they rarely do the same for the TLM, and rarely consider that present social and cultural influences will play a role in the post-Summorum Pontificum Church.

Further liturgical development will take place in the context of a Western world that is quickly evolving as secularist and even anti-Christian. We have already seen the Church contract and then give ground in this larger cultural war, with her princes conceding many points of doctrine in order to appease the increasingly anti-Christian nature of Western society. We are now seeing much of the opposite in the last years of JPII’s pontificate, and now in the pontificate of Benedict XVI. I think there is a crucial relationship between Summorum Pontificum and the current pontiff’s efforts to point out the Christian roots of Europe. We see in Benedict XVI a man not willing to concede points of doctrine to the secularists. This has its influence on the liturgy, which we see in more traditional pontifical novus ordo celebrations.

As the Church continues to contract, in a good way, in order to insulate the deposit of faith from the godless Western society, there will be an ever greater move toward traditional worship. The Extraordinary Form will continue to grow among those intensely loyal to Christ’s teachings preserved by the Church in union with the pope.

Conversely, those who are secularists in the Church will gravitate, with ever greater vengeance, toward nontraditional forms of worship. They will move the novus ordo within their circles, which will probably be more populace circles, especially in the US, further away from tradition. We will probably eventually see a split between a church approved of by the secularist society, the primary form of worship being an extremely liberal form of the novus ordo, and the true Church in union with the Holy Father, marked by the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and extremely traditional forms of the novus ordo in area were the social dichotomies aren’t as prevalent.

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