Saint Thomas Aquinas

Friday, May 4, 2012

Why The Latin Mass is Superior

I ran across this blog post today and thought I would share it with you. The post gives six reasons that the Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form is superior to the Novus Ordo form. I agree with the thoughts of the author. His six reasons are...

1. The Extraordinary Form Is Better Equipped to Focus the Mind on God.

2. The Extraordinary Form Sheds More Light on Truths of the Faith.

3. The Extraordinary Form Is Less Susceptible to Liturgical Abuses.

4. The Extraordinary Form Sheds More Light on the Reality of the Communion of Saints.

5. The Extraordinary Form Is Much Simpler than the Ordinary Form.

6. The Extraordinary Form Is Hated and Despised by All the Right People.    

I'll let you read the article for yourself to get a further explanation for each.  


 

18 comments:

Jae said...

Matt here was the true sentiment of a friend of mine who I also shared, a young holy priest faithful to the Church and Pontiff.

"I am a young priest who has always been fascinated by the beauty and transcendence of the Tridentine Mass.  I have a degree in Latin, and when I was ordained a priest just 5 years ago, I began to make preparations to celebrate this Mass, especially so after the Moto Proprio.  However, in coming into contact with a number of people who are devoted to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, I quickly changed my mind.  It almost seemed like an alien religion to me, and had little to do with Jesus Christ, and more to do being right, being superior and following rules for the sake of following rules.  The phrase “You strain out the gnat and swallow the camel” often came to mind.  The prominent sense I received from so many (but certainly not all) of the devotees of the EF was… anger.  It became clear to me that this was not something I wanted to get involved with.  Instead, I learned spanish and began to offer the Novus Ordo in that language, as it seemed much more relevant and necessary.  I have nothing against the Tridentine Mass and still see it as a beautiful expression of the faith. Its proponents, however, have absolutely soured my desire to offer it.  That being said, I also am disgusted by the frequent abuse of the Novus Ordo and am saddened by those priests who make it their own pet project of experimentation."

The Novus Ordo Mass is clearly the Mass to which most Catholics will feel a calling to and which is, by the teaching of the Church and the example of the Pope and others, the primary act of worship of God’s people.  It rests upon the Church leadership now to continue to form good priests who will offer this Mass faithfully and prayerfully."

I have encountered a lot of mean spirited reformed evangelicals when I try to defend our Faith, there is an animosity, superior mentality and arrogance from these protestantant apologists and it is sad when the same attitude is seen coming from the 20 percent of the SSPX who borders Sedevacantism.

At the end of the Last Day, we are going to be judged by our faith and love for the "least of His brethren".....I really don't think He is going to ask you if you attend a Latin, NO, Syriac, Byzantine rite. Peace.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Wow, what arrogance to slander everyone who goes to the Latin Mass. People can say the same thing about their experiences at the Novus Ordo. So what? I find the sob story unconvincing.

Jae said...

Matt, what arrogance against EVERYONE are you talking about? Did I say that? What I said was about 20 percent of SSPX have tendency to Sedevacantism that resemble the "attitude" of James White and company, are you one of those people, Matthew? Why are you so defensive?

Sob? Don't you think this is mocking, taking a high ground to a fellow catholic? Are we in Beggars All blog?

Matthew Bellisario said...

Jae, you put up a story from a priest who said that "The prominent sense I received from so many (but certainly not all) of the devotees of the EF was… anger. It became clear to me that this was not something I wanted to get involved with. Instead, I learned spanish and began to offer the Novus Ordo in that language, as it seemed much more relevant and necessary. I have nothing against the Tridentine Mass and still see it as a beautiful expression of the faith. Its proponents, however, have absolutely soured my desire to offer it."

This is a horrible way to depict those who attend the Latin Mass. What is more appalling is that the priest used this experience to just ditch saying the Latin Mass entirely. So no, you used this story for a reason, to make a generalization, and that is why I called you out on it. I am not defensive. I would like to see you actually deal with an argument for a change rather than putting up something that is not even relevant to the topic. If you read the article I referenced, the author had six reasons in which he viewed the Extraordinary Form to be superior to the Novus Ordo. If you disagree with him fine. But at least reply with something substantive to something that he actually wrote. If everyone ditched the Novus Ordo for all the bad experiences they had with people, no one would be at Mass on Sunday. But guess what? People go because it is God that is being worshiped there, and even though we may not like what the people are doing at the Novus Ordo Mass, etc, we still go because it is God that matters. So, when I hear these stories of people who went to the Latin Mass and had a bad experience with people, and then never went back, I have little sympathy with them. Get over it! I hear this excuse all the time, as if when we walk into the Novus Ordo Mass, everyone is somehow angelic in nature. It is ridiculous. I have been to so many Novus Ordo Masses where the people were arrogant, hostile, clueless, irreverent, heretical, etc, etc. But If there is no Latin Mass around I still go and worship our Lord despite the idiocy of others. In fact, I lived for years where there was no Latin Mass and went to the Novus Ordo all the time. So I find these stories irrelevant. That was my point.

Matthew Bellisario said...

What I would expect as a response would be something like this.

The author of the article stated, "The single biggest way that the Extraordinary Form of Mass focuses the mind on God is by the priest facing God and not the congregation." I would then write, I disagree because I focus on Our Lord when I can see the priest the facing me. I can follow his gestures because they are not hidden from view, and I like to be able to engage in with God in that manner, etc, etc. In other words I would give an actual reason as to why I disagree with the author with some sort of substance. I would not come up with something out of left field not related to his proposal.

KnotWilbur said...

Jae, Whether there are those who, as your priest friend purportedly related, are in some sense, angry, the generalization does not bear much resemblance to truth. Why would anyone go to Mass because they're angry? They wouldn't. They go to Mass because it is their duty, as a Catholic, and because they wish to worship, love, serve Our Lord. That goes for Novus Ordo, as well as Traditional Latin Mass. In sneering, you run the risk of calumniating others, which is sinful in itself.

Your second paragraph conflates volume with desire, so to speak. Since the early seventies, when the Novus Ordo was propagated, the majority of parishes moved to using that form. This is not the same thing as proving that a majority of Catholics wish to attend the Novus Ordo, as opposed to any of the 21 other rites we have. It means that it is the most prevalent by virtue of the number of parishes that use it.

Umm, regarding the comparison of those evangelicals and the "20%," where did you get that number? Did this get, as I suspect, pulled from nether regions?

No, I do not attend at any SSPX chapels, and haven't, ever. Not a sede, either. I'm a faithful Catholic father of five. I am saying these things in true charity, as in, I see a brother who is mistaken, and wish to help him see the light.

At the time of the Last Four Things, we WILL be judged as to how we acted in our Faith. Not in how we denigrated others, but how we shared the Faith.

If there are those who are feeling anger at what transpired in the wake of Vatican II, why blame them for feeling that travesties occurred? They did, and souls were likely lost in the wake of that, as they have likely been with any other time in history where such have happened. Read up on the events of the days of Arianism or Pelagianism. Awful stuff. I'm not saying that you aren't entitled to your opinions. I'm saying that events happened which caused scandal, in the Catholic sense, and that this isn't the first time in the history of the Church. Whether you favor the Novus Ordo or not, abuses are just that. And there is a difference in the origin of both forms, plain and simple. Argue with history, if you feel you must, but don't hold your breath on it changing.

Jae said...

Matt your points were taken. I forgot to say that my priest friend is still saying TLM though not in the SSPX, he was referring to this group not the entire 'traditionalists' and he did not ditch the TLM entirely. I also got the same exact experience with this group, their animosity towards Rome and VII bishops or anybody associated with it, they have their peculiar idea of being obedient only to "Eternal Rome" or rather they are the judges which is considered Rome as they see fit. I heard theses similarities when Protestants say they are the true "remnant" church. .

Anyways, I don't what to put gasoline to the fire, it just brings animosity between Catholics who are just trying to be faithful to the Teachings of the Church whether it may be TLM or Novus Ordo, there's are a lot of blood spilled already between brothers claiming this or that, the point rather I'm making is that both are equal and when it's good enough for the 5 popes, Mother Teresa of Calcutta and the Church is good enough for me.

Anyways, since I don't want to make this disscussion longer than it is, I would let the humble servant of God answer this article about the "superiority" of one Rite over another:

Pope Paul VI, in Missale Romanum, said the following regarding the change to the Novus Ordo:

The recent Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, in promulgating the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, established the basis for the general revision of the Roman Missal: in declaring “both texts and rites should be drawn up so that they express more clearly the holy things which they signify”;(4) in ordering that “the rite of the Mass is to be revised in such a way that the intrinsic nature and purpose of its several parts, as also the connection between them, can be more clearly manifested, and that devout and active participation by the faithful can be more easily accomplished”;(5) in prescribing that “the treasures of the Bible are to be opened up more lavishly, so that richer fare may be provided for the faithful at the table of God’s Word”;(6) in ordering, finally, that “a new rite for concelebration is to be drawn up and incorporated into the Pontifical and into the Roman Missal.”

I’ve heard many make the case that the Novus Ordo actually more closely resembles the Mass of the first hundred years of Church history than the recent practice of the Tridentine Masses that certainly Jesus didn’t speak Latin at the Last Supper and that TLM didn't exist yet for the first five hundred years of early Christianity. It seems to me there is much good to be said on both sides of the issue and the job of judging of who's superior or not is not my job, that's it otherwise it just promotes the superior mentality.

Jae said...

Hello Knotwilbur, though I agree with you almost entirely however on one point, it's ok to be "angry" at what had TRANSPIRED in the wake of Vatican II but it's another thing to vent that anger and animosity towards what the Council had "TRANSPIRED."

The biggest fatal mistake of the Sedes and some SSPX have done is associating the act of sins by liberal clergy with the Teachings of the Council, there is no relation whatsoever or blaming the "secularization" of the Church to the Council is clear example of logical fallacy.

It's like blaming the forest fire to the trees started by arsons.

Furthermore, there was a survey inside the SSPX if they believe the Novus Ordo Mass and V2 are valid and twenty percent said NO. I'll look for the source that hopefully not from the nether regions. Remember this is the same group that many groups split from towards Sedevacantism and conclavism.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Jae, I am not a sedevacantist, so I have no idea why you keep bringing them up. They are irrelevant to me and to this post. Quoting Pope Paul VI in the manner that you did, is not a substantive rebuttal to the subject at hand here. Again, can you actually deal with the crux of the arguments being made by the author cited?

rmerkel said...

Most of these reasons have some elements of truth in them although unfortunately I find they alternate between comparing with the actual Missal, and then particular celebrations of that Missal in practice. There is a world of difference between the two. Any rite is capable of liturgical abuses if the priest doesn't follow the Missal - that's just as possible in the EF as in the OF - the only thing we can say for certain is it doesn't happen very often in practise in the EF - but that's more an endorsement of the liturgical formation of the priests who say the EF rather than an endorsement of the 1962 Missal itself. One could safely say EF priests take their liturgy more seriously on average and that's a fair point to make. I also find a certain element of subjectivity and cherry-picking in these reasons - it is just as easy to posit other reasons which could favour the OF - e.g. exposing the congregation to much more scripture. At the end of the day, they are both an expression of the same lex orandi of the Church (see UE) and capable of enriching one another - there's no getting around that fundamental point. Rather than focusing on comparisons which I don't think is productive, we should focus on ensuring either form is celebrated properly and reverently (which is a greater task in the OF obviously). One should simply attend the form that is more conducive to their praying of the Mass.

Anita Moore said...

Thank you for linking to my post. I am the author of the post linked.

I’ve heard many make the case that the Novus Ordo actually more closely resembles the Mass of the first hundred years of Church history than the recent practice of the Tridentine Masses that certainly Jesus didn’t speak Latin at the Last Supper and that TLM didn't exist yet for the first five hundred years of early Christianity.

Even if it were true that the Mass of Paul VI more closely resembles the earliest forms of Mass -- which, frankly, I doubt -- that is not a sufficient reason for making radical changes to the Mass. The Mass as it evolved down the centuries incorporated the Church's growing and deepening understanding of divine revelation, as well as adaptations to new circumstances; to revert to primitive forms is to toss this aside (cf. Ven. Pius XII's 1947 encyclical Mediator Dei, decrying senseless antiquarianism).

Rather than focusing on comparisons which I don't think is productive, we should focus on ensuring either form is celebrated properly and reverently (which is a greater task in the OF obviously).

I don't know why comparisons are not productive. Surely a determination of the best of two alternatives is a worthwhile pursuit. And the acknowledged fact that it is a greater task to celebrate the Novus Ordo properly and reverently supports my point that the usus antiquior is better.

rmerkel said...

Anita,
"Surely a determination of the best of two alternatives is a worthwhile pursuit. "

Why is it worthwhile? What does it actually achieve other than being an interesting discussion for websites or amongst friends? The Church already says it is the same lex orandi, acknowledging there are of course differences in emphasis between the two forms. The Church actually can't provide an answer here, so what makes you think you can?

" And the acknowledged fact that it is a greater task to celebrate the Novus Ordo properly and reverently supports my point that the usus antiquior is better."

No it doesn't point to that at all. It is simply a statement that reflects the poorer liturgical formation of priests who celebrate the OF - this is not a reflection of the OF Missal itself, but simply their formation.

Matthew Bellisario said...

rmerkel writes, "No it doesn't point to that at all. It is simply a statement that reflects the poorer liturgical formation of priests who celebrate the OF - this is not a reflection of the OF Missal itself, but simply their formation."


The formation is surely a problem but it will not fix the problems inherent in the Novus Ordo. The fact is, as the Annibale Bugnini himself said, who constructed the Novus Ordo, "The path opened up by the Council will surely bring a radical change in the very appearance of traditional liturgical assemblies,..." and those with him never intended that the Novus Ordo be celebrated with the uniformity that the Latin Mass was.

He writes, "This principle represents a momentous departure from past practice. For centuries the Church willed that all worship in the Roman Rite should everywhere show perfect uniformity. The two liturgical reforms which history has recorded - that of the eighth century and that promoted by the Council of Trent in the sixteenth century- had precisely that aim... Social, religious, cultic and cultural considerations, and indeed the entire psychological climate, have changed radically in our day."

Bugnini then goes on to say that the centralization for governing the liturgy had been done away with and that the Council fathers did not want uniformity. This is of course the reality we have today in the practice of the Novus Ordo. He says there are now three legislating branches which deal with liturgical celebration. "The complete centralization effected by the Council of Trent now makes way, in matters liturgical, to three levels of authority: the Holy See, episcopal conferences, and diocesan bishops." There is no wonder then that we have the huge problem today of non-uniformity and liturgical abuse today with the Novus Ordo. When the liturgical creation of the Novus Ordo came about is had this decentralized non-uniformity ingrained into its DNA so to speak. So when I hear people say that the Novus Ordo is only impaired by ignorant clergy and laymen, that is only part of the problem. There is also an inherent problem with the lack of rubrics in the new Mass, and a lack on continuity that is present in its design.

rmerkel said...

"a lack on continuity that is present in its design."

But that's not what the Holy Father thinks in his hermeutic of continuity - the whole plank of his pontificate is based on the opposite of what you say. Let us not use our private investigations of history and understanding of past documents to try and pit ourselves against the Magisterium - that in fact is a very uncatholic practice and counterproductive.

Finally, your statements about the Novus Ordo I think are inconsistent with both Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae - both universal Laws of the Church - both juridical as well as teaching documents. The level of objectivity here, or measure is not defined by your analysis, not defined by theologians, or scholars studying this - it can only be defined by the Church - that's a fundamentally Catholic proposition. I find it very bold for any traditional Catholic to try and reach conclusions here - lets use the Church's teaching as the yardstick for our beliefs, not our own extrapolation of the Church's teachings.

Matthew Bellisario said...

No one has pitted themselves against the Magisterium here. If you are not going to engage in this conversation without false accusations then please move on. My statements on the Novus Ordo are viewed in the consistent light of those who put it together and implemented it. These are facts, not my own ideas. The Holy Father has allowed the implementation of the Latin Mass for a reason. He has said before that there are many problems with the new Rite as well as its implementation since Vatican II. He himself has called for "a new Liturgical Movement." So I have no idea why this attitude that anyone who is calling for an examination of the Novus and its faults are being disobedient to the Magisterium. It is simply not true.

rmerkel said...

Firstly, you shouldn't label anyone who questions you as making accusations. Secondly, despite Bugnini's intentions and actions, which are open to much criticism, I do not imagine for one second the Holy Spirit deserted the Church in the promulgation of the Ordinary Form Missal. I also simply do not believe the Church can promulgate an inferior or defective liturgy - it is never happened in history before, and didn't happen in 1970. The Holy Father himself says there is NO contradiction at any point between the two Missals, so any concept of superiority can only be an opinion and debatable at that - not something anyone can say with 100% conviction because they would then be inferring something which the Church is silent on.
The Church treads very carefully with doctrine and Her teachings - so I find your reponses in trying to draw definitive conclusions as cavalier and imprudent.

Jae said...

Right on the dot, RMerkel. For one thing i wouyld rather give assent and credence to the words of the Holy Father and the Magisterium rather than any bishops who said otherwise about the Roman Missal:


"There is **NO** contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but NO rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too."

Pope Benedict XVI — Explanatory letter.

Andrew W said...

trmerkel:

So we are to just pretend there is complete parity between both?

Much like limiting the discussion to what hues are found in the emperor's new clothes.