Monday, November 27, 2006

On New Mass vs Old Mass

We must avoid falling into the trap of arguing which is better, or which should exist, and so on. What is good for one section of the church benefits the entire church (from Fr Z).

It is a fact that for now, many people are simply too used to the New Rite and will find the Old Rite totally foreign, and so any action taken for the good of the New Rite, eg. better translations, more reverent celebrations, will be good for the whole church.

At the same time, to deny that the Old Rite has a place in the church now is to ignore the exalted place it had in the Church after the Council of Trent. Any assertion that the old rite is no longer relevant or not needed is faulty. We keep on learning from the past, in studies of scripture, the writings of the Church fathers, the Saints. We still recite the Nicene Creed today. The Mass of St Pius V, which was the Rite in use by the Roman Curia, as well as the other rites, Sarum, Dominican, Carmelite etc etc are no exception. Along with the Eastern Catholic liturgies, they are treasures for us to learn from in their diverse expressions of the one True faith.

It is a tragedy that the Old Rite is thought to be associated with sectarian and polemical groups. Such groups are surely on the slippery slope towards separation, and this is the case whether you are left-leaning or right-leaning (eg. so-called "pro-choice catholics", Archbishop Millingo etc etc) .

There is nothing to be gained if we do not work together for the good of the Church. There is nothing to be gained if all there exists is criticism for the old rite, yet not acknowledging the deficiencies of the new rite, and not working towards better celebrations of the new rite. Very often we hear people say, "you know in the Old Rite if the priest left out certain things it would be mortal sin!", without actually having a certain familiarity with it. Heh - in the New Rite, if the priest left out the words of consecration ... .There is also nothing to be gained if the new rite is scorned and derided. Any assertion that the new rite is sacrilegious because of its faults is utterly ridiculous - the Church can never lead us to sin.

Keeping the old rite alive and encouraging its wider use serves to remind us that it still belongs to us, the whole Church, not to sectarian interests. Keeping the old rite alive serves to be an example for the rest of the new rite people to follow. Keeping the old rite alive serves to show the rest of divided Christendom that we have, like them, great respect for our traditions.


At 11:40 AM, Blogger Psuedo-Monk said...

These are some pretty good thoughts here. But you say that "the Church can never lead us to sin." Could you elaborate on this further? Are you saying that we can only lead ourselves to sin, or that the Church as a whole is impervious to this (but individuals within it may not be), or perhaps something entirely different?

At 1:26 AM, Blogger The young fogey said...

There are also the options of adopting the English Missal in full - translating the 'old rite', knocking out the argument that the old is about crazy people obsessed with Latin - and/or adopting the 1965 version of that Mass (partially vernacular) as flexible enough to accommodate people who've only known the new.

Properly translating the new as the Holy See seems to want - pro multis is a big example - is great and part of the solution as well.

At 3:49 AM, Blogger Thom said...

And there's certainly nothing wrong with celebrating a NO Mass in Latin at a High Altar- if indeed you can find one.

At 7:21 PM, Blogger Roger Buck said...


"There is also nothing to be gained if the new rite is scorned and derided."

I am glad to discover a dedicated traditionalist who also appears dedicated to charity, non-polemic and unity ...

Glad indeed


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