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Old Aug 27, '07, 2:35 am
Brennan Doherty Brennan Doherty is offline
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Join Date: May 18, 2004
Posts: 1,367
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Karl Keating's E-Letter of August 14, 2007

Originally Posted by manualman View Post
But I have no draw towards a mass where the sounds are incomprehensible to me. I see no advantage to hearing LESS scripture instead of more. I think it is theologically proper for lay folks to do readings and prayers of the faithful from the lecturn.

I think some folks misunderstand cause and effect when it comes to the TLM. Participants at a TLM today are there because they WANT a more reverent transcendent experience with a community of like-minded fervent believers more interested in the miracle of the eucharist than the Packer pre-game show (gasp). They find that experience at TLM and believe it is the form that creates the experience. News flash for y'all. It isn't. It's the faith of the people around you expressed IN that mass that so strongly reinforces the sacredness of the sacrament. ... The NO can absolutely produce the SAME effects of reverence and awe for the Glory of our God as the TLM. But only when done with the same sorts of PEOPLE typically at a TLM.
If the sounds of Latin are incomprehensible to you, then learn some Latin.

The scripture used for the Traditional Latin Mass was chosen specifically to help people prepare for Holy Communion.

I agree with your prescriptions for the Novus Ordo.

The Form has everything to do with the experience. If the Form is reverent and transcendent people's behavior will follow. If the Form is stripped down and bare people's behavior will follow.

I have just read "No Place for God" by Moyra Doorly (Ignatius Press) who writes about the connection between the liturgy and the building of ugly churches which has been so prevalent over the last few decades. One quote from from the book (click on the link to read an excerpt):

"When the liturgical revolution of the twentieth century deliberately shifted the focus of the Church's worship to God present in the people, this went hand in hand with a profound change in the idea of what a church is, how it functions, and the message it should proclaim.

... Another sign that the new liturgy reflects the Relativism of the age is the pattern of movements made by the various participants at the Mass. This pattern is generated by the constant coming and going and endless bustle that indicates the formlessness of Relativist space, its lack of direction, and its denial of the sacred. There is a constant movement from nave to sanctuary and back again, if indeed there is any boundary between them at all. Lay people enter the sanctuary to give the readings, and priest wanders about in the nave to deliver his sermon through a mobile microphone. Holy Communion is brought into the nave for distribution; and there is movement across the aisles during the kiss of peace. The flow of the Mass is frequently interrupted by every party having to do its bit. The whole thing seems scattered, its movements characterized by a breaking down of form.

The traditional linear arrangements had a structure and direction that could be readily understood and in which it was possible to be at rest. In a Relativist universe emptied of meaning, it is a very human response to fill the vacated spaces with noise and activity. Is it any wonder that the New Mass is the way it is?

... By embracing the spirit of the age, the Church has necessarily become watered-down and bland, fearful of proclaiming the glory of God and anxious to please. By attempting to become more "relevant" to the age, she has only succeeded in becoming more and more marginalized. The church building, once the House of God and a foretaste of Heaven, is no place in particular and nothing special. The overwhelming impression given by the ever-decreasing numbers of people still worshipping there is of inward- looking and self-celebratory communities who barely know or acknowledge, let alone rejoice in, the presence of God or the great wonders of the faith.

Many commentators have noted with regret the elimination of mystery, awe, and reverence from the contemporary Church and her liturgy. Just as regrettable, surely, is the impulse toward self-worship that has declared the contemporary church building to be "no place for God".

If one is at a TLM in a church that looks Catholic, that uses Gregorian chant and incense, a reverent atmosphere will be established. People will recognize that it is a reverent atmosphere and will behave accordingly. Further, if one is at a Mass like that, everything there is lifting up one's heart and mind to God, and how reverent one' s neighbor is becomes irrelevant. This is one reason you don't hear about people chatting in the pews before and after Mass prior to the liturgical changes.

God bless.
Read "The Case for the Latin Mass" by Dietrich von Hildebrand: