About The Liturgy

I have written so many posts this night, but I feel that I need help in my life. So I feel that I must type.

Over the past three to four years, I have found myself more attracted to more traditional forms of the Mass. I have never been to the EF or an Eastern Liturgy, though I would love to go to one. But thanks to the internet, I have learned much about the Mass. Now, at my parish, things are done differently. The music is not what one considers traditional. It never mattered to me before. Why does it matter me now? Why? Is something wrong with me? Am I being picky and holier-than-thou?

The essence of the Mass matters above all

The first Mass was very simple and in the native language of Jesus and His disciples:

“Jesus took some bread, and when He had said the blessing He broke it and gave it to His disciples. ‘Take it and eat,’ He said ‘this is My body.’ Then He took a cup, and when He had returned thanks, He gave it to them. ‘Drink all of you from this,’ He said, for this is My blood, the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’” [Matthew 26:26-28]

“The blessing-cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ, and the bread that we break is a communion with the body of Christ. The fact that there is only one loaf means that, **though there are many of us, we form a single body.” **[1Corinthians 10:15-18]

A few years ago, I went through the same transformation that you’re going through now. I didn’t think anything of the “eccentricities” of my parish’s Mass. I knew some of the words were changed, some of the music was cheesy, but I didn’t think twice.

But then I started reading the documents of Vatican II and other documents on the liturgy. In early 2007, I was somewhat frightful of the possibility that the Pope might liberalize the Tridentine Rite. By the time Summorum Pontificum was released in the middle of the year, my fears had been allayed. I’d started studying the liturgy and its history. I’ve attended a half-dozen Masses in the Extraordinary Form since then, as well as a few Eastern liturgies (Catholic and Orthodox). I’m more aware of what’s going on at Mass now (for better or… sometimes… worse).

The Pope has said that the older liturgy is precious and sacred, and you should not feel ashamed or odd for feeling a desire for it. There is a heritage which many Catholics have had no knowledge of, and they are only just now having their eyes, ears, and minds opened to it!

Trishie is right, of course. I guess everybody agrees about that.

So, then the question is, roughly speaking: What kind of Mass is best for us, or for an individual?

It sounds to me like you’re learning about your heritage, a religious and cultural inheritance to which you are entitled. It’s yours; it’s ours. So, no, there’s nothing at all wrong with you.

Look, I view myself, above all else, as an heir duty-bound to hand on what I have received. (Cf. 1 Cor 11:23) I’m a son, a father, a programmer, a birder, a bookworm, etc, etc. But, above all else, I’m an heir to our religious and cultural tradition. When people take large parts of that away from us and substitute their banal innovations, “reforms,” etc, I don’t like it at all. I feel deprived, not to say cheated or ripped off.

I mean, it’s easy enough to acknowledge the general point that the details are not what matters, that only the essence of the Mass matters, ultimately. Sure. But one still wants to ask why: Why have they done this to us? Especially when their innovations and “reforms” contravene Church rules, who in the . . . flark do they think they are? Dude, where’s my Church?

Also, consider what Summorum Pontificum is really all about. B16 determined and proclaimed that every Priest is entitled to say Mass in the old way in large part so that people would become aware of the spectacular heritage of which they have been deprived by disobedient Priests. That’s why the “progressives” hate it so much.


Traditional Latin Mass: Translation and Grammar

I don’t know whether my parish is “progressive” or not. I think not. But I love the people at my parish. They have supported me throughout my life. It’s the one thing that remains constant throughout my life in spite of all the changes. The problem is that, as I learn more about the Mass and liturgical history, I learn that things were done much more differently they are at my parish and this is not a slam at them. It actually kind of worries me. I tend to be leaning towards more traditional music in spite of the fact that I’ve never experienced it in person. I don’t know. I think it’s a clash inside of me between the people that I love and the type of liturgy I think I’m beginning to love.

I understand that analysis of the liturgy, but it doesn’t take into account the more formal synagogal worship that the early Christians and Jesus as well did. Of course the breaking of the bread (the Holy Eucharist) was informal during those days, but it wasn’t that simple. The early Christians also worshiped at the synagogue which was much more formal. The agape meal that repeated what Jesus did and the synagogal worship combined to create the Mass as we know it today. The Mass was said in the native language of the people. I agree with that. But contend that it was simple, for it was only simple if you look at one aspect of the early Christian liturgy.

I should have mentioned earlier that I love my fellow parishioners. The problem is that I, internally, am beginning to disagree on what kind of style the Mass should be celebrated in. I’ve done a lot of reading and I just don’t think that the kind of Mass we are celebrating would have been the kind the early Christians celebrate. Things that never used to bother me have now begun to do so (the talking before Mass, the applauding, etc.) Let it be known that I have nothing against the parishioners at my Church. It’s just that I am beginning to think differently on the aforesaid topic.

Talk to your priest and see if perhaps one Mass could contain more Traditional music, or attend several types of Masses each week whenever possible.

Jesus would be so happy to see you more than once each week!

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!


The priest that I have is not a fan of traditional music. I don’t think it would go well.

I understand that analysis of the liturgy, but it doesn’t take into account the more formal synagogal worship that the early Christians and Jesus as well did. Of course the breaking of the bread (the Holy Eucharist) was informal during those days, but it wasn’t that simple.

Something else…

Prayers and readings (“holy words”) were never said in a speaking voice in the presence of others.

Yes. They were always chanted.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.