Off topic, of course, but I think you could make a case for the proposition that the Civil War was “won” for the union by Gen. Nathaniel Lyons alone. Mo was the second most industrialized Southern state, the largest food producer and had the greatest natural resources. If he had not preempted hostilities and captured Camp Jackson, it sure could have been different. Had Claiborne Jackson and Sterling Price had time to really organize Mo, the union would have been in desperate trouble. Illinois would have been caught between a powerful Southern state and Indiana’s copperheads, and the union would likely have been rolled up to Ohio, if not Pennsylvania.
Now, on topic. I don’t think anyone could say with any degree of certitude that the TLM would have “evolved” significantly in the English speaking world or Continental Europe, had it not been for VII. The Third World liturgies, to my understanding, were already different, though, to some degree. After all, the furors of the 1960s in the secular world have largely died down; many of the “dreams” of “reformers” were shown to be myths. What we have now in the secular world is a basically even division between those who totally reject the leftism of the
1960s and those who still live with the ideological remnants of the “dream”, but who live much as do those who reject it.
You cannot prove it scientifically, but I think there is a fair chance there might have been an outright schism years ago between “traditionalists” and “progressives”, which the Novus Ordo might have avoided, albeit very imperfectly. When you get right down to it, many Catholics today are in de facto schism without being in de jure schism. It has seemed to me that the abuses within the Church following VII was an outgrowth of the time of rebellion in which it occurred, and that the “liberal” model will not outlast the “Pepsi Generation”, either in western society or in the Church.
Interestingly, those who bore the “burden” for decades were the traditionally minded, yet remained faithful to the Church, by and large, though they strongly disliked the “innovations” of the Post VII era. Now, it is increasingly the “burden” of the innovators to see those innovations become old hat; having run aground for lack of ever “new” ideas. Younger priests and nuns, for example, are considerably more traditional than older ones. “The Spirit of VII” is running out of breath.
So, in a sense, you do have your “control” group, if you think of traditionalists in terms of a single, but 2-3 generation group. You have those of my age who remember the TLM. You have my children, who did not grow up with it, but who have seen it in films, have heard their parents talk about it and, here and there, have actually seen it. My children have very young children of their own, who marvel at the TLM and (like their parents and grandparents) want, very much, to have it available to them. So the memory and the retelling and occasional seeing make, not for a perfect “control” group, but it’s as near as we come in human society to such things.
Now, if you think of families like mine as a “control” group, the next question is “what would we do or want to make the TLM different from what it was”? In talking to my own children, I would say that the control group would not likely have changed very much in the TLM, but I do think it entirely possible that vernacular portions would have been enhanced. The TLM epistle was in Latin, you know, and it virtually begged to be in the vernacular even before VII. However, I think those vernacular portions would likely have been more ornate, literate and poetic linguistically than those vernacular adaptations of the Novus Ordo we have seen. More Douay, if you will, and less “New York Times”.
I don’t know if architecture tells a person anything about liturgy; in other words, how one has adapted might reflect how the other would have adapted. But if a person looks at “neotraditional” architecture, it is not the gingerbread-y, very Gothic architecture of the 19th and early 20th centuries. I am not an expert on architecture, but “neotraditional” architecture looks more Latinate to me than the earlier stuff. Also, to me, more attractive. I, for one, greatly prefer, say Adam Stroick and Henry Menzies works than some of the older decor. The “neotrad” architecture is also much warmer, less aloof, better illuminated, more colorful. That’s how I picture a difference in the TLM had the Novus Ordo never happened. Same thing, basically, very respectful of traditional forms, but warmer, less heavy, less “Teutonic”, more “Latin”.
That’s as good as I can do for you, old buddy. Having said all this, I will say that I don’t hate the Novus Ordo if it is done respectfully and with dignity. I suspect, without really knowing, that we’re not too far away from coming 'round the circle to the same point, but from a direction different from that which would have been the case had the N.O. never happened.