Messing with the TLM - could it go the way some NO masses have gone?

You know - all the stuff that drives us crazy. Liturgical dancing, rock bands, pretty much the priest making the Mass in his own image. What’s to stop this from happening with the new TLMs that will be popping up in different parishes now?

We can say that it shouldn’t be a concern, but who would have imagined clown Masses when Vatican II occurred?

Just a thought I had, and wondered if anyone else has the same concern.


There is nothing really to stop it and over time it may very well be saturated with such craziness. No guarantees that the MP will be a success. It is up to us to guard against what Vatican seems inappropriate.

Just a few thoughts:

  1. The TLM’s will be according to request. Those individuals who already are happy with their rock band NO Masses are less likely to request a more solemn rite of the Mass which would likely be in Latin, have the priest with “his back to the people,” and involve numerous prostrations, genuflections, etc.

Of course, this is not a bullet-proof answer, as I’ve seen some pretty horrendous “neo-conservative” NO Masses. I won’t even comment on the sense of liturgical aesthetics there. :rolleyes:

  1. Most priests do not know Latin, much less the specific liturgical motions of the 1962 Missal. Why take all the extra time to learn Latin and the specific, often humbling, very solemn motions, when there already is a Mass perfectly suited to rock bands, liturgical dancing, etc.? I suppose some priests might take the TLM and twist it to hell (turning the priest around, changing much into the vernacular, doffing liturgical vestments, etc.)–but then, nobody would recognize it as TLM, would they? In the eyes of the world, it would simply be the NO mocking the TLM. People aren’t that stupid. Look at Hollywood: they know what a Catholic Mass and church really should look like. :wink:

It’s too early to tell, but I think that over time (indeed over a long time) there will be two camps in Catholicism: 1) Those who embrace the NO and all its implication; 2) Those who embrace the TLM. I think that, if the TLM is offered widely enough, and if the NO, in how it is offered in many places, continues to degenerate into something not recognizable as Latin Catholic, then there will be a phenomenon very similiar to what one finds in many Protestant churches: Traditional Service at 8 in the morning, followed by a Contemporary Service at a prime 10:30 spot, except with Catholics it will be more like two separate communities using the same building.

I speculate that, down the road, the TLM will become more than just an extraordinary rite of the Roman Rite. I don’t know how Rome will define it, but in practice this is what it will become. “Neo-conservatives” will find the TLM more suited to their interest in presserving tradition, and will embrace it readily. Other Catholics, those who want to “be with the times,” will stick with the NO.

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