N.O. experience

My friend is Catholic, and occasionally she has invited me to attend Mass with her. It’s always been the Tridentine Mass, and I’ve loved each time.

Today we both work in the afternoon, so we cannot attend it. So I figured I would search for one just to check it out somewhere else. Couldn’t find one. So I thought I would try and attend a Novus Ordo Mass. So I picked one that was near to my house, at another church.

Well first, there was some contemporary-sounding music playing on the piano It was OK I suppose, but it was weird entering and hearing that.

Then when the Mass started, it was totally different from the Latin Mass. It seemed truncated, it was half spoken, partially sung. There were two podiums. On one a woman was leading some of the singing, on the other, a woman was reading from scripture. I’ve never seen this before. Usually the priest always did everything at the Latin Mass, sung the whole service, and gave communion on the tongue. Everyone in this church had it put in their hands. When the priest consecrated it, there didn’t seem to be much reverence for what was going on. Perhaps I’m just a fool.

And there was no incense. That broke my heart. The priest spoke vaguely about Vatican II and Christ’s message, I couldn’t hear him very well. He said something about a Catholic Church he couldn’t recognize. I have no idea what he really meant, I only heard snippets.

Did I walk into a particularly different church or is this how N.O. Masses generally are?

This is how many N.O. Masses generally are. There are some reverent N.O. Masses with incense and some Latin in them. You can see a Mass like this on EWTN.

Regardless, some people just prefer the TLM and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just keep in mind that there’s nothing wrong with the NO either. It’s the same Sacrifice of the Mass.

You do know that incense is not compulsory, don’t you?

It’s nice, but doesn’t affect the ‘worth’ of the Mass in any way, shape or form.

It seems a shame that such a detail as the lack of incense ‘broke your heart’.

I wasn’t too impressed. Maybe it was me.

You do know that incense is not compulsory, don’t you?

It’s nice, but doesn’t affect the ‘worth’ of the Mass in any way, shape or form.

It seems a shame that such a detail as incense ‘broke your heart’.

Yes I’m well aware. It’s not the lack of incense that killed the experience for me, but I just love seeing it and smelling it. It just overall didn’t seem to do it for me. It seemed somehow “less.”

I’m curious what criteria you used to judge the reverence of the people kneeling before the Lord during the consecration? How did you determine that they were less reverent than the people you’ve observed at the consecration during a Latin Mass?

Get it straight. It’s the OF NOT NO.

And there are many reverant EF masses. Even without smells and bells.

I know exactly how you feel!

When I was a kid I used to attend the OF Mass but then I left the Church for many years and did not attend Holy Mass at all.

When I returned to the Church, I attended the Latin Mass. When I eventually returned to a N.O. Mass I found it extremely odd, in the sense that it was so different from the Latin Mass I was used to.

I have attended the OF Mass many times since then, but my preference will always be for the EF Mass.

I’m curious what criteria you used to judge the reverence of the people kneeling before the Lord during the consecration? How did you determine that they were less reverent than the people you’ve observed at the consecration during a Latin Mass?

I didn’t say that the parishoners were less reverent, I said it didn’t seem very reverent.

Get it straight. It’s the OF NOT NO.

And there are many reverant EF masses. Even without smells and bells.

I am not Catholic, therefore I have no idea what “EF” even means. I’m not in RCIA. This was a visit. How about expounding upon what you mean?

Maybe you should be a little more understanding toward non-Catholics?

I know exactly how you feel!

When I was a kid I used to attend the OF Mass but then I left the Church for many years and did not attend Holy Mass at all.

When I returned to the Church, I attended the Latin Mass. When I eventually returned to a N.O. Mass I found it extremely odd, in the sense that it was so different from the Latin Mass I was used to.

I have attended the OF Mass many times since then, but my preference will always be for the EF Mass.

Why is it so rare still? I thought the Latin Mass was liberalized for use?

I don’t know, perhaps I’ve been too used to the Latin Mass, but that experience was something else! I was disappointed in the whole thing today, truthfully.

I Think it is difficult to speak of a typical NO experience as it varies so much from parish to parish. Some are very prayerful and reverent, others are not; but hopefully, with time the latter type will gradually disappear.

People need to stop being so critical of what the OP says.

Edited by moderator and be a little more receptive of what the OP, a non-Catholic, mind you, says. The OP obviously has little experience with Catholicism, and doesn’t know how easy some Catholics get butt-hurt over the methodology of phrasing we tend to use. The intelligent thing to do is not to bash and show how much you know; rather, it is to use your own experience being Catholic and in an elegant manner infer what the OP means, and respect the OP’s opinion regarding the mass.

Yes, it’s the same sacrifice of mass whether its a Novus Ordo (OF) or a Tridentine mass. The OP never said that it was not. I’m willing to bet the OP might not even understand what the concept of the “sacrifice” of mass even means. I’m speaking from a convert’s perspective.

We Catholics tend to be very touchy about our masses and how they’re discussed. Maybe we should have a lighter presumption from the start and assume that non-Catholics who show a real interest in Catholicism are NOT, in fact, trying to say that anyone is less Catholic than anyone else. I might add that if you are complaining about someone labeling someone else as irreverent, and that labeling is in error, that you are labeling all the same when you accuse this person of being some Novus Ordo hater.

I’ve noticed that “modern” Catholics are just as judgmental, if not more so, than “Traditional” Catholics, all in the sake of what is perceived to be a “defense” on the particular use of the Latin Rite that one prefers. This bashing of the OP is a manifestation of that phenomenon. Now, shall we show a little support of the OP? News: YOU weren’t at the mass in question. The OP was. Considering that this person has not shown an ounce of spite for Catholicism, it’s safe to assume that the OP is speaking from a rather non-opinionated (at least as far as modern/Traditional-loving person goes) viewpoint.

The OP is presenting a completely valid argument. The OP said that the Novus Ordo mass did not seem as reverent as the Tridentine masses that the OP had attended in the past. That is the gist of the post. But there is nothing that says that the congregation at the Novus Ordo mass was any less reverent than the congregation at those Tridentine masses. However, it is PERFECTLY valid to say that the congregation at the Novus Ordo mass SEEMED less reverent than the congregation at the Tridentine masses. That is a statement of outward appearances rather than inward actualities, and it requires no knowledge of the people in question.

I suppose that someone will complain why I capitalized “Traditional” and not “modern,” but I really don’t care.

It is absolutely true to say that there are multitudes of Novus Ordo masses that do not come anywhere near the reverence that one could observe at even the most simple Tridentine mass, and I don’t feel the need to bring out some survey to prove this, and I will not. This is the case because of the natural “burst,” if you will, of excitement and frenzy following Vatican II and the release of the 1970 Missale Romanum. Things are going to take time to settle down. Things are going to take time to even out. Things are going to take time to “get back to normal.” We, as both modern AND Traditional Catholics, need to remember that the 1970 Missale Romanum is NOT a departure from the 1570-1962 Missales Romanum; rather, it s a continuation of it, a building-on of it. As Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger would say, and later as Pope Benedict XVI, it is part of the “hermeneutic of continuity.”

The use of Latin, the ringing of bells, the thunderous organ, the chant, the incense, are all a norm in the Tridentine mass. Now, let’s not get too judgmental again: I know that incense is not used at low mass. (I felt like I had to insert that disclaimer to prevent some weak rebuttal). Anyways, these things appeal to the senses. Senses are what make us human. Therefore, they possess a mystical teaching power. They invite us. They remind us of our humanity, and at the same time our sharing in Christ’s divinity. These things make us shut up and stare at the beauty. All of these things can be used in the Novus Ordo mass just as they are obligatory (in various levels of applicability) in the Tridentine mass. These things can be used with respect to all the world’s cultures and musical traditions. Unfortunately, a lot of Novus Ordo lovers have taken most of these things out of a great deal of Novus Ordo masses. If we can get back to these things, back to our roots, back to what reminds us of our humanity and at the same time of our sharing in Christ’s divinity, we can say without a doubt that all our Novus Ordo masses will be reverent and we won’t have to have spiteful threads like this anymore!

I hope everyone enjoys :D.

No doubt the Latin, the incense, the sense of tradition is obviously there in a TLM. Some new OF masses can certainly come across as non-reverent. I have experienced some too!

But the sacrifice of the mass and transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Chirst is the same. One is fortunate to live in a community where one has both TLM and OF services to choose. May you continue to find the light and truth in your journey! :thumbsup:

It seems to me that someone who has “lapsed” in their practice of church attendance should do more research before making any statements about how a Mass should be done.

Also, all of us, but especially someone who is lapsed, should consider paying less attention to the reverence (or perceived irreverence) of others and more attention to the state of their own heart. Frankly, I find it amazing that a human being, especially someone who is not practicing Catholicism and hasn’t attended the church in question, can judge the hearts of others. I don’t believe it.

Also, to those who have “lapsed”–while you were gone doing your own thing, your “family” that stuck around grew and changed. If you had been there, you would have been able to experience all those changes, too, and live through them and in some cases, suffer through them. But you were gone by your own choice. So why do you think you can waltz back in and bemoan the fact that the “family” doesn’t do things the way they did back in the past when you used to be part of the family? You can be nostalgic, yes. That’s OK and understandable. But to be “broken-hearted” because the Church moved on while you were gone by your own choice–that’s not OK.

BTW, your “papa” (the pope) has approved of all the changes in your “family” that you are “broken-hearted” about–it’s OK to not use incense in a Mass. Contemporary music played on a piano is OK, too. It’s OK for women to read and lead the singing. It’s OK, with the approval of a bishop, for Communion to be received in the hand.

Or how about I post what I want? It’s a free country.

What a weak argument.

Yes, I agree, but this one’s not!!

Way to go Cat!! :thumbsup:

Fabius, the OF (Ordinary Form) of the Mass is not celebrated to impress you. In fact any Mass even if it were the EF (Extraordinary Form) of the Mass, the one you attend with your friend. We do not go to Mass to be impressed but for Christ in Eucharistic who is truly present. The traditions of the Church are beautiful but we must take care in realizing that our senses don’t become priority over God. We shift the focus to ourselves from God if we end up caring only about how we feel or if it fits our criteria.

And I don’t see how, with a little thinking, my post isn’t in harmony with Cat’s.

I know what’s allowed. I know what’s OK. I know, I know, I know.

And in no way do I question the decision of the people in charge of these things. I only make observations of their outcomes.

One who has the cajonies to post that THEY magically know how mass should be done when they’ve been to all of what? two??? should spend more time studying before they go off on “this is how catholocism should work” rant. Including learning that saying “NO” is an offensive tactic of people who try to discredit the validity of the ORDINARY mass.

That’s what I believe and I’m not sorry for it.

All I’m saying is this. We shouldn’t hold people who are uneducated in Catholic faith to the same intellectual standards regarding the faith as we should Catholic people.

I might be a bit weird in saying this. Personally, I value an outsider’s opinion just as much as a regular’s. Why? Because those outsiders are much better at giving an impartial opinion. This is applicable not only with our Catholic faith, but in all things.

I attend Novus Ordo masses EVERY Sunday. I have been to ONE Tridentine mass in my entire life. I loved it. It was magnificent. Yet, I love the parish I attend, and I consider myself a “Traditional” Catholic. That is because I have witnessed the dichotomy between the profound reverence of my parish’s Novus Ordo masses and what I have personally witnessed as irreverence in other parishes.

No one can truly judge the hearts of others. That’s true.


We need to value everyone’s observations, and a bit less, but mostly the same, their opinions.

A tried-and-true Catholic’s observations and opinions are certainly different than an inquisiting-and-interested non-Catholic’s. But the fact that there is a certain amount of time difference in regards to the experience of the two doesn’t mean that the non-Catholic’s observations and opinions are worth less.

The two people’s views should be valued all the same, but at the same time, should be taken in stead, and interpreted and judged differently. They, after all, are people with different experiences.

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.