Ok, so why the Tridentine in the first place?

Now that I know what the Tridentine Mass was… thanks to my other post…can someone please tell me why it was ever in place at all ??

I can understand the Latin, that is just a natural progression I presume from Aramaic.

But why would the priest have been required to have his back to the congregation??

Jesus shared His Last Supper with His disciples, around a table, as a meal, with His friends.

Jesus said “Do this in memory of me”.

Wouldnt we or shouldnt we have been celebrating a meal like this from the start?? That is, with the priest facing us, consecrating the bread and wine just like Jesus did, face to face with his friends.

Love Kellie

newadvent.org/cathen/09306a.htm

This is a long answer but worth reading.

The Liturgy changed to Latin from Greek around the 3rd C (Greek was the language of the Roman Empire, but it changed to Latin, and the Liturgy did too. (How Shocking! - Changing to the vernacular! :wink: ).

The Christian Church moved from the Jewish-style home Liturgy to having ceremonies in converted Basilicae (kings courts) and newly built churches (when the numbers of Christians increased, and then when they had religious freedom) and they adopted at the same time many Roman cultural elments into the Mass, candles, incense, ritual etc.

So today the Mass is essentially from Jewish culture in its Eucharistic Prayer + consecration, but with Roman-style trappings.

The priest facing the altar is very ancient, Mass would probably have been celebrated on the niche-style tombs of martys, and there is also the ancient concept of the priest leading the people in prayer in one direction, ‘ad orientem’ - to the east.
But however the priest faces, the sacrifice and prayes are offered ‘ad Deum’ - to God.

The reason why in the Traditional Latin Mass the priest faces East is because Christ resurrection will also come from the East. IT is also known as facing God.

The Traditional Latin Mass(Tridentine) is an organic development since the 6th century. It was basically the Original Roman Mass until the 1969 introduction of the Novus Ordo.

By Fr. Victor O’praem

After the Collect the priest reads the Epistle, followed by the Gradual (a small section of one of the Psalms) and the Alleluia. After which the Missal is moved to the left side of the altar, an action symbolizing the transition from the Old Covenant under Moses to the New Covenant in Christ. The Missal is then turned slightly so that the priest reads the Gospel facing North (the main altar in every church traditionally faced East, since it’s always been held that Christ, the Sun of Justice, would come from that direction at the end of the world). So the priest then reads the Gospel facing the North. The North, where it is cold, represents the powers of darkness; the Gospel, then, is read into the North, scattering the powers of darkness. After the Gospel, the sermon follows along with the Credo, or Creed.

sandiego-tlmc.org/gst0401.html

[quote=kellie]Now that I know what the Tridentine Mass was… thanks to my other post…can someone please tell me why it was ever in place at all ??
I can understand the Latin, that is just a natural progression I presume from Aramaic.
But why would the priest have been required to have his back to the congregation??
Jesus shared His Last Supper with His disciples, around a table, as a meal, with His friends.
Jesus said “Do this in memory of me”.
Wouldnt we or shouldnt we have been celebrating a meal like this from the start?? That is, with the priest facing us, consecrating the bread and wine just like Jesus did, face to face with his friends.
Love Kellie
[/quote]

Actually, the worst defect of the Tridentine IMO is it’s lack of an explicit epiklesis, i.e. prayer invoking the Holy Spirit over the gifts to change them into the Body and Blood of Christ. This unfortunate practice was a departure from the ancient Church, and coincided with an unfortunate deemphasis on the role of the Spirit in the western Church. The epiklesis has been restored in the Novus Ordo. It never disappeared from the Eastern liturgies. Joe

Kellie,

In first century Judaism, a seder was typically celebrated at a U shaped table. Have you seen Da Vinci’s “Last Supper?” The scene is edifying. Notice how everyone is facing the same way?

You phrase your answer in the negative: “Why did the priest turn his back on the people.” The answer is he NEVER DID. Jesus did not face his diners at the last supper, like they were sitting around the diner table.

Ad orientum (the priest facing east) worship make much more theological sense than what has been foisted upon us today.

You see, Jesus Christ is God, and He is truly present, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Eucharist. Therefore, when the priest faces the Tabernacle he is facing Christ. The priests back may be to us, but that is because he is, like us ORIENTED TOWARDS CHRIST. The way to think of this is that the priest and the faithful are all facing the SAME direction, and that direction is towards the Lord.

Peace!

The idea of Mass being merely a re-enactment of the Lord’s Supper is a Protestant notion. Mass is first and foremost a holy sacrifice during which the priest acts in the person of Christ. Keeping this in mind, it makes perfect sense for the priest to be facing the same direction as his flock. After all, he is primarily speaking to the Almighty and leading the people to Christ.

Eccesia Dei refers to it as the Gregorian Mass, since it actually predates Trent.
FYI.

This is an argument I’ve seen made by the separated Eastern Churches in an attempt to prove our liturgy somehow deficient. In my opinion it doesn’t hold water. While the Greogrian/Tridentine liturgy does not emphasize the epiclesis to the extent that you will find in Eastern liturgies, or even in the OF Mass today, it does contain one (and some would say it contains three).

First and foremost is this line from the offertory:

“Come, O Sanctifier, almighty and eternal God, and bless + this sacrifice prepared for the glory of Your holy name.”

This is pretty much a direct appeal to the Holy Spirit to bless the gifts. Aside from that, one finds a more implicit epiclesis in
Quam Oblationem:

Bless and approve our offering;
make it acceptable to you,
an offering in spirit and in truth.
Let it become for us
the body and blood of Jesus Christ,
your only Son, our Lord.

In addition, although I personally see this one as a little weaker, many, including the Orthodox St. Nicholas Cabasilas, see an implicit epiclesis in Supplices Te Rogamus:

Almighty God, we pray
that your angel may take this sacrifice
to your altar in heaven,
then, as we receive from this altar
the sacred body and blood of your Son,
let us be filled with every grace and blessing.

On top of that, while not technically an epiclesis in the strictest sense, is this direct appeal to the Father:

O God, deign to + bless what we offer, and make it approved, + effective, + right, and wholly pleasing in every way, that it may become for our good, the Body + and Blood + of Your dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

To me, all those things taken together seem to get the job done.

It may not be a departure given that the epiclesis itself especially in its explicitly consecratory form is a later developement.

I’ve asked this question before but I’ve never seen an adequate answer: which is, who objected to the lack of an epiclesis between the 6th and 11th centuries, if it was such a departure?

But why would the priest have been required to have his back to the congregation??

**The priest no more “has his back to the congregation” than the people in front of you have their backs to you.

You–priest and people–are all facing in the SAME direction.**

I like the way you think! :slight_smile:

I didn’t think the Mass had any ‘defects’. It was canonized at Trent. Who are we to say whether the Mass is defective? Even EF people talking about the OF don’t use that word (in my experience). Yes, people argue that the OF is less reverent, but that’s different than saying its defective. Just sayin’…

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