I am an OF going Catholic. I haven’t made it to an EF yet because I have four children to take with me, and I doubt they will remain reverent for an entire Mass said in another language.
I LOVE the OF. I often come to CAF and try to learn from Cradle Catholics, but have noticed a negative undertone when others speak about the OF. So, for those of us that unabashedly attend the OF, why do you like it?
Traditional Catholics by definition are going to prefer the EF. The OF does have some benefits as its an easier liturgy to approach as its the vernacular and completely audible. However, I find the Latin, the ritual, and the many silences of the EF heighten the mystery of the mass for me and make it easier for me to approach Christ and his sacrifice on Calvary.
I would encourage you to take your children to the EF. I have been shocked and flabbergasted at how well children react to the EF. You would think children would be even more bored during a Latin Mass than an English Mass, but that just doesn’t seem to be the case. My guess is that since the EF is a much more visual and ritualistic mass than the OF that children have an easier time focusing on these aspects of the mass compared with the OF which requires a lot of concentration on what is being said (and thus more difficult for children).
Children respond well to ritual and the EF is full of ritual! Also, the EF seems to attract many young families so there will usually be a lot of children there!
I grew up with the EF, but I prefer the OF for a few reasons, although I will say I will welcome the new translation as I think the changes more accurately reflect our doctrines.
My reasons: The use of the vernacular. (Yes, I know the ideal is the Latin)
The expanded number of scripture readings.
The more active external participation and singing.
Communion under both species (although that is not high up on the list).
Audible prayers of the priest.
I don’t dislike the EF, I just prefer the OF.
You could actually call me a traditional Catholic, except for the form of Mass I prefer.
I hope this doesn’t sound like we are trying to pit the two forms of the Masses against each other. Yesterday the Moderator cautioned us about that, and I’m glad he did. I hope my post doesn’t come across as critical of the EF, but rather, appreciative of the OF.
I like being able to hear and understand my own language. This is very important to me, probably the most important reason why I prefer the OF Mass.
I love singing hymns, both the traditional and the modern hymns, again, in my own language. I love hearty, full-voiced singing of hymns, and I love good strong melodies and ringing accompaniments on either organ or piano.
I like the “order” in which things happen in the OF Mass. It’s never boring because of the changes of position, the readings, the music, the homily, and finally, Holy Communion.
I like the fact that the OF Mass is never a show. Even though it’s not boring, it’s not an entertainment. There is no pageantry (other than the simple processional at the beginning.) Simple costumes for the priest and altar servers. And that’s about it. It’s just a simple representation of the Lord’s Sacrifice at Calvary. Very straightforward.
I like the unity–“in the unity of the Holy Spirit.” All of us who are Christians are one in Christ. And I like that so many Masses in the U.S. are OF. All of them are a little different from each other, but the liturgy is the same–that’s just like us people. We are each different from the other, but we all share many characteristics, too.
I like the “fatherliness” of the priests. The presiding priest greets us as a father, in our language, and speaks to us in a fatherly way, in our language, and tells us what we need to know to better follow Jesus. Sometimes he is stern and sometimes he is kind, but he is always “Father.”
I like the casualness. I like being able to come to church in slacks, as I never wear dresses. (I have deformed feet and have to wear orthopedic shoes, and it’s easier to “hide” them with slacks.) People can also dress up if they choose, but there is no requirement to wear a certain type of clothing.
One of the main reasons that the EF stayed latin is because it is the accepted version of the bible by the Church. It errs way less than the OF because it is in English. That is a main reason it stayed Latin. More reliable
You make it sound like the EF priests don’t speak English. The homily is all in English. That is when he tells you how to better follow Jesus Christ. You like casualness? Why would you want to dress casual in front of the Lord himself? I’m not bashing the OF, I love it but it has to be right. I don’t like the ones where the priest plays the guitar at the homily. It doesn’t feel right. I really am not necessarily favoring the EF over the OF even though I personally do. They are equal and I understand that.
I love the OF and I love the EF. Both are wonderful. Both contain Christ. I really don’t think one is “better” than the other. They are different forms of the same sacrament. I try to appreciate the differences and the similarities.
Well, this is certainly a touchy issue for many here. Maybe you haven’t seen enough liturgical entertainment yet but I’m sure it will happen eventually. Just look for liturgical dance on youtube. You’ll get the idea :o
Why do Traditional Catholics keep bringing up clown Masses and liturgical dance? They almost never happened, and if they did in the 1980s, they don’t any more. These are straw man arguments in my opinion.
The priest did give sermons. As most people in the middle ages were illiterate the lack of readings being in the vernacular was not much of an impediment. In addition churches were highly visual with stained glass windows, elaborate art, statues of the saints, and what not to assist a primarily illiterate culture in understanding the faith.
Finally, its not necessary to understand every word during the EF. Indeed, if you ever attend a high mass you will see this is impossible as the choir often plays over whatever the priest is saying. There is so much going on in the EF you really can’t take it all in and have to fnd some aspect to focus on.
In addition, in the past people often just said the Rosary during the mass which is perfectly acceptable.
This said liturgical dance is only forbidden from the OF. Technically the EF does not forbid liturgical dance (as the rubrics do not mention the laity at all) so perhaps we should start an EF liturgical dance movement while we still can?
Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t the western mass occur up until this year? I believe it was finally banned this year and thank the Lord for that! I believe I read yesterday about a Mass up in New England somewhere celebrating Gays and Lesbians. There are plenty of abuses going on in this day.