Ooo. Another thread on the EF v. OF. Let me get muh guns and set up barricades.
All right. I’m ready.
I go to the EF most every Sunday (although I went to an OF Mass last Sunday but that’s beside the point). Yet I attended a Catholic college last year which was the OF everyday except for the EF on Fridays. We had incense on Sundays and Holy Days, sang the Kyrie and Sanctus in Greek and Latin respectively, and the altar servers were on point (since they were college students who took it seriously). Even on the weekdays were had the Kyrie and Sanctus in Greek and Latin. So, reverent OF Masses exist. And I loved it. Also, I had my First Communion at a OF church (the cathedral) and there was a full-blown orchestra there and it was gorgeous. Very reverent and inspiring.
Here is my take on the abuses that happen with both the EF and the OF. Take or leave it, I’m just thinking here. In the EF, the abuses can occur when the priest is legalistic and just goes through the motions. Also, the people may not understand Latin and may just pray the Rosary while the priest is whispering the prayers (I’m not saying that’s bad but it can change for the better). In the OF, the rubrics are not as strict as the EF which leaves more flexibility but also chances for innovations. The priest does not have to turn a certain way like in the EF. Some may view it as free-flowing, others as Father wandering around the altar. Both happen.
Now, I think that there are certain…uh…ideas or “vibes” that are associated with both forms. In the EF, most folks are trying to escape from abuses that they see in the Mass. Some see non-abuses others see actual ones. And some just find the EF touches them. Whatever the case, two people attend the EF because of this: sedevecantists (or those who lean that way) and faithful Catholics. Either way, both people want more “reverence” and contemplative reverence which is why the abuse that can happen in the EF doesn’t occur.
In the OF, since this is where most Catholics go to Mass, this is also where you get the lukewarm Catholics. Mainly because lukewarm Catholics don’t usually go to the EF because…well, different language, you might have to drive farther and the parishes generally are smaller and people might see you. This is not a knock on the OF and does not mean one form is better than the other. It is just people and demographics and statistics. It would be the other way around, if the EF was less reverent and the OF was more reverent. I think this might be a reason why the OF isn’t always as reverent as the EF because the lukewarm Catholic who only go for fellowship get into positions that run liturgy (music, organist, secretary, treasurer, etc.). That is not all of the reason but it might be one of the reasons. Just thinking out loud here. And I just figured out my post is really long. So I’d better stop here.
I’ll return to my bunker and start yelling at the other side (whoever they are).