The future of the Latin Mass

I have been perusing through different commentative books about the current state or the evolution to the ordinary form of the mass. It seems that everywhere I look there is a consensus that there is no unified journey backwards to the extraordinary form, but the extraordinary and the ordinary must inform and enrich each other. So without turning this into “I hate the OF MASS” post, I want to discuss the benefits of it. How do people seeing the OF in the future? While it is obvious there are abuses everywhere, I think the orthodoxy of JP II and B XVI are bring about a renewed vitality of the liturgy on the horizon. Where do people think that the OF can be enriched?

I attend the OF. My diocese offers a weekly EF on Sunday, within a aboout a 10 minute drive from my house. I have been a few times, both high & low Masses, and while I appreciate it’s beauty, I do not find it spiritually satisfying.

Sadly, the same can be said for most of the OF Masses I attend also.

For me, the new translation has gone a long way in helping to enrich the OF, especially the Collects, and the Prayers after communion, I love the language & imagery.

What I would like see-
-more “say the black, do the red”. I live in a diocese where some priests are
notorious for “adlibbing”, or worse yet, use “inclusive language”

-more “sacred silence”, the noise level in most parishes around here is pretty bad.

-more preaching on how to life a Christian life in this secular world, sin and the importance of the sacrament of reconciliation, and on church teaching in general.

-better training for altar servers & EM’sHC, and the use of the latter much more sparingly. I have seen, more that once sadly, priests & deacons not distribute communion and no, it was not for health reasons!

-music that encompasses all of the rich musical tradition of the Chruch. While I love some of the “happy-clappy” stuff of the 70’s & 80’s, I also love older mroe traditional music, although, I am not a big fan of chant.

The younger Seminarians especially are very excited about celebrating the OF of the Mass in a very reverent way.

I’ve been to Mass at the local Seminary, and everything is by the book. Incense is liberally used. I’m told that latin hymns are used once in a while. Liturgy of the Hours (MP/EP) are prayed in common, and on feast days it’s chanted (they use the Mundelein Psalter).

We’re going to have a new generation of priests who have been greatly influenced by Bl. John Paul II and Pope Benedict and their examples. I think all that we need is a little time, and we’re going to see more and more that the OF is celebrated in a reverent way exclusively.

I attended a Spanish Mass tonight. Fewer than 50% (probably more like 25%) received and the lines moved real quickly with just the priest and one EMHC. If the future is the Spanish OF, which already outnumber the English OF around the world, I could easily see the role of EMHC become extinct.

I appreciate this post. With the accepting of altar server and EM’sHC, my parish does a wonderful job on every category. I agree completely though.

That’s interesting.

You misunderstand my comment. Maybe it’s my fault. I am not calling for the ‘extinction’ of the EMHC, at times, they are necessary. In my diocese, most parishes offer the Eucharist under both species, that would not be possible without EM’sHC, and while I know that it is not necessary, I appreciate the option to receive both.

What I would like to see is that all “ordinary” minsters that are present distribute communion, using EM’sHC only as necessary.

As someone who attends both OF and EF (and usually on the same day), and also as someone who is looking to entering Seminary in the coming years, I see a bright future. I love the Mass, in whatever valid form, I love it. However, I have visited my own Archdioceses Seminary quite a few times, and so far have seen many younger men who are proudly pro-Orthodoxy. Much more refreshing than the “turbulant times” that I’ve heard about from older priests, even those that celebrate the Latin Mass. As the Mass goes now, I see a great deal of irreverence, mostly on the part of the Laity. But I know priests who are afraid to call the laity out on their irreverence in fear of “pushing them away”.

When I serve mass at the OF, I take witness to a great deal of disrespect, again on the part of the Laity. Chewing gum during mass, arriving in short shorts and yoga pants, shameful. I believe the next generation of Priests will not be afraid to setting things straight.

These new priests are the counter revolutionaries. I see one way that the OF, and Parish life as a whole being reformed for the better. That is moving the Taberncale back to center stage, instead of into a side altar or Chapel. I think people will have more reverence for the Blessed Sacrament that way because It is front and center.

Using better, august, music that, as another poster put it “encompasses all of the rich musical tradition of the Chruch”. This is important, because I feel that some of the Masses I have attended go from Mass the Solemnity to Mass! The Musical! and that robs me of the awe for the Eucharist because it distracts me to saxophones, guitars, drums, and exotic instruments. I have heard many homilies about not being a “Liturgy police” but some people wouldn’t have to be if the Liturgy was said and done reverently.

I’m sorry if I ranted a bit but I’m getting impatient waiting for these new Seminarians to be ordained!

It’s quite a different culture. As is Polish, for that matter. I can’t remember attending a Spanish Mass that didn’t have guitar music and plenty of hand-clapping, yet tonight everyone who passed by an icon of Our Lady, would touch it. Reverence I guess, is in the eyes of the beholder.

I thought the intention was that the EF enrich the OF and evolve towards a Mass that has the best of both.

Then how can the beauty of the Eastern Rites like the Maronite be captured? :slight_smile:

I generally attend OF, but have the option (and have occasionally taken it) to attend EF right around the block.

I’m not so sure its that the EF is more reverent, as much as it is that more reverent people are the ones going to the EF.

I’d like to see a major overhaul of the liturgy that merged the two forms: keep it in the vernacular, but borrow heavily from the richness of the EF (which in my mind, does not need to include constant use of Latin).

Trying to just observe here. I’m a “died-in-the-wool” EF man myself. I’ll just watch and listen. :slight_smile:

I absolutely love the new translation of the mass in English. I wish there was an old English mass in the EF.

Can’t comment on that, I haven’t been to a Maronite Liturgy. Unfortunately, my area hasn’t been blessed with one.

Anglican Use would be the closest

Better quality music.

Like it or not, in the United States, people walk when the music is not good. Obviously, a lot of people have different ideas about what is “good” music and what isn’t. Some people think anything that isn’t “their” preferred style is “bad” music. What I’m talking about is “quality” music in whatever style is used in the Mass. If a parish is using all classical/traditional music, it has to be “good,” not just enthusiastically-performed by a few brave souls who are willing. Same for whatever style is used.

The state of liturgical music actually has more to do with the abysmal state of public and private school music education in most U.S. cities rather than in anything that the Catholic Church is doing “wrong.”

People grow up not learning how to sing, how to read music, and how to appreciate (not the same as like) many different styles of music.

Most people in the U.S. grow up without learning how to play an instrument, which means that the “pool” of instrumentalists for Mass is extremely limited.

The pool of organists in the U.S. is alarmingly low; many colleges are closing or have closed down their “organ” major. This is a dire situation for Catholic churches in particular. I talked to an organ builder a few weeks ago who told me that many organ-building companies have closed due to lack of business. He told me that in the last 30 years or so, it is the Catholic Church that is keeping organ building going, but that orders for new organs from Catholic Churches are way down. The fact is–we don’t have many organists up and coming in the United States, and if this continues, in a decade or so, even the EF congregations will not be able to enjoy the organ in the Masses unless they are willing to pay some big bucks.

In addition, many people are constantly tuned in to some form of popular music (and this includes classical), and all of this popular music, including rock, pop, soul, jazz, classical, country, CCM, etc., is performed by professionals who DO know how to sing/play instruments, and how to read music. This means that their music is “good,” (yes, even the styles that we personally don’t prefer), and so when the listener attends Mass and listens to “amateurs”, they are unable to appreciate the music in Mass because they are used to listening to professional music all the time.

FInally, it’s a time crunch issue. Many Catholic parishes do not hire a professional musician to plan their liturgical music or music outside of Mass, and if they do hire a pro, they don’t pay them enough (although many pros make a decent amount of money by teaching private lessons, taking on other gigs like directing community choirs, etc.–but it depends on the city). However, in many parishes, the music is planned by a volunteer, and nowadays, time is short, and many volunteers simply don’t have the time to research “Catholic” music, and establish training programs in their parish. And even if they DID offer chant classes, music reading sessions, etc., very few people would show up. Everyone’s simply too busy these days.

I believe that in the United States, the Catholic Church needs to put some real money into the state of liturgical music in the parishes, both OF and EF. I think they need to begin by studying the situation instead of just allowing it to continue as it currently is. I think that in the Catholic schools, at least, a mandate is needed to improve the condition of music education so that at least, all Catholic-educated children learn to read music, sing correctly, and appreciate all styles, including the ancient styles, of music. I also think that Catholic schools should strive to recruit children to learn to play the organ especially, but also the piano and other instruments that would be appropriate for Masses, and then allow these children to actually PLAY in the Mass as soon as they are able to play even a small part of the liturgical music (e.g., a simple prelude or postlude).

Another issue that I believe needs study is how music in each diocese can be improved quality-wise. Would it be appropriate for each diocese to hire a “Staff Musician” who is responsible for helping all the parishes, OF and EF, to develop the highest-quality music possible? I think that’s an idea worth considering.

But it’s unfortunately all about the money. More is needed to make Mass music better.

I generally attend the EF but I don’t see a major cultural difference between the EF and a Latin OF, except perhaps that much of the EF is silent. If you start introducing Spanish or English into the EF, like they did in the 60’s, you’d get a lot of cultural clashes again IMO. I don’t see any major overhauls in the near future. It seems most people don’t care for Shakespearean English and are happy with the status quo.

I agree that the corrected translation of the OF Mass is much more beautiful than it was previously! :slight_smile:

If you attend the EF Mass with a missal, you do get the same beautiful "“old English.” You just need to read it. :wink:

I attend the OF daily and the EF on Sundays and one of the things that I really appreciate about the EF Mass that I’d love to see brought out more in the OF is the obviousness of the fact that the Mass is truly the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Calvary. While it’s absolutely true that both forms of the Mass ARE this, it seems that the wording (and often the reverence with which it is usually celebrated) make this truth more obvious in the EF.

For me, an increase in the number of priests who celebrate the OF with an intense reverence, focus, and emphasis on catechizing the laity in their pews on this truth would be a huge boon to the faithful. I’m fortunate to attend daily Mass in the OF at a chapel where the priests are of such a quality.

Do you mean real olde english or just english with the “thee’s and thou’s” (Elizabethan or Shakespearean english)?

Because I have a friend who’s read old (or maybe it was middle?) english to us, and it’s nothing like modern english. Old English is basically a different language (it’s pre-vowel shift I believe too).

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