The Laity and Their Role at a TLM


#1

For those old enough to know : what did the people do at Mass before 1962 ?

I’m getting the impression that a lot of people think they just sat there until time for Communion.

One of the things mentioned in defense of the NO Mass is the participation of the laity. Fair enough, there is plenty. But the people did assist at the old Mass didn’t they ?


#2

Here is how they assisted, and still do at the Traditional Mass:

The Holy Mass is a prayer itself, even the highest prayer that exists. It is the Sacrifice, dedicated by our Redeemer at the Cross, and repeated every day on the altar. If you wish to hear Mass as it should be heard, you must follow with eye, heart and mouth all that happens at the altar. Further you must pray with the priest the holy words said by him in the Name of Christ and which Christ says by him. You have to associate your heart with the holy feelings which are contained in these words, and in this manner you ought to follow all that happens on the altar. When acting in this way you have prayed the Holy Mass. - His Holiness, Pope St. Pius X


#3

Thanks for the quote. I wasn’t aware of that one, but it confirms what I was thinking. It seems before the NO, the term was “assist at Mass”. Now, at the NO, we “participate”. Same thing.

What made me post the question was this text I came across in an old 1908 prayerbook…

From " My Prayer Book" by F. X. Lasance …

** The Eucharistic Rosary**
A Devotion that is suitable at Holy Mass and at the Hour of Adoration

The Holy Rosary, on account of the meditations on the mysteries in the life of Our Lord and the blessed Virgin, which we make while reciting it, is one of the most useful devotions while assisting at Mass, or, in connection with our visits to the Blessed Sacrament and the Hour of Adoration.
The Eucharistic Rosary is especially recommended for this purpose, as it unites meditation on the sacred mysteries of the Rosary with reflections on the life of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. The Rosary is one of the most admirable and beneficial devotions practiced in the Catholic Church.

So much for the “people should not say the rosary during Mass” topic that pops up every few months on the forum.

Anyhow, thanks again Pg. By the time I was old enough to really grasp what was going on, the Pauline Mass had replaced the LM.


#4

How does a person do that when he doesn’t understand the language?


#5

Even though classical latin is an extemely dificult langauge to learn, ecclesiastical latin is not so hard because of the limited vocabulary. So I think after a few times at mass people would understand what they are saying plus at my grandmothers school they were taught tranlsation and the tridentine mass at primary school and that was common apparently in irish schools!


#6

I graduated from high school in 1965, and I can’t express my joy that I will again be able to assist at the “old” Mass. When we will children we were taught by the good Sisters to “pray with the priest.” That was how they explained the exhortation of Pope St. Pius X to us. We were taught by our parents and teachers what the priest was doing at the altar. Our priests are real priests, that is they offer sacrifice. We do not have to understand what they say or even hear them, since the priest is offering the sacrifice to God, and not to us. We were taught to assist by praying along with the priest using our hand missals which included the exact words said by the priest or by using other prayerbooks which featured prayers which expressed the meaning of the priest’s prayers in an easier to understand form. I still have my missal, full of holy cards given to me by the Sisters or from funerals of my relatives, but I am going to order a new one to keep my old missal as a remembrance of my childhood. I hope that I will be able to attend the 1962 Mass soon here in Israel. As far as I known, there is no indult Mass offered here. If anyone knows of one, please post and let me know.


#7

Why the preoccupation with understanding every single word?

It is not necessary.

You know what happens at the Mass, you pray the Mass, you have your Missal for translation. Active Participation isn’t about understanding everything thats said. It is about uniting yourself to the Sacrifice of the Cross made present again at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

The prayers at the foot of the Altar… you cant hear them, but you know that in every Mass in the whole world (in the Extraordinary form) these same prayers are being said. You don’t NEED to hear them, or understand every single word of them, you can unite yourself to those prayers. It is the same with all the parts of the Mass.

Vernacular does not increase understanding of the Mass. One only has to look at the state of catechis today to see that. Ask 100 people at your parish what the Mass is, and report back. Do the same 50 years ago, when the Mass was in Latin and nobody ‘understood’ what the priest was saying, I think one will notice quite a big difference.

I don’t understand Latin, and neither does probably 99% of the Congregation who attends the Indults I go to, although we all understand the Mass and whats happening at the Mass. Strange that, isn’t it?


#8

Fantastic post by Nick regarding the venacular, by using the lain langauge of which many do not understand a sense of mystery is created which in turn resulted in higher mass attaendances. The Novus ordo by using the venacular has made the sacrifice of he mass seem more every day and mudanne in comparison to the sacrificial feel of the tridentine rite and this has resulted in a huge reduction in mass attendances since 1960.


#9

Thank you Marysann. Exactly the kind of recollection I was hoping for. Thanks for sharing. :slight_smile:

I’d like to ask a question since you are in Israel if I may.
The news media have run a lot of reports of negative reaction to the Motu Proprio. Seems many people don’t realize that the new direction by Pope BXVI states plainly that there will be no TLM said on Good Friday. Or that the Missal of 1962 does not have the prayer in it anyway ; the prayer for the conversion of Jews.
Have you heard any negative comments from the Jewish population there ? Just curious if they are as upset as the news media seems to want them to be.

God Bless


#10

At Mass I like to think about what every word and expression means as I hear/speak it. You cannot do that if you don’t understand the language. Simply learning something by heart does not mean you understand what is being said.


#11

Well, the MP makes it clear that the Pauline Mass will remain the ordinary form. Those like yourself have nothing to fear. If you feel venacular is spectacular ; carry on :smiley:

Pax


#12

Why do you make silly sarcastic remarks like that. I don’t fear Latin and who said the NO was spectacular? I speak more than one language fluently and would not have great difficulty in picking Latin up sufficiently to participate in a Latin Mass but you have obviously missed the point. By the way, I was talking about the language of the Mass and not the type of Mass. The NO is also in Latin.
If you can’t make charitable comments best to say nothing!


#13

I’ll chime in here because this is just plain wrong. I was raised speaking Visayan and somehow learned Latin as an altar boy while still in the Philippines. When I came to the US as a very young man, I learned English, as you say it by heart and I think I did pretty well in doing so.

My Mother had about a fourth grade education and my Grandmother less than that. Yet somehow these two relatively uneducated women both learned,. actually knew and understood what was being said in the Mass and more than that, actively prayed it along with the Priest as well as maintaining numerous outside devotions.

By your analogy, neither my Grandmother, Mother or I should be have been able to do it, yet we all did.

The truth my old friend Thistle is that if someone wants to learn something they will, and if they don’t they won’t. Very very few people are incapable of doing so. A lot don’t want to, but vety few are incapable.

I saw a statement in a biography I read a while back and it made a lot of sense to me. In it the writer, a fairly liberal Priest in Philadelphia was recounting his younger days when everyone was ecstatic over the vernacular being introduced into the Mass. The Priest tells some people that now everyone will understand the Mass as it will be said in their own languages.::slight_smile:

The people he was speaking to, an older German couple told him in reply:

IF PEOPLE WILL NOT LEARN WHAT ANGUS DEI MEANS WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THEY WILL LEARN WHAT LAMB OF GOD MEANS?:eek:

Think about it for a while.


#14

I don’t understand Latin, and neither does probably 99% of the Congregation who attends the Indults I go to, although we all understand the Mass and whats happening at the Mass.

You probably understand more Latin than you think. Especially, if you know the organization of the Mass and what it represents through its beautiful and poetic text. The TLM, though it takes a little study beforehand, makes it ultimately easier in that respect.

Philosophically speaking, one can say a lot by just being quiet. Animals do, why can’t humans? Conversely, what do they say about empty heads?


#15

There are no PRIVATE liturgies done during the Triduum (per Article 2 of the MP). That’s not unusual, because there are also no private N.O. liturgies allowed then too.

But Article 5 discusses the conditions for a public (scheduled) celebration. If those conditions are met, a parish may have it’s Triduum liturigies using the Extraordinary form.

This was answered in the ‘Ask an Apologist’ forum by Fr. Serpa.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=167402


#16

I think I’m flogging a dead horse here. I’m not saying that people cannot learn all the prayers in Latin for the Mass.
Enough parrot fashion repetition and they can. My point is that unless someone can think in a language and be able to easily converse in a language they don’t properly understand what they are saying.
I don’t speak Spanish but if someone has me repeating the Our Father in Spanish for hours every day for a few days I will be able to say it by myself but that does not mean I understand in Spanish what I’m saying.
My mother tongue is English so when I pray the Our Father I think about what the words mean as I’m praying them. You cannot do that if you cannot think in the language. Without that ability all you know is that you are praying the Our Father in a foreign language.
I think I’ll drop out of this discussion now because I’m at a loss to understand why people don’t get my point.
Let’s just agree to disagree.


#17

I think I’m flogging a dead horse here. I’m not saying that people cannot learn all the prayers in Latin for the Mass.
Enough parrot fashion repetition and they can. My point is that unless someone can think in a language and be able to easily converse in a language they don’t properly understand what they are saying.

I think you missed palmas’ point-actually, you do not have to be conversant in Latin to be able to understand the Mass and pray the Mass. My family members who grew up with the traditional Mass knew how to pray the Mass and did actually understand what was going on up at the altar and the Mass was probably more “relevant” for them than the vernacular ever was. I assist at the TLM and am not conversant in Latin (but all the Latin I do know I learned from the TLM) though I certainly know what is going on and know what I’m praying. I think when we limit the Mass to a mere matter of immediate communication we limit the full impact it can have.

I don’t speak Spanish but if someone has me repeating the Our Father in Spanish for hours every day for a few days I will be able to say it by myself but that does not mean I understand in Spanish what I’m saying.
My mother tongue is English so when I pray the Our Father I think about what the words mean as I’m praying them. You cannot do that if you cannot think in the language.
Without that ability all you know is that you are praying the Our Father in a foreign language.

The Padre Nuestro is the Our Father is the Pater Noster. You know what it means, no?


#18

Let me give you a small lesson:

English-------Spanish
tree --------- arbol
cat ----------- gato

A person can learn —tree means arbol in Spanish — cat is gato in Spanish. The same can be said —in reverse.

This person does not need to know-----turtle means tortuga in Spanish—to know— tree means arbol, cat means gato.

The same goes for learning prayer in different language. I person does not need to know the entire latin language—to know and understand the Mass in Latin.


#19

My mother tongue is English so when I pray the Our Father I think about what the words mean as I’m praying them. You cannot do that if you cannot think in the language.

Question: Do you actually think about the words (in any language) when you’re trying to keep at the same pace as those around you or you’re self-conscious about your voice or holding hands with your neighbor?

And when you pray the rosary, doesn’t your mind occasionally wander off, yet you still get the full benefits of the prayer?


#20

The simple fact that others don’t get your point perhaps should indicate something to you. Maybe, just maybe your point needs re-thinking.

By your own argument, I really shouldn’t be able to pray at all in English because I don’t think in English, as I still think in Visayan, and that is really just plain wrong. I’m sorry Thistle, but it is.

I really don’t think your argument has as much to do with what you say but the fact that you just don’t want Latin in the Mass for some reason, personal prejudice or whatever.


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