The new old Tridentine Mass

I have just been to my first experience at a Tridentine Mass. Having only known the Novus Ordo (I converted to RC in 1988), I wondered about the old mass and heard so many who said they missed it, how beautiful it was, etc. Let me just say it was such a powerful experience. I developed the belief over the years that the Tridentine Mass was a perfect backdrop for inner meditation. (This idea came from an old prayer book.) We are actually supposed to be deeply meditating during the chanting and the prayers and the inaudable parts. (Unless you are occupied doing so, the Latin Mass can be totally boring to people.) The Tridentine Mass caused me to become very meditative. I was very inwardly busy instead of outwardly busy, as one is at the Novus Ordo. But the Latin Mass was more meaningful because I was in meditation. At the new mass there are so many distractions. Also the beautiful language (English) was so inspiring. Why would anyone want to remove such beautiful wordings from the liturgy??? I also believe that the Church should absolutely keep the Latin language as a unifying force, and that all Catholics be taught some Latin.:thumbsup:

I second THAT!! :thumbsup: I think there is alot of positve things that can be said for the Latin Mass over the Novus Ordo. The priests act like and dress like priests. The music, even chanting, is prettier and most churches that have the latin mass give the feeling of being at a church. Now that you have come to the latin mass it is going to be hard to go back to the NO church (for weddings or funerals, etc…), chances are, you will find it annoying there.

Your experience is identical to my own. I think this is the continuity that our beloved HF is trying to recapture in promoting the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite of Mass. My hope is that people will realize what they have been missing with the way the Ordinary Form has been offered in the past few decades, and they will start demanding more of a sacral atmosphere than a “community gathering”.

If you’d like to read more on liturgy, I’d highly recommend Reform of the Roman Liturgy, a book by a brilliant liturgist and theologian, Msgr. Klaus Gamber, whom Ratzinger admired immensely…and he even wrote the preface to the French edition of Gamber’s book.

The pendulum is swinging back to center. Deo Gratias.

I don’t think that the New Mass has to be annoying. Rather, I think that certain “options” that are not in continuity need to be exercised rarely. That, however, is a judgment call beyond my vocation. I also think that people our age don’t have any sense of what “being Catholic” was like for many generations of Catholics before us. We aren’t familiar with “Ember Days”, “40 Hours Devotions”, fasting from the night before receiving Holy Communion, Confessionals that looked like confessionals (instead of therapy rooms), Septuagesima, fiddleback chasubles, Baptisms with a firey exorcism rite, Confirmation where the Bishop grilled you and then slapped you on the cheek, Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, the Last Gospel, ANTIPHON PROPERS (for crying out loud!!!), the Liber Usualis, Missa Orbis Factor, subdeacons, altar rails, reredos, and as you mentioned…Latin and silence.

My hope is in God, but I can’t hide the fact that I am jazzed that Ratzinger is His vicar.

Know that you are in good company. Bl. Pope John XXIII, who called the Second Vatican Council, praised Latin highly (as a unifying force, among others) and called for its retention in the Church’s liturgies in his 1959 Apostolic Letter Veterum Sapientia. And the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy from Vatican II said that “the faithful [should] also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.” (Sacrosanctum Concilium 54)

People need to start realizing that Mass is no mere “community gathering” – it is a meeting between Heaven and earth, it is an action of the whole Church (“triumphant” in Heaven, “militant” on earth, “suffering” in Purgatory), Body (us) and Head (Christ). It is the action first and foremost of the Head, Christ, through His priest, and secondly of His Body, us.

We do need continuity from the EF to the OF, definitely. To restore the OF to what it should be and to keep it from (further?) corruptions and abuses.

The ‘community gathering’ concept has been the motivation for many of the ‘spirit of Vatican II’ changes (i.e. clamshell church design instead of cross, venacular instead of Latin, table instead of altar, ad populus instead of ad orientum, handshakes, hand communion, laity in the sanctuary, etc, etc).

The Tridentine Mass with its emphasis on reverence and worship is making a comeback. Jesus said the gates of hell would never prevail and I suppose the Church has endured worse things than the Age of Aquarius.

You are all saying things I have felt too. I used to see many scenes in the movies about confession and I always thought the Catholic way of confession was wonderful. The month before I was to have my first confession, our church did a Vat II remodeling, removing the altar rail and the confessionals (which were made of beautifully carved wood). I mourned this. My first communion was with a very modern priest and was just like psychotherapy. Very disappointing and even disturbing. Later our church put in a “reconciliation room” and you could choose face-to-face, or a screen. Next time, I chose the screen and the confession was much better that time, with a feeling of having come before God as a penitent. I never felt so cleansed in my soul! (I still miss the beautiful wooden confessionals.) I am feeling so blessed that a priest (I don’t know his name yet) has come to our church to hold the Tridentine Mass (once a month).

I think Vat II was some of the best intentions that turned into a total fiasco and ruined a lot of the beautiful stuff while not addressing some of the large problems that still are causing divisions. One of the most terrible results of Vat II change and misunderstanding of what was meant in the documents occurred in the women’s orders. What occurred in the 60s and 70s with many nuns turning feminist revolutionaries and traditionalists having to flee a community which became totally alien to what it had been. Certainly the oppressive nature of some of the rigid rules should have been relaxed in many convents, but you don’t go to the extreme of allowing religious role models to run amok, donning suits and high heels so they can be “groovy” and modern like secular people. That whole scene was an abomination!:wink:

Yes, an abomination. So much run amok. People bowing at tables and ignoring the tabernacle.

I recently re-discovered the old Latin mass. What a treasure it was that I grew up with and I never noticed. It’s was like someone came into your Victorian mansion and took all your antiques and gave you Ikea instead, (No offense, I like Ikea ok) but you now realize that what they took was priceless. Thank God for those souls who kept the Latin mass for us all.

I just wanted to note that it IS appropriate to bow to an altar that doesn’t have a tabernacle, even if looks like a plain and uninteresting table, because it is the altar on which the Holy Sacrifice is re-presented for us.

That said, I would much prefer to see a marble high alter with a tabernacle on it, genuflected to each time it is passed or approached, like is customary in the EF. The GIRM actually specifies that you should not genuflect to a tabernacle during Mass (only at the beginning and end) and I really wish it didn’t say that. My priest - fairly traditional and very faithful to the teachings of the Church - ignores the GIRM on that point and genuflects a lot.

janessa1850,

I have just been to my first experience at a Tridentine Mass. Having only known the Novus Ordo (I converted to RC in 1988), I wondered about the old mass and heard so many who said they missed it, how beautiful it was, etc. Let me just say it was such a powerful experience. I developed the belief over the years that the Tridentine Mass was a perfect backdrop for inner meditation. (This idea came from an old prayer book.) We are actually supposed to be deeply meditating during the chanting and the prayers and the inaudable parts. (Unless you are occupied doing so, the Latin Mass can be totally boring to people.) The Tridentine Mass caused me to become very meditative. I was very inwardly busy instead of outwardly busy, as one is at the Novus Ordo. But the Latin Mass was more meaningful because I was in meditation. At the new mass there are so many distractions. Also the beautiful language (English) was so inspiring. Why would anyone want to remove such beautiful wordings from the liturgy??? I also believe that the Church should absolutely keep the Latin language as a unifying force, and that all Catholics be taught some Latin.

I’m glad you liked it, I very much prefer attending Extraordinary Form Mass also!

=janessa1850;5870891]I have just been to my first experience at a Tridentine Mass. Having only known the Novus Ordo (I converted to RC in 1988), I wondered about the old mass and heard so many who said they missed it, how beautiful it was, etc. Let me just say it was such a powerful experience. I developed the belief over the years that the Tridentine Mass was a perfect backdrop for inner meditation. (This idea came from an old prayer book.) We are actually supposed to be deeply meditating during the chanting and the prayers and the inaudable parts. (Unless you are occupied doing so, the Latin Mass can be totally boring to people.) The Tridentine Mass caused me to become very meditative. I was very inwardly busy instead of outwardly busy, as one is at the Novus Ordo. But the Latin Mass was more meaningful because I was in meditation. At the new mass there are so many distractions. Also the beautiful language (English) was so inspiring. Why would anyone want to remove such beautiful wordings from the liturgy??? I also believe that the Church should absolutely keep the Latin language as a unifying force, and that all Catholics be taught some Latin.:thumbsup:

Isn’t it GREAT that our Pope agrees with you and me:D

Love and prayers,

Pat

So you are bowing to a table? An inanimate object? I prefer to bow to the tabernacle where our Lord lies.

I will bow to the altar if the tabernacle is not present. Because it’s not just a table, it is the Altar of Sacrifice, even if it’s an ugly or plain looking one. The GIRM does call for bowing to an altar, even an empty one, to reverence the action that will take place or has taken place there.

If the tabernacle is present - and I prefer that it be, believe me! - I genuflect to the tabernacle rather than bowing to the altar.

If the tabernacle is not in the sanctuary I will usually go seek it out to reverence Christ with a genuflection. But I’ll still bow to the altar in the sanctuary as well. Thankfully in my parish we have a beautiful marble high altar with the tabernacle on it (as well as a table-style altar in front of it). So I always genuflect except during the Triduum when the tabernacle is empty.

I couldn’t agree more about the meditative aspect of the old mass. I’m used to the new mass, because it’s all I’ve ever known, but sometimes it feels like I’m trying to jam a meditative experience into something that wasn’t designed for it. To me, the new mass feels like it was put together in a hurry, and they never worked out the bugs before putting it in parishes, if that makes any sense. You’re really at the mercy of whoever is celebrating the mass. If the priest is deeply meditative, the mass can be too, but if the priest is a goofball, then almost anything can happen.

The biggest difference I noticed when I first went to a Tridentine mass was that the focus was no longer on the priest. It was on God. I went to an FSSP parish, and I remember being in awe of the seriousness of purpose throughout the whole mass. It was joyful, but serious and focused at the same time.

Most of the time the new mass, at my parish anyway, seems to have only one emotion, peppy. If I’m not feeling peppy that day, I feel out of place. Sometimes I don’t want to sing, I just want to meditate on Jesus, not sing peppy songs.

That “inanimate object” represents Christ, in addition to being the altar of sacrifice. That is why we bow to it.

May the Lord bless pope Benedict for leading us back to the righteous path and away from the devil.

It’s a shame that so many churches have taken the tabernacle out of the sanctuary and caused such confusion.

The Tridentine Mass is much more of a prayer, thus appropriate for meditation. The Novus Ordo is more of a community gathering, supper versus sacrifice.

Ancedotally, there are NO parishes alive and growing, but the overall numbers are down in our Church since the new Mass and ‘spirit of Vatican II’ changes thrust upon us.

=Bbigam;=I just wanted to note that it IS appropriate to bow to an altar that doesn’t have a tabernacle, even if looks like a plain and uninteresting table, because it is the altar on which the Holy Sacrifice is re-presented for us.

That said, I would much prefer to see a marble high alter with a tabernacle on it, genuflected to each time it is passed or approached, like is customary in the EF. The GIRM actually specifies that you should not genuflect to a tabernacle during Mass (only at the beginning and end) and I really wish it didn’t say that. My priest - fairly traditional and very faithful to the teachings of the Church - ignores the GIRM on that point and genuflects a lot.

Here is the 2002 /2003 Current GRIM.

67
IV. SOME GENERAL NORMS FOR ALL FORMS OF MASS
Veneration of the Altar and the Book of the Gospels

  1. According to traditional practice, the altar and the Book of the Gospels are venerated by means of a kiss. Where, however, a sign of this kind is not in harmony with the traditions or the culture of some region, it is for the Conference of Bishops to establish some other sign in its place, with the consent of the Apostolic See.

**Genuflections and Bows

  1. A genuflection, made by bending the right knee to the ground, signifies adoration, and therefore it is reserved for the Most Blessed Sacrament, as well as for the Holy Cross from the solemn adoration during the liturgical celebration on Good Friday until the beginning of the Easter Vigil.**

During Mass, three genuflections are made by the priest celebrant: namely, after the showing of the host, after the showing of the chalice, and before Communion. Certain specific features to be observed in a concelebrated Mass are noted in their proper place (cf. above, nos. 210-251).

If, however, the tabernacle with the Most Blessed Sacrament is present in the sanctuary, the priest, the deacon, and the other ministers genuflect when they approach the altar and when they depart from it, but not during the celebration of Mass itself.

Otherwise all who pass before the Most Blessed Sacrament genuflect, unless they are moving in procession.

Ministers carrying the processional cross or candles bow their heads instead of genuflecting.

**
275. A bow signifies reverence and honor shown to the persons themselves or to the signs that represent them. There are two kinds of bows: a bow of the head and a bow of the body. **

a. A bow of the head is made when the three Divine Persons are named together and at
the names of Jesus, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of the Saint in whose honor
Mass is being celebrated.

b. A bow of the body, that is to say a profound bow, is made to the altar; during the
prayers Munda cor meum (Almighty God, cleanse my heart) and In spiritu humilitatis
(Lord God, we ask you to receive); in the Creed at the words Et incarnatus est (by the
power of the Holy Spirit . . . made man); in the Roman Canon at the words Supplices te rogamus (Almighty God, we pray that your angel). The same kind of bow is made
by the deacon when he asks for a blessing before the proclamation of the Gospel. In
addition, the priest bows slightly as he speaks the words of the Lord at the
consecration.

Ockham, I completely agree with you on this!

I think the EF and OF each have their strong points, but I do wish they would tighten up the rubrics (and follow them better) in the OF. I am blessed to be in an OF parish in which the Mass is very reverently celebrated and the tabernacle is central on a high altar and is never ignored.

Thanks for posting! I knew it was out there somewhere.

Hold it right there!!!

No Mass is supposed to be meditated through, no matter what the old prayer books say. Rather, Mass is supposed to be actively participated in, even if all you are doing is attentively listening.

I grew up RC, and the nuns in school could always tell if my mind was wandering. A sssst from Sister was all I needed to wrench my mind back, and put my mind into what was going on at the Altar. True, a lot of it was quiet, but still, if you knew the Mass, then what the priest was doing was enough to tell you exactly where in the Mass you were, and what the priest was saying. This way, you could focus your mind of the Sacrament, and not on the statues, the flowers, or what is going on inside your mind.

After leaving the Church, I met Orthodoxy, and there, you sometimes can’t even see what the priest is doing. And, with the Liturgy in Ukrainian, there are not a whole lot of cues from the language. Still, I quickly learned what was going on, so I could actively participate by listening. If I could do it in Ukrainian, you should be able to do it in Latin.

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