First, I didn’t state that you were arrogant and elitist. What I said was that statements like this:
“Those whose biggest complaint about the Tridentine Mass is the use of Latin wouldn’t like it if it were in English.”
“Those attached to the Novus Ordo would not go to the Tridentine Mass no matter what language is used. It’s not the language that gives them trouble, it’s the theology behind the Mass.”
did nothing to dissuade anyone that many of those pushing for the TLM are not elitist and arrogant. If you feel that it was aimed at you, perhaps you should go back and look at what you wrote.I t is uncharitable to lump people together so that they can be simply dismissed. Not all American Catholics that love the Mass of Paul VI or (I suppose) any Mass in the vernacular are Sr. Joan Chichester or Father Richard McBrien. Despite the spectacular examples of abuse and weirdness that crop up on the forums, I doubt MOST of them are.
As for rest of what you wrote, you’ve trotted out the same complaints about why some believe the TLM is inherently, in and of itself, more reverent, why the Pauline Mass is deficient, that we’ve all heard before. I’ve never been able to get this across and I doubt I will this time, but: Reverence is NOT in how many times one genuflects or makes the sign of the Cross. Certainly those things are signs that are terribly important, but I think we can take a warning from the Savior in one of His “woes” to the Pharisees, whom He scorned for lengthening their prayer tassels and for widening the straps of their phylacteries. Reverence is an interior disposition which can be demonstrated by an outward action. Doing something over and over doesn’t make that interior reverence more than what it already is. Less CAN actually be more. The NO Mass can certainly be abused, but I know too many old Catholics who’ve lived with both liturgies to believe that silly assertion that the old was abuse proof.
You brought up your problem, I’ll bring up mine (and I have never in these forums criticized the TLM before): Latin (first and foremost): I don’t see the logic in insisting on Latin. Sure, it’s a dead language and immutable. That doesn’t matter, though, since no one can understand it! “But the translation is there on the next page!” But I thought that the point was that translation lead to a corruption of meaning, so this essentially means that the faithful are being given something a little skewed, a little off. Do we need to accomodate God by having the Mass in Latin? The Ancient of Days doesn’t understand English or German or Tagalog? God needs Latin? Please. And those who think we COULD have a little of the vernacular want to limit it to the readings, they want EVERYTHING else in Latin. I very much think that will effect the Church adversely.
Have you watched the video of the TLM that Archbishop Sheen of happy memory narrarated? You can find it several places. If you haven’t, watch it. I find the Asperges as it is done there almost funny. People complain (and rightly so) about liturgical dance, yet this looks like nothing so much as a “liturgical line dance,” a “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” down the nave of the church. And what’s with the server’s continuing the practice of lifting the hem of the priest’s chasuble when he elevates the Chalice? I could see it back in the day when the chasuble was actually encrusted with gems, was actually heavy. And the continued insistence on the part of “traditionalists” on things like birettas on priests, the absolute necessity of the Roman chasuble (looks like a an overdone Dairy Queen apron), the changing from cope to chasuble mid-service, just seems more than a tad fussy, a little on the precious side, slightly effeminate, flowery, overdone, mincing. Even if the NO Mass was ONLY in Latin, I’d attend it (esp. inasmuch as it possesses the fullness of Catholic Truth as well) rather than the TLM. There is a noble austerity and simplicity to the Pauline Mass well and reverently celebrated. Yes, it’s sometimes abused and that needs to be stopped. But it is not, of its form or nature, any less Catholic than the TLM, despite all of the things you mention. It’s an excellent example, to my mind, of “less is more.”
Think I’m alone in that opinion? Read what Cardinal Dulles (hardly a liberal, he hung out with Fr. Feeny) has to say about his experience of the old Mass:
Prayer never hurt anyone, so I thank you and assure you of mine.