Traditional Church Structure

I don’t know about you, but I like the traditional church structure better. I don’t know why, but it is so much more awe-inspiring. I like seeing all the chairs in rows facing the altar and I like how the altar was so grand. I could see statues of the saints and those of Mary and Jesus. They also have side rooms with devotions. It is very Magnificent. The modern structure is okay, but I tend to like the traditional structure better. How about you?

A modern church tries to bring the altar to the people. A traditional church fences it off.
My view is that both express a truth. The problem is that the invitation of the modern church is too often not accepted. A few people respond by increasing their commitment, which is right, good, positive, and what was envisaged by Vatican II, but the majority reduce it, thinking maybe that they have achieved sanctity and nothing more is necessary.

The traditional church can encourage a sort of totally formal, unfelt, and ultimately not serious type of membership as well, however. It is not a pancea.

I understand where you are coming from. My point was not that the modern structures do not express the truth or that traditional churches have attendees full of saintliness all the time. But, I am saying that the Traditional Church makes the altar seem more of something that is superior. While this does have its disadvantages, it makes the sacrifice seem more grand. In the other case, modern structures make the Mass seem much nearer, making God approachable, but its disadvantage is that it gives majority of people the feeling that Mass is and “ordinary” event. You see what I’m trying to say?

Traditional church styles tend to direct the focus of the Liturgy towards the worship of God: many modern churches direct the focus towards the congregation.

What does that mean?

The structure of Catholic churches prior to the 1970s directed the focus of the congregation and the Liturgy towards God. Consider that, in most churches, the Tabernacle would be on the High Altar, towards which the structure of the church building itself was oriented (and in most cases, the Altar would be facing East, the direction from which Christ will come again). So the focus of prayer and worship would be the Blessed Sacrament, the Real Presence of Christ, in the Tabernacle. Even in churches where the Tabernacle was not on the High Altar, the symbolism of the orientation of prayer and worship is readily apparent. The use of statuary and iconography supports this.

I see, but do you agree with the liberties that Vatican II has given to the liturgy? I have no problem with it for the most part, but do you?

I was just considering the grandness of the cathedrals that I went to and how it altared my behavior. I know from my own masses that the NO mass structures has its own truth, but I was just asking which structure people would agree with more.

It depends if you speak of Vatican II (Sacrosanctum Concilium) or the so-called “Spirit of Vatican II” and the post-Conciliar reforms.

Sacrosanctum Concilium mandated the use of Latin in the Mass (allowing vernacular only as an option for certain parts of the Propers of the Mass, notably the readings at public Masses), called Gregorian Chant the greatest treasure of the Church, spoke nothing of the position of the Altar, and, most importantly, did not call for the creation of a New Missal to supersede the Missal of Pius V.

Yes, but didn’t Blessed John create a 1962 (or was it 1965) Tridentine Missal? I understand that the Council did not call for a change in the Liturgy, but do you agree with Reforms made anyway?

The 1962 Missal of Blessed John XXIII was not a new Missal, but a revision the Tridentine Missal (which was not new itself when promulgated in 1570). Pius XII made changes to the Missal in 1945 and again in 1955. Prior to Pius XII there were changed made by Leo XIII and Pius X. In fact many Popes since St. Pius V have made changes to the Tridentine Missal. That kind of reform is not problematic.

Paul VI, in 1969, did a differant thing. He promulgated a completely New Missal. It wasnt a revision or reform of the Tridentine Missal, but a completely new creation of a Liturgical Council headed by Archbishop Bugnini, loosely based on previous Liturgical traditions of the Roman Rite and the Eastern Rites to some extent, but very much was innovation. The Novus Ordo is an artificialy created Liturgy.

I understand, but do you see the motives as benevolent?

You’ve got to be kidding. So St. Francis of Assissi, Thomas Aquinas, Joan of Arc, etc. were not serious members of the Church? Did you take a poll among the past Saints and members of the Church to learn that their membership was totally formal and unfelt?

What was lost with the more modern style of church, which followed Vatican II, was the cathedral-like structure and setting which promoted/inspired a reverence for the Divine. Modern churches, in their quest to be more “receptive” and congregation-oriented, and unintentionally in my opinion, have subverted the Holy nature of the Church and the reverence for the Divine which it should always inspire.

Can encourage, not inevitably creates.
St Francis and Joan of Arc were both soldiers. That doesn’t mean that war should be encouraged.

Plus, if I might add, when you look across the church you are looking at other peoples faces, which is very distracting to me. I want to focus on the Mass, not other people.

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