Tridentine Mass rumors

As I imagine you know, it is very likely that the pope will soon release a document liberalizing use of the Tridentine Mass in order to make it more widely available. A lot of the controversy around this centers around the orientation of the priest during the liturgy, with some people angry about having the priest turn “away from the people.” In the newly released issue of Dappled Things, prominent blogger Matthew Alderman has a great essay about the celebration of the Mass facing East. It is a very thorough essay in which he investigates the debates about celebrating the liturgy this way and dispels a LOT of myths in the process. Check it out at

Have you guys experienced the liturgy celebrated like this (either Tridentine or Novus Ordo)? What did you think? And what do you think now in light of Mr. Alderman’s arguments? It seems to me he does a pretty thorough job. If more people read this essay there would be a lot more understanding of the upcoming decision from the Vatican.

I’m old enough to remember the Latin Mass. In fact, I was an altar boy during that time.

I personally like the present way we celebrate mass more than the old way. Saying the mass in the congregation’s native tongue makes alot more sense to me. Do you think Jesus had his back to the apostles at the last supper and spoke in a language foreign to them? Of course not! Having said that, I realize there are some who like the Latin Mass and if the Church wants to bring it back in some limited degree then I have no problem with it.

First I will admit that I did not read the article. Yet.

I occasionally attend a Tridentine Mass. It is a beautiful reverant Mass. I find it much more inspiring than the Novus Order, generally. Unfortunately, my Diocese, like many who permit the TLM, only permits one very small, (seating for < 100) out of the way parish to say one TLM Mass each week. The priest is past retirement age and has been told there are no plans to replace him.

I would greatly welcome a more widely available Latin Mass. My home parish is quite large and about 30% Spanish speaking. A Latin Mass would help unify our community in way that the English vs Spanish Masses cannot.

Yes. Being fluent in Spanish and English myself, I don’t have difficulties during bilingual Masses but always wonder what people who only speak one of the languages think about the constant back and forth. It gets kind of weird sometimes. I’ve often thought that this awkwardness could be avoided by using Latin more often – which, by the way, does not mandate a return of the Tridentine Mass, as any priest can celebrate the Novus Ordo in Latin (completely or in part) whenever he wishes.

Regarding mikew262’s comment, however, I would suggest that he begin by reading the article. (I mean that in a kind and respectful manner, by the way. :slight_smile: ) One of the author’s points is that even in the almost mythical “house liturgies” of the very early Church, Mass was celebrated facing east. Remember that it’s not about facing away from the people, but rather in the same direction as the people. The author even argues that even in depictions of the last supper (the event in which the Eucharist was instituted) we see Christ and his Apostles on the same side of the table, facing the same direction. Alderman states, based on scholarship, that this most probably was the case in real life (not only in art) as the tables in use for that sort of event were half circles, with all the guests on the same side.

But please, go ahead and read the article. It’s very interesting.

It would be truly awesome if the Traditional Latin Mass was made more widely available. I have never witnessed a TLM before but would like to. There are none available in my diocese though.

Honestly, it’s not a matter of what any “one” of us personally want, it’s what it’s what some of us need.

Personally, I think that LifeTeen, Charismatic masses and Innovative NO masses are wacky. I don’t like them and would chew off my right arm (figurtively) not to attend one.

Do I think they should be done away with? No. Someone out there likes them.

And for anyone to state “I don’t like the TLM.” SO? No one is asking you to go to one. They should be universally available for those that want it. I’ve been to one and my knees can’t take them (lots of genuflecting).

Some have wanted this a long time and I hope the rumors are true.

what an incredible paper. I am really interested in how the NO Missal may suggest ad orientem, and personally that sounds wonderful. I am beginning to understand how some folks see the current versus populum as a kind of stage play, the presider performs the worship for us instead of with us. Like a stage director he gives us cues as to when to stand, when to kneel, when to speak.

When thinking about worship as an awaiting for the return of Christ, facing East (either truely or spiritually), the whole body as one, with the presider as our head (sound familiar) makes perfecty sense. This seems more communal than being an interactive audience at a performance of “Eucharist” the musical.

I am totally in favor of a wider application of the Latin liturgy. As a Catholic who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s I can attest to the liturgical meltdowns, liturgical and architectural, that occured in this area of the country.

A return to the discipline and the reverence of either the Tridentine Mass or the Novus Ordo when said in the manner in which it was intended is exactly what the church needs. No more felt banners, no more nuns who dress like office managers, no more standing around the altar holding hands during the “Our Father”, no more singing Kumbaya and no more churches built that look like corporate conference rooms.

Please Pope Benedict, bring back the true practice of the faith.

I was also raised in the church during the 70s and 80s. Those were very dark years for the church in my area. The results from those two decades has come to fruitation in my hometown church (a particularly “progressive” church in those years) now being quite empty on sundays. Too bad because my mom said that the early to mid 70’s the parish was considering a newer larger church based on the number of families and the growth at the time. THe eixisting church was only about 20 (built in 1953) years old and as the 70s and 80s wore on and the liturgical mileu took root the church bled of parishoners …it basically has wiped out 1 -2 generations of Catholics in my hometown many simply just quit going to church when they became adults and here we are 20-30 years later and the core group of women who went way overboard in the 70s are now the only grey hairs in the pews. Now they all just sit around and blame the empty church on celibacy and the male only priesthood.

Funny the parish I belong to now is overcrowded, but, I must admit as far as orthodoxy goes my current parish is at the other end of the spectrum from my childhood parish. My moms jaw just about dropped when she heard us chanting the Agnus Dei when she visited the first time.

Yes, the “spirit of Vatican II” as it was so used and abused here in this country wreaked havoc in my hometown as well. We used to have three large, thriving parishes, Sacred Heart for the Poles, St. Stanislaw for the French-Canadians and St. Joseph’s for everyone else. In addition, we had a NATIONAL shrine to Our Lady run by the La Salette Fathers, a seminary run by the Salesians which also doubled as a summer camp for boys and a convent for the Sisters of Notre Dame.

All of them, with the exception of St. Joseph’s and the convent are gone. All of them. Closed down and sold off by the archdiocese to pay sex abuse claims. Of course they had been dying a long, slow painful death for years, the abuse crisis just finished them off.

To refresh everyone’s memory-- the OP asks

In the newly released issue of Dappled Things, prominent blogger Matthew Alderman has a great essay about the celebration of the **Mass facing East. It is a very thorough essay in which he investigates the debates about celebrating the liturgy this way **

and dispels a LOT of myths in the process. Check it out at

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