Uneasy at Novus Ordo


#1

I've been attending the trad Mass for years - after stumbling across it while in tertiary study.

I pretty much go to my local trad Mass daily, but occasionally I have to go to Mass elsewhere. When I go to the Novus Ordo Mass I get kind of uneasy with the priest saying the prayers looking at the congregation - I also get kind of freaked out when you are invited to greet the person next to you at the start of Mass, or even at the sign of peace. Don't get me started with all the blank looks of the special ministers standing around the altar and handling ciboria, chalices - AND THE BLESSED SACRAMENT. I just kind of try and ignore the fact that special ministers are handling the Blessed Sacrament.

I don't know whether to put this down to culture shock because the pious culture and ceremonies are so different in their outward expression, or attitude, or whatever; or if it is something more theological, etc.

Anyhow, I am just wondering if this a common thing, for people who go to the Latin Mass and then attend a Novus Ordo? I can't remember ever being uneasy at the Novus Ordo growing up - except at the sign of peace sometimes. Does it work the other way around as well? Anyone get uneasy attending the Latin Mass? Eastern Rites?

I guess this is about subjective responses to liturgies you're not used to.


#2

[quote="Pelicanus, post:1, topic:307553"]

I guess this is about subjective responses to liturgies you're not used to.

[/quote]

This is exactly what it is, but can be exacerbated if there are actually liturgical abuses included. It can be terribly painful to have to go through abuses, but, unless the Mass is actually invalid, then just offer your suffering to the Lord.


#3

[quote="Joan_M, post:2, topic:307553"]
This is exactly what it is, but can be exacerbated if there are actually liturgical abuses included. It can be terribly painful to have to go through abuses, but, unless the Mass is actually invalid, then just offer your suffering to the Lord.

[/quote]

Since when did Mass become an ordeal to offer up, instead of a delight and repose from the ordeals of the world?


#4

[quote="Pelicanus, post:3, topic:307553"]
Since when did Mass become an ordeal to offer up, instead of a delight and repose from the ordeals of the world?

[/quote]

But nothing the OP described constitutes abuses to be "offered up." He's just not accustomed to the celebration of the Ordinary Form.


#5

[quote="Pelicanus, post:1, topic:307553"]
I've been attending the trad Mass for years - after stumbling across it while in tertiary study.

I pretty much go to my local trad Mass daily, but occasionally I have to go to Mass elsewhere. When I go to the Novus Ordo Mass I get kind of uneasy with the priest saying the prayers looking at the congregation - I also get kind of freaked out when you are invited to greet the person next to you at the start of Mass, or even at the sign of peace. Don't get me started with all the blank looks of the special ministers standing around the altar and handling ciboria, chalices - AND THE BLESSED SACRAMENT. I just kind of try and ignore the fact that special ministers are handling the Blessed Sacrament.

I don't know whether to put this down to culture shock because the pious culture and ceremonies are so different in their outward expression, or attitude, or whatever; or if it is something more theological, etc.

Anyhow, I am just wondering if this a common thing, for people who go to the Latin Mass and then attend a Novus Ordo? I can't remember ever being uneasy at the Novus Ordo growing up - except at the sign of peace sometimes. Does it work the other way around as well? Anyone get uneasy attending the Latin Mass? Eastern Rites?

I guess this is about subjective responses to liturgies you're not used to.

[/quote]

Of COURSE it's culture shock. It's probably also indicative of your personality type--a bit more reserved and old-fashioned.

Everything you mentioned above is approved by Holy Mother Church. The priest facing the people, the EMHC--these are perfectly kosher for Catholic Mass. Our personal feelings don't matter--what matters is what the Catholic Church allows in the Holy Mass.

When my husband and I, as evangelical Protestants, went to our first Mass (a very modern Ordinary Form with very modern music at a very architecturally-modern Catholic Church!), we felt as though we had stepped back through the centuries into the ancient beginnings of Christianity.

Everything except the Bible readings and the Lord's Prayer was totally foreign and very strange to us. Kneeling was strange and uncomfortable. Making the Sign of the Cross was strange and scary--we wondered if we were doing something idolatrous. The various prayers were very strange, especially the prayers for the peaceful repose of parishioners who had passed on, and for a year, I refused to pray those prayers. In fact, the very term "parishioners" was strange to us--we were used to saying, "Members" or "Brothers and Sisters in Christ." And we had no idea what the priest was talking about when he used the word "intentions." (We were used to the term "prayer requests.)

The music was very strange to us, too--so old. We had never heard of "Marty Haugen" and "Dan Schutte," and all the songs sounded like ancient oldies to us. We did recognize the more traditional hymns like Holy God, We Praise Thy Name--we were used to singing those in the Protestant church. But not the Haugen songs--very strange music to us.

But as time passed and we LEARNED MORE about the Mass and Catholic Christianity, everything stopped being strange and uncomfortable. If you commit yourself to learning about the Ordinary Form of the Mass and attending on a regular basis, you will find that it feels more comfortable. It may still not be your personal preference, but at least you won't have doubts about the theology. Try reading The Lamb's Supper by Scott Hahn. This is actually an apologetic work meant to explain the Mass to Protestants, but you and others will glean a lot of useful information from it.


#6

[quote="Pelicanus, post:3, topic:307553"]
Since when did Mass become an ordeal to offer up, instead of a delight and repose from the ordeals of the world?

[/quote]

We don't call it a sacrifice for nothing. :D :p


#7

[quote="Pelicanus, post:3, topic:307553"]
Since when did Mass become an ordeal to offer up, instead of a delight and repose from the ordeals of the world?

[/quote]

:thumbsup:

OOhh!! I know this! Pick me! Pick me!


#8

[quote="Pelicanus, post:1, topic:307553"]
I've been attending the trad Mass for years - after stumbling across it while in tertiary study.

I pretty much go to my local trad Mass daily, but occasionally I have to go to Mass elsewhere. When I go to the Novus Ordo Mass I get kind of uneasy with the priest saying the prayers looking at the congregation - I also get kind of freaked out when you are invited to greet the person next to you at the start of Mass, or even at the sign of peace. Don't get me started with all the blank looks of the special ministers standing around the altar and handling ciboria, chalices - AND THE BLESSED SACRAMENT. I just kind of try and ignore the fact that special ministers are handling the Blessed Sacrament.

I don't know whether to put this down to culture shock because the pious culture and ceremonies are so different in their outward expression, or attitude, or whatever; or if it is something more theological, etc.

Anyhow, I am just wondering if this a common thing, for people who go to the Latin Mass and then attend a Novus Ordo? I can't remember ever being uneasy at the Novus Ordo growing up - except at the sign of peace sometimes. Does it work the other way around as well? Anyone get uneasy attending the Latin Mass? Eastern Rites?

I guess this is about subjective responses to liturgies you're not used to.

[/quote]

I would be very uneasy going to the TLM-mainly because of fellow CAF'ers who go and don't like the OF-they make it sound like they are there judging everyone. Since when do you know what people are thinking? I know when I am serving as an EMHC or sacristan/head server-I try to keep everything about myself as unnoticeable as possible as I should not be a distraction and blend in as much as possible. You very well may be turned off by my "blank" look-but much better that then being "flashy".

That being said...I don't sit there and pick apart the TLM-I just don't understand why people feel the need to do it for a perfectly valid form of the Mass....


#9

I personally cannot stand the priest “praying at” me when one celebrates Mass facing the people, unless there is a huge distance between the celebrant and me. I know that is not what the priest is literally doing, but I cannot help but shove my face into my hands when I attend a Mass celebrated versus populum. I kneel there in a corner with my face in my hands when the priest prays at the altar. I refuse to look except at the elevations and Ecce, Agnus Dei. It is like a psychological barrier, almost horrifying to me that the priest faces me. I am not nuts or something, I just usually cannot stand this whatsoever. And so I just offer it up, basically as a penance.


#10

I don't feel uncomfortable at either a TLM or OF mass. As long as either one is reverent and beautifully said, with or without all the "bells and whistles", I'm fine with it. When I attended my first EF, it was different and new to me, but I was so struck by the reverence and peacefulness of the mass. As a friend of mine once observed, the TLM is a wonderful mass for introverts, like myself, who tend to gravitate towards more reserved, introspective, "elegant" masses... not that an OF can't be all of that. They most definitely can, as I can attest to myself. I initially thought my friend's observations on that were out there until I I thought about it and got to know the people who loved attending the EF. (He's an introvert, as well, but he just prefers a very reverent OF and does not attend an EF). I rarely attend an EF, myself, mainly because I work at a couple parishes as a musician and I do like the parishes where I work very much.

I think in your case, it is more about culture shock and what you are not used to anymore, especially since you mostly attend the EF mass. It also might be the particular church you are attending which celebrates the OF.


#11

[quote="Pelicanus, post:1, topic:307553"]
I pretty much go to my local trad Mass daily, but occasionally I have to go to Mass elsewhere. When I go to the Novus Ordo Mass...

[/quote]

First, I don't think the term "trad" is allowed around here (because for awhile it was used as a perjorative against EF advocates). I know I got a moderator warning for using it once... shrug you might want to check.

Second, there is no such thing as the "Novus Ordo Mass". I think what you mean to say is the "Ordinary Form" of the mass, which is it's proper title.

I get kind of uneasy with the priest saying the prayers looking at the congregation

Why? Versus Populem was the norm until about the sixth or seventh century. Ad orientum came about as a means of having BOTH the priest and the people face east for the whole liturgy of the Eucharist... as a symbol of the universal priesthood.

So, when we consider the general line of "ad orientum has the symbolism of the priest at the head of the flock leading them to God" that is actually NOT the intention of ad orientum's institution in the first place. It is, in fact, a modern interpretation of a symbol that was put in place more than a millenium ago... and it completely ignores the original meaning of elevating the stature of the laity for unity with the ordinary. It adds new meaning that was not intended when the change was put in place.

Today, the meaning of turning your back on someone has changed (as seen by the EF advocates saying it's about the priest demonstrating the leadership of the flock)... but that change in meaning was NOT desireable... so to return to the original motivation for the symbolism of orientation during mass, a return to versus populem was restorative to the original intended meaning of the mass.

And that goes for adherents of the EF too... I don't have a problem with ad orientem, but you should understand that you're not being led by the priest. You're facing east WITH the priest to demonstrate the universal priesthood of believers (because contemporary judaism at the time Christianity came about had ONLY the priest face east while giving sacrifice, but not their laity, who faced west).

I also get kind of freaked out when you are invited to greet the person next to you at the start of Mass, or even at the sign of peace.

Why? The oldest recorded writings of the mass (at least, any that go into detail) note that the kiss of peace is one of the oldest parts of the mass. It was REMOVED and has been RESTORED. I would suppose that it was removed during the outbreaks of the plague during the middle ages, but I can't be certain of that fact. But the EF is one of the only rites in the history of Catholicism to NOT include a sign of peace (much less a KISS of peace, as many rites have called for).

Don't get me started with all the blank looks of the special ministers standing around the altar and handling ciboria, chalices - AND THE BLESSED SACRAMENT. I just kind of try and ignore the fact that special ministers are handling the Blessed Sacrament.

What's funny to me is that people look at an EMHC and say "how dirty, they can't possibly handle the Eucharist"... and then proceed to put the Eucharist in their mouth... one of the most bacteria ridden areas of the human body.

Two questions should be asked: is the EMHC keeping their person physically clean and are they in a state of grace. If so, they are no less worthy (when needed) to handle the Eucharist than you are to put it in your mouth and swallow it. It is Christ lowering Himself to be sacrificed and humiliated for us on the Cross and continuing to offer His sacrifice for us WILLINGLY that allows us to be so bold as to partake of the Eucharist.

I don't know whether to put this down to culture shock because the pious culture and ceremonies are so different in their outward expression, or attitude, or whatever; or if it is something more theological, etc.

It's culture shock most likely, and possible that you should read a little bit more from authoritative sources (by which I mean P.h.D.'s of church history, not the writings of priests with a motivation to support their chosen method) on WHY various aspects of the EF were instituted. It may surprise you to find that the OF represents the SAME evolution of those changes in understanding, but uses different symbols to represent those understandings because OUR PERSPECTIVE on those symbols has changed.

I can't remember ever being uneasy at the Novus Ordo growing up - except at the sign of peace sometimes. Does it work the other way around as well? Anyone get uneasy attending the Latin Mass?

Let me offer you this advice: preference between the OF and the EF is strictly a matter of personal taste. If going to the EF exclusively has made you actually UNEASY with the OF, then you might want to consider studying up on the OF a little more, or perhaps taking a break from the EF to reacclimate to the OF.

I don't go to the EF in my area any more. Not because the liturgy is not beautiful, but because of the attitude of the priest towards the OF (which makes me uneasy). He skirts the line with sedavacantism in his homilies too closely for my taste.

I guess this is about subjective responses to liturgies you're not used to.

Yes, exactly.


#12

[quote="Sarabande, post:10, topic:307553"]
I don't feel uncomfortable at either a TLM or OF mass. As long as either one is reverent and beautifully said, with or without all the "bells and whistles", I'm fine with it. When I attended my first EF, it was different and new to me, but I was so struck by the reverence and peacefulness of the mass. As a friend of mine once observed, the TLM is a wonderful mass for introverts, like myself, who tend to gravitate towards more reserved, introspective, "elegant" masses... not that an OF can't be all of that. They most definitely can, as I can attest to myself. I initially thought my friend's observations on that were out there until I I thought about it and got to know the people who loved attending the EF. (He's an introvert, as well, but he just prefers a very reverent OF and does not attend an EF). I rarely attend an EF, myself, mainly because I work at a couple parishes as a musician and I do like the parishes where I work very much.

I think in your case, it is more about culture shock and what you are not used to anymore, especially since you mostly attend the EF mass. It also might be the particular church you are attending which celebrates the OF.

[/quote]

I attend a very reverent OF as well, in fact it's in Gregorian chant (and at a Benedictine monastery, so you know the liturgy is taken seriously). There are no licit EF Masses near where I live, but if they existed, I'd still attend the OF at the monastery.

I'm also an introvert and the sign of the peace is not something I relish. However I do believe we need to be pushed out of our comfort zones from time to time so I make the effort. Once in a while I hit upon a very warm person who offers me peace with such genuine human warmth, that I am glad I did get pushed. Last Sunday in fact it was a young Dominican friar who offered me peace in such a sincere manner.

It helps one realize that the Mass, really "isn't all about me".


#13

I can relate. I used to go to a non-instrumental Church of Christ so when I went back to attending Mass, the instrumental music jarred me. Frankly it was painful to hear the instrumental music drown out the human voices.

Talk about culture shock. :eek:


#14

[quote="YoungTradCath, post:9, topic:307553"]
I am not nuts or something, I just usually cannot stand this whatsoever.

[/quote]

:p I'm not allowed to answer that question honestly without incurring the wrath of the moderator. It's okay though, we're all a little nuts.

I kid, I kid! But to the serious stuff:

And so I just offer it up, basically as a penance.

Mass, properly offered, is not something to be suffered through and "offered up" in that way. It is a sacrificial offering to God and participation in the Final Passover. It is the redemption that comes BEFORE the penance.

When we feel we are suffering through a licitly offered mass (free from errors), then it is US who have a problem, not the mass. We are the ones who need to comport ourselves to the means and methods of the church, not the other way around.

But to help: you should understand the actual reasons for ad orientum (given in my post above, and you can read the article from Helen Deitz, PhD of the Institute for Sacred Architecture on that point. When we understand the actual reason that ad orientum was established in the first place, we can see that the current understanding of why it is a valuable symbol does not represent the initial meaning intended at all. It's is our society's view that changed while the initial symbol remained the same and THAT is why versus populem was restored (because in modern understanding, it more closely represents the intended universal priesthood of believers).


#15

[quote="OraLabora, post:12, topic:307553"]
I attend a very reverent OF as well, in fact it's in Gregorian chant (and at a Benedictine monastery, so you know the liturgy is taken seriously). There are no licit EF Masses near where I live, but if they existed, I'd still attend the OF at the monastery.

I'm also an introvert and the sign of the peace is not something I relish. However I do believe we need to be pushed out of our comfort zones from time to time so I make the effort. Once in a while I hit upon a very warm person who offers me peace with such genuine human warmth, that I am glad I did get pushed. Last Sunday in fact it was a young Dominican friar who offered me peace in such a sincere manner.

It helps one realize that the Mass, really "isn't all about me".

[/quote]

I agree with you. I was almost on the extreme end of introversion when I was younger and I had to push myself to open up more. Doing that has placed me in contact with such beautiful people who I believe God meant for us to meet and inspire each other to be better individuals.


#16

[quote="Actaeon, post:14, topic:307553"]
:p I'm not allowed to answer that question honestly without incurring the wrath of the moderator. It's okay though, we're all a little nuts.

I kid, I kid! But to the serious stuff:

Mass, properly offered, is not something to be suffered through and "offered up" in that way. It is a sacrificial offering to God and participation in the Final Passover. It is the redemption that comes BEFORE the penance.

When we feel we are suffering through a licitly offered mass (free from errors), then it is US who have a problem, not the mass. We are the ones who need to comport ourselves to the means and methods of the church, not the other way around.

But to help: you should understand the actual reasons for ad orientum (given in my post above, and you can read the article from Helen Deitz, PhD of the Institute for Sacred Architecture on that point. When we understand the actual reason that ad orientum was established in the first place, we can see that the current understanding of why it is a valuable symbol does not represent the initial meaning intended at all. It's is our society's view that changed while the initial symbol remained the same and THAT is why versus populem was restored (because in modern understanding, it more closely represents the intended universal priesthood of believers).

[/quote]

I do not offer "the Mass" as a penance as if I offer the joyous reception of Holy Communion as a penance. I offer this or that ceremonial quirk. I cannot possibly hope to change my reaction to a Mass celebrated facing the people.

I am not particularly interested in the actual reasons for ad orientem worship here. I do not view our society's understanding of anything as particularly valuable, for I feel our society is decayed. I therefore cannot particularly respect much of our society's judgements.


#17

Hmmmn… quirk is an interesting word, but let’s consider the definition:

quirk
/kwərk/Noun
1.A peculiar behavioral habit: “his annoying quirks”.
2.A strange chance occurrence: “a strange quirk of fate”.

Synonyms
whim - quip

So when refering to an established practice of the mass that is commonplace and completely licit, calling that a quirk isn’t exactly accurate. Versus populem is for the most part a norm these days. Perhaps I’m wrong, but what makes me uncomfortable is the thought that I might look at a normal, licit standard of any mass and say “how terrible that is, I will have to offer the suffering that causes up to God because it is so bad”.

I cannot possibly hope to change my reaction to a Mass celebrated facing the people.

You and I both know that’s an excuse… no different from when someone says “I can’t possibly hope to change my support for gay marriage”.

The church is right, and we are commanded to obey (both in doctrines and in disciplines). If we don’t agree, that’s because we lack some element of formation. By properly seeking to understand the motives of the church, we can conform ourselves to her teachings… yes, even to accepting the return to versus populem.

I am not particularly interested in the actual reasons for ad orientem worship here. I do not view our society’s understanding of anything as particularly valuable, for I feel our society is decayed. I therefore cannot particularly respect much of our society’s judgements.

nonetheless, societal norms are an integral part of worship. Would you have much respect for someone who showed up to mass but hadn’t bathed for a week? That’s an old societal norm in Germany, and you STILL see some elderly people (mostly men) who don’t bathe often as a result.

Societal norms dictate standard signs of respect and reverance, and there is no doubt that the societal norms of our culture are VASTLY different from those of even 50 years ago, much less those from 500 years ago. How we show respect has changed. Old signs of respect have fallen out of use or, worse, are sometimes considered DISRESPECTFUL depending on the audience. Those things have a vast impact on the symbolic significance of actions at mass… and ignoring changing social norms might be quaint for those who constantly yearn for an “older, more innocent time”, but that attitude strips the meaning from the mass for new Catholics and the general populace (for whom the norm stands as a standard of behavior).


#18

Now now,

I do accept that it is a licit orientation to celebrate Mass, but I just cannot handle it. Sorry.


#19

[quote="YoungTradCath, post:18, topic:307553"]
Now now,

I do accept that it is a licit orientation to celebrate Mass, but I just cannot handle it. Sorry.

[/quote]

You cannot handle it? Is it because of your humility, that you do not feel worthy to see those who stand before you to serve? Therefore you hide your face.

Or is it "Thank God, I am not like the rest of them:?


#20

[quote="Actaeon, post:11, topic:307553"]
Versus Populem was the norm until about the sixth or seventh century.

[/quote]

It can't be that late, the Syrians/ Church of the East have "ad orientem" and they broke communion with us long before that, so it must have been a much earlier...

Anyways, Yeah, I can feel for you OP, if I must attend the OF, I generally sit in the back, most of the non-hand shakers/non-Priest mimickers are there so I don't feel pressured to lift my hands, hold hands etc. Another added bonus when Mass is over the back rows empty out pretty quickly, so I can pray my Thanksgiving in relative peace while the cacophony of gossip goes on in the front pews :o


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