[quote=Dr. Colossus]I think the greatest fear that most bishops have over granting the Indult would be the loss of the wonderful gifts the Novus Ordo Mass has brought to the Church.
I have heard many people mention this before and, to be frank, this has never made sense to me. With a universal indult no priest would ever be required to celebrate the Tridentine Mass. Just as there are many people who prefer the Traditional Latin Mass, there are many people–among the laity and the priests–who prefer the Novus Ordo. I agree that it would be disastrous if the Church was polarized into “high” Catholics and “low” Catholics, similar to the Anglicans, but I do not see that happening. Furthermore, if that were to happen, it would pale in comparison to the gravity of the current schism.
[quote=Dr. Colossus]The fact that it is in the vernacular makes it infinitely more accessible to the average Catholic.
First, one must remember that in the Tridentine Mass both the readings, 1st Gospel, and the homily are read in the vernacular. The use of Latin also encouraged the laity to use misalettes. I have found that when I use a misalette during Mass I am able to read, think, and pray the words of the priest in an extraordinary way. While having the entire Mass in the vernacular may make it more accessible, it comes at a high cost. When the Mass is in Latin, the fact that the Mass is mystical, incredible, and infinitely out of the ordinary is emphasized. We have all seen (all too often!) individuals who, when they attend a Mass in the vernacular, do not truly worship because they have lost their sense of awe and wonder at the Sacrifice of Calvary.
[quote=Dr. Colossus]The fact that the priest now faces the congregation highlights his ministry (as well as provides several practical benefits), and the expanded Liturgy of the Word brings more Scripture to Catholics than ever before.
Here I am afraid that I must respectfully disagree with you. When a priest celebrates Mass *versus populam *or ad orientam he emphasizes different aspects of the Mass. When the priest faces the people, he shows that the Mass is a communal meal. If the priest faces with the people towards the altar, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is emphasized. I would argue that in this era of (in some circles) affirming everyone in his or her OK-ness, the fact that the Mass is a sacrifice–the final and eternal sacrifice–should be proclaimed to all. It is also my opinion that a Mass celebrated ad orientam shows a unity between the priest and people and places the visual focus entirely on God. As to the Liturgy of the Word, it is not really “expanded” as much as “changed”; in the Novus Ordo there are two readings and a Gospel reading, whereas in the Tridentine there is one reading and two Gospel readings.
[quote=Dr. Colossus]That having been said, I would love to have a Tridentine Mass available somewhere in my archdiocese. I was born in 1983, and have never even attended one. I feel like I am missing out on so much tradition and beauty. I think it was a mistake to completely forget the Old Mass. And as far as I’m concerned, the more Latin, the better
But I don’t know if a universal indult would be the way to go. I wouldn’t want to lose the gifts of the Novus Ordo either. They are both, in my opinion, wonderful ways of participating in Christ’s most Holy Sacrifice.
Come down to Charleston for vacation and visit my parish! I was born in 1988 and I, too, regret that so many have never had the opportunity to participate in the Tridentine Mass. However, I would never advocate the abandonment of the Novus Ordo under any circumstances! You are correct when you speak of the many benefits and advantages of the Novus Ordo, yet the Old Mass has equal, complimentary benefits.
Granted, a universal indult is not the ideal solution, but it is the best I have seen. In Ecclesia Dei, Pope John Paul II called for “a wide and generous application of the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition of 1962.” If every bishop granted indults liberally and this beautiful form of the Mass was widespread and open to all who desire it, this would not be an issue. But alas and alack, it is not so.
Thanks for your feedback!