Which is the Novus Ordo or Pauline Mass?

Up front, I am a member of an indult TLM parish. When someone says they went to a TLM Mass, we all know exactly what they are talking about. If we don’t, we can consult any number of missals on the internet that have the Ordinary of the Mass in Latin and English. The Tridentine mass is “set in stone” so to speak. Every word, gesture and posture is written for the priest and the laity. It matters not where you attend a TLM mass, it will be the same.

So what is the proper form of the Pauline Mass? If I walked into any Catholic Church in America, how would I know if the mass has abuses or not? I keep reading on these threads that if your parish is not orthodox, go to another parish. If there are abuses, take it up with the priest. Posters tell us that the Novus Ordo can be very reverent, then why isn’t it always? Why should we have so many different kinds of masses even within the same church? I just don’t understand it. The way I read some of these posts, if it is not forbidden, it is allowed. If it is allowed, it can be expanded. If it is expanded, it is now the norm.

I will admit that I never liked the changes in the liturgy that I had to live with. I thought too much emphasis was placed on the community and way too little on the sacrifice. For a long time I just went to mass and quietly despaired that the Body of Christ was no longer the focus of the Mass. The last straw was when the priest consecrated a large, round loaf of bread that looked like it had been purchased at the local deli. The priest then tore off chunks to give to the communicants. Thankfully, the EMHCs got regular hosts to pass out.

Anyway, I quit going to mass for years following that. I just couldn’t take the disrespect the mass was receiving. I am so glad I found an indult TLM parish that fulfills my need to worship Christ for his sacrifice for me.

Generally, if the priest follows the GIRM and doesn’t deviate from the prayers as they are written in the Missal, that is the proper form. The problem is, there are so many options that it is sometimes difficult to follow, even if you’ve been attending Mass for years. You can literally attend the same Sunday Mass at two different parishes and they are almost completely different liturgies.

Also, even very reverent priests sometimes “invent” their own versions of prayers. I’ve even seen it on EWTN. “…my sacrifice and yours…” which may be the literal translation of the Latin but is currently not the approved English translation. It’s a little more difficult to invent Latin prayers off the top of your head, and even if you did who would understand them or even hear them?

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