Monday, October 16, 2006

Old Order, New Order, Old Order

In case anyone was wondering, I haven't sounded off yet on the whole Tridentine/Pian/Old/Latin/etc. Mass yet because frankly others have made better points.

For example, Amy and Father Jim Tucker make a lot of good points.

On a purely academic level, the return of the Pian Mass (recall, brethren, the great discussion Papabile had over the best term to use in referencing it) is a positive for the Church. As many have already noted, the SSPX and others out there are not going to return en masse just because of an indult (or whatever legal framework is designed).

For my own personal tastes, I can't say that I'm waiting for the Pian Mass's return with much enthusiasm. I have never seen personally the worst modern excesses of the Novus Ordo and due to my situation, I don't have to listen to the wailing and crooning of overzealous music directors anymore (which in itself is rather disappointing, you don't miss it until it's gone).

My own taste as far as what makes a church Catholic has really gone towards exterior and interior appearance. If you all look down to the picture I posted of the new church going up in Tennessee, you'll get an idea of what I mean.

Buildings aside though, liturgy is fundamental for the life of the Church. It's always interesting to read about people talking about bad music and soft, squishy homilies, but being unable to hear Mass leads one to really focus on the little details such as decor and what the priest is doing up there amid his surroundings. Everyone would do well to put on a pair of earmuffs or stick in some ear plugs and just sit through the Liturgy of the Eucharist and watch the priest. Over and above what he has to say for a homily or how he might intone the various parts of the Eucharistic Prayer, his basic motions I would surmise say a lot more about him. My parish priest I think says Mass more reverently than any other man I've ever seen.

As one friend noted, even with an indult, the Pian Mass is not going to make massive inroads out here in Iowa if only because there are not enough trained personnel to pull one off except in special locations such as the basilica up in Dyersville or other approved parishes. I think the point that the Pian Mass will enrich the Novus Ordo is valid and such a filtering down of the best of the Pian Mass's attributes onto the Novus Ordo would be the best outcome. But in the end for me, the quality of Mass is based on the where it's at and the how it's done, not the what is being done.

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