Thursday, August 11, 2011

"There's not much difference between a Latin Novus Ordo and the Traditional Mass! Only experts notice any difference."


How often have you read or heard this? Those who say it are often the same who think Summorum is dangerous or, at best, superfluous.

We thank the LMS Chairman (blog listed in the sidebar), Dr. J. Shaw, for allowing us to post his fine text on the matter - also quite interesting for those being presented to the Traditional Mass for the first time.

2011 07 31_0814
Asperges: not something you'd fail to notice.

I have just read somewhere someone being quoted as saying that if unless you are liturgical expert you'd hardly be able to tell the difference between the OF in Latin - the 1970 Missal - and the EF - the 1962 Missal. It doesn't matter where I read it or who was being quoted, because I've heard this dozens of times. And it doesn't make any more sense on the umpteenth repetition.

2011 07 31_0826
The Gospel: proclaimed from the North side of the Sancturary in a Solemn Mass, here, or from the North end of the Altar, at a Missa Cantata, not from a lectern or ambo.

So you go to your local parish where they always do Mass in Latin in the OF (I know, these are in single figures in the UK but bear with me) and, when the priest comes in, instead of going round the altar and saying the Introductory Antiphon (probably after waiting for a vernacular hymn to finish) he starts a chant you've never heard before and sprinkles the people with holy water. Oh and he's wearing a completely different vestment, which he then very publicly takes off in order to put his usual one on, but you still don't get the Introductory Antiphon; instead he starts a long dialogue with the servers, and when that's over he doesn't go round the altar at all, but stays on your side of it. You then notice that the altar is set up differently, with candles and crucifix at the back, and that there are no altar girls. And the music has been completely different, with the choir singing the Introit and the Kyrie without a break.
2011 07 31_0860
Communion distributed to the faithful kneeling and on the tongue. And spot the mantilla!

But hey, you don't notice any of this because you're not a liturgical expert. But perhaps you'd notice that the Gospel is sung in Latin - yes I know you can do that, and some of the other things I've mentioned, in the OF, but it is about as common as having the sermon in Latin, and if we are talking about what people notice we should stay with what actually happens, and not what is theoretically possible. As well as having the readings chanted in Latin, the lectern is not used. If you've still not noticed that things are different today, the canon of the Mass is said silently. Oh come off it, if you don't notice that then you're either deaf or asleep. Maybe you'll wake up in time for the Last Gospel...


fxr2 said...

My 7 year old noticed the difference between an all Latin NO Mass and the TLM we normally attend. She told me that she did not even realize Mass had begun, and that the Kyrie was being done wrong.

I didn't realize my 7 year old was a liturgical expert.


ignorant redneck said...

Actually, I have seen an Ordinary Form Mass celebrated in Latin, ad orientam. The differences were not as marked as one might think, because there are options in teh GIRM that lead to most of the differences. They did communion on the toung, kneeling, at the altar rail, with patens, etc. The gospel was proclaimed on the North side, from the Ambo. So the OF can, in fact, be Catholic. It's jsut that liberal priests didn't want it to be, and taught the younger men coming up not to do it that way.