2013 RETRSPECTIVE: Toward the transformation of traditionalism

Editor’s note: In these final days of 2013, we feature some of the most interesting and popular posts of the past year. Other retrospective features have been Anthony Ruff, Pope Francis’ Liturgical RevolutionJonathan Day, “Reading the Language of Papal Clothing,” and Fritz Bauerschmidt, “The Power of Papal Example: Whence and Whither the Reform of the Reform?

At The Chant Café Fr Christopher Smith has posted a lyrical report on the recent conference, Sacra Liturgia 2013, held in Rome.

Its thesis is that we are entering an age of liturgical pluralism and peace, a cease-fire in the liturgy wars. The whole report is worth reading; here are a few excerpts:

There were no more suspicious glances, clerical catfights or mutual recriminations … the spirit of peace and energy that now reigns over St Peter’s on weekday mornings was also very much evident …

…going to the conference, I wondered … whether we might lose time and energy in harsh denunciations of the liturgical practices of Pope Francis, and turn on each other in division and hatred. … Nothing could be further from the truth.   This was a group which truly “thought with the Church”, not in a slavish manner, but as free men and women of God.  We were able to raise serious questions about the liturgical reform without having them turn into gripe sessions or anticlerical bashes.  There was a profound experience of communion, conviviality, prayer and study.

There are many people who have discovered the beauty of the liturgy conceived, not in restrictive terms as saying the black and doing the red of one particular Missal, but in terms of an ars celebrandi which respects legitimate diversity.  A traditionalism which looks only backwards, and only with an eye to criticism … will eventually run out of steam.  …  Far from being critical of Pope Francis, a traditionalism freed from being tied into the critique of Vatican II and crisis rhetoric, embued with a spirit of communion and the spirit of the liturgy, shares in the desire of the Bishop of Rome for the Church to reflect Christ ever more.

The brief reports I have heard of the conference suggest that a combative tone was not absent. And, Fr Smith positions Pope Benedict XVI as a peacemaker, the leader who has ushered in a pluralistic and more irenic age. I struggle to believe that. On both fronts, though, I would be very happy to be wrong.

I want to take this post in a somewhat different direction, building on a phrase in the title of Fr Smith’s thoughtful essay, “The Transformation of Traditionalism”. He asserts that the traditionalist movement has been transformed, or is being transformed. What would a transformed, mature traditionalism look like?

By way of opening the dialogue, let me offer four suggestions.

First, it would have a more profound sense of history – not only of the historical contingency of the liturgy and the Church, but of simple facts. As just one example: some traditionalists talk of the Council of Trent as though it was simple and straightforward: Europe was infected by the virus of Protestantism, so the bishops, speaking as one, anathematised error. None of the political manoeuvring or ambiguous language that emerged from Vatican II! In fact the council took decades even to open because of political squabbles; its agenda was highly influenced by secular princes; and on a number of issues it either failed to make a decision (scripture in the vernacular) or emerged with a somewhat ambiguous one (Mass in the vernacular).

Second, it would be more positive and less oppositional. Its starting point would not be to find errors but to look for sparks of truth everywhere. It would avoid attributing guilt by association. Its favoured Gospel story would not be Jesus expelling the moneychangers or cursing the fig tree. Again, an example: Catherine Pickstock’s After Writing presents a learned (if difficult to follow) appreciation of the Tridentine Mass. But wait, respond a number of traditionalists: Pickstock is an Anglican not a Roman Catholic, and she advocates the ordination of women!

Third, it would make much less use of satire and irony, rhetorical moves that create distance and that impede learning. Some blame the prevalence of satire on bloggers; my theory is that many traditionalist writers fancy themselves followers of GK Chesterton. Even those who dislike Chesterton tend to admire his facility with prose. None of the traditionalist writers who follow in his footsteps shares his skill. The tools of satire and irony don’t serve them well.

Finally, it would take a less ‘technical’, objectifying and consumerist approach to the liturgy. At times, traditionalist discussions remind me of my children talking about Pokémon creatures – a priest can give “real blessings” but a layperson “fires blanks”. The older blessing of water puts more “spiritual power” into holy water than the new. Yes, and Pikachu stores up electricity and zaps its enemies with lightning bolts.

A closely related trend makes some traditionalist discussions sound like motorcycle enthusiasts comparing models, or foodies discussing the latest knife. The whole “liturgical eye candy” trend has disturbing similarities to what the feminist critic Rosalind Coward termed “food porn”:

Cooking food and presenting it beautifully is an act of servitude. It is a way of expressing affection through a gift… That we should aspire to produce perfectly finished and presented food is a symbol of a willing and enjoyable participation in servicing others. Food pornography exactly sustains these meanings relating to the preparation of food. The kinds of picture used always repress the process of production of a meal. They are always beautifully lit, often touched up.
(Cited in Wikipedia; see Coward, Female Desire: Women’s Sexuality Today. Paladin, 1984 p. 103).

The food writer Anthony Bourdain speaks of

the “objectification” of food: displays or descriptions of food — and its preparation – for an audience that has no intention of actually cooking or eating any of it … Like the best of pornography, the best of food porn depicts beautiful “objects” arranged in ways one might never have previously considered; star chefs, like the porn stars before them, doing things on paper which few amateurs would ever try at home.
(in the San Francisco Chronicle, 4 November 2001)

To support Fr Smith’s view that things may be changing for the better, another priest, Fr Gabriel Burke, ended his report on the conference with the following note:

The only fly in the ointment was a well known American priest blogger who, while in choir dress, distracted me and others by taking photos. He seemed to have forgotten all that we had learned the last two days.

Thanks to The Chant Café and Fr Smith for a thought-provoking essay.

Do you notice a transformation in traditionalist circles? What has changed? What would benefit from further change?


  1. I was so happy to read Fr Smith’s four suggestions and think they are applicable to all of us. Sometimes in theological debate/discussion there is far too much satire that it borders on mockery and insult, a general lack of civility, that is a discredit to a community which claims to found itself on love and charity.
    And a little education doesn’t hurt, either. History is a great teacher and shows us not too much that is “new” is new after all. Not all ‘ancient’ liturgical practices were good and they were done away with, but we need to look very caarefully before assigning an anthema to a practice of which we disapprove.
    And perhaps speculative theology ought to remain in the domain of the experts, speculative theological articles and books NOT being published for public consumption. Too often there is a tendency to take a snippet and run with it, blowing it way out of proportion.
    And a little humility. Reading one book on a subject or attending one workshop does not make one an expert. Let those who know freely speak, and the rest of us listen discerningly.

    1. @John Swencki – comment #1:
      John, just to be clear, the four suggestions were mine, not Fr Smith’s. I hope he agrees with them, but he may not!

      1. @Jonathan Day – comment #3:
        Jonathan, I thousand apologies. It’s hot. it’s humid, I’m melting. I mixed you two up. You do make very important points which I hope Fr Smith, along with every other reader, would at least be open to pondering.
        Sorry again for my error.

  2. Mr. Day desires a traditionalism that is:
    -informed by a profound sense of history
    -positive and generous
    -not combative or oppositional
    -not prone to insult
    -free of geeky fanatacism

    Sounds to me like you are describing the traditionalism of my friends, and those who have seriously moved the traditionalist movement forward- people like Fr. Chris, Jeffrey Tucker, William Mahrt, Jeff Ostrowski, and… I could go on and on listing the names and accomplishments of just people I know personally who fit the description above- some “movers and shakers” in the RotR, and some just dedicated workers in the field.

    The existence of clown and puppet Masses, and the irreverent progressivism of some of the more ridiculous manifestations of “the Spirit of Vatican II®” does not deny the legitimacy of an authentic aggiornamento. My experience with The Servite fathers of my home parish (may they rest in peace) is a constant reminder of this fact to me, as is the work of people like Jerry Galipeau at WLP and my brother Brian, a parish music director in Central Florida.

    In the same way, the existence of angry comboxers, even obnoxious bloggers (some priests), and self-proclaimed defenders of orthodoxy does not deny the legitimacy, or primacy, of a loving, compassionate, and liberal Traditionalism. The example of my friends I mentioned above was the first proof of this for me, and source of a continual reminder.

    1. @Adam Wood – comment #2:
      Traditionalist pundits don’t always escape one of the bigger problems of the movement: caricature and exaggeration. One would think these guys lived through a whole adolescence of clowns, polkas, and burlap at Mass. I’d like to know how I missed it all.

      I do think traditionalist Catholics have to address Sacrosanctum Concilium, and honestly engage the call for reform outside of Pope Benedict’s concessions, and in their own way, if they wish. But they can’t get around it.

      They could start by ending this ridiculous call for reforming someone else’s reform. The call is to reform the liturgy. Jeffrey Tucker, Fr Smith, and others may not like it. But that’s what Church teaching presents. Not nitpicking two generations of other people’s hard work.

      My own perspective might be informed by my relative late arrival in post-conciliar Catholicism. It might be that other people tamped down the puppets and Joan Baez before I got involved in ministry. But often times I read what these people write and I honestly wonder what alternate universe they experienced. I see far more harm done to the liturgy on these traditionalist web sites than any bad clown dream I might have.

      I will say that of your list only Jeffrey Tucker has been willing to share a project with me (if only a short-term one) in presenting a more Catholic front online. As for the rest of the people you’ve mentioned, nice chaps no doubt, but I’ll wait and see if they reach out and join the mainstream with others who have worked longer, harder, and more tenaciously to implement a faithful reform of the Roman Rite.

  3. I don’t see strong evidence of a transformation of traditionalism yet. I do see a clutch of writers who are no less prone to usual temptations of ideology (and we should remember that traditionalism is a *modern* ideology): things like grandiosity, egoism, triumphalism alternating with self-pity, more eager to find fault with others as a way of allow one’s own rationalizations to remain in one’s cognitive blindspot, et cet. Plus, in part because of technological convenience, an enormous amount of cherry-picking spin (which is particularly unedifying when done regularly by clerics with pastoral responsibilities). If anything, evidence of these trends has become more pronounced of late. Traditionalism seems to be reprising many of the same mistakes of progressives in the 1960s-1980s, just by inversion; some traditionalists appear aware of this at the margins, but fear prevents this from being delved in broad and deep.

    A good starting point for self-examination for any ideologue: How have I/we become like my/own opponents? What I am most likely to rationalize? How much of my truth is the COMPLETE truth?







    How much am I kidding myself (for however noble a reason)?


  4. How about separating traditional liturgy from rightwing reactionary politics of the “vote Republican or go to hell variety”?
    Sadly, most traddie bishops, publications, and personalities espouse this attitude, it’s what will destroy them in the long run.

  5. Reading Fr Smith’s report, I was struck by the frequency of the expression ars celebrandi. I found myself wondering exactly what he (and the participants at the conference) mean by it, and whether his/their understanding of the expression is rather different from mine. That in turn set me wondering what others on this forum mean by it, and how many different understandings there may be lurking in the undergrowth. Perhaps someone will start a new thread exploring this.

  6. One thing, briefly, I want to respond to:
    >>One would think these guys lived through a whole adolescence of clowns, polkas, and burlap at Mass. I’d like to know how I missed it all
    >>It might be that other people tamped down the puppets and Joan Baez before I got involved in ministry. But often times I read what these people write and I honestly wonder what alternate universe they experienced

    I am not very well traveled, however I can report the following outright-ridiculous “abuses” which I have personally witnessed in otherwise unremarkable parishes, and which (but one) occurred AFTER 1990:
    -an “All Souls” halloween Mass where congregants were encouraged to attend in costume
    -a priest who did actual backflips during his homilies
    -a Godspell number performed during the liturgy (interstitially, between communion and final blessing)
    -liturgical dancing. lots of it. Including one instance where the altar was literally moved out of place to make way for the dancers, and then moved back
    -a real-life donkey procession at the beginning of Palm Sunday
    -Easter vigil readings proclaimed via loud-speaker from another room (to heighten the “mystery,” I assume)
    -a sanctuary filled with cartoon props and set pieces from Vacation Bible School
    -the singing of wildly inappropriate (not just possibly inappropriate) secular music at liturgy, such as “Somewhere over the rainbow” and “Lean on Me”

    That is just me, from a handful of parishes, relatively late into the “reforms.” My wife has even more ridiculous stories from Catholic school.

    It happened. It continues to happen. That fact that the more enlightened and fortunate among the progressives haven’t witnessed it doesn’t mean it isn’t there, and pervasive.

    1. @Adam Wood – comment #8:

      I have no doubt that it happened. Your word is enough for me. And I have no reason to doubt Jeffrey.

      It is a truth that the human expression of liturgy is not perfect. And while I share the lament I was not there to sway every well-intentioned DRE or un-liturgical priest, I point out it is a commonality I share with you and other critics. And granted, the pastors who have hired me for the past thirty years tend not to be the kind of guys who ride in to liturgy on a Palm Sunday donkey.

      What you touch on is a matter of diagnosis. Is liturgical reform at fault, or is it leaders who are decidedly ignorant about liturgy?

      I know I’ve been the target of villification on traditionalist web sites–the guilt by association of Jonathan’s second point. I’m unprepared to be an apologist for poor liturgy. But I’m also unwilling to shoulder the blame for what Fr Smith stumbled across on YouTube. Or what you experienced as an impressionable teenager.

      I can tell stories of weird liturgy with the best of them. We have a laugh. We move on. What I’d be looking for from you is a recognition of that, and a firmer expectation in your mind that progressive liturgists don’t indulge weird things any more than your family physician uses leeches, or your realtor buries holy statues in the ground. When you’re prepared to do that, then I can take you more seriously as a commentator on this topic. And when your reform of the reform2 friends can do it, I can take them seriously too.

      Meanwhile, what Karl said.

    2. @Adam Wood – comment #8:
      WOW!!!! Adam, where do you live? I have been involved with liturgy In Maryland and Rhode Island for 30+ years and I have never seen (or perpetrated) any of your examples.

      1. @Linda Reid – comment #43:

        I have to agree with Linda on this… I am a bit tired of the RofR people continually labeling post-Vatican II folks as being engaged in “clown masses,” “puppets,” “hootenanny music,” and the like… while a lot of this did happen in those early years after the council, the present appearance of these things is SO rare, to render it a meaningless point to keep harping on about. Liturgical creativity, and the expansion of musical styles and genres has, for what is overwhelmingly the case – moved FAR beyond that.

        It is just too easy and too convenient (and a bit manipulative) to keep these particular descriptions alive.

      2. @David Haas – comment #49:
        David–I agree that puppets and clowns are for the most part gone except in hold out pockets, liturgical “dance” is not that rare. Neither are “praise bands.”

  7. The “good guys” in the traditionalist movement are well aware of the angry fussbudgets and the more-catholic-than-the-pope bloggers. In private conversations, I hear way more impatience and intolerance directed at “those traddies” than I ever do about “those goofy liberals” (or whatever).

    Surely the “good guys” among the contemporary (or whatever) crowd can (and, I’m sure, do) recognize the amount of goofiness, irreverence, stupidity, and down-right blasphemy that exists among people who think of themselves as bearers of the good news of Vatican 2.

  8. @Adam Wood – comment #8

    I have attended Mass since the 1950s and have not witnessed any of the “events” you list.

  9. @Adam Wood and Todd Flowerday –

    Yes, I must second Adam’s reports. I attended Catholic School all through the 90’s. I remember a LOT of liturgical dancing – several times a year. A lot of secular music being sung in the liturgy too. Also, LOTS of experimental liturgy that, while some of it was maybe not even wrong, was weird. (Example: Elaborate entrance processions, not beginning from the back, but from the sides, with the church in darkness, weaving in a circle around the sanctuary, with someone quasi-dancing carrying a bowl of incense, all of this to “symbolize the brokeness of our lives and our yearning and searching through the darkness and haze of time for our God” or some other silly rationale.)

    On the plus side, I’ve never witnessed a clown mass or puppets at mass, although at my first NPM convention ever (2003) a priest told me somewhat forcefully to never denigrate such a thing and be more open minded.

    1. @Dave Jaronowski – comment #12:
      There were Catholic schools attached to all but one of the parishes I served in the 90’s. And in some more than others, liturgical dance was part of the menu on occasion.

      It may also be the perspective I enjoy (my sister is an award-winning dance teacher and a part-time youth minister) but dance is an art form, and as much liable to abuse as any human art-form, including plainsong, polyphony, or even kazoo-playing.

      My sister and other dancers are more than capable of defending themselves against naysayers ranging from misogynists to cloggers. As long as I see clergy with palms pressed together, moving in Tridentine lockstep, in vesture that veers into the comic at times, I’m afraid I have a hard time taking dance critics seriously.

      That said, I’ve seen it done very badly. But I’ve experienced very bad preaching from very earnest clergy. “Liturgical abuse” is too often a buzz phrase for “stuff at Mass I don’t like.”

      For the record, I have no problem with the way Adam has conducted himself here. I must be missing something.

  10. I want to endorse the need among all who seek reform of the liturgy for a broader sense of history. The abuses Adam cited rank right up there with the incredibly sloppy and ever so brief Latin Masses “said” by priests and bishops whose understanding of liturgy was underdeveloped to say the least. Some of those priests continued such practices after the vernacularization of the Mass. I remember a call to my parents in the 80’s answered by my brother who told me they were at the 4pm Saturday Mass. We visited for about 25 minutes when he announced that they were pulling into the driveway. It may well be that they left a little early, but under 30 minutes is ridiculous. I can also cite the rapid fire recitations of the Gloria, creed, Eucharistic prayers, and the Our Father. But like Adam’s these are recitations of anecdotes that don’t qualify as history.
    History raises questions as to what understanding of liturgy, theology, Christology, soteriology, and ecclesiology undergirded the Mass of Pius V and the other forms of Mass celebrated throughout the imperial and Middle Ages? How do these compare and contrast with liturgical practice which preceded the “conversion” of Constantine and which followed Vatican II. Is it really antiquarianism to prefer the straightforward liturgies celebrated by Jesus at the Last Supper or at Emmaus or in the house churches of antiquity. Was it theology that dictated the adoption of Roman vesture, or was that just the dress adopted by clerics in an imperial age? Is there a reason that the emphasis on real presence did not emerge until the tenth century? Is
    transubstantiation really the all consuming objective of the Latin Rite? Are the powers of the clergy to effect this transformation of the elements really what the ministry of ordained disciples is all about? These are historical questions that ought not to be dismissed. The Fathers of Vatican II wrestled with them and called for reform.

  11. Thank you Jonathan for your points, all of which are well taken. I would like to make two observations.

    First, you observe that a more mature traditionalism would provide a “more profound sense of history”. Your example of the Council of Trent is apt. Trent was not a second Pentecost, despite the characterizations of some traditionalist writers. I often wonder if this reification and glorification of Trent results in part from an ignorance of the Latin language. Certainly, the Tridentine liturgical recensions are not the “Mass of all Ages”. However, it’s somewhat understandable that a Catholic with little or no knowledge of Latin might quite erroneously believe that the Last Supper began with Christ intoning introibo ad altare Dei.

    The antidote is further education in Latin (and possibly Greek). One parish in my area offers New Testament Greek and patristic era Latin classes. I am convinced that when clergy and laity both develop a better grasp of Latin, misconceptions about the supposed permanence of Tridentine worship crumble. Also, knowledge of Latin reveals the (perhaps for some uncomfortable) truth that the Consilium revisions are not wildly divergent from the Tridentine lineage in form and intention.

    Jonathan, you also suggest that a mature traditionalism might display “a less ‘technical’, objectifying and consumerist approach to the liturgy”. I also agree that traditionalism sometimes fosters a liturgical anorak mentality. My turn towards pietism and a preference for EF low Mass is in part a conscious rejection of the common view in the EF community that most EF Masses should be high or solemn and very ornate (Rosalind Coward’s observations are on target.) I’m also convinced that a wider availability of Latin education would quell the ostentatious nature of many EF Masses. Knowledge of the sacral language would lessen the reliance on ceremony for a contextual meaning of the liturgy.

    1. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #15:
      Goodness. I’d have thought the mumbled Low Mass was high among the more regrettable liturgical departures, if not abuses, in our background. The simplest glance at liturgy as preserved in the Eastern Churches (not to mention a sensitivity to the basic principles of corporate worship) would put the Low Mass in a very poor light.

      1. @Roger Evans – comment #8:

        Roger, I agree that the 25-minute-or-less irreverently said Low Mass of yesteryear must remain in the past. Even so, EF Low Mass and the celebration of said Mass in the OF deserve a second look. I do not doubt that in many cases congregational singing, whether plainsong or hymns, strengthens corporate worship. The Reformation leaders understood, well before the formal study of liturgy, that many persons benefited from participation in didactic vernacular compositions.

        The liturgical revelations of early western European modernity, as well as the waves of the Liturgical Movement, do not necessarily invalidate Low Mass. Yes, the Byzantines have never known a eucharistic liturgy pared down to an absolute rubrical minimum. Despite this, the Low Mass reflects a sensibility older than western Christianity. The brief but precise letters and rhetoric of late republican and principate Latin epitomize a purposeful brevity. While Hellenistic neoplatonism’s flowery expressions flow for pages, Latin philosophy and theology exploit semantic and syntactic brevity to convey complexity. Similarly, a meditation on the Mass solely through the unfolding of its words and gestures between the punctuation of silence unveils the profound prosodic song of the Mass, relayed masterfully through assonance, alliteration, and parallelism.

        Certainly, a devotee of Low Mass must constantly remain lashed to orthodoxy despite the siren calls of an annihilating Quietism on one side and a prideful, psychologically malignant Jansenism on the other. No inner light or irresistible grace, but humble hearts gathered together in the unity of assembly and the individuality of studied contemplation. Both assembly and individuality drink deeply of the orthodox apostolic faith.

      2. @Jordan Zarembo – comment #10:
        Jordan–unfortunately you are incorrect. There was (and in some places, still is) a tradition of “low Mass” in the Eastern Churches, mostly here in the USA. This was done to make them appear more “Catholic” meaning Roman Catholic. Weekday and early Sunday morning liturgies especially had little or no singing, no incense, abbreviated entrances, sanctus bells, icon screens pulled down and rails installed, among other Latinizations. All this because their people could go down the street to the Polish parish and hear Mass in a half hour and be done. Also to prove to Roman prelates that they were Catholic, even with their odd “mass” and married clergy. Even the phelonions worn by priest looked like modified gothic chasuables with the Y shaped cross on the back. Thankfully most of this is gone and the authentic Byzantine rite has been restored. Google Arch-bishop/Bishop Nicholas Elko and you’ll find plenty on it.

      3. @John Kohanski – comment #14:

        Thank you John for the correction and information. I have encountered Divine Liturgies with some of the Latinizations or simplifications you mention, but not all in one liturgy. I once worshiped a at “semi-low” (?) Ukrainian Divine Liturgy where the priest sang but the people spoke the responses. Likewise, I have also found that Divine Liturgies in both Eastern Catholic and Orthodox churches often omit or simplify at least one liturgical action, such as an entrance. Since I am rather “low church” I did not find this unsettling. I appreciate that many who identify with Byzantine worship would find these modifications unsettling.

  12. @ #14, with all due respect, and while not ENDORSING such practices, I do not think it’s fair to rank “rapid fire” recitations of the mass Ordinary at the same level as liturgical dancing and all sorts of other innovations in the continuum of liturgical “abuses.”

    1. @Dave Jaronowski – comment #16:
      Really? It seems to me that reciting prayers and readings so fast that even someone who understands Latin can’t follow them must be somewhere on the “liturgical abuse” spectrum. Given that the readings have the purpose of edifying the faithful (at least according to Thomas Aquinas), I might even rank reading them in a way that is per se unintelligible ahead of liturgical dance on the liturgical abuse scale.

  13. >>I might even rank reading them in a way that is per se unintelligible ahead of liturgical dance on the liturgical abuse scale.

    I would not.

    But on the other hand, I think playing “whose abuses are worse” strikes me as a particularly un-Christ-like activity.

    (That is not to say I don’t have my own personal slide-rule of offences. I just try to keep in mind it is mine, not the Church’s, and certainly not God’s.)

  14. I’ve seen some silly liturgical dance in my time. Not nearly as scandalous as rushing through recitation of the Mass on what seems to be the exhale AND inhale, which while “licit” (the only positive thing I can say about it) is gobsmackingly more irreverent in a fundamental way. But, if one falls into the custmary Catholic trap of considering liceity as the sole material measure of liturgy, there’s not much to be discussed.

  15. Really? It seems to me that reciting prayers and readings so fast that even someone who understands Latin can’t follow them must be somewhere on the “liturgical abuse” spectrum.

    But “so fast that even someone who understands Latin can’t follow them” is not what was being discussed, merely “rapid fire” recitations. (And of course, it’s well recorded that people like St. Alphonsus commented on the wrongness of too fast celebration of Mass long before anyone had thought of the “liturgical movement” let alone the Vatican II reforms.)

    As such, Dave Jaronowski’s comment is perhaps fair (depending somewhat on the type of liturgical dancing and the context). Adam Wood’s followup though, I think is not. Once we move beyond speed to unintelligibility, this seems graver than illicit additions.

    1. @Adam Wood – comment #21:
      I think unitelligible pronunciation of the words at Mass (as Deacon Bauerschmidt had changed the discussion to and which you quoted) is clearly a worse abuse than liturgical dancing (which is not per se evil.)

      1. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #23:
        I think my point was that if “rapid fire” reached the point of unintelligibility then we had something more subversive of the nature of liturgy itself than even liturgical dance. I don’t think rapid fire delivery is always abusive.

      2. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #23:

        … liturgical dancing (which is not per se evil.)

        Well, I insist on exorcisms after every instance I witness, just to be safe.

  16. I guess “ranking” has it’s purposes not to play “who is worse,” but, because, where the rubber meets the road in real life we have to make judgments all the time about what is “tolerable” or not worth saying something about vs. what is.

    A priest who comes in on a July Saturday afternoon in a church with no air conditioning and leads “rapid fire” recitations of the Ordinary is not one that I would challenge. A pastor who allows the altar to be prepared by dancers twirling with incense bowls is someone who should probably be questioned. The first example is uninspired and bad liturgy, however licit. The second is illicit.

  17. >>But, if one falls into the custmary Catholic trap of considering liceity as the sole material measure of liturgy, there’s not much to be discussed.

    Licitness may not be sufficient, but I do consider it necessary.

    1. @Adam Wood – comment #24:
      “Licitness may not be sufficient, but I do consider it necessary.”

      That’s a problem *as a formula* for understanding the liturgy. It’s more of a problem than a solution; it’s part of the problem the Church’s praxis has inflicted on itself. It’s part of the foundation for minimalism, which is how we were able to discard sacramental participation by the faithful for centuries, and also the cultivation of the Church’s treasury of music for centuries. It can be hard to see that causes of our problems can be found in our habits of framing the questions.

      1. @Karl Liam Saur – comment #29:

        I get what you’re saying, but I think you’re arguing against something I don’t think and didn’t say.

        Licitness is not the only “gauge” for “measuring” the “success” or a liturgical action.
        (and my use of quote marks should illustrate how suspicious I am of all those concepts and activities.)

        But beneath the Parnassian Mount of increasing liturgical virtue is a pit of despair that some activities either fall into on their own energy or are flung into by the inscrutable judgement of forces beyond my own understanding.

        Some actions (intentional blasphemy of the Blessed Sacrament) clearly belong to the pit. Dancing, or fast-muttering, or whatever, may or may not be one of those activities. I don’t know. But some things do. And one cannot ascend the mountain if one is mired in the depths below.

        (Notwithstanding, of course, that God is ever gracious, and is there whether we fly up to heaven, or make our beds in hell.)

  18. >>I think unitelligible pronunciation of the words at Mass (as Deacon Bauerschmidt had changed the discussion to and which you quoted) is clearly a worse abuse than liturgical dancing (which is not per se evil.)

    Yes, I get you have an opinion on the matter.

    I don’t understand calling “unfair” my statement, which I could sum up as follows:
    -I have an opinion. But it is just my opinion, not the Church’s and not God’s.

  19. Pardon me, but I think Fr. Smith is writing from la-la land.

    When it comes to why they avoid the Mass of Paul VI and cling to the “Tridentine Mass,” the trad world is basically divided into two camps:

    (1) The aesthete/preference faction: New Mass = no DOCTRINAL problems, but less aesthetically pleasing and not historically grounded. Old Mass = more aesthetically pleasing, a better choice, plugged into history, etc.

    (2) The New-Mass-is-not-Catholic faction: New Mass = poisons Catholic doctrine, is sacrilegious, irreverent, must be avoided at all costs. Old Mass = preserves the Catholic faith, is reverent, is the only “pure worship,” etc.

    While there may indeed be many in the first group these days (followers of NLM and the conferences described above, I think that the most committed lay adherents to the old Mass fall into the SECOND category: They DETEST the Mass of Paul VI, and would not willingly assist at it if it could be avoided.

    These facts on the ground (and I’ve been a trad for nearly forty years now) aren’t exactly predictors of future peace.

    “Papa Bergoglio’s” liturgical antics, moreover, drive both groups crazy, and his crack about Rosaries and “Pelagianism” really ticked a lot of people off.

    I perceive Francis as an authoritarian liberal of the ’60s mode, and moreover, a loose cannon capable of doing anything he takes a notion to. It would not surprise me one bit if, after Benedict dies, he’d engineer a way to squelch the whole Summorum Pontificum movement. And there would be a lot of people to cheer him on and say “good riddance!”

    1. @Father Anthony Cekada – comment #27:
      Agree with your last statement …and Francis would be wise to put a timelimit on SP and stop the kind of things this series of comments represent.

    2. @Father Anthony Cekada – comment #27:

      They DETEST the Mass of Paul VI, and would not willingly assist at it if it could be avoided.

      The sentiments you describe betray ignorance and not conviction. Conviction requires knowledge.

      If laypersons who believe that the ordinary form “poisons Catholic doctrine” knew at least a basic level of Latin, they would likely arrive at the conclusion that ordinary form and extraordinary form missals are not divergent to a great degree. In fact, the ordinary form improves on the extraordinary form in not a few places (e.g. the prefaces).

      I have found that most persons in the second “camp” are in fact poorly catechized and highly uninformed (willfully ignorant?). Many are more interested in the sociocultural fundamentalism found in some corners of traditionalism (e.g. strict community dress codes, socialization only within the church community, a disinterest in the doctrinal and intellectual aspects of belief and liturgy et al.) Many of these latter attitudes are common to fundamentalist movements across a diverse array of religions. Not one aspect is intrinsically Catholic.

    3. @Father Anthony Cekada – comment #27:

      Since Fr. Whelan has raised the point, I would like to engage what Fr. Cekada has done to describe the division of the traditionalist world, assuming that Fr. Ruff allow this continue:

      (1) The aesthete/preference faction: New Mass = no DOCTRINAL problems, but less aesthetically pleasing and not historically grounded. Old Mass = more aesthetically pleasing, a better choice, plugged into history, etc.

      (2) The New-Mass-is-not-Catholic faction: New Mass = poisons Catholic doctrine, is sacrilegious, irreverent, must be avoided at all costs. Old Mass = preserves the Catholic faith, is reverent, is the only “pure worship,” etc.

      I can see why Fr. Cekada finds this to be a felicitous description of traditional Catholicism, given his theological stance: in short, that there are the true traditionalists, to be found among sedevacantist groups and a certain segment of the SSPX, and then there’s everyone else, who don’t really grok what is wrong with the N.O.; they just like the smells and bells. But it simply does not accord with my experience. But even if you don’t have my experience, there’s enough evidence in the scholarship and popular commentariat out there to know it’s not sufficient.

      More to the point, in the traditionalist communities I have been a part of, I think there were few indeed who didn’t think there were doctrinal concerns with the New Mass. It’s just that they usually didn’t think those concerns were fatal. Theologically impoverished (from a Catholic stance), a considerably diminished sense of propitiatory sacrifice, unquestionably; but still a true Mass which truly makes present the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, properly celebrated (which, obviously, does not always happen).

      In short, there’s a middle group, and it’s almost certainly much the biggest segment of the traditionalist-minded world. And even within that group there is sure to be a spectrum.

  20. Adam

    I was clarifying what I meant in response to how you reacted to it. Let me further clarify: There are circumstances where liceity is not a material question to be addressed, because it’s a distraction from substance – it’s a very tempting easy-out. Insidiously so in Catholic habits. There are things that are abhorrent even though licit, in such a degree that something less abhorrent can be less detested though illicit. Reaching for the ruler of liceity allows us to elide such messy realities.

  21. @36 Mr. Zarembo,

    I was simply stating a fact about the attitudes I have encountered.

    There are a lot of personal, family and cultural connections on a local level between those who assist at officially-sanctioned celebrations of the old Mass and those who assist at celebrations offered by SSPX and groups like my own.

    The “buzz” I’ve gotten from parishioners of my own who have contacts with members of the “official” groups is that the second position I mention — those who utterly detest the new rite — is common among the laity, especially those with large families and long-time roots in the trad movement.

    All I’m saying is that the attitude exists and is common.

    You’re free, of course, to delegitimize their position as the product of psycho-socio-cultural factors. That way one can avoid discussing theology altogether — even though, in theory at least, trads are, too, are supposed to be part of your big, diverse People of God!

  22. Fr Cekada, I know a good number of old Mass adherents here (London) who freely mix the two forms in their weekly worship — Latin Novus Ordo Mass at Farm Street, Low Tridentine Mass at the Oratory, English “said” Novus Ordo somewhere else.

    This seems to be the regime at Fr Smith’s own parish in the USA: the weekly schedule includes Tridentine, “Solemn” (Latin NO), “Quiet Mass” (English, NO), etc. There are two choirs, one for the solemn NO, one for the Tridentine. Most Masses are said with the priest facing the apse, some with the priest facing the nave. Except at the Tridentine Mass, communicants can receive standing or kneeling, in the hand or on the tongue, though they are catechised to receive kneeling and on the tongue at all Masses.

    The message seems to be not that the Tridentine Mass is superior, but that it is a valuable addition to one’s liturgical regime. I suppose that, because of this, you might respond that Fr Smith is not really a “trad”, even though he identifies himself as one.

    1. The message seems to be not that the Tridentine Mass is superior, but that it is a valuable addition to one’s liturgical regime. I suppose that, because of this, you might respond that Fr Smith is not really a “trad”, even though he identifies himself as one.

      Thank you, Jonathan, for the respect and acknowledgement for those of us who avoid pitching out tents in opposing camps in saecula saeculorum. As I type in this box I can read the rather stereotypical caricatures of RotR folk (for expediency I use that term) from Fr. Cekada, presuming that our personal preferences are what we would impose upon those faithful PiPs whom we serve as musicians. What those of us who’ve been around the scene for these forty years or so are coming to realize is that elements, if not whole entities from the conciliar documents Todd swears we haven’t read or at least understood, have never been universally invited to the table. Those would be a Latin Novus Ordo, or Missae Cantata’s and Solemnis (pl.) as you chronicled are scheduled weekly, thankfully, at Fr. Smith’s parish.
      I would no more think of imposing wholesale change of music or form at our four parishes than demanding 20 minute low TLM’s. Some of the problems and dysfunctions can be caricatured by the cliche “The problem is not that the OF was tried and found wanting, but that it wants to be actually tried.”
      It is sad to think that one of the first songs heard in early English OF’s in the late 60’s was Paul Simon’s “Sounds of Silence.” And it’s likewise too bad that the Simon song that was needed would ironically (jokingly) be “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover” with the famous chorus “You gotta make a new plan, Stan.” Thanks again.

  23. Mr. Day. I’m sure that your description of the situation in London is quite accurate. I was somewhat familiar with the Oratory program many years ago, and what you report is about what I would expect now. There were people even in the 70s who hopped back and forth between the two rites — a “high” Latin celebration of the Novus Ordo at the Oratory, and an “illegal” SSPX Low Mass at St. Padarn’s. The rather laid back attitude behind this I attributed to the English temperament.

    And no doubt, the regime at Fr. Smith’s church is as you describe it. I am sure that he would not himself describe the Tridentine Mass as “superior” (except maybe in some sort of limited sense).

    But as a longtime participant in and observer of the trad scene in America, I would be very surprised if a large portion of those who assist at his EF Masses did NOT detest the “Ordinary Form” Masses and resolutely avoid them.

    This is the militant attitude that you find expressed in trad publications like Catholic Family News, the Remnant, and The Angelus, all of which circulate even among laymen who assist at “official” Tridentine Masses, and (whatever one may think of these journals) enjoy a certain amount of credibility with their clientele.

    So too, the attitude on trad-oriented forums. Apart from NLM, most posters seem to have no use whatsoever for the “Ordinary Form” and constantly condemn it.

    I suspect that this is also the attitude of the EF laity in France, especially given the presence of SSPX.

    For this reason, I think Fr. Smith’s prediction of an imminent liturgical “peace” is unrealistic. There are just too many people in the pews (probably even his own pews) who detest the Mass of Paul VI.

  24. I like the old Mass and wish the “reforms” of the 60s had not altered the Mass to such a great extent. I was born after the 60s and had no exposure to the old Mass while growing up. However, parishioners at our church managed to save the high altar from destruction; so I did see some visible reminders of the way things were in the past. The whole “spirit of the Council” heyday of decades ago strikes me as depressing. Much of what was good in the Church was literally thrown into the dumpster. However, I think that much of the traditionalist movement is problematic. Too many “traddies” are obsessed with Chesterton, monarchy and right-wing Republicans.

  25. I think it will take a while, but I think traditionalism is transforming, if only because the EF Masses springing up at average parishes are starting to attract more and more Catholics who are themselves rather average and haven’t had to “suffer” the way anyone who wanted to attend it before had to. I maintain that the abuse of the old indult and generally poor treatment of traditionalists created the rad trads.

    Repealing SP would be a disaster. It would kill any sort of positive traditionalism that has developed and bolster the rad trads by basically proving them right (that the Novus Ordo Church can’t be trusted).

  26. I have been lucky, I guess, not to have stumbled into too many silly Masses over the years. Some of the “clownish” Masses I have experienced have been on the trad side of the line — Tridentine Masses that looked like something from a pantomime, or silliness with papal knights, or servers and ministers at a solemn Mass who marched rather than walked in procession.

    I have seen idiocy at the Novus Ordo, of course; for example, a priest who, after the post-communion but before the blessing and dismissal, asked each of us to turn to our neighbours and “buzz” for 3 minutes about the future of the parish. The three minutes felt like an hour. A visiting French student who was with us turned to me and asked, “what are they doing?”

    Mostly, though, it has been good. A fairly early encounter with the Novus Ordo was with the Stanford group — a Latin Mass with music from Bill Mahrt’s heavenly choir. Sunday Mass in recent years has been the Latin Novus Ordo celebrated by the Farm Street Jesuits, again with a fine choir. Given these two anchors, silliness at Mass feels like an aberration, not something intrinsic to the Novus Ordo.

    I do see the comment, again and again, that the rubrics of the Tridentine Mass are so strict that silly improvisation simply can’t happen. Not sure I believe that. But it is an example of a variant of what Fr Cekada attributes to “trads”: not that the NO is invalid, or heretical, or even aesthetically horrible; but that the Tridentine Mass is simply better on all fronts — as in the example just provided, lack of room for improvisation.

    I wonder about the extent to which Jeffrey Tucker, Fr Smith, Adam and the Chant Cafe contributors hold this view. Adam, perhaps you can clarify.

    1. @Jonathan Day – comment #45:

      Jonathan, as a former Cafe contributor, I can report with certainty that the fully sungTLM is held up as the paradigm by CMAA adherents. With equal surety I can say that there are 180 degrees of variation on that theme both philosophically and practically by the same people. The so-called Brick by Brick movement is regarded differently by degree by many factions; some think it’s has a terminal point of fulfillment, others think it a bridge to the Latin Novus Ordo terminal, and still others hope that it restores the normative practice of the TLM at least once in every parish’s Sunday schedule. AND, there is a discernable presence who have been able to practice what they preach and live in the TLM world as the reforms of conciliar documents and the 1903 Motu Proprio envisioned and outlined. And there occasionally is tension among the ranks about what the terminus of reform actually means. I hope I haven’t misrepresented my colleagues. You know how Bill Mahrt thinks on all levels. He knows the score (pardon pun) and does what he can how he can.

    2. @Jonathan Day – comment #45:
      Silly mass = use of the capa magna; watching 4 or 5 guys running around in cassocks and lace; bowing constantly’ use pf maniples/amices/birettas; etc.
      Almoat any mass with too many K of Cs; parading around

      Point – liturgical dance is not a liturgical no no (this series ignores what happens in a large part of the catholic world and ignores enculturation

  27. What about less egregious but more common examples: thanking everyone and their brother (by name) who took part in Mass, from servers, to lectors, to extraordinary Eucharist distributors, to organist, choir, etc. Or clapping after a song by the soloist/song leader or singing group. Maybe it’s the Northeast, but these happen around here more frequently and in many more parishes than clown Masses or liturgical “dance.” Certainly cuts down the choices you have if you want worship instead of performance.

    1. @John Kohanski – comment #48:
      I suppose Jonathan’s original point 2 is out the window on this point.

      What about a request to restrict the lace to the rectory coffee tables and leave it off the clergy and pseudo-clergy?

      I’m still with Linda on this point. The more egregious examples are largely figments of frowny-faced detractors’ imaginations. Grown large and more scary in the repeated telling.

      1. @Todd Flowerday – comment #51:
        Well, liturgical dance is certainly biblical…

        And “praise bands” are still, rare.. though I share the concern on that.

        But overall – these claims are still outrageously over the top.

      2. @John Kohanski – comment #62:
        Most of my clergy’s vestments are wool or wool blends. But if you’re signing on for a material concordat, I’m perfectly willing to sacrifice all our polyester for all your lace.

        That’s win-win, my friend.

      3. @Todd Flowerday – comment #73:
        Todd, I am not a fan of lace, and never said I was. Good vestments, and that includes the alb, are high on my list however. My pastor has a “no lace” rule with which I and the majority of the parish are quite happy with. Most of our vestments in use are hand made by a professional liturgical artist, not from a catalog, or by a parish “sewing guild” and are not a “blend” but using fine materials worthy of the Mass. Many not in regular use are historic, worn on high days. http://www.liturgicalartist.com and you can see some of his fine work. I would recommend him to anyone looking to replace unsuitable liturgical vesture or as a gift for cleric.

      4. @John Kohanski – comment #15:
        Hello John,

        All of our new vestments are hand-made. I look forward to the day when a fwe of our parishioners will try their hand at making some really nice pieces for us.

        The “blends” we have are wool-silk, wool-cotton, and one wool-polyester for some extra lightness. I have no reason to expect less than fine work from your parish, and I would expect the same assumption in turn.

        “Your description was of “most” traditionalists, not some. That’s where I took issue.”

        Thank you, Jack. Fair enough. Most traditionalists I know are online, and tend to the more extreme of theology. People of all stripes tend to be better in real life.

        My criticism of the TLM is largely theological. And certainly colored by my own experience in the 70’s and 80’s when it was associated with schismatics unwilling to engage the full teaching of the Church.

        I recognize that the 1962 Missal is largely to be prayed as given. Still, I can count perhaps two voices of the few dozen I know who are open in theory to applying SC to the TLM. I hear a lot of complaints about reform, or about how it was hamfistedly done. Fine.

        How would a traditionalist reform the TLM to adhere to Church teaching and yet chart a course differently from the Catholic mainstream or the strict adherence to the past? And if a traditionalist Catholic said that was unneccessary, I might ask what makes her or him so special, so as to abrogate a century of liturgical reform to which almost everyone else has signed on.

      5. @Todd Flowerday – comment #17:
        Todd – agree….my difficulty with this whole string of comments is what appears to be a complete disconnect between liturgy and the theology/ecclesiology that the liturgy flows from.
        Thus, how can you reform the TLM applying SC – geez, wasn’t that done already? Thus, my utter uncomprehension that Benedict (supposedly a theologian who understood liturgy) could believe that there could be two forms of one rite…or, even worse, that they could mutually enrich each other?
        It is one thing to issue SP based upon compassion for a small group; but, then, to play the game he did in terms of hermeneutic of continuity; rupture; reinterpreting SC and VII; mutual enrichment; appointing folks who thought they had the *correct* interpretation of VII/SC. Agree – this appears to take a certain amount of *arrogance* (or the Allan ability to dismiss any and all academics, expert liturgists; all 1960=70s folks seething with clown mass visions; producing lists borrowing from the TLM (of course, purely based upon his emotional liking or disliking – talk about lack of objective liturgical experience; history; belief that only they know what the *pure* VII documents meant, or basic realization that lex orandi, lex credendi is more than *liking*.)
        It is also why I think places such as Macon, Georgia will suffer in the future based upon some belief that hosting a 1962 High Mass once a month doesn’t create confusion; division; etc. as folks will have to eventually try to make sense of two forms of one rite or just attend liturgy as *an opera event* with no connection to what they believe about church or sacraments.

      6. @Bill deHaas – comment #18:
        My additional difficulty is the favoritism shown traditionalist Catholics.

        For example, I observe that probably more women Catholics have difficulty with the sexism and misogyny they perceive expressed in the liturgy. I don’t think there’s more theological difficulty with looking at language (one example) than there is with an unreformed rite.

        It strikes me as who complains the loudest, longest, and with the deepest pocketbooks. perhaps.

        It rather stinks in parishes when people with money and loud voices dominate the conversation. Forget about getting into discernment.

        And honestly, except for a few individuals here and there, I don’t really see traditionalist Catholics as very different from most parish advocacy groups who want their soccer field, their plaque, their seats of honor at the parish fundraising dinner, their hand on the collection basket.

        Sure, some traditionalists are deeply spiritual people and have engaged the Lord, found conversion, and live lives of exemplary virtue. But is adding a ghetto to the Church really helpful? And why is a pope, a servant of unity, seemingly duped into fracturing the Body for some folks who are always moving the goalposts?

      7. @Todd Flowerday – comment #17:
        I think we need a little time before any sort of reform of the EF that goes beyond updating the calendar with new saints should occur. It has only been six years since SP took the old Mass from being mostly the domain of people who are outside of the Church, and many EF communities are still forming and establishing themselves. Traditionalism needs a more solid and established identity first before it can move forward.

        I base my judgement of traditionalism on people I know rather than on online traddies. My experience is limited to official EF Masses rather than to those of the SSPX, though I know of people who jump back and forth between the two. I’m sure my church scares away the worst of the rad trads because the priest also celebrates the OF and almost always gives hosts from the tabernacle, meaning they are from the OF. I know people at the EF who happily attend the OF, and even participate as lectors, EMHCs, and singers. These are mostly “New” traditionalists, meaning they didn’t attend the EF until after 2007. There are some traditionalists who are more extreme in their views and won’t attend the OF if they can help it, but they are older and were part of the breakaway and indult Masses, so they have more negative baggage. I see the future of traditionalism as being more with the newer traditionalists provided we don’t turn back the clock to the crummy indult years. I think the divide between “official” trads and the breakaway groups will grow over time. The extremists will go to the SSPX where they won’t have to share their churches with Novus Ordo Catholics and can enforce dress codes and other fussy little things like always saying Holy Ghost instead of Holy Spirit.

        The less the old Mass is forced into the ghetto, the better.

      8. @Jack Wayne – comment #21:
        “The less the old Mass is forced into the ghetto, the better.”

        The Church already has it, and in speaking of “Communities still forming” it looks like more of a challenge than the other ghettoes of folk Masses, children’s Masses, silent Masses, bilingual Masses, etc..

  28. I’ve actually never seen liturgical dance, or a lot of silliness. I would say the problem with most OF Masses isn’t silliness, clowns, or trying too hard to be entertaining. The problem is dullness and mediocrity, which was a problem before the council, except now it lasts up to three times longer than the old rushed low Mass.

  29. And the battle of the trads vs. the mods rages on….

    I am a bit of a geezer, having been an altar server before VII, and also after with all the various changes through the years. Because it is familiar from my childhood, I enjoy pre-VII Mass and particularly the music, including specifically chant, but I also enjoy Paul VI Mass and more contemporary music. Insisting on one or the other as best strikes me as the modern equivalent of widening your phylacteries and lengthening your tassels.

    The best Masses in my experience are those where a group of flawed but faithful people are making an honest effort to worship, regardless of format.

    And, fwiw, I have never seen liturgical dance within a Mass. Perhaps before, or perhaps after Mass as part of a larger celebration (and that only once or twice) but never as part of the Mass.

    I don’t even object to “Praise Bands” in theory. In practice, it isn’t the music or the instruments that are bothersome; what annoys me is that the lyrics are so generic they are essentially secular, but then again, as I said, I am something of a geezer…(You kids get out of MY Mass!!) 😉

    1. @Charles Day – comment #54:
      “The best Masses in my experience are those where a group of flawed but faithful people are making an honest effort to worship, regardless of format.”

      Thank you, Charles!!! This is one of the best sentences I have read in these com boxes and deserves repeating…..so I did!!!!!!!

      1. @Linda Reid – comment #59:

        Alleluia to that–we are all flawed and faithful and mostly we are doing our best. And surely that is what the Lord asks of us, whatever our musical or linguistic tastes may be!

  30. “‘Papa Bergoglio’s’ liturgical antics, moreover, drive both groups crazy, and his crack about Rosaries and ‘Pelagianism’ really ticked a lot of people off.”

    The Pelagianism accusation ticked me off and I’m not even Catholic.

  31. “And the battle of the trads vs. the mods rages on….”

    I think it’s generous to call it a battle. This thread illustrates it’s more about people talking past each other in their own insulated universes. The most memorable descriptions of the 1962 Missal seem to be not-clowns, not-dance, not-stuff-I-dislike.

    The Benedict legacy has been to pad the insulation, reinforce the divisions, and most Catholics in the pews give a collective shrug. The preface to SP is twice as long as the document? Nice ministry of unity, that.

    I would have to say that Jack Wayne’s observation is the most serious challenge to liturgy: mediocrity and boredom. Mediocre homilies and mediocre music preached and played for people who don’t seem to care. And the solution is a traditional Latin Mass in every parish’s Sunday? Are the traditionalists sure they don’t want to continue with just that small intentional church? Do they really want the dead weight of consumerist believers who don’t seem to care?

    I’ve had as many as five weekend Masses with music, as many as five funerals in a week, two weddings, and a school Mass. I would love to see one of CMAA’s “garage band” scholas try to serve multiple Masses like that in a single week and not emerge exhausted and burned out. I’ve known many music directors who have served the Church for decades, and they still manage to contribute a lot more authentic ministry to a community than most anyone could.

    And the traditionalist complaint is dancers? Get a life.

    1. @Todd Flowerday – comment #56:

      I’ve had as many as five weekend Masses with music

      Only five? 😉 Try seven for size. Every weekend. 🙂 Fortunately I no longer have this kind of responsibility. No pastor would ever dream of putting himself through seven Masses on a weekend, and yet a good number are quite happy to make their musicians do so.

  32. I don’t know why anyone would object to the solemn celebration of Mass in either form. And yes, so-called abuses in any form should be named for what these are and purified.
    Most of us who love both forms of the Mass and thank Pope Benedict for making it easier for both forms to be celebrated, want both forms to be celebrated the way these are meant to be.
    For those of us fortunate enough to celebrate in both forms, graced as it were, we can see how easy it is to bring continuity to both and to make sure that both are seen as a part of the one Latin Rite.
    Those of us who would like the gravitational pull of both forms on each other to become institutionalized or codified in a third revised missal, would like to see more vernacular in the EF and more Latin in the OF, a universal blend. We’d like more Scripture for the Lectionary in the EF and more Scripture in the Order of Mass, similar to the EF in the OF. We’d like more rubrical precision in the OF and less robotic movement in the EF.
    And we’d like the Mass to be sung without liturgy planners, whoever they are, forcing hymnody into either, meaning the chanting of the Propers, Introit, Offertory and Communion Antiphons. Someone asked on another post, what’s wrong with “All Are Welcome?” The same might be asked of “Gather Us in.” There’s nothing wrong with them for popular devotions, but plenty wrong with them when they substitute the official chants of the Mass and chosen to make an ideological statement about the local parish and its hospitality or lack thereof.

    1. @Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #58:
      Regarding “All Are Welcome” and “Gather Us In”, please provide specific examples from those texts that you object to.

      I guess, on the same grounds, that you object to “Ubi Caritas”: “As we are gathered into one body, beware, lest we be divided in mind. Let evil impulses stop, let controversy cease, And may Christ our God be in our midst.” Gee, seems awfully in the Spirit of Vatican 2. Imagine, the congregation singing about itself. How terrible.

  33. Dear Fr. McDonald,

    You clearly belong to “mutual enrichment” camp that Benedict XVI wanted to encourage with Summorum Pontificum.

    The Mass of Paul VI can indeed be celebrated with a lot of the old externals — Latin throughout, chant, restrained ceremonial, etc. This was always allowed in theory. In the 70s, in fact, I spent two years in a religious order where we had this every day, and places like the London Oratory and St. Agnes in the Twin Cities followed this program practically from the beginning.

    So “enrichment” (in the sense of dressing up the underlying rite) can indeed flow from the old Mass to the Mass of Paul VI.

    But it will NOT work, I maintain, in the other direction. The old Mass is a closed and highly regulated system. People who assist at it (in my experience) would have little patience for “enriching” it with the Pauline lectionary, lay readers, vernacular bits, and the congregation loudly barking out all the altar boys’ responses.

    Bergoglio tried practices lik this at the EF Mass he permitted in Buenos Aires, and managed to drive everyone away in short order.

    Even introducing Paul VI-like liturgical practices that became technically legal just BEFORE V2 would alienate trads.

    I have an officially-approved 1960 commentators’ book edited by Fr. McManus, That They May Share. It’s loaded with commentator chatter for every part of the Mass for every feast of the year. Dollars to doughnuts that, if you imposed this at your EF Mass on grounds of “enrichment,” just about everyone would head for the door.

    1. @Father Anthony Cekada – comment #60:
      “… the congregation loudly barking out all the altar boys’ responses.”

      Such contemptuous characterization of even basic participation by the community in their liturgy explains the animus behind a lot else that you say.

      And talk about an ignorance of history! “[T]he altar boys’ responses”? Hard to believe.

  34. “People who assist at it (in my experience) would have little patience for “enriching” it with the Pauline lectionary,”

    This would be my experience with most Catholics attached to traditionalism. But not all.

    It hints at a spiritual ossification, an unwillingness to engage in conversion. Conversion is for other people, certainly not the “saved.” At its extreme it betrays a tradition that turns its back on Christ’s call to follow, and innumerable saints who embraced dramatic changes in their lives in order to align more closely to Christ and his Gospel.

    It confirms in my thinking that SP was a grave error. And if people need to move on in their spiritual live as they interpret it, perhaps we allow them to do so. They should know they are always welcome to return to the Roman Rite. And roll up their sleeves for the cause of the Gospel at any time.

    1. @Todd Flowerday – comment #61:
      Apparently you work hard to provide music for lots of Masses and “roll up your sleeves” for the Gospel while those of us at the EF or CMAA are unwilling, unable, and spiritually ossified.

      I would argue that there are many people who don’t want the OF influenced by the EF as described above, even some who think the EF has no value today and nothing to teach the OF. Are these people unwilling to engage in conversion and turning their back to Christ’s call?

      1. @Jack Wayne – comment #63:
        Actually Jack, speaking for myself, I do.

        And to be accurate, I said some traditionalist Catholics, but I was explicit in saying “not all.”

        I detect a certain annoyance when you and some others (but not all) want to talk about clown Masses I’ve never seen, but are unwilling to engage particular criticisms honestly.

        I find conversion more often by gazing forward, not by looking back to what has been. That’s not to say some recovery of the past isn’t a good thing. But everything laudable in the 1570/1962 Missal is freely available for clergy, musicians, and communities, including worshiping in Latin. And what was not was largely excised for the 1970 Missal.

        Mindless repetitions, clerical narcissism, choir concerts, disengaged ministers: we need none of that. We certainly are still digging ourselves out of the mash-up of the Tridentine Low Mass and western consumer culture. It’s time to look forward. And give the 1962 an honorable retirement.

      2. @Todd Flowerday – comment #75:

        Mindless repetitions, clerical narcissism, choir concerts, disengaged ministers: we need none of that.

        And Lord knows, we never see any clerical narcissism or disengaged ministers in the celebrations of the New Mass.

        Well – I suppose I’m at risk of violating Jonathan’s third recommended reform, since sarcasm isn’t far off what he’s talking about. But there is plenty of this kind of polemic on both sides of the fence, and Todd isn’t helping his cause with snide asides like this. For the record: I share Todd’s opposition to mindless repetitions (though I like mindful ones), clerical narcissism, and disengaged ministers. I do confess a soft spot for choir concerts, however.

      3. @Richard Malcolm – comment #79:
        “Todd isn’t helping his cause with snide asides like this ….”

        Please let me know when the discussion on transformation returns.


        I’m only holding a mirror to the proceedings here, and I’ve been careful to qualify my remarks to allow for traditionalists who, as Fr Smith seems to suggest, are open to transformation.

        I am happy to see you agree with me that narcissism and disengagement are human qualities, not that of a particular rite or ritual or even ideology. That is where I think a proper focus of liturgical formation should be: in the people responsible. Not, as Fr Cekada and some (but not all) others suggest, in the *things* of worship. It is more by personal transformation that believers align more closely with Christ and his call for conversion.

        Not by getting shinier things.

      4. @Todd Flowerday – comment #80:

        Hello Todd,

        I hope, if it hasn’t always been clear from my time commenting at PTB, that I really do try to engage directly, rather than talk past each other, as you expressed the concern above.

        I think that your insistence on the need for transformation begs the question of just what the transformation should be, and whether the new liturgical forms accomplish that – or if they do, to what degree. A refusal to be open to any change certainly can betoken an unhealthy “ossification;” but mere change is not necessarily a good to be pursued. You speak, for example, of “an unwillingness to engage in conversion.” But to convert to traditional worship (and the devotions and catechetics that invariably accompany it) is no easy thing, especially for those of us who did not hail from the stereotypical community of the traddy homeschooling-family-of-ten. Certainly a serious conversion was needed for me, and mine is by no means complete.

        The question is which form of the Roman Rite best encapsulates the Catholic faith. Because I don’t believe that the OF (even in Latin with incense and tasty fiddlebacks) does, I don’t consider its adoption to be true progress, and thus likely to create desirable transformation. I don’t say that such transformation is impossible with it, or that the EF is foolproof (even to clerical narcissism). But the differences are significant, and impossible to miss, and indeed too often taken to assume a fundamentally different ecclesiology (and more besides). If this creates its own danger for traditionalists, it lies in a greater struggle for charity, so little of it having been directed at them by Church leaders since the Council – faith and hope we usually have in abundance.

        So you and I must agree to disagree on the desirability and advisability of Summorum Pontificum for now. But I hope that my concerns are made a little clearer to you, as yours are to me.

      5. @Todd Flowerday – comment #75:

        Mindless repetitions, clerical narcissism, choir concerts, disengaged ministers: we need none of that. [my emphasis]

        Todd, I would not comment on the prosody and meter of the Tridentine Mass until at least your “Caesar year” of Latin education. I do not comment on the technical qualities of hymnody because I am not a musician. Do not criticize liturgical texts which you insufficiently comprehend.

      6. @Todd Flowerday – comment #75:
        Your description was of “most” traditionalists, not some. That’s where I took issue.

        Also, I never said anything about clown Masses, so I don’t know what you are getting at when you detect annoyance from me when I supposedly wanted to talk about them. I do get annoyed at the almost constant complaining about lace here, like it is the most horrible thing in the world. I can’t even remember the last time I saw lace at the Mass I usually attend, yet you’d think every single EF was drenched in lace. As if the presence of lace is even a big deal. The biggest complaints about the EF seem to be lace, the cappa magna, memories of mean clergy and nuns from the 1950s, and rushed low Masses from 60 years ago. Very little effort is made to engage real EF Masses going on today, so taking a lot of the criticism seriously can be difficult.

        It’s very possible to look forward and embrace the EF. It’s possible to have conversion and roll up one’s sleeves for the Gospel and participate in the EF.

  35. ““People who assist at it (in my experience) would have little patience for “enriching” it with the Pauline lectionary,””

    In other words this is all a one way street. “Traditionalists” obsess with “reforming” the Vatican II mass but will not allow anyone to touch their Tridentine. It isn’t enough that B16 made the Tridintine more widely available but they must still go to great efforts to make the novus ordor mass more like TLM all the while using derisive and hurtful terms like “clown mass” to dismiss the mass many find spiritually rewarding.

    “I want my mass, but you can have yours.”

  36. Mr. Flowerday,

    The underlying reason for what you call “ossification” in the more militant trads (those who do not merely PREFER the old rite, but actually DETEST the Mass of Paul VI) is their perception that the new rite is founded on DIFFERENT DOCTRINAL PRINCIPLES inimical to traditional (pre-Vatican II) teaching. New rite = new religion.

    For them, the new rite represents what Benedict XVI referred to as “rupture.”

    This is not something such trads dreamed up themselves. There’s ample evidence for this when one compares the contents of the old and new rites and reads the writings of the revisers themselves.

    During the Paul VI-Lefebvre wars in the 1970s, moreover, Paul VI’s Secretary of State, Mgr. Benelli explicitly acknowledged this doctrinal shift when he told the President of Una Voce, Dr. Eric de Saventhem, that the old Mass could not be permitted because “the new liturgy reflects a new ecclesiology, whereas the old reflects another ecclesiology.”

    I daresay that many of this blog’s more “progressive” readers would agree with at least the last part of Benelli’s statement. In this, they would find at least SOME common ground with more militant trads.

    1. @Father Anthony Cekada – comment #64:
      Fr. Cekada,
      Surely there is no one left on earth who doesn’t know why some trads such as you reject Vatican II – or they can readily find it with a simple google search. Please don’t bother us by repeating all this here. This isn’t the place to push your position.

    2. @Father Anthony Cekada – comment #65:

      …“the new liturgy reflects a new ecclesiology, whereas the old reflects another ecclesiology.”

      A position which has, in fact, been affirmed by at least a few commentators here, in various formulations.

      But I think the observation that perceptions of “rupture” in the changes of the 60’s exist on both the progressive left and traditional right (I use the terms reluctantly for lack of a better shorthand) has been made plenty of times by now.

    3. @Father Anthony Cekada – comment #65:
      Fr Cekada, your comments seem to suggest there is some magical or gnostic quality to the traditional Latin Mass. The texts of the liturgy are not primarily intended to be doctrinal, though they certainly are. Primarily, they are about the worship of God and the sanctification of the people. That’s sanctification–not indoctrination or information.

      There are indeed dangers in living the Christian life, even within the Christian community. I find it amusing that the preservation of doctrinal principles required schism to preserve it. Nothing like blowing up the village in order to save it.

      I would say that the study of liturgy uncovered old aspects of ecclesiology. And offered correctives on a dangerous and narcissistic attraction to the 1570 Missal. Different times call for different emphases.

  37. CORRECT MR WAYNE, . . Allan’s comment epitomizes this failed direction. The reformed liturgy is based upon a different understanding of theology, eucharist, & ecclesiology – *lex orandi, lex credendi*…efforts to *borrow* pre-VII elements to *Enrich* (even the word betrays bias – one person’s pre-VII *enriched* element is Consilium’s accretion based upon professional/historical research) reveals dissatisfaction with VII principles (even by a pope sadly – popes have been known to be wrong).
    Agree with Todd – it has created issues with ecumenism efforts.

    YOU say – “turn your back to Christ’s call” – and what about SP and Vatican II in terms of turning back? How judgmental! Guess the spirit only works with benedict…really!!

    1. @Bill deHaas – comment #67:
      I’m not really sure what you are going on about.

      I’m a liturgical pluralist. I think there is room for traditional and progressive – even very progressive- worship. I prefer traditional myself and maybe even think it is a bit better, but that isn’t for me to force on others. I mostly only dislike progressive worship when it indulges its iconoclastic tendencies and destroys historic art and architecture. I think there are radicals and flaws in the traddy camp, but think it’s better to actually work towards peace and unity rather than sweep problems under the rug and pretend everything is great like we did in the pre SP years. If the Church can’t even tolerate the EF or ROTR, then I fail to see how we will ever reconcile with other Christians, particularly those whose worship is more similar to the EF than to the OF.

  38. I can relate to what Fr. Smith says, and I’m convinced that it’s at least partly generational. Those, on both sides, who lived through the liturgy wars – and ecclesiology-and-everything-else wars – of the 1970s seem to be more battle-hardened than those who, like myself, were raised when the dust was finally beginning to settle in the reign of St John Paul II.

    My observation is that radical “traditionalism” has been starting to fuse with mainstream conservatism for some time. Those who continue to define as hardline trads often do so because they have particular agendas which they are determined to push – it reminds me of the Protestant definition of the difference between a Fundamentalist and an Evangelical: “a Fundamentalist is an Evangelical who is angry about stuff“. I pray for the day when “traditionalists” learn to distinguish theological opinions from the Catholic Faith, realise that the mainstream of the Church needs them, and accepts their progressive fellow-Catholics as brothers and sisters in Christ.

  39. I’m particularly struck by the comments of Fr. Cekada. Obviously, he is right that some “traditionalists” hold that the main body of the Church has become unorthodox after Vatican II (so that they alone remain true Catholics). However, I wonder whether his depiction of the views in the pews is totally correct. I celebrate the TLM on an occasional basis, and I would be very surprised if the majority of attendees “DETEST” the modern Mass as heretical. I gather that Father is a follower of the deceased Archbishop Lefebvre – with all due respect, perhaps his views are to be situated in that context.

    1. @Fr. John Whelan – comment #76:
      Actually, Fr. Cekada broke with Lefebvre years ago because Lefebvre was too compromising with the Vatican modernists (I believe the issue was the use of the 62 Missal rather than earlier versions, as well as recognizing the orders of those ordained with the reformed rite of ordination).

      1. @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #78:

        My apologies – I should have said that Fr. Cekada was ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre.

        At any rate, I would question whether Father is in the best position to inform us as to the theological outlook of most Catholics who attend the EF. In my experience, most don’t “DETEST” the Ordinary Form or Vatican II, albeit they may certainly have varying degrees of enthusiasm about both.

      2. @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #78:

        Not wishing to prolong this any further than necessary, but if Father doesn’t recognize post-Vatican II orders and is a “sedevacantist”, presumably he would not only denounce Pope Francis as a false Pope, he would also regard him as a layman, “Señor Bergoglio”? So the Supreme Pontiff cannot offer Mass, even if he were to use the 1962 Missal. And any future true Pope would need to be ordained by one of his own confreres to ensure his validity. Amazing. What’s the Vox Clara version of “Quos Deus vult perdere prius dementat “?

      3. @Fr. John Whelan – comment #83:

        Hello Fr. Whelan,

        It’s my understanding that Pope Francis was ordained in December, 1969, according to the new rite of ordination. While I don’t want to speak for Fr. Cekada, he is on record as holding that the new rites of ordination and consecration are not valid, so it would seem to follow that, in this view, Pope Francis is technically a layman.

        It should be clear that the SSPX does not hold this position, though they are, needless to say, quite critical of the new rites, and a certain wild-man fringe in their chapels does seem to harbor doubts about the validity of these orders (as well as the New Mass). Archbishop Lefebvre raised questions himself on a few occasions, as Fr. Cekada points out, but it must be observed that ++Lefebvre was something of a moving target on this and other issues.

        All that said, I do share your skepticism as to whether Fr. Cekada “is in the best position to inform us as to the theological outlook of most Catholics who attend the EF.” I’m not even sure how valid it is of SSPX chapels, though I speak from only indirect knowledge in that regard. Most TLM’s today are licit, which marks a real change from the situation a generation ago. And mindsets in those communities are not operating that wavelength – even if it is also not usually true that such traditionalists are mere aesthetes (as Fr. Cekada would have iti), either.

  40. @77 Dear Mr. Malcolm,

    I certainly don’t have a statistical sample to rely on, and at this point there may indeed be a substantial group in the middle. I do not claim infallibility or omniscience on this point, but I’ve followed these issue and been involved with them for a long time.

    @68 Dear Father Ruff,

    I only got involved in this because I happen to notice Fr. Smith’s comments and they struck me as unrealistic, given what I know of the trad scene. Thank you for your indulgence.

  41. @Father Anthony Cekada – comment #86:

    Touché, Father!

    Let’s explore the discussion of the attitudes of the people in the pews a little more. I’m interested in this notion that there is a groundswell of “detestation” of the modern form of the Mass among those who attend the EF. I don’t claim that I’ve carried out any kind of scientific survey, but I have serious misgivings about this from my own experience. Sure, there is the type-1 liberal-who-likes-Latin and the type-2 Archbishop Lefebvre/SSPX adherent (or even, who knows, the occasional sedevacantist to keep things interesting). But, as Richard Malcolm pointed out, there’s not merely a spectrum, there’s a spectrum-within-a-spectrum. And these are spectrums which are constantly shifting – the “battle-lines” are not in the same places where they where when I was a child in the 80s, for example. To this extent, I think that Fr. Smith is on to something, and (with respect, Father) it isn’t enough to just claim that most trads hate the OF and won’t budge from their position.

  42. Here is my ultimate point on all of this:

    There is no “liberal” or “conservative” Catholic, as understood in these popular political terms.

    I’m not a traditionalist or a conservative. I’m orthodox and faithful.

    The documents of Vatican II call for chant and latin to be used in the liturgy. I see no way around that. The only possible reason for not using latin and chant in mass is the pastoral one. And even then, the pastoral thing to do is not to ignore the norm, but rather to move slowly, not yanking the rug out from under people, and educating them as to the slow and methodical changes you are making to bring your liturgies into compliance with norms. Let me be clear – such change may take ten years, the first five of which you may only use chant in small doeses and in english – BUT _ I can find no justification for not using it. This does not make me traditional; it makes me faithful.

    On the other hand, I would prefer a choral Sanctus. But my reading of the GIRM makes it clear to me that it is preferred that the Sanctus be normally be sung by the people. Therefore, you will not find the Sanctus sung chorally (alone) at my parish. I imagine there could come a day where it might be done on a very rare occasion, but it’s clear to me that the NORMS envision congregational participation as the norm.

    The point? Just do the rite! Just follow what the Church is saying. There is no precendent nor to the documents call for dancing during mass. Therefore, we can conclude that dancing during the mass is not licit. There however IS a precedent and tradition of cassocks and beautiful vestments with processions. If you don’t like such things, I don’t see anywhere that says you must avail yourself of them, but it’s hard to make a legal case against them.

    On the other hand, there is no basis in the documents for inserting “Hail Mary’s” into the mass, as many sometimes do …

    Remember, no matter how controversial the person is who originally said “Say the black, do the red” is,…

    1. @Dave Jaronowski – comment #88:
      The documents of Vatican II call for chant and latin to be used in the liturgy. I see no way around that. The only possible reason for not using latin and chant in mass is the pastoral one. And even then, the pastoral thing to do is not to ignore the norm, but rather to move slowly, not yanking the rug out from under people, and educating them as to the slow and methodical changes you are making to bring your liturgies into compliance with norms. Let me be clear – such change may take ten years, the first five of which you may only use chant in small doeses and in english – BUT _ I can find no justification for not using it. This does not make me traditional; it makes me faithful.

      The current documents (e.g. GIRM) do not necessarily call for chant and Latin to be used. There are other options. We have reached a point now where two entire generations have lost the habit of Latin, and many never knew the chant at all. The knowledge and the rationale for doing of these things is mostly long gone. Talking about compliance with the norms simply ignores the fact that in 99% of the parishes across the globe there is no tradition of either Latin or chant. In most places the only people who remember either of them with any clarity are those in their 60s and over. What useful purpose is served by blindly reintroducing an ethos that has been left behind? Those who have talked in this thread about carefully integrating practices of the past with those of the present seem to be much more likely to be on the right track.

      The point? Just do the rite! Just follow what the Church is saying. There is no precendent nor to the documents call for dancing during mass. Therefore, we can conclude that dancing during the mass is not licit. There however IS a precedent and tradition of cassocks and beautiful vestments with processions. If you don’t like such things, I don’t see anywhere that says you must avail yourself of them, but it’s hard to make a legal case against them.

      I find this viewpoint insufficient. The documents do not specifically permit or recommend dance, but to say that dance is therefore illicit is a stretch. Try telling that to the folk in Africa for whom dance has always been an integral part of their liturgical tradition, even before the Council. (There’s your precedent.) Even Cardinal Arinze had to admit that (though he then went on to opine that the First and Second Worlds have no tradition of dance in their cultures — really?).

      There are many things that the documents do not tell us. To give just a couple out of a myriad of examples, they do not say much about the body language of presiders, nor about how those presiders are supposed to lead their people into prayer. Nor do they make any recommendations as to the choreography surrounding the Liturgy of the Word and how and when readers move from one point to another. These things are all part of that intangible ars celebrandi that we have not yet begun properly to discuss.

      The question of such things as beautiful vestments comes down to taste, nothing more. One person’s beautiful is another person’s hideous, and vice versa. Using the traditions of past times may sometimes rebound in a world where symbolism is everywhere and is very different from even a decade ago.

      I would also say that merely appealing to the Church’s documents is not going to give anyone, whether traditional or progressive, the answers that they are looking for. We need to dig deeper — a lot deeper.

    1. @Dave Jaronowski – comment #90:

      I’d say the issue with STBDTR isn’t that isn’t a bad principle, it’s that it’s not enough by itself. Sacrosanctum Concilium said as much. I guess this links in with Paul Inwood’s question of what the ars celebrandi is. For me, ars celebrandi is what lies in the gap – and it can be a big gap – between STBDTR and accomplishing an effective celebration of the sacred liturgy which is worthy of God and the community.

      If tomorrow morning you got a phone call – the pastor in the next parish is sick and you need to say an 11am parish Mass for a congregation of 250 which is 10-20% non-Anglophone, with a half-decent choir, an opinionated organist, a sacristan who thinks that wearing Gothic vestments is a symptom of heresy, and a clutch of altar servers who are just glad that school exams are over – in that situation, STBDTR and a liking for chant would be an excellent place to start. Not so much to finish with.

  43. We celebrate both forms of the Mass in my parish, weekly low EF Mass on Tuesday, monthly high Mass on Sunday at a different time, 2pm. While some, a minority of those who attend the EF, would prefer it everyday, the majority have no antipathy toward the OF. However the greater problem, as exhibited by some of the comments here, are those in the OF community who despise the EF, who despise their Catholic heritage, liturgically and otherwise. That is more concerning as this group is significant in size in the Church and engage in a sort of collective self-hatred as Catholics.

    1. @Father Allan J. McDonald – comment #91:

      “Despise” is a strong word, Father, but I know what you mean. We obviously have to recognize that many people’s spirituality will always be OF-oriented, but do you have any practical advice as to how the OF folks can be offered a sensitive, pastoral introduction to some of the more “traditional” ways? Just adding random trad elements (e.g. adding a little more Latin, wheeling out Credo III once a month) doesn’t seem to make much impression.

      1. @Karl Liam Saur – comment #93:

        Don’t worry, everything gets committee-d to death! Sorry if I sounded a bit clericalist – I was just wondering if Fr. McDonald had any practical advice in relation to his post at #91. Apologies if I’m derailing the thread.

  44. The OF is the ordinary form Mass but most laity will put up with a lot in terms of the variety and style of its celebration except for an all Latin Chanted version. We’ve made our regular 12:10 pm Sunday Mass more EF like and during the Summer months, the monthly EF mass is canceled and the 12:10 Mass on the First Sunday has all the Laity’s sung Parts led by the EF men’s schola leading it. This Mass is ad orientem for about a year now. Normally it is all sung in the vernacular, which I believe the vast majority of Catholics prefer and if the EF could be vernacularized, I think more EF folks would appreciate it.

    1. @Father Allan J. McDonald – comment #95:

      Thanks for that, Father. It sounds like you’re integrating some traditional forms into the liturgy without looking, in Fr. Smith’s words, “only backwards, and only with an eye to criticism”. I totally agree that the days of exclusive use of Latin have passed into history, and having the EF in the vernacular would be a great example of “mutual enrichment”.

  45. I see the slow decline of the “spirit of Vatican II” as history’s resolution of the liturgical wars. The disappearance of the zeitgeist of the 60s and 70s will be good for the Church and for Vatican II. Look at the online photos of VOTF and ACC meetings…the future is not there.

  46. KLS, in relation to Fr. Whelan’s imagined scenario, “Ask the people first” what, when and why? How many of us have already had an experience when a congregation was assembled for Mass, and a priest/celebrant was nowheres to be found (not quite the same scenario)? The solution is not to talk about the situation, but to do something, to enact other options. I agree particularly with Fr. W’s abhorrence of death by committee.
    For the record, I’m glad the discussion resumed here.

    @ Dave W
    You’re absolutely correct about what I lightly regard as a dichotomy about the unique theological aspects of the Sanctus. That it belongs (I think) to the second order of things absolutely to be sung by the congregation has tended to truncate most post-conciliar settings (from all schools of composition) into the sad state of gebrauchsmusick. However, there have been, and probably still are somewhere in the hinterlands settings that are sung in alternatim with the choir alone, and choir assisting the people that are artistically worthy. An example of this was Fr. Schiavone’s setting from his “Holy Family” Mass (OCP) which never got the recognition it deserved prior to MR3. But that form of “dialogue” would likely encourage composers to give the Sanctus is weighted worth. (As long as they don’t compose in the manner of the Bartolucci School of Troping;-)

  47. Who said committee? Not me. I said the people. Committees are not the same as the people in the sense I mean (they are just, typically, an unrepresentative sample of the people). I am not talking written surveys, either (though, if constructed well – with lots of open-ended rather than binary or multiple choice questions, surveys can be part of the tool set). Talking to the people takes more time and work – with lots more curiosity (which is really hard for most clergy and music professionals, who if they do not make their own preferences clear often emit loud dog whistles that cause people to self-censor unconsciously*) and careful listening – than working via committee. Jack R can speak more eloquently than I about this….

    * For example, one potential dog whistle in Fr Whelan’s inquiry is the implied need to make an impression. Whose need is that? How much of a need is if of the people? Just the framing alone already puts certain responses in the “I am not looking for that” category. (I am not saying it’s not a need of people – it’s a matter of figuring how important a need it is compared to other needs, et cet.)

    1. @Karl Liam Saur – comment #100:

      You’re right, I should have chosen a better phrase than “make an impression”. Sacramenta propter homines and the needs of the people obviously come before any traddie preferences of the priest. I see now that my comment opened a big field up for discussion that might be better dealt with on another thread. Plus another one again about the politics of parish liturgical committees….

  48. Fr Whelan

    Just to be clear, I was not attributing a specific agenda to you. Catholic clergy need not have a specific agenda in order to be perceived by their flock as having any number of agendas, as many members of the flock are habituated to intuiting them at least subconsciously. (For an example of this outside the realm of religion: it’s one way co-dependent people cope with the authority figures in their families or workplaces – like the way a dog watches a human being’s eye’s to anticipate what the human wants next.) Some clergy exploit this dynamic; many others are simply unaware of the reality, which often leads to things they would never have asked for if a different process obtained….

    1. @Karl Liam Saur – comment #2:

      Those are wise words, and I will need to reflect on them further.

      To circle back to the OP, I wonder how this links in with Fr. Smith’s article. Let’s accept, for the sake of debate, the premise that there has been a “transformation of traditionalism”. Let’s say that the EF and certain understandings of the Eucharist have lost some of their angry, divisive baggage and are ready to rejoin the mainstream. What is the appropriate response for a pastor who isn’t particularly interested in the politics of it all but thinks that traditional liturgical forms and piety have a valid role to play? Particularly if there seems to be some real level of interest from some of the people, including the Gen Y demographic?

      A generation ago, “traditionalism” could be dismissed as a reactionary or schismatic movement. Fr. Cekada has perhaps given some insight into why this was. But if today’s traditionalism is more responsible and more authentically Catholic, how do we help to integrate it into the mainstream?

      1. @Fr. John Whelan – comment #3:
        Well, to be tired about this, ask first, with open-ended questions (which begin with non-rhetorical “What”s rather than “Why”s or “How”s). As in “what do you want? … Tell me more … More…. What else … What’s important to you?” et cet.

        In dialogue, you can provide illustrative examples of different possibilities, but have to be careful to not provide unintended directive signals.

        Starting with your younger sheep may be a good place.

        And, most importantly, be open to being surprised. I assume you already know that (some priests, unfortunately, do not, but the more pastorally astute do), but it always bears reinforcement. While a shepherd must lead the flock away from danger and to an ultimate goal, the sheep discover important things in their own wisdom on the way, and good shepherd is open to that.

        I work here from the very Ignatian premise that getting people to articulate what they desire is an essential spiritual discipline, trusting that God in some way is speaking in that process.

        Even our Lord asked Bartimaeus what he wanted, rather than assuming (being omniscient, did he need to ask? No. But inviting someone to articulate his or her desires creates a new reality).

  49. Fr Whelan, my parish is a Jesuit-run church in the centre of London. It was built right after the hierarchy was restored, I think in the 1860s, but only became a parish in, I think, 1969.

    The principal Sunday Mass has been Latin Novus Ordo for several decades now. And it is all in Latin, except for the readings, the homily and the universal prayer. Most of it is sung. The ceremony is simple but solemn: incense, bells, elevated candles at the consecration. The music is fairly “traditional” – an English hymn such as “O God our help in ages past” for the entry, and the rest sung by a very professional choir, with a wide range. Lots of Gregorian chant, but also lots of Mozart and other classical and modern composers. The congregation joins in enthusiastically, including singing the Creed (Credo III).

    The priest faces the people – in fact the altar is constructed so that it would be very difficult to celebrate facing the apse. There are no spiky candles on the altar, separating priest from people. There are female altar servers. Communion is received in both kinds, and there are extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. Virtually everyone receives standing. About 1/3 of the communicants these days receive on the tongue.

    Why Latin? Not because it’s a sacred language, or because it hides the mystery of the text under a veil of unintelligibility. The congregation is international and multilingual, so Latin has a degree of neutrality. The choir sings either in Greek (Kyrie) or Latin. Latin is a sign of the universal Church.

    The congregation is large and has grown over time. People from abroad come back again and again. It helps that the preaching is almost always excellent.

    I have spilled all these pixels describing one parish simply to show that tradition can be appropriated in many ways – it isn’t necessary to try to recreate the preconciliar environment. Our service is very “modern” in some ways, very “traditional” in others.

    Maybe most important: with the exception of a tiny number of us, nobody talks or blogs about the Latin Mass. It is not an object to be poked and studied, but something we do on Sunday. Maybe this cuts us off from “liturgy as a source of theology”, but it keeps the Mass from being objectified. That, to me, is a very good thing.

  50. @ Paul Inwood, Sing to the Lord (although I understand that you are from England, but I know that you are throughly aware of this document) reaffirms again what Sacrosanctum Concilium said: Latin is to be preserved and chant has pride of place.

    You make intelligent and reasoned arguments for why it might not make sense; but you are not the pope and neither am I. I am simply going to follow the documents. I think we ALL should!

    As for dance, sure, we can talk reasonably about places in which dance is part of native culture, etc. etc. But I don’t think that a random parish in the middle of a place like Rochester, NY qualifies under that discussion and should find it reasonable to include dance in their liturgies.

    I agree that there are some things that the documents are silent about … but does that mean that because they don’t say anything about “how” the lector moves to the ambo, it can be assumed that it’s ok for her to backflip up the aisle and do the hokey pokey on the way, since it’s not forbidden? Of course you would say no, as would I. And that’s just common sense – as well as “tradition”.

  51. This has been an interesting discussion. It may be time to end it before too long. Thanks to all who have commented thus far.

    Before we close this particular thread, though, let me quote a comment on Fr Smith’s original post on the Chant Café:

    I have just come home from the Colloquium in Salt Lake City and I am still hurting from comments made by friends who were also at the Colloquium but attend an EF mass at home. They seem to feel the Novus Ordo has no right to use latin. They complained and made sarcastic remarks about the Novus Ordo mass which was done in latin at the Colloquium. They do not support our new chant schola which is bringing the propers and other latin music to what can only be called a traditional minded Novus Ordo church. Then on the other hand we have a few liberals in our parish who don’t want us to be using latin either. To use a fairy tale, it seems like the Novus Ordo Mass has two stepsisters who don’t want her to be allowed to come to the ball, the ultra-Traddies on the right and the liberals on the left.

    The comment, as I read it, questions the viability of the “middle way” of celebrating Mass that I experience almost every Sunday and that Fr Smith apparently celebrates in his parish. It also suggests (1) that there was perhaps less peace at the colloquium than Fr Smith describes, at least from this participant’s perspective; (2) that such peace will be challenging to sustain.

    Some of the comments on this Pray Tell post support the second suggestion.

    So what do you think? Will we ever have a lasting cease-fire?

  52. I think our definition of ghetto is different. To me, ghetto implies being unwelcome in other places – you are in the ghetto because nobody wants you around. Thus, an unadvertised indult EF that is restricted to 3pm on the second Sunday of the month at church that is hard to get to is a ghetto. The folk Mass that gets to be at your own parish where you are still welcome for donuts isn’t.

    I don’t think we can get away from having differently styled Masses, or Masses for different ethnic and linguistic groups, not unless we dump all languages and styles of Music other than some form of Latin chant.

    1. @Jack Wayne – comment #23:
      The problem is that the style of the 1962 Mass is not within the range of what Vatican II intended. There’s just no getting around this problem.

      The fact is, people who like 1962 pretty much don’t like or agree with Vatican II, to some extent and on some issues (that of course vary widely among them). If everyone accepted Vatican II liturgy constitution, and everyone accepted the rightness of Paul VI’s implementation of it, there would be no 1962 missal.

      This creation of a parallel church, or a ghetto, or whatever you call it – will be very difficult to deal with going forward. Appeals to tolerance or liturgical diversity don’t get around the basic problem – the unprecedented innovation of created this parallel track for those who have difficulty with an ecumenical council.

      Sorry, but I really think it is that simple. And it’s hard to see how this can work.


      1. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #24:
        Appeals to tolerance or liturgical diversity don’t get around the basic problem – the unprecedented innovation of created this parallel track for those who have difficulty with an ecumenical council.

        Just wait until you meet some “Orthodox in Communion with Rome” Melkites.

      2. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #24:
        The range you speak of seems rather meaningless if a well celebrated participatory EF with decent music and preaching is automatically outside of it while a minimalist, and unparticipatory OF with poor music and preaching is within it. I’d evaluate a liturgy more by how it achieves the overall goals of a council rather than how it adheres to some of its specific directives, which SJH noted are not eternal or infallible. It is well noted how most OF Masses fall short when it comes to SC’ s directives on Latin and chant, among other things. I’ll have more of a problem with the EF not slavishly adhering to SC when all OF Masses do.

        I think a problem I have in these discussions is that there is obviously a massive difference between the two forms that you see, but which I don’t see, and which I suspect largely exists in the realm of theory.

        At any rate, I’m thankful the proper authorities have deemed the 1962 Missal an acceptable form of worship, just as I suspect some are thankful the proper authorities deemed it okay to go beyond SC in some aspects and allow the Mass to totally be in the vernacular. I think allowing the old Missal will have short term problems with long term benefits, while suppressing it has caused really nothing but division and has no long term benefit.

      3. @Jack Wayne – comment #29:
        Your argument would work if Vatican II had given directives for how better to celebrate the 1962 missal and left it at that. But, significantly, it didn’t. Why is that? If the fathers of Vatican II thought (as you do) that a well-celebrated 1962-missal Mass is in accord with what is needed, they wouldn’t have bothered with their reformist decrees. But – and I must say, this seems obvious to me – they saw larger structural and theological issues. They saw ecclesiological problems with relationship between clergy and people, to name but one example. And they would have known all about the highest-quality participation using the old Missal (as done by Pius Parsch and such folks.) “Nope,” they said. “Not good enough. Not what the church needs.” Can this form continue, then? “No,” they said,” not in this form, not even in the best celebration.”

        That seems pretty decisive to me.

        Now maybe the fathers of Vatican II were wrong. But the point is that they thought one thing, and you think another. Your disagreement is, at root, with Vatican II. Be honest about it.


      4. @Anthony Ruff, OSB – comment #30:
        I don’t think I was ever being dishonest. I guess I don’t ascribe SC the super importance you do. What of other rites that don’t adhere to SC? Are they okay because they aren’t what the document was addressing even if they have many of the features that characterize the EF? Am I unorthodox, a lesser Catholic, or anathema because I have a problem with a couple things in a document from Vatican II?

        It’s not really a big deal to me that I attend a rite deemed obsolete forty years ago but which history has proven otherwise. Especially since the reform is almost equally flawed.

        I would be quite happy with the 1965 Mass, which is much more in accord with the council, but that isn’t an option. Maybe someday.

  53. The problem is that the style of the 1962 Mass is not within the range of what Vatican II intended. There’s just no getting around this problem.

    Even if we admit this is true, the disciplinary norms of the Council are neither eternal nor infallible, but reformable.

    1. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #25:
      “Even if we admit this is true” – really? Guess living in an alternative universe is for some.
      Disciplinary norms – well, good point but you miss Fr. Ruff, Todd, and my points that council fathers *reformed* the theology, sacramental understanding, and ecclesiology that produced the *disciplinary norms*. Ecclesia semper reformanda est……what you suggest is that development of the church’s understanding of itself will go backwards. Really?

      1. @Bill deHaas – comment #27:
        Bill, I hardly think Samuel missed your point. I suspect he simply disagrees that the council reformed the things you say it did. Indeed, I am inclined to agree with him, inasmuch as I don’t think “reformed” is the correct word. Ressourcement? Sure. Aggiornamento? Obviously. Reformed? Maybe not so much — though I know this puts me in the position of disagreeing with the current Pope Emeritus. Last I checked ecclesia semper reformanda est was not a particularly Catholic approach to the Church.

      2. @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #28:
        Deacon – guess we define the word *reform* differently. (see Fr. Ruff’s comment #30 – oh my, he used the word *reformist*) Agree that the methods used were aggiornamento and ressourcement but, there was also much more e.g. Declaration on Religious Liberty, Ecumenism, Dei Verbum, etc.
        Most VII experts use the word *reform* and then specify. Why, most folks on this blog consistently and continually describe the *reformed Eucharistic liturgy of VII*! Does using the word *reform* imply rupture, continuity, invention, etc.? Does *reform* imply that the core faith of the church has been changed? Guess it depends upon who is doing the interpreting.

        And, finally, we will have to agree to disagree on *ecclesia semper reformanda est* (really – from Wikipedia?)

        Would suggest that this phrase is *particularly* Catholic and take my definition and meaning from a précis about Yves Congar’s My Journal of the Council:

        “But Congar’s Church was also an ecclesia semper reformanda, one that must constantly struggle to free itself from what he called the “seigneurial and temporal pretensions” it inherited from the Roman Empire and Renaissance prince. Congar wanted a Church that would embrace the poverty and simplicity of its founder. Much of that work remains to be done. Indeed, it will never end.” (why it has the feeling of Francis, Bishop of Rome)

        Allow me to also add a thought from Karl Rahner who described the council as the beginning of the *world church* in the sense of *ecclesia semper reformanda est*.

        From the editors of America magazine: http://americamagazine.org/issue/5153/editorial/aggiornamento-2012

        Guess they slip and use the word *reform* also.

    1. @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #33:
      Would suggest that the *idea* or *concept* has been part of the church since, at least, the Jerusalem Council (but you know that).

      And just because wiki links the exact phrase to Luther, doesn’t mean that it is any less catholic. In fact, would suggest that some of Luther’s points were more catholic than the medieval church age he lived in. (refer to Congar quote)

      You appear to have reacted to the *phrase* based upon what?

  54. Now maybe the fathers of Vatican II were wrong. But the point is that they thought one thing, and you think another. Your disagreement is, at root, with Vatican II. Be honest about it.

    Sure. But you need to be honest that you can’t use “ecumenical council” as a trump card in the discussion when you’re talking about disciplinary norms enacted by an ecumenical council.

      1. @Bill deHaas – comment #38:
        I don’t understand your comment. Whether to use a shorter or a longer formula for blessing baptismal water is clearly a matter of discipline and not a matter of doctrine.

  55. Well, back to Jonathan Day’s original post about transformation of traditionalism.

    I don’t think it stands a chance.

    Here’s a piece from Jeffery Tucker from just 2 days ago which violates 3 out of the 4 suggestions that Jonathan makes.
    Here it is:
    “These are lessons we know today but were evidently lost on that generation that took charge after the Council closed. They bequeathed to us a few harrowing decades. From one generation to the next, the liturgical forms became unrecognizable. Tearing up the pea patch was the prevailing sport. Everything new was admitted and encouraged while everything old was frowned upon or banned. It was a classic revolutionary situation, one with massive casualties and one never intended by the fathers of the Council.”

    Whats that?
    Classic revolutionary situation? massive casualities? unrecognizable? tearing up? prevailing sport?

    Time to cut them loose and give ’em there own canonical rite, they’ll never transform.

  56. I wonder how many real world traditionalists people know, or if most of the folks who don’t like traddies here base their opinions on what they read online.

    1. @Jack Wayne – comment #41:

      Jack, I know traditionalists and some I like, however they are not the “movers and shakers” like Jeffrey Tucker.
      He wrote it, I didn’t.
      Maybe it’s time “real world traditionalists” clean house.

      1. @Jack Wayne – comment #46:
        Jack, I don’t want trads in Cekada’s Camp #2 around. They reject VII. But you implied that they are not the “real world traditionalists” anyhow so what’s your beef?

    1. @Patrick Logsdon – comment #43:
      Patrick, if the quotes are accurate then I think they represent Fr Cekada’s Trad Camp 2 (#27).

      Even more pessimistic for transformation.

  57. You said you like some of the trads you know in real life, but still want to kick them out of your Church into their own rite – not for good reasons, but rather because you don’t want to have to interact with people you don’t agree with.

    This doesn’t necessarily apply to you because at least you want to make a separate rite within the Church, but a lot of the folks who oppose the EF don’t want real unity. They want pretend unity that reaffirms their own beliefs, but don’t want to be honest about it. Real unity takes effort and is messy. It involves working with people you don’t agree with to find common ground, and trying to actually see common ground. It involves giving people a chance and not condemning the majority of people because an online blog piece written by one person ticked you off. It involves looking at real people and evidence, which don’t support the notion that having the EF around is divisive or that the vast majority of Catholics have any problem with having two forms of one rite.

    1. @Jack Wayne – comment #48:

      Interesting Jack, you take umbrage with what I point out then “shoot the messenger” but have NOTHING to say about what your fellow compatriots say!

      That speaks volumes.

      Apparently pointing out what they way is worse than what they say.

      When it comes to what traditionalists state you cover your ears eyes and mouth, hear no evil, etc.
      Oh, no I don’t want to throw out my trad friends, they’re really nice people. It’s Fr. Cedaka’s camp #2 VII haters that need their own rite. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

      How about addressing what Jeffrey Tucker has to say for a change???

      1. @Dale Rodrigue – comment #50:
        You made no distinction between the two camps. You said cut them all loose.

        And as others have said, Jeffrey Tucker is an EF friendly adherent of the OF. I believe I’ve criticised the wacky traditionalists here, and have no patience with them in real life.

  58. Dale Rodrigue : Whats that?Classic revolutionary situation? massive casualities? unrecognizable? tearing up? prevailing sport? Time to cut them loose and give ‘em there own canonical rite, they’ll never transform.

    Yikes! This combox displays the two possible outcomes of preparing a fireworks show: a. calm, deliberative, double/triple checked preparation-great display; and b. perfunctory setup, expedited, assumed- run away, run away as it all goes off at once.
    Dr. Dale, my friend, citing my other friend Jeffrey T’s article and rhetoric to bolster a skewed view representing how “traddies” think, (that’s tiresome) serves no purpose here at PTB. It is no secret that Tucker lets all the hyperbole horses run free in his clarion call-like exhortations. Well, why is that? Because unlike what goes on here at PTB, he’s not bringing his argument upwards to the standards of discourse that are preferred herein. In such screeds Jeff is talking to the masses, in cinematic terms, or as KLS/Todd remind us regularly, in a grandiose and (non) academically serious way.
    And Jeffrey does a much better job of defending his utterances than I. Perhaps he just presumes we process a little more to make distinctions between whatever contextual perspectives from which he opines. I don’t think, though I haven’t read his presentation from the Sacra Liturgia conference in Rome, his paper there contained any of those caricatures. I don’t think he was invited to present there because of his Q factor as a point person for RotR. After all, he is also an academic in another discipline.
    So, how ’bout we pull back from making more broad, sweeping declarations that further divide us just because of others’ grandiosity. Maybe we can turn the discussion back to Fr. Smith’s prognostication, which, IIRC, was quite positive.

    1. @Charles Culbreth – comment #49:

      Charles, your response is very nice but you need to read what this topic is all about.
      It is about transforming traditionalism and the four suggestions made by Jonathan Day.

      *** If there is nothing wrong with traditionalism they why transform it?

      So I guess we need to talk about transforming traditionalism but without using examples? How do we do this, with a wink and a nod?

      I have presented an example why, IMO, traditionalism will not be transformed especially the likes of Tucker. Sorry you and Jack don’t like it. I have also responded to Fr. Cedaka who has already posted here on this topic long before I have but nay, not a complaint from you about his take on the traddie camps…. Hmm.
      Finally, the descriptive terms listed above about revolution, etc were Tucker’s words, not mine. It seems that you and Jack become “prickly” and resort to spin or “shoot the messenger” when someone points out what some traditionalists are saying.

      Sorry, if you don’t like what some of your fellow traditionalists preach then you need to take it up with them, not me for pointing it out.

      How about addressing what he states for a change?

      1. @Dale Rodrigue – comment #51:
        Dale, I think our wires got crossed. You seem to have taken my remarks over your post as a “shoot the messenger” response. That was definitely not what I intended. Sorry you felt that way. Again, I just felt it necessary to point out that Jeffrey Tucker, even as late as today, represents himself as a RotR adherent, not as a figurehead or monger for all things “trad.” And that his articles elsewhere are mannered quite differently for a whole different audience than here at PTB. I don’t have a problem with what you said up until the quoted portion of my second post. Your scenario, as written, leads to a conclusion that should be unacceptable to all Catholics, and it’s based upon Jeff’s hyperbole.
        And I’d like to point out that at the end of my second post in the thread I said:

        Maybe we can turn the discussion back to Fr. Smith’s prognostication, which, IIRC, was quite positive.

        Mr. Day’s article was premised upon Fr. Smith’s reflections about whether we’re seeing evidence of a detente or not. So I hope you do understand I know full well what this article is about principally. And I would also point out that I already had followed your advice to critique “fellow traddies” (Dale, I’m not a “traddie,” I’m a pragmatist if one must label one.) I would refer you to comment #44 wherein I specifically reject the one size fits all philosophy of Fr. Cekada. My preference for the TLM personally, which I am, again, prevented from experiencing for 99.99% percent of my remaining worship opportunities in community, has no bearing upon how I do ministry or how I regard my fellow Christians. Blessings, Dr. Dale.

      2. @Charles Culbreth – comment #52:
        Merci beaucoup Charles for the clarification. I think we both agree that his hyperbole is exactly what we don’t need.
        Possibly Tucker knows down deep that the RotR is dead on arrival under Pope Francis (not the EF but the attempt to change the OF via the RotR) and he is venting furiously.

      3. @Dale Rodrigue – comment #56:
        I’m neither a psychologist nor liturgist, nor do I play one on television. That said, Dale, I’d be extremely cautious to link the pontificate of HHF to an outcome of the RotR death knell for the OF. Let’s not engage in speculation that is detrimental to any fellow Christian Catholic, please. The future of our liturgical evolution has its roots in the Vatican, but the vintages are harvested globally, in each locality. No one pontiff should be lauded or burdened with a falsely applied recognition of causality. RotR is very much alive, Dale. And its heartiest proponents are very young. And I think, or hope, and pray that they see the noble simplicity of HHF in all things as a kinship to the solemnization of the OF in a coherent, catholic and Catholic manner.

      4. @Charles Culbreth – comment #57:

        Mon ami Charles, we’ll have to agree to disagree.

        You state that Tucker is not a traditionalist but rather is involved in the RotR. If his polemic statements represent the Rotr I hope that the movement suffers a quick death.

        You might want to check out the response of David Timbs courtesy of Patrick at # 43 and the link is: http://www.v2catholic.com/dtimbs/2013/2013-07-07sacra_liturgia_conference.htm

        Quotes from the article :
        From the beginning of his papacy, Benedict…. taught that the hermeneutics of continuity and reform of the reform represented the benchmark of authoritative interpretation of the Vatican II’s documents and of the intentions of its authors. There is a profound irony in all of this. There were 2800 Council Fathers at Vatican II. Fr Joseph Ratizinger was not one of them,

        …”it seems increasingly clear now that Benedict’s heavily supported reversion to a Baroque style of liturgy was an attempt to soften Catholics up for the future single rite by slowly dragging the whole Church along with him. ***With his abdication, that programme has now run its course.*** (emphasis mine)

        Pope Francis gives every indication that he has a profound understanding of and commitment to the teaching, vision and renewal of Vatican II….
        This is particularly evident now in his decision yesterday to canonise Bl Pope John XXIII as a saint of the Universal Church. This gives a whole new authority to and a clear affirmation of Vatican, something that is now causing quite a high level of confusion and resentment to many Traditionalists.

  59. It is no secret that Tucker lets all the hyperbole horses run free in his clarion call-like exhortations.

    Also, I’m really not sure he’s a traditionalist in the first place.

    1. @Samuel J. Howard – comment #53:

      Precisely, (Rv.?) Mr. Howard. And as I stated as of today, posted at The New Liturgical Movement (of which Tucker has assumed the editor’s role)-

      And yet, it is also true that some things will never be the same. That is a given with any transition. My own focus is of course the music of the liturgy. It’s not just a focus; it is an obsession, and now readers are being asked to share in that (sorry!). My “beat” tends to be the “reform of the reform,” which I do not find incompatible with a deep appreciation for the old form of the Roman Rite. We live in a multi-form world and this blog hopes to keep a broad focus.

      Jeffrey Tucker’s words today.

      Thank you, Samuel.
      As a PiP at a TLM, converted in 72, I cannot at all attest to many if not all the liturgical, ecclesial and theological issues most of you hold forth upon. But I do know this, the three major documents seem not at all disconnected from the MP 1903, Tra le… of St. Pius X. To the contrary, if nothing else it seems to this ignorant souls that he envisioned, if nothing else, the same reform that is at the top of both entrenched camps’ priority list: FACP by the faithful. Now among all the other issues of calendar, other re-ordering issues, and training in both forms at seminaries, what are we “warring” over?

  60. I have a lot of fellow-feeling with Charles, Jack and Jordan – and with all who hold to their principles yet seek a degree of peace in the liturgy wars.

    I agree with Anthony (post 29 on this page) that, ultimately, maintaining parallel rites is not a good solution. Apparently Pope Benedict feels the same way; in 2003 he wrote to another German academic, Heinz-Lothar Barth, saying “I believe, though, that in the long term the Roman Church must have again a single Roman rite. The existence of two official rites is for bishops and priests difficult to “manage” in practice. The Roman rite of the future should be a single rite, celebrated in Latin or in the vernacular, but standing completely in the tradition of the rite that has been handed down.”
    (translation by Joe O’Leary; full letter here, in German and English)

    Meanwhile, we are where we are, with two rites running in parallel. I hope we can find ways to coexist more peacefully.

    Charles, I have a lot of respect for the CMAA, but I experience Jeffrey’s stridency as entirely unedifying, and also as harmful to the cause. I see no benefit in it at all.

    Obviously others do, or they would stop reading his essays.

    1. @Jonathan Day – comment #58:
      Your most kind remarks are a balm, Jonathan, for all our souls. Thank you. I’m aware of, as I suspect you are, pre-eminent current members of CMAA that actually would concur with your ultimate scenario sentiment, and hold back from publicizing that fact in any large medium out of respect for the diversity of opinion that DOES actually exist among CMAA membership. At this time, still in the infancy of actuating SP with new generations coming on board, the infolding of the Anglican Ordinariate rites and sacraments intact under the RC umbrella, and the sad failure of reconciliation with SSPX, I still cling to the notion that the world’s oldest institution will make a way for diversity without losing the integrity of the “liturgy.” Again, it’s always a new Pentecost; we remain Medes and Elemites, but we can “undersatnd” each other in just Whom we are worshipping. Have we given up on the rationale of the two forms mutually informing and enriching one another?

    2. @Jonathan Day – comment #59:
      Thought this was an interesting article from America Magazine – it gets at your *informed by a profound sense of history*:

      The celebration of Eucharist in the Middle Ages


      from the earliest days of Christianity the kiss of peace involved actual kissing between the priest and the congregation. But sometime in the 12th or 13th century this practice was replaced by the use of the board with a small circular decoration near the bottom of page. The priest would kiss it first, and then members of the congregation would come up to the altar rail to kiss the PAX.
      there are no monstrances customarily used to display the host for public devotion. The employment of monstrances came into common practice relatively late, sometime in the 15th century

  61. I often wonder if it might be good to synchronize the readings, propers, and calendars of the two, and have that serve as a unifying element (I don’t see this as just slapping the OF calendar onto the EF, as I think the old calendar is better in some respects and could enrich the new rite – like dropping the rather abstract and unusual concept of Ordinary Time for the more sensible Time After Epiphany/Pentecost among other things). The two different ordinaries is less of an issue, IMO, since the OF already has a lot of variety in that regard.

  62. I appreciate the desire of those who seek modifications of the Latin Rite as reflected in the reforms of VII as implemented by Paul VI and his brother bishops. But what so many seem to want is simply not likely to happen because it begs a return to the practice of every priest saying the black while strictly adhering to the red. That certainly appeals to many bishops and priests but not to all. Unless you can envision disciplinary action being taken against priests for their efforts to celebrate with joy a liturgy that reflects particular communities of faith, the variations in some words and rubrics will continue. Most Catholics have choices as to where and how they worship. As for the EF, I believe its days are numbered. Let Latin OFs flourish for those who value worshipping in Latin.

  63. Thanks, Bill. A thoughtful note on which to wind up this discussion. And thanks to all who joined in!

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