Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pope celebrates so-called tridentine mass

I was reading this article and thought it would be good to get it out there. It's not all that suprising, to be honest. A clarification of terms is probably necessary. A private mass probably involves less than ten people and probably takes place in a private chapel, such as the pope's private chapel in his residence in his chapel. That's where the pope celebrates private mass. A public mass would involve a more public setting, of course, and would involve more people. You might think that a private mass just involves the pope but that is not encouraged in the new mass and, unless if I'm wrong, impossible in the old rite. There were parts for the server to say and movements that the server made during mass that would be impossible for the priest to do. In many ways, being an acolyte in the old rite is light and day different than the new. Servers had to really know and understand what was happening with near military precision. It was glorious.

But, back to the article, it's intriguing that, this close to the announcement of permission, the media is putting this out there. It's almost as if they are trying to indicate that this is the Pope's preferred way to offer mass. BUT the pope has indicated that the novus ordo mass (the mass as celebrated since the reforms of the Vatican Council) is still to be the norm. The present pope undoubtedly finds a great deal of consolation in the rite that he learned in seminary and has found a place that he can continue to find that proximity to God. What a joy for him and for us.

But, we will continue to make novus ordo masses the norm even as we try to do them with more reverence and more relevance. To the liberals that are terrified that this is going to turn the church back 50 years and the conservatives who hope that it will I say this: Don't try to make the exception the rule.


Domini Sumus said...

Unfortunately, Fr. Lombardi came out and said that while Pope Benedict celebrates Mass ad orientum, it is the Novus Ordo.

Fr.Dennis said...

Have you ever seen novus ordo mass as the Second Vatican Council intended? Or, at least, as the 1974 GIRM intended? A friend pointed out that they said things similar to "turning to face the congregation".

I think the closest I've ever seen it was when I saw a mass at St. Agnes Church in the Twin Cities. Priest faces ad orientum but turns during dialogical parts (The Lord be with you.) It really was something I'd like to emulate in a parish someday...when I have the reigns. Maybe not as much Latin as the use in St. Agnes but praying together toward God instead of toward each other in a closed circle.