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Monday, November 21, 2011
Montfort's Meditations: Over coffee and cake...
Coffee and Conversation
Over coffee and cake one morning the four of us were discussing the current state of affairs with the Mass. Since the Council of Trent we have had the Tridentine Mass. The fathers of the council intended to keep to the traditions we had from the beginning from St. Peter, St. Paul and all the Apostles. At the time of the Council of Trent there were many local variations in the liturgy and some regulation was necessary. It was decided to keep those rites which had stood the test of time and suppress those which were recent innovations. One of the great fathers of the Church said of the Tridentine Mass "This mass is the closest thing to heaven on earth."
Today Catholics living with two liturgical rites, the Novus Ordo and the Extraordinary Form or the Tridentine Mass. Moreover the Novus Ordo has many local variations in language, rubrics and sometimes even the text itself. Even the Tridentine Rite has some local variations, the Missa Recitata in Europe and the silent mass in the Irish diaspora. All of this is causing a great deal of conflict among Catholics. Each group wants to keep that which they have grown comfortable with, whether Novus Ordo or Tridentine.
Even amongst ourselves there was considerable difference of opinion. We discussed the way the changes had been implemented and the variations we had seen. In some places the dialogue mass entirely in Latin was tried. In other places the Liturgy of the Word was in English while the Liturgy of the Eucharist was in Latin. We even discussed current attempts to change the way the Tridentine Rite is celebrated to make it more acceptable, prompting one of us to exclaim "They have the Novus Ordo to play with, leave the Tridentine Rite alone!"
There were many other things discussed including the facing of the priest ad orientam, the state of sacred music, reception of Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue, silence and reverence during mass and alter boys. We agreed to continue talking.
Montfort et al.