16 February 2014

No, it's not a fad, it's a matter of being fed.

Over at Rorate....Our dear friend Pope Francis does not understand why the young wish to go back to the Traditional Liturgy.

As one of those young people, I'm gladly able to help in the misunderstandings that may occur.

a. It's not a nostalgia, and it's most certainly not a fashion, or a fad.

It's impossible to be nostalgic to something that we don't memories of. Bear in mind that all of us young people were born well after the 2nd Vatican Council (the blogger 1985, a full 20 years some odd well after the conclusion of the Council). All of us have grown up with the Novus Ordo (Ordinary Form) since our birth. Many of us have experienced Liturgies that were "lacking" (and that's being rather kind). Between inviting all of us to the altar, surrounding priests for the Consecration, to "altar calls" with some subjective, how has the Lord affected my life that sounded like it came straight out of a self help book, to the Pouring of Jesus after the Consecration, and added on top of an attempted Catholic attempt at rock music which sounded as pathetic as the modern Justin Bieber, but didn't quite get that low. The youth were the subjects of Liturgical experiment after experiment...(Yes, everything I mentioned actually did happen at my parish growing up). And while emotionally "filling" (or epically lame depending on your point of view), none of these things substantially dwelled or edifies our souls. Why? Because it was exactly what we knew from our everyday culture, and we didn't need to come to church to find this. As much as I mock pop culture at times, there are good things within it....Everyone has the desire for Truth within them, and they're going to go where this desire can be substantially filled. The OF as celebrated in average everyday parish at St Liturgical Abuse, while most certainly Jesus is there because the OF is a valid Catholic rite, I can't really say at least from my own experience that it takes people out of the ordinary.

b. It's not the ordinary everyday experience, the reverence, the order and beauty all fill our crying hearts.

As alluded to earlier, if we wanted to go to a rock concert, jazz concert, tango dance, etc, those things are easily within access, and the Church does not need to provide those things to be found. We go to Mass (or Divine Liturgy) to adore God, to beg pardon for our sins, to thank Him for our needs, and to pray for others and ourselves. While most certainly these things can be done outside of Mass context, in justice by the virtue of religion, we do these things because of our love for God and His Holy Church.

The chanting (whether Gregorian or Byzantine) lifts our hearts and minds towards our Heavenly Father, and takes us away from reality and towards the Divine in ways that contemporary or modern music can't even attempt to achieve. Though rest assured if you want emotional, sappy, feeling stuff, contemporary music does that quite well. (Although believe me, a good Dies Irae can definitely be very moving)

While most certainly the NO can be done very reverently and absolutely beautifully (need we look at the examples of our beloved Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI for this)...I don't think it can be said that the reverence is built into the Mass itself. How can that be said? The variety in which the NO is celebrated, from clown Masses, to beautiful Gregorian Masses, shows that the degree of reverence that is shown is subject to the person celebrating, and this is indeed a problem. When subjectivity becomes our basis, that only leads down painful roads in which to some degree we're living out the consequences of such. In the EF (TLM) or Divine Liturgy, the person of the priest is gone....all of the rubrics point to the person of Christ. (Again, not to say that these things can't occur in the NO, they do, but to a lesser degree)....there's a rigidity to the forms, we know exactly what to expect. Every bow (genuflection) is for a reason, always pointing us to something higher. The precision in which the rubrics are done gives an order to an often disordered world.

Quite to the contrary, beautiful vestments are not a distraction (nor should they be donated to the poor) they lift us up because God is Beauty itself. The beauty shows how much we love God in the sense that we give back to God the most beautiful, because He in His mercy created us to love Him. The vestments that are plain are actually a distraction because they point to the ordinary, the cheapness in which somethings are done, believe me are noticed, even if in the subconscious, and often the question is asked "Is this how much we love God?" If we treat Him like this, what's the point. Again, it's the point about dragging us out of the ordinary and into the Divine.

Things like this are edifying to the soul

Things like this, not so much:

The times of today, there's not rushing through prayers, there is a love, and a beauty which is not there for the most part in the OF as practiced in everyday parishes. We youth do notice these things, and while this is not meant to be an exhaustive post on why the traditional Liturgies are attracting, it's meant to help those that don't know, see, appreciate and love the Traditional forms of Liturgy.

Oh, but I'm not quite done, lest anyone think otherwise. Of course we must certainly be careful that the Liturgy does not become a form of idolatry, and while it's not the "Liturgical form" that saves us per se, Christ DOES act through the Liturgy, and it is He that redeems us through the Cross, and saves us, so far as we persevere in the end....so in that sense, one can say the Liturgy can indeed save the world. If my memory serves right, one of our presidents, I think it was John Adams, once went to a Catholic Mass, and saw it sloppily celebrated, and didn't convert because of that. So I thus think that it indeed quite important that Liturgy be celebrated well, and why I'm in support of the Liturgical movement. 

So yes, do pay attention, and see where we're heading. The ugly will not attract, beauty will. And while certainly we youth still struggle with various sins, we're certainly trying...and for this, we'd rather not appreciate being mocked, whether intentionally or unintentionally. 

Pax Vobis


  1. Hmmm... my initial comment disappeared after hitting "Preview"...

    Anyway, I agree with this post. One reason (I think) young people "get" liturgy is we're just too burnt out on the "feely" to want to experience it on Sunday. Why go to Mass when I can get the same "high" at home, on the radio, internet, or TV?

    The liturgy is the summit of prayer. The Mass (the primary part) and the Office (the secondary part) should bring us hope, fear, and joy simultaneously. It should cause us to want to bring our lives closer to Christ, and following His will.

    Just imagine if the historic churches--the ones unmolested by V2 wreckovationists--that get hundreds of visitors had a High Mass, in all its unbridled glory, celebrated every now and again. I'd be willing to bet there would be conversions. The NO brings people to the Church when it's celebrated properly, so clearly the EF can.

    Your post has fired me up to write something about the liturgy. Now I'll never sleep hahaha...

  2. The "target chasuble" will surely give me the nightmares. Imagine if he'd be in Saint Sebastian's time, he'd be fired with arrows for sure with that...thing.

  3. Flavius, thanks for commenting...hahaha, sleep in this context hopefully isn't necessary. I agree, all the churches that were spared from the post Vatican II wrecking ball should have a High Mass, and there would be massive conversions.

    Derrick, lol, the arrows might have come people rather than the Romans, lol

  4. By the way, I know the name of the bishop in the second photo after the "target chasuble". He is Archbishop Sample, and a liturgical conservative. He might not look very conservative in those, um..."hamburger chasuble" (French Fries, anyone?), but it is the only chasuble given to him by the parish. He brought his own alb anyway and you can see the lace over there. Here is a photo of him in a more dignified chasuble (I hope you like the "Baroque" vestments, I prefer the Borromean or the Gothic over this although I'd be happy to see one.) :


    1. Yes, Abp Sample is a friend of mine. I think I have another one of him in a great chausible

  5. Oh, and another thing, Pope Francis' chasuble is perfectly fine but his ferula for this one is just inappropriate in terms of design. But this is more ghastly than that:


    and more recently:


    Poor Pope JPII and Pope BXVI, forced to wear things that are not so dignified for the Sacred Liturgy by just ONE man.


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