The Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) Thread

Lavabis Me

Sparrow
I thought it best to put this in a separate post so as not clutter the one preceding it.

Two other points about language and the Liturgy. The first is unity. It is not by accident that the Latin Mass society formed right after the council to defend Latin in the mass is call Una Voce, "with one voice". It used to be that a Catholic going on pilgrimage anywhere in the world - Lourdes for example - could attend a Mass exactly like the one at home. Now if you go to Lourdes you see people segregating themselves by language to attend "their Mass". It's like that even at the local level now. The Church down the street from me has Mass in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, and French. Mass in the vernacular has ghetto-ized the faithful.

That is just on the "horizontal plane" of existence. Consider also the "vertical plane" - all those Catholics that came before and will come after our short time on this earth. The thread that connected you to your ancestors a thousand years ago has been damaged.

The second reason language matters, especially in our time of "wrongthink", is that many concepts that exist in one language, are not represented in another, or poorly so. C. S. Lewis wrote a book "The Four Loves" explaining just how impoverished the English language is when you can "love God" and also "love Cheerios". That kind of plasticity in words can help when conveying multiple levels of meanings in a concept, and the imprecision is done on purpose; but that is not the case in many instances today. Instead, the imprecision today is mostly used by bad actors to weasel into the vernacular a meaning not meant in the Latin.
 

Lavabis Me

Sparrow
I haven't seen any mention of Michael Davies on this thread. He's the only man I've seen best E. Michael Jones in a debate that took place about 25-30 years ago.

Davies was a convert and an early supporter of the SSPX (it was in defense of the SSPX that he and Jones clashed). He wrote a three book set on the Liturgical Revolution: "Cranmer's Godly Order", "Pope John's Council", and "Pope Paul's New Mass". Anyone that wants to understand how we ended up with the Novus Ordo should read these. I wrote a review of the first two books of the set about a 12 years ago and am posting the first one here because I think it's relevant:

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Cranmer's Godly Order
Michael Davies

Part History, Part Liturgical Catechism, and Part Cautionary Tale

From the time St. Augustine of Canterbury arrived in that misty Northwest corner of Europe to the time Henry VIII was granted the title Fidei defensor, England had been passionately Catholic. Michael Davies' "Cranmer's Godly Order" tells the story of how the destruction of the Mass slowly caused an entire nation not only to apostatize, but to revile what had been the Faith of their fathers for nearly a thousand years. This book is part history, part liturgical catechism, and part cautionary tale.

The well-researched history Davies recounts is lucid and engrossing. Catholic and Protestant sources are referenced (Davies himself was a converted Baptist), and fallacies that have been widely accepted as fact are corrected - most importantly the perception that the Protestant revolt in England was a popular uprising. The record shows quite the opposite: it was imposed from the top down by those who had much to gain from pillaging the Church and grabbing its wealth for themselves. One of the things I found interesting is the extent to which Protestant revolutionaries from the Continent were imported to consult and in some cases drive Cranmer's Protestant transformation, including the use of foreign troops to quell the Rebellion of 1549 - particularly galling when one considers how the English people were relentlessly pounded with fear-mongering about "Romish" influence in their country.

The liturgical catechesis Davies lays out is exceptional. In order to explain how Cranmer used the principle “lex orandi, lex credendi” (the law of prayer is the law of belief) to weaken and then crush any opposition to the Protestantism he forced on his countrymen, Davies first instructs the reader in a chain of foundational Catholic precepts that proceeds (loosely) along the following path: first is the importance of the liturgy, which requires an understanding of the theology of the Eucharist and its centrality to the liturgy; understanding the Eucharist requires instruction on the ramifications of the Incarnation, which proceeds from St. Anselm of Canterbury's explanation of the vicariousness of Christ's sacrifice. Disassociate the idea of vicariousness from Christ's sacrifice and you break the chain of precepts which essentially guts the need for a priesthood. One of the sad ironies of the revolt is how many of its own great saints the Protestants had to despoil in order to fundamentally change England.

In this book, Davies never explicitly draws any cautionary conclusions between the liturgical changes that took place after Vatican II and those made by Cranmer 500 years ago. The reader, though, who does spend a few minutes in looking at the ledger will be stunned at how the post-Vatican II liturgical changes track so closely with those that were used to destroy Catholic belief in England: the use of the vernacular, the insertion of the epiclesis, the priest facing the people, communion in the hand under both species without kneeling, non-ordained laity handling and distributing the "bread and wine", calling the altar "the table of the Lord", the removal of statues and holy images, the elimination of genuflection when the Incarnation is referenced, the removal of the last gospel reading... and on and on. I never quite understood why so many prominent Catholics, like Dietrich von Hildebrand whom Pope Pius XII called "the 20th Century Doctor of the Church" were so vocal in their opposition to re-writing the liturgy; as Davies quotes Professor Owen, the reason is simple: "Liturgies are not made, they grow in the devotion of the centuries". The only other changes that compare to the scope and scale of the post-Vatican II liturgical changes were those instituted by Cranmer in England, and Cranmer implemented his changes in order to blot Catholicism from the land; one need only look around at the devastation the Faith has endured worldwide since the late 1960's to see that similar change has brought similar results. It's time to reform the reform.

The table of contents below shows the organization and outline of this work; the notes after the chapter names are abbreviated from the book, which are much more extensive and helpful. The appendices are also very valuable and helpful.

Introduction

1. Et Incarnatus Est: The Incarnation is the basis of our faith. Remove the historical reality of the Incarnation and Christianity disappears.

2. The Catholic Doctrine of Justification: The Key to the Protestant Reformation is the doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone. The attack on the Mass cannot be appreciated without understanding this doctrine.

3. Sola Fides Justificat: The souls of sinners are not transformed by grace but simply covered with the cloak of Christ's righteousness

4. Catholic Teaching on the Eucharist: The Eucharist is at the centre of the Catholic faith. The meaning of substance and substantial change within Catholic theology.

5. The Most Horrible Blasphemy: The Protestant Reformers were not reformers but revolutionaries.

6. Protestant Teaching on the Eucharist - 1: The Rejection of Sacrifice.

7. Protestant Teaching on the Eucharist - 2: The Rejection of Transubstantiation.

8 Liturgical Revolution: Changes in the liturgy reflect the doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone. Liturgical changes imposed on the faithful by the civil power.

9. The Principles of Liturgical Reform: Veneration for the preservation of liturgical traditions a characteristic of Catholicism.

10. The Reform and the Missal of St. Pius V: Substantial identity of the Roman rite with the Sarum and other English "uses".

11. Preparatory Measures: Religious life in England upon the accession of Henry VIII. Dissolution of the monastaries.

12. An Ingenious Essay in Ambiguity: An analysis of the 1549 Communion Service. Its essence lies in carefully contrived ambiguity.

13. The Priesthood and the Ordinal: The denial of priestly status a logical consequence of the denial of the sacrificial nature of the Mass.

14. "Godly Order" or "Christmas Game"?: The Western Rebellion of 1549.

15. "Believe As Your Forefathers": "Non-violent" resistance to changes. The old Latin Mass is still celebrated secretly.

16. The Pattern of Compromise: Blind acceptance of the lawful authority a key factor in the lack of open resistance to the reforms.

Appendices:

1. The Opus Operatum
2. Article Thirty-One
3. Changes in Consecration
4. The Question of Validity
5. Chronological Table

Bibliography
Index
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Lavabis Me

Sparrow
Here is my review of the second book in Mr. Davies' trilogy, also relevant:

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Pope John's Council by Michael Davies
Revised and Expanded Edition
2007 Angelus Press Hardcover 480 p

This is the second book in late author Michael Davies' three-part "Liturgical Revolution" series. The first volume, Cranmer's Godly Order, introduced the concept of "lex orandi, lex credendi" (the law of prayer is the law of belief) and showed how that principle was used to subvert the Catholic faith in 16th Century England through changes in its liturgy. In "Pope John's Council", Mr. Davies documents the events of Vatican II and analyzes the effects the Council has had on the Church. The most visible manifestation was the introduction of the Novus Ordo Mass, which made many of the same changes Cranmer enacted for the new Anglican religion nearly 500 years ago.

Mr. Davies' sources are plentiful and unimpeachable, as they are a matter of public record. They include statements from clerics directly involved in the Council, experts or "piriti" that assisted and influenced the clerics in the background, Protestant observers (who actively campaigned for a more "open" Catholic Church), and media accounts of the events as they unfolded. The author mostly steps out of the way and lets the material speak for itself, and the story it tells is distressing: a group of well-organized, agenda-driven Rhine bishops maneuvered themselves into positions that allowed equivocal language to be fitted into Councilar documents, obfuscating Church teaching. Most of the damage from these strategically placed ambiguities would occur long after the closing of the Council, hence the name Davies gives them: "language time-bombs". Stacked pontifical commissions, revolutionary priests, and wayward theologians would use the squishy language to disfigure both the Mass and the Magisterium in the years following the Council, relying on an obedient, docile laity as a shield and the 1960's "spirit of change" as their hammer. The result was a Church made over into something that would confuse Catholics in any age before the 1960s; it's worship, architecture, institutions, schools, and fidelity were compromised. These leaders abrogated their chief responsibility, which was to preserve and to transmit to the next generation what was handed down to them. They will have to answer for that.

For the faithful who recognize all around them the damage that has been done, this is one of the most heartbreaking books they may ever read: it is the Church laying the groundwork for its own suicide by "ecumania" - the irrational desire for a false ecumenism above and beyond all other concerns. The Fathers of Vatican II were blind-sided by those Rhine bishops who came to what was supposed to be a "modest", "pastoral" council, with a plan for seizing control of all the commissions and packing all the deliberating bodies with like-minded modernists. The original schemas that took years to draw up by a large body of prelates were tossed out in the first meetings of the council, and hastily drawn, ambiguously worded schemas were adopted in their place. Pressure was placed on bishops and cardinals with behind-the-scenes lobbying, and sober, experienced mostly older prelates were belittled in that rush to sweep aside stabilizing traditions and institutions so characteristic of the "decade of change". What took place was a radical Protestant-izing of Catholicism and it has gutted the Faith. You don't have to accept Mr. Davies' analysis; the words of Paul VI on April 3, 1968 - the pope who presided over the last part of the Council and the transformation that followed in its wake - will suffice:

"The word of Christ is no longer the truth which never changes, ever living, ever radiant and fruitful, even though at times beyond our understanding. It becomes a partial truth...and is thus deprived of all objective validity and transcendent authority. It will be said that the Council authorized such treatment of traditional teaching. Nothing is more false, if we are to accept the word of Pope John who launched the aggiornamento in whose name some dare to impose on Catholic dogma dangerous and sometimes reckless interpretations."

The Council was never meant to wipe away tradition and start from scratch, but that is what the supporters of the "spirit of Vatican II" have done.

Lest one come away from this book - or this review - with a feeling of lost hope, it is imperative to keep in mind what Mr. Davies tells us in his introduction: "The duty of faithful Catholics in these times is to avoid despair and at all costs remain within the barque of Peter." Amen. Below is the contents of this work that shows its topics and organization, and following that a note to prospective readers on some things that they might want to research before reading this book:

Author's Introduction
I. Pope John Is Inspired
II. The Church Before the Council
III. Blitzkrieg
IV. Mopping Up
V. Liberal Shock Troops
VI. Time Bombs
VII. The Prefabricators
VIII. The Background to Protestantism
XI. Protestant Pressures
X. Mother of the Church
XI. The Dogmatic Constitution On Divine Revelation - Dei Verbum
XII. The Status of the Documents
XIII. Left Turn
XIV. Pernicious Adversaries
XV. The Enigma of Pope Paul
XVI. Planting the Time Bombs
XVII. Unearthing the Time Bombs
XVIII. Counting the Cost

Appendices
I - The General Councils of the Church
II - Chronology of the Council
III - The Press and the First Vatican Council
IV - Liberal Mythology
V - The Declaration Dominus Jesus Regarding the Term Subsitit
VI - Sillonism
VII - Salleron on Maritain
VIII - The Anti-Liturgical Heresy
IX - The Fruits of Vatican II

*** Note ***
For a more complete perspective of exactly what author Michael Davies covers in this work, I recommend investigating the history of the development of dogma and of worship in the Catholic Church beforehand. When one reads the Gospels, we regularly find Christ "going up to Jerusalem", to the Temple, for one feast or another multiple times a year; Jewish life revolved around these Temple feasts. In the Old testament, we find out what Temple worship consisted of: priests (in vestments), incense, sacrifice, chanting of the psalms, candles, and so forth. In the last book of the Bible, the Apocalypse of St. John, we find all the elements of the Catholic Mass - the altar, the saints, the lamb and so on.

The natural growth of this "mustard seed" resulted in the Mass as it came down to us until 1962; minor changes accrued slowly over the centuries, first as political circumstances allowed the early Church to worship in the open without persecution, and then in response to heresies, where the teaching of the Church had deepened in the process of warding off error. These teachings and this greater clarity would sometimes manifest in slight changes to the Mass over time to emphasize and bring out the orthodox meaning and remove all doubt about heresy. One can, in some respects, think of it as the writing of a great poem where each line and each punctuation is painstakingly placed to convey a specific meaning without changing the essence of the poem; or, less elegantly, one can think of it as stones placed in the wall where the enemy has tried to breach a rampart, with the purpose of strengthening and protecting those inside. A great book to read on this topic is John Henry Newman's "An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine".

The changes to the liturgy and to Catholic teaching in the wake of Vatican II were not a growth in the manner described above; in practical terms, Vatican II was a revolution and a throwing off of everything that came before. Cranmer, with his "Godly Order", didn't contemplate making the abrupt changes that have taken place since 1965. Sadly, the damage will take decades, if not centuries, to repair.

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Sitting Bull

Woodpecker
I haven't seen any mention of Michael Davies on this thread. He's the only man I've seen best E. Michael Jones in a debate that took place about 25-30 years ago.

I watched that old debate on Youtube () some time ago.
I wouldn't recommend watching it to people who are not already knowledgeable about those issues - I cannot say that either of the opponents has won, they're mostly talking past each other.
Unlike many other debates with EMJ, in this one the confrontation hardly brings any light.

Regarding M. Davies, there is a 584-page refutation of his books by Cambridge-educated John S. Daly, available for download at https://novusordowatch.org/2015/12/michael-davies-an-evaluation-john-daly/. As far as I know, Davies hasn't even tried to answer this critique which contains an open letter.

I upvoted your posts all the same for the time & effort you put in them, even though I think you're barking up the wrong tree.
 

Lavabis Me

Sparrow
Regarding M. Davies, there is a 584-page refutation of his books by Cambridge-educated John S. Daly, available for download at https://novusordowatch.org/2015/12/michael-davies-an-evaluation-john-daly/. As far as I know, Davies hasn't even tried to answer this critique which contains an open letter.
I'm very familiar with Novusordowatch and with Daly's work. I long ago wrestled with finding the correct path when it became apparent that NuChurch®was utterly compromised (as I imagine you did). I have a lot of sympathy and respect for the sede position, and you won't find me heaping contempt on it. I just don't agree with it - and I don't say that dismissively.

You know the Lord plays the long, long game, and I suspect you've read your share of Church history. You know this will take years to play out with lots of twists and turns and surprises. We know how it ends, but we also know that God can remove His Church from those unworthy of it. Why did he allow the Mussulman to subdue His Church in the Levant, North Africa, and Anatolia, yet allow the Spanish over 700 years to repel them and re-emerge triumphant? Who knows how large the Remnant will be and what it will look like?

Let's pray for each other that He continues to guide us on the right path to salvation. We know its narrow and many won't find it. If I'm mistaken in my beliefs and decisions, I pray for correction. We all should.

Pax vobiscum
 

Lavabis Me

Sparrow
Back in 1939, Romano Guardini wrote Meditations before Mass, a short book on how to approach the Mass. When we talk about what was lost when Nuchurch® rolled out the Novus Ordo, sacred bearing is one of those things that everyone senses and sees, but isn't usually articulated very well. Read the first 7 chapters of this work - you can do it in a couple of hours. Stillness, Silence, and Composure, and the building itself as a Holy Place. It's been virtually wiped out in the Church. Here's a snippet from a review I did long ago on this to highlight a few main points:

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The most convincing evidence of the disconnect between the 20th C. Liturgical Movement and the Mass of Paul VI, is contained in the book that is the subject of this review, “Meditations Before Mass”; the Novus Ordo – even one reverently celebrated – violates so much of what Fr. Guardini instructs us is essential to the Mass. This is an excellent collection of homilies, which in part 1, “Sacred Bearing”, instructs us how we should approach the liturgy, and in part 2, “The Essence of the Mass” explains that which we are approaching, and Who and What approaches us in the sacred hour. So many of the important aspects of the Mass are contradicted in the Novus Ordo, that it must be considered in discontinuity with the forms that existed before it.

The opening chapter, “Stillness” gives us the first example of why the Novus Ordo in its essence is contrary to the Mass it replaced, what is today commonly called the “Traditional Latin Mass”. Fr. Guardini writes: “In the course of these meditations we shall see that the periods of silence are not mere interruptions of speech and song, but something essential to the sacred act as a whole and almost as important as the periods of speech.” The New Mass of Paul VI is many things, but two things it most certainly is not are “still” and “silent”: from the moment a person walks into the nave of almost any modern Catholic Church, he will be met with a constant, hum-and-ruckus, whirl-o-chatter, in a perpetually fidgety, noisy liturgy. There is no place for silent meditation. Even before mass begins there is sadly the loud din of people carrying on like they are no place special. And why wouldn’t they? The contemplative aspect of the Mass has been completely expunged in the Novus Ordo. As Fr. Guardini puts it, “stillness is the tranquility of the inner life; the quiet at the depths of its hidden stream. It is a collected, total presence, a being ‘all there’, receptive, alert, ready. There is nothing inert or oppressive about it.” Stillness and silence are important, because properly and carefully practiced, they cultivate composure.

Why is composure important? Fr. Guardini continues:

“a man’s attention is broken into a thousand fragments by the variety of things and persons about him. His mind is restless; his feelings seek objects that are constantly changing; his desires reach out for one thing after another; his will is captured by a thousand intentions, often conflicting. He is harried, torn, self-contradictory. Composure works in the opposite direction, rescuing man’s attention from the sundry objects holding it captive and restoring unity to his spirit. It frees his mind from its many tempting claims and focuses it on one, the all-important. It calls the soul that is dispersed over myriad thoughts and desires, plans and intentions back to itself, re-establishing its depth.”


The Novus Ordo mass is incapable of calling men to such attention because it continues in the same manner as the world we are supposed to leave behind when we assist at Mass: noisy, back and forth chatter with no care for repose, all in the name of ‘active participation’, encouraging us to be Martha, busy with much serving, and not Mary, who chooses the better part and sits still at Christ’s feet (Lk 10:40-41). As the world has crept into and corrupted the liturgy, so it has crept into and corrupted Catholic belief. Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi:

“To a large extent man lives without depth, without a center, in superficiality and chance. No longer finding the essential within himself, he grabs at all sorts of stimulants and sensations; he enjoys them briefly, tires of them, recalls his own emptiness and demands new distractions… He is a hollow man and tries to fill his emptiness with constant, restless activity. He is happiest when in the thick of things, in the rush and noise and stimulus of quick results and successes. The moment quiet surrounds him, he is lost.”
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Sitting Bull

Woodpecker
Back in 1939, Romano Guardini wrote Meditations before Mass, a short book on how to approach the Mass. When we talk about what was lost when Nuchurch® rolled out the Novus Ordo, sacred bearing is one of those things that everyone senses and sees, but isn't usually articulated very well. Read the first 7 chapters of this work - you can do it in a couple of hours.

Thanks, will read when I have the time.

The most convincing evidence of the disconnect between the 20th C. Liturgical Movement and the Mass of Paul VI

The issue of the 20th C. Liturgical Movement, of sorting out the good from the bad, of analizing what went wrong and when, is a long and complicated one (when you say it's "disconnected" from Paul VI's Mass, this is obviously not the whole story. Paul VI did not invent his Mass from scratch, and there is a documented story of preparatory abuses already forced in towards the end of the papacy of Pius XII, when he was weak). Similary, for many participants in it that movement it is unclear whether they were out-and-out subversives, strictly orthodox or deceived.

Abbé Bonneterre in his book on the Liturgical Movement notes that Guardini is more of a helper than a decider, that his terminology is somewhat vague.

What you say about silence and composure is obviously very true, but it's more a symptom than a cause in my opinion. A text like the Ottaviani intervention goes straight to the heart of the matter in that regard.
 

Lavabis Me

Sparrow
Paul VI did not invent his Mass from scratch
Very true. But Louis Bouyer, a modernist whom I'm sure you're familiar with, stated in his memoirs that the NO Eucharistic Prayer II was actually written in a restaurant on the back of napkin. That's pretty scratchy.

there is a documented story of preparatory abuses already forced in towards the end of the papacy of Pius XII,
Yes. Bugnini rewrote the order of Holy Week under Pius XII. That change is in a 1955 missal that I have, which is why some traditional priests go back to the 1947 missal. Some people will point out that it was St. Pius X, who changed the Divine Office in 1911 with his Divino Afflatu encyclical, that is responsible for opening the door to future abuses.

I would prefer not to go into this too deeply - when the Liturgy went off the rails - if that's okay with you. Not because it's not worth discussing, but it's not healthy for me spiritually to wade into that thicket. I don't want you to think I'm blowing you off, though. It is a worthy discussion, one I've had dozens of times. It just arouses a bad spirit in me, way past the point of righteous anger. I hope that makes sense to you. And yes, I'm aware I'm the one who just posted about how the Liturgy went off the rails. What I wanted to communicate is an aspect of it that is not discussed very often.

What you say about silence and composure is obviously very true, but it's more a symptom than a cause in my opinion. A text like the Ottaviani intervention goes straight to the heart of the matter in that regard.
Agree about the Ottaviani intervention. Perhaps calling silence/composure "the most convincing evidence" was hyperbole on my part. I used that phrase because personally it was so palpable: it was more than just changes in the missal (words, gestures, etc.). The NO severely disrupted the contemplative nature of the Old Mass, something you wouldn't neccessarily glean just from reading the new missal. If you've ever been to a TML Dialogue Mass, you know what I mean.
 
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Sitting Bull

Woodpecker
Louis Bouyer, a modernist whom I'm sure you're familiar with, stated in his memoirs that the NO Eucharistic Prayer II was actually written in a restaurant on the back of napkin. That's pretty scratchy.
True, but the Eucharistic prayer is not the whole of the new Mass even though it's the most important part, the new Mass is not the whole of the post-Conciliar way of life, and those revolutionaries in a restaurant didn't just have a sudden revelation from Satan, they were already immersed in the spirit of a long-term revolutionary plan.
I would prefer not to go into this too deeply - when the Liturgy went off the rails - if that's okay with you. Not because it's not worth discussing, but it's not healthy for me spiritually to wade into that thicket. I don't want you to think I'm blowing you off, though.
Don't worry, that thought never crossed my mind (and I'm not an expert on the subject either). I'm very glad for you that you are aware that not everything is good for you to discuss. Few people (even among Catholics) are gifted with that realization.
 

Ureres

Chicken
I'm curious: have trad Catholics been learning Latin as a result? I would guess you only need to learn less than 500 words.
I actually did start studying a little bit of latin. I bought Hans Ørberg's LLPSI. So far I haven't made much progress but seems interesting enough.
 

Lavabis Me

Sparrow
I actually did start studying a little bit of latin. I bought Hans Ørberg's LLPSI. So far I haven't made much progress but seems interesting enough.
When I first started attending the Latin Mass many years ago, I made it a point to learn the Latin; I feverishly would be flipping through my English/Latin missal trying to follow along each word the priest and the acolytes were whispering, feeling if I missed any of it, I wasn't "participating" in the Mass. In that way, I now know most of the Order of the Mass by heart.

Looking back, however, I think I was holding on to a Novus Ordo mindset of "active participation". I'd humbly like to suggest to anyone new to the TLM (or any Rite not in the vernacular), to not do what I did, at least not during the Mass. For sure, if you want to piously read the Order of the Mass and the Propers outside of Mass do so - preferably the night before or morning-of. Over the course of a few months you'll be very familiar with what is going on and only need to read the Propers.

What I seriously recommend is that when you attend Mass, you first broadly understand what is going on: the priest (and the acolytes) are performing a work - that is what the word "liturgy" means. If no one was present at the Mass, it would make no difference to the work being done. Contrast that to a Protestant service: if no one showed up, there would be no point in the pastor preaching. That is not true of a Catholic Mass; indeed, priests are required to offer a Mass daily whether anyone is present or not. Private masses used to be very common. That is because the Mass is a sacrifice and calls down graces from heaven even when no one else is present. So first understand that fact. That when you are at Mass, you are only assisting as a witness to the work, and if you are in a state of grace, to receive the graces being called down by the priest.

In that regard, don't be like I was, feverishly flipping through your missal. Arrive early, leave the world outside the doors of the Church, and practice stillness and silence. Look at Christ present in the tabernacle and speak silently to Him: "Lord Jesus, thank you for the blessings you have bestowed. Please help me to..." and pour out your heart. He listens. Make a pledge to Him that during the Canon, when the priest re-presents His immolation as the perfect victim, that you lay your old, imperfect self on the altar with Him, to die with Him, so you can be reborn in Him, as part of His body. This is to be Catholic. Many, many simple gray-haired old ladies in countries throughout the world for tens of centuries have become saints by this simple method, without knowing a word of Latin (or Greek, or Liturgical Slavonic or Liturgical Syriac). Do this first. It is not as easy as it sounds, to not let your mind wander, to be intensely present, to spiritually move yourself to, as Alfred Noyes wrote:

"... A Calvary, at the inmost heart of things,
Wherein the Eternal Passion still enacts
In an eternal world what mortal eyes
Saw dimly on one shadowy hill of Time"


Again, if you feel moved outside of Mass, sure, learn the Liturgical language. It will help you go deeper, and to understand better what is happening at a particular junction of the Mass, but if you are not so moved, or if you plain just can't grasp it, don't worry, it is not essential.
 

Ureres

Chicken
When I first started attending the Latin Mass many years ago, I made it a point to learn the Latin; I feverishly would be flipping through my English/Latin missal trying to follow along each word the priest and the acolytes were whispering, feeling if I missed any of it, I wasn't "participating" in the Mass. In that way, I now know most of the Order of the Mass by heart.

Looking back, however, I think I was holding on to a Novus Ordo mindset of "active participation". I'd humbly like to suggest to anyone new to the TLM (or any Rite not in the vernacular), to not do what I did, at least not during the Mass. For sure, if you want to piously read the Order of the Mass and the Propers outside of Mass do so - preferably the night before or morning-of. Over the course of a few months you'll be very familiar with what is going on and only need to read the Propers.

What I seriously recommend is that when you attend Mass, you first broadly understand what is going on: the priest (and the acolytes) are performing a work - that is what the word "liturgy" means. If no one was present at the Mass, it would make no difference to the work being done. Contrast that to a Protestant service: if no one showed up, there would be no point in the pastor preaching. That is not true of a Catholic Mass; indeed, priests are required to offer a Mass daily whether anyone is present or not. Private masses used to be very common. That is because the Mass is a sacrifice and calls down graces from heaven even when no one else is present. So first understand that fact. That when you are at Mass, you are only assisting as a witness to the work, and if you are in a state of grace, to receive the graces being called down by the priest.

In that regard, don't be like I was, feverishly flipping through your missal. Arrive early, leave the world outside the doors of the Church, and practice stillness and silence. Look at Christ present in the tabernacle and speak silently to Him: "Lord Jesus, thank you for the blessings you have bestowed. Please help me to..." and pour out your heart. He listens. Make a pledge to Him that during the Canon, when the priest re-presents His immolation as the perfect victim, that you lay your old, imperfect self on the altar with Him, to die with Him, so you can be reborn in Him, as part of His body. This is to be Catholic. Many, many simple gray-haired old ladies in countries throughout the world for tens of centuries have become saints by this simple method, without knowing a word of Latin (or Greek, or Liturgical Slavonic or Liturgical Syriac). Do this first. It is not as easy as it sounds, to not let your mind wander, to be intensely present, to spiritually move yourself to, as Alfred Noyes wrote:

"... A Calvary, at the inmost heart of things,
Wherein the Eternal Passion still enacts
In an eternal world what mortal eyes
Saw dimly on one shadowy hill of Time"


Again, if you feel moved outside of Mass, sure, learn the Liturgical language. It will help you go deeper, and to understand better what is happening at a particular junction of the Mass, but if you are not so moved, or if you plain just can't grasp it, don't worry, it is not essential.
Thanks. This is excellent advice.
 

DeFide

Robin
@Lavabis Me
@Sitting Bull
Have you considered reading the book Work of Human Hands: A Theological Critique of the Mass of Paul VI by Rev. Anthony Cekada? Seems like something that would be right up your alley! I ordered a copy last week and can’t wait to begin reading it. It’s supposed to excellent, not least of all for Fr. Cekada’s (RIP) trademark humor ;)

WHH_1024x1024.jpg
 
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Lavabis Me

Sparrow
@Lavabis Me
@Sitting Bull
Have you considered reading the book Work of Human Hands: A Theological Critique of the Mass of Paul VI by Rev. Anthony Cekada? Seems like something that would be right up your alley! I ordered a copy last week and can’t wait to begin reading it. It’s supposed to excellent, not least of all for Fr. Cekada’s (RIP) trademark humor ;)

WHH_1024x1024.jpg
I'm familiar with the themes of Fr. Cekada's arguments, though I have not read the book. Personally, I've taken enough credible information on board to never attend a Novus Ordo Mass again. More reading on the subject feels to me like beating a dead horse: it fuels an unhealthy anger and and an uncharitable disposition.

I hope you find reading it profitable, that it brings you closer to the Church, and gives you a deeper appreciation for the Mass. Maybe you could post a review on here when your done, I'd be interested in what you think about it.
 
Does anyone take the email blast of Michael Matt of the Remnant? Had a particularly stupid one this week. He was trying to do a DR3 saying that the reason for the new draconian mask strictures in Minnesota was that they were racist. Yeah like those liberal Swedish Minnesotans are the real racists. That'll really own the libs Michael!

 

BasedBaker

Sparrow
When I first started attending the Latin Mass many years ago, I made it a point to learn the Latin; I feverishly would be flipping through my English/Latin missal trying to follow along each word the priest and the acolytes were whispering, feeling if I missed any of it, I wasn't "participating" in the Mass. In that way, I now know most of the Order of the Mass by heart.

Looking back, however, I think I was holding on to a Novus Ordo mindset of "active participation". I'd humbly like to suggest to anyone new to the TLM (or any Rite not in the vernacular), to not do what I did, at least not during the Mass. For sure, if you want to piously read the Order of the Mass and the Propers outside of Mass do so - preferably the night before or morning-of. Over the course of a few months you'll be very familiar with what is going on and only need to read the Propers.

What I seriously recommend is that when you attend Mass, you first broadly understand what is going on: the priest (and the acolytes) are performing a work - that is what the word "liturgy" means. If no one was present at the Mass, it would make no difference to the work being done. Contrast that to a Protestant service: if no one showed up, there would be no point in the pastor preaching. That is not true of a Catholic Mass; indeed, priests are required to offer a Mass daily whether anyone is present or not. Private masses used to be very common. That is because the Mass is a sacrifice and calls down graces from heaven even when no one else is present. So first understand that fact. That when you are at Mass, you are only assisting as a witness to the work, and if you are in a state of grace, to receive the graces being called down by the priest.

In that regard, don't be like I was, feverishly flipping through your missal. Arrive early, leave the world outside the doors of the Church, and practice stillness and silence. Look at Christ present in the tabernacle and speak silently to Him: "Lord Jesus, thank you for the blessings you have bestowed. Please help me to..." and pour out your heart. He listens. Make a pledge to Him that during the Canon, when the priest re-presents His immolation as the perfect victim, that you lay your old, imperfect self on the altar with Him, to die with Him, so you can be reborn in Him, as part of His body. This is to be Catholic. Many, many simple gray-haired old ladies in countries throughout the world for tens of centuries have become saints by this simple method, without knowing a word of Latin (or Greek, or Liturgical Slavonic or Liturgical Syriac). Do this first. It is not as easy as it sounds, to not let your mind wander, to be intensely present, to spiritually move yourself to, as Alfred Noyes wrote:

"... A Calvary, at the inmost heart of things,
Wherein the Eternal Passion still enacts
In an eternal world what mortal eyes
Saw dimly on one shadowy hill of Time"


Again, if you feel moved outside of Mass, sure, learn the Liturgical language. It will help you go deeper, and to understand better what is happening at a particular junction of the Mass, but if you are not so moved, or if you plain just can't grasp it, don't worry, it is not essential.
Thank you very much for penning this. It's very eye opening to me. I'm doing exactly what you described and feelings as if I'm "missing out" if I'm not following along word-for-word in my missal. My wife and I will begin practicing your advice this Sunday at Mass.
 

DeFide

Robin
estatua-de-grgur-ninski.jpg


My hometown has a giant statue of this Croatian Bishop called Grgur Ninski (Gregory of Nin) who got the permission from Rome to celebrate the Mass in the local language instead of Latin in 926. He was later replaced and had his Bishopric dissolved after infighting within the church, but the tradition remained and our language and alphabet thrived thanks to this, and we remained in the Roman sphere of influence rather than the Byzantine.



First of all, no language is holy. A language is merely a communication device that's influenced by all sorts of wordly factors starting from the Tower of Babel onwards. Jesus did not speak Latin, and the early Church did not celebrate the Mass in Latin either. So should we all learn and use Greek or Aramaic or whatever other language represented at that time? Of course not. A language is not holy, nor can it make anything holy. It is just a tool like a sheet of paper or a pipe organ .



I don't see how this matters at all, as words can always be translated differently. Furthermore, it is our task as Christians to guard our language against such manipulation, not to flock to a language to supposedly protect us from it.



It seems to me that you're confusing and conflating Tridentine Mass with Latin. It's up to you to believe whether Novus Ordo is unsuitable or not, but the issue has nothing to do with Latin. People used to celebrate the old mass in numerous languages throughout history. I just gave you an example from my country that's over 1000 years old.



The problem with this way of thinking is that it turns the Mass from earnest prayer into a bureaucratic formality, as if it were an ancient Druidic Ritual or a Lvl 9 Transmutation spell out of D&D.

At best, it becomes en empty repetition based on "Perform action A, get the result B" like in Islam where everyone learns Arabic for some insane ethnicity-based reason.

At worst, it leads to ridiculous Pharisee-type thinking of "We're all praying, but see, I'm the only one doing it correctly!"

Moral of the story is, the Order of the Mass might have something to do with holiness, but the language doesn't.
On the contrary! The Church regards three, and only three, languages as sacred. These, as referred to several times in Sacred Scripture (Luke 23:38, John 19:20, Apocalypse 9:11), are Hebrew, Greek, and Latin: “This title therefore many of the Jews did read: because the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, in Greek, and in Latin.”

Rev. Msgr. George Moorman comments in The Latin Mass Explained (1920):​


“It is curious to note that the three foremost dead tongues-the Hebrew, the Greek and the Latin-were employed at the crucifixion for the inscription fixed above the thorn-crowned Head: ‘Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews.’ These were the languages chosen to tell the great truth to the whole world. So today, in the commemoration of the Sacrifice of the Cross, in the Mass, these three languages are still employed. The greater part of the Mass is said in Latin. The Kyrie Eleison is Greek. Vestiges of the Hebrew are found in the words, Alleluia, Amen, Hosanna.”

And in The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: Dogmatically, Liturgically, and Aesthetically Explained (1902), Rev. Dr. Nicholas Gihr explains:​


The Latin language is consecrated by the mystic inscription attached to the Cross, as well as sanctified by the usage of nearly two thousand years, and hence it is most closely interwoven with the primitive Roman Catholic liturgy of the holy Sacrifice. The inscription on the Cross : "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews," was written in Hebrew, Greek and Latin (John 19.19, 20). These were the three principal languages of that epoch, and by divine dispensation they were, so to say, destined and consecrated on the Cross for the liturgical use of the Church.... In the first centuries these three languages were employed predominantly, if not exclusively, in the liturgical service....

....From the beginning of Christianity the sublime mystery of the Mass was celebrated, the sacramental means of grace were administered, God was glorified, men were sanctified and led to salvation in this language. It is without doubt elevating and inspiring to offer sacrifice and pray in the very language and in the very words, whose forcible yet sweet tones once resounded in the mouths of the primitive Christians and our forefathers in the dark depths of the Catacombs, in the golden areas of the ancient basilicas, and in the sumptuous cathedrals of the Middle Age. In the Latin language of divine worship innumerable saints, bishops and priests of all times have offered sacrifice, prayed and sung; in it the most magnificent liturgical formulas are composed, prayers of incomparable beauty.... Should not this ancient Latin language of divine service, so venerable and hallowed in its origin and use, be extremely dear and precious to us, so that we would not for any price give it up or be deprived of it at the celebration of Holy Mass?

...The Latin language is better suited than the languages of different countries to the celebration of divine worship, not only because it is very perfect, but furthermore because, as a so-called dead language, it has the incomparable merit of being at the same time unchangeable and mysterious. The genius of the Latin language possesses great perfection : it is distinguished for its dignity and gravity, clearness and precision, for its richness and euphony. It is, therefore, often difficult to render the complete sense, and still more difficult, and sometimes utterly impossible, to bring out in a translation the beauty, the strength, the dignity, the unction, the depth and the wealth of thought of the original Latin....

....As a so-called dead language, it is unchangeable, while the languages of the people undergo constant improvement and remodelling, and are ever liable to go on progressing and altering. What would become of liturgical books, if, with time and the changes of the vernacular, they were subjected to perpetual change and reconstruction? ...

t would be impossible to preserve and maintain uniformity of divine worship at different times among even one and the same people, much less throughout the world. All these inconveniences are obviated by the use of an unchangeable language for divine worship.... Since the Latin language has been withdrawn from daily life, from the ordinary intercourse of mankind, since it is not heard on the street or in the market-place, it possesses in the eyes of the faithful a holy, venerable, mystic character.... The celebration of this mystic Sacrifice fittingly calls for a language elevated, majestic, dignified and consecrated; religious sentiment demands this, and the Latin tongue answers this requirement. Just as the silent saying of the Canon, so also the use of a sanctified cult language, different from that of profane intercourse, points to the unfathomable and unspeakable depth of the mystery of the altar, and protects it against contempt and desecration. The majesty of the divine worship depends, indeed, chiefly on the devout, dignified and reverential demeanor of the celebrant; but the liturgical language contributes also its share thereunto, and a foreign language is suitable, in a measure, to veil the defects and repulsive routine of many a priest, and to prevent them from appearing so glaring....

...As a universal language of worship, Latin is an admirable means not only of presenting, but also of preserving and promoting the unity and harmony of the Church....

...The unity of the liturgy for all time and place can be perfectly maintained only inasmuch as it is always and everywhere celebrated in the same language. By the introduction of the various national languages, the uniformity and harmony of Catholic worship would be imperilled and, in a measure, rendered impossible. How beautiful and sublime is that uniform celebration of the Holy Sacrifice in the Catholic Church from the rising to the setting of the sun! Thus every priest is enabled to celebrate Mass, over the whole world, no matter what country he visits....

...The unity of the liturgical language and of the divine worship in the Church is, therefore, a very efficient means for preserving the integrity of faith.... [T]he more fixed, unchangeable and inviolable the liturgical formula of prayer is, the better it is adapted to preserve intact and to transmit unimpaired the original deposit of faith. Therefore, all the primitive liturgies proclaim and prove that our faith is in perfect harmony with that of the first ages of the Church.

...Unity of liturgical language and the consequent uniformity of divine worship form, finally, a strong bond for uniting indissolubly the churches dispersed all over the world, among themselves and with their common centre the Roman Church.... The bond of a universal language of worship, which embraces the head and the members of the Church, supports and promotes everywhere the unity and the common life and operation of the Church. History confirms this; for it proves that a difference of liturgies, that is, the introduction of national languages into the liturgy, frequently gave or threatened to give rise to heresy and schism....

[T]he use of the Latin as the common language for divine worship harmonizes perfectly with the essence, the object and the workings of the Catholic Church.... he constitutes but one family of God, one kingdom of Christ, a kingdom not of this world, but exalted above every nation of the earth. Therefore, it is proper that the Church, when celebrating divine worship, when offering the divine Sacrifice, should make use not of the language of some one single country or nation, but of a language that is universal, consecrated and sanctified. Thus at the altar it is a figure of the heavenly Jerusalem, where all the angels and saints in unison (una voce) sing their "Holy, holy, holy" and Alleluja.
 
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