Post Reply
Page 3 of 3  •  Prev 1 2 3
6 years ago  ::  Jul 03, 2008 - 2:58PM #21
Jwbidwell
Posts: 173

Shaner wrote:

Speaking only for myself, I do find more of a sense of reverence and sacredness in the Latin Mass, although I wouldn't want to go back to only Latin Masses, I do like the NO! Its just nice to have the option there, I know its not for everyone



What is the source of this sense of reverence and sacredness? Is it the nature of the Latin Mass itself, or more the desire of the participants that creates a self-fulfilling environment? What I mean is that people who choose to attend a Latin Mass today are generally going because they want reverence and sacredness, and the priests saying those masses are probably doing so for the same reasons. With a niche market and high unity of purpose, it seems natural that these celebrations would meet the participant’s expectations. I wonder: if you took the same people, with the same motivations, and put them into a “regular” mass by themselves, would that liturgy have a higher sense of reverence and sacredness than the average parish mass?

I ask because most of what I’ve heard and read about the average pre-conciliar mass implies a rate of effectiveness, appreciation, and reverence not much different than the post-conciliar rite. It seems natural to me that a liturgy that must appeal to the entire laity, with their diverse motivations for attendance, is probably not going to be spectacular most of the time. Yes, there will be some parishes at both ends of the excellent-awful spectrum, but most will be the vast mediocre middle. My parish is absolutely striving for mediocrity every Sunday, and I just can’t imagine it would be any different no matter what rite was being used.

I’m most curious to know what those of you who lived through the transition think about my questions.

Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Jul 09, 2008 - 12:51AM #22
WaveringCC
Posts: 5,117

jwbidwell wrote:

What is the source of this sense of reverence and sacredness? Is it the nature of the Latin Mass itself, or more the desire of the participants that creates a self-fulfilling environment? What I mean is that people who choose to attend a Latin Mass today are generally going because they want reverence and sacredness, and the priests saying those masses are probably doing so for the same reasons. With a niche market and high unity of purpose, it seems natural that these celebrations would meet the participant’s expectations. I wonder: if you took the same people, with the same motivations, and put them into a “regular” mass by themselves, would that liturgy have a higher sense of reverence and sacredness than the average parish mass?

I ask because most of what I’ve heard and read about the average pre-conciliar mass implies a rate of effectiveness, appreciation, and reverence not much different than the post-conciliar rite. It seems natural to me that a liturgy that must appeal to the entire laity, with their diverse motivations for attendance, is probably not going to be spectacular most of the time. Yes, there will be some parishes at both ends of the excellent-awful spectrum, but most will be the vast mediocre middle. My parish is absolutely striving for mediocrity every Sunday, and I just can’t imagine it would be any different no matter what rite was being used.

I’m most curious to know what those of you who lived through the transition think about my questions.



Based on my experience growing up in the pre-Vatican II Latin rite, followed by the NO (a term never used by anyone ever in those days - it was just the new mass - or the English mass. Nobody ever discussed canon law either in those days. It was totally irrelevant to "real" everyday Catholics) I would say your comment is right on. Most who' attended the Latin mass in the "olden" days were bored silly. The priest had his back to the congregation and couldn't really be heard as he mumbled in Latin. The altar boys (no girls of course) mumbled back. But, it didn't much matter, since few understood Latin anyway. Most had a St. Joseph's missal with Latin on one side and English on the other, and could read it about five times faster than the speed of the mumblings on the altar, so could get through the entire mass in about 10 minutes if simply reading straight through. But, we were supposed to wait for the priest to catch up. The only way to know when he had caught up was at the key points of congregation participation - when the congregation could say "Amen" or, the BIG line, "Et cum spiritu tuo". Music was rare and as bad as in most parishes today. Those imagining mass after mass on Sunday after Sunday full of glorious music and Gregorian chant would be sorely disappointed by the reality. The congregation seldom sang, except some truly horrible hymns, mostly on Marian feasts (Oh Mary we crown thee with blaaaaaaahsoms today" - very whiney and nasal! And some people complain about the St. Louis Jesuits - they never had to sing the hymns of the 50s!) Most of the older women said the rosary, kids goofed off as kids have always done at mass, some people slept and daydreamed, and then raced for the parking lot as soon as it was over! Women were forced to wear a headcovering - and most chose some type of scarf or mantilla. Many younger women and girls would forget about the stupid headcovering, so out would come the kleenex tissue and the bobby pin.

Anyway, I must go. I am a freelancer, so my schedule is always no work or too much work. Right now it is too much work. Throw in a family complication or two, and life suddenly becomes very hectic. Right now I am chauffering my youngest son all over the place - from his apt to work, work to physical therapy, to doctors, etc. He injured his hand, will be OK fortunately (almost tore off a finger), but is not allowed to drive for two more weeks. IF I survive that long!

But, I am a fan of silent prayer, and practice centering prayer. Silent prayer is not what mass is for anyway, so the complaints about mass not being solemn and silent enough seem to be a little off point.

It will be good for me to get away from this board for a while anyway. And probably good for the board too!

Carry on!

Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Jul 09, 2008 - 12:51AM #23
WaveringCC
Posts: 5,117

jwbidwell wrote:

What is the source of this sense of reverence and sacredness? Is it the nature of the Latin Mass itself, or more the desire of the participants that creates a self-fulfilling environment? What I mean is that people who choose to attend a Latin Mass today are generally going because they want reverence and sacredness, and the priests saying those masses are probably doing so for the same reasons. With a niche market and high unity of purpose, it seems natural that these celebrations would meet the participant’s expectations. I wonder: if you took the same people, with the same motivations, and put them into a “regular” mass by themselves, would that liturgy have a higher sense of reverence and sacredness than the average parish mass?

I ask because most of what I’ve heard and read about the average pre-conciliar mass implies a rate of effectiveness, appreciation, and reverence not much different than the post-conciliar rite. It seems natural to me that a liturgy that must appeal to the entire laity, with their diverse motivations for attendance, is probably not going to be spectacular most of the time. Yes, there will be some parishes at both ends of the excellent-awful spectrum, but most will be the vast mediocre middle. My parish is absolutely striving for mediocrity every Sunday, and I just can’t imagine it would be any different no matter what rite was being used.

I’m most curious to know what those of you who lived through the transition think about my questions.



Based on my experience growing up in the pre-Vatican II Latin rite, followed by the NO (a term never used by anyone ever in those days - it was just the new mass - or the English mass. Nobody ever discussed canon law either in those days. It was totally irrelevant to "real" everyday Catholics) I would say your comment is right on. Most who' attended the Latin mass in the "olden" days were bored silly. The priest had his back to the congregation and couldn't really be heard as he mumbled in Latin. The altar boys (no girls of course) mumbled back. But, it didn't much matter, since few understood Latin anyway. Most had a St. Joseph's missal with Latin on one side and English on the other, and could read it about five times faster than the speed of the mumblings on the altar, so could get through the entire mass in about 10 minutes if simply reading straight through. But, we were supposed to wait for the priest to catch up. The only way to know when he had caught up was at the key points of congregation participation - when the congregation could say "Amen" or, the BIG line, "Et cum spiritu tuo". Music was rare and as bad as in most parishes today. Those imagining mass after mass on Sunday after Sunday full of glorious music and Gregorian chant would be sorely disappointed by the reality. The congregation seldom sang, except some truly horrible hymns, mostly on Marian feasts (Oh Mary we crown thee with blaaaaaaahsoms today" - very whiney and nasal! And some people complain about the St. Louis Jesuits - they never had to sing the hymns of the 50s!) Most of the older women said the rosary, kids goofed off as kids have always done at mass, some people slept and daydreamed, and then raced for the parking lot as soon as it was over! Women were forced to wear a headcovering - and most chose some type of scarf or mantilla. Many younger women and girls would forget about the stupid headcovering, so out would come the kleenex tissue and the bobby pin.

Anyway, I must go. I am a freelancer, so my schedule is always no work or too much work. Right now it is too much work. Throw in a family complication or two, and life suddenly becomes very hectic. Right now I am chauffering my youngest son all over the place - from his apt to work, work to physical therapy, to doctors, etc. He injured his hand, will be OK fortunately (almost tore off a finger), but is not allowed to drive for two more weeks. IF I survive that long!

But, I am a fan of silent prayer, and practice centering prayer. Silent prayer is not what mass is for anyway, so the complaints about mass not being solemn and silent enough seem to be a little off point.

It will be good for me to get away from this board for a while anyway. And probably good for the board too!

Carry on!

Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Jul 09, 2008 - 9:52PM #24
Mareczku
Posts: 2,220
Wavering, I hope that your son is doing OK.  He is blessed to have such a great mom.  God bless you. 

I liked it when the Mass went into English.  It is nice to have some Latin in the Mass but I think it is especially good that we have the participation and better music than in the past.  I really don't understand why when the Mass was in Latin over 70% of people went to Mass each week and now it is a lot less.  I think the Mass is better now. 

Peace - Mareczku
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Jul 09, 2008 - 11:39PM #25
WaveringCC
Posts: 5,117

Mareczku wrote:

Wavering, I hope that your son is doing OK. He is blessed to have such a great mom. God bless you.

I liked it when the Mass went into English. It is nice to have some Latin in the Mass but I think it is especially good that we have the participation and better music than in the past. I really don't understand why when the Mass was in Latin over 70% of people went to Mass each week and now it is a lot less. I think the Mass is better now.

Peace - Mareczku




The change has little or nothing to do with changes in language and liturgy.  I will write more when I have time.  There was  a major coming together of events in the 1960s and the drop-off in mass attendance was part of those.

Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Jul 10, 2008 - 1:05AM #26
Jwbidwell
Posts: 173
[QUOTE=Mareczku;614773]I really don't understand why when the Mass was in Latin over 70% of people went to Mass each week and now it is a lot less.[/QUOTE]

As Wavering mentioned, there was a perfect storm of events in the 1960s: the "question authority" mentality, the assimilation of Catholics into mainstream society, the Kennedy election, the breakdown of the Catholic sub-culture, the de-emphasis of obligation as the reason to attend Mass following Vatican II.  All of these factors, and more, combined to lessen the numbers in church each Sunday.  A good book on the history of the Church in the U.S., including this time period, is Charles Morris' American Catholic.
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Jul 10, 2008 - 4:58PM #27
Apishapa
Posts: 276
I graduated from a Catholic High School, attended daily Mass, but it wasn't that meaningful, due to the Latin.  Also sang in the choir---in Latin.   

Years later I married a Baptist, and although I continued attending Catholic Latin Mass, and my husband would go with me, it still wasn't meaningful.   

My husband was in the Military and we lived in Taiwan while he was on assignment there.  We attended Mass at a local Chinese Catholic Church---not Latin---Mandarin.   When we returned to the United States, the Catholic Mass was now in English.  My husband then converted to Catholic, he said now he could understand what was going on during the Mass.   

Praise God!
Quick Reply
Cancel
Page 3 of 3  •  Prev 1 2 3
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook