Monday, August 06, 2007

Sadness

Published in this week's bulletin, from the young, new associate pastor of our parish:

"...Since the spirituality of the majority of Catholics is most expressed in the Eucharist, Catholics are particularly sensitive to the ways that we celebrate the Holy Mass. For some people the changes [ed: referring to the post-conciliar reforms] were experienced as a bit harsh; they equated Mass with the Tridentine Mass. Recognizing this and in order to reach out to these few, Pope John Paul II began to allow the use of the 1962 Roman Missal (Tridentine Mass) with permission of the local Bishop. Pope Benedict has chosen to follow in the same footsteps, only now allowing individual priests to decide use of the 1962 Roman Missal. However, both Popes stressed that the 1970 Roman Missal remained the ORDINARY way in which to celebrate Mass and that use of the 1962 Missal was an EXTRAORDINARY way to celebrate Mass. Both are legitimate ways to celebrate the same prayer...

...So what does this mean? It means that within a diocese there need to be some churches where priests celebrate the Tridentine Mass for the faithful who knew and experienced this Rite in their lifetime, feel drawn to it and are requesting it. In our diocese there are three churches that do this, and St. Mary in Akron is one. My caution to people is to realize that the Pope's decree was meant for those who had grown up with the Tridentine rite and still feel drawn to it for their spirituality. At St Mary in Hudson, the norm will remain the Roman Missal of 1970 at all of our Masses since we are located so close to a parish that does offer the extraordinary way to celebrate Mass. As the Vibrant Parish Life Initiative reminds us, we are called to be one Church, sharing rather than duplicating services, so that all can feel welcome in all parishes and the variety of needs can be met."

Obviously this doesn't match up with what the Holy Father said. I am not even a big enthusiast of the Extraordinary Form, since in some ways I like the Ordinary Form better (the best is a combination of the two, a la the liturgy as celebrated at my sister's community, the Sister Servants of the Eternal Word). But I still feel lousy, especially about the bit on how the Extraordinary Form is just for old folks. What would they do, check baptismal certificates at the door? :( I feel really bad.

4 comments:

  1. My youngsters love the extraordinary Mass...

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  2. There is a good chance that the extraordinary form will draw back some of the folks who have left the Church since the changes of VC II and that would be a great blessing. It seems likely that the extraordinary form will speak in a special way to some of those who are presently simply just going through the motions with the ordinary form. There is real cause for hope in this new step.

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  3. Your associate pastor has some strange and rather inaccurate information regarding the TLM and its efficacy. Also, according to diocesan offices, there are only TWO churches in the entire Cleveland Diocese which offer the TLM, and St. Mary's in Akron only offers it on the first and third Sundays of the month.
    And, surprisingly to some, the TLM is attended by many young people, young marrieds, young families, and not just the "old" who grew up with the Tridentine rite.
    I doubt that anyone at your parish church would ask for it anyway, since those would be the same people who allowed that ultra-modern, protestantized gathering space (it is certainly not a church!)to be built several years ago. And the adults who lionize the LifeTeen program would not be those interested, either.
    I am pleasantly surprised, however, that you came out of your youthful years at Hudson St. Mary with a deep faith, and I wish you well in your discernment regarding a vocation.

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