The Value of the Mass

The Value of the Mass
Up to our own times, it has been the constant concern of supreme pontiffs to ensure that the Church of Christ offers a worthy ritual to the Divine Majesty, 'to the praise and glory of His name,' and 'to the benefit of all His Holy Church - Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum

Friday, August 3, 2007

Check this blog out

Hi again everybody!

I wanted to bring some attention to a favorite blog of mine, Bonfire of the Vanities. I just got the opportunity recently to meet Fr. Fox and was very intrigued by our conversations. Pay his blog a visit. He puts his Sunday homilies on regularly and they are a good treasure trove of insight.


Also, my retreat went well and I will be posting about it soon. Thank you for all of your prayers.

13 comments:

Alexander said...

Hey Zack, have you checked this one out yet:

http://unamsanctamcatholicam.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

i'm new to reading this blog, but i wanted to ask about a reference you made to the blog, "what does the prayer really say." i presume that, before proclaiming the author's credibility, you made yourself familiar with his comments on bishop conlon (cf. july 29th post on summorum pontificum) regarding the celebration of the extraordinary form of mass in the diocese of steubenville. i'm no logician, but it seems like the rhetoric behind father's post is quite "ad hominem." being from columbus, and the josephinum (i presume?), do you have any remarks about the integrity of the chair of your board of trustees?

also, i was going to ask about the intent of your blog. it seems to me like you are taking a rather negative approach to something that the Holy Father overtly intended to be non-divisive. i undertand a love for the latin mass, but perhaps your enthusiasm could be taken by some as a distain for the development of the liturgy (and social stances?) of the church in vatican ii. i am also a fan of being traditional, but i think that being of the traditional catholic mindset and being a traditionalist are two very different things. so as not to simply bash your blog (which i don't want to do), i thought i'd just ask what your response to this would be. i appreciate your thoughts. thanks.

Alexander said...

distain for the development of the liturgy (and social stances?)

Zack can answer for himself but I would like to comment about myself and the majority of the traditionalist blogs regarding the New Mass. The New Mass and the surrounding liturgical “developments” of the 1960s are all breaks from the Traditional organic development of the Liturgy.

The New Mass is a fabrication; it did not develop like the Classical Roman Rite and many Eastern rites.

This plus the fact that the prayers have been watered down (diminishing Catholic doctrine and/or making some prayer easier to interpret into error), prayers have been removed, symbolism taken out, and of course the many optional forms that have been inserted that all help to diminish Catholic doctrine (such as the priest facing for example) all contribute to many traditionalist’s concerns over the so-called liturgical development.

Even some of the men behind it have suspect intentions like Archbishop Bugnini who said that “we must strip from our Catholic prayers and from the Catholic liturgy everything which can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren, that is, for the Protestants."

What is a stumbling block? Transubstantiation? The Real Sacrifice? This man was the head of the commission that constructed the New Mass. Further still there were six protestant observers at these commissions. They were consulted and their input was taken into consideration.

Now let’s take my very brief examples here (and mind you there is a huge amount of information that I could have further mentioned).

1. A liturgy constructed by a commission that basically takes parts of several other different liturgies, the roman rite and stuff they made up themselves and throw it altogether.
2. One of the chief men behind the liturgical revolutions since the beginning, Bugnini, wanted to strip Catholic prayers of things that would be hindrance to protestants (we know what protestants don’t like: the Mass as a real sacrifice, Transubstantiation, most don’t like the invocation of the Saints).
3. Protestants were consulted in its fabrication.

These three points alone should tell anyone that the New Mass has suspect origins. That is it definitely not an organic development.

Although Bugnini did not get away with totally axing out everything Catholic in the Mass he did help to water it down to the point were protestants can interpret it several ways. Just look at the positive reaction:

http://verbum1.blogspot.com/2006/11/protestant-reaction-to-new-mass.html

Our distain is towards these very things and many more. We have a logical and theological backing to defend what we are saying. The New Mass done traditionally is very nice but it is inferior to the Classical Roman Mass. The New Mass has too many options and too much watering down to even be considered equal or in fact a real reform at all.

andrew said...

(formerly "anonymous"... but i realized i could put my name, so i did this time; anonymity is sort of pointless...)

i look forward to hearing zack's comments, but in the mean time, feel compelled to offer my response to your comment, alexander.

first, i totally agree that implementation of the novus ordo has been faulty. anyone who denies that has not studied liturgy. second, i agree that the formulation of the novus ordo was not as seamless as some might have liked. nevertheless, we can't go around saying that sacrosanctum concilium is an inorganic statement on the liturgy. although its being carried out is not always prudent, the document itself is nothing less than an authentic, magisterial interpretation and teaching on the liturgy. certainly, the holy father we have now would not act contrary to the true sensus fidei (if i can even use that term with regard to liturgical action) of the mass, yet he celebrates the novus ordo with great regularity. my hope for the liturgy lies not in the speculations of the uninformed, but rather the tradition of the apostolically sanctioned. denouncing the validity of any non-tridentine liturgical form is not catholic. i would be curious to find out how much reading has been done of the pre-conciliar writings on liturgy by some of the council fathers, themselves. the only way to understand tradition is to partake in it, nitty-gritty academic drudgery and all.

"spirit of the liturgy" seems to be a popular buzzword amongst liturgical scholars such as those who frequent traditionalist blogs. have you read it? i hope so, because it is a magnificent book. to understand ratzinger's thought, though, it's necessary to read his entire corpus, which i surmise has been left mostly untouched. again, the totality of tradition demands that we participate and seek to understand the tradition entirely. simply citing non-contextual points (which i'm not saying you did, but seems to be a frequent dilemma) is doing nothing better than what evangelicals do when "predicting" the date of armageddon...

i don't claim to be a genius, but i have studied the liturgy quite a bit, and am well aware of the fact that much needs to be done in order to bring about a "reform of the reform" which will be authentically catholic and holy. in the mean time, though, we have to take a positive attitude toward the state of our liturgy, and find the beauty that is in fact there. if praying becomes impossible because of novus vs. pre-conciliar ordo, perhaps the true problem lies in the heart of the individual. we need to continue praying for one another.

Alexander said...

first, i totally agree that implementation of the novus ordo has been faulty. anyone who denies that has not studied liturgy. second, i agree that the formulation of the novus ordo was not as seamless as some might have liked. nevertheless, we can't go around saying that sacrosanctum concilium is an inorganic statement on the liturgy. although its being carried out is not always prudent, the document itself is nothing less than an authentic, magisterial interpretation and teaching on the liturgy

SC, like most Vatican II documents, contains ambiguity in certain parts. Arguably it can be a proper organic development but because of the ambiguity it has been manipulated and the “time bombs,” as Davies puts, it have been let off. Bugnini was the primary constructer of SC I believe.




certainly, the holy father we have now would not act contrary to the true sensus fidei (if i can even use that term with regard to liturgical action) of the mass, yet he celebrates the novus ordo with great regularity. my hope for the liturgy lies not in the speculations of the uninformed, but rather the tradition of the apostolically sanctioned.

The New Mass is a break of organic development of the Mass; it is a break from the Mass handed down to us by the Apostles because it was made up by a commission. Its very nature is a break from apostolic tradition.


denouncing the validity of any non-tridentine liturgical form is not catholic.


No one here is denouncing the validity of anything,


i would be curious to find out how much reading has been done of the pre-conciliar writings on liturgy by some of the council fathers, themselves. the only way to understand tradition is to partake in it, nitty-gritty academic drudgery and all.

There is some information pertaining to the council fathers and the drawing up and the passing of SC and the subsequent liturgical revolution that followed.

The books are by Davies: Liturgical Time Bombs of Vatican II and his Liturgical Revolution series which is sadly out of print but you can still get copies of them (Cranmer’s Godly Order, Liturgical Revolution: Pope Paul’s New Mass, Pope John’s Council).

Liturgical Time Bombs, for example, shows how SC was passed even with its ambiguity and that how most Bishops who passed never imaged a fabricated liturgy but an organic development of the current rite.




"spirit of the liturgy" seems to be a popular buzzword amongst liturgical scholars such as those who frequent traditionalist blogs. have you read it? i hope so, because it is a magnificent book. to understand ratzinger's thought, though, it's necessary to read his entire corpus, which i surmise has been left mostly untouched. again, the totality of tradition demands that we participate and seek to understand the tradition entirely. simply citing non-contextual points (which i'm not saying you did, but seems to be a frequent dilemma) is doing nothing better than what evangelicals do when "predicting" the date of armageddon...

I have not read the book. I invite you to read the ones I recommended though, particularly Liturgical Revolution: Pope Paul’s New Mass.


I don't claim to be a genius, but i have studied the liturgy quite a bit, and am well aware of the fact that much needs to be done in order to bring about a "reform of the reform" which will be authentically catholic and holy.

I am all for a reform of the New Mass. Many traditionalists will say this is a great idea to do. However, I and others maintain that the New Mass must be done away with because of the reasons I stated above. It is not an organic development of the liturgy. It is a fabricated Mass that has watered down prayers, gotten rid of others, removed symbolism and inserted many banal forms and options. All of these help to strike at the doctrines of Transubstantiation and the Real Sacrifice of the Mass.



in the mean time, though, we have to take a positive attitude toward the state of our liturgy, and find the beauty that is in fact there. if praying becomes impossible because of novus vs. pre-conciliar ordo, perhaps the true problem lies in the heart of the individual. we need to continue praying for one another.

I take a positive attitude that one say it will die and the Mass that has been properedly developed and handed down for centuries upon centuries will finally be the norm once again.

I cannot stand the New Mass because it removes and waters down many beautiful prayers that express the Real Presence, the Mass as a real sacrifice, invocation of Saints, etc. The new mass either makes these instances non-existence, ambiguous, or too little.

All of ridiculous forms like communion in the hand, EMHC, priest facing the people, communion standing, etc. can be removed from the New Mass but the fact is the deformation of the prayers and symbolism remains.

The New Mass is inferior to the old because it cannot achieve in its external actions and prayers the meaning of Mass as a true sacrifice for the present, Transubstantiation, and the ministerial priesthood as the Traditional Latin Mass does and many other properly developed rites within the Church.

The way we believe should be reflected in the way we worship and the Classical Roman rite achieves this far more perfectly than the New Mass which was designed around the mantra of “simplification” and watered down for the sake of ecumenism.

a bystander said...

Pardon the interruption in dialogue, but…

hoc conloquium legebam et de rebus paucis miratus sum. Primum est proparte lingua latina: possuntne illi qui has querimonias scribunt latinam intellegere? Si non causa est, altercatio sui non fortissima est. Si possunt latina scire, fruar audire.

Secundum est hoc: si “Missale Romanum a Paulo VI promulgatum ordinaria expressio ‘Legis orandi’ Ecclesiae catholicae ritus latini est” (SP Art. 1) et disciplinam hanc edicta est ex Sancto Ufficio, ubi spatium est dignitatem suam infitiari?

Latina res multum immobilis est, sic manebo ob responsum antequam rogabo aliud quaesitum…

another Andrew said...

I hope bystander decides to translate that. My Latin is pretty deficient.

Zach said...

Alex, I understand your position, however, I disagree with some things you have said. I only ask that if you're going to go in depth with your arguement that you please do so on your blog. Some of the comments you made, whether agreeing with them or not, could get me in trouble. Thanks.

Andrew (the first one) I will address some of your statments later as I think you're over simplifying things and making assertions that nobody here has made.

a bystander said...

i'm curious why no one here has answered my questions yet... certainly you can read latin if you desire it so much in the mass?

andrew said...

zach,

thanks for the response. i think you are right in trying to defend your position against some of the uninformed meanderings of alexander. i think his heart is in the right place, but he certainly needs to research more before he makes bold claims. if i could ask, what is his blog (that you mentioned) -- i'd be interested in reading it. i hope to hear your comments about my comments, specifically the "over simplification" that you mentioned.

also, i was going to say that i think "bystander's" posts have been a little presumptuous. however, he does seem to make a good point. could either you or alex please respond to his questions in the first comment? i also presume that you can both read his posts if you are avid latin scholars. but if not, it's ok to say so... i have my own responses for him, but it's not my blog :-P

perhaps, zach, you could let me know your level of liturgical scholarship in your response, too -- i think it would be good to know who i'm talking with, and what school of study he comes from. have you been able to read much by the holy father on the matter? or any of the pre-conciliar/council fathers?

thanks for your thoughts!

Alexander said...

Alex, I understand your position, however, I disagree with some things you have said. I only ask that if you're going to go in depth with your arguement that you please do so on your blog. Some of the comments you made, whether agreeing with them or not, could get me in trouble. Thanks.

Sure. But I don't see how explicitly indicting that I was commenting about myself would get you in trouble.

Alexander said...

thanks for the response. i think you are right in trying to defend your position against some of the uninformed meanderings of alexander. i think his heart is in the right place, but he certainly needs to research more before he makes bold claims. if i could ask, what is his blog (that you mentioned) -- i'd be interested in reading it. i hope to hear your comments about my comments, specifically the "over simplification" that you mentioned.

If you would like a real debate then I'm all for it. Since you rebut nothing I have stated it appears that you cannot answer me and therefore have failed.

Click on my name and you'll see my blog linked in my profile. Come there if you want to debate.

Zach said...

A Bystander said:

"i'm curious why no one here has answered my questions yet... certainly you can read latin if you desire it so much in the mass? "


Well, I do have to say that my latin is not fluent. I also have to say that I'm not fluent in Spanish, French, German, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, or a number of other languages that the Mass is said in now. Wouldn't it be great if there were one universal language of the Church that I could learn and not have to worry about the infinate number of other languages in the world?

Aside from sarcasm, I will say this: bystander, you're buying into a mode of thought that is innacurate. I've said it a thousand times before and I'll say it a thousand times again. The Extraordinary Form is not about the latin language. The biggest problem with the new Mass is not that it's in the venacular. The problem is that it's different in it's form. The language of the liturgy is, at its core, an asthetical device. True, the latin language does have some advantages aside from asthetics, but in the long run that's all the language is. The eastern rites change languages all of the time, however, their liturgy doesn't change. Their prayers and forms remain the same. The same could be done to the Extraodinary form (although I wouldn't advise it at this time due to the many number of translation problems we have with the current Mass) and it wouldn't change a thing.

I should also mention that I've only been studying Latin for a year and can read more of your questions than I could a year ago. If language is the only problem for people, here's an idea. How about we get off our butts and learn the language?