Quantity or Quality?

One excellent illustration of the profound differences between the Ordinary and Extraordinary forms of Mass can be seen in how each incorporates the greatest text or word of all: the divinely inspired Scriptures.

At the GospelIn the Traditional liturgy, Sacred Scripture is omnipresent in memorable lines, short enough to be remembered, pondered, and woven into one’s prayer life: the Introit, the Gradual and Alleluia, the Offertory, the Communion … the Word of God is prayed and prayed deeply in the Mass of All Times, as befits a rite bequeathed to us by a monastic culture of lectio divina.  In the best of circumstances the Word of God is sung, with tones exquisitely matching the poetry of the Latin language.

In this valley of tears (which we moderns, looking for more stress, have turned into a valley of speedy highways and instant emails), what are the texts we would take the trouble to slow down for and sing? As St. Augustine said: “Only the lover can sing”. We sing words we are in love with, or rather, words that remind us of the one we are in love with. Whenever the Epistle or the Gospel is chanted in the Extraordinary Mass , it makes my heart race – it is a love song, a song of the human heart caught up in romance with the Eternal Word.

First readingIn the new liturgy, by contrast, the Bible is nearly always merely read out, usually by people who could not declaim a text if their lives depended on it. There is no love affair – it is a sedate meeting where a certain amount of business has to be gone through, and I reckon not one in ten people could tell you, after Mass, what any of the readings were about.

Marcos readingContrary to official propaganda, the Ordinary Form also offers the faithful less Scripture, qualitatively speaking, as the almost universal abandonment of the ‘Propers’ of the Mass and their replacement by hymns demonstrates.

The Epistle and Gospel of the Extraordinary Mass are always shorter, pithier, more directly relevant to the feast itself, and in this way, more pedagogically effective. This Mass lends itself to scriptural preaching and meditation, whereas ironically the new one does not, in spite of the supposedly greater ‘banquet’ of Scripture offered to the faithful. The old liturgy is literally saturated with Scripture, not only in the proper Antiphons and Prayers but in the unchanging prayers as well, and for this reason it is much more potent in the scriptural formation of the worshiping soul. But note that it is successful just by being what it is, a liturgy thick and rich and full of religion; it does not seek, rationalistically, to be a sort of Bible study.

Second readingFor example, even though the Gospel of the Mass is reached in five to ten minutes in both the Extraordinary form (when recited) and the Ordinary one, with the former one feels as though one has been prepared for it: one’s soul has been tilled by Psalm 42, by the Confiteor, by the exchange Ostende nobis, by the ascent of the altar with its two beautiful prayers, and by the multi-faceted Collect that says so much in so few words. In the ordinary form, however, this portion is rapid and disjointed: sign of the Cross, Susan readinggreeting, Kyrie (often without a Confiteor, which has, in any case, been severely crippled), and lightweight Collect. There is little sense of a natural motion, an organic whole – it’s more like going through an agenda … then, wham, the reading – always done by a layman, usually a woman, who is dressed so as to be obviously non-ministerial, as if to represent that the readings are not part of the rational worship that has its pinnacle in the offering to God of the Word made flesh through the ministry of the priesthood.

There’s no way out: the Word of God is woven into the fabric of the ancient liturgy, bone of its bone, flesh of its flesh.


42 Responses to “Quantity or Quality?”

  1. 1 Cinzia November 3, 2009 at 09:59

    Introibo ad altare Dei.
    Ad Deum qui vivificat juventutem meam.

    I love these words (not sure of spelling) – Latin is absolutely beautiful and irreplaceable ….

    Did you know those “entrance” words are taken from one of the psalms?

    I will go unto the altar of God.
    To God who gives joy to my youth.

    I haven’t heard this in a long long time 😦

    I am stopping here, otherwise I will start all over again with a long long litany of disappointments and demoralisations about the Novus Ordo MESS.

  2. 2 Marcie November 3, 2009 at 10:00

    I’m so glad you’ve brought up the subject of the difference between the Ordinary and the Extraordinary Masses and I would like to take advantage of your beautiful blog to correct a number of misconceptions which are widespread nowadays:

    1. The Traditional Latin Mass (i.e. the Extraordinary Form) is a product of the 16th century Council of Trent. Not true: it dates back to the beginnings of Christianity.

    2. The Traditional Latin Mass was changed or replaced by Vatican II. Not true: the new mass (Novus Ordo) was crafted after the Council by a liturgical commission and promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1969 as an experiment. Vatican II never abolished the Traditional Mass. The Council stated that the use of Latin should be retained as far as possible and that Gregorian chant should be preserved. It declared that “since the use of the Mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, and other parts of the liturgy, may be permitted in some cases, its employment must be limited.” Although this provided for a limited use of the vernacular, no mention was made of the total abolition of Latin and the substitution of a vernacular mass in its place. The Council had no intention of initiating a liturgical revolution and intended only to introduce a “moderate vernacular alongside the Latin” with no thought of eliminating it.

    3. The priest facing the people was introduced by Vatican II. Not true: it became the unwritten practice in the Novus Ordo mass without any directives from Vatican II or by the Missal of 1969. The orientation towards the East (ad orientem) is ancient and is shared by the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church as well as by the Orthodox Church. Cardinal Ratzinger said in The Spirit of the Liturgy that the priest in facing the congregation is tempted “to be an actor.” The mass is not a performance so there is no place for applause (!) The Mass is a sacrifice and must transcend the personality of the priest.

    4. Mass in the vernacular was introduced by Vatican II. Not true: the official language of the Novus Ordo is Latin.

    5. The practice of receiving Communion in-the-hand was called for by Vatican II. Not true: this sprang up as an abuse and was subsequently accepted by many liberal priests and bishops.

    6. The Motus Proprio of Pope Benedict making the Traditional Mass more available is intended as a favor to an élite group of nostalgic old faithful and pedantic young traditionalists enchanted by a dead language. Not true: rather it may be viewed as a “reform of the reform,” a first step towards healing the crisis of the church.

    Certainly, the vast majority of the several thousand bishops at the Council neither wished for, nor mandated, a radical reform of the liturgy. It was never the intention to abandon the use of Latin, Gregorian chant, or requiring the celebrant to face the people. Nothing had been said about standing to receive Communion in the hand (a sacrilege), or the use of altar girls and pious old women. No mention had been made about the use of multiple Canons – in the Roman rite there had always been one Eucharistic prayer. The many changes in the liturgy were for the most part made after Vatican II. Unfortunately, interpretation of the Council’s intent was motivated by what became known as the “Spirit of Vatican II”. Thank God quite a few faithful (the well instructed in their religion) were dumbstruck by this and were well aware of what was happening and how Catholics were being defrauded .. hence the beginning of small “traditional” groups around the world.

  3. 6 Bill Turner November 3, 2009 at 10:14

    True Marcie those are general misconceptions today.

    Cinzia I love the Novus Ordo MESS 😀 It IS a mess; I travel frequently and NEVER have I found two of these messes the same 😀

  4. 7 Cinzia November 3, 2009 at 10:19

    Marcie – that was great !! Thank you. Hopefully the “small traditional groups around the world” are getting larger and larger and the Church can soon see the much needed reform of the reform.

    Just think of all those pious old ladies without a “job” any more! 🙂

  5. 8 Joe of St. Therese November 3, 2009 at 10:32

    I agree totally with this post.

  6. 9 Kieran November 3, 2009 at 10:33

    May I add, for all those of you who are interested in the differences between the two Masses, I suggest you read all the writings of Cardinal Ottaviani.
    His research is well known, but he is far from alone in perceiving the Protestant influences on the Novus Ordo. An article in ’30 days’ contained a statistical analysis of the usage of vocabulary of sin, grace, merit, war against evil, etc. in the collects of the Novus Ordo versus those of the ancient rite. The conclusion of the research is that a huge portion of the doctrinal framework has been simply removed, supprressed – and we are talking about the Latin editio typica.
    What does this say about the ‘liturgical commission’ and its designs?

  7. 10 Asmarina November 3, 2009 at 11:25

    Well I must admit that having attended a ‘Novus Ordo’ Mass for most of my life ….. I understand the words and meanings and it means something to me. The Mass is beautiful full of praise and adoration and participation. Maybe in other parts of the world it is different and may give scandal to some but I have not experienced any lack of adoration etc…..unless it is with an individual……….certainly not the Mass !
    I am grateful to be part of a Parish that is served by the Fathers and Brothers of the Port Elizabeth congregation of the Oratory of St Philip Neri in South Africa.
    And I truly believe that the Holy Spirit is present in our Churches today.
    Please read James 4 vs 11-12

  8. 11 anne bender November 3, 2009 at 12:49

    Very interesting. “The valley of tears turned into the valley of speedy highways and instant emails.” Very clever!

    I also love “only the lover can sing.”

    I have only been to the Latin Mass once in my life, and it was beautiful.

    You’ve given me much to think about.

  9. 12 Chris November 3, 2009 at 13:38

    The mass is the most important thing we have on this earth. Christ’s redemptive sacrifice becomes present before our very eyes through the power of the Priest’s ordination that has come down in unbroken succession from the apostles.

    That should always be our first thought no matter which form of the Roman Rite that we attend and Gabriella has always made that clear.

    I’m only 25 and have attended the N.O. my whole life. I have been to one Solemn High Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and have been attending a low mass on Tuesday mornings that began at my church 2 months ago.

    I love the Tridentine Mass and can’t wait until our church is in position to celebrate the sung high mass.

    Like Anne, I confirm that Gabriella gives me much to think about and I am grateful for this for in the things of the Lord we musn’t have blinders.

    I’m happy for Asmarina that she has access to a ‘serious’ N.O. but I’m most upset that she slashes out James 4:11 judging Gabriella and all those who leave comments here who are always so polite and so clean in exposing their thoughts.

    My dear Asmarina, your N.O. can be considered ‘beautiful’ ONLY if in obedience to the Pope’s will (see Marcie’s comment above).

    As to why I prefer the Mass of All our Saints, I guess I’d say that when you go to the Tridentine mass, there is ZERO doubt as to why you are there, and who you are there for. Oftentimes at the N.O. it seems like people try their best to say “How great We are” instead of “How Great Thou Art”.

  10. 13 Karin November 3, 2009 at 14:26

    Thank you for this post. I have been doing some research in my own area as to where to find a TLM. I only know the Novos Ordo and I agree wholeheartedly with what you said about the lack of Scripture as well as the way what little there is is read. I try to read the readings myself before Mass in order to put a little more thought and meditation into them.
    Thanks again for this post and to to your commenters for all their insight as well.

  11. 14 Roxana November 3, 2009 at 15:05

    Well written reflection on the readings at Mass.
    Thank you, Gabriella.

    My conversion story is very similar to that of Kimberly – if you have time, please read it:


  12. 15 Torkel November 3, 2009 at 17:17

    We should be in awe at Mass, not comfy as if we were home on the couch. Our children should be challenged to learn the mysteries of their faith, not treat Holy Mass as a snack-driven Sunday matinee. We should attend well the movements of the priest, the prayers said, as would happen if one used their missal. There is no need to dumb down the faithful, implying that a foriegn language makes Latin mass insurmountable. The fact that Latin Mass is different, set apart from what we experience in our everyday lives is exactly what lends to its vitality in the spiritual realm.

    The Spirit moves outside our 5 senses, using them, yes, but He is not driven by them.
    We should think outside ourselves, outside our norms, but rarely do.

    That, sadly, is the twist that has turned what once was God directed, as it should be, to what is man centered. Modern thinking has taken the faithful and convinced them that mass is for them, that they own it. True, the Sacrifice is given for them, and yet the sacrifice is not given to them. Holy mass is not a thanksgiving meal. It is NOT a Catechism lesson. Nor is it entertainment. It is a sacrifice to God to atone for our sins. Our Lord God’s reception of our offering, His pleasure, is manifeted by our sharing His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in Holy Communion.

    Still, some complain that this most holy union with God Almighty is not enough. They need to ‘get’ more, they need to talk, they need to do more!

    All one need do to benefit from Latin Mass is attend with the fervent desire to be united to Christ as He offers Himself to the Eternal Father. This is a supernatural task… not a talkshow, not an opportunity to make everyone feel good by giving them the chance to get up and talk while the priest, whose ordination has bound him to Sacrifice, sits down. How sad for priests. Easier, yes, but easy is not going to get the job of saving souls accomplished.

    Some will scoff, I know. We need to make things easy. Understandable. Accessable.

    Thing is, you make things too easy and accessable and what was once a thick steak, dripping with juice and flavor and nutrition eventually becomes a watery vitamin shake, that neither tastes good nor satisfies because nobody wants to drink it anymore. We have teeth, people, we have eyes to see and stomachs to growl. Let’s go for the steak. It may be difficult at first, having been on a liquid diet for 40 years, but it’s reallllly good. And good for all of us and all our souls!

    • 16 Maria November 5, 2009 at 01:11

      Amen, Gabriella! I went to my first Tridentine mass this weekend. I’m going again Sunday – that’s the perfect way to explain it – quality over quantity it is.

      Maybe it’s because I love steak 🙂

  13. 18 Victor S E Moubarak November 3, 2009 at 21:32

    Whether it’s a sung Mass in Latin with incense burning and Holy Water sprayed on the congregation, or a quick hey presto and it’s over Mass; the important thing is that the people take part in the Mass and understand its true meaning.

    I feel this message has been lost over the years – hence attending Mass is something you do to get your Visa and Passport in order to enter Heaven.

  14. 19 Cara November 3, 2009 at 22:30

    Victor, that’s exactly the problem: with the NO the message has been lost and attending Mass today is clearly a hey presto let’s get it over and done with thing for those few who still go to Mass on Sundays. If it’s not Oh I’m going to Mass to meet all my friends and have a little chat. Or worse, I’m going to Mass because I’m reading and everyone will see how good I am!

    Kaede, that’s a very significant video. Thanks.

  15. 20 Josie November 3, 2009 at 22:48

    I have recently been to my first experience at a Tridentine Mass. Having only known the Novus Ordo (I converted to RC in 1988), I wondered about the old mass and heard so many who said they missed it, how beautiful it was, etc. Let me just say it was such a powerful experience. I developed the belief over the years that the Tridentine Mass was a perfect backdrop for inner meditation. (This idea came from an old prayer book.) We are actually supposed to be deeply meditating during the chanting and the prayers and the inaudible parts. The Tridentine Mass caused me to become very meditative. I was very inwardly busy instead of outwardly busy, as one is at the Novus Ordo. But the Latin Mass was more meaningful because I was in meditation. At the new mass there are so many distractions. Also the beautiful language (the English translation in the missal) was so inspiring. Why would anyone want to remove such beautiful wordings from the liturgy???? I also believe that the Church should absolutely keep the Latin language as a unifying force, and that all Catholics be taught some Latin.

  16. 21 Cinzia November 4, 2009 at 01:16

    Well said Torkel – and Chris, Kieran, Marcie, Gabriella, Josie, Cara, you are all right.

    I am a “novice” myself, back to the beautiful Mass of All Times of my earliest childhood after having participated for years in the Novus Ordo. Better late than never is what I say!

    Thanks to Gabriella and all the comments on this blog in this regard, my eyes have been OPENED AT LAST!

    I fully understand what you are all talking about and I believe 100% that you are right. The Novus Ordo masses really leave a lot to be desired and are usually such a disappointment. The mere fact that the translations have chopped off most of the Confiteor, the Credo, the Gloria,etc is appalling, and what about the propers of each day? Without even mentioning the abomination of receiving communion from lay people and lay people all over the altar … which I find sacrilegious.

    Asmarina, perhaps you have been going for a very long time to the same NO mass at the same parish … and therefore have no idea what heresies actually DO go on all over the world. If you look at UTube, it will give you several examples of pantomimes and fancy-dress parties, priests dressed up as clowns, others with cheese on their heads, people dancing around the altar, and all sorts of abominable acts … that people present think is the sacrifce of the mass!!!

    I too thought for a long time that the NO masses were okay and were the way the Church wanted them to be. But now I have finally become educated and have learnt a lot. I have been to several Latin Masses now, and every time I feel uplifted and spiritually GOOD about such an awesome and beautiful liturgy. There really is a huge difference. Now I can’t help asking myself: “How come so many millions of people STILL have their eyes and hearts closed and don’t understand how badly the Mass of all Times has been slashed and damaged to the point of sacrilegious by the introduction of the vernacular and all the appalling consequences?”

    I will never be able to thank Gabriella enough, and all the commenters as well, who are so well instructed on this subject and KNOW what they are talking about. I have to travel miles to get to the one and only Tridentine Mass in Melbourne which is so far from where I live …. but it is WORTH every single mile!!!

    WHY would anyone want to destroy the most beautiful form of prayer and liturgy of the Eucharist that is the Tridentine Mass is beyond me …. and when it’s the clergy themselves of the Catholic Church that are so against it, is absolutely mind-boggling and incomprehensible.

    As is written on the front page of this blog: The Mass of All Times, the most beautiful thing this side of heaven!”


  17. 22 Asmarina November 4, 2009 at 07:55

    Cinzia let me explain something of why I go to the Mass offered Novus Order (whatever) ; I once attended Latin Mass (Lefebre) which my brother took me to here in PE, at the time it was in a hall for lack of a church as those Masses were prohibited. I felt my conscience prick so I went to confession as that particular priest told me that the Pius X group of followers and their Bishop Lefebre were excommunicated from the Church and that I must not attend those Masses or I would be excommunicated. Well I got such a fright that I stopped going to the Latin Mass and have been going ever since to my Parish. Now all this has caused so much confusion that to be safe I stay where the Pope has sanctioned and in the Magisterium of the Church. As soon as we are told different and that the Pope stops the N.O. Masses then I will feel free to attend the Old Rite which I have on occasion attended in Rome.
    And Chris I am not judging Gabriella or anyone…I love her blog.
    I mentioned James 4 because it seems everyone else is being judgemental and critical of the NO Mass……..please lets not do that as no=one knows the reason behind people’s attendance at those Masses……and I’m glad people still DO attend….it shows their need of Christ. The circus and pantomine Masses that Cinzia describes I have not come across or seen myself…..yes I would agree that it would be sacrilege to make a circus of the Sacrifice of the Mass. What a horror…that I never knew !!!

  18. 23 Josie November 4, 2009 at 09:15

    My dear Asmarina, what you say is proof that there are many Novus Ordo Catholics who live with blinders on.
    I’m sure you will agree that there is much confusion in the modern world and that the minimum we can do, as good Catholics, is inform ourselves from serious sources (like the Vatican website) and do some research – this is the minimum we owe His Church.
    We cannot nowadays believe in modern priests who tell us all sorts of strange things. Unfortunately, we cannot. We need to know our doctrine and our religion.
    The Pius X group of followers are not excommunicated and never were.
    The excommunications on the Pius X Bishops have been cancelled by Rome.
    The Pius X Masses have always been and are VALID.
    To the anger of many modern priests and bishops, an important theological meeting is in course between the Pope and the Pius X leaders in order to set straight the incongruencies of VatII – so let’s all pray for this, for a good solution to the talks and for the good of the whole church.
    The fraternity of Pius X are holy priests, they’ve never changed an iota of our faith, tradition, doctrine – so, is it Christian to point our finger at them, judge them, avoid them and at the same time embrace the protestants, the buddists, etc.?
    Regarding James 4: I have re-read the post and the comments and I’m sorry to say that no one is being judgemental, at most they are expressing a preference. Do note, however, that you are the one being judgemental and unchristian towards a group of faithful who are more ‘catholic’ than the novus ordo mass-goers who are ignorant about the facts of His Church and think that Oh, if the priest says so, it must be right!
    If a priest says that communion in the hand is Ok then it’s Ok for me!!! Yeah, what about what the Pope says??? What do Church documents say about Gregorian Chant? And the same goes with everything else.
    The Catholic Church has never taught us to follow blindly but faith must go hand in hand with reason. Thank God St. Francis and St. Catherine of Siena did not follow what the consecrated were doing and teaching in their day! They talked about what was wrong and said it out loud to all and wrote to the vatican – were they judgmental? Had they read James 4???

  19. 24 Cinzia November 4, 2009 at 09:21

    Asmarina – thanks for the clarification – but you are talking about a time that is past and is no longer the case. Gabriella can certainly clarify this point in detail if you wish (about Bishop Lefevre).

    If you go back on this blog to previous posts and comments about the Tridentine Mass, you will see that it is fully explained that Pope Benedict DOES want the Latin Rite returned. You should read his Motu Proprio of 2007 – that will explain fully what the Pope desires. Even the video link right here on this page further up, kindly provided by Kaede Sachi will explain something.

    What the Pope is sanctioning is a return to tradition and the abolishment of lay people taking communion in the hand, for one, as only priests have their hands purposely blessed to touch the Real Presence of Christ.

    Asmarina – READ the documents and all the material available to you – this blog itself will answer all your questions and confusions.

    As for James IV (11 and 12), James tells people not to judge others. What has that got to do with what commenters are saying here? We are merely talking about two different forms of Mass – and most of us are agreeing that the Mass of All Times is by far the most sublime, holy, solemn and dignified, and the NO mass comes nowhere close. The reasons are clearly pointed out by everyone. They are all very valid reasons too.

    For over 2000 the Latin Rite was perfected to the point of …well, perfection! And there is a “common ground” for people all over the world that wherever they go to Mass they will find exactly the SAME, no matter where and in what country or what language they speak. This alone unites Catholics universally. The post-vatican II masses in the vernacular, however, as has been explained over and over, is a messy disappointment with all sorts of heresies and abominations going on. The Pope himself knows that and wants a change back to tradition. All this has nothing to do with “judging others.”

    As Catholics, we have a right and a duty to speak up whenever we feel there is something not right !! Don’t you think?

    Please refrain from quoting passages from the scriptures that are completely out of context, particularly to a group of people who KNOW what they are saying and probably know the scriptures far better than most Catholics, myself included.

  20. 25 Josie November 4, 2009 at 09:23


    Friends, this is indeed excellent news for all the Chuch – let’s pray that all the confusion will be sorted out – and that we may be one!
    The Pope says it’ll take about a year to solve all the problems.
    Pray – pray – pray!

    God bless you all.

  21. 26 Shania November 4, 2009 at 11:12

    The practice of receiving communion in the hand is an abuse and we faithful have the duty to correct our pastors.

    There is no Vatican or Council document at all on this practice ONLY one small apostolic letter on the existence of a special valid permission which had at that time been granted.



  22. 27 African Observer November 4, 2009 at 11:49

    @ Asmarina

    It is a pity your brother’s attempts to get you ‘hooked’ on the Old Rite failed so dismally! Note that your confessional priest uttered complete falsities about the Society of St Pius X, neatly answered by Josie. I’m quite sure that your priest, had you been instead to a Lutheran service or a Presbyterian gathering, would have found nothing wrong at all!
    In ‘The Case for the Latin Mass’ by D Von Hildebrand he makes several interesting observations and raises the following questions:
    “Does the new mass, more than the old, bestir the human spirit -does it evoke a sense of eternity? Does it help raise our hearts from the concerns of everyday life — from the purely natural aspects of the world- to Christ? Does it increase reverence, an appreciation of the sacred?

    Do we better meet Christ by soaring up to Him, or by dragging Him down into our workaday world?

    There is an intimate link between reverence and sacredness: reverence permits us to experience the sacred, to rise above the profane; irreverence blinds us to the entire world of the sacred. Reverence, including awe-indeed, fear and trembling-is the specific response to the sacred.

    The ‘sursum corda’ -the lifting up of our hearts-is the first requirement for real participation in the mass. Nothing could better obstruct the confrontation of man with God than the notion that we “go unto the altar of God” as we would go to a pleasant, relaxing social gathering.

    This is why the Latin mass with Gregorian chant, which raises us up to a sacred atmosphere, is vastly superior to a vernacular mass with popular songs, which leaves us in a profane, merely natural atmosphere.”

    The Novus Ordo is of course licit but not always valid. There is nothing that highlights more the Universality of the Catholic Faith than the Tridentine Rite. There is nothing more unambiguous than the Old Mass – and in these days of utter confusion and collapse we need to hold on dearly to that, which St Paul tells us,”is good”.

    Thanks to all for marvellous contributions!

  23. 28 Ron November 4, 2009 at 15:37

    I think that the Latin Language along with the Latin chant certainly brings with it a state of reverence that is easily lost with the use of the vernacular. I believe that the loss of this traditional language in the liturgy today is even more detrimental because of the secular nature of our culture as a whole.

    Here are three more quotes to add to the one by Von Hildebrand mentioned by African Observer:

    “…the Latin language has a certain stability which daily spoken languages, where words change often in shades of meaning, cannot have…Latin has the characteristic of words and expressions retaining their meaning generation after generation. This is an advantage when it comes to the articulation of our Catholic faith and the preparation of Papal and other Church Documents. Even the modern universities appreciate this point and have some of their solemn titles in Latin.”
    (Cardinal Arinze Saturday, 11 November 2006, Liturgical Conference)

    “When you hear talk about so-called ‘traditionalists’, some think that they are a group with a stubborn and nostalgic attachment to the past. That is not true. In fact, with ‘traditionalists’ we find ourselves before a dynamic Christian view of the life of faith and devotion, shared by so many families and their children who are attached to those ancient liturgical and devotional forms which have accompanied the Church through centuries of her history and have formed legions of saints.”
    (Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos interview for Il Giornale, May 31, 2004)

    “The use of the Latin language, customary in a considerable portion of the Church, is a manifest and beautiful sign of unity, as well as an effective antidote for any corruption of doctrinal truth.”
    (Mediator Dei, Pope Pius XII)

  24. 29 Cinzia November 5, 2009 at 00:36

    There is so much PROOF all around that what all you commenters are saying is absolutely RIGHT.

    I have just returned from an early morning Novus Ordo Mass – feeling dejected in the extreme! God please forgive me.

    The priest was late, then he arrived and hurriedly put on his vestments (how fast could he have said the relevant prayers while putting on the various garments?) – He walked in with big black dirty gardeners boots. He said two words after which someone went up to read the epistle – all this took less than three minutes. Then the priest read the Gospel followed straight away without a single pause the prayers of the faithful (all rubbish, eg. let’s pray for peace and justice in our sports fields, let’s pray for our media, television CEOs for better programmes, that kind of crap).

    In less than 30 minutes we were all out of there …. no Confiteor, no Credo, no Gloria, not a word about today’s reading the Good Shepherd (not even a minute dedicated to reflecting on the Gospel) … a rushed repeating of the few prayers left …. I felt so dismally let down.

    I am losing hope altogether. All the parishes around here are exactly the same. One of them, post-modern building par excellence, actually has floor to ceiling glass panels all around, instead of walls, so that you think you are sitting in a restaurant and can contemplate the views outside of cars driving past while the mass is being celebrated. Someone once told us that if we were lucky, we would spot the couple of kangaroos living in the field next door!! 😦

    The church of my own parish is such a pitiful, drab building, built in the cheapest way possible, so “empty” and desolate looking with broken stools, no kneelers (you just kneel on the floor) – worn out and stained carpet throughout, a cheap-looking black cloth made of polyester covering the altar ….

    I know it is not good to criticise and say such things, but I can’t help thinking about them when I am in there. There is absolutely NOTHING that helps to uplift one’s spirits and rise above the profane, feel the reverence, bestir the human spirit and evoke a sense of eternity. Nothing at all!!! 😦

    It seems very very few people in Melbourne are interested in going back to tradition and to the Tridentine Mass. I think I would be the one voice lost in the wilderness if I even mentioned a longing for it in my own parish. I believe the priest would just laugh or think I was mad or something ….

    I am so demoralised 😦 I like going to daily morning mass, but it’s impossible to get to the only Latin Rite – many miles away. So I have to accept this kind of demoralisation every morning.

    Straight after mass, I come home and log onto this blog for some relief and uplifting reading, like I am doing right now.

    Someone help me – this is NOT the way one should feel straight after Mass – a sinful mess full of anger and criticism.

  25. 30 Asmarina November 5, 2009 at 06:49

    Dear Cinzia

    The graces and blessings of attending Mass are not lost….it is what you put into the Mass….your willingness to be at Mass…to hear God’s word etc….God sees and understands.
    I also dont know of any Tridentine Masses held here in PE but I am uplifted by the ones I hear at my Parish N.O.
    Just remember that God is gently guiding and leading His church and His people and He knows everything and He sees everything. So feel loved and just Trust in Him.

  26. 31 Cinzia November 5, 2009 at 07:18

    Thanks Asmarina for the words of encouragement, although there’s not much one can “put” into a mass if it’s hardly a mass in the first place.

    However, I will keep hunting around for more parish churches in the surrounding neighbourhoods until I find “the best of a bad lot” I suppose, for want of a better way of putting it.

    Last Monday I had to go to yet another church because I knew that at my parish there is no morning mass on a Monday .. so I looked on the Archdiocese of Melbourne website and found another church not too far away … off I drove, only to find that the supposed 9.15am mass was now not until 11.00am. This was All Souls day, so I really did not want to miss out on attending mass. The priest was outside mowing the lawns, and he told us (me and the group of people gathered outside the church who had also come to mass) that there was another church about two kms away that had mass at 9.15am. Once again I drove off, this time in a real hurry and all flustered. Found the church, parked the car, raced in just as mass was starting ….

    The Mass was celebrated half in Italian and half in English. The homily was all about our lives being like a ride at sea in a boat – and the boat finally lands and we “disembark” at the end of our journey to join our friends and relatives and all those who have preceded us to heaven. That was it. All very nice, but no mention that there was a distinct possibility of landing in hell or purgatory as well …. just a kind of reassurance that we would all disembark very nicely, no problems!

    Okay folks, that’s all from me for today! I promise I will be a lot more positive and cheerful tomorrow!! 🙂 after I go a-hunting for a Catholic Church with substance.

  27. 32 Wendell November 5, 2009 at 08:50

    Cinzia I understand just how you feel!
    But don’t stop asking your parish priest in writing for a Latin Mass at least once a month. Sooner or later they have to obey the Pope!

    Asmarina, http://unavocesa.blogspot.com/2009/02/sunday-mass-scheduled-for-port.html
    There’s numerous Pope Masses in South Africa, some mentioned on this blog but all you have to do is phone Una Voce S.A.

    The Holy Spirit is certainly guiding His Church – just look at how fast these groups of faithful Catholics are growing! Only yesterday the ‘traditionals’ bought and filled another seminary – praise the Lord. We’ll wait and offer our sufferings to Him for His glory.

  28. 33 African Observer November 5, 2009 at 09:00

    @ Asmarina

    This whole approach of ‘overlooking’ liturgical abuses and asking those who attend N.O. masses, like the one Cinzia describes, to ‘compensate’ for the deficiencies in the liturgy itself is unacceptable in my opinion. You walk away from such abuses- to be present at such circus acts is showing consent and approval. No: glossing over problems and passively accepting the demolition of our Catholic heritage isn’t the way forward! We Catholics need to fight for the right to attend a Liturgy, N.O. or any other rite, which is dignified, valid, where the celebrant observes the strict rubrics. God is not ‘gently guiding and leading’ his Church -but definitely some remnant of it. Vast tracts of the ‘Church’ are actually in the hand of rebel wolves and demons masquerading as ‘bishops’ and ‘priests’. With such an utter collapse of Faith and general apostasy everywhere, how could it be otherwise?

  29. 34 Cinzia November 5, 2009 at 09:06

    Thank you Wendell, I appreciate what you say … and I will write to the priest. See what happens! 🙂

  30. 35 African Observer November 5, 2009 at 09:42

    @ Cinzia

    I have the same problem here- cannot go to the N.O. liturgies as I am not interested in seeing priests dressed up as shamans or latter-day witchdoctors ‘celebrating’ the Eucharist. Most churches here are run by Jesuits (and that says it all) or corrupt Diocesan Clergy who are simply emulating their even more corrupt Bishops. There is a flourishing SSPX church and parish ( the other side of town) but that is not entirely satisfactory either. Perhaps look around for a Greek Orthodox or Russian Orthodox Church. I occasionally attend the service at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral – a MILLION times better than any Novus Ordo alternative.
    The Liturgy, in Ancient Greek, is that of St John Chrisostom, Doctor and Father of the Church. It is solemn and dignified; and has not suffered updates/ simplifications or re-interpretations as far as I know. The Priests don’t dress up as clowns, sun-worshippers, or Aztec High Priests either and the sanctuary area is out of bounds to most- including (thankfully) those ghastly busy-body nuns in civilian attire deployed as ‘Ministers of the Eucharist’!!
    It’s worth looking out for these alternatives – there are also many Catholic Rites which are not the Roman Rite but just as valid and licit!

  31. 36 Wendell November 5, 2009 at 10:10

    Well said, African Observer!
    A Greek Orthodox Mass is far more pleasing to God than a Mass where we become frustrated, cannot pray and cannot concentrate.
    A NO Mass well said is nevertheless a burden with all its continuous standing and sitting and people going up and down to the altar and raising hands and giving hands, etc. – however much one tries to concentrate, it’s an announced failure!
    Like you, I cannot accept that there are Catholics passively accepting this general sad situation and consoling themselves by the thought ‘Oh well, mine’s not so bad, God understands!’
    Weird to say the least.

  32. 37 Cinzia November 5, 2009 at 10:13

    Muchas gratias Observer from Africa!

    We (the family) do avoid suburbia in this neck of the woods and go to the main Cathedral in the city centre on Sundays whenever we can’t get to the Tridentine Mass. At the Cathedral it is a very dignified mass, in English, but with traditional aspects – a great choir, a beautiful sounding REAL pipe-organ played by a professional, and best of all, incense is used and altar boys are all grown-up boys or brothers who know the “ropes” and act and dress with dignity.

    Just now I was re-visiting the “Latin Mass Melbourne” website and PRAISE GOD, three more churches are now offering the Tridentine Mass in different suburbs and at different times of the week. I am in the process of checking out which one will suit our family best… although all the suburbs sound “foreign” to me and are quite far from here …. but I’ll definitely work something out. At least now we have a choice of more than one. 🙂

    It’s great to see (Wendell you still here? Listen to this!) the traditional faithful are indeed growing over here too … ALLELUIA, PRAISE BE TO GOD !!

    Thank you African Observer and thank you all!! 🙂

  33. 38 Asmarina November 5, 2009 at 10:51

    Thank you Wendell for the site……….unfortunately this suburb is very far from where I live…….and it offers the latin Mass on a Friday evening only. I am not sure how to get all this info….glad you did!! I am no computer expert on internet.

    African Observer thank you also…..you seem to have the knowledge of exactly what is happening in Africa etc and know how to address the Bishop etc…..could you maybe write me a letter to that effect to our Bishp Michael Coleman to introduce the Latin/Tridentine Masses here in PE central area (at least) and mention the fact that you know he is being disobedient…want to see the response….maybe I should write it in the catholic newspaper here….please draft me a letter to copy…..Gabriella has my email address.

    I could of course go to the Greek Orthodox Church just down my road but all this will have drastic effect on my family….my daughters and their boyfriends (not catholics) who are at the moment coming to our Parish for Sunday Mass (at least) which is a good thing and hopefully one day will convert…….if I suddenly stop going it could just cause a huge “faith crisis” how can I possibly explain to them that our church is in error !!!!taking into account that our NO Mass is very solemn and dignified and uplifting….no circus. Dilemma

  34. 39 Andrea November 5, 2009 at 11:46

    In tutte le cose è meglio la qualità. Perchè la qualità viene direttamente dal cuore e dai sentimenti. La quantità viene dall’abitudine. Una candela accesa con cuore semplice e orante da parte di un bambino vale più di 1000 rosari detti per abitudine. La preghiera è una delle cose dove si concentra di più questo rapporto tra quantità e qualità. Per capirlo meglio,potremmo assumere come riferimento le opere letterarie. Mi chiedo,vale più il verso di questa poesia “Mattino,mi illumino di immenso”,oppure i libri scritti da dan brown a scopo commerciale? Penso che quella poesia valga senza dubbio infinitamente molto di più.

    La qualità è tanto.
    La quantità è niente.

    Una santa messa partecipata con vera disponibilità di cuore,dunque,ci illumina di Dio.

  35. 40 Orsobruno November 5, 2009 at 12:49

    Un altro aspetto interessante sono i lettori che non sanno leggere. Già la Scrittura richiede una proclamazione chiara, con il giusto ritmo e i giusti toni, “a prova di vecchietta”, e spesso non si dà; ma quando poi il lettore legge una parola per l’altra, anche più di una volta nella stessa lettura: si può cambiare il senso della Scrittura, farle dire addirittura il contrario!!!!
    Chi non sa leggere non deve salire all’ambone! E chi sa leggere così così deve prepararsi leggendo due volte attentamente la propria “parte”.
    Comunque, è sempre meglio avere un messale.
    Un saluto!!!

  36. 41 Mary Nicewarner November 6, 2009 at 03:40

    We have the Latin Mass once a month at our Church. My mom sings in the choir. I have not yet gone to the Latin Mass but I would like to. Michaela is fidgety at Church, I am still trying to get her to pay attention. We even got her a children’s missalette to follow along, but it doesn’t seem to help much. She sings along with the choir though:)

  37. 42 Cinzia November 6, 2009 at 07:33

    Go Mary ….. Go !!!! 🙂

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My Patron Saint

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Another beautiful day! Praise the Lord.

November 2009
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The most beautiful thing this side of heaven!


e-campagna: Io sto con il Papa


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INDIFFERENTISM is a mortal sin; a condemned heresy. That's the Catholic view of the matter. INDIFFERENTISM paves the way to MORAL RELATIVISM. I have been accused of the opposite of ‘Indifferentism’, which is defined as ‘Rigorism’, and the charge is not without some merit. I believe in a rigorous following of Church doctrine and in strict accuracy in proper Catholic catechesis, and I openly attack watered-down Catholic doctrine and catechesis whenever and wherever I encounter it. Many friends scold me saying that for me it’s either my way or the highway. But here’s the thing … it’s not my way; I didn’t make up all (or any of) the rules of Catholicism. I’ve been told “you’re too rigid in your doctrine,” as if it were my doctrine. When it comes to Catholic catechesis, there is only one Church teaching, and it is represented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I’m prepared to defend any item in it, against any opponent. I draw the line at ‘indifferentism’ and ‘moral relativism’. All belief systems are not the same. The ones who push it the most are the ones who seek to replace it with something less. Again, indifferentism paves the way to moral decay. Don’t let it seep into your thinking. May you please God, and may you live forever.

“Oremus pro beatissimo Papa nostro Benedicto XVI: Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.”

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The Catholic Church doesn’t need progressives, Nor does it need Reactionary Conservatives - It badly needs Catholic Traditionalists that practice faith, hope and charity. So don’t be shy! Come forward.

“When Christ at a symbolic moment was establishing His great society, He chose for its corner-stone neither the brilliant Paul nor the mystic John, but a shuffler, a snob, a coward - in a word, a man. And upon this rock He has built His Church, and the gates of Hell have not prevailed and will not prevail against it. All the empires and the kingdoms have failed because of this inherent and continual weakness, that they were founded by strong men and upon strong men. But this one thing - the historic Catholic Church - was founded upon a weak man, and for that reason it is indestructible. For no chain is stronger than its weakest link.”
(G.K. Chesterton)

Anno Sacerdotale

Pope Benedict XVI has declared a “Year for Priests” beginning with the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 19, 2009. The year will conclude in Rome with an international gathering of priests with the Holy Father on June 19, 2010.

Quest'anno sia anche un'occasione per un periodo di intenso approfondimento dell'identità sacerdotale, della teologia del sacerdozio cattolico e del senso straordinario della vocazione e della missione dei sacerdoti nella Chiesa e nella società.

Let your light so shine before men that, seeing your good works, they may glorify your Father in Heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

In Domino laudabitur anima mea.

"That sense of the sacred dogmas is to be faithfully kept which Holy Mother Church has once declared, and is not to be departed from under the specious pretext of a more profound understanding."- Pope Leo XIII, Testem Benevolentiae

Nessuno di noi entrerà in Paradiso senza portare con sé un fratello o una sorella. Ciascuno di noi deve uscire dalla folla e reggersi sulle proprie gambe, fiero di essere un Cattolico e capace di testimoniare la sua Fede.
Ci stiamo comportando come se la Fede Cattolica fosse un affare privato. Questo non è affatto vero. Penso che potremo andare molto, molto lontano, se riusciremo a convincere tutti i Cattolici a farsi carico della salvezza del mondo intero.
Il mondo ha bisogno di essere salvato e deve essere ciascuno di noi a farlo.

Cantate …

Cantate Domino canticum novum. Cantate Domino omnis terra. Cantate Domino et benedicite nomini Ejus. Annuntiate de die in diem salutare Ejus.

Causa nostrae laetitiae

“We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe”.
(John Henry Newman)

Pueris manus imponit

Iesus vero ait eis - Sinite parvulos, et nolite eos prohibere ad me venire - talium est enim regnum caelorum.

“There is another essential aspect of Christianity: the interior, the silent, the contemplative, in which hidden wisdom is more important than practical organizational science, and in which love replaces the will to get visible results”.
(Thomas Merton)

Lo Spirito Santo

Uno dei Suoi nomi è "Consolatore"!


Confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin. All hope consists in confession. In confession there is a chance for mercy. Believe it firmly. Do not doubt, do not hesitate, never despair of the mercy of God. Hope and have confidence in confession.

“Almeno sei volte durante gli ultimi anni mi sono trovato nella situazione di convertirmi senza esitazione al cattolicesimo, se non mi avesse trattenuto dal compiere il gesto azzardato l'averlo già fatto”.
(G.K. Chesterton)

"Whatsoever I have or hold, You have given me; I give it all back to You and surrender it wholly to be governed by your will. Give me only your love and your grace, and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more."

(St. Ignatius of Loyola - Spiritual Exercises, #234)

"Mia madre è stata veramente una martire; non a tutti Gesù concede di percorrere una strada così facile, per arrivare ai suoi grandi doni, come ha concesso a mio fratello e a me, dandoci una madre che si uccise con la fatica e le preoccupazioni per assicurarsi che noi crescessimo nella fede".
J.R.R. Tolkien scrisse queste parole nove anni dopo la morte di sua madre.

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13)

“Beati sarete voi quando vi oltraggeranno e perseguiteranno, e falsamente diranno di voi ogni male per cagion mia. Rallegratevi ed esultate perché grande è la vostra ricompensa nei cieli”.