31 August 2012

A "Duh" Moment

Yesterday I was forced to endure an amazingly insipid Ordinary Form funeral Mass for a family member. The one thought that kept recurring to me in the midst of what could best be described as an instant-canonization-trapped-inside-a-bad-lounge-act was, "How can they stand it!?" The aesthetics of the ceremony, and the theology of the homily (well, actually, there were several homilies throughout the proceedings) were garden-variety Protestant.

Today I read a post at Saint Louis Crusade about a Gallup poll showing that most Americans rank public schools as the worst place for a child to get an education. One commenter at the second link lamented that the US used to have the best system of public education in the world until the 1970s, when the "liberals" began to take over and destroyed it, etc.

Suddenly, I thought of the two things together. The Mass, reengineered at the end of the '60s. Public education, reengineered at the same time.

Both could be classified as colossal failures-- except for one thing:

They didn't fail. They succeeded.

That is to say, they succeeded in accomplishing the goals of their engineers. And just as our educational system will not be fixed by tinkering with making the current system slightly less bad, so neither will our liturgy be fixed by tinkering with making it slightly less dreadful.

The party of professional educators and their backers in politics will continue to claim that educational renewal only requires time and a commitment to more of the same.

The party of professional liturgists and their backers in chanceries and rectories will continue to claim that liturgical renewal only requires more time and a commitment to more of the same.

In both areas all and any opinions are allowed, tolerated and encouraged, except adhering to what actually worked in the past, works now when tried, and which shows every promise of working in the future.

A system of education that is designed to form the whole child in harmony with his status as a creature of God-- burdened by sin though he is --with free will and intellect, will produce healthier and holier children.

A Liturgy that is Catholic through-and-through, and which informs and reflects the Catholic Faith, will produce holier Catholics, and those in increasing numbers.

The problem is not identified by asking the question, "When will the powers-that-be realize this?"

The problem is that they do realize this.

Like I said in the title, this may be a "duh" moment to you. But it hit me today like a ton of bricks.


Anonymous said...

This is similar to an epiphany I had a while back. After years of thinking, "If only the Pope knew, ..." when reading about the latest scandal, I suddenly realized, well, the Pope does know. That's probably why things are so bad, the pope appointed these guys to do what they are doing. Then it all made sense.

As the legal maxim says, a man can be deemed to intend the reasonably foreseeable consequences of his actions.


Anonymous said...

I hope that you will arrange to have a proper Requiem said for your uncle.

May he rest in peace.


MrsC said...

Sometimes it takes darkness for us to appreciate the glory of light. Unfortunately a lot of good talent and graces have not been used to their full potential. Makes me wonder: what else had been dulled and squandered in those decades?

Long-Skirts said...

MrsC said:

"what else had been dulled and squandered in those decades?"


They cancelled all color
Sanctuaries stripped
First Communions were duller.

No crinoline whites
Pale hues they stressed
Only pearled-Pharisees
Are ever so dressed.

Roses, carnations,
Flowers, all manners
Left just to wither
Gainst assertives’ beige banners.

Pillars of marble
Corinthian styles
They decided to paint
Like pink bathroom tiles.

Cassocks of red
Habits blue-white,
Robes of distinction
Extinct over night.

Missals with pages
Embossed in gloss-gold
Latin in tint
English-black often bold.

Even the ribbons
To mark scriptural prayers
Were of green, yellow, silvers
So to keep us from errors.

The soft votive flames
The red opaque glass
Gave an aura of stillness
Like time could not pass.

Yet time it passed,
Vividness drained
And populations without color
Cannot be sustained.

So those underground
With red blood in blue veins
Birthed knowledge, the arts
Great virtues they gained.

They did not decay-
God’s colors kept green
For the day up above
Once again to be seen.

Except for those beige
Gray fertility fades
In their black open minds.

Forward-Slash_S said...

As the Church leads, so goes the world. I think the Lord provides us those moments of clarity at certain times in our life. Commenting on the Liturgy portion of your post - in regards to the 'Extraordinary' form of the Mass, it came to me in a similar way.

At the end of the Offertory, "The Priest will no longer turn to face the people until after the Consecration and Communion ... the Priest, like Moses on Mount Sinai, has entered into the holy cloud and communes 'face to face' with the Lord. His eyes and mind are directed only to the altar." (1)

At the Prayers before the Consecration: "From all time, the Canon has been recited silently. The congregation present can contribute nothing to the sacrificial act itself; the people are present before a mystery which it is for the consecrated Priest alone to accomplish. The Priest has entered alone into the Holy of Holies to pray and offer sacrifice for the whose Church". (2)

It's about the grave importance of the Priest's actions, and those of the congregation as well. I find it increasing difficult to attend a Novus Ordo, for precisely the reasons you mention in your post, in consideration of the side notes provided above, and in regards to an importantly relevant article where the rubber meets the road.

As my very wise wife has said, it goes far beyond a matter of preference that I choose the Mass of the ages and becomes a necessity that I do so; because I have the souls of my young children to answer for, because I do not want to introduce duplicity of the two very different forms of Mass in their minds, the latter of which is rife with Protestant inconsistencies and where heretics invent horrid liturgies such as the one you attended.


(1) (from "Roman Catholic Daily Missal" side notes, pp.869).
(2) (from "Roman Catholic Daily Missal" side notes, pp.885).

doughboy said...

and yet the Ordinary Form is still the Mass, and Christ is still present. i attend the 7am Mass at my parish not just because my elderly mother does and she needs someone there with her, but because it's the only Mass i can really stand because it tends to be 'quieter' with less awful music (a sincere young man does play the piano, but all too often chooses 'gather us in' etc). anyway, even the music setting for the new responses for the Holy Holy Holy and the Mystery of Faith ... just ... i cannot bring myself to sing. it's even worse than before; bad pop music. and i try to pray instead from my heart. this morning i noticed: no one else was really singing, either. you could hear a few murmurmings, but that was it.

last time i recommended to my parish pastor that we try some latin, i angered him and was basically told to stop harking back to the dark ages. we have a new pastor now ... been here about a year or so ... maybe i could try again, recommending some basic chant? and i don't even know what i'm talking about - like any average pewsitter, i just know what i like that's aged and beautiful.

we're starving for beauty. but ... i take comfort in knowing, this Mass is still valid. Jesus is here.

HSMom said...


But isn't it more than "just" validity?? Of course we require a valid consecration. But supposing all Novus Ordo Masses are indeed valid and have been since it was promulgated, why then the great falling away from the Church in these past 40+ years? Why the incredible decrease in vocations? 'By their fruits you shall know them'.... The fruits of the Novus Ordo have been abysmal for the Catholic Faith! Surely there is--despite the valid consecration that may be found--good reason to avoid it. Too many have lost their faith and stopped going to Mass. Too many who do go to Mass no longer believe in the Real Presence. Too many Catholics openly hold defiant and heretical views that contradict what has always been Magisterial teaching. It seems there is enough evidence to say that the Novus Ordo Missae is dangerous to one's Catholic Faith, at the very least, despite a validly consecrated Host. It's more than validity that matters.

doughboy said...

a reverently celebrated Mass in the Ordinary Form replete with chant is no less beautiful than the Extraordinary Form (IMO). unfortunately, this is not what we find in most parishes. it will take time ... decades, i'm afraid.

HSMOM said...

And to go a step further (regarding beauty), when it is "celebrated according to the 1969 typical edition would look very similar to the traditional Roman Rite, with the celebrant saying most (if not all) the prayers in Latin, facing the tabernacle and wearing the traditional Mass vestments, with a male altar server, and Gregorian chant, etc." (1) And still, speaking of this form (which is rarely, if ever, seen), Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci wrote the following to Paul VI in 1969:

"...the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXIII of the Council of Trent." (A Brief Critical Study of the Novus Ordo Missae, September 25, 1969)

I don't disagree that the 'Ordinary Form' may be said reverently and beautifully. But as with the issue of validity, I think the problems with it go deeper than aesthetics.

God bless.

ref [1] "What's Wrong with the Novus Ordo Missae?"

Long-Skirts said...

HSMOM said:

"But supposing all Novus Ordo Masses are indeed valid and have been since it was promulgated"

...remember, even the Satanist have a validly consecrated Host for their Black Masses. They don't have a "Black Fellowship Service" or a "Black Bible Study", no, they know the Truth so therefore they steal a consecrated Host for the Black Mass and desecrate. THEY believe in the Real Presence!