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'Quick Help' Page: Popularity / Appeal Of The Traditional Latin Mass

 

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Traditional Latin Mass | TLM

'Tridentine' Latin Mass

Ancient Mass

Appeal of the Traditional Mass

Reasons for Popularity of the Traditional Latin Mass

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Arrow Question / Issue:

"Why has the Traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass become so popular in recent years? What explains its appeal? Is it due to nostalgia?"

 

Arrow Answer / Resources:

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The Traditional Latin 'Tridentine' Mass has become increasingly popular in recent years for various reasons...

* Some have grown tired of the frequent liturgical abuses, irreverence, and "watered down" doctrine which may be encountered in the Novus Ordo Mass of the 1960's

* Some appreciate the unmistakable Catholicity of the ancient Mass, as compared to the 'Protestantized' Novus Ordo Mass of the 1960's

* Some hunger for true Catholic doctrine – For example, one is more likely to hear of concepts such following at the Traditional Latin Mass than at the Novus Ordo (New Order) Mass of the 1960's: "negative concepts" (sin and its consequences, judgment, detachment from the world, evil, heresy, tribulations, hell, etc.), references to souls, miracles, merits of the saints, and praying for the dead

* Some appreciate the periods of silence at the Traditional Latin Mass, as compared to the noisiness of the Novus Ordo Mass

* Some appreciate the sacredness & reverence of the Traditional Latin Mass with respect to music, language, postures, behaviors, etc. vs. the often casual atmosphere at Novus Ordo Masses

* Some appreciate the ability to participate internally in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the traditional rite – Note that the Traditional Latin Mass fosters active participation in an internal way between the individual and God, while the Novus Ordo Mass of the 1960's may seem to favor merely external participation with our neighbors (and may actually discourage internal participation)

* Some value the various rubrics in the Traditional Latin 'Tridentine' Mass that serve as an important protection (e.g. from a priest imposing his style / heterodox beliefs on the laity, protection against sacrilege and profanation, protection against priests' experimentation, protection of the rights of the faithful, etc.) – Note that this agrees with the Old Testament where we see that God made detailed requirements for worship, vestments, etc. (for example, see the Book of Exodus).

* Many appreciate that the Traditional Latin Mass is 'God-centered' rather than focusing on ourselves

* Many value attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that actually feels like a solemn religious sacrifice that atones for sins instead of a 'sappy, feel-good religious gathering'

* Some have become disturbed by learning that changes incorporated into the Novus Ordo Mass parallel the changes made by the 16th century Protest-ant 'Reformers' who purposely instituted those changes to destroy the belief of Catholics

* Some have just recently learned there was a 'Tridentine' Mass or about the many differences between it and the Novus Ordo Mass

* Many attend since Pope John Paul II recognized the desire for the ancient Mass as a "rightful aspiration" which is deserving of "respect" and since Pope Benedict XVI "freed" this Mass for use everywhere throughout the world (without any need for special permission)

* Many are able to attend this precious Mass simply because it is finally available again in their area

These and many other reasons may have contributed to the increasing popularity of the ancient Mass.

The attachment to the Traditional Latin 'Tridentine' Mass in recent generations is not due to nostalgia. In fact, many persons who have come to love this Mass in recent years had never previously attended it before. Persons who attend the 'Tridentine' Mass often do so for doctrinal reasons, because they see the superiority of this rite of Mass over the new rite of Mass (which is even acknowledged by high-ranking prelates), because they are tired of the liturgical abuses, irreverence, and profanation which are, unfortunately, so common in Novus Ordo Masses, etc. Some persons attend the 'Tridentine' Mass because they are concerned that a priest's intention may be defective in a Novus Ordo Mass (possibly leading to an invalid consecration – e.g. should the consecration formula be recited as a mere narrative by a poorly trained priest who may not have the proper intention), while some may attend simply for aesthetic reasons.

Ultimately, the ancient Mass – in use for most of the life of the Church – is highly superior to a Mass fabricated by men in 1960's, a 20th Century Mass that Cardinal Ratzinger called a "banal, on-the-spot product"...

"...in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over the centuries, and replaced it - as in a manufacturing process - with a fabrication, a banal, on-the-spot product." (Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI)

Cardinals Ottaviani & Bacci even said the Novus Ordo Mass "teems with...errors" and contains "spiritually destructive elements"...

"To abandon a liturgical tradition which for four centuries stood as a sign and pledge of unity in worship, and to replace it with another liturgy which, due to the countless liberties it implicitly authorizes, cannot but be a sign of division - a liturgy which teems with insinuations or manifest errors against the integrity of the Catholic Faith - is, we feel bound in conscience to proclaim, an incalculable error." (Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci, emphasis added)

"We have limited ourselves above to a short study of the Novus Ordo where it deviates most seriously from the theology of the Catholic Mass. Our observations touch upon deviations which are typical. To prepare a complete study of all the pitfalls, dangers and psychologically and spiritually destructive elements the new rite contains, whether in texts, rubrics or instructions, would be a vast undertaking." (Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci, emphasis added)

Compare the above criticism of the 1960's Protestantized Novus Ordo Mass with the following quote from the Council of Trent concerning the 'perfection' of the Traditional Latin Mass... (emphasis added)

"Holy things must be treated in a holy way and this sacrifice is the most holy of all things. And so, that this sacrifice might be worthily and reverently offered and received, the Catholic Church many centuries ago instituted the sacred Canon. It is free from all error and contains nothing that does not savor strongly of holiness and piety and nothing that does not raise to God the minds of those who offer the Sacrifice. For it is made up from the words of our Lord, from apostolic traditions, and from devout instructions of the holy pontiffs."

And note that Pope St. Pius V said "in perpetuity" that the Traditional Latin Mass may be used...

"...in virtue of Our Apostolic authority, We grant and concede in perpetuity that, for the chanting or reading of the Mass in any church whatsoever, this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgment, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used. Nor are superiors, administrators, canons, chaplains, and other secular priests, or religious, of whatever title designated, obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us. We likewise declare and ordain that no one whosoever is forced or coerced to alter this Missal, and that this present document cannot be revoked or modified, but remain always valid and retain its full force... Therefore, no one whosoever is permitted to alter this notice of Our permission, statute, ordinance, command, precept, grant, indult, declaration, will, decree, and prohibition. Should any person venture to do so, let him understand that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul." (Pope St. Pius V, "Quo Primum", 1570 A.D.)

Note: For more information on the many & significant differences between these Masses, try here.


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