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This room is for discussion for anyone who adheres to the Extraordinary form of the mass and any issues related to the practices of Eastern Rite Catholicism.

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TLM for beginners

Aug 24th 2013 new
Some sincerely honest, but potentially dumb questions. Please bear with me.

1) Why is there so much more kneeling? Especially near the beginning?

2) Why are the readings in Latin? Wouldn't it make more sense for them to be proclaimed in English?

3) Why are the consecration prayers said silently?
Aug 24th 2013 new
(quote) Christine-894237 said: Some sincerely honest, but potentially dumb questions. Please bear with me.

1) Why is there so much more kneeling? Especially near the beginning?

2) Why are the readings in Latin? Wouldn't it make more sense for them to be proclaimed in English?

3) Why are the consecration prayers said silently?
Kneeling is the typical position for prayer because it shows reverence and humility. For a more detailed explanation, see www.adoremus.org

The Mass, including the readings, are in Latin because it is the universal language of the Church. Armed with a Latin-English (or your language of choice) missal, you can go to any traditional Mass anywhere in the world and follow the Latin and translation.

Most priests who celebrate the traditional Mass read the Epistle and Gospel in the vernacular language after the Latin readings, especially on Sundays, Holy Days, and major feasts.

I will defer to a priest to answer your question about the silent canon:
salbert.tripod.com

FYI - if you would like to see the actions of the priest during the traditional Mass along with an explanation of their significance, this video may help:

youtu.be




Aug 24th 2013 new
1) Reverence basically. Not much else to say to be honest.
2) I can't think how to explain this in technical terms at the moment, but basically the Mass is said to God, not the people. It's the priest and God, not the priest, community and God. That's why you don't see responses, although a small minority do a dialogue Mass, which is of questionable vintage (it's a complex issue that I doubt if could get into in much detail) and I'd rather avoid. The readings are there as part of the ritual and prayer. Usually they'll do the English readings afterwards, but I've been to no-frills low Masses where they don't. The 65 transitional Missal had vernacular-only readings if I recall.
3) Because those are words meant for God, and it preserves the sense of mystery in doing so. The Council of Trent actually condemned people in the West who insisted the Canon be had to be said out loud. Only the priest can confect the Sacrament, so there's little point in saying it out loud, at least in the Latin rite. The New Mass, as usual, gets things backwards and (usually) it is said aloud; that comes from the 60's 'community theology' fad. We all had to be a part of it, and saying silent prayers was exclusive an elitist and so on. Follow in a hand missal, say a rosary silently, etc etc.

Occasionally, you might run across a conservative Novus Ordo parish that says the New Mass in Latin with a silent Canon, but be careful not to confuse the two. Language and posture aside, they actually don't have much in common outside of some skeletal elements, Kyrie, Gloria, and such. Daily saint prayers are subtly (or even radically) different, new canons, the Introit's gone, the prayers of sacrifice mostly stripped away, Last Gospel's gone, etc etc etc.

Now comes the part where people come in and say what a bad person I am.
Aug 24th 2013 new
It would be most helpful if those responding would focus on describing the traditional Mass without resorting to disparaging the Novus Ordo in comparison. The Novus Ordo bashing may resonate with those who are already attached to the traditional Mass, but in my experience it turns off many more of those with an interest in the traditional Mass than it convinces.
Aug 24th 2013 new
Jerry was thorough in his explanation but one thing i'd like to point out is this, if we study the some of the romance languages we find that for example with Spanish there are two main ways to say "I love you"-Te quiero is how we would address a friend who we love, Te amo is how we would address only our mother or our lover, for example. Latin is like this with the Mass and even prayer (i.e. praying the rosary in Latin) can bring closer focus and reverence to Him as we are saying the closest possible translation to what He wanted with the Mass as the original language used is now deader than the Latin.


Aug 25th 2013 new
+JMJ+

Excellent summary!
Aug 30th 2013 new
(quote) Christine-894237 said: 3) Why are the consecration prayers said silently?
There were no microphones at the time the TLM was developed. If a priest were to speak loud enough for the entire congregation to hear, he would go hoarse very quickly.
Aug 31st 2013 new
Just some extremely informal observations:

At least at a sung Mass, the readings are sung. My guess is that if they were sung in English people, frankly, still wouldn't understand them. It can just be hard to understand things that are sung. Having heard both Latin and English chant, Latin is definitely preferable. So taken together, why not sing them in Latin and then read them in English so you have the best of both worlds?

The silent canon is perhaps my favorite part of the traditional liturgy. In the OF, on the 'I'm a human and can't every concentrate on anything very well level', the whole liturgy is sort of all words - some of which just happen to confect a sacrament. But you might just miss them - and to be brutally honest, I often sort of do, and I dislike it greatly.

At a sung TLM it's so, so much easier. There's music, then a homily, then music, then silence - and that catches your attention because the whole context of the liturgy is suddenly dramatically changed. And it's the source and summit of our faith, so everything should be different.
Sep 3rd 2013 new
(quote) Jerry-74383 said: It would be most helpful if those responding would focus on describing the traditional Mass without resorting to disparaging the Novus Ordo in comparison. The Novus Ordo bashing may resonate with those who are already attached to the traditional Mass, but in my experience it turns off many more of those with an interest in the traditional Mass than it convinces.
Jerry,

I agree with your comments, as referenced. As for myself, as soon as someone starts to disparage the Novus Ordo Mass (in comparison), I put them "into a particular category" and pretty much discount or ignore everything else that they have to say on the topic. Is that the result that they are trying to achieve?.... I doubt it. I suggest that they restrain their disparaging comments.

Ed
Sep 3rd 2013 new
(quote) Adam-399324 said: why not sing them in Latin and then read them in English so you have the best of both worlds?

Generally, this is the way it is done, at least in the US. The exception may be some of the Masses during Passiontide, where the readings are very long and repeating them would be a burden in terms of both time and wear on the celebrant's voice, especially when it is not a solemn service (with deacon and subdeacon in addition to the priest).

Has your experience been otherwise, Adam?

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