March 21st, 2008 - Gerald-283546 said:
I am about the youngest age group who still remembers the beauty of the Mass before Vatican II. The solemnity, humilty, respect, beauty, biblicality, music, precision, poetry, smell, and visual effects of the Tridentine Mass were so superior to what we have today that there is really no comparison.
Then, after VII, during the period when I was an acolyte (altar boy) and choir member, there was an English translation (accurate) of the Tridentine Mass and we still did the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, etc. I think the main changes besides English were the priest facing the congregation and the addition of the old testament reading and prayer of the faithful; oh yes and the much reviled "Kiss of Peace." But really it was prety close to a Tridentine Mass and very beautiful. I think it was in the spirit of VII ecept they went a little too far with the English over Latin, but at least the translation was good. This lasted about 3 years I think...late 60s.
Then, was it about 1970 or so? we got the watered down version of today with a really rotten English Translation. I do miss the older versions.
However, I do not concur with those who think the current version is somehow invalid. The essence is still there even of the accidence has changed for the worse. The Mass is the Mass: we have a vlaid priesthood, the words of institution, the intent, etc. I mostly go to Novus Ordo Masses because that is what is going on in my parish and in the parishes I visit. It is valid, because the Magisterium says it is valid, although normally poorly executed.
I have been to Novus Ordo Masses done in Latin as Vatican II intended, and it is very beautiful. Of course, that may in part be because the priest celebrating it was respectful and reverent, as were the members of the congregation. Oh, and the choir was singing Palestrina...ecstasy! (It is the irreverence of the modern Masses that really irks me. I mean, Peter, James and John fell on their faces when the saw Jesus transfigured and we act like Mass is just a big family meal. Come on people.)
I was delighted with Benedict's Moto Proprio which says each parish can have its own Tridentine Mass, not to exceed one per Sunday, provided parishioners request it. I think we should all push for one per week in every parish. Even if we do not revert to full Tridentine, as Benedict indicated, it will have a benficial effect on the way the Novus Ordo Masses are performed...Oh, I meant celebrated. (They seem all too much like performances nowadays, complete with applause.) I say, let's run both side by side and let the Holy Spirit decide. One will increase while the other decreases. Any bets and which it will be?