The Great Comparison – The Old Mass V.S. The New Mass

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52 Responses to The Great Comparison – The Old Mass V.S. The New Mass

  1. The Holy Father has spoken recently about reawakening a sense of the sacred in the liturgy.

    Maybe there’s something wrong with me, but I just don’t see how that’s possible if the Mass is a Novus Ordo Mass. With Traditional Latin Mass, the sense of the sacred is simply THERE. No one has any need to “reawaken” it.

    Watching this video, you want to weep over what was lost when the “new” Mass was introduced. You want to ask about the decisions of those responsible: “What were they THINKING?”

    What was lost, though, can be regained, if God wills it, or if He allows us to bend His will to that end through our prayers.

  2. kathleen says:

    @ Robert

    It is this heart-breaking reality of the loss of the Mass of the Ages for so long that made me hesitant at first to post this video.

    Yet I think that what was “lost” will be “regained” one day if we are patient and constant as we hammer at Heaven’s doors with our prayers. We have crossed the biggest hurdle with Pope Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificium in 2007. But it still needs to be more widespread and more readily available for all Catholics. The young are discovering the majesty and beauty of this Holy Mass, and they are the ones who will carry on the baton from us in time.

  3. Toadspittle says:

    This is a wonderfully funny, and significant, video, and with everyone’s assent (Oh, really? Sorry!) I (that is Toad) will spend an appropriate length of time on it – far too much, in fact.
    First, it is utterly, unashamedly, biased – and so it should be. Who ever said we had to be ‘objective’, and ‘fair’? Not me.
    It thinks “Novus Ordo” is an abomination, and then sets out to demonstrate this. First, by selecting a N.O. priest who looks like Worzel Gummidge, and sounds like Lyndon B. Johnson, and who is accompanied by a fiddler playing what appears to be, “My Old Kentucky Home,” backwards, then by setting it in a church whose ‘interior decoration,’ would send anyone with an IQ of more than 10 howling to the Funny Farm (a fairly typical Catholic Church, these days, in fact) , and inhabited by a congregation who have wandered in accidentally from a nearby pig roast and wet tee-shirt contest – and contrasting this with a solemn Mass form Portugal – where the priest has been chosen for his uncanny likeness to Pius Xll at age 35, and the music, which I don’t recognise, but which is very “nice” and “tasteful,” , and clearly seems to been “dubbed’ on afterwards.

    The upshot of all this, as Toad sees it – is a vast and magnificent orgy of “snobbishness.” No problem here, as we should all be snobbish about the squalid rubbish the vast and ignorant gang of unwashed try to foist on us at every opportunity.
    But the Novus Ordo will succeed – because most people have as much “taste” as, well, the pig-roast gang on here.
    I have said too much.

  4. Toadspittle says:

    ..And yet I will say more. Sorry.Really.

    In the Pius Portugese clips, we are given no sight of the congregation at all, so we have nothing at all to laugh at on that score.
    Are they – as generally in Madrid, wearing dark shiny suits (men) with little Falange badges on the lapel – and fur coats (women) …or are they all in grease-stained, blue denim monos?
    I know what my guess would be.
    And, lastly – why is the man, seen helping “Worzel” in the N.O. clips, wearing trousers he has obviously made himself?
    We should be told, I think.

  5. Frere Rabit says:

    Oh come off it! Men in suits with Falange badges on the lapel? In Madrid? Don’t be daft, Toad.

    You have to go to Malaga for that.

  6. kathleen says:

    Toad,

    Loving and preferring the Traditional Latin Mass has absolutely nothing to do with snobbishness. There is always a mixed bunch of people from all walks of life at both forms of the Mass – I know this for a fact – though it is definitely true that you see women dress far more modestly at the TLM. Fur coats? Nope… you hardly ever see these in UK nowadays anyway what with the Greens and the Animal Protection groups being so militant against them. And yet in Spain they are still around everywhere i.e. not just in Madrid, and lots of them at the NOM. (There are far fewer TLMs in Spain to start with.)

    There is a straightforward explanation for there being less images of the congregation at the TLM in the video. This holy Mass is focused entirely on adoring God, and though you do get a glimpse of some people at the altar rail receiving Holy Communion [kneeling and receiving on the tongue please note] they are not the protagonists. In the Novus Ordo Mass there is such a strong emphasis on the community.

    I think it is important to point out there are a great variety of “types” of Novus Ordo Mass. Some are beautifully celebrated, thanks to the attention of good holy priests (and a congregation that tends to abide by all the Teachings of Mother Church) whereas some are so abominable and unfitting it is questionable whether they can even be considered valid Masses.
    It would not be right to say here where there are vivid examples of both these extremes, but I can assure you that they exist.
    I do not know of any place where there is any question of the TLM being anything other than a true enactment of Christ’s Sacrifice on Calvary (which every Mass should be). Some have said there were occasionally abuses in the TLM also before Vatican II, but I can’t know that. By its very nature I think that this would be at least much more unlikely.

  7. Toadspittle says:

    Yes, sorry, I was teasing a bit, about the, shiny suits, fur coats, etc, (but they are REAL in Madrid, uptown, at least). But the serious question arising out of this “battle” as the movie designates it – is that we are told that Catholicism is growing rapidly in the 3rd world, (or parts of it) Fine. But which Mass form are they celebrating? I suspect it is N.O., If so, then what?
    Ought they to change over as well?
    Looking at the film, I suspect if they switched back to the Trad Mass in Moratinos, it would just about finish the thing off. Might be the same in Africa.
    What I’m getting at, as you can see, is that probably the N.O. appeals to, how shall I say, “less complex” minds than ours.
    I think the ‘split’ could be considered INC or EX: Inclusive or Exclusive. (And, yes, I’d prefer “Trad,” myself.)

    …There are also more pressing problems in the Church than this.

  8. GC says:

    Toad @February 17, 2014 at 17:07 First, by selecting a N.O. priest who looks like Worzel Gummidge, and sounds like Lyndon B. Johnson, and who is accompanied by a fiddler playing what appears to be, “My Old Kentucky Home,” backwards, then by setting it in a church whose ‘interior decoration,’ would send anyone with an IQ of more than 10 howling to the Funny Farm (a fairly typical Catholic Church, these days, in fact) , and inhabited by a congregation who have wandered in accidentally from a nearby pig roast and wet tee-shirt contest

    Toad, what a thing to say! I bet you’re in for a scolding from (this time) the Society of St. Paul, St. Paul’s Monastery in Canfield, Ohio and . . . Father Jeffrey Mickler, SSP.

    Canfield, is that in the Toledo Blade catchment area, Toad, would you know?

    More from Jeff here.

  9. Toadspittle says:

    …North East Ohio, GC. Toledo is NW. Not much difference “culturally.”
    In a big Catholic church in Toledo, I once heard a priest announce, “Welcome to this worship space.” Crikey.
    But what about The Mass in your part of the sorry planet?
    What sort is it?
    N.O., I bet.
    If that is so, what if it was changed to Trad?
    Mobs revolting? Cars burned? Bishops hanged by their stoles? Poor boxes looted? Pews reduced to matchwood? Statues of St Francis Xavier used for target practice?

  10. Pingback: The Lament of a Liturgical Loner | Dominus mihi adjutor

  11. GC says:

    N.O. definitely, Toad, and the spirit of Vatican 2-ers never had to fire a shot.

    Here, have a sanctus from the lovely island of Sumba in Indonesia, with boys from the nearby junior seminary. (You may notice going east in Indonesia the people start looking more melanesian, like Papuans.)

    Because you are our 100th valued customer today we’re throwing in 3 singing Carmelites from the island of Flores (100% Catholic), completely gratis, for nix, nada, as well.

  12. Toadspittle says:

    Well, I see I have to spell this out.
    As CP&S is vigorously campaigning for the N.O. to be replaced by the TLM – what would be the outcome in places like Africa and Asia, where the Church is currently flourishing – if it happens?
    Would the move prove counter-productive?

  13. GC says:

    I think you’ll find the Church was doing quite well in those places before 1969, Toad. Even Archbishop Lefebvre spent much of his life in Africa in positions of great trust.

    Here, have a look here. This is Mass (just after WW2, I think) in the Church of St Michael in Penampang, Sabah (formerly British North Borneo). It all seemed fairly straightforward, Toad. What exactly is the problem?

    http://stmichaelpenampang-about.blogspot.com/

  14. GC says:

    Looking at the picture a bit more closely, it seems to be in the 1960s, would you agree, Toad?

    Toad, I feel liturgical practices will change again in the future and become more solemn and beautiful. Besides, Sr Joan Chittister is 78 years old now and all those guys won’t live for ever.

  15. Toadspittle says:

    “What exactly is the problem?”

    For me, GC? Nothing – what so ever.
    But then, I’m an Agnostical toad. It’s all the same to me, whether the priest is facing backwards, forwards or sideways – or if the congregation is kneeling, prostrating, standing, running, jumping or standing still (as Spike Milligan would possibly say.)


    Takes all sorts, as we all agree.

  16. GC says:

    Oh, I do beg your pardon, Toad. I thought you were suggesting that there could be some problem with Asian and African Catholics if the Mass of the 1962 Roman Missal were offered more often in those particular regions.

  17. Toadspittle says:

    You are doubtless right, as usual GC. “Brompton Oratory” Catholics will be wise to leave the charming little brown, yellow and black people with their quaint and exotic national costumes, bongo drums, and instruments made of bits of bamboo – to their own devices.

  18. GC says:

    There I was thinking that the Brompton Oratory “does” the N.O.

    More likely the coloured folk will have a full range of Yamaha electric guitars, keyboards and drums, or possibly Kawasaki, Toad.

  19. GC says:

    Yamaha and Kawasaki sort of like in this, Toad, (unless the bongos are secreted under their their sacred habits? Well you never know.).

  20. Toadspittle says:

    “There I was thinking that the Brompton Oratory “does” the N.O.”
    Then you are almost certainly correct, GC. Don’t know where I got that weird notion from. Though – if so – it is a stench in the nostrils of civilisation, as we all agree on here.

    But I’m beginning to see some sort of “logical lacunae” emerging:

    On one hand, The N.O. performed in, say, The People’s Republic of the Congo, with acolytes clad in the pelts of slain leopards, and accompanied by the massed drums of the Watusi – is perfectly acceptable to decent Catholics worldwide.
    …Whereas, the N.O. performed, say, in Surbition and enhanced by the sound of “sacred” music supplied by a lady in a denim suit and cowboy hat – on a Moog Synthesiser – is most definitely not.
    Fair enough.

  21. kathleen says:

    Toad @ 7:35 yesterday

    “As CP&S is vigorously campaigning for the N.O. to be replaced by the TLM – what would be the outcome in places like Africa and Asia, where the Church is currently flourishing – if it happens?”

    Not quite true Toad. Some of us on CP&S would certainly like to see the Tridentine Mass (also known as the Extraordinary Form [EF] or Traditional Latin Mass [TLM] or ‘Mass of the Ages’) be more readily available to Catholics everywhere, but not necessarily to replace the Novus Ordo Mass.
    There are people who prefer the more jolly, happy-clappy, guitar playing, more community-orientated, etc. etc. Mass known as the Novus Ordo, and I for one do not see why they should be deprived of their Mass, just as long as it be celebrated according to the rubrics of Canon Law.

    Besides, in Europe and North America at least (probably not in other continents – although I don’t really know) the adherents of the TLM are growing noticeably where this beautiful Mass is offered, whereas the numbers of those who prefer the NO Mass are diminishing… if the statistics are anything to go by. Vocations to the priesthood for orders like the FSSP and FFI who celebrate the TLM are far more encouraging too. There will be no need to abrogate the NO Mass; if this trend continues the balance will eventually fall in favour of the TLM.

    With the return of the Mass of the Ages it will naturally go to follow that Catholics will return to faithfulness and devotion, in fact to all the fullness of the riches of our Glorious Faith.
    Here we go again, Lex orandi, lex credendi…

  22. GC says:

    Personally, kathleen, I was interested in finding out why Toad thought that people on other continents would not find more traditional liturgies appealing also. But Toad sort of clammed up and suggested that we only liked wearing leopard skins and beating bongo drums.

    My point was that even in Africa and Asia there was, before 1970, no such thing as Pope Paul’s 1970 missal either and we were doing quite well.

    More of Toad’s knavish old media tricks, I fancy.

  23. kathleen says:

    Yes, I fancy you are right GC. 🙂

    I avoided mentioning how Catholics in the continents of Africa and Asia feel about the return of the TLM because I am not personally aware of how available it is there. With the growing, and strong, vibrant faith of African and Asian Catholics – that often puts us westerners to shame – I cannot see any reason why they would not welcome this holy Mass with open arms. After all, the Catholic Faith was already increasing in leaps and bounds in these continents long before the Novus Ordo Mass was ‘invented’.

  24. piliersdelaterre says:

    Excuse me Toad- this is a very important issue…in Australia, for instance, older Aboriginal people were heartened to have the Old Mass back (in Broome once)- they asked for it, as they had regretted the Rainbow snake et al version which had been served up to substitute (for the likes of ‘them’). So, actually, people of native traditions with long memories would quite likely find deeper value in the power of the Old Mass to contain all that the old traditions contained – and then more. A deeper, fuller comprehension of the real power of religions to hold and cleanse energies, because it was an expression of the greatest love ever brought to mankind (?).

  25. Toadspittle says:

    “…But Toad sort of clammed up and suggested that we only liked wearing leopard skins and beating bongo drums.”
    Fie, GC! I didn’t suggest you only liked beating leopard skins and wearing bongo drums. I’m sure you like all sorts of other things as well…

  26. Toadspittle says:

    It’s heartening that you saw immediately where I was coming from, Piliers.
    I suspect there’s a strong element of, “…good enough for the likes of them..” wafting around in certain canonical quarters.
    Not on CP&S, of course.
    I’m highly in favour of “Trad” myself. If we are going to have arcane rituals in quaint old costumes, (and we are!) then let’s make them as arcane and quaint as humanly possible.
    I remember years ago saying that I was absolutely in favour of the Mass in the vernacular – as long as it was in a foreign language.

  27. Piliersdelaterre says:

    …The Sound of Music- Bishop Williamson’s favourite, I seem to recall!

  28. GC says:

    I was just thinking if we put a bonnet on dear Julie, dear Piliersdelaterre, and then took out Julie and slipped in Toad, between the bonnet and the laundry outfit (to be precise), we would have a veritable beginning of the denouement of the Wind in the Willows.

  29. Toadspittle says:

    Not so much Wind in Toad’s Willows – dear GC – more like hot air.

  30. Certainly captures the spirit of the typical, American parish Novus Ordo. The background music for the traditional Masses, though, was hammy and over-egged the pudding, making the comparison seem a lot less objective than it needed to be.

  31. Toadspittle says:

    “There are people who prefer the more jolly, happy-clappy, guitar playing, more community-orientated, etc. etc. Mass known as the Novus Ordo, “

    Rude, simple, folk. Horny handed. The Great Unwashed.
    Salt of the earth, really. Lovely people. Not too bright, to be sure.
    Just need someone in authority to tell ’em what to do, and they’re fine.

  32. The Raven says:

    To be honest, Toad, the happy-clappy guitarophiles tend to be middle class (at least in the UK). The “Rude, simple, Horny handed…Great Unwashed…Salt of the earth” tend to want rather more reverence at Mass than that.

  33. The Raven says:

    In fact, i’ll go further than that, in most of the parishes that I have lived in, all of the pressure to have happy clappy liturgies came from teachers and doctors and other professionals; most of the resistance to happy clappy liturgy came from factory workers and bus drivers (The professional classes usually won because they were overrepresented on the relevant committees).

  34. Toadspittle says:

    True enough, Raven.
    I have known some very horny-handed hacks (and quacks). In my time.

    Father Anthony has a good point – about the music gilding the pudding.
    Although, I see no reason for the comparison to be even remotely objective.
    After all it’s not The Guardian, is it?

  35. Gertrude says:

    I am rather late to this thread, but wonder if anyone (who would have to be of a certain vintage) remembers the wonderful ‘Missa Luba’ of the late 60’s. This was TLM at it’s most sacred and beautiful, – with ‘bongo’ drums and all! If you have never listened to the Sanctus: http://youtu.be/jIxEPYkXkU8

  36. John says:

    I AM a little bothered by the choices of music for the two videos. While the music for the Novus Ordo sounds plausible enough in that environment, the music for the traditional Mass sounds too “clean” to be performed live. I’ve been involved with recording music for Corpus Christi, amongst other needs. Even with a church that’s acoustically designed for traditional music, it’s still VERY difficult to get precisely the right sound.

    That being the case, I think this video goes a little too far with the portrayal of the “battle” of the two Masses. I seem to hear more than a little contempt for the Novus Ordo being posed here. Even if you don’t think much of this form of the Mass, I should think it good to at least remember that we’re still talking about GOD’s time.
    I think the music for the traditional Mass suffers the risk of being every bit as idiotic as that for the Novus Ordo. I suspect that’s part of why many who detest the traditional Mass dislike it so badly. Abuses can occur with either form.

    This video may illustrate the contrast between the two, but it does not present a fair fight.

  37. kathleen says:

    Thank you for expressing your views here John. It’s helpful to hear what other people have to say on this important topic of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    Yes, I think the music is certainly rather “over-done” in this Traditional Latin Mass in the video, as Fr. Anthony above has also pointed out. Most TLMs that I have managed to attend have not had a lot of music (except when there is a choir present), and it is precisely its silence that is so reverent and beautiful, allowing the congregation to concentrate on entering into the mystery taking place, whilst following the prayers of the Liturgy in their missals.

    I do not think most of us have intended to express “contempt” for the Novus Ordo Mass…. certainly that has not been my intention! Anyway, I nearly always attend the Novus Ordo Mass, owing to the fact that where I live there is not a Tridentine Mass available more than once a month… and even then I can’t always get to it for family reasons!
    My prime reason for preferring the TLM to the NO Mass is for its entire orientation towards God: its focus, reverence, form and Liturgy. Who could deny that this is true? (I have many other reasons for preferring it, but that is the main one.)

    I think what we are trying to say is that there are many NO Masses that are not celebrated in a dignified or holy manner. I am lucky: the NO Mass in my parish is well celebrated, but there are still all the other distractions and problems with it that we have been discussing recently.

  38. Toadspittle says:

    Right, we are all agreed: unashamed “bias” is perfectly all right as long as “Trad” Catholics are perpetrating it, but not as long as Novus Ordo, or “The Guardian,” do likewise.

    And while we are still hacking away at it – take a fresh look at the now infamous movie and see where the camera is positioned during the “Trad” segments.
    That’s right – right alongside the priest, about three feet from his left ear, so we can see exactly what he’s doing, and even – if we cock an attentive ear – hear what he’s softly murmuring.

    What would the congregation, some 20 feet behind his back – see or hear?
    You must decide, but zip is what it would seem.

    Does it matter? Not really, I think. Not a bit.

  39. Toadspittle says:

    “Anyway, I nearly always attend the Novus Ordo Mass, owing to the fact that where I live there is not a Tridentine Mass available more than once a month…”
    …Otherwise we wouldn’t ever, really, would we? Any of us?
    And anyway – when there is a Tridentine mass, it’s impossible to even get in through the doors – unless we are prepared to brutally battter our way through dense mobs of Raven’s bus drivers.

  40. GC says:

    Lots of snowy heads and electronic bongo drums with the camera fairly placed, just for Toad.

  41. Toadspittle says:

    Very moving film, GC. The music is really excellent. Is photography an integral part of communion in The East these days? I know Korean pilgrims are fond of taking snaps of everything on The Camino that moves. Even my dogs and I are constantly “caught for posterity” during walkies.
    Is it the same during Mass in The Mysterious Orient?
    Nobody in Moratinos takes pics during Mass. Probably don’t know how to.

  42. GC says:

    Is photography an integral part of communion in The East these days? I know Korean pilgrims are fond of taking snaps of everything on The Camino that moves.

    Dear Toad, Rebrites will confirm that an excellent way of grasping the Tao of anything at all (including your lunch) is to take a snap of it, put it straight on facebook and get 125 million “likes”.

    Besides, going on a trip to any place whatever, no matter how near or distant, is merely for the purpose of obtaining a new background for pictures of you.

  43. Toadspittle says:

    So, you are suggesting I take my camera to Mass today, GC, as is apparently your custom.
    Except I haven’t got one. Must borrow the Missus’s, then.

    “Besides, going on a trip to any place whatever, no matter how near or distant, is merely for the purpose of obtaining a new background for pictures of you.”
    I hadn’t thought of Pilgrimage that way myself, but will defer to The Wisdom of the East, imparted to The Godless West via the sympathetic conduit of GC.
    It would be nice to see your own various, and doubtless very numerous – “selfies” – I must admit.
    Hope there’s some with monkeys in.
    Very fond of monkeys. Is Toad.

  44. GC says:

    Toad, as you know, I was just trying to suggest that over here there is just too much photo-taking. It’s as if everything becomes just another opportunity for taking lots of pictures, mainly of yourself.

    Monkeys, I can’t recommend them. They even get into people’s houses and wreak havoc in the pantry.

    M

  45. GC says:

    More to the point, here is Mass in the 1962 rite celebrated by Cardinal Tong of Hong Kong in 2012.

  46. Toadspittle says:

    We killed Willie Lee
    When we meant to kill Willy Wong
    Sad and unfortunate
    Slip of the Tong

  47. piliersdelaterre says:

    I prefer a pared-down Old Mass to a very lacy, silky, incense, sung one. Yesterday, for instance, because Father had brought a “Mass travel-kit” dating from the time of the Korean War, we could still see the tables stacked underneath the ‘altar’ (because it wasn’t even a church, just a village hall in the back of beyond!). It was totally minimal, and one could imagine it having been used in similarly warlike conditions…(under bombardment, amidst great trauma and uncertainty?)
    The congregation tended to be rather old, infirm, battered, even unlettered, and none too many.
    But it was holy.

  48. GC says:

    Piliersdelaterre, I don’t think it is a case of either/or but of both/and.

    If you are referring to the two video clips above from Hong Kong, we need to remember they were both on Easter Day, the most serious of the Church’s annual feasts. I suspect a little more solemn high jinks can be forgiven then (we’re only human), although of course we all loved the Low Masses, like the one you described, that were the norm in most parishes.

  49. Toadspittle says:

    “..more solemn high jinks…

    Well done GC! There’s a real oxymoron for yer, all right!

  50. GC says:

    Toad, you are sounding more and more like the monkey who got into the pantry.

  51. Toadspittle says:

    I will take that as a very great compliment, indeed,GC!

    If we don’t “…go too far,” once in a while, we never get anywhere interesting, do we?

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