The Traditional Mass: It’s not about politics — it’s about Truth and Beauty

CP&S comment – An increasing number of post-V2 Catholics are discovering the transcendent beauty of the Traditional Latin Mass of the Church as one would find a lost and hidden treasure. Once found they are transformed and their faith grows and flourishes as a result. What makes these various tales so interesting are the many different paths trodden to this final discovery of “the most beautiful thing this side of heaven” (Fr Faber).

Commonweal is a journal known, at least since the age of the last Council, for its extreme liberal positions.

So it was not without considerable surprise that this past week readers witnessed the journal publish a text favorable to the Latin Mass: it is a personal account of the author’s discovery of the Latin Mass.

As many modern Catholics, the author assumed that the New Mass of Paul VI was merely a translation of the old rite — and, of course, nothing could be further from the truth. The New Mass is a completely new concoction, completely unrelated to the Tradition of the Church. What was created, under the guise of introducing the vernacular, was a messy product of the 1960s, the disgraceful decade of cultural revolution.

The Commonweal piece seems particularly important to us because it shows it is possible to have a different sensibility to certain themes of Catholic social doctrine and still appreciate the Mass that was the same and only known by all great Catholic social reformers of the history of the Latin Church. The Traditional Mass really is not about a particular kind of political preference, but it is all about love for the most sacred thing on Earth: the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.

The Traditional Latin Mass is the birthright of each and every Catholic. To each one of them, regardless of their political leanings, we say: Welcome Home!


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21 Responses to The Traditional Mass: It’s not about politics — it’s about Truth and Beauty

  1. Mary Salmond says:

    Can we equate the NO to TLM to the Trinity? They have the same nature but are different persons? Each has the same result – the consecration, the unbloody sacrifice, the offering, the spiritual meal, the mystery, the creed, the priest. But the persons (events) are different. I may be misinterpreting this?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brother Burrito says:

    Where the Latin TLM is concerned, I am very “both/and”. Both should be provided

    I grew up as the NO was being introduced, and my parents were necessarily EF but accepting of the new rite too, as they were under obedience to their local pastors, and they knew no better than to go with the flow.

    Thus I was Baptised in Latin, but received Confession, Holy Communion, and Confirmation, in the local vernacular. Back then, I neither knew nor cared any better.

    In later days, I have attended both High and Low Mass in the EF, and sensed both were Holy Mass just like the NO, but I fail to see why devotion to any of them should be such a source of division between Catholics.

    The Mass is the Mass is the Mass. Amen.

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. Laura Sedivy says:

    The NO is dangerous to the faith. When you start to pray (liturgy) like a protestant, you start to believe like a protestant (thereby, live like a protestant). And THAT is why it is so dangerous to the faith.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Where I live, here in Germany, we have a rather sad situation. There is a parish where an FSSP priest says the Traditional Latin Mass, and until about a year ago, it was celebrated with Gregorian chant. This made it, for some people, an almost transcendent experience.

    Then the priest decided to “improve” the Traditional Latin Mass and began having the congregation sing “up-to-date” vernacular hymns, not only during those quite majestic Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, but as much as possible during the first part of the mass, until the Sanctus.

    The result was so awful, that many of us had the impression that we were actually at a Novus Ordo Mass, and so we stopped going to this “Traditional Latin Mass,” and instead began attending Novus Ordo masses on Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. mmvc says:

    Then the priest decided to “improve” the Traditional Latin Mass…

    The DIY approach to liturgy since V2 has been disastrous for the Church and still German priests in NO parishes and communities tend to favour and impose liturgical ‘innovations’. How disheartening to hear that even the TLM can’t be spared their perverse compulsion to ‘modernise’! When will our priests realise that silence and serenity are infinitely more conducive to prayerful participation at Mass than noise and novelty?

    But there are signs of hope. Despite the set-backs of this pontificate, there appears to be a gradual return to the TLM and to traditional Catholic devotions in many places, especially amongst young people. Also, where they are not being systematically rooted out and destroyed, traditional communities are thriving, whereas many of the ‘modern’ ones are dying out.

    This article sums the current situation up very well:

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Crow says:

    I’m afraid that I agree with Laura Sedivy. The NO is superficial and convenient. It is a concession to Protestantism and the logical evolution of Protestantism is atheism. It is a distortion of the Catholic doctrine. Sorry – I know that is very unecumenical of me…
    And as for you, Robert John Bennett —that is a terrible story!!! I made a hurried exit from our local NO parish Mass when the dictator woman in charge of the 1970’s songs that they thought were modern, provided some percussion by playing the spoons!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. geoffkiernan says:

    BB….Now a member of the (c)atholic Protestant (c)hurch ….That’s what comes of thinking the current Pope is as sound as a pound.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. johnhenrycn says:

    Crow says: “The NO is superficial and convenient.”

    Not my cup of tea either, but the only one I’ve ever drank. Are you saying Norvus Ordo people are outside the Church and have no hope of salvation unless they leave Novus Ordo? I don’t think they are. I think our religion is separated from Protestantism by dogma, not by liturgy.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. geoffkiernan says:

    JH… ” Not my cup of tea either,but the only one I’ve ever drank”…. That say a lot.
    Dogma and Liturgy are intertwined. Novus Ordo people are not without hope of Salvation but many Priests that say the NOM are indeed. I refer here to those that consider the mass to be a Eucharistic meal or the supper of the Lord or something equally weird. The Mass is a, Holy Sacrifice. A renewal of the event of Good Friday during which the bread and wine are confected into the BBS and D of Christ and then offered in Sacrifice to the Father, in reparation and….But we have heard all this before. It just doesn’t seem to sink in with some.
    The NOM is imperfect the other one is sublime and that is an example of Dogma and Liturgy ( of necessity) being reflected in each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. johnhenrycn says:

    I think that liturgy is extremely important, not supremely important, which is why I also think people like Brother Buritto (not to mention me) can look forward to Heaven, all other things in our lives notwithstanding (or forgiven). I will eventually have to move from where I live now to where my children live, and it delights me to learn there is an FSSP parish near where they live. Its exterior architecture is not breathtaking, which is also important to me, but its liturgy is more important than its architecture, and its liturgy is less important than its doctrines. I hope Holy Father does not suppress FSSP before then.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. geoffkiernan says:

    ” The Liturgy is extremely important, but not supremely Important….”

    Spoken like a true Novus Ordo, new/nice (c)atholic (c)hurch adherent. JH, the Liturgy in respect to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is of supreme importance. Any deviation from it’s sole and prime purpose of offering a perfect Sacrifice to the Creator by the created detracts from and diminishes it’s efficacy and thus is an imperfect Sacrifice and incompatible with a Perfect Victim.

    The HS of the Mass was given by Christ to His Bride to secure our Salvation by way of reparation and atonement. It is the supreme/perfect Sacrifice and off necessity must reflect and sustain all of the truth of Her doctrines in their totality. Anything less is to suggest the Holy Sacrifice of the divine Son to an equally divine Father is imperfect
    To suggest the Holy Sacrifice is inferior or less important than Her Doctrines is almost diabolical.

    May I suggest this is the precise reason you cannot grasp the essence of the OHC and Apostolic Catholic Church. You are indeed a victim of the Post VII (c)atholic (c)hurch and a somewhat inferior or less perfect liturgy. Inferior and less perfect because many NOM Priests have no idea that the Mass is a Sacrifice, a Holy Sacrifice!!!
    I have been to several NO Missae that truly and faithfully are intended by the Priest to be a Holy Sacrifice. Sadly I have witnessed many,many NOM that are a terrible misrepresentation.
    All IMHO.
    Cardinal Ratzinger in 2001 said:- ” I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the Liturgy

    Liked by 1 person

  13. mmvc says:

    From the CCC:


    1324 The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.”136 “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”137

    1325 “The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God’s action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through him to the Father in the Holy Spirit.”138

    1326 Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all.139

    1327 In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: “Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking.”140


  14. johnhenrycn says:

    Hmm. What can we say about Catholic pioneers of old who never saw a priest again after leaving their old countries? What do we say about Catholics living in countries where the practice of our religion was or still is banned. Being deprived of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, be it EF or NO, through no fault of their own, are they doomed? What about Catholics today who don’t live within reasonable travel distance of an EF parish or who believe it’s important to support the parish closest to them – which is still the canonical rule I think – despite it being an NO one? Are they doomed?

    Are we not all on the same page in saying: no, they are not doomed? They are deprived.

    No need for all this pettifoggery.


  15. mmvc says:

    I agree that the Catholics in your examples are deprived and not doomed, JH. Geoff was referring to ‘catholics’ and in particular priests, who view the Mass as little more than a communal meal with some sort of spiritual overtones which is so far removed from the teachings of the CCC. Such misconceptions are no doubt at least partly a result of the protestantization and dumbing down of the liturgy post V2 – a far greater deprivation than the one you referred to.


  16. johnhenrycn says:

    MMVC: you’re interpreting Geoff’s remarks in a charitable way, and probably in a reasonable way as well, although it did make my nose out-of-joint for a minute there when he described me as “like a true Novus Ordo, new/nice (c)atholic (c)hurch adherent”, as if to say that I and all other NO congregants are second class Catholics, not a genuine ones. But then, I make over-the-top comments sometimes too, so all is forgiven 🙂


  17. geoffkiernan says:

    JH… My hope is that you too will interpret my comment charitably.
    “… as if to say that I and all other NO congregants are 2nd class Catholics, not genuine ones”
    I didn’t say that because I dont believe it to be true.
    Re yours at 1833… I have previously answered.
    Let me say again, that I feel the NOM lends itself to frivolity and a banality which is not in keeping with the supreme and Holy Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and is exacerbated by ill formed Priests that just cant/wont see the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for what it is.
    I said quite clearly that I have attended and witnessed many NO Masses celebrated by sincere and good Priests intent on fulfilling all that is required for a valid Mass. Sadly however many,many are a poor and sacrilegious representation of what it purports to be.
    Thank you mmvc (at 1956) for nailing it in one.


  18. kathleen says:

    Coming back to the subject of the Comminweal piece linked to in the post (and linked to again in mmvc’s comment above), and this young man’s discovery of the sublime holiness of the Traditional Latin Mass, I must say that it is rather a shame he ended his testimony with a few iffy thoughts!
    (In the opinion of some, he was obliged to give a few nods towards the progressives in order to get his article printed in this liberal site!)

    He says he doubts the TLM will become “the future of the Church”, something most people would adamantly disagree with, especially given the statistics on its gradual* growth and spread to more and more parishes. Besides, those who attend the TLM also include lots of young people and families with many children in the congregation, whilst those who frequent the NOM are mostly senior (often very senior) citizens! So naturally, while these old ones at the NOM die off, the up and coming generations attending the TLM will increase and multiply.
    Other contributing factors are the many vocations to the priesthood coming from the large (often homeschooled) families. As the amount of traditionally minded priests grow, so will the future availability of the TLM for Catholics who seek this holy Mass!

    * “gradual” since Pope Francis came to the Papacy; he is no friend of the traditional liturgy!

    Another “iffy” bit was the author’s remark that the TLM-goers are a “community within a community”. It may be seen by some like this, but it is a total misconception. The TLM is the Eternal Mass of the Ages that saints, doctors of the Church and holy popes have affirmed will “never be abrogated”. It is the NOM (sometimes called “Bugnini’s Mass”) that popped up out of V2 and completely took over in every church and parish, bar those of the FSSPX.

    Our generation has had a cruelty imposed on us in much the same way as those living under the diabolical yoke of atheistic Communist regimes where churches were destroyed, priests were murdered or exiled, the Catholic faith was outlawed, and there were no places where the underground remnant could find the Sacraments. Physically we have not suffered in the same way as those persecuted Christians of course, but spiritually we have as we have been deprived of the Truth of Catholic teaching and Her beautiful Liturgy in much the same way.


  19. mmvc says:

    Kathleen, the article I linked to was written in December last year on a site called ‘Student Voices’ and without having re-read it, I don’t think the author makes any nods to liturgical innovators.

    Having said that, I second all you say in your comment above. :o)


  20. kathleen says:

    Oh sorry, dear mmvc, you’re absolutely right! I was too hasty in thinking it was the same article you linked to as the Commonweal one linked to in the post. I see now it was not.
    (That should teach me a much-needed lesson! I was always accusing Toad of not doing his “homework”; so I must learn to practice what I preach 😔😉.)


  21. mmvc says:

    No worries, dear Kathleen. Happens to us all at times, especially when leading very busy lives, as I know you do. ;o)


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