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Monday, December 14, 2015

Shut Up, I Explained

From the Athens News (I think in Ohio). Read the whole thing.

T he most celebrated change brought about by Vatican II was that the Mass could now be said in the vernacular – the languages of various countries; previously, it was said in Latin everywhere. This was taken to mean that it must be said in the vernacular, which was never the case.
Congregations went hog-wild. Soon there were folk-rock Masses, hootenanny Masses, puppet Masses, and so on. Encouraged to participate more actively in the Mass, congregations were soon flailing their arms around, adopting postures reserved for priests, and undertaking other alterations to the principal service of the Church. Those who looked askance were told to get with “the spirit of Vatican II.”

Priest Imitation
  Modern Mass is conducted as if silence is the enemy, that there should never be a time when there isn’t something noisy going on. Active participation is so encouraged that it sometimes seems as if there isn’t an opportunity to contemplate the mysteries of faith. Even during communion itself, the most fundamental of the seven sacraments, congregants are expected to sing rather than think about how profound it all is.


The Latin Mass is quiet, often silent or close to it. The Church teaches (and I think it stands to reason) that prayer must include listening, to hear what God tells us. This is easier to do, especially for easily distracted persons such as myself, when there’s not sensory overload. When there is music with the traditional Mass (as Fr. Jonas hopes to institute from time to time, employing seminarians), it is typically in the form of chants that encourage this phenomenon rather than replace it.

 Modern Mass has in some ways unintentionally come to resemble, say, a PTA meeting. The instant it is over, people are talking and laughing, greeting people across the room, immediately transported from whatever was going on minutes before to the modern secular world. Those who wish to stay and pray must have powers of concentration that far exceed my own. (I am as guilty of these things as anyone else, alas.) The Latin Mass ends in silence, and congregants remain silent; most remain to continue their prayer.

The Mass is ended...go in peace!