Thursday, August 29, 2013

Why I am not a Traditionalist (But We're going to Latin Mass Anyways...)

Hi, my name is Ryan. I’m 27-years-old, and I’m new to this diocese. And for the love of all that is holy, can someone please do something about all of the $@#!&* tambourine playing going on around here?!


I apologize in advance if this post comes off as too much of a rant. And I should say this from the start: I’m not a Traditionalist Catholic. I’ve never found the criticisms of Vatican II to be very convincing, I’m a big fan of some theologians that Trads usually aren’t fond of (e.g., von Balthasar), I think that Pope Francis’ simpler style is (for the most part) pretty awesome, etc. I guess you can say I’m a “JP2 conservative”…faithful to the Magisterium, adherent to the hermeneutic of continuity, etc. All that to say, I was never interested in picking on the Novus Ordo liturgy…

But we’ve made a decision as a family to start attending the Traditional Latin Mass regularly. And here’s why:

When we were received into the Catholic Church, we lived in Boston. There, it was never hard to find a beautiful, reverent, Novus Ordo Mass. Life was good, and when I was on the right side of town, I even enjoyed the occasional Anglican Use Mass or Maronite Divine Liturgy.

Last year, I read Pope Benedict’s “Spirit of the Liturgy” (a must-read, by the way), and began to re-think a lot of the views I held on the liturgy. I began to agree with the need for kneeling to receive Communion, having the priest celebrate ad orientem, etc. [Ed. note: many thanks to Fr. Z for catching the Latin typo in the original!] But, I have to admit, I didn’t see these things as really pressing issues, mostly because what I saw in and around the city of Boston was (for the most part) in keeping with the solemn nature of what we as Catholics believe to be taking place at the Mass.

Now, though, we’ve moved to the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida. And, if I may be blunt, the state of the liturgy around here is utterly atrocious.

Imagine seashell-shaped parishes filled with Baby Boomers dressed in Bermuda shirts and khaki shorts. Imagine complete strangers holding hands with each other during the Our Father. Imagine jamming out to contemporary Christian songs that were popular 15-20 years ago. Imagine all sorts of improvisations on the part of priests. Heck, imagine everyone getting called up to stand around the altar together during the Eucharistic prayers, rather than kneeling back in the pews–yeah, that happened! I was there!

Read the rest there....