Saturday, January 03, 2009

Traditional Mass Jottings: Personal Participation and a Brief Digression

I have been part of the tiny schola at an oratory dedicated to the extraordinary form Masses for about a year. This form of the Mass is not anything new to me because I was raised in it before the changeover to the Novus Ordo Mass occurred during the 60s. In parochial grammar school, the music sister taught us the Ordinary Gregorian chants Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei, and the responses of the people to the priest.

After I left the Church in the 60s and relapsed in the 70s, I wondered where the Church had gone. The change in the rite didn't upset me then, but the change in beliefs that was being promoted erroneously everywhere I looked (in the purported Spirit of Vatican II) gave me a lot of pain. For a time, I thought of myself wryly as possibly the last Catholic in America.

I knew that if the Church was to be credible, it could not have been in error for all the ensuing centuries. I still wonder how anyone could really hold that the Church was wrong for so long until some "theologians" and Bible "scholars" were able to set us right in the mid 20th century. These to me are the "intellectual pride-ians" neither intellectuals nor Christ-ians, who strained mightily to remake the Church into the image of the world.

While I was still alienated from the Church, while I was living on the fringes of society, I knew people in the bohemian part of Boston who sacriligeously decorated their brownstone flats with pews, altars, kneelers and other Church furniture from junk stores. I didn't think much of it then, but the junk stores were full of Church furniture because the churches were being gutted. It sure bothers me now.

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