måndag 11 juni 2012

Practical advantages of Tridentine Mass

Most of the advocates of the Tridentine or Extraordinary Form (EF) Mass tend to focus on theological and aesthetic aspects. But what receives little attention is the simple practicality of the older form.
  1. Most churches have acoustics sound systems that are bad to indifferent. It can be difficult to hear what is being said in any language, including one's own. Most of the more widely spoken languages have dialects which further impair understanding and are also associated with the prejudices that people have about those from other places. This raises issues which have no place within the Catholic church.
  2. The standard of reading by lay readers is generally poor. Clear, reasonably slow reading is exceptional.
  3. Priests tend to be reasonably good readers but only in their own language. If they are celebrating in another language, then too can be difficult to understand.
  4. Congregations can come from many different countries.
  5. The music is liable to be unfamiliar, precluding visitors from participating.
  6. The service can be unduly prolonged.
This causes problems with the Ordinary Form Mass which do not arise with the Extraordinary Form.
  1. In the EF form the priest recites everything in Latin. The people can follow silently in books or reading sheets in their own language.
  2. The use of a language not in daily use eliminates the associations carried by familiar words and phrases.
  3. The music is standard. Most people were familiar with it and would quickly become so again.
  4. The Sanctus is sung whilst the consecration prayers are recited.
  5. The Mass is the same wherever one goes in the world.
  6. The priest is not facing the congregation and is therefore anonymous, which reduces the influence of prejudices that people can have about the appearance of others.
 These are important practical advantages.

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