onsdag 27 juni 2012

Promoting the Extraordinary Form Mass

To promote the Extraordinary Form Mass requires some kind of national organisation to co-ordinate activities. The English Latin Mass Society (LMS) would be a good model to follow.It is not a religious order or priestly association, though it has many members who are priests. Its main aim is to co-ordinate those activities by which lay people can assist priests in saying the Mass. The main ones are
  • Organising training for priests, for altar servers, and for singers, in particular, Gregorian Chant, talks and courses on the liturgy and on Latin.
  • Through local Representatives, providing encouragement and moral and material support for priests who say the Mass
  • Keeping members and the wider public informed of where and when Masses are taking place through the publication of a diary of events.
  • Inviting priests to lead special events such as pilgrimages, retreats, and days of recollection.
  • Maintaing a network of like-minded Catholics, both lay and clerical, through its local Representatives, local and national events, and its Magazine, Mass of Ages.
  • As required, representing the needs and views of lay Catholics ‘attached to the earlier liturgical traditions’ to our bishops and to the Vatican, as well as to the Catholic and secular media.
This requires at least a basic organisation consisting of a Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer, with a minimum level of funds to cover essential expenses. One of the tasks is to compile some kind of register of people's skills: who can assist with administrative work, who can sing and what music they are familiar with, who can teach music, who can act as servers and Masters of Ceremony, which priests can celebrate Mass, etc. Much of it is unglamorous and basic foot-slogging work.

The LMS has always insisted on its loyalty to the Bishops and Holy Father, and has on the whole, been restrained in its criticism of the post-1965 changes. A failure in this respect is almost certainly one of the reasons why recovery of the traditional liturgy has been so slow: faced with strident demands and aggressive criticism of the newer liturgy, even supportive clergy have been inclined to back off.

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