söndag 7 maj 2017

Tridentine Mass hanging on

I went to the Tridentine Mass this morning. It was better attended than usual. We are fortunate in having a choice of two - one in town on Saturday evenings, and another on Sunday mornings at a Franciscan house about ten minutes out on the commuter train. The Saturday evening one draws about fifty, the Sunday morning one about a couple of dozen. Both are said by dedicated priests; the celebrant for the Sunday morning Mass is in his mid-seveties and had a stroke earlier in the year. It is a great effort for him to say it, as well as a Novus Ordo Mass earlier in the day.

To have two Tridentine Masses most weeks looks good, but in truth it is hanging on by a thread. The overwhelming majority of Catholics are uncomfortable with Latin and want their Mass in the vernacular, with plenty of the Lutheran hymns that most of them were brought up with; this, the prevailing form of Mass, is hardly even recognisable as Catholic. Those of us who prefer the traditional form find it hard to accept that we are at the margin of the margin but that is the reality. It will be a miracle if the Tridentine Mass is still around in these parts in five years time.

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