I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers, by Chloe’s people, that there are rivalries among you.
I mean that each of you is saying, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Kephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
1 Cor 10-13
As things have been pretty slow around here I’ve had to augment my income as a contractor, this has eaten up my days & eliminated my ability to attend daily morning mass (Except Saturdays) so I’ve had to scrounge for evening masses in my area.
With the exception of Mondays when I’m committed to Eucharist Adoration at the time of evening mass the only day I hadn’t found a Mass within reach was Thursday until a fellow adorer mentioned a Thursday evening mass that takes place in Still River MA 4 PM at the chapel of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a group of sisters who wear the traditional Habit even when they aren’t fundraising.
This mass is in the pre Vatican form (Also known as the Tridentine Mass). It is in Latin, with the priest facing the Blessed Sacrament and all of the mass (expect the homily) in Latin and Holy Communion is received kneeling at the Alter rail with an Alter boy holding a salver beneath your chin.
I’m not old enough to remember the old mass & I’ve only attended two such high masses in my lifetime but now that I’m attending this one regularly following along in English with the old style Mass book the thing that strikes me the most is now how much the two mass styles are different but how much they are the same.
Both have the liturgy of the word and in both masses the Gospel is honored above basic scripture, many of the prayers said by the priest are almost identical and some prayers like the Angus Dei (Lamb of God) & the Penitential Rite are said by both the priest & the congregation in the current mass rather than the priest & the servers alone. Both the old mass and the new mass have prayers that rotate with the day and readings that go on a cycle.
Even in the communion rite consider, with both the new mass & the old mass the orientation of worship is on the Host & cup as the actual body & blood of Christ.
In fact one might even suggest that with the new mass with the sacrifice in plain view of the congregation & the priest facing it, the entire body of Christ in Attendance is focused on the Blessed Sacrament.
The biggest difference, the old mass contains the “last Gospel” after communion almost always John 1:14
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own, but his own people 7 did not accept him. But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God. And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.
Now logically this should be no surprise. The old mass is the template of the old mass just as the new Mass is derivative of the old but to hear some people talk you would think the old mass is all about exclusion and the new mass all about permissiveness.
I don’t see that at all, there are things to be said for both masses both have advantages.
The advantage of the modern mass is that being in the vernacular people can all understand it.
The advantage of the old mass is that it’s consistent so no matter where you are the latin is the same.
The advantage of the modern mass is that the congregation is more engaged in what is happening in the mass and praying key prayers directly
The advantage of the old mass is the prayer in both orientation and style is more reverent & focused on the worship of God.
The advantage of the modern mass is the consecration of bread & wine is in full view of the congregation so they can clearly worship and the focus of both priest & congregation is on the blessed sacrament
The advantage of the old mass is the extreme care and respect is given to the Body & Blood of Christ to the point where the fingers used to dispense communion are thoroughly rinsed into the chalice after communion.
Now that I attend both regularly let me say this. I don’t think God is any less worshiped by the faithful at one or the other, it all comes down to the priest & the congregation. If the priest is devout & reverent the modern mass is just as reverent as the old one. If the congregation learns the prayers and says the responses quietly they can each be personally involved in the mass.
A person who regularly prayers the Rosary isn’t no less worshiping God than a person who regularly prays the Chaplet of Divine Mercy or the Chaplet of St. Michael the Archangel. A person who reveres St. Padre Pio is no less seeking God than one who reveres St. Pope John XXIII or St. Pope John Paul II or St. John Vianney.
If for you the Tridentine Mass brings you closer to God then if it’s available to you by all means attend it and if the reverse is true for you by all means dive into the current Mass.
For me I’d discovered that attending both has improved my appreciation of the Mass as a whole and the full richness of worship in the Church.
Remember it’s not about factions it’s about worship, so let all celebrate whichever Mass we do as a vital weekly or daily stop on the road to salvation.