Rorate Caeli

You share: The lynching of the Traditional Mass
Share your liturgical memories of the Novus Ordo

Bishop Robert Lynch, of St. Petersburg, Florida, still thinks he owns the Traditional Mass - he has become known for time and again prohibiting it, or for making it impossible for his priests to implement Summorum Pontificum in the largest city within his jurisdiction: Tampa, in Hillsborough County. Yes, thanks to  Bp. Lynch, the Republican National Convention will take place in a Summorum-Free county, one of the largest Summorum-free counties in America (the Catholic version of Dry Counties). But he feels he is doing a huge favor by "allowing" a priest to celebrate a Sunday TLM in a chapel in his diocesan Cathedral - whose main nave is about to be "renovated"...

He is currently on vacation, but he took no vacation from his hideous pseudo-hip blogging. From the Traditional Mass to the "Benedictine Arrangement" favored by the reform-of-the-reformers, to the firm liturgical vision proposed by Mgr. Andrew Wadsworth, nothing of worth escapes his verbal lynching:

My personal memory of the liturgy prior to Vatican II is an awful one. I remember the daily Requiem Masses screeched by the eighth grade girls of St. Charles Borromeo parish in Peru, Indiana, mandatory prior to the start of every school day, and even with their screeching, the Mass gratefully only lasted about twenty minutes. Communion distributed to the kneeling at the altar rail was more comic than reverent (remember hearing the words “Corpus Domini. . .as the priest started at one end and then eternam” as he reached the thirtieth person kneeling?). Also strong in my memory remain Masses on Holy Days of Obligation when at the beginning of Mass, during the Offertory and at the Pater Noster, the assistant priests would come out and give communion to anyone who needed to “duck out” and get back to work (this was especially true at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York even when the Cardinal was the celebrant). Adult choirs attempting Mozart were only slightly better in most churches than the eighth grade girls at St. Charles. My grandparents and parents taught us to distract ourselves during Mass by following their example and either praying the Rosary continuously throughout Mass or attempting to follow along using a Missal which had Latin on one side of the fold and the English translation on the other. It was mystery, for sure, but not the kind of mystery which is reverentially spoken of now for the past. Monsignor Wadsworth calls in his talk for more attention to be paid by celebrants to the General Instruction to the Roman Missal which guides the liturgical celebration. I agree but he had better be careful for the growing practice of shielding the celebrants from congregants with candles and crosses of such size as to block the vision of many at Mass is explicitly forbidden in the same GIRM.

Since our readers are on average much younger than Bp. Lynch and the dying breed he represents (at least in the American episcopate), we would invite you to share your own personal liturgical memories of the New Mass. Those memories often explain why so many of us do our utmost to seek refuge from the Ordinary Rite of Paul VI. Please, share all your best (worst) experiences with the New Mass.

Bishop Lynch is 71. More about him in this Renew America article by Matt Abott.