Sunday at St. Peter’s in Lindsay, TX

On a weekend getaway with my family, I went to St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Lindsay, TX. An old German parish. Very beautiful, architecturally and artistically. The liturgy was beautiful too. I thought to myself, well this is a very reverent celebration of the Novus Ordo.

The thought also occurred to me that its beauty was in direct proportion to its approximation to the Extraordinary Form. Direct proportion.

Particulars? Well, obviously the structure of one Novus Ordo is that of any Novus Ordo. The notes of distinct reverence were as follows: Only altar boys, many altar boys well orchestrated with distinct tasks, incensing twice, a choir chanting the various parts of the Mass, a traditional high altar within a distinct sanctuary, etc. There was one feature, in my opinion helpful, that is not a part of the Extraordinary Form as yet, the readings read simply in the vernacular. The marvelous statues and stained glass didn’t hurt either.

The following day, I noticed the fine article by Cardinal Sarah, Prefect for the Congregation for Worship, posted (in translation) by Rorate.

At the end, there is this marvelous paragraph:

In this sense, it is necessary that those celebrating according to the “usus antiquior” do so without any spirit of opposition, and hence in the spirit of “Sacrosanctum concilium”. In the same way, it would be wrong to consider the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite as deriving from another theology that is not the reformed liturgy. It would also be desirable that the Penitential Rite and the Offertory of the “usus antiquior” be inserted as an enclosure in the next edition of the Missal with the aim of stressing that the two liturgical reforms illuminate one another, in continuity and with no opposition.

A promise of development of the Novus Ordo towards the Extraordinary form, at least in two moments of the liturgy. Very hopeful indeed. And in harmony with Pope Benedict’s hope that the two forms of the liturgy fructify each other.

4 thoughts on “Sunday at St. Peter’s in Lindsay, TX

  1. Great article! I suspect however that the “spirit of opposition” is more frequently felt by modern liturgists and their followers towards traditionalists than the other way around. Traditionalists are certainly not free of taint, but have more often been victims than victimizers.

    1. I think this is a fair point.

      It brings up the larger context. The larger context is this: The Novus Ordo was, unfortunately, created by a small committee and basically forced upon everyone. It was not organically developed. This is not exemplary liturgical reform by any stretch of the imagination.

      Result: Many were taken aback. They wanted to have the Mass of Ages. But they were in the minority and also not in power. When someone is in power with little threat from the opposition, he can look as though he is calm, free from hostility, free from rancor, peaceable. This is the larger context; why for many years one could not see the hostility of the progressives towards those who clung to the Mass of Ages. Same thing with Mother Angelica. When all the “Bishop So-and-Sos” were in power (not that others like them are not in power!) they could look so magnificent, kind, and paint Mother Angelica to look like a raging tyrant. The truth was the opposite, of course. She was marvelous: Humorous, generous, ferociously charitable, and “zeal for his house consumed her”.

      But now that the ranks increase of those who rightly judge the Mass of Ages to have incalculable worth, and to be a superior expression of our total Catholic faith, now that these ranks increase – everywhere, it seems – the guns are pointed at them. Rumors abound about how uncharitable, etc., they are. This is the wider context.

      The smaller context, however, is that about which Fr. Cipolla on Rorate wrote: Sometimes it is true that those zealous for his House are uncharitable to all who disagree and even judge – wrongly – the Novus Ordo to be illicit and even invalid.

      Anyone familiar with Satan’s “Divide and Conquer” strategy, or Hegel’s insight on “Dialectic” will readily grasp that such attitudes are not fruitful and will not heal the wounds in the body of Holy Mother Church.

      I repeat: We need extremism, of faith and of charity (not to mention hope). Only this will (a) give us the right compass (faith – truth) and (b) lighten our heavy burden (hope / charity).

  2. “There was one feature, in my opinion helpful, that is not a part of the Extraordinary Form as yet, the readings read simply in the vernacular.”

    The 2011 Instruction “Universae Ecclesiae” in no. 26 allows for vernacular readings (albeit with qualification):

    “Ad ea quae constabilita sunt in Litteris Apostolicis Summorum Pontificum, ad articulum 6, dicendum est quod lectiones Sanctae Missae, quae in Missali anni 1962 continentur, proferri possunt aut solum Latine, aut Latine, vernacula sequente versione, aut in Missis lectis etiam solum vernacule.”

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