The SSPX, The Novus Ordo And Us

Solemn Mass (Sung Latin) at the Brompton Oratory. BTW, this is (formally) Novus Ordo, too.

Solemn Mass (Sung Latin) at the Brompton Oratory. BTW, this is (formally) Novus Ordo, too.

An interesting discussion has erupted concerning the way a conservative, or traditionalist Catholic, should behave concerning attendance to the Novus Ordo Mass. Catocon was so nice as to prepare a mini-research of sources in the comment box of this post.

There is no doubt that whilst some SSPX priest arrives at times to say not worse than that the NO “provides a deficient spiritual diet to the faithful” (something on which, I hope, we all agree), the general stance is in the end harder, oscillating between attending only in case of “social emergency” (and even then only if the Mass is very reverent) and at the other extreme the softer, original position of Archbishop Lefebvre, who said:

However, “it is an exaggeration to say that most of these Masses are invalid.” One should not hesitate to go a little further to have Mass according to the Roman Ordo; but “if one does not have the choice and if the priest celebrating Mass according to the Novus Ordo is faithful and worthy, one should not abstain from going to Mass.”

Also, there seem to be no doubt even among versed priests somewhat less friendly to the SSPX than I am that for the SSPX priests a properly celebrated NO Mass is valid.

In all cases, it appears most priests of the SSPX would demand from yours truly that he exclusively attends a Traditional Mass; actually, their own Traditional Mass, as the doubts or misgivings concerning the indult/SP masses are also clearly there.

This blog was always, as every reader knows who read it even occasionally, on a different position.

Firstly, allow me to copy and paste – out of sheer laziness – a comment I have written in answer to a description of the NO as “abomination”. The SSPX certainly do not go as far as that, but you get the drift.

I refuse to see the Novus Ordo as an abomination. I positively and squarely refuse to do so. If the NO is an abomination, the Church is a fraud. It cannot be that the Church of Christ has decided to offer an abomination worldwide, and it still is the Church of Christ. If I believed that, then I would be forced to believe that there is no Peter, that the Pope is an impostor and a masquerade. Again, I refuse to do so. In fact, as I have explained the only reason why I continue to attend the NO is that I do not want, one day, to think that the NO is an abomination. If a particular NO Mass is more than I can stomach, I can find another NO, or three. On no account would I ever think I am the one to decide that the Rite in itself is an abomination, and I am too good for what the Church offers me.
It’s good to eat hard bread in a while. It still is the bread of life, and it keeps one honest. Works for me, at least.

2. I never said I am afraid that the Society might become Sedevacantist. My point is rather that if I pamper myself with the TLM every Sunday, I might end up thinking the NO is … an abomination. Should life, then, keep me away from a TLM I would then, coherently, not attend anymore. The one at risk is myself, not them. Now, either the NO (I mean, as a Mass; in abstract; and properly celebrated) is valid or it isn’t. I truly do not think it is for me to say. I am a Catholic for a reason. Now, if I had serious reason to think some local NO is not sacramentally valid, I wouldn’t attend there. If one has a TLM, I will encourage him to go there; if one hasn’t there, I would encourage him to travel further to find one in reasonable distance. But if I heard him talking like you do, I would suggest that he attends a NO Mass every now and then, too.

3. Yes, the NO might bring less graces. It probably does. Particularly if one gets angry. But hey, I can’t have my cake and eat it. To people like me, there are dangers on both sides. Been there, done that. Let me say very frankly that I do not want to die thinking that the Mass the Church of Christ offers me is an abomination, and offends Christ. Probably 99% of the Masses offered in the Roman Rite are NO. Many of them are reverently celebrated – even in Germany I can find decent ones without trouble -. If we throw the NO qua NO out of the window, we are saying the Church is a fraud to 99%. Thanks, but no, thanks.

4. You vastly overstate my influence as a blogger; but yes, I could influence the one or the other. On no account, then, would I ever suggest to them that they stay away from a NO Mass if they cannot have the TLM; because truly, the very thought is scary. The TLM is better, but the NO is still good, because it still is the Mass.
Second choice, I agree. But whoa, pay attention what you say.

One day I might well decide to only attend the TLM. Actually, it would be the more pleasant option by far. To do so, I would have to feel very safe that no antics of our clergy will drive me to distraction. I wish I could give you this security, but unfortunately I can’t, or a part of me is afraid one day I could make such a mistake… You see, I could end up – and I say this without animosity, but with a certain apprehension – thinking like you, and I really do not want to.
I will cling to the acceptability of the NO as I cling to the Church. I do not live in Hippyland. Plenty of reverent masses around here. Actually, my “Mass tourism” also has the aim of seeing how things are, examining the lay of the land. Honestly, it could be much worse.

I belong to the Church. I love the Church even when she slaps me in the face. Already once I stopped attending because I thought I knew better, and was better. Already once I thought I do not need to go and listen to a stupid priest talking stupid waffle (obviously, no clue about the real reason why I went to Mass). Never again. If the Lord gives me less graces for that, so be it. I will accept the slap from him as I accept the love, and I will accept whatever slap I take for taking part to the Mass the Church of Christ gave me. Because, you see, the NO is still the standard Mass of the Only Church, and I can’t throw the one from the window without throwing the other.

5. Then let us think to the end. if the NO is an abomination, the priest who celebrates the NO mass is an accomplice in this abomination. Not only the Mass might well be invalid – you probably think it is – but the other sacraments are, probably, too. What then? Do 99% of Catholic priest not impart a valid absolution? How many babies are validly baptised? How many adults validly married? How many of them, actually, validly priests?

It’s a slippery slope.

M

P.S. To all my twelve readers. I believe the NO is okay. I truly do. Vastly inferior to the TLM, for sure; but seriously, it’s fine.
I hope it will die one day, of course; but as long as it doesn’t, it will deliver all right. It’s the Mass of the Church after all.
You would be better served and more inspired by the TLM; but probably not, if this leads you to think a properly celebrated NO stinks.

Secondly, I would like to make the further consideration that if the SSPX are right, the likes of the London Oratorians are utterly wrong in continuing to celebrate the Novus Ordo ad populum, and we should consider participating at their NO Mass only in case of, say, a marriage in the family. Their NO is clearly, if you listen to some of the voices, not reverent enough for daily attendance.

Even worse it becomes if we take literally the reservations of the SSPX about priests who celebrate exclusively the TLM, but of whom it can be assumed they would not refuse to celebrate the NO if so ordered. In this perspective, not even the FSSP is good enough that their (TL) Mass can be attended to without reservations and moral distinguos.

What is the ultimate consequence of this? As I have already stated, it is that according to this thinking the Church of Christ serves poison and evil fare, day in and day out, to more than 99% of the Roman Rite faithful; who are, once again, not exactly a fringe group, but rather around 90% of worldwide Catholics. In a word, the Church would be the most efficient tool of Satan on earth, bar none.

I don’t like Pope Francis. Actually, I do not even esteem him. I do not think he should have been allowed to become a priest, much less a Pope – the same as Pope Liberius, Pope Benedict IX, Pope Alexander VI or Pope Leo X by the way -. But, come on…

I refuse to espouse such an extreme position. I see a substantial difference between considering the NO like a hamburger compared to the TLM’s porterhouse steak, or Coca-Cola compared to the TLM’s Barolo, and considering it instead stale meat, or a poisonous drink. The difference is substantial in that the hamburger is still nourishment, and the Coca-cola still quenches the thirst.

I refuse to espouse a vision of the world that sees in the Church an almost complete evil-producing wasteland, as the only fully acceptable parts of it would then be the SSPX and their affiliates. I refuse to consider the London Oratorians not good enough for my lofty standards, and a Traditional Latin Mass with the FSSP something I should avoid if I can. With such a mentality, of course talking to the Vatican does not make sense. With such a mentality, of course it is infinitely better to have no agreement at all with the Vatican, not even if one is offered for free and without have to make any concession in return. If Rome is so evil, then they must be fought against, not dialogued with! When, and only when, one has this forma mentis, Williamson’s behaviour becomes not only understandable, but actually coherent.

Frankly, I don’t see it. I want the end of the NO mass as much as the next Traditionalist, but I refuse to consider poisonous or evil – much less “an abomination” – the spiritual nourishment the Church of Christ offers me and the other 99% of Roman Rite Catholics.

Some might say “but Mundabor, they say that the NO is evil, but they qualify by saying it that it is evil in the sense that it does not have a necessary good ” (or suck like). I answer to this that either the NO is evil in the sense that you and I understand when we hear the word evil, or the argument fails to persuade. If “evil” isn’t really “evil”, then the argument isn’t there in the first place.

I wonder how many within the SSPX truly share this view. They have supported Bishop Fellay like a man, and Bishop Williamson’s exclusion has caused not more than a dozen or so defection (less, if memory serves). It is clear they look at Rome in a way well different from the creator and distributor of millions of poisonous masses daily.

I have left the words of the Archbishop up as a quotation, so that at the end of this long post one may want to read it again. Of course the Archbishop might have expressed himself differently in different contexts, and one must take his words in the frame of his beautiful love for the Church. But exactly for this reason, it seems to me that his softer stance is more reasoned and more coherent, as he clearly gives every NO mass celebrated by a “faithful and worthy priest” dignity of – to remain by the culinary metaphor – nourishing, healthy, un-poisonous hamburger.

Mundabor

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Posted on July 3, 2013, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, FSSPX, Traditional Catholicism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. Posts like this one are the reason I keep coming back. Your perspective on these things and your precision of language is a refreshing rarity. Thanks again! :)

  2. Mundabor,
    you write: Some might say “but Mundabor, they say that the NO is evil, but they qualify by saying it that it is evil in the sense that it does not have a necessary good ”
    Allow me a little philosophical hair-splitting. Philosophically speaking, according to Aristotle/ St. Thomas and the Scholastic tradition, evil is a “privatio”, the absence of a good that should be there. Evil has, ontologically, no independent existence from good. Blindness is an evil, but strictly speaking, blindness does not “exist” at all – blindness is just the absence of the good of sight. It is a defect, or a perversion of the faculty of sight. In the same way, evil in general is, according to St. Thomas, the absence of the good that should be there.
    Saying that the NO is evil because the necessary good is absent, does not amount to anything more than simply saying that the NO is evil, period. It does not seem to add to the content of the assertion, except in explaining the term employed.

    The problem with the SSPX position appears to be that, contrary to their assertion, the necessary good of the Mass is NOT absent in a valid Novus Ordo. The necessary good of the Mass is transsubstantiation, the presence of Christ, and the graces that flow from it. All these are there as long as transsubstantiation occurs, in other words, as long as the consecration is valid. All other goods, such as clarity in doctrine, the beauty of the rite etc. that we have at the TLM, may well be absent in the NO, but they are secondary in importance.
    The one additional danger in attending the NO is the danger of sacrilege. But there is no sacrilege in a reverent NO celebrated strictly according to the liturgical books, because otherwise the Church would have prescribed (at least) weekly sacrilege for almost all her members, which is impossible as long as the Church remains the Church. To believe this, we would have to assume a position at least very close to sedevacantism.

    A more reasonable version of the SSPX position – but still somewhat stronger than the stance of Archbishop Lefebrvre around 1970, that you have quoted – would be to admit that assisting at the NO is not, in itself, wrong, but prolonged attendance of an inferior rite that obfuscates important points of dogma in its texts and symbolism will have the tendency to produce heresy and consequently apostasy in a large part of both priests and laity. This is, to my mind at least, obviously true, and does not require any of the consequences that seem to follow from the more radical version. The faithful should, on this theory, generally avoid the NO in order to reduce the danger of apostasy and heresy. They could, however, attend the NO on occasion in order to fulfil their obligation, or to counteract sedevacantist tendencies such as the ones you describe in your comment, or for any other just reason. They could even attend it constantly, as long as they know the risks and take action to protect themselves from the dangers of an equivocal rite, for example by taking additional time to study the true traditional teachings in question.

  3. By the way, I have a question related to language, not liturgy, specifically regarding Mass attendance: With both me and Mundabor not being native speakers, I would like to know which is the correct version in English:

    Do you “attend to Mass” (as Mundabor has written), “attend at Mass” (as I have read often), or simply “attend Mass” (as I tend to say)? Are all three correct? Do they perhaps even signify slightly different things?

    • I have looked and it would seem one attends mass (transitive), but attends to a problem or an activity

      http://www.thefreedictionary.com/attend

      I must frankly admit I have neither the time not the inclination to look at these details regularly before I write, rather trying to improve my English slowly, as I write more and more and become more familiar with the language…

      Mother tongue readers will, no doubt, be more precise.

      M

    • Catocon, one “attends Mass”, a servant “attends to” his master and one might “attend at” court.

    • Flippin’ language… ;)

      M

    • “Flippin’ language… ”
      It does not end there… As seen from (by? at? through? with? in? on? behind? ;)) the link Mundabor kindly provided, one might also attend on (or attend upon) a guest. Furthermore, something could be attended by something else, so that, when it’s both stormy and rainy, the storm might be attended by rain, if and only if rain attends the storm in question.
      This is almost as bad as when I learned that to see through something in order to see something through it and to see something through are not the same thing at all…
      English is crazy sometimes.

  4. This is an important article and thanks for it Mundabor. Important to me because I hate the NO here in Qatar so much that I haven’t been for some weeks until this last Sunday when I lasted only ten minutes before walking out in a rage. I don’t think necessarily that I am better than the (many) others there, mostly Indians and Filipinos, I just think I am different – they and I have no connection whatever and therefore I simply feel that I don’t belong. I have been in past weeks to the Maronite Rite Mass, but even that’s been Vatican II-ised. Yet I need the graces of Holy Communion … what to do, what to do?

    • Oh, what to do is very easy if you ask me.
      Though it up, and go to Mass. Pray the rosary all the time, try to ignore the antics, keep your sight on the Tabernacle.
      But go to Mass.
      Go to Mass.

      M

  5. @ catocon Thank you.

    “A more reasonable version of the SSPX position – but still somewhat stronger than the stance of Archbishop Lefebrvre around 1970, that you have quoted – would be to admit that assisting at the NO is not, in itself, wrong, but prolonged attendance of an inferior rite that obfuscates important points of dogma in its texts and symbolism will have the tendency to produce heresy and consequently apostasy in a large part of both priests and laity. This is, to my mind at least, obviously true, and does not require any of the consequences that seem to follow from the more radical version. The faithful should, on this theory, generally avoid the NO in order to reduce the danger of apostasy and heresy. They could, however, attend the NO on occasion in order to fulfil their obligation, or to counteract sedevacantist tendencies such as the ones you describe in your comment, or for any other just reason. They could even attend it constantly, as long as they know the risks and take action to protect themselves from the dangers of an equivocal rite, for example by taking additional time to study the true traditional teachings in question.”

    For several years, especially the past four, I have been discerning whether or not I had a vocation to the cloister. During this period of time, I gradually came to see that I could not in good conscience join a Novus Ordo religious order because I would not be in a position to be able to “protect themselves from the dangers of an equivocal rite, for example by taking additional time to study the true traditional teachings in question.”

    It may not be the same for others, but this is my concusion. Thank you for stating this with such precision. Needless to say, even my spiritual director who offers both the Novus Ordo and the TLM, has not undertood my position. Perhaps this will help me to better explain it.

    • I perfectly understand your position, filiamariae.

      I do not have a vocation, but if I had I would seriously wonder whether the SSPX wouldn’t be the right place for me. The fact is, he who enters a mainstream seminary today has no guarantee of sound formation, and possibly is not even safe from fag seminarists. He might be lucky, but again he might not. The SSPX would eliminate both risk components.

      M

  6. Since I knew the venerable Archbishop, I will provide my opinion.

    His stance moved toward a more hard line approach as he aged. The quote you have given was from his earlier years. As the crisis in the church deepened, and as Rome battled him more and more intently, he privately became more concerned about the NO. He never, however, publicly proclaimed it to be invalid, even though his concern in that area grew, culminating in the consecrations that earned him an “excommunication”. Even the Roman authorities have all but admitted that the excommunication wasn’t quite “canonically correct”.

    Please keep in mind the following as well: in the English speaking countries, the translation of the NO was absolutely pathetic, while the French translation of the NO was not. In most English speaking countries, the “for all” corruption immediately initiated the “validity” debate among the traditionally minded. In French, they never used this corruption. They did not translate “pro multis” as “pour tous” or “pour tout”. They used, and still use, “pour la multitude”, which literally translates as “for the many”. Had the “pour tous (tout)” corruption made its way into the French version, the Archbishop’s stance might have been very different.

    This also, in my mind, accounts for why the French seminarians were, generally speaking, less “hard-line” than their English speaking counterparts. They didn’t have this raging debate over a terrible translation of the consecration possibly rendering the NO invalid.

    I hope this information is helpful.

    Best wishes.

    Richard

    • It certainly is, Richard. One also humanly understands how the situation of growing conflict and the feeling of entrenchment as the guitars spread everywhere may have made the Archbishop’s stance harder.

      But then again in my NO peregrinations in this part of the Country I have never (as in: never) had to endure guitars or tambourines at Mass; not even felt banners, actually, and we now have “for many” and all the other improvements.

      What personally, though, has impressed me most of my NO “tourism” is the fact that with one exception, all priests seemed to take the consecration seriously, I have heard several homilies about Transubstantiation, and have noticed a content of Catholicism in many homilies that is far above, say, the insipid Bergoglio fare. Then there are those who even try to sneak the Latin into the liturgy, and I wish they had the guts to offer a TLM (which they clearly haven’t).

      Whilst this can never be a Porterhouse steak, I found many “gourmet burgers” around. A much better situation than I remember from my childhood years in Italy.

      M

  7. As an additional thought, the new English translation just completed under BXVI has corrected this corruption. It should have been done years ago, if for no other reason than to render the “validity” debate a moot point.

  8. I respect your position. I have, as the saying goes, been there and bought the t shirt. I was married in my local parish at the time (Liverpool) my daughter was baptised there and my wife received into the Church – a day of great joy – but in the end I decided that I had to find some other place to worship or lose my faith. I came back from holiday one year in the late 90s to find a young girl serving on the altar and that was the last straw. The priest had resisted the innovation but had finally been bullied into it. What changed my usual rather bullish modus operandi of gritting my teeth through the inevitable heresy and correcting the erring where possible was having my daughter. I realized that what I could put up with because I was relatively used to the post conciliar situation was likely to rob my child of her Faith. That led me to the Old Rite and eventually to the Society and I am very grateful for the pastoral care we receive from their Priests. I admire your spirit and I agree with your position. I had to correct somebody recently when they stated that the Society was the Church, a ridiculous assertion on its face. I liken the SSPX to a life boat. The idea is to be rescued as soon as possible – attempting to turn the life boat into a ship is futile.

    • Very well said, Gerard, and if you can have the SSPX Mass and think it is the right thing for you, more power to you.

      Your need to correct the chap unfortunately shows the dangers of the situation. One must never lose sight of the reality of a Church actively operating among us, if in a very imperfect way.

      M

  9. Mundabor, please do not fear the future. You have noted more than once what might happen scares you. That is not from God. Even if 99% of the Church’s teachings and masses are frauds, the true Church – the one offering the true Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ – still exists. Even if 100% of the teachings are frauds, the Holy Catholic Church exists. It is eternal. I have been told – and feel that it is right in the sight of God – that if I cannot attend a truly holy sacrifice, I should wait until I can – which may be a year – and to remain in reverent prayer until I can make it. That is a much better option than to intentionally throw Christ crumbs. Attending the N.O. poisoned (quelled, disturbed, extinguished, muted, diverted) my faith and I’m still recovering from it.

    In all charity, knowing you are a drinker, I would like to point out the negative effects of alcohol on moral decision-making. Would you be agreeable to putting down the bottle for a couple weeks to see if your views on any of this change?

    May the Angels and Saints look favorably upon you, and may the Holy Trinity give you most holy blessings. St. Pius X, pray for Mundabor!

    • Not entirely sure what you mean with “drinker” and “putting down the bottle”, Linda, but clearly you seem not to get the argument if you think I might now exclusively attend the Tridentine Mass for two months and decide the Church offers poison to 99%.

      You argument that 99% of the Church offers poison is truly scary, and so is the idea but you feel it could be “right in the sight of God” not to attend a valid Mass.

      If this “is from God”, then the Church isn’t.

      Pay attention not to build your own golden calf and decide you like it better than the troubled Church we have in front of us. And don’t think I am immune myself from this type of thinking. Alas, I am not. Which is why I will continue to attend the NO Mass, together with the TLM.

      M

  10. Having been brought up with the Tridentine Mass I left the Church when the NO was introduced. I returned to the Church in my mid thirties but quickly found that I was feeling worse coming out of Mass than going in, so I stopped going. When I discovered the SSPX (the first Mass I attended was in an old village hall) I cried throughout the Mass. It was like coming home. Here was beauty, sanctity, humility and a true offering to God. I owe the SSPX so much!

    I have been back to NO Masses since. At best I find them empty and cold. Some of what I have seen is simply outrageous. I cannot see these Masses leading anywhere good.

    My question is – if I cannot attend an SSPX or similar Mass, are you telling me that God really wants me to attend a NO Mass that I feel worse coming out of than going in?

  11. laotzuthomas

    I grew up knowing only the NO Mass. I didn’t like the guitars and such, communion in the hand, communion standing, jokes during the homily, etc. I felt this loss of the sense of the sacred but it took the SSPX to help me understand why I felt the way I did.

    By attending the NO Mass and accepting blindly the multitude of heretical and near-heretical changes in doctrine that have permeated the post-conciliar church, I unwittingly was indoctrinated, from childhood, with what I have now come to recognize as many errors. More or less they made me a Protestant. Many of my friends lost the faith completely. Among all the Catholics I know, none are orthodox. They are simply the way I was. It isn’t the act of attending the NO that is the problem. It is more about being in an environment that tends to Protestantize and lead to erroneous beliefs in relation to Catholic doctrine throughout the ages. Trying to live the true faith means I must avoid attending the NO whenever possible with the exception of special occasions (weddings, etc) for the good of my soul.

    • I agree with you. It’s not the NO that makes them protestant; but the NO doesn’t help them as much as it could to become good Catholics.

      The bigger tragedy is the utter lack of proper Catechesis, both from and outside the pulpit.

      At the Brompton Oratory the instruction is the same whether NO, TLM or quasi-TLM (The “old” Novus Ordo they also celebrate). No difference in celebrant’s reverence, either.

      M

  12. This is a sudden about face from your recent elevation of the SSPX to a position of trust in the matter of interpreting matters of the Faith. You fail to account for two things: 1. Abp. Lefebvre’s final judgement of the NO; 2. The avoidance of full condemnations by the Abp. and current SSPX leaders due to their potential harm to the Faithful. The Brompton Oratorians should be celebrating the TLM.

    • You should read me with more attention, David.
      My support of the SSPX has always been – and will continue to be – very strong, but I have never said I profess everything that they profess. My countless blog posts concerning NO I have attended should have given you a clue, or ten.

      As to the Oratorians, they celebrate the TLM, the first version of the NO mass and the actual version of the same Mass. Everything they make, they make as reverently and beautifully as they can. What you think they should celebrate seem not to interest them overly, as they continue to celebrate all three types of Mass.

      We need people like the SSPX, because they fight their battle for doctrinal and liturgical integrity with great energy and heroism. But this does not mean having to flatten oneself on every detail of what they have on their websites.

      If the stance of the SSPX were “we refuse to give our faithful hamburger, but we do not say hamburger is poisonous, and we recommend all those who can’t access a Tridentine Mass to seek a reverently celebrated one waiting for better times” they would not undermine their message in the least.

      Heck, one commenter posted here yesterday seriously asking whether he hold attend a Mass that *lets him feel bad*.

      Seriously?

      M

    • Re footnote to comment of 5 July 6.14
      You should read me with more attention Mundabor. My comment was not focused on my feelings as such, as you kindly put it, but on where the NO Mass was leading my faith. Rather than strengthen it, my frustration at some of the appalling behaviour I saw there was beginning to weaken it. I said:

      “I have been back to NO Masses since. At best I find them empty and cold. Some of what I have seen is simply outrageous. I cannot see these Masses leading anywhere good.
      My question is – if I cannot attend an SSPX or similar Mass, are you telling me that God really wants me to attend a NO Mass that I feel worse coming out of than going in?”

      Perhaps I could have expressed myself with greater clarity.

    • You insist, it seems to me, in making the way you feel the key of the matter.

      God wants you to attend the Mass He gives you.

      So once again how you feel is not relevant, the Mass is.

      Expressing myself with greater clarity, you can’t feel worse coming out of it than going in if you reflect this is the nourishment God gives you, and – if you cannot attend a TLM – prescribes to you. Whatever bad feeling you will have – and I know perfectly well what you mean by it – must be offered to the Lord in humble sumbission, and with the prayer this may one day change if not for us, for the generations after us.

      The NO, being a valid mass (I mean, when it is, of course; but this is another cup of tea), will always be the bearer of the grace coming from it, and the proper object of your mass obligation. Therefore, it can never be that the Mass in itself leads your faith in the wrong direction, or exempts you from the obligation to attend Mass. It just cannot be that a valid Mass exempts you from attendance because of a comparison of feelings.

      If you cannot find a TLM, you may be in front of a long life of masses you “find” “empty and cold”. Still the Mass, though.

      Hey, it’s a vale of tears.

      M

    • “Therefore, it can never be that the Mass in itself leads your faith in the wrong direction”

      You seem to be disassociating the form of the Mass itself from the ‘spirit of VII’ that surrounds it.

      At a No Mass I attended four years ago (it wasn’t a children’s Mass) the priest instructed the congregation that they will find God in the trees and we should not just name the trees but allow the trees to name us. There were other, slightly less odd, interjections throughout the Mass. Yes, the form of the NO Mass may have been valid in itself. God wants me to attend this Mass you say. If coming out of this Mass ‘feeling’ dreadful is a test of faith then I greatly fear that in my weakness mine wouldn’t survive much of this nourishment.

      The empty pews suggest to me that exposure to the NO Mass and the “spirit of VII’ that surrounds it have led many to fall by the wayside. I have no wish to follow.

      This of course leads to a conflict, because you are right “It just cannot be that a valid Mass exempts you from attendance because of a comparison of feelings.” Well, it is more than just a comparison of feelings, but what you say is correct.

    • What you might have experienced is an invalid mass. If the vessels are not of the prescribed material, for example (say: they are of clay) this is clear example the priest does not intend to do what the church does. In this extreme cases, it should not be difficult to find another priest who does things halfway decently. Priests who make very stupid homilies will have a strong tendency to liturgical abuses and will make it easier to spot the huge problem of a possibly invalid mass.

      In my experience, such events are very rare, and I have scouted a lot of churches around my neck of the wood.

      And yes, the “spirit of V II” is a completely different matter from the validity of the Mass. A stupid priest does not an invalid mass make.

      M

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