The Irresistible March of the Tridentine Mass

Nothing wrong. No, really.

In the last few days, two events have impacted the blogosphere:

1) The Birmingham Oratory announced the return to the Tridentine version for their sung Sunday Latin Mass. This must be, if London is any example, an old version of the Novus Ordo, very similar to the Tridentine already.  I can easily imagine the other UK Oratories will follow suit in the near-ish future.

2) A high-profile blogger has announced a trial period of the Tridentine as the 9am Sunday Mass.

Both events are, in my eyes, clear indication of the following:

A) Even in the UK, the Tridentine’s march is now slowly becoming unstoppable. The more Tridentine masses there is, the more there will be, as imitation sets in and the faithful begin to know that the Tridentine mass exists in the first place.

B) The rediscovery of traditional Catholicism after the drunkenness of the post V-II years doesn’t go through a more pronounced use of the Novus Ordo in Latin (the Novus Ordo was, actually, meant to be mainly in Latin, with exceptions where allowed by the bishop), but through the rediscovery of the Mass of the Ages. This seems to be additional confirmation that within the Church there is a more and more pronounced feeling – expressed, or not – that there is no need to “integrate” Vatican II in the liturgy by rediscovering the Novus ordo as it should have been. What we had before V II was perfectly OK, and can be used exactly as it was.  In particular, the decision of the Oratory seems very indicative to me, as the present Solemn Novus Ordo (Latin) very probably used is so similar to the Tridentine, that the decision to switch can in my eyes only have the ideological background I have just described.

In my eyes, this also takes care of all the waffle about the supposed liturgical enrichment brought about by Vatican II. Enrichment, my aunt. If you ask me, the fitting place for the liturgical innovations of V II is the rubbish bin. It seems to me that whilst others – particularly if religious – would not express themselves in the same way, this train of thoughts becomes more and more spread. At least I cannot detect any “renaissance” of the Novus Ordo in Latin, for sure. Not even as a by-product of Summorum Pontificum, or as an intermediate step.

In the next years, we will see an increasing number of Tridentine masses around. It will take some patience, but in time its beauty and reverence will be clearly perceived by the faithful. I can well imagine that those who will have the patience to persevere, and will make the small effort to absorb the Latin and follow the mass with a missal or bilingual booklet, will soon wonder how they could cope with the kindergarten version of the original for so long. Give them some more time, and they’ll be speechless when asked what were all those ladies doing in the sanctuary, and why exactly were people receiving from laymen.

We are not there yet, but already at this point I can’t see how the march of the Tridentine can be stopped, as its celebration is the best advertisement it can receive.

The future isn’t Vatican II. The future isn’t a desperate attempt to create some strangely concocted liturgical hybrid, either. The future also isn’t a mixture of elements of the Tridentine with elements of the post-V II era (a Tridentine with altar girls, say).

If you ask me, it is clear enough what the future will be: it will be our beautiful, solemn, reverent past.


Posted on November 19, 2011, in Catholicism and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I’d like to attend a Latin Mass, but our bishop put it in church in a dangerous neighbourhood. However, I’m hoping the growing Anglo-Catholic movement in this country will be able to establish an outpost in the diocese of Peoria, where I live. i have hearing problems, and a Anglican se Mass would be easier for me to follow.

    • You mean the Ordinariate, Stephen? Have you tried to see whether you have the SSPX or the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter near you?

      As for your hearing problem, I’m sure it was very useful in years of modernist homilies.. 😉


  2. Great Commentary – I fully agree that we will see a return to the Holiness of the original Mass. I am a new Catholic but it only took going to 1 Tridentine Mass and I now go Every Sunday!

    • Beautiful, Ladybugranch! But you are obviously a perceptive, intelligent Catholic who had deepened the aspects of Catholicism before – if memory serves – converting.
      The mainstream, barely realising they aren’t supposed to use artificial contraception, might need more time… 😉

      I think for many the mental brake will be the Latin, until they attend with a missal. Then they’l discover it’s not so bad at all.


  3. veraefideisacramenta

    I surmise that the Faithful who remain faithful through the increasing persecution in the West will, by and large, be those attached to the Traditional Mass and Traditional Catholicism more generally.

  4. M, the nearest SSPX chapel is in St. Louis, Mo, and the nearest PFSP chrch is p near Chicago.
    Yes, I’m talking about the Anglican Ordinate. We have a lot of disafficted Anglicans in Central Illinois, so I’m hoping that some of them will take a Tiber swim soon.

    • Ah, Peoria to Chicago is a bit far away, I suppose.. (checked on Google Map.. 😉 )

      I do not officially recognise the existence of Anglo-Catholics, as in my book you are either an Anglican or a Catholic, but I think you wanted to make yourself understood.. 😉

      Yes, let’s hope there is a big swimming exercise….


%d bloggers like this: