Daily Archives: November 18, 2022

Reverence

A dumb “c”atholic publication (no link) put out an article stating that we should stop saying that the Latin Mass is more reverent. At the end of the article, and after the usual small c catholic bloviation, it is said that if something is made to honour God (and the author add, respect others; because in NuChurch the others are deified) it is reverent.

Exactly there lies the problem.

The clapping, the noises, the chatting, the walking around at the “sign of peace”, the casual kindergarten exercises with the children, and all the rest that comes with your usual Novus Ordo are, exactly, not reverent because they lack that sense of awe, solemnity and utter respect traditional linked with the word.

Reverence is not only a matter of intention: it is in the way this intention is showed. If this were not the case, the playing of guitars in church could be considered reverent merely because the happy guitarists think they are honouring God, whilst every reasonable person would tell you that such an exercise is exactly the definition of lack of reverence. Similarly, the chanting of Gregorian chant is, by definition, reverent even if no one of the singers actually has any faith. If there is no exterior expression of the sense of awe in front of God’s power, and of deep interior submission to Him, then there is no reverence. All those soi-disant “charismatic” people with their disordered vociferating may think that they are being faithful, they may even think that they are proper worshipping God, but one thing they will never be is being reverent.

This is, to the common sense, so obvious that even those who have no contact with the Church instinctively, automatically grasp it. Countless movies have represented Catholic Traditional masses exactly in order to transmit the reverence. Nobody, who has to make a movie, would use the happy clapping and the applauses of the modern rituals instead.

It’s not even about silence, though silence is an important part of it. The Dies Irae of Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem is, in fact, extremely loud, but nobody in his right mind would ever think that it is not reverent.

Silence, though, is a very big ingredient. Modern V II do not know any better, which is why you see them chatting in church before the beginning of mass like they were in line for cinema tickets. But hey, I am sure if you asked them, they would tell you they are doing nothing wrong.

The new liturgy has destroyed, inter alia, the sense of reverence. Masses which your average V II churchgoer would describe as “reverent” have lost almost every trace of it: but everybody feels so good when the children are called in front of the altar, or sent back to the pews, like it’s the Christmas school recital; or when the usual applause at the end of it, and everybody feels so sanctimoniously good at encouraging each other. Almost as diabetes-inducing as those namaste signs at the “sign of peace”….

We need to recover the very sense of the word, and learn from what our ancestors did for so long, if we want to restore the very basics of proper worship.

And no, almost no Novus Ordo mass can be defined as “reverent”.

Because the Novus Ordo is made exactly in order to be irreverent.

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