Words of Wisdom from Fr. Tucker

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Read the entire, informative entry here

But this excerpt speaks volumes:

Excerpted from Dappled Things
Father Jim Tucker

Fifth, while it's useful to compare and contrast the traditional Roman Mass with Paul VI's version and with the various Eastern Liturgies, it is obnoxious to make disparaging comments about any of them. The excellence of one or another of these Liturgies doesn't require anyone to criticize the rest.

As with the preference for Macintosh or PCs, there is a strong subjective strain to our preference of one form of celebration over another. We do well to bear this in mind as we recognize that they are all approved of God through his Bride.

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I once suggested to a mean-spirited traditionalist that his position might be more attractive if, instead of saying how much worse the Pauline Mass was, he'd say how much better the Tridentine Mass was. He replied that he couldn't see the difference.

I went to a Low Mass once. I was excited to go, because I'd been fed that line for many years by the Latin Mass crowd that the Mass of Pius V was vastly superior. I had purchased my own missal and everything (I still have it; the missal I have is a work of art that puts the current St. Joseph Missal to shame).

When I left, I was sure I had proof that God protects the Church, if her faithful had to suffer through THAT agony for so many centuries!!!

I've been to the Latin version of the missal of Pope Paul VI, done at the National Shrine by some group whose name I forget. I've seen it performed in Latin and English at a Norbertine monastery. On each occasion, it was gorgeous; stunning; carefully done; with obvious attention to the meanings of the actions and the words. The consecration was said especially tenderly.

The Tridentine Low Mass, on the other hand, was rushed, said without any apparent awareness of the beauty of the text, and (surprise surprise) the choir was all-male.

I agree with the priest when he asserts that it's more a subjective matter. I'm sure the Tridentine Mass can be said beautifully and with great reverence, but I have no idea how someone can hold the notion that a poorly-said Pius V Mass is objectively superior to a well-said Paul VI Mass.

Dear Mr. Perry,

You also point out another extremely important strain. There is a certain chronological snobbery that may enter into our preferences as well. Some tend to think that simply because it is old it is better. Other think that simply because it is new it is better. I'm inclined to think that simply because it is God's I'm not entitled to an opinion in the matter.

I've never been to a Latin Mass. If it is anything near as glorious, mysterious, and wonderful as the Byzantine Rite Holy Liturgies I have been to, I am certain that it is magnificent beyond words.

And yet, I am tremendously thankful for the daily mass, said quickly in English, without a lot of inspiration and mystery, and yet with reverence--a daily sustenance. And I am tremendously thankful for the Sunday Mass in English--which feeds me the Lord's Body and Blood.

Jesus said, "In my father's house are many mansions." And we have a taste of that here on Earth. I'm sure that there are a great many who cringe at the thoughts of the Creole, Mariachi, and African Drum Masses I have attended and been inspired by. Nevertheless, these Masses are deemed appropriate for their cultural melieus, and they are the ordinary means of grace that God has provided. I cannot judge the great things of God, I am called to mere thankfulness.

Thank you for pointing that out!





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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on September 10, 2004 7:50 AM.

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