Friday, February 15, 2008

1962 VS. 1970

Ever gotten into one of these arguments?

Every time I read one, there's always one person who blames the NO for abuses and likewise blames the TLM for people being 'bored'.

Well, what both sides need to remember is that the NO doesn't prescribe any abuses just like hte TLM isn't responsible for the laity not involving themselves. Before many of you label me a traitor, my point is that your argument must be on something tangible. Clown masses, liturgical dancing, etc. are atrocities. But that doesn't really bolster the TLM because niether is it legal in the NO.

What we can objectively and effectively compare are the missals themselves. This should be the basis of the argument. The "elephant in the sanctuary" argument can apply to both. So let's construct our intellectual argument:

First, we must establish lex orandi lex credendi. Meaning the law [of] prayer [is the] law [of] belief. Simply seen as prayer influences belief. Now we have a case for the NO influencing a fall in the quality of belief in the faithful.

Let's look at some examples:

The lavabo--


TLM:

P: I will wash my hands among the innocent, and will cleanse compass Thine altar, O Lord. That I may hear the voice of praise, and tell of all Thy wondrous works. I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of Thy house, and the place where Thy glory dwelleth. Take not away my soul, O God, with the wicked; nor my life with men of blood. In whose hands are iniquities: their right hand is filled with gifts. But as for me, I have walked in my innocence; redeem me, and have mercy on me. My foot hath stood in the right way; in the churches I will bless Thee, O Lord. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be; world without end. Amen.[The priest returns to the middle of the altar and bowing slightly, says:]

P: Receive, O holy Trinity, this oblation offered up by us to Thee in memory of the passion, resurrection, and ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and in honor of blessed Mary, ever a virgin, of blessed John the Baptist, of the holy apostles Peter and Paul, of these, and of all the saints, that it may be available to their honor and to our salvation; and may they whose memory we celebrate on earth vouchsafe to intercede for us in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


NO:

P: Lord, wash away my iniquity; cleanse me from my sin.


There's an obvious difference. Other than the length, what do you see mostly missing from the NO excerpt?

Humility.

The TLM excerpt is filled with requests to God, invocation of saints, and entreaties to God to allow the priest, although humanly unworthy as we all are unworthy, to allow him to do His good works. The NO has none of that.


Let's look at the introduction:


TLM:

P: In the name of the Father, (+) and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

P: I will go in to the altar of God.

R: To God, Who giveth joy to my youth.

P: Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy; deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man.

R: For Thou art, God, my strength; why hast Thou cast me off? and why do I go all sorrowful whilst the enemy afflicteth me?

P: Send forth Thy light and Thy truth: they conducted me and brought me unto Thy holy hill, and into Thy tabernacles.

R: And I will go in to the altar of God: to God Who giveth joy to my youth.

P: To Thee, O God, my God, I will give praise upon the harp: why art thou sad, O my soul, and why dost thou disquiet me?

R: Hope in God, for I will still give praise to Him, the salvation of my countenance and my God.

P: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

R: As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

P: I will go in to the altar of God.

R: To God, Who giveth joy to my youth.

P: Our help (+) is in the name of the Lord.

R: Who made heaven and earth.


NO:

P: In the name of the Father, (+) and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

R: Amen.1.

P: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

R: And also with you.


Again, what is missing?

Humility.

The altar is regarded as something sacred, that is is God's special tool so to say. It is on this altar that His Son will be sacrificed for the salvation of many. That excerpt reflects this. The NO excerpt is missing this reverence.


Let's take a look at the offeratory prayers:

TLM:

P: Receive, O Holy Father, almighty and eternal God, this spotless host, which I, Thine unworthy servant, offer unto Thee, my living and true God, for my countless sins, trespasses, and omissions; likewise for all here present, and for all faithful Christians, whether living or dead, that it may avail both me and them to salvation, unto life everlasting. Amen.

P: O God, Who in creating man didst exalt his nature very wonderfully and yet more wonderfully didst establish it anew: by the mystery signified in the mingling of this water and wine, grant us to have part in the Godhead of Him Who hath vouchsafed to share our manhood, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God; world without end. Amen.

P: We offer unto Thee, O Lord, the chalice of salvation, beseeching Thy clemency that it may ascend as a sweet odor before Thy divine majesty, for our own salvation, and for that of the whole world. Amen.

P: Humbled in mind, and contrite of heart, may we find favor with Thee, O Lord; and may the sacrifice we this day offer up be well pleasing to Thee, Who art our Lord and our God.P: Come, Thou, the Sanctifier, God, almighty and everlasting: bless (+) this sacrifice which is prepared for the glory of Thy holy name.


NO:

P: Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made. It will become for us the bread of life.

R. Blessed be God for ever.

P: By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity.

P: Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation. Through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. It will become our spiritual drink.

R: Blessed be God for ever.P: Lord God, we ask you to receive us and be pleased with the sacrifice we offer you with humble and contrite hearts.

Strikingly different, yes? Let's take a closer look.

First, the TLM makes reference to the "spotless host" which the NO refers to merely as "bread". The key thing here is that Jesus is the spotless victim. The focus on "spotless" is lost.

Next, the TLM excerpt emphasizes the humility the priest and faithful have in their offering by saying "Thine unworthy servant, offer unto Thee, my living and true God..." The NO equivalent is "we have this bread to offer..."

Next, is the reason why we are offering our sacrifice to God (remember the jews would make offerings for the priest to sacrifice upon the altar, but for a specific purpose) TLM: "...for my countless sins, trespasses, and omissions; likewise for all here present, and for all faithful Christians, whether living or dead, ..."

For our countless sins and on behalf of all christians.

The NO excerpt has no such reason for the offering.

Next is our christian hope that our unworthy sacrifice pleases God that He may grant us eternal life: "...that it may avail both me and them to salvation, unto life everlasting."

There is a focus on sacrifice. Our sacrifice inextricably united with God's sacrifice, for the salvation of our souls. This is missing altogether from the NO excerpt.

Next, we see that God exalted us in humbling Himself to take human flesh: "O God, Who in creating man didst exalt his nature very wonderfully and yet more wonderfully didst establish it anew..."

The NO has this to say, "may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity. "

The NO is missing the entire point of why God lowering Himself, casting off such infinite majesty, just to walk among us and to save us, is such an incredible and infinite honor.

Next we have the emphasis on requesting God to make worthy our sacrifice that it may please Him, and grant us eternal life: "beseeching Thy clemency that it may ascend as a sweet odor before Thy divine majesty, for our own salvation, and for that of the whole world..."

The NO has, "Through your goodness we have this wine to offer, fruit of the vine and work of human hands. It will become our spiritual drink."

No request of God, through His power, make the sacrifice worthy of Him, no request that it may please God unto everlasting life, no mention of the infinite divide between God's mejesty and our lowliness.

It is through God's grace that our works are pleasing to Him, because they are as rags. The TLM asks for that grace to sanctify our rags unto a pleasing sacrifice; that Christ's sacrifice enriches our humble and meager sacrifice. the NO merely asks God to be pleased with our rags.


Now let's look at the dismissal:


TLM:

P: The Lord be with you.

R: And with thy Spirit.P: Go, the Mass is ended.

R: Thanks be to God.

P: May the lowly homage of my service be pleasing to Thee, O most holy Trinity: and do Thou grant that the sacrifice which I, all unworthy, have offered up in the sight of Thy majesty, may be acceptable to Thee, and, because of Thy loving kindness, may avail to atone to Thee for myself and for all those for whom I have offered it up. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

P: May almighty God, the Father, and the Son (+), and the Holy Ghost, bless you.

R: Amen.


NO:

P: The Lord be with you.

R: And also with you.

P: May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, (+) and the Holy Spirit.

R: Amen.

P: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

R: Thanks be to God.


Most obvious difference is the "May the lowly homage of my service..." prayer is missing. Is there any good reason why it was removed? What's so broken about it that to 'fix' the mass it needed to be removed?

Again, it emphasizes our unworthiness and humility in our offerings and sacrifices to the Lord. It also emphasizes a christian hope that it may please Him. This is missing altogether from the NO.


In conclusion:

Let's go back to lex orandi lex credendi. The law of prayer is the law of belief. If the faithful are given poor prayers they will have a poor belief. Also in reverse, if a person has a poor belief, chances are they were given poor prayers. This is why the ICEL wields so much power and has much to answer for.

Since we have proven with objective evidence that the prayers in the NO are "less in quality" than those in teh TLM, we must conclude, according to lex orandi lex credendi, that the NO is at least partially responsible for a fall in the quality of belief in the faithful. This is completly aside from poor homilies, abuses, music, etc.

The key to making a good case for the TLM is to stick to what is written, so that you can objectively compare, instead of comparing abuses which neither prescribe. Compare the meat and potatoes of both. Neither mass prescribes disobedience. But one mass carries a superior lex orandi (and therefore enriches a superior lex credendi) than the other. Focus on that in your argument.