Friday, 9 May 2008

How long will it take for the 'reform of the reform' to happen?

At Et Clamor Meus ad te Veniat, Stephen has a rather pessimistic think piece pondering how long it will take for the 'reform of the reform' to happen in the light of the fuss being made by the usual suspects of two very minor (but welcome) changes to the rubrics for the Novus Ordo Mass (more standing and bowing):

Now I don't personally think the reform of the reform is the main game - but it probably is true that it may take several generations before the Novus Ordo disappears altogether, or is changed sufficiently to constitute a genuine reform of the reform. And in the meantime, it would be nice if the Mass was celebrated reverently everywhere....

It does seems to me, as a number of articles have pointed out recently, that the worst liturgical abuses are a generational issue, and belong to a generation that is rapidly dying off - the appalling puppet mass highlighted on And Charlotte Was Both was the classic illustration of this - the congregation are all grey heads:

And there are some other positive signs - the new translations being introduced for the Novus Ordo, increasing popularity of traditional devotions and sacramentals, and the growth of new, traditionally oriented religious orders.

All the same, I do think the Pope's idea that spreading the TLM as far and wide as possible really is the key to reform of the NO. The efforts of TLM priests to train others who may now be interested in saying the Mass at least occasionally, in making friends with seminarians, and organising special occasion 'demonstration' masses that expose people who otherwise wouldn't get to see a TLM are crucial.

There is an important role for the laity too, in trying to drag our friends along to a TLM in the hope that once they experience it, they will come back - or ask more of their own priests. In being extremely welcoming to visitors to the Mass and showing them our joy. And, once existing communities get to a suitable size, in using the provisions of Summorum Pontificum to request masses in their local parishes rather than traipsing across the countryside to the one or two available locations.

Of course, changing a few resistant bishops would help too. I might be more pessimistic if I lived in certain dioceses....

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