I’m returning to my Traditional Latin Mass series. In my last post, I stated I succumbed to the TLM (Traditional Latin Mass). That’s not really a nice way to say we left our parish and moved to another parish. I had a friend over and we talked extensively about why those who attend the New Mass seem so against attending TLM. As you can read, I was one of those people too but I also didn’t realize what the TLM was about nor did I know was Mass really is.
Somehow, my heart and mind were opened and I was curious. I won’t say that I purposefully sought this out because I didn’t. I knew that TLM was what my parents grew up with. They went through the changes in Vatican II when they were in their teens. In talking with my mother about it, her church just switched to the “New Mass.” She said she believes they just started substituting English for Latin and that no one questioned the New Mass, it was just accepted. “No one questioned the church’s teachings.” Even her parochial school didn’t question it. They just opened up the new missals and off they went.
Did they not understand what the Mass really was? Did they not realize what was being taken from them? It makes me so sad to see that the change happened so swiftly with no one questioning it. I had dinner with Father Nix last night and he said it was a two-week transition and the Latin Mass was over.
So that got me thinking when did the Latin Mass stop?
1963 – Latin Mass Banned following the Second Vatican Council
What the heck? How could the Latin Mass be banned and why? It was the Mass of the Saints. It was the Mass that had been utilized for centuries. So when did the Latin Mass begin? The Latin Mass Missal was finalized in 1570 by Pope Pius V.
This Mass is often referred to as the Mass of St. Pius V but just because it was formalized in 1570 with the issuance of Quo Primum an apostolic constitution; which by the way also correlates with the Reformation (or rather the church revolution), does not mean that was the “birth” of the Latin Rite. I point out the correlation with the Reformation because it’s extremely common for an event like this to trigger an official statement.
It happens often in Church history where we have been doing something for centuries and then the Vatican issues an official statement on the teaching or dogma. This takes decades or even longer but that doesn’t mean this wasn’t the Tradition or Culture of the Church prior. This is actually how you should read and understand the Bible. Why did Paul issue letters to the different cities? They were doing certain things so he preached to them and by the way ADMONISHED them based on their sins.
So my point is, it’s not like in 1570 the Church all of a sudden changed the Mass to the Latin Mass and that the Second Vatican Council brought us back to the “original Mass.” For all intents and purposes, the Latin Mass WAS the “original Mass” in the Roman Rite (there are other rites as I have previously stated).
Missale Romanum was a helpful read on the changes of the Second Vatican Council and warrants further study into what was “restored” but not so much what was “added” or “new” in the Mass. Learning about this isn’t easy. It’s an overwhelming study and I have barely cracked the “book” on this or rather the many books.
Summorum Pontificum was issued by Pope Benedict XVI and there is concern that the Latin Mass will again be banned when Pope Benedict dies; however, I cannot expand much more on the Mass. It’s beyond my knowledge, understanding, and education and it’s something I am still studying but you can read more on Quo Primum here.
And finally, I’ll again point you to Justin Martyr because his Apologies not only tell you what early Christianity was like (are you willing to die for what you believe as a Christian), but also what the Mass was like…only a “President” (presiding person aka priest) distributed the Eucharist for instance.
NEW YORK TIMES – October 16, 1984
Pope John Paul II Announces Limited Use of the Traditional Latin Mass – Now what?
Which one is right? I can’t tell you. I’m still on my journey but you are either to the point of “yeah, which one is right?” or “This lady is a traditionalist nut.” I’m not the latter but I will ask you to do something. Maybe you have never done it before or you do this regularly but I urge you to find an adoration chapel; one where you can sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and then ask God.
Be specific. “God, please open my heart. Help me to listen to you and to know you are speaking to me. Please God, reveal to me which is truth, the New Mass or the Traditional Latin Mass? I will open my heart to your Word.” Now it’s your turn to listen. I don’t know where God will lead you.
Peace be to you.