Some years ago, not long before I came to recognize the new Mass for what it truly is, a family friend (baptized in the Church but otherwise not formed in the Faith, and nominally protestant in experience) indicated a desire to go to Mass the following Sunday. This caused me to consider the various options available in my area, which then led to writing an article in which I observed that the Novus Ordo has more flavors than Baskin Robbins.
As flavors go, the traditional Mass would best be considered “Heavenly Hash,” but as far as the Novus Ordo is concerned, here are just some of the concoctions to be had within a 20 mile radius of my home:
The 7:30 at a nearby parish. Beautiful, traditional church building. No music. No singing. No nonsense. (Well, not much.) A holy and reverent pastor, but also a regular visiting priest whose homilies tend to set up false dichotomies between social justice and other matters of doctrine. During the Prayer of the Faithful the names of more than 150 people are read aloud at every Mass; those serving in the military and those who are sick. (Yup, I admit it; I was bad and counted them one day, though I usually just pray silent Ave Maria’s.) It troubles me, among other things, to think that the parishioners are being conditioned to think that if Bobby in boot camp or Grandma in hospice aren’t having their names read aloud they’re somehow being cheated. Let’s call this Mass, Vanilla with a few Fruity Sprinkles
Later in the day at the same parish. Ever hear of that show called “America’s got Talent?” Well, you wouldn’t know it thanks to the choir. Not to be mean, but no matter how decent the song choices are, there is nothing sacred about the sound emanating from the loft in this place. I know it’s not easy for a pastor to tell his sharp-noted parishioners that their gifts are best suited for the Rosary Maker’s Guild, but someone has to do it, and soon! Off Key Lime Custard
The 9:00 or 10:30 at another nearby parish. Modern, theater in-the-round building. In contrast, the choir here (positioned right up front where all can admire how well they “actively participate”) is very good. Vocally, that is. The choice of music, however, all too frequently consists of those dreadful hymns that are either all about us, all about us pretending we’re “the bread of life,” or all about us being Protestant. Not infrequently the congregation is invited to clap for this person or that, but usually only after we’ve extended a hand in blessing them. The Gospel for the Sunday in question was about the Samaritan woman at the well. This parish, I know from hard experience, traditionally interjects choral refrains of “Give us living water… give us living water…” intermittently throughout the reading. I don’t care how many years this exercise works off of my Purgatorial sentence, I can’t go through that again. Rocky Road.
The 8:45 or 10:30 at yet another nearby parish. New building, very traditional in design and very beautiful. The pastor is an enigmatic blend of rock solid orthodoxy and liturgical ambivalence. The earlier of the two Masses is the children’s liturgy. After enduring one of these several years ago as the kids got to play Mass (reading the readings, gathering around the big marble table for the Mr. Rogers style homily, singing what felt like seventeen verses of “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” etc.) I avoid it like Ruth’s Chris on Fridays during Lent. The later of the two Masses suffers a unique strain of musical malady, literally, as the music director sometimes treats the congregation to a performance of his original compositions. This gives the Mass a “Prairie Home Companion” feel that I’m not at home with. Make-Your-Own Sunday
The 7:30 at another friend’s parish a little further away. Contemporary 1970’s style building, low ceilings, lots and lots of brick. No music. No singing. No predictable order either as the pastor is prone to skipping parts of the Mass when he’s clearly in a hurry. When he’s not, he delivers lengthy animated homilies on various topics of interest, sometimes even related to the faith! He is, how do I say this… rather flamboyant, and I’m sure this isn’t the “welcome home” my friend is looking for. Rainbow Sherbet.
The 8:30 Novus Ordo in Latin about a 45 minute drive away in a magnificent historic church building. No shenanigans. The readings, homily and Prayer of the Faithful are in English. One cantor leads the congregation in singing beautiful Latin hymns accompanied by pipe organ. Reverence abounds, though the Mass could be greatly improved if were offered ad orientem. Classic Neapolitan
You get the point.
So, what kinds of flavors of Novus Ordo are being dished out in your area?
You’re fortunate to live so near a Latin-language Mass according to the Missal of Paul VI. Sadly, the only OF Masses in my area range from intolerably inhospitable to the Catholic conscience, to a muddled, messy mixture of traditional elements and heterodox ones. The Latin Catholic parish I frequent, the best by far, is possessed of classically Christian architecture in the Byzantine style. Iconographic artistry everywhere, tabernacle front-and-center, a tasteful corner with Latin statuary and votive candles, an organ that’s actually used, etc. Ah, but that it’s too good to be true should be readily apparent. There is a rot in the parish still from heterodox laity and a milquetoast Deacon (Lord, have mercy on me, and on him) who I suspect fight the traditionally-minded Pastor. Hence the confusing admixture of guitar-laden sappy Protestantized songs and traditional hymns, the all-vernacular versus-populum Liturgy juxtaposed with a traditional sanctuary, et cetera.
if it were not so heartwrenching , it would be ——-?
I know I’m not answering the question you asked of us, please forgive. You speak, sadly and truly -of our present Catholic world.
If I may please say that if anyone – at all – had even come close to presenting a scenario even similar to any you describe– to me– or any Catholic – in 1951, they would have been seen as completely off the wall.
So that’s were we are , aren’t we? Off the wall.
The one with the jam band…Cherry Garcia
In my area, there’s only one Traditional Latin Mass (which is a literal miracle). Everywhere else it’s just the regular Novus Ordo, where the pleasure of the people is the liturgy, barely any reverence and women apparently don’t “get it” that they are not supposed to come receive the Most Blessed Sacrament with barely any clothes on.
Comparing these types of Novus Ordos to ice cream flavors is funny! Wish I had thought of that!
Dear Louie, We live in the same neighborhood so I can attest to the accuracy of your descriptions for your local parishes. But I don’t know of any Novus Ordo Masses in Latin anywhere near here. Is it still being held?
Thank you for a most excellent and informative blog. Anyone who reads it goes away the better for it.
Before I became a Traditionalist 9 years ago, I would attend the Novus Ordo and my experience was the same as many others . Not only was it bland and vacuous but it troubled my soul. After my first Traditional mass, I said to myself that I was finally home and would never leave. I would occasionally go to a Novus Ordo but progressed to the point where I firmly believed that no matter how reverential it was said, it was displeasing to Almighty God. I haven’t to since and never will again , no matter what. If I can’t attend a Traditional mass, I simply won’t go. Many others feel the same. How can I support with my presence something which I believe that God abhors? It is my hope that you and your readers will someday come to the same conclusion as I have. We know the Traditional mass is infinitely pleasing to God so we should make it our sole means of our worship.
God Bless you and all of your readers
You tend to overdo things on your side of the pond, but essentially, it’s the same over here. The New Mass in its many, and still ever increasing varieties, just goes on.
The important thing, however, is that the congregations are aging, the young who are brought along for first Communion etc, receive, and then mostly just disappear. The priests (steadily decreasing in numbers) carry on as though nothing untoward is happening, being careful, above all, not to, during their vague sermons, upset anyone with Catholicism, such as the need from time to time, to go to Confession, and so on.
They usually just repeat what has already been read in the Gospel. They never refer to or explain the inplications of the Gospel for Catholic Faith and doctrine, so the congregations carry on in their vague and not unpleasant ignorance.
And the end result? It’s all just slowly fading away, except maybe, for the small but steadily growing number of Vetus Ordo followers.
Dear Louie, basically from what you described, and we know that it’s true, we can conclude that each parish worships God accordingly……to the whims of their priests. With the permission of their bishops…….Miserere!
Where I live, there’s many Catholic Churches (Novus Ordo)…….old ladies are setting up the ‘table’, his highness Fr., is sitting on a side looking around……the Eucharistic ministers are scrambling from all over…..wearing jeans, flip flops…..etc.
In another Church……….the priest with the deacons and altar boys are standing in the back of the Church awaiting sign from the ‘maestro’ to enter………but, they always come few minutes earlier, so they could speak and laugh with the parishioners……the young and the old women dressed ‘to kill’……..and Father is full of smiles, and the young deacons and alter boys are confused, they do not know what to do with their eyes…….all you hear is laughing, talking…..while one is holding the Bible, another one is holding the Crucifix……..and the rest is just chatting as if they were all awaiting NOT MASS but a ‘concert’ or ‘play’.
Then we have a beautiful Chapel with a Latin Mass (Independent Chapel)…….but to my sorrow, it’s sedevacantist. So, the only choice (the best choice of all) my family and some other families have is to travel an hour to the SSPX Chapel……..this is ‘heaven on earth’! A gift from God for so many families, that travel from all different areas, some even as long as three hours……..mind you……every Sunday!
This is what the ‘new spring time’ in the Church has left the faithful with………..experimenting with ‘holy’ and ‘sacred’ …..demolition style.
My parish has a bit of rocky road in it perhaps mixed with some rainbow sherbert. Lemme ‘splain. The rocky road is the “folk-group” which hangs to the front right of the altar with everyone’s favorite guitar and tambourine peeps. Dan Shutte is very popular to my dismay. They clap. A lot. For anyone. The one seminarian, to his embarrassment as he sits in choir, is consistently clapped for in front of the congregation before the end of Mass. Now the rainbow sherbert is NOT for any flamboyant characters in the parish. Thanks be to God. But the parish was built in the 70’s, with the Pastor having to combat some parishioners who wanted a touchdown Jesus. Luckily, the priest won, and we have a good crucifix. There are a few parishioners, the seminarians mother (who sings the Salve Regina before mass) included, who are pushing for the more orthodox aspects to the Novus (Boredom) Ordo. Sadly, it is a struggle because the ignorance of the men and women of the parish is rampant. Latin is largely scorned, with one woman on the Liturgy “committee” suggesting the Agnus Dei is incorrect. Change may be coming, but the fight from the inside is very difficult. Please pray for us.
What flavor would best describe this situation.
I quit going to NO masses at the age of 18, I met 2 priests that were both offering their private TLM mass in my area. Both were retired, they could no longer in conscience offer the NO mass, so early retirement was their only option. I decided to support them in any way I could. Father E. Died in 1991, how I miss him dearly. Father R. is still alive and at the age of 85 is doing well. He was forbidden to say the TLM by his bishop, saying it was abrogated.
Then his bishop took away his retirement income from the Diosese. All because he was saying his private mass in a private place and poor souls like me were welcomed to join. So I ask, what flavor would this appear to be ?
Please pray for us.
What Halina said: each parish worships God accordingly……to the whims of their priests. With the permission of their bishops.
Louie, all those flavours sound like I’d rather have a whisky. The NO in Latin, yeah, but once you know what Paul VI was deluded about and how many versions in that fat brick of a daily missal that for some reason needs to spread over three years what used to be done in one, no NO is good enough, but beggars can’t be choosers
our priest has just changed, so the Mass has changed. The Mass before was protestant sunday school with liberation theology from the pulpit . The Mass now is little girls at the altar in the second act with candles and things (which before was already set up for the audience), with some Catholic thought from the aisle – the new doesn’t seem to like being separated from the pews, and has specially prepared stand-up.
the overhead mood-scenes have changed. and for some reason the old baptismal font was snatched from the back of the church and positioned under the projection screen. I shouldn’t complain, perhaps the new priest wanted to situate the font under the old statue of the Sacred Heart which is hidden behind the projection screen before Mass begins.
basically, when it comes to Paul VIs ‘spirit of the liturgy’ coupled with clergy who hardly or never wear a Roman collar, does it really matter?
Bubble gum, the ‘family’ Mass, usually around 10 am. Sugary music, etc and at the time of the homily, all the children are invited up to the sanctuary and the homily is a question-and-answer thing with lots of jokes.
Thank God I have a TLM within a reasonable driving distance.
this flavor would be Heartbreak Hotel
please tell Father R. he is in my prayers and I will pray for the repose of the soul of Fr. E. The normal life of a Catholic should be infused with significant, at the very least, persecution. The circumstances you describe show that the dear priests you mentioned and you are true Catholics. Please pray for me that I may be counted among those such as you.
The flavors of the rainbow are required to entertain the people as they are guided down the path of Modernism and Liberalism. Given enough variety, the noise will drown out the soft voice of God and the dying cries of their conscience.
Perhaps the worst thing is the three year cycle of readings where all of the “difficult” sayings of our Lord and of St. Paul are expunged for fear of waking an active sinner from his doldrums.
We were warned by several popes and several apparitions of Mary that this internal persecution was coming. Prayer and penance, brothers!
Keep the Faith! Please remember that Our Father Who Art In Heaven…….Knows His creatures by name, our hearts are the mirror of our souls. God Will Not Be Mocked! There’s a place for the children of ‘Satan’………that is burning ferociously from the time of the ‘fall of the ‘proud’ angels’. Not one of us, will escape the Judgment of the Just God.
Remember the warning from Our Lord Jesus Christ……”And fear ye not them that kill the body and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell”.
Our Lady of La Salette, ora pro nobis!
We found the Mass of Ages 4 years ago and gladly drive 30 minutes to it; one man drives 200 miles every Sunday to attend. The flavor would be Angelic Orthodox and all types of toppings..no nuts
Well according this video, it is perfectly acceptable to be a catholic charismatic evangelical Pentecostal. A flavor for everyone. The video is a bit long, but please watch it at least up to the point when they start “speaking in tongues” so you have all the background information. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5TwrG8B3ME
I was once given a CD made by a priest in my area, with the ‘children’s choir’ helping him. It was called ‘Holy Fire’. He is known as The Rappin’ Priest. Holy Fire was the first of four ‘selections’ on the CD, although they all sounded the same. (I did not understand the concept of a middle aged white guy trying to sing ‘rap’ with the kids, and it was, frankly, embarrassing.) Anyway—not sure what flavor you would call those Masses.
And being on the West Coast, we have lots of Latino-type Masses. I guess those would be Dulce de Leche…..
Dear A Mom……thank you for sending the link to the testimony of betrayal of the conciliar hierarchy……..of the Holy Faith……..
I do not think, I will ever argue with a ‘sedevacantist’………
May God Bless the Society of Saint Pius the X!
May God Bless All Soldiers of Christ!
May God Bless the persecuted priests, religious, lay faithful……what a privilege to be persecuted for Our God Given Holy Faith!
…..”at the present time there is a remnant left selected out of grace and truth.” (Romans 11:5)
Domine Jesu Christe, miserere nobis!
I stopped going to the sunday novus ordo about a year and a half ago. I occasionally go during the week, but i just can’t handle it on sunday anymore. From the lack of reverance, cheesy music, it’s untolerable. I drive 45 min to get to the tlm on sunday. One of the greatest gifts the good lord has blessed me with, discovering the true mass. Heck, I even found a melchite catholic church close to me. I ain’t never going back God willing.
Hey Jenny “from the block”
Sorry for the delayed reply. This was the 8:30 at the Basilica, but it has since gone by the wayside.
Thanks for the update, Louie. I had feared this was the case. Hard times in the neighborhood. I am feeling quite homeless lately.