Friday, May 13, 2011

annoyed ... and delighted

Feeling a little annoyed right now. Couldn't blog today because 'blogger' was down. The info page on the site said they were having problems. Part of the solution was temporarily removing the last two days posts, but they'd put them back when things were sorted. Well, things appear to be sorted, but my last two days posts aren't back. Huge deal, I suppose, but annoying none the less. I hadn't backed them up, but I can probably drag them out of the original backup memory  - the one in my head - if I get time tomorrow. In the meantime, apologies.

Still, I suppose it's an ill-wind. If I'd posted this morning, it would have been before Universae ecclesiae came out, an instruction from the Vatican which is apparently aimed at giving greater support to those who prefer the Latin Mass. I would have to say that I approve of the idea. I'm of an age where the effects of Vatican II had kicked in before I was old enough to have experienced what is now referred to as the Extraordinary Form of the Mass - what to my parents and grandparents would have been the traditional way of doing things. Cultural treasures come in all shapes and sizes and I am of the opinion that the Latin Mass, crafted over centuries, was one of the West's greatest treasures. It could easily have been lost in the name of keeping up with the times.

Imagine what would happen if someone suggested that the Mona Lisa should be have been painted over with some pop-arty piece of trivia back in the 60s. To those who recognise the value of the traditional form of the Catholic Mass, that's a bit like what happened. Thank goodness there were those who kept up the tradition and are in a position to pass it on now to future generations. Treasures like this are like living, breathing chains, with a new link forged in each age so that it stretches back unbroken to the earliest days. But let one generation fail to forge its link, then the chain is broken and it is denied to those who may come after.

There may never be a great take-up in the practice of the traditional form. But at least now a great treasure of the Church has been given a greater chance of surviving into the future. So, something delightful to make up for the annoyance. I guess there is balance in the universe!

update: & one of the missing posts has reappeared!


  1. Couldn't agree more with the your statement that the Extraordinary Form is "a great treasure of the Church". BXVI's vision of the EF enriching the celebration of the Ordinary Form perhaps has some lessons for us Anglicans in light of our own liturgical patrimony.

  2. In theory the Latin Mass in use in England after Henry broke with Rome is part of our patrimony - I'm not sure how much interest there might be in reviving it. However, as the EF seems to be attracting a lot of Catholics back to church, it might inspire Anglicans to consider a look at our Latin heritage.