In order to understand this post, it is essential that you understand that I mean no judgement of any person involved in what I saw. I claim no superiority, and am all too aware of my own failings. It would not surprise me to see any of these people in heaven before me, and above me. But truth is truth…
Due to the need to travel this weekend, I was forced to attend the novus ordo to fulfill my Sunday obligation. Even worse, it was the Saturday vigil Mass. what I witnessed made me weep.
First of all, and I will never do this again, we went to our former territorial parish. It used to be considered a “conservative” parish (whatever that means–which is nothing), and I wanted to get out of this thing as unscathed as possible. The problem is that the parish is a microcosm of the destruction of the Church at large.
I went to Mass here once or twice since my “trad”version in 2005, but I don’t remember anything dramatic about those times. But today I was immediately struck by two things:
First, a church that holds about 700 people, and that even as late as 2002 used to be full, was at most about 25% full. Nearly every head that had hair was grey. Maybe 150 people, and that included the family of a couple that was renewing their marriage vows on their 50th anniversary (and thus several guests).
I counted 7 people under 18 years of age. That fact alone was as depressing as I can relate. Where did all our friends go? Where were the families we remembered?
Gone with the wind.
Second, the change from what I knew to what is left me unspeakably depressed. I have had to endure the novus ordo from time to time in the last fifteen years, but it was a mistake to go back to the old parish. I was able to cope with how bad, how alien, the experience of it was by being in an alien locale. Almost like, well, this is horrible, but this is a foreign place with a weird, horrible, but valid rite approved by Rome. Going back to the old parish was like returning the Shire, taken over by Saruman.
Today all I saw is what we have lost. Whom we have lost. How unspeakably horrible it is. This isn’t Catholic. These people have been sold a bill of goods.
In my heart, I was convicted of my own sinfulness. I know that in some mystical, but more real than I can see way, my sins contributed to this. That was the word I received at Mass today. I held back tears.
That today was the feast of Corpus Christi made it even worse. Why? Well, the novus ordo’s changes really highlight the apostasy of the last 60 years. The epistle is the same, to a point. But it cuts out the passage about whoever eats and drinks unworthily being guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord. I suppose that could make someone feel bad. And the Gospel was a switch– instead of Christ insisting that His Body was real food and His Blood was real drink, we have the sign that precedes the Eucharist: the multiplication of the loaves and fishes.
And, to make it all more horribly real, a top ten of crap songs. Table of Plenty. Canticle of the Sun. Taste and See. All screeched like the proverbial barn owl. I needn’t mention the sign of peace, because you already know. The priest, over-explaining everything, because even though it’s in English so we can understand it, it needs explaining, like a bad cooking show.
But the saddest thing, to me, was during the consecration of the Precious Blood. After the “this is the chalice of My Blood” but before the “mystery of faith”, the cantor decided to throw in the Tantum Ergo, in Latin, breaking up the order of consecration in the Missal. It just got stuck there, just because. Like somebody thought, “Hey, let’s throw in some Latin!” It stuck out like a second head, and I couldn’t help but whisper to my wife, “They have no idea what they’re doing.” I didn’t mean that as a condemnation. I didn’t mean it like the prayer of the Pharisee, thanking God that I wasn’t like the rest of men.
No, I meant exactly what I said: they have no idea. No idea what they’ve lost. No idea what they’re doing. No idea of their own patrimony.
It was stolen from them. It was stolen from us.
There are few of us left. Catholics, that is. There will be no one left to complain when Leviathan throws us in a hole to die.
As never before, I beheld Christ on the Cross.
God have mercy on my soul. May I have the grace to never more abandon Him. And God willing, may I never have to endure the novus ordo to satisfy my Sunday obligation. Please, God, restore the Mass to Your starving, dwindling faithful.