You said the Mass is what? - The Remnant
I've spent some time highlighting the cultural as well as doctrinal foundations of this crisis of the Church.
The Mass and method of receiving Holy Communion are artifacts of the beliefs abd culture of the Church. Change those and other cultural elements will automatically realign to remove any inconsistency.
The article below (and those linked) provide some examples of what happens when artifacts are altered.
Courtesy of the Remnant
PS. Also see What’s Wrong with Communion in the Hand? and How is New Coke Analogous to the New Mass?
Friday, December 12, 2014
“Mass is Community Worship Where Believers Gather To Offer Praise and Thanksgiving…” FeaturedWritten by Chris Jackson | Remnant Columnist
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The article continues:
Is going to Mass similar to going to a movie or a ballgame, or going out to a restaurant, where the whole reason for going is to get some personal enjoyment or entertainment? No, of course not…
Mass is not a show; it's not a party; it's not entertainment. Mass is community worship where believers gather to offer praise and thanksgiving to the God who created them, and to enter into a mystical communion with the Almighty Lord by receiving the body and blood, soul and divinity, of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
Let this sink in for a moment. An author on a popular “conservative” Catholic website, in an article with 33,000 shares on Facebook and an overwhelming number of positive comments from Catholics leads his definition of the Mass by stating it is “community worship where believers gather to offer praise and thanksgiving.” He then adds that the “believers” also “gather”, “to enter into a mystical communion with the Almighty Lord by receiving the body and blood, soul and divinity, of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.” Thus, according to his definition, the Mass is nothing more than community worship of praise and thanksgiving where one also receives the Eucharist. This is not a Mass. It is nothing more than a praise and worship “Communion service”, which is precisely what so many Novus Ordo Masses have become. In the author’s defense, however, his definition of the Mass is not much worse than the original definition of the Novus Ordo Mass found in the 1969 General Instruction of the Roman Missal:
7. The Lord's Supper, or Mass, is the sacred meeting or congregation of the people of God assembled, the priest presiding, to celebrate the memorial of the Lord. For this reason, Christ's promise applies eminently to such a local gathering of holy Church: 'Where two or three come together in my name, there am I in their midst' (Mt. 18:20)."
In any case, isn’t it striking that nowhere in this article is the word “sacrifice” used when the very topic of the article is why one should assist at Holy Mass? Catholic365 readers should be aware of Canons I and III of the Twenty Second Session of the Council of Trent, which seem to apply almost verbatim to the author’s definition. The only thing missing is the outright denial of the sacrifice:
CANON I.--If any one saith, that in the mass a true and proper sacriflce is not offered to God; or, that to be offered is nothing else but that Christ is given us to eat; let him be anathema.
CANON III.--If any one saith, that the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving…let him be anathema.
The article continues:
Many people think of Mass as a show. The priest is the performer; God is the prompter, who whispers to the priest what to say; and the people in the pews are the audience, who sit back and expect to be entertained. And if the priest does not entertain the audience, either with inspirational or humorous comments, then the show is a flop. By this standard, virtually every Mass is a flop.
And where, pray tell, did modern Catholics get the idea that Mass is a show and that the priest is a performer? Could changing the orientation of the priest from facing Christ, to facing the people have anything to do with this? Could the fully “approved” charismatic “renewal”, where rock music is played, or the teen rock masses seen at World Youth Day with full papal approval have anything to do with this? Where in the world would any Catholic today get the idea that the Mass is a show or entertainment!? I have no idea.
After the author disagrees with the idea that the Mass is a show and the priest is an entertainer, he proceeds to give the “correct” understanding of the Mass to his readers:
But in reality, here are the correct roles: The people in the pews are the performers; the priest is the prompter who guides the pace of the performance; and the audience is God. When we go to Mass, we're not going as audience members to be entertained. We're going as performers to put on a presentation of prayer and worship and gratitude for our audience of One: God Himself.
Wow! Thus, instead of the priest being the performer, WE ourselves are the performers. The priest simply guides the pace of our performance. Therefore, the priest apparently has even less of a role than in the previous absurd description. Also our entire “performance” appears to be for the purpose of entertaining God who is our “audience.” Thus, the Vatican II call for “active participation” in the Mass continues to bear its fruit in modern Catholicism.
How far all of this explanation is from the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass! It shows just how serious the crisis in the Church has become. The ancient saying that “the law of prayer becomes the law of belief” has been proven time and time again in the Novus Ordo. We have now reached the point where even well meaning “conservative” Catholic websites are attempting to evangelize other Catholics by putting forward a Protestant concept of worship mixed with Eucharistic belief. This is the depressing contradictory belief system that develops when Catholics habitually attend an ambiguous and protestantized liturgy.
The author then chastises those fallen away Catholics who say they don’t get anything out of Mass and tells them that it is because they don’t put enough “into it.” The clear implication is that if these lazy Catholics “actively participate” aka say their responses with more enthusiasm, sing louder, pay more attention, become a “lay reader” or “extraordinary minister”, join the choir, and really “get into it” then they will somehow “be filled with His joy and peace and love” and “enter into a personal relationship with the Eternal Being.”
It may shock the author and his readers, but in many cases the fallen away Catholics who don’t get anything out of the Novus Ordo Mass are correct not to go. Something deep inside these Catholics is telling them that something is wrong with the modern Mass. It is called their Catholic sense, or sensus Catholicus. These fallen–away Catholics are merely making the same tragic choice those millions of Catholics made in the 1960’s when the Mass was changed to begin with. The very thing their hearts long for and were made to long for is missing at their local Novus Ordo Mass. Their God given desire to offer themselves up with the mysterious sacrifice of Christ on Calvary in an atmosphere of reverence and silence necessary to efficacious prayer has been thwarted by the current man-centered, juvenile, loud and ugly “performance” found in most parishes today. No amount of trying harder to “give” of oneself to such a disordered and misguided “gathering” is going to fill this divine need of the fallen away Catholic in the slightest.
The fault of these fallen away Catholics lies in their not searching hard enough for the alternative. While rejecting the poison, they still haven’t found the cure. Some have resigned themselves to a life of secular hedonism. Others have joined Protestant sects to receive morsels of stolen Catholic Truth, which is more than they received from their modernist parish. Far from asking these Catholics to simply “try harder” at their local Novus Ordo experiment, I would challenge them to attend a Traditional Mass. There, nothing will be asked of them except to be reverent, receptive, and to pray. Everything around them will fill their sense with the sacred they have been longing for. They will begin to see simply by the demeanor of the congregation and the priest that something serious is happening. They will begin to see that they are present once again at Calvary. And like Our Blessed Mother at the Cross, they need not say a word or take any physical action in order to be near Our Savior. It is in that conversation with Christ on the Cross, that He will begin to heal their wounds, convert their souls, and “make all things new.”
As a service and an antidote to the readers of the Catholic365 article I offer the following excerpts from an article titled “Why In Latin?” by the Rev. George Bampfield in 1917. In it, Fr. Bampfield explains why the Vatican II idea of “active participation” in the Mass as it has been commonly understood (i.e., repeating responses aloud, singing enthusiastically, joining a “liturgical ministry”) is nonsense. He then explains all one truly needs to “do” in order to “get” what one is supposed to receive at the Holy Mass: