Monday, July 09, 2007

Summorum Pontificum

In case anyone hasn't heard, the Pope has issued an Apostolic Letter, Summorum Pontificum, ordering, among other things, that the Tridentine Mass (i.e., the Latin Mass that was the norm before 1970) be made much more widely available. This is a very exciting development for one who has grown to love the Tridentine rite and for whom it has been seen to play a key role in a loved one's conversion to the Catholic faith.

The Roman Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the 'Lex orandi' (Law of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. Nonetheless, the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and reissued by Bl. John XXIII is to be considered as an extraordinary expression of that same 'Lex orandi,' and must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient usage. These two expressions of the Church's Lex orandi will in no any way lead to a division in the Church's 'Lex credendi' (Law of belief). They are, in fact two usages of the one Roman rite.
- Summorum Pontificum, Article 1 (Unofficial Translation)

It is my hope that the new rules which Pope Benedict has established will serve to foster a greater devotion to the Mass, as that which is beautiful and good in the old form, which has been in many ways lost since the new form, is recovered in view of what is beautiful and good in the new form. I love that Pope Benedict clearly affirms that each form is a different usage of the same Mass. And, I think it may be readily observed that, as such, each form discloses aspects of the same Truth and offers the faithful varied ways to be united with Christ through the same Mass. Instead of this being a cause for division in the Church (though some few might regretfully try to make it so), the diversity celebration 2 forms will promote greater unity

To any Catholics who haven't experienced the Tridentine Mass, I would strongly recommend taking advantage of the coming opportunities to do so. If nothing else, experiencing the extraordinary form of the Mass will increase your knowledge and appreciation of the ordinary form of the Mass.

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