Pages

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

TLM in Singapore attracts young adults - and daft comments

Thanks to Fr Sean for the link to this article from the Union of Catholic Asian News: Traditional Latin Mass Draws Young Working Adults.

It tells of the Mass at the St Joseph's Institution International School which is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of every month. Most of those who go are young working people in their twenties; they have their own schola and servers.

As well as this encouraging news, the article also has two of the daftest comments I have yet heard about the traditional Mass. A priest said that although people can learn to recite the prayers, "you don't know what you are saying, because you don't know Latin" (you could always try looking at the other column which tells you what the English is.) He concluded that "It's like having a Mass in sign language where no one is deaf."

Very witty. Actually, Mass is a form of "sign language". Unfortunately this aspect has been lost in the relentless stream of vernacular wordiness. If you really think that the goal of immediate intelligibility has been achieved by Mass in the vernacular, ask a few people outside the Church afterwards what the second reading was about.

Let's not get too lost on the language, though. As Father says:
Even if everyone understood Latin, he continued, the old form of the Mass raises a more fundamental issue. As priest, you are doing your own thing, and the people are doing their own thing. Is Mass not more a participatory event of the people?
This comment rather demonstrates the need for the usus antiquior to enrich our understanding of the liturgy generally. As Cardinal Ratzinger explained in "The Spirit of the Liturgy", the Mass is not, at heart, my thing, your thing or our thing: it is the actio Dei.

One comment I would agree with, however: "The language is not the most important thing; it's the whole set-up." Quite so. I hope those young people in Singapore get to have their Mass every week rather than once a month.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...