On the Impressive Ceremonies of the Latin Mass (Usus Antiquior)

I recently authored an article for the inaugural of the new TAN Books blog that I am editing, an online journal known as TAN Direction.  Below is the first part of the article, with a link to the remaining paragraphs, that I would like to share with readers.  The gist of the article is based upon the superior artistic merits of the EF.  I hope readers will enjoy.  Unlike the general affectation of the NO Missae and lugubrious state of the Church today, the impressive ceremonies of the EF are impervious to arbitrary and capricious alteration and to the changing fashions and passing trends of our unstable times.  Constitutive of the identity of the EF is impressive ceremonies that stand in contrast to modern liturgy that is often specious in this regard.  In short, the beauty of the EF is the natural idiom of the Latin Church.  

"Mass is the highest act of religion and the highest prayer.  It is the renewal and continuation of the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary.  For Catholics, it is one of the most significant and important parts of their lives.  It is Christ's redeeming death on the cross continued and re-presented.

To help us understand and appreciate the Mass, the Church has wisely ornamented it over the centuries with ceremonies and symbols, actions and gestures, movements that tell a story to teach and reveal the sacred mysteries.  

These signs and actions have developed organically through the centuries, and they help us to pray better.  From a young age, Catholics learn when to sit and stand, bow and strike their breast.  The liturgy is a teaching tool to help both priests and lay people to have a deep and fervent reverence reflective of ontological and metaphysical reality of the sacred mysteries.

Man is made up of body and soul.  The body and senses help the soul and mind pray and worship better.  These signs and symbols and ceremonies impress the faithful and touch their hearts, fixing lasting thoughts and teaching eternal truths.  

The liturgy is like a diamond or gem that is mounted by a jeweler to protect it and bring out its beauty.  The ceremonies and prayers of the Mass are like the mounting and setting to the diamond - they bring out the beauty of the Sacrifice..."  

To continue reading, click here.  

Join in the conversation on our Facebook page.