GREGORY DIPIPPONew Liturgical Movement: Nostalgia? No Thanks! Tradition Will Always Be for the Young
Earlier this week, the Second Vatican Council passed its 60th anniversary; time to dust off the ever-dustier canard that those who prefer the liturgy that the Council Fathers wanted to be renewed and flourish to the one it never even remotely imagined are “nostalgic” for the wicked old days before the Council. I could not hope to write a better reply to this canard than these words from an article which Peter wrote a bit less than 3 years ago on One Peter Five.
“Most of the people in a modern TLM congregation were born well after Vatican II and have not the slightest clue what things were like beforehand, nor do they particularly care. They are not hankering for a lost culture or seeking to reconstruct a lost world. Rather, they desire a proper Catholic culture here and now, which begins with the solemn, formal, objective, beautiful divine cult we call the sacred liturgy, which we do inherit from many centuries of faith — but we live it and we love it now. … (They) are clear-sighted, energetic, and future-looking people. They are too busy discerning vocations, managing a pewful of children, singing in chant scholas, or cooking for potlucks after Rorate Masses to have time for lollygagging in the lanes of an inaccessible memory.”
Case in point: on September 30th, the feast of St Jerome, His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider, who is well known to all of our readers, celebrated a Pontifical High Mass at the Institute of Christ the King’s church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (The church is titled to the Precious Blood, a favorite devotion of St John XXIII, which, like the feast he chose as the opening day of Vatican II, was removed from the general calendar of the post-Conciliar rite.)
Anyone who has ever served this rite of Mass knows that it requires a good amount of organizing and rehearsal to do properly; the reward is a ceremony which truly impresses upon one, forcibly and unmistakably, the power and majesty of what the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass really is. We can all take encouragement once again from the fact that almost none of the people who are making the effort and commitment to put this together are old enough to be doing so from any sense of “nostalgia.” (Bishop Schneider himself was not even five years old when the last Council ended.) What we see here is a true and sincere love for the richness of our Catholic liturgical tradition. Feliciter! Once again, thanks to one of our favorite photographers, Allison Girone, for sharing her beautiful work with us.