Monday, May 21, 2012

Crisis on the EF and the Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem

Some of our readers may have seen this article in Crisis Magazine already, but for the sake of those who haven't, here is a brief excerpt:

The Traditional Mass is Not a Spectator Sport

by Steve Skojec

“The Traditional Mass is not a spectator sport.”

The statement rings out like a shot in the quiet, muggy, non-descript church. Oscillating fans buzz from various strategic locations. Incense wafts up from the thurible tucked away to the right of the altar. The congregants sit quietly, attentive. The women’s heads are covered, and everyone is dressed modestly. Nobody throws holy water at the rather oddly-garbed priest standing at the pulpit. Nobody gets up and indignantly walks out. It’s only my third time at the Priory of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but I already know that as far as Traditional Latin Mass enclaves go, this place is different.

Don Daniel Augustine Oppenheimer has made the statement confidently, peering intently over his small, frameless glasses at the small group of assembled faithful before him. His tonsure is an anachronism that brings to mind the monks of old. His habit is distinctly Augustinian, although I initially mistake it for Dominican, because how many of us ever see a religious in a habit anymore? (Up close, you can see the wear and tear on the fabric, the quiet but telltale signs of true vows of poverty.) His comfortable-looking cork and leather sandals are, I surmise, probably worn in the cold months of the year as well as the warm. His face is kind, his manner of speaking academic. Referencing his desire for the faithful to participate in the Offertory chant and instructing them how to do so, he is making a case that I’ve never heard in eight years attending the traditional Latin liturgy of the Roman Rite.

“Historically, liturgically,” he says, “the people have participated in the Mass. When they stopped participating, the old Mass went away. And by then, it was in such a state that nobody missed it.”

Read the rest of the article.

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