Saturday, October 6, 2007

A 16 year old sets the liturgists straight on the 1962 Latin Mass

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, Father Z, has a letter from a teenage boy who feels cheapened by the Novus Ordo "Teen Masses" and loves the traditional Mass that he has recently been attending.

I invite you to read this letter from a 16 year old to the Georgia Bulletin, the Archdiocese of Atlanta’s newpaper.

My emphases and comments.

Letter to the Editor

Published: September 20, 2007

To the Editor:

I am 16 years old, and for the past 11 months I have attended the traditional Latin Mass weekly, while still attending the Novus Ordo Mass during the week. Because of this, I decided to address certain points made by Carroll Sterne in the Sept. 6 edition of The Georgia Bulletin. Mr. Sterne speaks about the type of Mass that someone of a younger generation is drawn to, and I thought that a teenager’s point of view might be helpful.

Mr. Sterne in his letter gives voice to the opinion of many of today’s liturgists [This kid has it nailed.] when he says that no one from a younger generation would be drawn to the Latin Mass (many take this even further and assume that we would not like a reverent Novus Ordo Mass either). This opinion causes many of those who plan modern liturgies to do veritable back flips in an attempt to draw teenagers and young adults in. Sometimes this works, but it has a side effect: by doing these things, liturgists show that they have absolutely no faith in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to change the lives of those in my generation. [Right!] My generation knows about this lack of faith, we are able to see it every time we go to a “teen Mass” and experience priests ad-libbing prayers in an attempt to make them more relevant to us. [Exactly. As Pope Benedict explains in Sacramentum caritatis, we are our rites. If we stick to the rites, celebrate them well, and get our (especially priests) individual personalities out of the way, we have a great opportunity to encounter the mystery which transforms, the very point of religion.]

This lack of faith backfires; it sends us the message that we also should distrust the power of the liturgy, and it also can turn the Mass into something of a joke.

After experiencing this for months, I attended a Traditional Latin Mass and experienced something that I’d never seen before: Here was a priest who expected my life to be changed without adding anything to the Mass in an attempt to bring this change about. This priest had perfect faith in the power of the liturgy, and it showed. It was beautiful. The traditional Mass did more to change my life then any “relevant” teen Mass ever did.

Ethan Milukas, Peachtree City

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