A meeting took place yesterday afternoon at the Vatican, presided by the Cardinal Secretary of State, in which the content and the spirit of the expected “Motu proprio” of the Holy Father on the use of the Missal promulgated by John XXIII in 1962 were explained to the representatives of several episcopal conferences. The Holy Father came to greet those who were present and maintained a profound discussion with them for about one hour. The publication of the document – which will be accompanied by a thorough personal letter of the Holy Father to the singular Bishops – is predicted for within a few days, when the document itself will be sent to all Bishops with the indication of its successive coming into effect.
To translate the bureaucratese: Wide Permission for use of the Tridentine Mass is about to be granted.
As intriguing as this may be, it’s full effect won’t be known for a while. Many parishes simply aren’t set up for this mass any more. St Ann’s in Wilmington (where I attend) doesn’t have room on the other side of the altar for the priest to stand. Some sort of stand would have to be constructed for the priest to be ad orientem. (He’s not facing away from the people, as such; he’s joining the people in facing and praying to God.) Many parishes aren’t set up for this, parishes that are may have pastors who have little interest in performing this liturgy, and many priests, unfortunately, don’t know the Latin well enough to say it effectively anyway.
I’m not sure that I would attend a Tridentine Mass regularly anyway. I like the Mass in English. I like knowing what’s going on. (I have been to a Tridentine Mass twice and was completely lost both times.) Hopefully, there will be catechetical efforts so that those us post-Vatican II Catholics can learn about the Tridentine Mass and how to appreciate it.
(Idle thought: would this make the Tridentine the “new” Mass?)
Hat Tip: Lair of the Catholic Cavemen