Saturday, June 14, 2008

Camille Paglia on the Latin Mass

Some very true reflections regarding the Mass. (Via Jeff Culbreath)
Elements of New Age sensibility seem to have entered American Catholicism, which in the 1950s was already moving away from its déclassé ethnic roots and Protestantizing itself through a startling drabness of church architecture and décor. The folk songs, Protestant hymns, affable sermons, and literal hand-holding in today’s suburban Catholic churches illustrate mellow New Age principles of inclusion and harmony and reinforce the casualness of the vernacular Mass and the slackness of unpoetic contemporary translations of Scripture. Priests, meanwhile, are now being trained to be social workers; theology and learning per se are no longer as heavily emphasized. The priest, with his public performance of the mysterious Latin Mass, was once an embodiment of learning for ordinary people. Latin, which I still believe to be the basis of most strong writing in English, was intrinsic to a priest’s official identity and gave churchgoers a moving sense of historical continuity with classical antiquity, when the Christian story began. The priest, in other words, was an educator, just as university education began in the Middle Ages as training for priests.


Patrick said...

i was so delighted to find a latin mass with all the wonderful liturgical musical grace of the past on Youtube of all places. Fulton Sheen is the commentator par excellence. It was Chicago 1943 I think. What an experience? No touchy-feely stuff. Just a real intense connection with our history.

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you, Patrick, I agree wholeheartedly.