This will be my one necessary Catholic blogger post on the (*sigh*) forthcoming motu proprio from Benedict XVI allowing priests to celebrate the old rite whenever it tickles their fancy, a group of 30 or more want it, their Bishop doesn't appeal to the Vatican, they have the sufficient training, or a number of other factors which may or may not be only rumors don't come into play.
My only comments aren't with the document(s) themselves, but the here and now. Let me explain. This time before they come out with all the rumors, waiting for rumors, comments by prelates, and waiting for comments by prelates, is just as important as after it is out. Reason being is that now is the time for rumblings to grow and for word to be spread. Even my great aunt in her 80s has heard about the "Pope bringing back the latin mass." That should tell us something. Of course we see all this happening right before our eyes. My experience with liberals (non-church) is that whenever they get upset about something, its usually because they feel threatened. The hackles go up and the nasty begins to fly.
If the motu proprio takes 10 more years to come out, then thats probably fine. BXVI isn't stupid and he knows that cultural change is slow. From my limited Catholic experience it seems he doesn't just want to restore the liturgy (background cheering) but change a culture gone wrong.
What can we do now? (besides cling to our RSS feeds)
If you already belong to a parish with all kinds of bells and smells, whether or not its TLM or a new mass then talk up the coolness of the traditional style liturgies with your less than enlightened pals. After all, the ideal is to have it everywhere right? Might as well prepare them now!
"Your liturgy is evil because your priest is pro populo!" probably isn't the best way to share however, and he'll probably look at your funny for speaking Latin. Ironically, we should speak in language they can understand when talking it up so we don't sound like kooks or snobby jerks.
"Your priest faces the people, but did you know traditionally we all face the same direction?" is much nicer. Chances are you'll be better able to start a conversation with that one too. Obviously this is a dramatization and I don't expect anyone reading this blog would talk like th first example. You get my point.
If you go to a new rite parish and you don't have the opportunity to attend a traditional mass with all the trimmings and you are unhappy then first remember the value of suffering and "offer it up" (new Catholic term for me). Then begin making subtle hints with your body language at Mass. Be the example. Make your thanksgiving after Mass in the traditional way, get involved with the choir (or suggest starting one)...again you get the idea.
I have of late felt exceedingly ignorant (notice my lack of posting, its not for lack of time.) since my Confirmation, which is probably a product of not only the sacrament but also of somewhat becoming part of parish life. I don't have all the answers to anything but I do know that frumpy sour faced people and closed community mindset do not encourage others to join your cause. Neither does silence. I don't need to have been Catholic my entire life to know that.
So lets all stop lamenting the rumors and realize that they are more helpful than hurtful. They create opportunity for people to suggest little changes now "for sake of what is to come."