HANKS TO our beloved Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the Extraordinary Form Mass of the Roman Rite can be said by any priest at anytime now. And it is being said throughout the whole world now. However, a new “problem” is coming up. Have you said or heard others say something like: “the Extraordinary Form (EF) is just better than the Ordinary Form (OF)”; or “the OF is done so bad and it is not even valid”; or other similar words and negative ideas of the Mass? The reality is that our Lord is present at every valid Mass and the miracle of Transubstantiation happens at both EF and OF. The priest acts as Christ himself—in persona Christi—in the Mass whether it is EF or OF. Having preferences is fine, but to dislike one of the Forms itself may be a problem.
In the recent time of the Church’s history, a very holy priest wrote this famous line:
“The Mass is long,” you say, and I reply: “Because your love is short.”|
And yes, the holy priest is St. Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei and my favorite saint. This line is from his book The Way. He has a great love for the Liturgy and he encourages everyone else to have the same love. Under his guidance, the priests of Opus Dei devote their lives saying the Novus Ordo Mass faithfully and in a very traditional way. This video of their 2015 Ordination reminds me of how well they celebrate the Mass. But what I really want to share is the video below. This is the highlights of the Mass of Thanksgiving for the Beatification of Álvaro del Portillo, the successor of St. Josemaría. It was celebrated in Madrid by Bishop Echevarría Rodríguez in Madrid back in September of 2014:
The video of the whole Mass can be found here. I noticed a few things from this Mass that we don’t always see in the OF Mass:
• The noble simplicity of the Bishop’s vestments and the setup of the sanctuary|
• The Mass was sung in Latin; the Bishop chanted all the prayers and the dialogues|
• The homily was given from the “throne”|
• The Bishop held his fingers together when holding the chalice and after the Consecration|
• Communion was received kneeling and on the tongue; patens were used at all the stations
If you like watching the videos of Masses with Pope Benedict, you will like watching this Mass too. The Novus Ordo can be done well and this is a great example. It was celebrated recently, publicly, and in the presence of so many Catholic prelates.
Those interested in St. Josemaría and the Liturgy will enjoy the following three short paragraphs, taken from The Way :
Show veneration and respect for the holy liturgy of the Church and for its ceremonies. Observe them faithfully. Don’t you see that, for us poor humans, even what is greatest and most noble enters through the senses?
The Church sings, it has been said, because just speaking wouldn’t satisfy its desires for prayer. You, as a Christian—and a chosen Christian—should learn to sing the liturgical chant.
“Let’s burst into song!” said a soul in love, after seeing the wonders that our Lord was working through his ministry. And the same advice I give to you: Sing! Let your grateful enthusiasm for your God overflow into joyous song.
NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:
Editor’s Note • There is a rumor that St. Josemaría Escrivá offered the 1962 Missal exclusively. If this is true, it does not have an important bearing upon this beautiful article by Andrew Leung, since he focuses on the Opus Dei priests. The Opus Dei priests offer the Ordinary Form.