One of the most frequently debated topics about the Extraordinary Form of Holy Mass relative to the Ordinary Form is the level of “active participation” in the Mass. As envisioned by theologians up to and including Pope Benedict XVI, “active participation” means much more than just vocally responding at Mass. It means a level of involvement in prayer and focus on the Holy Mysteries taking place at the altar, following the Ordinary and Propers of the Mass, uniting one’s intentions with the priest’s, recollecting oneself before Holy Communion and making thanksgiving afterwards, and so on. Many advocates of the Tridentine Mass would say that the structure and rubrics of the Extraordinary Form fosters such interior participation to a greater degree than the Ordinary Form.
Conversely, Novus Ordo supporters often place a greater emphasis on exterior forms of participation. They maintain that the congregation has a greater role in the Ordinary Form, primarily with making responses. The Tridentine is a more quiet Mass, they say, with the congregation left to do their own thing. How can one really be involved in the Mass if the priest is facing the wall, mumbling in Latin?
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
The Pertinacious Papist is running a series on active participation. He's comparing the external actions in both the EF and NO Masses. Check them out here, here, and the latest here. Professor Blosser says this to introduce the series: