The NLM article is very interesting, summing up very recent writings on the liturgy. I must say, I am surprised at all of this erupting just now. It's like watching a geyser insistently spouting; you've got to acknowledge the pressure that has been there all along.What I call the legitimate liturgical movement worked with the traditional Mass, teaching people about it, and wanted more of what is technically the norm in the rite, High Mass. Their ideal was a congregationally chanted High Mass, maybe with parts in the vernacular. You ended up getting the opposite. The low-church Irish-Americans described by Thomas Day were happy to have an even lower Low Mass and junked it up with a different kind of devotional hymns (pseudo-folk instead of 1890s pop), and the High Mass disappeared.
I heartily agree, and have always agreed, that the Novus Ordo doesn't work. The whole premise -- that you can take a rite older than Gregory the Great, submit it to the tender mercies of an editorial board and publish the new product with great fanfare as Our Daily Bread from now on -- is dopey beyond belief.
What's truly revealing is the institutional psychosis. We enter the Conciliar period having been prepared by the Liturgical Movement of the 1940s-50s to expect that the Church will be renewed once we have, well renewed the Liturgy. We proceed to completely ignore the sonorous document produced by the Council Fathers on the subject (the stuff about tambourines and mood synthesizers was in a footnote). We lose sixty percent of our worshipping congregation over the next thirty years, all the while prattling on complacently about Renewal. It took FORTY YEARS before the liturgical establishment started to mumble, "Hmmm... didn't quite go as we had hoped..." And there are still people who insist that it was all to be expected, society went mad in the 1960s, you can't blame it all on liturgical reform.
Grrr. Ours is a sacramental faith. That means that signs and symbols affect us profoundly, more than we realize. Once there was a central symbol, one that affected virtually every Catholic -- the Sacred Liturgy. It was celebrated as something which we had received and should treasure. When violent hands were laid on that (the "winged monkey treatment" -- "Well, they took my stomach and threw it HERE, and my legs are over THERE..."), even that most sacred thing... everything was up for grabs. If you could do what you wished with the Liturgy, convert it into a vehicle for self-expression, then you could do what you wished with anything -- Religious Life, seminary formation, marriage, sexual morality, medical ethics, you name it.
It is all of a piece. And then we blame "The World." How could we expect that we wouldn't be affected by The World? Well, within living memory we took it for granted that the Church was supposed to be the salt of the earth, a leaven for the world, that the Church should affect the world. It's highly convenient as well as significant that we seem to have forgotten that.
Father Kocik and these other authors are attacking a forty-five-year-old logjam.
Without the council, the church still would have taken a hit from the Sixties but it would have been smaller. We had the clout to ride it out. My guess is eventually — in the ’70s? — we would have had a vernacular version of the traditional Mass, just like what the OCA, some other American Orthodox, and some American Eastern Catholics did. Pope Benedict the Great’s correction of English Novus was a big step in that direction.
Meanwhile, low-church Pope Francis gets on the cover of Rolling Stone and the UN tries to tell the church what to do. Let’s see; did he get that honor because of the teachings of the church and will it promote them? No?