Every form of the Mass officially approved by the Church is beautiful. This includes the Novus Ordo — at least, when it’s said with reverence.
But there is a beauty and depth to the Traditional Latin Mass that’s hard to beat. It’s no surprise that faithful Catholics are flocking to it.
Of course, many in the Church would love to see this venerable form of worship vanish from the earth. But the Traditional Latin Mass still has a place in our Church and world.
1. We still need beauty
We in the West live in possibly the most consumeristic age in history. We accumulate things that have little worth. We gorge ourselves on unhealthy food. We spend hours mindlessly scrolling on social media. Limitless porn is only a few clicks away.
We have everything we need to “satisfy” our appetites, but we’re starving for authentic truth, goodness, and beauty. The Traditional Latin Mass shocks those who first attend it with a radiance not of this world. The beautiful gestures, prayers, silence, and chants lift us up to a higher spiritual plane.
Not that there can’t be a beautiful Novus Ordo Mass. Priests need to follow Vatican II’s guidance on the liturgy and bring back a sense of the sacred to this form of the Mass. For example, Vatican II called for Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony. But we rarely find these in parishes that supposedly follow Vatican II.
2. Young people are flocking to Traditional Latin Mass
This is an uncomfortable truth for those still convinced that the Mass needs to be radically modernized. If you go to many “modern” parishes today, you’ll often see a sea of older people. Young adults are noticeably absent.
But young people are flocking to the Traditional Latin Mass, and are wondering why this treasure was denied to them. They don’t want “fashionable” liturgy; they want something that is eternally relevant.
So if you’re still not convinced of the Latin Mass’s intrinsic worth, there’s also a practical aspect: the Catholic Church today is losing young people like crazy. Without them, many parishes will close in the future.
To keep the Church young, we need to keep the old traditions.
3. It has a positive effect on the Novus Ordo
We know that after Vatican II (but not because of it), many parishes went wild with liturgical experimentation. This posed a risk: Would these irreverent Masses be all that future seminarians know?
Thankfully, both Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI did a lot to loosen restrictions on the Traditional Latin Mass. This was a great thing not only for adherents of that Mass, but also for the Novus Ordo. The Traditional Latin Mass has inspired many seminarians to celebrate the Novus Ordo with greater reverence.
The Traditional Latin Mass has an important role to play in the Church today. Of course, it’s wrong to use it as an excuse for disobedience to the pope and bishops. Instead, we obediently encourage our shepherds to see just how much glorious fruit has come from this true experience of heaven on earth.