What I’m about to write may be the single most controversial thing I have EVER written, but here goes anyway.
Saying that the novus ordo is “just as valid” a form of the Mass as the TLM and that preference for one or the other is just a matter of opinion is misguided. Here is the real truth:
The historic traditional Latin Mass of the western church is more reverent, more holy, and more beautiful than the novus ordo, when both are performed as reverently as they could possibly be.
And what’s more, this is incredibly obvious to basically anybody who has been to both.
I’m tired of being gaslighted on this point. Yes I have been to reverent and beautiful novus ordo Masses. They are nothing – absolutely nothing – like a truly reverent TLM.
The galling part is the latin has almost nothing to do with this! Sure it’s a fancy sounding language and learning a whole separate language for the liturgy does show a certain respect absent if you’re just using the vernacular. But I have been to Divine Liturgies in English that have had none of the issues of English novus ordos. Nobody is calling for the Divine Liturgy to be said only in their native languages.
They don’t need to, because the english version of the Divine Liturgy is just the regular Divine Liturgy, only spoken in English.
People who are pretending – and I see a lot of people like this – that this has to do with Latin are missing the point, and probably intentionally. It really has very little to do with Latin. It has to do with the fact that the historic Mass used for 1000 years by the majority of western Christianity was gutted in the 60’s in an attempt to be made more like Protestant worship services, with the predictable result that the new version is much less reverent, much easier to abuse, and much less holy than the traditional latin Mass.
The main thing, I think, is the music; low Masses don’t hit the same as high Masses, and I can confirm this having been to both. The Gregorian chant is truly gorgeous, and while a good choir is a blessing it’s nothing to beautiful Gregorian chant.
But that’s not the point. The point is that really, the whole thing is disingenuous. At Vatican II they obviously didn’t believe that the TLM was a “valid alternate expression of the Mass” or they wouldn’t have created an alternate version, then spent the next several decades trying to eliminate it. If the concern was the language, why not simply do as they did with the Divine Liturgy and translate the Latin to English?
We know the answer.