I got an email from my god-mother Charlene yesterday, about something another parishioner told her. It was concerning quite a serious matter. The way it was described to me, I thought that someone was spreading stories around. Thankfully Charlene went to our pastor, but in between the time she heard the tale until she got to talk to Fr Pat, she was scandalized. Pure and simple. In the interest of putting out a fire, and especially since she misunderstood what happened, I am leaving out the details.
The reason I am writing this is because the subject of the Novus Ordo came up. Charlene and I had a serious discussion about N.O. vs Tridentine a while back. I wrote a brief entry about that earlier on this blog. Anyway, Charlene and I are both bothered by what has transpired during the Mass since our associate pastor, Fr Nestor, has come. I love Fr Nestor–he is a very bright, energentic, and funny person. But he changes the words in the prayers, and that makes me nuts. The words of consecration are never altered, but Fr Nestor likes to add things. There’s a portion where Jesus gives his peace, and Fr Nestor adds ‘and your friends’ to the mix. When the Eucharistic prayer gets to the part where the Church prays for the Pope, the Bishop, et al, Fr Nestor adds ‘and the religious’.
We haven’t had a priest on staff who has done this, so it is a bit disconcerting for us. What’s really sad is that even our Bishop will change things at times. An otherwise holy and gody man, exemplary in his conduct–but he likes to say ‘this is Jesus, the lamb of God who takes away’, etc.. I told Charlene that it has gotten to the point where I am going to talk to Fr Nestor and ask him why he doesn’t think the prayers in the sacramentary are correctly written. What really surprises me is that Fr Nestor was educated in Rome.
Charlene said well, if the Mass was still in Latin, it couldn’t be changed, because the meaning is clear. There can be no ‘watering down’ of the Mass in the Tridentine Rite. BINGO! I reminded her that is the precise reason I am learning Latin and am planning on leaving the Novus Ordo. She understood where I am coming from a bit better.
I actually referred to the Novus Ordo as a ‘lousy’ Mass, which was going too far, I think. After all, millions of Catholics are very devout, and attendance at Novus Ordo allows them to grow spiritually. Jesus Christ, truly Present in the Eucharist, strengthens all of us, whether in the Novus Ordo, the Byzantine, or the Tridentine, etc. But the Novus Ordo just lends itself to abuse, because our Bishops are not enforcing the correct application of the rubrics.
I was very sorry to see Charlene so distressed, but on the other hand, it did open her eyes to what it is that I am trying to communicate.