The most reverent Masses I’ve ever assisted at in both the OF and the EF, have been Fr. Zuhlsdorf’s. He truly understands the lex orandi, lex credendi.
I want to intimate two quick stories…first, the very first EF Mass I
ever assisted at was with Fr. Z. I really had no idea at that point
what the EF was (indult), and he and Monsignor Schuler were very patient
in explaining what the true understanding of continuity was. This was
in 1996!! He then taught me how to serve a low Mass and from there, the
rest is history. I now assist 99% at the EF and it is all thanks to
Fr. Z and to Monsignor Schuler.
The second story supports the first. Since I first met Fr. Z and
Monsignor Schuler, there have been two things emphasized. Participatio
actuosa and authentic continuity (at that point it was strictly couched
in the terms of authentic interpretation of Vatican Council II) .
Bottom line, if the Novus Ordo was to ever be authentic, then it must be
celebrated as the Council Fathers wanted, not any other way….so
Monsignor never changed that. His vision was that the OF was an organic
growth from the Church. The way the Mass was/is celebrated at St.
Agnes speaks to this in a way that is wholly and completely unique. IT
IS THE WAY THAT FR. Z SPEAKS ABOUT CONTINUITY. It wasn’t until Benedict
started talking about it in earnest that the reality hit me…Monsignor
Schuler and Fr. Z were on to something…the rest of the Church needs to
listen. It’s no joke. A few key points:
1. Mass ad orientem all the time, on the same altar from 1888.
2. High Mass in Latin, low Mass in the vernacular. (Very rarely, if
ever was there a High Mass in the vernacular.) Readings only in the
3. Solemn Masses as well as Missa Cantata. Using either two deacons or a deacon and acolyte.
4. Gregorian Chant propers and either Orchestral/polyphonic ordinaries
(except penitential times, chant). Hymns only for low Mass.
5. Use of all of the ceremonies for Solemn Mass. This necessitated 13 servers for High Mass.
6. Communion under one species and received at the rail and in the traditional manner.
There is only one place that I know of in all of Christendom that has
remained 100% faithful to the true vision of Vatican Council II. And I
learned this from two men. Father Zuhlsdorf is one of them.
My point in those stories…The Eucharist is the Source and Summit of
our Faith. The Mass is the vehicle. When a priest authentically
understands that, the Mass will be beautiful and reverent and right.
Cadence, posture, devotion and familiarity. They all breed compliance.
And that breeds love. And that….well, that breeds the best Mass I’ve
ever assisted. It just happens that it was Fr. Z singing High Mass to
St. Cecilia’s Mass in 1996, with Monsignor Schuler conducting.
It changed my life. It put me on a path that is not popular, but it
is right. I will fight until my dying breath to see it to it’s logical
end…either the authentic implementation of the OF or it’s suppression.
The abuse has to be corrected one way or another. The perfect model is
the Bandas/Schuler model, as espoused by Fr. Z and a few others. If
this cannot be realized, then the EF should gloriously reign as the OF
until such time as the Novus Ordo can be authentically implemented,
according to the Council Fathers.
This has never been an issue of validity, only licitness.