By Theresa French
Having grown up in the 40's and 50's, having sung Gregorian Chant in a convent, having a minor in Catholic theology (Jesuits, Dominicans, Vincentians), and having 6 years of Latin (4 in high school and 2 in the novitiate), I have never been comfortable with the Novus Ordo.
Although I am unable to attend a Latin Mass, I use the 1962 Roman Missal when attending Mass.
However, the 1962 Mass has never had the beauty of the Mass I grew up with. It is as though someone took out the flowers, leaving only the barren essentials behind.
Combined with the Novus Ordo which allows clapping, multiple 'signs of peace', Protestant music throughout the Mass, I have to block out all the distractions in order to focus only on the Mass and Christ.
In an attempt to understand what happened (I am now 72 years old), I searched out and found a copy of the 1947 edition of the St Andrew's daily mass (4 volume).
When I received my copy, I read the entire Mass. I wish I had words to describe the beauty that has been lost.
I finally understood why my mother (born in 1924 with 4 years of Latin) could not accept the Novus Ordo.
Although she continued to attend Mass, it was as if her spirit had been broken. She could not understand why someone would want to change something so beautiful as the Mass she grew up attending.
She realized that something had changed in the 1962 Latin Mass.
Now I can understand since the Mass of 1947 was even more beautiful than the Mass of the early 50's.
My father, a convert in the 40's, who always attended daily Mass when I was a child, could not bring himself to attend daily Mass by the 70's although he still attended Sunday Mass.
He chose to trust that God was 'still in control' but simply could not understand why so much beauty was being destroyed and empty actions distracting from Christ introduced seemingly for no other reason than to "modernize" the Church.
I don't think either could have spiritually survived the Novus Ordo that I have to attend today.