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Musical Musings: Miscellaneous

The Latin Liturgy Association

LLA Newsletter

James F. Pauer, President

This letter appears in the Fall 2007 Newsletter of the Latin Liturgy Association. CNP is reprinting it on our website in recognition of the healthy and balanced policy of the LLA to support equally both forms of the Roman Rite, the Ordinary Form (1970 Missal) and the Extraordinary Form (1962 Missal). Much ill-will has been manifest by some organizations that not only promote one or the other of these forms, but go so far as to denigrate and malign the "other" form. With such clear guidance offered by the Holy Father respecting both forms, it is indeed scandal that even Catholics argue and print diatribes against the Extraordinary (1962) Form or against the Ordinary (1970) Form — against its Mass, its calendar and its Lectionary. The LLA is refreshing in its moderate attitude and prophetic in its decades-old promotion of Latin in both forms of the Mass.

From the President

Now that the Holy Father's motu proprio Summorum pontificum (SP) has been promulgated and the initial excitement regarding it has settled down in the media, it is time to begin to assess its true impact. Fr. Kenneth Baker, SJ, (LLA) appeared on one of the several EWTN discussion programs during the week of the promulgation. He opined that it could take as much as a decade for the intended effects of SP to take root in the Church. Much time will be needed for Catholics to make decisions regarding it, to learn about the traditional Latin Liturgy, to adopt it where practical, and to become practiced in its use. Fr. Baker and other observers commented that even older priests who were originally trained in the pre-Vatican II rubrics would need to study and practice to learn to use them once again. Many of us in the LLA who have helped priests learn to say the traditional Latin Mass know this all too well. The words of SP itself caution that priests who desire to say the old Mass will need adequate preparation. We must pray that priests who are inspired to learn the older norms of celebration will persevere and become ready.

An immediate effect of the promulgation has been to solidify the status of some celebrations according to the 1962 Missal which had been rather tenuous. In some places, Masses which have been barely tolerated in the parishes that have hosted them, are now becoming more firmly scheduled as ongoing celebrations, rather than as things subject to the vagaries of trial arrangements. This strengthening of existing celebrations is due to their validation by SP. They no longer have the status of concession implied by the indult [Quattuor abhinc annos] but rather are recognized as fully legitimate (which they have always been) extraordinary celebrations. However, even if the legal status of these liturgies has changed, it will take more time and effort to change the certain prevailing attitudes toward them. Some critics may remain opposed to the extraordinary form for the remainder of their careers. Even among those interested in learning about the old Mass in places where it has not been in use, many questions remain to be answered. A number of religious societies including the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter and the Canons Regular of Saint John Cantius have set up training classes and web sites to help priests wanting to learn the Missal of 1962.

SP strongly reminds Catholics that both the ordinary and extraordinary forms are equally efficacious and venerable. This has been the position of the LLA for decades. In ways, the LLA has helped lead the way toward the present recognition of the value of both diversity of ritual and the value of Latin as the basic language of the liturgy of the Western Church. In the LLA's early years beginning in 1975, we were a voice in the wilderness when Latin was being discarded out of hand. Moreover, the LLA, because of its insistence on the equal value of pre- and post-Vatican II norms, has not attracted the resources of some other groups that are more particularly focused on one or the other. The LLA began as a "grassroots" movement that has remained all-volunteer, without paid staff, permanent offices, and other such fixtures. The LLA's mentality has been one of "tending the flame" and keeping alive the value of Latin and traditions in the liturgy. Now that one era has ended and the new one begun, it's time for the LLA to reassess its mission and goals. We no longer are required to dwell on apologetics for our values. SP is clear in stating that these are indeed worthy of recognition by the whole Church.

James F. Pauer is president of the Latin Liturgy Association, Inc.

The Latin Liturgy Association was founded in 1975 to promote the use of Latin, the customary language of the Roman Catholic Church, as appropriate in the liturgies of the contemporary church. In January of 2001, the Association was incorporated as a Not-For-Profit Corporation under the laws of the State of New York as the Latin Liturgy Association, Inc. We are approved as a IRC 501(3) Not-For-Profit Corporation and all donations are fully tax-deductible. The Association has several local chapters across the United States and is honored to have an Episcopal Advisory Board of 38 bishops from various areas in the United States and its possessions.

Members of the Latin Liturgy Association (LLA) actively support the use of Latin in liturgies at over 280 sites in the United States and about two dozen sites in Canada.

The LLA cooperates with counterpart organizations in Europe: the Association for Latin Liturgy in England and the Vereniging voor Latijnse Liturgie of the Netherlands.

Membership is open to all who promote the use of Latin in the liturgical life of the church. The LLA is unique in that it supports using Latin both for Mass according to the revised Missal of Pope Paul VI (Vatican II) and the pre-Vatican II Tridentine Mass which can be celebrated according to the guidelines issued by Pope John Paul II in his motu proprio Quattuor abhinc annos of 1984, as modified by the Holy Father's motu proprio, Ecclesia Dei of 1988.

In many places, Latin is also used in the daily Divine Office and in other liturgical functions of the church. National conventions of the LLA are held every two years.

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