Friday, 16 March 2012
I was a bit late for Mass today, by which I mean that I was there only a few minutes beforehand – not really enough time to be properly prepared.
I needn’t have fretted too much, though, as the silence in Church helped me to quieten myself and to be ready for the little bell to ring.
It was quite different on Sunday. Before Mass there was so much noise it was nigh on impossible to think straight, let alone to contemplate the mystery of the Mass. I felt like I was in a market. It put me in mind of the temple with all its moneychangers and the business going on in utter ambivalence to what the temple was actually there for.
But this time Jesus didn’t make a whip and drive them out, telling them to respect His/His Father’s house – instead He laid down His life for them in the re-presentation of His sacrifice at Calvary…
I don’t doubt the voices bemoaning the lack of silence in the Novus Ordo and saying that one of the factors that makes the Usus Antiquior so appealing or authentic is the presence of silence, but this really brought it home to me. I would have thought that a Catholic of a few generations ago would have been utterly bewildered by it, wondering if they had got the wrong building or, perhaps, what had happened to the Church. Then, when the liturgy began they might have thought the same thing again, but that’s a different story!