Thursday, November 26, 2009


TTony, a regular reader here for some time, is taking a break:

...the LMS created a fortress of insularity because it needed to. I think that time has gone, but I sometimes sense a new insularity online, that seems to value an idea of ultratrad heteropraxis. "My praxy is better than your praxy" is less bad than "my doxy is better than your doxy", but it isn't good.

Some years ago, I abruptly stopped being interested in the Liturgical Issues and have more or less stopped blogging about them. Some of my friends here think this is odd, considering I came to Rome with the express purpose of being able to worship in the traditional rites of the Latin Church. But it just tires me, bores me, leaves me feeling ennervated and kind of like a doll with not enough stuffing. It sometimes makes the after-Mass luncheon a bit of a trial, being the only one there not interested in dissecting the minutiae of styles of candlesticks, numbers and depths of bows and genuflexions etc.

But I just can't help it. Every time they get going the same thing pops into my mind. I picture some billious cleric screeching in a panic in the sacristy, "I can't wear this biretta! It's got the wrong kind of pompom on it. This is a novus ordo pompom!"

I'll just take that away and burn it for you then, shall I?

Of course, this is not to say that I will be returning to the glad-handing and banal kindergarten Masses where Father acts like a gameshow host with his microphone (yes, I've seen a bishop at a confirmation walk up and down with his microphone interviewing the kids and making jokes with them...)

I have worked out a way to avoid the Gladhand 'o Peace in Roman churches which are usually extremely large, very old, full of art and don't really have pews. You see, in Roman churches, tourists are constantly wandering around looking at the walls and taking pictures of the statues while Mass is going on. One has to pay attention, but the trick is to wait until the build-up - you know, when they all stand up after the Pater Noster and start wiping their greasy palms on their coats - and just wander over to the side aisle and pretend you're looking at the frescoes. They'll think you're a tourist and leave you alone. Helps to bring a camera.

But it's a funny thing that in all this time of being a Mad, Rad and Bad Trad, I'm really just more or less fed up with the whole thing. It just seems silly to waste one's energies trying to explain that Bach is better than Duran Duran. If they can't see it, why are we bothering?