Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

It’s Official

October 24th, 2009, Promulgated by Gen

The Latin Mass has captured my heart. I have been warned without ceasing by friends, coworkers, family and even some clergy that I should “not become too enamored with the ‘old ways.'” Well, I held this close to my now Latin-ized heart for some time, and only when I began encounter the numerous liberal dens of “progressive liturgy” did I begin to consider that, perhaps, I should begin to open myself up to these vilified “old ways.” I started to do just such a thing about five years ago, and thought “wow, there’s some real substance (no pun intended) to this.” Well, five years later I have been thoroughly claimed for Truth, Tradition, and Tridentine Splendour.

This is not to say that I have turned my back (pun intended) on the Novus Ordo. No, it’s a beautiful “version” of the Mass. However, I have noted several things: 1. The Old Mass is readily available to me, should my schedule permit, 2. My experiences of late with the New Mass have been, if not overtly heterodox, not as uplifting as they could be, and 3. There is no room for irreverence or abuse of the Blessed Sacrament in the Old Mass. None. Sure, the priest may rush, the people may be distant, the servers may be poorly trained and the choir inept. However, there is no room for scantily-clad ballerinas flitting around the sanctuary for the sake of diversity. Nor is there any room for poiliticking, i.e. removal of masculine pronouns, militant feminism and gay pride etc . . .

For me, the absolute and paramount goal of the liturgy is, for the laity, to prayerfully contemplate the Divine Mystery made manifest so humbly and gracefully at the words of the priest. To do this without reverence is to demean the gift of God Himself, made present upon the altar. Reverence is the most absolute key to the liturgy from a psychological and human dimension. That’s why people have flocked from parishes like St. Anne and Spiritus Christi and have adopted new parishes such as Our Lady of Victory and the Latin Mass Community. These people, these fortunate exiles who have the ability to easily leave a parish in the throws of indecency, realize this fact.

But where does reverence come from?

It comes from humility.That’s it. The priest says prayers audible only to himself, the odd server or two and God. He approaches God as one of us, the created. He is not guaranteed the “right” to charismatically bring the Mass to the people. He is commanded by God and His Church to relive the most noble sacrifice of Calvary. He faces God, not the people who are mere “images of God.” He looks into the eyes of Our Lord on the crucifix, uniting his entire being to Our Lord in an act of absolute and undeniable humility.

Where is the humility in lay preaching, where people who have read an occasional prayer book have, in their eyes, the right to preach to the priest? Where is the humility in strumming away on a guitar in lieu of the humble simplicity of chant? Where is the humility in dancing through the sanctuary for the sake of “rejoicing?” There was no glee and vibrance at the Last Supper, save the vibrancy of Christ Himself, True God and True Man. Even then, his vibrancy was a glowing of deity, not of human revelry.

The true source to which we must look, as Catholics, in regards to Truth is Christ’s ministry and the Traditions instilled by that into the lives of the Apostles. People who demonize and attack the Old Mass saying, “It’s not what happened at the Last Supper.” These people have a talent for stating the obvious. Of course it’s not the same, for the Last Supper was a Seder dinner, a celebration of the Feast of Passover. However, at this Seder of Seders Our Lord gave us a new covenant in His Blood. How can we do His will if we cling naively and ignorantly to the Traditions, no matter how blessed they may be, which He Himself made unnecessary. As Catholics, we follow the “New and Everlasting Covenant.” Thus, at the Last Supper, we have the end of one world and the beginning of another.

Those who continuosly dissuade others from “becoming too Tridentine” lack a true understanding of Truth. The Mass traces itself back to the actions of the Apostles themselves, albeit in a very simplified form. However, this is where Tradition plays a role. The manner in which the New Covenant is sacrificed and acknowledged is continuously “tweaked” by the Holy Spirit. It is not tweaked by liberal nuns and gay priests in the course of forty years of trial and error. (Emphasis on error.)

May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be loved and worshiped for all eternity in all the tabernacles of the world, and venerated with humility and undeniable love in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

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15 Responses to “It’s Official”

  1. Anonymous says:

    From God's mouth to your keyboard. Excellent.

  2. Sister Emily says:

    Praise God!

  3. Ink says:

    Amen… I wish I could drive. I'd go every week.

  4. SISTER EMILY says:

    If you live on the south west maybe I could help from time to time. If you want, email cleansing fire with details and they can contact me.

  5. Yapollo says:

    I liked the traditional masses too…

    Great job on this post.

  6. CPT Tom says:

    Down here in Corning there are no such choice. I went to the High Mass today at St Stanislav. OUTSTANDING! Between taking care of my 3 year old's "Energetic" moments It was the best I think I've been to. The right balance of polyphony, silence and sacredness, mixed with solemnity and a first rate homily.

    Here, in the south-eastern marches of the Dioceses we are lucky to exist as a schola to sing and assist at a OF mass that has Latin Propers and Ordinary with most of the mass in English otherwise. The mass is as solemn as we can make it…but this is all that there will be until the progressives lose their grip on the parish fully. Time seems to be taking care of some of that, but, we are going to need a bishop with a swinging crosier to move the ball much further.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Sister Emily,
    Ink's mom will joyfully drive her IF SHE'S OUT OF BED AND DRESSED IN TIME! but it is a lovely offer!

    We did make it to the High Mass today (and she had gone to Mass last night and filled in as altar server for her sick little sister), so I can't give her too much grief…

    Ink's Mom

  8. Nerina says:

    Cpt. Tom,

    I applaud what you are doing with your OF Mass. You will be rewarded. Care to share how you formed your schola and then got your priest to agree to some changes? I've asked about having a more "traditional" Mass celebrated at our church only to be told "it would be too divisive."


  9. Gen says:

    Just ask the Masons, Nerina. They solve every problem and wear cute little hats.

  10. CPT Tom says:

    1)We have a Pastoral Administrator that when shown what the Council documents and the Pope say about chant and tradition, was willing to take a chance. It took a year of prepping him, but it was worth it.

    2) I also brought him evidence of success else where tradition worked. You could can site our mass and also the work that Father Aloy, who was at St Anne's in Rochester, and is now in Auburn. The latter is who convinced our Deacon that it was worth a go.

    3) I Collect like minded people who can sing and formed a schola. I went to a few regional chant seminars and later I and a couple of others in the group went to Church Music Association of America's Chant intensive. This is important, especially because you can expect no support from the Music Director…in our case her and the Liturgical director (Pastoral Associate) were part of the chorus screaming for our heads on a silver platter. You will have to be come "the" Chant expert. Like .the proverbial One Eyed Jack in the Land of the blind…you will be king. You will weather the storm.

    4) Have facts–plenty of them to counter the liturgical hippies who will be screaming for your blood. Don't forget to pray unceasingly for patience and fortitude…you're going to need it!

    If you are interested in storming the beaches, and want to talk seriously about it, I'd be happy to share in detail what we did. Send me a note through my blog You too can form your cell of the Gregorian underground.

  11. Nerina says:


    I am interested. I went to your blog but didn't see an e-mail contact. Can you provide it here?



  12. Gen says:

    Fr. Aloy = Fr. Lioi

  13. ben says:


    you can reach Tom at corningcm@stnydotrrdotcom
    (I wrote out the dots)
    Im in the schola, Tom is our founder and deals with the politics and planning the really nasty stuff, God bless him.

  14. Nerina says:

    Thanks, Ben.


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