Finding What Should Never Have Been Lost: Priests and the Extraordinary Form | Jim Graves | CWR
Four post-Vatican II priests discuss how they came to know and love celebrating Mass in the Extraordinary Form.
After Pope Paul VI introduced the Novus Ordo Mass in 1969, the older form of the Roman rite—sometimes known as the Tridentine Mass, the Old Mass, the Traditional Latin Mass, and, more recently, the Extraordinary Form—virtually disappeared from many dioceses. Its celebration was severely restricted, if not banned outright, and became a source of controversy.
A yearning among some for the older form of the Mass, coupled with decisions by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, led to its wider use and to a de-stigmatizing of its celebration over the years. The most significant of these decisions was Pope Benedict’s 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, which declared that any priest may celebrate the older form of the Mass on his own without special permission from a bishop. Today, attendees of Extraordinary Form Masses are often younger Catholics, as the number of older Catholics who remained devoted to the pre-1969 Mass dwindles.
Catholic World Report spoke to four priests who regularly celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, each of whom has spent most of his life attending, and most of his priesthood celebrating, the Novus Ordo.
“Both forms can coexist”
Father Mark Mazza served for many years as pastor of Star of the Sea Church, near the Golden Gate Bridge in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, and as chaplain for the Traditional Latin Mass Society of San Francisco. He recently began a six-month medical leave.
Ordained a priest in 1980, Father Mazza had celebrated the Novus Ordo for more than 30 years when San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone asked him to begin a regular Extraordinary Form Mass at the parish in 2012. He agreed, and spent several months learning its precise rubrics.
From an early age, Father Mazza lamented the end of the celebration of the older form of the Mass in many dioceses after the Second Vatican Council.