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Author Topic: Baby boomers and the Latin Mass; what gives?  (Read 2011 times)

Hariti

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Baby boomers and the Latin Mass; what gives?
« on: February 23, 2019, 06:07:56 am »
I'm not Catholic, but I'm very interested in Catholicism and pay attention to the Church, and I keep seeing an unusual trend; many Baby Boomers (though by no means all!) oppose the traditional Latin Mass.

The thing is, they seem to be the only ones who oppose the use of Latin, incense, bells, and other traditional liturgical elements. Why is that? Why is it that young people (Gen X, Millenials, Post-millennials) as well as older people (pre-Baby Boom folks, age ~70+) both seem to enjoy the traditional mass, but boomers do not?

Whenever there's a new story about some mass-related controversy, it always seems like the hard-line, anti-Latin, Vatican II types are always boomers. Why is that? How can it be that liturgical elements which appeal to both their children and their parents, do not appeal to boomers themselves?


Maybe it's entirely in my head, but from my own personal anecdotal experience, it's always boomers (and only boomers) who are opposed to bringing back traditional elements of the Latin mass into Catholic parishes.

P.S. To those of you who are baby boomers, please realize I'm not trying to stereotype or attack you! I realize that lots of boomers do want traditional mass and do value smells, bells, chants, etc. I'm specifically asking why it might be that so many boomers, disproportionate to other generations, don't value those things?
« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 06:09:51 am by EnderDragonFire »
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

RandallS

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Re: Baby boomers and the Latin Mass; what gives?
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2019, 07:45:48 am »
Maybe it's entirely in my head, but from my own personal anecdotal experience, it's always boomers (and only boomers) who are opposed to bringing back traditional elements of the Latin mass into Catholic parishes.

In my experience most Catholics have nothing against people having the option to attend the mass in Latin if they wish to, they simply have no desire to see it forced on them.  When you talk about returning to the Tridentine Mass  (as opposed to just saying the current mass in Latin), there is more opposition (because of issues in the mass itself -- for example references to "perfidious" Jews) and because its return was attempt by Pope Benedict XVI to try to reach out to ultra-traditionalist Catholics (and especially the Society of St Pius X) -- most Catholics I know have little sympathy towards their positions.

For the most part, I haven't seen a lot of true hostility to even having the Tridentine Mass available as an option for those who wish to attend. Most of the hostility I see is from conservative Catholics toward the current Mass (and the other reforms of Vatican II).
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Hariti

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Re: Baby boomers and the Latin Mass; what gives?
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2019, 08:12:22 am »
For the most part, I haven't seen a lot of true hostility to even having the Tridentine Mass available as an option for those who wish to attend. Most of the hostility I see is from conservative Catholics toward the current Mass (and the other reforms of Vatican II).

I definitely have, but perhaps it's not as common as my experiences lead me to believe.
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

RandallS

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Re: Baby boomers and the Latin Mass; what gives?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2019, 11:33:17 am »
I definitely have, but perhaps it's not as common as my experiences lead me to believe.

My experience is from Texas (San Antonio, Waco, and Dallas areas). I have no idea what it is like in other areas. I just know that I never heard much strong opposition to it (strong being "this should not be allowed" not just "I would not go") and what little I heard did not seem to correlate with generations. However I heard so little strong opposition that I probably don't really have enough data points to generalize on the generation bit.
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EclecticWheel

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Re: Baby boomers and the Latin Mass; what gives?
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2019, 06:13:20 pm »
I'm not Catholic, but I'm very interested in Catholicism and pay attention to the Church, and I keep seeing an unusual trend; many Baby Boomers (though by no means all!) oppose the traditional Latin Mass.

The thing is, they seem to be the only ones who oppose the use of Latin, incense, bells, and other traditional liturgical elements. Why is that? Why is it that young people (Gen X, Millenials, Post-millennials) as well as older people (pre-Baby Boom folks, age ~70+) both seem to enjoy the traditional mass, but boomers do not?

Whenever there's a new story about some mass-related controversy, it always seems like the hard-line, anti-Latin, Vatican II types are always boomers. Why is that? How can it be that liturgical elements which appeal to both their children and their parents, do not appeal to boomers themselves?


Maybe it's entirely in my head, but from my own personal anecdotal experience, it's always boomers (and only boomers) who are opposed to bringing back traditional elements of the Latin mass into Catholic parishes.

P.S. To those of you who are baby boomers, please realize I'm not trying to stereotype or attack you! I realize that lots of boomers do want traditional mass and do value smells, bells, chants, etc. I'm specifically asking why it might be that so many boomers, disproportionate to other generations, don't value those things?

I don't know who is the most hostile, but when I was involved in Catholicism I was practically yelled at by a priest just for asking if he ever offered the old rite.  Obviously he does not.  I believe "perfidious Jews" has been struck from the rite by Benedict, though, for which I am grateful.

Other priests were less hardline, but one also explicitly discouraged communion on the tongue even if it was first received on the hand and then taken up by the tongue as I am accustomed to in my Anglican parish.  (This is not universal in Anglicanism which varies widely.)  He said it wasn't good table manners.

I was in an odd place in Catholicism.  I valued high traditional liturgy and flexible theology and liberal social values.  This is not in my experience uncommon in the Episcopal Church.  I've even seen ad orientem masses from the old prayer book presided at by women clergy.

In Catholicism there seems to be this association of the old mass with ultraconservatives.  According to a friend of mind who adheres to the old rite back when he was younger (he is about 60) adherents of that rite were nonconformists, but these days they are very socially conservative.  This is however anecdotal of course.

One refrain I hear from those hostile to the old rite is that adherents want to take the church back to the 1950s.  It becomes associated with rigidity, legalism, clericalism, and social conservatism.

In the Independent Sacramental Movement there is not always such a divide between high liturgical styles and liberal theology or social values.  The same is true of much of Anglo-Catholicism.
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Jainarayan

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Re: Baby boomers and the Latin Mass; what gives?
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2019, 10:39:51 am »
I realize that lots of boomers do want traditional mass and do value smells, bells, chants, etc. I'm specifically asking why it might be that so many boomers, disproportionate to other generations, don't value those things?

They were not raised with the tradition. Vatican II largely eviscerated Catholic rituals. The Latin Mass is alien... who understands Latin? That's my impression of the thinking. But who understands Classical Sanskrit to be able to chant the Sri Vishnu Sahasranama from memory without understanding a word of Classical Sanskrit? For anyone who doesn't know, Sri Vishnu Sahasranama means "Thousand names of Lord Vishnu" and takes a full 30 minutes to chant. I'm a boomer, and were I still Catholic, I might want to see the Mass in Latin. But I'm sort of a traditionalist. The "folk Mass" was like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. There are some lines you just don't cross.
śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ
Vishnu's appearance is Shiva; Shiva's appearance is Vishnu
Vishnu is the heart of Shiva; Shiva is the heart of Vishnu - Skandopanishad
 

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