Post-Mass conversations with my parents usually cover the following topics:
- The coffee we ordered
- The events of my week
- The events of their week
- The events of my siblings' week
- Catholic and political events (they afford me a few minutes to indulge in my political science background)
- The Liturgy
You wouldn't think it, but the most lively topic is usually the Liturgy. When I returned to my faith two years ago, I never knew the Mass was said in Latin. A trip to Europe and Pope Benedict's The Spirit of the Liturgy later, I was dying for some Latin in our 'Bugnini Masses'. Our English translations were so clunky; our hymns so flakey. By the Grace of God, our local pastor introduces a little more Latin into the Mass every year, especially during Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter, and thus part of my appetite for the language of the Church is satisfied. But I, like my parents, want more. We want a vibrant Latin liturgy, or at least a liturgy that isn't afraid to use Latin and English together. When I was volunteering at WYD 2005, my fellow freiwilligen und mich discussed the positives and negatives of the Novus Ordo Mass. We appreciated understanding all the Liturgy in our mother tongues. We appreciated the participation. But on the other hand, we found the new Mass to lack reverence and sanctity. It was too much like everything else in our society. Latin would at the very least offer us a time truly outside of this world. And on top of this, going to Mass in a foreign country was a little difficult if you didn't speak the native tongue.
Hence it is with much joy that I heard the Holy Father is planning an indult to all bishops to 'deregulate' the use of Latin in the Mass. No one is really sure how 'deregulated' it will be, but I'm certain we won't be witnessing a return to the Tridentine Mass, or even a major up turn in requests for it. It will probably 'universalize' the Mass in way not seen since before the 1970s, as most parishes will likely offer at least one 'Latin' Mass each day of obligation. It will also have a profound affect on the Liturgical music, as the latest Marty Haugen jingle will sound absolutely ridiculous after the congregation and the priest chant the Sanctus or the Gloria in Latin.
Of the people my parents and I have spoken to about the indult, the general feeling is quite positive. Catholics, especially of the younger variety, are craving a truly countercultural experience that will remind them of Christ's calling, and the sanctity of the Eucharist. Older Catholics will probably have a harder time acclimatizing to the changes, of course, since they have spent the last 40 years praying a certain way. Habits can be hard to change (unless you're a feminist nun - ha ha ha!). But everyone seems pleased, if not a little impatient; we've been waiting a while for this.