"What earlier generations held as sacred remains sacred and great for us too."
-Pope Benedict XVI, on the Latin Missal of 1962
In the 1990s, EWTN's Mother Angelica, fed up with feminist inroads and with the wave of change that infected every aspect of Catholic life-very much including the liturgy of Holy Mass-announced that her nuns were switching back to their old religious garb. About the old Latin Mass she said: "It was almost mystical. It gave you an awareness of heaven, of the awesome humility of God, Who manifests Himself in the guise of bread and wine….Today with the priest facing the people, it's something between the people and the priest…and Jesus is all but forgotten." Author Thomas E. Woods seeks to explain why Pope Benedict XVI has returned this old Latin Missal to the life of the Church, making it a right of both priests and the faithful which, the Pope says, "was never abrogated," and attempting to harmonize it with an orthodox interpretation of the newer or "Ordinary Form," as he calls the Missal of Pope Paul VI.
Three key magazine editors applaud:
"Professor Woods has written an excellent introduction to the traditional Latin Mass for priests and lay persons who want to know more about the "extraordinary form of the Mass" which is now an official part of the liturgy of the Catholic Church. Professor Woods is to be complimented for presenting a short introduction to the traditional Latin Mass for all Catholics- priests and laity. The book brings the reader quickly up to date and the text is well documented with references to the ancient liturgy, to the Magisterium, to the current and recent popes. It is obvious from what Woods says and quotes that the old Mass has made a dramatic comeback in the liturgical life of the Catholic Church and is the wave of the future. Ten years from now the worship of the Church will be close to what it was before the drastic innovations of 1970."-Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J., Editor, Homiletic & Pastoral Review
"Summorum Pontificumreleases the curtains on four decades of liturgical farce and revives a tradition vital to the Church's recovery. In this clear book, Thomas Woods captures the momentousness of Pope Benedict XVI's simple act of courage and common sense." - George Neumayr, Editor, Catholic World Report
"On September 14, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI returned the Old Latin Mass to the mainstream of Catholic liturgical life. It was a joyous moment, but not without questions: How would the Old Mass be received after so long a neglect? And what of the Catholics who have known only the Novus Ordo - how can they familiarize themselves with the grandeur of the Tridentine Rite? Thomas Woods' newest book,Sacred Then and Sacred Now, is the solution-a compact and informative guide to the history, structure, and practice of the Old Mass (with a particularly helpful section at the end that tackles common objections). Easy to read, every Catholic would benefit from this book."-Brian Saint Paul, Editor, InsideCatholic.com (CrisisMagazine)
ALL the major questions answered, among them:
- why did the Pope restore the old Mass when we already can have the new Mass in Latin?
- does Benedict XVI regret Vatican II?
- which Mass is the real Latin rite?
- why is the Holy Father so sympathetic to traditionalists-examples of his words and deeds
- is his new ruling just for older Catholics?
- what are the differences between the old and new forms?
- why is there no Communion in the hand at the old Mass?
- are standing for Communion, female altar servers, and Eucharistic "Ministers" signs of progress in faith?
- can the above be part of the old Mass?
- why does it make sense to have Mass in Latin at all if no one understands it?
- did people really follow the Mass in "the old days"?
- isn't the new form of Mass better for "participation"?
- isn't it exactly what Vatican II called for?
- isn't the old Latin Mass only about 500 years old?