The Church, in her Wisdom has given us the Ordinary Form of the Mass. We, as a Church, are currently blessed with the option (in most places) to attend Mass using the Ordinary Form or the Extraordinary Form. Both are valid in the eyes of the Church and both have beauty and both can be done well or done horribly.
I’ve been to both forms and to be honest, I prefer the Ordinary Form, when celebrated reverently. I have been blessed to see the Ordinary Form celebrated with great reverence and love. I’ve seen it celebrated ad orientem, with many of the parts in Latin, and all the focus on Love Himself.
That is not to say that I do not love the Extraordinary Form, I also an very drawn to it as well. However, if I had the option here, where we are, I’d still pick a reverently done Ordinary Form Mass.
That being said:Â It pains me when I see/read fellow Catholics who do not see the beauty and/or the validity of the Ordinary Form. On a discussion group I belong to, members make it sound like the most horrible place in the world is a Ordinary Form Mass. There is talk about how glad they are for being able to escape the Ordinary Form for the Latin Mass. (Note: the OF is the Latin Mass as well.)
Sometimes I feel as though a wedge is being driven between those of us who are faithful Catholics because of the Mass we attend. Many times I feel as though I am judged to be less faithful because I prefer the Ordinary Form. I’ve actually been pondering this for a few weeks now.
Yes, both forms are valid, and yes, abuses can happen in both forms. However, both forms bring us the Source and Summit of our faith, Jesus in the Eucharist.Â Jesus, Love Himself. God made flesh, come to Earth to die on the Cross for our Salvation. He is present in both forms! He comes to us, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity at each and every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
We, as Catholics, need to realize that even if the priest celebrating Mass seems to want to be anywhere but there, if the people in the pews around us seem more interested in chatting that praying, or (and this is one I struggle with) if the hymn choices are suspect at best, heretical at worst, the Mass is still the Mass and Jesus has come to us in the Blessed Sacrament.
So please, let us put aside the judging over what form is attended and look to see the beauty that is present in both!