Jeff DeGraff: The New Mass as New Coke | Latin Mass Clearwater

Monday, January 30, 2012

Jeff DeGraff: The New Mass as New Coke

Jeff DeGraff recently had this editorial appear in the Huffington Post: The New Mass as New Coke. I almost skipped it because: 1) it was in the Huffington Post, a very liberal publication, and 2) because I feared it may have had a sarcastic tone. But I read it, and here's my take.

Jeff's Editorial Draws an Analogy Between the Change to the New Mass and the Way "New Coke" Was Foisted Upon Consumers

Jeff argues no one in the public wanted "New Coke." This is understandable - you could sit in a lab for the next ten thousand years and mix up syrup flavors, but you'll never improve on the original Coke. The idea was borne by a small group of marketing types, not by the public at large. It's a interesting thought. In some ways, I agree...

As Was the Case with New Coke, I Have Found Newer Does Not Mean Better, Unless You Are Buying a Computer or Vacuum Cleaner...

Old things are often better - and irreplaceable. Compare antique furniture with the overstuffed, giant sized monstrosities you get at Rooms to Go today. Or watch a Fred Astaire movie and compare ballroom dance in the 1930's with what they have in Nightclubs today.

This goes for culture too. Look at the behavior of those on board the Titanic when it sank it in sank on 15 April 1912, versus that of the Captain of the the Costa Corcordia, which recently sank off the coast of Tuscany.

So What Is Wrong With the New Translation?

Some Traditionalists like the idea of the New Translation, as it follows the Latin more closely and directly. This is a good thing. But what is poetic in Latin can sound odd in English - and now the New Mass sounds odd, just like New Coke tasted odd. And as I have said before, the music is greatly diminished.

This is important: I am not critical of the Church over the introduction of the New Translation - negativity is detrimental and not helpful. I think they were trying to fix or improve the Mass by making it more true to its Latin or Tridentine roots. But rather than fixing things, the New Translation seems to have stirred up both old and new problems, and perhaps - will serve to create a crisis of sorts. A crisis that ultimately could have a positive resolution.

The New Translation was undertaken to fix the Novus Ordo Missae. Well, if the Church felt they had to fix the New Mass, it would follow they felt something was wrong with it. One buzzword floating around lately is "authentic." I think they were looking for authenticity. But if we want authentic, we should go to the Mass that was virtually unchanged for 600 years - the Latin Mass. What could be more authentic than the Latin Mass?

As we go through these difficult times, we can take solace in a happy precedent. Original Coke was quickly put back on the market after the New Coke debacle. Perhaps we even appreciated Original Coke more. Maybe the same will happen with the Latin Mass!

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