After considerable debate I have decided I can no longer attend mass (except in a pinch to fulfill my obligation) at my local parish church. The liturgy and music are so dreadful that despite my best efforts to concentrate on what is (it goes without saying) the most important aspect of the mass, the Eucharist, I find that concentration continually upended by priests who apparently see it their duty to give the dubious Novus Ordo mass their own personal stamp. Attempts by other parishioners (far younger than myself, I might add) and myself to rein in some of the more egregious liturgical abuses have proved unavailing, met with indifference at best from the pastor on down. I have thrown in the towel.
I regret having have to make this decision. Not only will I will miss the five-minute walk to church but I also feel strongly the need for the strong parochial presence of Holy Church in urban and suburban neighborhoods; in many ways it is the glue that holds them together. Nonetheless, owing to favorable circumstances, I have a car these days (a rare and lovely luxury in New York City) and thus can easily get myself to the Church of the Holy Innocents in mid-town Manhattan, where the mass in the Extraordinary Form is now celebrated seven days a week, with Missae Cantatae offered on Sundays and major feasts days, along with a superb choir performing chant and Renaissance polyphony.
I doubt there are more than a handful of Catholic churches in the whole country with such a generous offering of traditional masses and it seems to me that not only should I avail myself of them, it behooves me to, for Holy Innocents could use more souls in the pews (although the numbers are steadily and gratifyingly rising), it being smack in the middle of the garment district, which is not exactly residential (I also hope my relatively modest offering in the pledge envelope will not go unappreciated). I have passed the point where I believe it merely desirable that traditional liturgy be restored to the Holy Church; I now believe it is absolutely essential for her survival, lest she follow the mainstream protestant denominations into the morass and oblivion of our wretched contemporary culture.
Beginning this evening I will begin to experience, for the first time, the entire Triduum the way it should be done: using the Tridentine Rite with music worthy for use in the praise of our Lord. I am very much looking forward to it. A joyous Easter to you all.