Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Old Mass is More Jewish Than the New

Nicholas Frankovich on the First Things blog argues that the Mass of John XXIII is more Jewish than the ordinary form of the mass that we now use. He further argues that the new mass was adapted to allay Protestant opposition to the "Jewishness" of the old mass which corresponded more to the sacrifice offered in the temple than the rabbinical Judaism of the synagogue:

"Protestants were correct that the Mass, in its aspect as a sacrifice, could not be fully understood outside the framework of pre-rabbinic Judaism. By the middle of the twentieth century, when Rome’s wish for some thaw in its cold war with Protestantism was in full bloom, it reformed the Mass such that the visible and audible distinctions between Mass and the worship services of the mainline Protestant churches were now greatly softened. Many Catholics saw it as an appropriate ecumenical gesture. So did many Protestants. Whether that step in the direction of Wittenberg and Geneva was deliberate or unconscious, what it was a step away from was Jerusalem, from the Temple and the daily sacrifice priests used to perform there."

A carful anaysis of the structure, form, and language of the old mass would expose its true Jewishness, an analysis well beyond the scope of Frankovich's article.

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