Latin and God’s Holy People, by Anthony Esolen, by Anthony Esolen

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*Image: The Mass of Saint Giles by the Master of Saint Giles, c. 1500 [National Gallery, London, England]. This is one of four surviving fragments of a large altarpiece. Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emperor, kneels beside an altar at which St. Giles says Mass.

By Anthony Esolen, The Catholic Thing, Aug. 4, 2022

Anthony Esolen is a lecturer, translator, and writer. Among his books are Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, and Nostalgia: Going Home in a Homeless World, and most recently The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord.  …

I do not attend the Latin Mass.  I believe that the Novus Ordo Mass can be filled with beauty, but that the surroundings, the habits that have grown into prescriptive laws, the ancillary people and their actions, and the problems with the lectionary, especially in its English rendering, make that beauty difficult to attain.

The problem is not that the Mass, as it is in fact celebrated almost everywhere in the English world, fails to be overpowering, like a Beethoven symphony.  We cannot live on grandeur alone.  We must have ordinary bread.  But there’s a beauty to ordinary bread, too, the beauty of what is simple, wholesome, unpretentious. …

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