Call it what you will (Tridentine Rite, Mass of Pius V, Old Mass, or — most incorrectly — the Latin Mass), it was and still is a beautiful and immensely rich way to celebrate the Holy Eucharist.
One blog reader took offence when he thought I said that I wanted “the Old Mass to die off”. I didn’t say that, and did not mean that. I said that “My guess is that if this were the practice [ie. Mass of Paul VI done in Latin, ad orientam, with gregorian chant and kneeling for communion], the demand for the Rite of Pius V would disappear overnight”.
I did not mean that I wanted those celebrations of the Holy Mass in those communities to whom this rite has been entrusted (like the wonderful Confraternity of St Peter) to “die off”. I meant that most of the complaints about the Paul VI mass and most of the praise of the Pius V mass are over aspects such as language and music and ceremony and the decorum with which it is celebrated, and have nothing to do with the rite itself–in other words, the issue is not really one of the rite at all, but the manner in which it is conducted.
With regard to the rites themselves, many proponents of the Pian Rite see only richness lost in the Paul VI rite. In fact, a great deal of richness has been added, which is not at all alien to the tradition, such as the Old Testament reading and the traditions incorporated into the additional Eucharistic Prayers.
If we are going to have an argument (and I don’t see why we should) let’s base our arugment on the rite, and not on how well or how poorly either rite is conducted.
As for me and my house, we will treasure both for what they are: the great and glorious Liturgy of the Holy and Divine Eucharist.