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“Could be the most powerful and effective vindication of the old Latin Mass ever written.” writes Thomas E. Woods Jr., historian and N.Y. Times national best-selling author: “…One of the rare ‘must-read’ books about the Latin Mass. It lays bare the obtuseness of those who would treat the immemorial Roman rite as a text in need of editing.” The Heresy of Formlessness The Ro“Could be the most powerful and effective vindication of the old Latin Mass ever written.” writes Thomas E. Woods Jr., historian and N.Y. Times national best-selling author: “…One of the rare ‘must-read’ books about the Latin Mass. It lays bare the obtuseness of those who would treat the immemorial Roman rite as a text in need of editing.” The Heresy of Formlessness The Roman Liturgy and Its Enemy By Martin Mosebach German writer Martin Mosebach is as famous in his country as Tom Wolfe is in ours. So when he wrote a book about the destruction of the old Latin Mass, Church leaders and the secular world took note. His view of the new rite of Mass in force since Vatican II goes deeper than any other yet published. Mosebach sees the normative Mass today, precisely because it is at the core of Catholic life for most souls, as the tragic product of wholesale manipulation and compromise with the world, from its gestures and rubrics (or lack of them) to its bad translations and committee-invented prayers. But he does not stop with his evaluation of the new Mass. He defends the old, and summons fellow Catholics to drop their prejudices against it, embrace it as their forefathers did, and restore it to its proper place in the Church. Excerpts from the Mosebach tour de force: On ‘refurbishing’ old churches: “No one who really believes in the power of…prayer would be so reckless as to scorn and wreck something that has been sanctified by prayer.” On the net result of the changes at Mass: “To put it crudely, the liturgy disappeared, and what did the congregation see in its place? A ‘presider’ in billowing garments, his mouth opened in joyful song.” On his rediscovery of the old Latin Mass after being away: “…I was fulfilling the most important duty of human existence…and I was doing this for all the others who did not...

Title : Heresy of Formlessness
Author :
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ISBN : 9781586171278
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 220 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Heresy of Formlessness Reviews

  • Michael
    2018-10-28 03:50

    When I discovered the beauty and reverence of the Latin Mass some years ago, a parishioner recommended to me THE HERESY OF FORMLESSNESS, by Martin Mosebach. It is a wonderful exposition on what the Church has lost in adopting the Novus Ordo over what is now called the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Mosebach is not a theologian, but a German writer and an artist, and writes frequently on art and literature, so he approaches the subject with those unique sensibilities. His opening: In am not a convert or a proselyte. I have had no sudden and spectacular illumination. My roots in religion were feeble for a long time. I cannot say with any certainty when they began to grow; perhaps it was when I reached twenty-five. At any rate, slowly but surely, they did begin to grow. I am inclined to think that these roots are deep by now and are continually growing, though, as before, in a way that is hardly ascertainable. What set this process in motion -- a process that has not yet reached its end -- was my acquaintance with the old Catholic liturgy. [13] It is probably no longer arguable that Mosebach is correct when he cites that the changes in the liturgy from Vatican II have led to: a degradation in reverence by many parishioners, which includes everything from talking, visiting, dressing improperly, general misbehavior, before and during Mass, coming late, leaving early; the loss of beautiiful sacred music, the Gregorian chants, to vapid contemporary hymns and guitar choirs; fewer men entering the priesthood; an overall "dumbing-down" of Catholic teachings; contemporary church architecture more befitting a concert hall than a house designed and built to the glory of God; increase in the "busy-work" of lay liturgy committees mucking about where they should leave well enough alone. Much of what Mosebach believes can be summed up, I think, in this one short excerpt: I admit quite openly that I am one of those naive folk who look at the surface, the external appearance of things, in order to judge their inner nature, their truth, or their spuriousness. The doctrine of supposedly 'inner values' hidden under a dirty and decrepit shell is something I find highly suspicious. [15] More recently, to quote Fr. Barron, "Beauty is a pathway to God." I think this is much of what Mosebach is trying to say. Beauty in the liturgy, the music, the artwork, the icons, the worship space, and that in the last 50 years we've lost a lot of that. I do not recall who said it, but to paraphrase, "the external informs the internal," meaning how we dress, act, show reverence, all of it informs our inner life; theses external things are not insignificant. In a sense, we are what we reverence, we are how we outwardly present ourselves. What Mosebach is saying is that the old Rite informed us well -- through its signs and symbols, its language, its posture, it imparted that onto the parishioners. Mosebach goes on to say, I have described my conviction that it is impossible to retain reverence and worship without their traditional forms. Of course there will always be people who are so filled with grace that they can pray even when the means of prayer have been ripped from their hands. Many people, too, concerned about these issues, will ask, "Isn't it still possible to celebrate the new liturgy of Pope Paul VI worthily and reverently?" Naturally it is possible, but the very fact that it is possible is the weightiest argument against the new liturgy.... While the liturgy is going on, time is suspended: liturgical time is different from time that elapses outside the church's walls. It is Golgatha time, the time of the hapax, the unique and sole Sacrifice; it is a time that contains all times and none. [31-32] Mosebach writes beautifully, and with that artist's sensibility, seems to unlock all what lies beneath the TLM. Very readable, and very enlightening. I couldn't agree more.

  • Conor
    2018-10-25 21:23

    Really, really remarkable book. I don't know that I can do it justice with a review. Mosebach is a genius who offers a view on the liturgical upheaval of the last 40 years that it indispensable. I came away with an incredible appreciation of the Extraordinary Form and its riches.

  • Cris
    2018-10-19 04:28

    This is not so much a work of theology but a love letter to the Tridentine Rite. The author develops his appreciation of the mass from a little incident that he happenned to observe of some ladies washing purificators. He traces the emotional development of the Church's liturgy as a history of growing more conscious of the Real Presence. There is a tremendous amount of luturgical history in this book but this book does not advocate the Old Rite because it is old, but because of it appropriateness as an outlet for the piety of the Faithful. He is not opposed to organic development but he does not think that going back to standing means anything to our generation. Thus he dashes innovation from history. The early chapter on plain chant was very interesting from what I could gather, some distinctions he made about intonations of the Amen lost on my untrained ears. However the chapter on Liturgy and Art was very much my speed. Indeed form is no mere secondary aspect to ritual. My only caveat with the book were the last two capters. Although i enjoyed the excerpt of that novel and the meditation on Mathew's geneology, I think that should have been edited out. Otherwise a constructive book.

  • Kevin de Ataíde
    2018-11-13 23:23

    Great to see a book on the subject that is not written by a liturgist or a theologian. The author here is merely a lay-man in the pews, charting the apparent destruction of the Roman liturgy from the time of the 1960s. Even in the English, there is great style of language.

  • Chris
    2018-11-09 05:49

    More of a rant than an argument against the Mass of Paul VI, though a literary and beautiful one. Brilliant in parts, the book is uneven and lacks coherence. Well worth reading, however.

  • Tommy
    2018-10-22 05:36

    a very good, and very touching book.the case he makes is quite compelling

  • David Miller
    2018-10-19 03:47

    A luminous book - truly luminous: I was illuminated as I read it. The essays in this collection were written over a period of time, and they touch on different topics. All are about the Mass, the true Mass, the Mass of the ages. The ideas are unconventional; the writing is extraordinary. I came away with a much greater understanding of the old Mass, and why it feeds my faith so much more than the Novus Ordo. Like Hans urs von Balthasar and a few others, Mosebach insists the experience of beauty is real - objective - not something to be derided as so much aesthetics. To see our Lord celebrated carelessly, with bad music, insipid homilies, tasteless vestments, distinct lack of reverence to the tabernacle and the host... such should be disturbing. To see a true Mass celebrated with dignity and reverence: this is awe-inspiring.The book closes with an excellent description of the Mass: "A feast of wild and terrifying beauty, the beauty of the seven-horned, seven-eyed Lamb in whose blood mankind's clothes are washed white."

  • Tobias
    2018-10-26 04:35

    Leider verwechselt der Autor schon die "römische Liturgie" mit der außerordentlichen Form der römischen Liturgie. Seine Beobachtungen und Einsichten, die zu einem großen Teil Zustimmung verdienen leiden aber darunter, daß der feuilletonistische Stil den Autor oft eine unproduktive Frontstellung zwischen der ordentlichen und außerordentlichen Form der einen römischen Liturgie sieht. Die eigentliche Frontlinie ist aber doch wohl eher die zwischen einer ehrfürchtigen Feier einer Liturgie, die nicht der Verfügung des einzelnen Liturgen überlassen ist, sondern die Liturgie der Kirche ist, und der selbstverliebten bis selbstherrlichen "Gestaltung" der Liturgie.Angesichts des Entstehungszeitraums des Werkes ist diese Kritik allerdings zu relativieren; und trotz allem ist es nicht unwichtig, auch diese Meinung zur Kenntnis zu nehmen.

  • Ona Kiser
    2018-11-05 02:35

    Thoughtful and passionate reflections on the changes to the Catholic liturgy after Vatican II, from a writer (not a theologian). Focus on how the experience of the liturgy has changed for priests and for congregations, and the meaning carried in that experience. Written from the heart, though clearly with a great depth of knowledge. Though there is an overall flow to the book, it is a collection of essays and articles written at different times, so now and then there is some repetition or differences in style from one chapter to the next. Worth reading.

  • Bryan
    2018-11-19 04:31

    Not a systematic defense of the "Mass of St. Gregory the Great" (the Latin Mass a la the "Divine Liturgy of St. John Crystosom), nor a detailed attack on the Novus Ordo, but more a few heart-felt appeals to what we have lost. Excellent flow and easy to read if you walk into it expecting more a conversation then a dissertation.

  • Cornelius Pulung
    2018-10-28 05:46

    This book offers a brief criticism about liturgical changes after the Second Vatican Council. Though the author is neither a theologian nor a liturgist, his analysis is sharp and compelling. It's both an easy read book and a good introduction for Catholics who want to know a bit about liturgical crisis after the liturgical reform.

  • Jan Frederik Solem
    2018-11-16 01:40

    An important book that deserves to be widely read - certainly by all Catholics of good will and sense of beauty. Unveiling the beauty of the Mass, how traditions incarnate Tradition in a profoundly human way.

  • Jesuswept1333
    2018-11-11 21:40

    This book really gives a unique perspective of the liturgical problems currently being faced by the Catholic Church. It is intelligent but not difficult to read. Very insightful.

  • Paul
    2018-11-03 02:48

    This is the best (as well as the most clear & pleasant) little book one could ask for to understand why the liturgical form of the Mass is so critical to the life of Holy Mother Church.

  • Damon Brandt
    2018-11-18 21:45

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