Thanks for the commentary on the “Universal Tridentine” thread below. Neil nails important issues all of us would do well to keep in mind.
It has long been my contention that either of the two liturgical rites called upon to do the lion’s share of worship in a parish will come off badly in comparison to the other. The so-called extraordinary form rarely does regular duty. Requests for funerals, marriages, baptisms, and the like are dwarfed by what the modern Roman Rite is called upon to perform.
If the situation were reversed, and the 1970 Missal had one “special” slot in a parish’s Sunday Mass schedule, I have no doubt it would flourish with a high degree of ars celebrandi across the board: preaching, music, art, and so on.
To make the comparison even more fair, consider that the standard Sunday or holy day Mass in a parish is designed to be what a High Mass was in the days before Vatican II. If EF advocates wanted a level playing field to compare how the modern Roman Rite is doing, they’d need to get really serious about doing several High Masses per weekend, plus most funerals, weddings, and school Masses.
It would be unfair to dump the legions of practicing Catholics on the EF liturgies and stake out special territory for the 1970 Mass, a once-a-week slot, say. I don’t have any doubt that intentional communities have a certain charisma about them. But what do you suppose would happen to the EF Mass if it had a significant fraction, if not a majority, of indifferent worshippers?
But there was a reason the 1962 Missal was completely reformed. If it were to return in any significant way, I think it would be found more wanting. I just don’t think traditionalists are up to the extraordinary burdens of modern Catholicism. Latin and old ritual will net, as Neil suggests, a small group of advocates. One Mass a month is relatively easy to do. A weekly Sunday High Mass has been a burden in a few places. I’d like to see an EF parish get serious with what your average suburban parish has to provide: ten to twenty-five Masses a week. I seriously doubt they’d be up for it.