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domingo, 19 de abril de 2015

Abbot of Monastery that switched to Traditional Mass: "With old Mass, the Priest become more Priest, and the monk more monk."

Pontifical Mass at Mariawald (source)

In 2008, the sole Trappist Monastery in Germany, the Abbey of Mariawald, became the first (and, so far, the only) Trappist monastery to completely return to the pre-Conciliar liturgical books since the liturgical reforms of the 1960s. It was one of the few houses in the world to make use of what is stated at Art. 3 of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum (allowing for whole religious houses to become exclusively traditional), and this only after, it was repeatedly reported then, the personal intervention of Pope Benedict XVI.

A couple of years ago, Father Abbot Dom Josef Vollberg granted an admirable interview to German Catholic paper Tagespost, and it had never been translated. The Rorate translation follows:

Die Tagespost
May 23, 2013

Most Reverend Father Abbot, four years ago, you changed your abbey over to the Extraordinary Form. What changes did this bring to your monastery?

We were able to celebrate the first Solemn Mass in the classical Roman Rite here in Mariawald, in January 2009. And then, one month later, we began to celebrate Conventual Mass in the Extraordinary Form. At first, not all the Brethren welcomed this change. But in the meantime, the situation has somewhat improved. Of course, as a Priest, one had to learn how to celebrate the Rite, which was demanding and far from easy. An also, one had to refamiliarize oneself with Latin. Little by little, we completed the change. The second step was to sing the office of Terce in the traditional form, on Sundays, before Holy Mass. In this way we were able to establish liturgical unity. And then, we gradually changed over the Little Hours, Sext, None and Compline. Later, we did the same with Vespers and Laudes. And then, finally, from 2009 to 2010 we did the same with Vigils. This meant giving ourselves wholly to this Liturgy, with its more intensive theocentric character, which suites our contemplative vocation in a special way.

What Kind of spiritual development have you noticed since then? What has been the effect of this change to the Extraordinary Form on your Community?