Two things, two quotes in fact, from The Lord of the Rings (although they are obviously not verbatim - kudos to any reader who can tell me which character utters them, and give a reference):
''And you?'' she said, turning to Sam. ''For this is what your folk would call the Tridentine Rite, I believe; though I do not understand clearly what they mean; and they seem to use the same term of the deceits of the Enemy.''
''I am not altogether on anybody's side, because nobody is altogether on my side, if you understand me: nobody cares for the Liturgy as I care for it...''
One is hard put to it to find decent Liturgy nowadays, and those who provide Liturgy of a more traditional countenance very often disappoint in some way (I am not talking here about lace cottas, which I am willing to overlook sometimes, but consistency and faithfulness to Tradition - for example, why do traditionalists insist on organising High Masses for modern feasts such as the Sacred Heart or the Precious Blood rather than an older, more liturgically proper, feast such as the Nativity of St John the Baptist?) - I went to a church this year for the traditional Feast of Sts Philip and James, a sung Mass in fact, and expecting Miranda I was greeted by Caliban. Someone else suggested once that I go to a training conference in ''traditional Liturgy'' under the auspices of the Latin Mass Society - again, why would anyone think I'd be impressed by any of this? The '62 Rite is not the Old Rite - as a certain character aptly describes it in The Lord of the Rings - it is a deceit of the Enemy. The '62 Missal is not the last ''unreformed'' Missal before the Missal of Paul VI, with a few unnoticeable reforms and curtailments here and there - it is an aberration. Certain traditionalist organisations, who sponsor the liturgical books of 1962 officially, are as far removed from Tradition as the tambourine-waving yokels in the nearest parish - and I am not niggling about minor points here but real ruptures in liturgical tradition, with pernicious consequences.
Another quote from The Lord of the Rings:
'''And listen, Gandalf, my old friend and helper!' he said, coming near and speaking now in a softer voice. 'I said we, for we it may be, if you will join me. A new Power is rising. Against it the old allies and policies will not avail us at all. There is no hope left in Elves or dying Númenor. This then is one choice before you, before us. We may join with that Power. It would be wise, Gandalf. There is hope that way. Its victory is at hand; and there will be rich reward for those that aided it. As the Power grows, its proved friends will also grow; and the Wise, such as you and I, may with patience come at last to direct its courses, to control it. We can bide our time, we can keep our thoughts in our hearts, deploring maybe evils done by the way, but approving the high and ultimate purpose: Knowledge, Rule, Order; all the things that we have so far striven in vain to accomplish, hindered rather than helped by our weak or idle friends. There need not be, there would not be, any real change in our designs, only in our means.'
'''Saruman,' I said, 'I have heard speeches of this kind before, but only in the mouths of emissaries sent from Mordor to deceive the ignorant. I cannot think that you brought me so far only to weary my ears.''' (The Lord of the Rings, Book II, Chapter II).
In other words, I am not prepared to go along with the '62 Rite with the ultimate goal of one day (in some far distant day) being free to have the real Old Rite unhindered by legal positivists and the '62 police, and people who counsel me otherwise are just as bad as emissaries sent out of Mordor to deceive the ignorant. If someone gets fed up with liturgical abuse and turns to a traditionalist organisation for decent Liturgy, and that ''traditionalist'' organisation provides them with the '62 Rite, which as readers are no doubt aware was only the middle-stage in a well-planned and thorough reform of the Roman Rite, that organisation is guilty of deception, hypocrisy and other grave sins. You cannot remedy faults and abuses in the New Rite by recourse to the liturgical books of 1962 - this is counterproductive; by this logic firemen would extinguish house-fires with more fire.
For all these reasons (and I have long ceased to communicate with traditionalists) what would my readers say to the idea of setting up a truly traditional Ordinariate? A society where one didn't have to put up with things like lace cottas, which make a travesty of Liturgy...We would try to have days devoted to the singing of the Office, we would use the Old Roman Rite (with Communion under both kinds), follow the Julian Kalendar, use the traditional surplice (and for great feasts have the Acolytes in tunicles and the cantors in copes)...but sadly this is not very realistic. Very few people think like me, and all these things cost money, and like so many other good things it would soon wane...
The above painting, by the Tolkien illustrator Ted Nasmith, depicts my escape from the LMS (although I never was a member)...