Fr. Z. has noted that some people suspect that preference for the TLM over against the Novus Ordo might be largely a function of age. He therefore asked
would some of you younger folks take some time to write your thoughts about the new Mass/old Mass question?
I also invite seasoned Catholics to do the same.
Let’s see some responses.
I am 39 years old ... I went to Catholic school and the parish associated with my school was very orthodox and traditional (in the 1970s-80s everyone still received communion knelling at the Communion rail (mostly on the tongue but you had the choice)), parts of the Mass were retained in Latin, chant, etc. ...
I really had no idea how unusual the parish was or graced I was that I attended it until I left home for college in 1988 and saw the vast wasteland that’s left in upstate NY (Bishop Matthew Clark’s diocese).
I went to the “Catholic” Mass offered by the Catholic campus ministry. I truly did not recognize it as a Catholic Mass. I called my husband (who was then my boyfriend) and told him that I must have gone to a protestant service by mistake. Besides the hideous music, the liturgical dance, the clown vestments and everything about the “worship space”, they had written their own Eucharistic Prayers that had phrases like “save us from the bondage of capitalism.” My time in upstate NY was like being lost in the wilderness (I did not own a car so was forced to endure what I had access to). I stuck it out and went to Mass every week with gritted teeth.
It's still a wasteland, only just not quite as vast as it was 20-some years ago, as more and more Catholics simply quit attending Mass.