Our ill-advised liturgical experiment has been some uniformly bad fruits:
After temporarily rising to nearly 75% in the
immediate aftermath of World War II, U.S. Mass
attendance stood at about 65%, and hence roughly its 1939
level, in the period immediately surrounding Vatican II.
From there on, it fell continuously, at a relatively fast pace
initially, then much more slowly, and now more recently
faster again. In 1995, according to these data, it stood at
The trend line is generally downward from 1959 onward, but notice that the negative slope sharpens dramatically at almost exactly 1970. Remind me what happened around that time?
Surely, though, it was just the seeds of 60′s secularism finally sprouting?
In the Protestant data, we see no downward trend at all. Church
attendance is lower than that for Catholics during most of
the period but is certainly not declining. In fact it may
even have begun to trend up. If the temper of the times
had been the cause of the decline in Catholic Mass
attendance however there is no reason that similar forces
should not have operated within Protestantism too.
Hey, at least the choice of musical setting was relevant.