“We need a form.”

Since worship, along with the other central mysteries of our human existence, outstrips our own spontaneous attempts at responding adequately to the event at hand, we all find the help we need in words and movements handed down to us by wise tradition. Oh, to be sure, the Father whom we invoke is, like any father, delighted with whatever halting, lisping, stammering efforts we direct to him from our hearts. He does not sit as critic when we come to his knee. But when we come to the business of regular, recurrent, public worship, then we are glad for a form. A structure. The inexorable march of time, century after century, exhausts our spontaneity. We need a form.

– Thomas Howard, If Your Mind Wanders at Mass