Skip to comments.Went to a Tridentine Latin Mass yesterday...(Vanity)
Posted on 01/09/2012 7:48:58 AM PST by paterfamilias
My wife and I went to the Tridentine Mass at Immaculate Conception Church(Sleepy Hollow, NY).
It has been a very long time since a Mass brought us to tears.
The prayers are beautiful, the reverence is palpable. The women had their heads covered, 90% of the men (and boys) wore jacket and tie, the priest's vestments were very traditional (when was the last time you saw a priest wearing a maniple and his biretta), a lot of young families, an altar boy (about 10 years old) and a fairly young priest, both of whom said the Latin prayers as if it were their native language.
We have lost a great deal in the Novus Ordo.
We will go back the week after next (busy all day next Sunday taking our NRA pistol course!), and the Schola Cantorum will be singing ancient music.
If I like what I hear, I will audition for the Schola. (I have been a chorister since the age of 8)
I have pretty much decided to make this my new parish.
I love the Tridentine Masses. I used to attend them at St. Agnes Church in NYC. What always amazed me were the spirituality of some of the men and women attending those services. I envied their gift of faith!
By the way, there is nothing more beautiful than a Mass served in Paris. Since so few people attend Mass in France, the people who do attend are SO reverent. And they often have nuns playing classical religious music on violin. Sigh.
When done properly, it is the most beautiful religion in the world.
This is from our Christmas Eve 2011 mass in Patton PA (my two sons are serving on the right, my oldest was MC)
Ah yes, I remember those solemn Masses when the Catholic Church did not play the politically correct game.
The Church decided to fling open the windows to the world at Vatican II, and look what flew in since 1964.
Two of our local churches have the Latin Mass, but on weekday evenings, so it wouldn’t meet the Sunday obligation. I attended one of the church’s Latin Mass several times, and the experience was similar, with women generally wearing mantillas and men/boys dressed as if they were actually going to church instead of some athletic event. It was a very uplifting experience, and seems to be spreading.
Ad orientem orientation is so beautiful even if not really to the east!
“Ah yes, I remember those solemn Masses when the Catholic Church did not play the politically correct game.
The Church decided to fling open the windows to the world at Vatican II, and look what flew in since 1964.”
I should add, that the Extraordinary Rite uses the old cycle of Proper readings and Feasts - so, yesterday was the Feast of the Holy Family in the old rite.
So, in keeping with this feast day, the Sermon (not homily) was verrrrrry traditional in its defense of the family and the priest emphatically explained unrelenting pressure of the popular culture to undermine the family as the basic unit of allegience, preferring allegience to the State.
It was a family values tour de force. I didn’t know whether to applaud or cry. (Since one is not supposed to applaud at Mass, I chose the latter.)
May God bless Pope Benedict for allowing the traditional rite to be said without any need for permission or special dispensation!
Beautiful! Beautiful, Brian. Thank your boys for me.
I feel no obligation to attend the Sunday NO. To do so would weaken my faith. Been there, done that, and had it restored via the Tridentine Mass.
I agree with you that attending the Latin Mass on a Wednesday or Thursday is spiritually fulfilling in a way the latter day English/folk Mass could never be.
I’ve never heard the Latin Rite Liturgy. I am, however, Orthodox, and it warms my heart to hear your words about pre-Vatican II traditions in the Church of Rome.
I love the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, which is the primary Liturgy of the Eastern Church.
If you love the Holy Traditions of the Church, you should avail yourself the opportunity to hear it celebrated.
Yes I had a very similar experience last summer at the CMAA Colloquium, at which I heard my first EF mass.
When I came home, I began attending the EF when possible (it is far away and I have other obligations etc.)
I find myself attending the EF more and more however. There is no comparison. I can FEEL the difference at mass. There is an ineffable difference (hee hee - hi Bp. Trautmann!). It is like getting dunked with grace vs. a few sprinkles.
“It is like getting dunked with grace vs. a few sprinkles.”
That is a great description of the experience.
This maybe too far upstate for you - but I have discovered a beautiful Tridentine Mass at St. Stylvia’s (12:00) in Tivoli, New York - northern Duchess County.
Once a serious catholic goes to a Tridentine mass they quickly realize what the true faith was/is all about and there is no going back.
The novus ordo experiment is a fail - just the majority haven’t realized it yet.
“Once a serious catholic goes to a Tridentine mass they quickly realize what the true faith was/is all about and there is no going back.
The novus ordo experiment is a fail - just the majority havent realized it yet.”
I agree with you. However, I will say that the Novus Ordo, done reverently, can be acceptable.
We had the opportunity to attend Midnight Mass this Christmas at St. Veronica’s Church (Chantilly, VA) - this was a Novus Ordo Mass, but done almost entirely in Latin - the priest was facing East, the congregation extremely reverent, the hymns traditional.
we said the Prayer to St. Michael after the Mass (and the whole congregation knew it by heart.)
All in all, a great experience.
Since you mentioned the schola, I will relate my own experience in this area.
Whenever I had ever asked about hearing Gregorian chant at any NO parish, the excuse was always “no one knows how to do that here.”
So, taking the attitude of “if it is to be, it is up to me”, I undertook an (ongoing) five-year effort of studying and practicing Gregorian chant, despite having very minimal experience singing and only formal training in playing an instrument in high school band.
By sheer brute force, I now consider myself a worthy schola singer (I give myself an A+ in chant theory & interpretation, C in practical implementation :-))
Ever since then, we have struggled to get our NO pastor, who is otherwise a holy, orthodox priest who presides over a reverent mass, to allow our small schola to chant (in English) the Introit, sing the creed, maybe mix in a different ordinary from time to time, sing the original sequences, etc.
We’ve never made much progress here, other than singing a choral offertory and a simple english communion antiphon based on the actual given texts for the day.
Instead the pastor believes that the people have to sing hymns for “active participation”. In fairness, this may very well be coming from the bishop himself for all I know.
I have closely observed the parish members during hymns and a very small minority weakly sings. So we sacrificed chanting the real texts of the mass for the benefit of handful of people who are browbeaten into unwillingly singing some well-worn hymns.
Ultimately I became weary of being made to feel bothersome for simply wishing to elevate the solemness of the mass, as per the “first choice” given in the GIRM. Again, I know not what constraints under which the pastor must labor. Nevertheless, this is the state of things in the NO church.
It is a tremendous blessing to be able to go to the EF at which Gregorian chant and sung propers are not only allowed but encouraged/required.
Even the mass cards are lovely.
You are truly blessed to be able to attend mass here, and to have committed and reverent sons.
Yes indeed, God bless Pope Benedict indeed for this!
Regrettably, the situation on the ground remains that the bishop still has to give his permission as a practical matter.
Of course any NO priest has the legal right to use the Extraordinary Form, but of course his bishop has the power to make the priest's life a living hell should he exercise that right.
“Of course any NO priest has the legal right to use the Extraordinary Form, but of course his bishop has the power to make the priest’s life a living hell should he exercise that right.”
You are, of course, correct.
In fact, UnaVoceWestchester.org (the umbrella group in my area for the EF Mass) goes out of their way to thank soon-to-be Cardinal Dolan (Archbishop of New York) for his approval.
I sing in a schola that does 1-2 OF and 1 (sometimes 2) EF masses per month. For the OF, we usually sing a hymn at the offertory, after singing the proper antiphon. We also sing a recessional hymn. Sometimes there's a processional hymn immediately preceding the proper introit. Nobody in the congregation, to my knowledge, has complained about not getting to sing enough hymns.
If your OF parish is typical, then probably about 10% want Haugen/Haas songs with no sung propers, 10% would prefer chant - even if they don't know what propers are, and the remainder show up and are indifferent and want simply to be left alone and get through mass as quickly and painlessly as possible.
IMHO this big majority would get the most out of mass if the choir provided chanted propers in order to focus the attention and set a sacred ambiance vs. being browbeaten into singing hymns that they don't really care about.
In my experience, I have found that the best, most reverent, OF mass is usually a purely recited mass with no music. There is some silence here that allows for some quiet concentration without blaring instruments or pop songs.
I wish the Ordinariates were allowed to use the Anglican Missal, which more or less is the EF in King James English.
“Since one is not supposed to applaud at Mass....”
Don’t you like applauding and holding hands at Mass?
(Of course, not all at the same time.)
I know we have a bad reputation, but there’s plenty of good folks here.
Haven’t had the opportunity to attend a Tridentine mass yet.
That's very ...
Bless you. I love the singing. Not so happy with my parish since they don’t put the song listings up where folks can see them.
Where I live now I have to drive 200 miles round trip for the monthly Tridentine Mass. Soon I will be moving to California and will be able to attend a weekly TLM just nine miles from my new home. California! Of all places! I can’t wait!
I can’t tell you how happy I am for you! I had a similar experience down here on Long Island (St. Matthew’s Church in Dix Hills, TLM Mass at 9:00am in the chapel on Sundays, 10:30am in the big church on Holy Days of Obligation).
I tell you — it changed my life and the lives of everyone in the family!
Brian, what a lovely picture!
Here are 2 clips from a TLM held on Dec. 27 in commemoration of the Feast of St. John the Evangelist. This is NOT my home parish, but the pastor of the church in the video often comes to us to say Mass. He requested that our altar boys (including my own 2 sons) and our girls’ schola come to his church to participate in this special Mass.
BTW, the girls’ schola is made up of young ladies between the ages of 12 and 17. The altar boys (with the exception of the MC — he’s a seminarian) are between 12 and 16.
Thanks, I used one of those PhD cameras ("push HERE, dummy" - a Kodak EasyShare) with an old tripod. I used the two second delay to keep motion to a minimum since I was taking the photos from the choir loft. I occasionally update our informal TLM blog at Latin In Patton with photos that we share amongst ourselves.
Thanks for the video links!
Our sons grew up in the Novus Ordo, and we attended the Byzantine Rite for about 3 years prior to Summorum Pontificum. We drove to the TLM in Pittsburgh a couple times a year, but that was all the exposure my boys had to the TLM. When they were 15 and 11, when Summorum was going into effect, they memorized all the acolyte rubrics and responses for the TLM over a three month period.
Surely if an 11 and 15 year old can learn their parts, having little exposure to the TLM, our ordained priests can learn to offer the TLM, even if they were never formally trained in it.
There are Western Rite Vicariates within the ROCOR and the Antiochian Acrchdiocese of North America.
The latter uses adapted versions of the Liturgy you reference, I believe.
My best friend is a cradle Roman Catholic, man.
The hand-holding, the praying the Paternoster with hands outstretched, etc. all really stick in my craw, if you must know.
I once whispered to my sister-in-law, who reached for my hand at the Paternoster at Mass, “I don’t do that hand-holding sh!t!).
Not quite appropriate, I know, but I made my point.
An Episcopal priest I knew who used to live here in Johnstown, Fr. Al Kimel, converted to Roman Catholicism a number of years ago. I recently read that he has moved on to the Western Rite within the ROCOR. Have you heard of him?
I have not. I attend a predominately convert parish in the Antiochian Archdiocese. Our parish came in with the mass conversion of the EOC in the mid-late 1980s, and were catechized by His Grace +Basil of Wichita. We’re Byzantine Rite.
I had a friend at out parish, who used to teach the first 26 weeks or so of our inquiror’s/catechumens class...who was a former Episcopal priest. He had some exposure to the Western Rite Vicariate, but he was a layman in the Orthodox church.
Hey, I have a PhD camera, too! What a small world!
I have to agree with you about learning the rubrics and responses for the TLM. The young people I know certainly had no problem with it, and I’m certain that any priest who wants to could learn them as well.
I have to say, that since the S.P. came out in 2007, I’ve been very encouraged by the number of priests who have shown interest in learning to say the Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Some have acted upon it, and some are still thinking about it, but...the interest is there. And even more encouraging is the fact that ALL of the priests are relatively young — usually under 40.
That’s why all the altar boys and the schola girls are happy to grant any requests for their participation in Masses like the one in the video. Every time they volunteer their time to go to a different parish, the Mass is packed and the priests tell us that parishioner interest in the TLM explodes. The children are excited to share the E.F. with others and are delighted when those others begin to ask for a TLM in their own parishes.
Oh, and BTW...I can’t wait to pop over to your website and take a look at the other pictures. I’m sure they’re spectacular!
I am familiar with the Orthodox Western rite in the Antiochian vicariate, but my understanding is it has become significantly Byzantinized.
Leavened Eucharists. Inserting the epiclesis from the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, the communion prayer from the same, etc.
In my view this is about as bad as tearing out the iconostases from Byzantine Catholic parishes, replacing holy tables with Latin altars, introducing Roman Catholic statues, and every other sort of Latinization under the sun.
(I don’t mean any offense to my Roman Catholic friends, but Latin customs belong in the Latin Church and not in ours.)
None taken. Eastern church should be able to celebrate with Eastern norms.
You know much more than me. All I know is that a significant contingent of them were Episcopalian converts that came over in a big group. Lots of them in Colorado.
We spent three years in the Byzantine Rite prior to the reintroduction of the Traditional Latin Mass in 2007. I even explored the diaconate in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic diocese here. I have the highest regard for the Divine Liturgy and believe all Latin Catholics need to be exposed to it and educated in the history of the eastern churches.
This seems ironic. The Ukrainian Greek Catholics cling to their Latinizations (Stations of the Cross, Rosay, other Latin trappings within their Byzantine Rite) as a badge of honor, to denote their loyalty to Rome and their rejection of Russia's coercion during the Soviet era. Meanwhile the Ruthenians have expunged almost all Latinizations.
At the same time, the Orthodox Western rite is becoming more Byzantinized? Why be "Western" then?
I pray the Lord acts in some mysterious, supernatural way to bring about the reunion between East and West that us humans will likely never achieve on our own.
God Bless your heroic efforts for sung chant! I think the original Vatican II documents actaully state that chant is to be preferred - wonder what happened?
The 60’/70’s movement to push artifically created “active” participation is one of the areas I consider the NO to be an epic fail. No one wants to sing the (i.e.) Marty Haugen ditties!!! so no one does and the dreadful result often is a pitchy amateur trying to carry the whole thing alone and is enough to drive anyone to run for the nearest Latin Mass.
Active participation is active silent prayer, and that suffices. If you want to sing, join the schola. Listening to the sung Gregorian propers prayerfully as they draw the worshipper towards God is the true active witness to the sacrifice of the mass. The bad singing at odd times and the dreadful reponses are contrived and artificial.
Don’t even start me on the hand shaking. I pray very hard if I am at an NO at this time for the church to take this out. My youngest daughter has a bone marrow disease (she is stable) and has a low white blood count and simply can’t have those germs. (I don’t let her shake) How many immuno suppressed people out there are dealing with this - or those who don’t know it? It is pointless. It is only a confused interval that breaks our concentration anyway.
Ignorance sadly is rife on both sides. Eastern Catholics get hit on both sides.
We are too Latin to be Orthodox and too Orthodox to be Latin.