Tuesday, July 10, 2007

our former parish in the paper

This article from our local paper, highlights the sneering attitude of the liberals in the hierarchy of the diocese toward traditional Catholicism. The author was misled or didn't do enough research to know that the documents of Vatican II promoted the use of Latin and Gregorian Chant and that none of the liturgical abuses of the past 30 years were encouraged in their writing. He also has likely never attended a TLM, where the priest faces the Blessed Sacrament, not turning his back on God.

It is important to remember the overriding nature of the TLM Mass as a sacrificial one: God the Son died for our sake, the priest offers the Mass for himself as well as us, and in return we offer up ourselves to God. The emphasis is on Our Lord; not each other, not the priest, and Mass is certainly not to entertain us. We are to follow along, pray with the priest, and be reverent, that is true participation in the Mass. The beauty of the language, the vestments, the altar, the orchestration of the altar server's movements, every detail allows us to see a tiny bit of what Heaven must be like.
I am very grateful that I have participated in the 1962 Mass at St. Benedict's, and heard Father Willis' incredible homilies. I pray and hope that one day I will be so blessed as to help create a similar parish here in Maine.

Official details of the new policy on wider use of the traditional Mass - also known as the Tridentine rite - were released by the Vatican on Saturday.
The change means priests would be free to hold Latin Masses. Priests would not need their bishops' permission.
Pope Benedict XVI is promoting the changes as a way to reach out to disaffected Catholic traditionalists, according to the Catholic News Service.
The Tridentine rite, performed mostly in Latin, was bumped by the Second Vatican Council in favor of the current Mass, which holds worship in common and local languages.
The modern Mass also differs from the old because the priest faces the congregation during worship services.
In the tightly scripted Latin Mass, the priest mostly faces the altar, often speaking inaudibly.
The two styles of worship strike Catholics in different ways, said the Rev. Brian Rafferty, the priest of Christ the King for 10 years.
For some, the solemnity of the old Mass imparts deep reverence and underscores the spiritual mystery of Communion, Rafferty said.
But to others, the new Mass conveys both religious awe and a deeper sense of active participation in worship, he said.
In the Richmond Diocese, which has about 220,000 members, Bishop Walter F. Sullivan authorized the Latin Mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Richmond in 1991 and at St. Benedict's Chapel in Chesapeake in 1992.
At St. Benedict's, the Rev. Kevin Willis said the parish's large number of young families demonstrated the Latin Mass' popularity.
He said the 300-member congregation expects to break ground next month for larger worship space.
Last week Willis cheered the impending papal document, saying it would remind Catholics that the Vatican had not repudiated the Tridentine Rite.
He predicted that the policy would generate more Latin Masses in the diocese that would draw people who don't already attend St. Benedict or St. Joseph.
Stephen S. Neill, editor of The Catholic Virginian, the diocese newspaper, said he saw no groundswell of demand for the Tridentine rite.
Sullivan said most active priests are too unfamiliar with the Latin Mass to perform the rite.
"I don't think the diocese will add additional Latin Masses," he said.
Yet Rafferty said his parish had already discussed adding a Latin Mass, perhaps starting with the first Friday of each month.

1 comment:

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

I am Jewish and I find that using Hebrew in our Worship Services also helps us to retain our language as well as to feel connected to each other and the past. I imagine that the Latin does the same for Catholics.

I taught science at a Catholic High School for several years, and one thing that disappointed me was the music. I was expecting something much more classically Catholic--I don't know--maybe Gregorian Chant, Palestrina--music that was traditionally Catholic. But instead they used a lot of made over Protestant hymns.
This is not a criticism exactly--I just think that Catholicism has a beautiful musical tradition and I was sorry the kids weren't learning it.

Does the Tridentine Mass use more traditional music also? I would think that would be another reason the parishoners would appreciate it.

Anyway, I can tell you are very happy about the change announced Sunday.