Yours is an unbalanced character. You are a broken keyboard. You play very well on the high notes and on the low notes, but no sound comes from the ones in the middle, the ones used in ordinary life, the ones people normally hear.
You must understand now, more clearly, that God is calling you to serve Him in and from the ordinary, material and secular activities of human life. He waits for us every day, in the laboratory, in the operating theatre, in the army barracks, in the university chair, in the factory, in the workshop, in the fields, in the home and in all the immense panorama of work. Understand this well: there is something holy, something divine, hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each one of you to discover it.” – St. Josemaria Escriva
The Traditional Latin Mass (Other names: Mass of Pope St. Pius V, Tridentine Mass, Tridentine Rite, Usus Antiquior), now has a proper name in this time of the Church and i.e. the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (EFRR). This is the Mass that, has produced the countless saints of the Church over the centuries for more than a thousand years.
The Latin Mass dates back to the time of Pope Saint Gregory the Great in the 6th century. Even before that, the Canon of the Mass dates to the 4th century, and the Latin Mass itself was in its infancy in the 1st century. The Consecration has remained unchanged since Saints Peter and Paul first preached in Rome.
After the Second Vatican Council, there is the Mass of Pope Paul VI, commonly known as the Novus Ordo (Latin for New Order) Mass. By then, the Novus Ordo had already become the Normal Mass and the TLM is discouraged. And contrary to popular belief, the Traditional Latin Mass has never been abrogated (forbidden), it was just suppressed.
Two very famous saints were known to have requested permission from Rome, to allow them to continue celebrating the Tridentine Mass. They are our dear Padre Pio and St. Josemaria Escriva. Pope John Paul II in 1984, granted a universal indult (permission), for any priest to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass, but with approval / acknowledgement from the Local Bishop. Then in 1988, PJPII encouraged a “wide and generous application of the directives of the 1984 indult”
During Pope Benedict XVI’s Pontificate, he issued a motu proprio titled, “Summorum Pontificum” on the 7th of July, 2007, which allowed any Catholic Priest to celebrate it freely, without informing the Local Bishop. This is to encourage the wider use of the Traditional Latin Mass. I think this was the point of time where it is formally called the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Just recently, another document, the Universae Ecclesiae, was issued to clarify the Summorum Pontificum, regarding certain issues like the definition of a “stable group”.
Okay! Enough of the extremely brief history of the EFRR! Let’s try this in an FAQ format.
Wear your Sunday’s best! For Males, a Shirt and Trousers (Smart attire) is encouraged, otherwise at least Jeans and a Polo Tee. For females, wear decent, like you would wear to a Mass every sunday. Dress like Mary, and you won’t go wrong! =p If you’ve a Veil at home, or a shawl/scarf, bring it along! Otherwise, it’s perfectly fine! It’s not a canonical requirement to veil in Church anymore though I would highly encourage it!
Question 2: It’s all in Latin! How would I be able to understand?
Fear not! For there will be a Latin-English Missalette provided for, often at the back of the church/chapel. However, the TLM can be pretty confusing for people attending it for the first time. If you’re unable to follow the Missalette, it’s okay, because what’s most important, is that you actively participated in the mass, i.e. the internal disposition like Mary, not Martha. Actively participated in the sense that you are one with the priest, when he offers up the most august Sacrifice of the body and blood of Christ.
Tip #1: Read through the Propers and Readings of the Day before Mass begins.
Tip #2: When you’re lost regarding when to stand, sit, kneel, do the sign of the cross, just follow the congregation!
Always remember that we are there to worship God, and not to be entertained. Don’t be surprised if you dont hear any clappings or active hugging at the Sign of Peace or Priests walking around holding cordless microphones! Chant along if you can but if not, dwell in the sense of mystery of the Sacred Music of the Church. Focus on the Altar, Focus on the Passion of Jesus, Focus!
Question 4: I heard that the Priest will have his back on us and I think that’s rude. Is that true?
That’s not true! The Priest is one with the Congregation, facing the tabernacle and worshipping God in the same direction! Because it’s really just about God. Not us. Don’t you think it’s more rude for a Priest to have his back to God? Think about it!
FINAL THING TO NOTE:
When you receive the body of Christ, here’s what’s going to happen:
Priest: Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. Amen. (May the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ bring your soul unto life everlasting. Amen.)
You do not have to say Amen. The Priest has already Amen-ed it for you. =)
Many have questioned me, or doubted by intentions on my decision to receive communion kneeling, on the tongue at every mass. or warned me against my interest (not really a big interest) in the traditional liturgy, which many seminarians have thought that many youths’ interest in this, is just a distorted spirituality and it’s all in the name of fun, and is an issue which many priests have gone political over.
A seminarian asked me once on why the “hoo-ha” over Liturgy, over rubrics, over liturgical abuses, over the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. And I think I responded telling him, that, all we want, is to praise God, to worship God in the best possible manner we can give to him. I believe that if Holy Masses if celebrated in dignity, in a praiseworthy form, no one would be asking for the traditional mass. He went on to tell me how our every focus should be on Jesus and everything else comes after. I don’t disagree with him and I do acknowledge that many people enforcing the traditional liturgy, don’t handle situations well, and often, not in charity. However, i must say that it’s precisely that our focus is on Jesus, that we want to do everything in the perfect manner for the glory of God.
Also, sometimes, we can so focused on just the Jesus factor that we forget we have to take concrete steps, concrete avenues to help us to be closer to Jesus, closer to God, and this is where i feel liturgy has its importance. This is also one of the reasons why i will always think twice before going back to the seminary for a vocation retreat or recollection. Because the brothers there just see us in a different light as though we have done something really wrong when all we are doing is just being faithful to the Church or even to the Pope’s 7/7/2007 motu proprio.
Regarding communion kneeling and on the tongue, I admit that in the beginning, it’s more on “I want to stand out” and alot of pride is in it. Then I prayed about it, or in a way, meditated about it. and contemplated that since it’s going to be attracting bad light, i probably should just stand for communion like the others. But i found myself with a completely different mentality now. I want to return to standing for communion and to be honest, i find myself not being able to do it and it’s of this mentality that, hey, this is God. God is in front of me when the minister says “the Body of Christ”, it is my God, it is the all-mighty God in front of me, who humbled himself into this tiny piece of host and all im doing is kneeling in adoration towards my God. And everytime I kneel, i will pray that i dont get attention and that it’s all done for the glory of God.
Lent is here! and during this Lent especially, let us contemplate on the Way of the Cross, the passion that Christ undertook, bearing our sins. God suffered for mankind. Whose God does that but our God.
Download the Stations of the Cross which I’ve compiled. I remembered about this file and thought what a waste if it’s only used once for a retreat.
Even though the Stations of the Cross is a Catholic practice, if you’re Protestant, consider going through the Way of the Cross. Jesus did not just preach the Gospel of Prosperity but the Gospel of suffering, of repentance.