So you're new to the Latin Mass...

An Una Voce Maine member sent me a couple of articles, and I thought I’d pass them along.

First we have Steve Skojec, manning up to come clean about his little Latin problem. You can feel his pain:

“ …I wanted to tell them. I wanted to get it off my chest. I wanted to scream from the rooftops, “I GO TO THE LATIN MASS AND I DON’T KNOW ANY FREAKING LATIN! DOES THAT MAKE ME LESS OF A PERSON? AM I SINGING THE SALVE REGINA CORRECTLY? DOES GOD EVEN LOVE ME?!?

But I kept my mouth shut. I had a family. A reputation to consider…”

As Tow Mater likes to say, “Yup, that’s funny right there…”

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But Skojec goes on:

“The Church recommends Latin for all. No less a pope than Pope St. John XXIII, who invoked the Second Vatican Council … spoke beautifully of the importance of Latin in the life of the Church in his apostolic constitution, Veterum Sapientia:

‘Of its very nature Latin is most suitable for promoting every form of culture among peoples. It gives rise to no jealousies. It does not favor any one nation, but presents itself with equal impartiality to all and is equally acceptable to all…’

The pope went on to order the bishops to ensure the study of Latin for those entering the priesthood and teaching theology...

As everyone now knows, his orders were disobeyed…”

Go there and read the whole thing. It’s funny, it is. But it’s also pretty serious.


 Secondly, we have an article at The Liturgy Guy, here. I’ve snipped a bit, but do go and read the entire thing:

“If you are new to the Latin Mass, my recommendation to you is not to worry about how to participate. Put down the booklet all together. Watch and listen in the silence and let your prayer arise... Realize that during this Holy Hour, something magnificent is happening: Jesus Christ, the High Priest, is offering the Holy Sacrifice....

... the modern Roman Rite relies upon the spoken word. On the other hand, the Traditional Roman Rite communicates on various non-linguistic levels, relying heavily on ceremony to communicate what is happening. The spoken words are veiled behind a sacred language, and also veiled in silence because the Canon is prayed in a whisper..."

The priest who wrote the article is Fr. Eric Andersen, pastor of St. Stephen Catholic Church in Portland, OR. The Archbishop of Portland is Alexander Sample, a man known for his orthodoxy, articulate and brave defense of the faith (and especially the “hard teachings”), and an awareness of the importance and centrality of proper worship, as highlighted in his 2017-2019 Pastoral Priorites (a PDF is here).

I’ve snipped a few of Archbishop Sample’s priorities from the PDF:


Initiative A: Improve quality of liturgical music. Provide education & support for liturgical musicians. Train and inspire music ministers.

Initiative B: Increase the knowledge, reverence and effectiveness of all liturgical ministers.

Initiative C: Increase the lay faithful’s knowledge of and appreciation for the Mass.

Initiative D: Promote more consistency in the Mass experience (my emphasis) and ensure that it is in accord with the Church’s faithful celebration of the sacred liturgy. Provide liturgical education and training for the clergy and laity.

Initiative E: Promote a culture of hospitality in our parishes.

St. Stephen’s, by the way, is a church where the EF and the OF exist side by side, no? Check out their website and Mass schedule. I’ve mentioned other such churches in other posts, churches like St. Mary's Church in Norwalk, CT; Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Dunn, NC; St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Front Royal, VA; St. Mary of Pine Bluff, WI; St. Gianna Molla Parish in Northfield, NJ; St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church in Atlantic City, NJ. There are lots of others. Maybe I’ll put together a list someday, the point being to refute those who claim that bringing the EF to an existing OF parish is somehow destructive. On the contrary, it enlivens and enriches the parish more than the naysayers would ever have imagined!


Finally, there’s this: One of the first things one comes up against regarding the Extraordinary Form is the problem of what to call it. It goes by many names, although in this blog I tend to use EF (“Extraordinary Form”) for the Vetus ordo – Old order of the Mass, and OF (Ordinary Form) for the Novus ordo – New order. I do this because that’s how Summorum Pontificum refers to them. Simply calling it "the Latin Mass" is, though widely practiced, not truly accurate, as much of the OF is actually supposed to be said in Latin (and in some parishes in other Dioceses, this is done.) But go to "Whaddaya call that Mass anyway", Fr. Z’s post from a few years back to get a detailed, and amusing, overview of the thousand and one names for the Mass of All Time.

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PS: Here’s a new book. Haven’t read it, but I thought I’d pass on the link: Confessions of a Traditional Catholic