Today beginning at 12:30 pm here in Washington at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, a Solemn High Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form will be celebrated in the Great Upper Church. For those unfamiliar with all the Church jargon of the previous sentence let me decode. The “extraordinary Form” of the Mass is the form of the Mass as it was celebrated prior to 1965 when Liturgical changes brought about the Mass as we have it today. Prior to these changes the Mass was celebrated exclusively in Latin with only the homily (and sometimes the readings) in English or whatever the local language was. The celebrant also faced in the same direction as the people which some have wrongfully described as the priest “having his back to the people.”  To say this is a “Solemn High” Mass means that all the ceremonial options are observed. There is incense, extra candle bearers, and many of the prayers and readings  of the liturgy are sung. The celebrant is also assisted by a deacon and subdeacon. To say this is a pontifical Mass means that it will be celebrated by a bishop and will include two extra deacons and an assisting priest. Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa is today’s celebrant.

For those who are unfamiliar or unappreciative with the splendor of  the Latin Liturgy in this form soem questions often arise.

1. Why pray in Latin or any language unfamiliar to the language of the people who attend? 

Simply put, praying in Latin is to pray in what has been a sacred language for the Church. It is a common feature of cultures down through human history that they often prayed in a language other than the language of the home and streets. To pray liturgically is to enter heaven, a world apart from the every day world. To use another and more ancient language is a common way many cultures have underscored this.

At the time of Jesus, the synagogue services and the Temple liturgy used ancient Hebrew. Jesus and his contemporaries did not speak Hebrew at home or in the streets any longer. They spoke Aramaic. But when they prayed they instinctively used the ancient prayers which were Hebrew.

In the early Church it appears that the earliest years saw the use of the Greek language for the Liturgy. It seems to have been used even though many people spoke Latin throughout the empire. But many did not think Latin was suited for the Liturgy which required a more elevated language than what most people spoke. By the 5th Century however Latin came to be introduced in the Western Empire as it became an older and more venerable language to them. Eventually Latin wholly replaced Greek in the liturgy of the Church in the Western empire (except a few remnants such as the Kyrie). It remained the language of worship until about 1965 when the local languages were allowed. However, it was not the intent of the Church that Latin should wholly disappear as it has largely done. Latin remains for the Church the official language of her worship. 

So, why pray in Latin? Why not? It is for us a sacred language of worship and there is an instinct in human culture that liturgy is  world apart where we enter heaven. It is not wrong to pray in the local language but, truth be told, it is not the usual practice in human history.  

 2. Why does the celebrant face away, or “have his back to us?”

It is really a wrongful description to say the celebrant has his back to us. What is really happening is that the celebrant and the people are all facing the same direction. They are looking toward God. On the center of every older altar was a crucifix. The priest faced it to say Mass and all the people faced it with him. He and they are turned toward the Lord.

In the ancient Church, they not only faced the cross, they also faced to the east to pray. An ancient text called the Didiscalia written about 250 AD says,  Now, you ought to face to east to pray for, as you know, scripture has it, Give praise to God who ascends above the highest heavens to the east . In later centuries it was not always possible to orient the Church so that everyone could face east. But the Crucifix above the altar represented the east and the Lord. Hence everyone  faced the Lord to pray.

The idea of facing each other to pray is wholly modern and was never known in the Church prior to 1965.  Hence the answer is that the celebrant is facing the Lord to pray and so are we.

3. Why is so much of the Mass whispered quietly?

Not everything is whispered but the much of the Eucharistic prayer is. Historically the whispered Eucharistic prayer (or Canon) developed in monastic settings where it was not uncommon for more than one liturgy to be celebrated at the same time at various side altars. In those days priests did not concelebrate masses as they do frequently today. Each priest had to celebrate his own mass. In monasteries where numerous priest might be in residence, numerous liturgies might be celebrated at similar times. In order not to interrupt each other, the priests conducted these liturgies with a server quietly. This practice continued into modern times.

Over time this monastic silence came to be regarded as a sacred silence. The whispering of the prayers was considered a sign of the sacredness of the words which “should not” be loudly proclaimed. (There are other more complicated theological trends that swept the liturgy too complicated to go into here that also influenced the move to a more silent liturgy) At any rate, the practice of a sacred silence came to be the norm eventually even in parish churches. Hence the hushed tones were not an attempt to ignore the faithful who attended or make their participation difficult but it was associated with a holy silence. People knelt, praying as the priest prayed on their behalf.

In the past century as literacy increased among the lay faithful it became more common to provide them with books that contained the texts of the liturgy and those who could read were encouraged to follow along closely. Through the 1940s and 50s these books (called “missals”) became quite common among the laity. By the 1950s there were also some experiments with allowing the priest to have a microphone or to raise the level of his voice so the faithful could follow more easily. These “dialogue Masses” were more popular in some place than others. Sacred silence was still valued by many and adjusting to a different experience was not always embraced with the same fervor, it varied from place to place.

Today, with the return in some places to the celebration of the Old Latin Mass (called officially the “Extraordinary Form”) this sacred silence is once again in evidence. For those who are not used to it, it seems puzzling. But hopefully some of this history helps us understand it. Once again we are faced with the dilemma of how loudly the priest should pray the Canon (Eucharistic Prayer) at such Masses. There are different opinions but a fairly wide consensus that the prayer should be generally said in a very subdued voice.

167 Responses

  1. Annie says:

    To people who think Latin is “babble,” I would like to opine that true babble in the English liturgy is found in the multicultural Masses in which 2 or 3 different languages, and sometimes 4 or 5, are used at one Mass. Bizarre. Latin unites every nation and every culture. Time was, when one could attend a Mass in any country and know he or she was “at home.” I am told that the Latin Mass had abuses when the priest would rush through the Mass. But I have never seen or experienced anything like the the abuses that take place in the Novus Ordo, particularly in the music chosen. Most of it seems trite if not downright unsuitable, i.e., folk music, bouncy tunes, Reggae, Latin beat, etc. etc. NONE of this belongs in the sacred liturgy. I’ve walked in early to a weekend Mass, and nearly turned around, thinking I was in a piano bar. Pianos do not belong in the liturgy either-they are percussion instruments and forbidden by Rome. But I understand at this point the American bishops have the final authority on what can be used. Choirs used to be heard and not seen unless one turned around and looked in the choir loft. Today most musicians seem to be performers, and have a prominent place up front, where only the priest(s) and servers should be seen and heard. I cannot wait until we get a bishop who will allow us to have a parish dedicated to the Extraordinary Form 7 days a week. And to those who say that before Vatican II no one knew what was going on in the sanctuary. Rubbish-another fib repeated by those who detest the Latin. We all had Latin/English missals, not throw-away liturgy aids, and knew what was being chanted or prayed by the priest. Every gesture, bow, genuflection, has a special meaning related to the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. Everyone knelt for Communion at a Communion Rail. We have lost so much since Vatican II. There are priests who celebrate the Novus Ordo in a most dignified and sacred manner. May their number increase. Lastly, .those who attend the Extraordinary Form dress properly; you won’t see people in jeans and T-shirts, short skirts, shorts, low-cut blouses, and worse. Nearly every woman wears a skirt and top, or a dress, and often a hat or a veil. The men are mostly in suits, or at least a dress shirt and tie and dress pants. We are scandalized at the casual dress of Extraordinary Ministers of Communion. Why are they even needed? If the priest takes a long time, all the better to have time to do a proper Thanksgiving after receiving the body and blood of Christ?

    • Carole Tokaruk says:

      I am praying for the day when the Latin Traditional Mass will be celebrated more readily here where I live. Seems to me there are too many Catholics with funny ideas about this most reverent form of worship.

    • Gregory Leggio says:

      I am old enough (63) to have attended and very much appreciated the Latin Tridentine Mass throughout my childhood and teenage years here in the State of Louisiana. And since then, I have also attended the Novus Ordo Mass in both English and Latin. I must say that my preference is for the Novus Ordo in Latin for the following reasons: (1) it preserves the ancient and beautiful Latin in the liturgy. (2) It is, I think, what the bishops of Vatican II actually intended rather than all the different vernacular Masses without a trace of Latin. (3) Very importantly, the Latin spoken by the priest in the Latin Novus Ordo is much more AUDIBLE than that of the Tridentine Mass, and this allows for much greater and easier interior and exterior PARTICIPATION by Catholics in the pew. Concerning the latter reason, many traditional Catholics have forgotten how many Catholics with ordinary education used to just sit in their pews during the Tridentine Mass saying their Rosaries because they simply could not hear and follow what the priest was quietly doing. (4) Lastly, let us never forget that Jesus Christ is just as gloriously present during the Latin Novus Ordo Mass as He is during the Tridentine Mass.
      The discussion always seems to present a choice only between the Tridentine Mass and the Novus Ordo in the vernacular. Let’s have more Catholics request the Novus Ordo in Latin. I think that is the direction the Holy Spirit may desire us to go.

      • Martha Dancy says:

        Greg, I understand what you are saying, but the reality is, that the Latin Novus Ordo does not get enough acceptance nowadays. People either want the progressive Mass or they want the Tridentine, not a go between. In the old days, people were not properly educated in the Mass so they did not put forth the effort to follow the Mass in the missal. Today, people who attend by choice the Tridentine usage, really put forth the effort to follow the Mass and the priest can say things in a more audible way if he wishes. Also, the people can learn to sing the Kyriale along with the choir if they get training. Just as the Jews have Hebrew classes, Catholics could learn Latin in special classes so they could follow the Mass. Latin does give unity to the church and sameness no matter where one travels. The Novus Ordo in Latin would be better accepted by conservatives if the priest would face the tabernacle instead of the people and if he would not have eucharistic lay ministers and women up at the altar serving. It is these protestant practices that put people off more than just using english, etc. I go to the tridentine Mass to avoid things that turn me off like altar girls and lay communion ministers, etc. I am a bit uneasy when I attend a Novus Ordo but much more comfortable when I attend the old rite because I know that there won’t be anything liberal there. As for babble, has anyone ever attended a charismatic praise Mass? There you really have babble that no one understands and even though someone claims to be an interpreter, how do we know he really does it correctly? No, I would rather stick to what I have always loved–the rite I converted under in 1963.

        • Nate C. says:

          I have been attending the TLM exclusively for over 3 years now, before that regularly for 2-3 years. It does not take any special knowledge to follow what the priest does during the Mass. They make these nice little red books with Latin on the left and English on the right, it even includes pictures and explanations for what is going on at all times. We now have Missals which are very similar but include all the propers.

          It is very disingenuous to say that Catholics with an “ordinary education” would not be able to follow the Mass because of the Latin! I have a feeling that you are manufacturing memories to fill in the blanks of that which you do not really remember. I have an “ordinary” education and have no problem following every detail of the Mass, it’s these very details that have deepened my participation during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in which I prayerfully participate in. It’s the very aspect of participating in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that is completely lost in the Novus Ordo, and I don’t think saying the current Novus Ordo in Latin would change that.

          My 10 year old daughter and I attended a Novus Ordo just a few weeks back out of necessity. You know what she said? She said, “I prefer the Latin Mass because there was no time to pray”. NO TIME TO PRAY! From the mouths of babes..

    • Susan says:

      I don’t know if you live near Chicago, but we are so blessed to have St John Cantius Parish. The Novus Ordo is offered each Sunday but so is a High Mass in Latin…with the most beautiful sacred music I’ve ever heard. They offer classes in Latin and Biblical Greek. This was my first Holy Season there. I just don’t have the words to describe how not only moving but life changing it was to experience the Stations of the Cross in Latin, the Tenebrae Service, etc. all culminating in the most magnificent and sacred celebration of Easter. I suppose some of this was the way it recalls beautiful childhood memories. But it’s far more than that. I have found a new peace and joy in my life that is extraordinary. I think perhaps it’s because the focus of the Latin Mass is so completely on Jesus, the atmosphere is so sacred, that I also am better able to experience His presence in new and sacred ways. I’m so grateful that after many years of prayer God led me there and wish everyone could have a Church like this. We come from over one hundred miles in every direction…it’s so worth it. You can see and hear some of the beautiful Masses on their website. I know a lot of priests because of the work I do. It’s so sad how many are embarrassed by the sacred rituals of the Church. I once asked one I work with to bless a medal I purchased for my nephew. He looked at me like I was crazy…laughed and told me to bless it myself. I could tell sad stories like this all day…I just pray that these priests will finally recognize the sacred mystery they are called to represent is God Himself…not themselves and not the latest politically correct (political cowardice) trend. God bless!

    • Paul says:

      Annie, may I thank you and echo all you have said. Having been brought up Catholic, and serving as an Altar Boy in the 1940’s and 1950’s, I guess it would be unfair for me to criticize the lack of understanding by the majority of today’s
      Catholics who are unable to understand the Traditional Liturgy.
      Concerning the Latin, may I add that during my military assignments around the world in the 1960’s, it was so
      comforting to assist at any Mass in any country with my St. Joseph’s Latin/English Missal. Except for the
      sermon, we were all “on the same page”, throughout the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
      Perhaps it would also be fair to mention that in addition to my Altar Boy (Acolyte) training and experience at
      the feet of our Religious Sisters and Priests, our Catholic High Schools back then gave us two years of Latin,
      so that was another unfair advantage. However, I shudder to think my next move could take me away from the Daily Latin Mass I am privileged to have available here in Tucson.

  2. Tina in Ashburn says:

    The English Reformationists who denied the power of the Pope, hated Latin. As St Margaret Clitherow was being squashed to death for her Catholicism, the Protestants tormented her as she prayed in Latin. She replied, “God understands Latin perfectly well”.

    We forget that the Mass is first and foremost the prayer between the priest [acting as Christ] and God the Father. Therefore the sacred language with which to address God is Latin. The Sacrifice is offered on our behalf, not for our entertainment and understanding, but as addressing God the Father for our salvation. This is the reason the priest faces the Tabernacle, because he is addressing God.

    For almost two thousand years, Catholics have familiarized themselves with Latin to follow and unite their prayers with those of the priest.

    Today’s post-Vatican II environment might give the impression that the laity owns the Mass and that we should have unrestricted access to everything, as if there is no associated Mystery. This is new. The Jewish high-priest would make the offering to God at the altar behind the curtain, while the congregation prayed with this sacred event too holy to be witnessed. Some Eastern rite Masses occur today behind the closed doors of the Sanctuary. Before Communion rails were illicitly ripped out [there is no official mandate to remove altar rails], the Sanctuary was visibly set apart as a sacred area for the clergy.

    For a Mass to be worthy, the laity doesn’t have to understand everything, because this highest form of prayer is really addressed to God, in the language of His Church. The laity’s role is to unite themselves with the prayers of the priest and pray too, that the Sacrifice be acceptable.

  3. Kay says:

    Isn’t it great we have both ways to celebrate the Mass? That way, everyone can go to whichever they prefer. Amen!

  4. Struggling says:

    Msgr. Pope, Thank you for this very informative post. All I have ever known is the Novus Ordo. I was baptized Catholic but left the faith when I was 18 and returned in my late 30’s. I am grateful to be back in the grace of God and continue to play “catch up” in learning my faith. I am frustrated by the many liturgical abuses that go on in many of the parishes here, but there are also some of the parishes where the priests celebrate the NO in a very reverant manner and I am able to fully imerse myself in the mass without distraction. We do have a parish locally that celebrates the mass in the Extraordinary Form and I have attended a couple of times although I have no understanding of Latin and felt lost. This article is very helpful in helping me have a better understanding and am wondering if there is a “Latin Mass For Dummies” book :-) that might help me further? The other problem that I am struggling with is the attitude of most, not all, that attend the EF form here of a superiority over those that attend the NO. I know that you have no control over peoples attitudes but I guess what I am asking is how to deal with this. I have friends that attend the EF and it is like they are constantly trying to “convert” me, like I am not Catholic. There is a feeling of division. Does that make sense? It is not just me. There are several of us that have experienced this and it has made it difficult to try to make the transition to attending the EF because we still like to attend the Ordinary Form. The Ordinary Form is looked down upon by the people, not the priest, like it is a lesser mass. A new Traditional Rite parish is being built 5 minutes from my house as opposed to having to drive 30 or more minutes to attend a NO mass. I am excited that Christ will be so close but need help in understanding the differences and how to deal with this “attitude” problem. I have four children who I am also having to educate as well. I am hoping you can help. Thank you for your Yes to God and the Priesthood, you are in my prayers.

    • Martha Dancy says:

      I understand how you feel about people with “attitudes.” This type of attitude appears to be more prevalent in sspx parishes than in fssp parishes or other parishes that are in the mainline church. Some of these “superior” acting people may be transplants from the sspx and they have to get used to being in the mainline church. I would ignore these attitudes and possibly not emphasize the fact that you attend the NO sometimes. It is no one’s business how you run your life or where you attend church at other times. I don’t tell people all the facts in my life, either. You can go where you want to go and it is none of their business. I also do not argue with people. I just enjoy coffee and pastries, act friendly and just enjoy them as brothers and sisters in Christ. I stay off of sensitive topics and I get along just fine. You are indeed blessed to live near a parish with the older usage. Don’t let silly people come between you and your happiness. Follow your heart and enjoy the old rite.

  5. Marian Heffner says:

    As one who has been devout Catholic for ninety years, Let me say that I much prefer the Vatican 2 Mass in English. I studied Latin for four years, but still don’t know the meaning of the words in the Latin hymns. I need to understand what I am saying and hearing. Mass is terribly important to me. I am brought to tears almost always during the Consecration. And above all, I am very grateful that I may now receive the blood of Christ. Since the Lord made us each unique, we have different opinions about the outward forms, but I hope we are all united iln the great love of our Savior, Jesus Christ

  6. Allan Wafkowski says:

    The Latin Mass is far more friendly to a mixed language congregation than the English Mass. When I have had to go to a Mass other than English in the new rite, I’ve been lost. The Latin Mass almost requires that one follow its rich prayers with a missal. Anyone of any tongue can follow the Mass with the a missal and take clues from the familiar Latin phrases to keep in step. The few common phrases one ought to know are easily learned. Here Latin is a common language that joins people together. Frankly, I find the simplified, unpoetic language of the English Mass rather insipid and boring. It does not use the richness of language that is needed to obtain a glimpse of the divine in the Holy Sacrifice.

  7. Michael of Alberta Canada says:

    Thank you Msgr.Pope, I am not a learned person, it took me three years to completely understand the Latin Mass, I do not know much about theology or other important thing in the church law or docterine of the church,
    I stumble on to the Latin Mass one early morning searching for a earlier Mass because we want to travel out of town, we have been laps for many year and just return to church, through out our life we only attend regular Mass and did not think much about anything, but that Sunday morning at the Latin Mass changes everthing, for the very first time I and my wife felt that we have truly received the Real Present of Christ Body, it is because for the very first time a priest have caught our attention how he treat the Holy Eucharist and how everyone kneel in revelence and we are able to see a real different in the regular Mass, we are still learned, but one thing for sure that we knew are the sermon and the line of many going to confession at the Latin Mass, we have grown much much more since that faithful morning, we still attend the regular Mass on weekday, but now we look at the crucifix instead of the celebrant priest, week did not go back to the regular Mass on Sunday now, because we find it hard to received a good sermon and find it hard to knee down with so many people standing infront of us, I like to knee in the present of The Present of Jesus. I know that is bring the growth into my life, it brought me my love for Jesus and Mary, I did not know why this could not be universal in all the church, yes it took me three years learn just to follow the Latin Mass and yes it took me three years to learned how to give glory and honour and full Adoration to Jesus, my Latin please told me, do not worry much about knowing all in Latin, assist by your present here is what Jesus want of you, the server and me will do your praying of the Holy Mass on your behalf, praise be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

  8. Paul Caruso says:

    It seems to me that there are 13 “RITES” in our wonderful universal church and ALL are valid. It really saddens me when people are more concerned about the procedure than the substance. It gives them an excuse to not look fully at Jesus and to justify to themselves as to why they are not following the command Christ gave us (love one another, take care of one another). A thought, go back and educate themselves as to when the Roman Rite came into being and ask themselfs if the the liturgys prior to the Roman Rite where valid and proper? Just a thought.

    The Peace of Jesus be on You!

    • Michael of Alberta Canada says:

      It had nothing to do with the rites, I had attend the Benzatine rite Mass too, it have everything to do with: what each and everyperson wholly, one who felt the true present of Christ and how to give God His Glories and His honour and Adore Him with the up Most Holiness, if you goes out to buy a car, let say a Honda, you for one would expect a Honda to be a Honda and not a Hundai, same goes for myself, if I goes to a Holy Mass I expect myself to confess my sins and to give God all His Glory and Honour, I expect to knee and bow and beat my chest and be repentant for my sins and I asked to received Christ and show Him how much I treasure Him, if only I can do the same everyway than it is turly good, but many time I could not do that on a regular Mass, I find this confusing and distracting, and at time I could not relate to the sermon, which is suppose to be Christ teaching through the priest, but I heard something else that are totally diferent that Christ teaching, I for one think all this have to do with the school they learn their education, if you go to business school, you off cause talk and walk like a businessman, if you goes to a medical school, you would talk and walk like a doctor, one cannot go to a medical and walk and talk like an electrician or neither an electrician can talk and walk like a doctor, to sum it all up, I think it had everything to do with the seminary college the priest went and receive their study, You may find it hard to believe, the truth is most of the Priest of FSSP sermon always talk about how to be holy, Sainthood, sin, devil, hell, divine mercy, salvation, last judgement, Virgin Mary, Saints and Christ’s virtues and inline with the Holy Scripturies, but the priest for the regular Mass would not talk about these important topic, but would talk about other non related topic that did not benefit my soul, as I am a sinner sick onto sin, I need a doctor to cure my sickness of sin, and not a accountant or a saleman or an electrician, I need some one to tell me what I shall not do and show me how and why I should not do thing that would cost me to fell, I do not need a friend that tell me is OK, everything is just fine! what I need is of Christ to tell me that I need to do the right thing and learn the truth before I die and how to pray well and try and live a holy life. I have lot of friend to give me advice, but I need only one priest that truly represent Christ, let us be like Christ.

  9. Linda Meyer says:

    I love the Latin mass. In the NO, the priest does nothing but the consecration in some churches. And I still believe NOBODY should touch the host but the priest.

    And no matter where you where, you had the missal with Latin and English so you could understand what is going on. I can still recite most of the Latin prayers and I love the Confetior.

    People are more respectful in the traditional church. It is quiet.

    And I would like to know how much money is wasted on the mass books now that are only good for a few months, then they throw them out and buy new ones. I like my own missal with all my own Holy Cards I’ve collected,………the old music that takes you back to your childhood, I could go on and on. The NO makes me want to cry.

    • marie willis says:

      I agree the latin Mass swwmed much holier than todayscramble. It was more spiritual and we seemed to recieve more graces from the Mass.. I believe this is because the latin Mass is spiritual.

  10. Rosario in La Verne,Ca. says:

    Msgr. Pope, may God’s Love and Peace be with you and your Diocese. I enjoyed watching your most enlightening and simple explanation of the Tridentine Mass and why we should pray in Latin. I thank God for faithful Shepherds of the flock like you who is not afraid to speak up and propagate the truth about the Sacred Rites of our Holy, Catholic and Apostolic True Church. As I was educated in a Catholic school and university prior to even Pre-Vatican II, Tridentine Mass was the kind of Holy and Reverential Mass that I was exposed to. With the advent of Vatican II and the horrendous changes it created, not only to our Holy Mother Church’s Sacred Altars and Liturgical Rites, but also to not only its Shepherds but also to its Flocks who got lost and wandered away from the Truth of our faith. So it goes to say, ‘ you can judge the labor by it’s fruits ‘”! I thank God Almighty for you, a faithful Shepherd, and rest of the few like you, who has remained faithful and adherent to the Sacred Rites of the One True Church established by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself in the year 33 AD.
    The daily Mass that I attend at St. Louise de Marillac Church in Covina is not a Latin Mass but the New Mass. However, it,s a Mass very different from the other parishes around it. The entire congregation kneels for the Communion Rite, we’re allowed to kneel for communion on the tongue without being refused communion or be reprimanded by the Priest to ‘stand up’ otherwise will not be given communion. And everyone remains KNEELING when back to their pew to give reverence and be ‘IN COMMUNION’ with our Lord who is with us that very HEAVENLY MOMENT of having Him within us through that little tiny ‘CONSECRATED HOST’ that contains HIS BODY, BLOOD, SOUL and DIVINITY! This is what makes us unique and unequal from other religion. I tell people that’s how we experience Heaven temporarily here on earth. I wish and pray that the young ones and old new ones( new admits) be taught about how to Reverentially receive Holy Communion as I was taught by Sisters

  11. Rosario in La Verne,Ca. says:

    (I accidentally hit the submit section and did not get to finish my last statement)
    The religious Sisters (pre-Vatican) taught us NOT to CHEW the Sacred Host because If we do, definitely a piece or minute particle of this Host will be left in our mouth or imbedded in between the teeth and we happen to spit minutes or hours after Communion then we’ve spit out Lord and be trampled upon on the ground (desecrated!) We were strictly taught that we we have to let it ‘melt’ or get it soft inside our mouth and swallow as a whole piece. It just breaks my heart to see how children and grown ups receive IRREVERENTLY the Host on their DIRTY hands, as if just receiving a little wafer or rationed food and slap inside their mouth and tiny tiny particles of this Sacred Host falling on the floor and left in their hand to be further desecrated. I know no word of what we say will change the irreverent attitudes of these people but only through our unceasing prayers, reparations and mortifications, invoking the HOLY SPIRIT to enlighten those who are lost and deceived by the adversary regarding our HOLY, CATHOLIC and APOSTOLIC CHURCH.
    More power and blessings to you, Msgr. Pope

    • Michael of Alberta Canada says:

      Rosario, I am with you on this, yet we have to remember St. Paul letter, Our Lord will not be harm, it will be who ever treat Our Divine Lord indifferently, without respect and at the end of our earthly some of us will received more and other less, it is very important we do not fall into the judgement part, yes it hurt us to see the unholy ways of today and we only bear this as Christ Himself bears, His poverty, born in a stable and end up on the Cross nake, it is grace that He gives us to unite in His sorrowful Passion with our poor heart seeing Our Lord Sacred Host been ill treat, it is the teaching of Hans Kung in pre-Vatican, as adoptation to demolish the bastion of our Church, a trial by God to see, who believe in His Real Present, as for those who believe, those would receive, as one would knee in His Present and as one would received Him with the umost revelent it is because one had truly received His Grace to be holy. may we be like Christ.

  12. Credo says:

    WE have been so de-sensitized to any reverance in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass….that eveyone thinks You have to put on a side show and play the latest tackest music alot of non-catholic hymns.

    The way the N.O. was brought about was totally wrong, The latin was to be preserved when singing the Gloria, Credo,etc.

    But we know that all went away in 1969. Thank God For Pope Benedict! May God Grant him MANY MANY MORE YEARS!

    • I think you are right that the the changes in the Liturgy were poorly implemented. I also don’t care for some of the music in the Church today but would avoid using words like tackey. I think there is some music of questionable taste out there but an Latin proverb advises de gustibus non disputandem (in matters of tast let there be no disputes). True enough we were supposed to presevere and use more of our Latin heritage we need to work more on that to be sure.

  13. Terik Ororke says:

    One must never canonize a language as “sacred.” All languages are in fact sacred and one must not to be idolized over all others. This would offend God. The most ancient form of the Mass, therefore the “traditional” Mass cannot be the Tridentine Mass. To say so is to deny the ancient history of the Church and to violate the authenticity of sacred history. Pontifical Mases, while impressive, are rather boring extensions of the true liturgy which has to be a very simple form that the early Church used. Gregorian chant is no better than any other plain chant…it is a matter of opinion….we do not celebrate Jesus in the past but the Jesus who is present in our times, yesterday, today, AND tomorrow. We need a constant re-evaluation of liturgy and not a wish that going back to the 16th century Mass will somehow bring dignity into the liturgy. Those who say that the newer Mass has ruined the church simply do not know what they are talking about…in fact, the Catholic population has grown exponentially. Let us never worship in an idolatrous way, but let us worship as Jesus would have preferred….with true and gentle dignity and with grace…in whatever language is available.

    • The word sacred means “set apart” Hence to call Latin a sacred language means that it is set apart by the Church for special use in the Liturgy. It does have a unique place and remains the official language or her worship. That it is a “dead language” and hence the possession of no one country means that the Church shows not favoritsm. Also it is not as susceptable to trendy expressions and changing meanings. Sorry that you find the use of the term offensive but the fact remains that some things in life are special and uniquly set apart. Saying that this offends God is to claim for yourself some sort of direct pipeline to the almighty that it seems unlikely you have. Later you claim to know what Jesus would prefer. Again, your direct line to Jesus in this seems a fanciful and prideful claim.

      Calling the pontifical Mass boring and and extension of true liturgy is mere opinion and mildly offensive. The liturgies of the early Church were not likely as simple as you think. If you read the didiscalia and other early documents they were a bit more formal and meticulous than you say. I admot that were not likely as elaborate as the pontifical mass of last Saturday but the Church does grow and develop from early times.

      Gregorian Chant is said by official documents from the Council and more recently to have “pride of place.” Hence you dismissing of it as no better than anything else would need some distinctions.

      That we need constant re-evaluation of the Liturgy is true enough and it is surely happening in our times in terms of the ordinary form.

      I would avoid using terminology of your opponet as “simply not knowing waht they are talking about” since it is unkind and ad hominem. It is true that Catholic Numbers have increased. But it is also true that weekly Mass attendance has fallen from 80% in 1955 to 27% last year. Hence, the number of practicing Catholics has plummeted. There are many reasons for this but it is not wrong to ask if liturgy is one of them.

      Finally your use of the word “idolatrous” is an egregious violation of Charity. You ought to retract and apologize for having said such a thing to fellow Catholics who are worshipping God, not an idol and who are doing so in a manner approved by the Church.

      • Terik Ororke says:

        While one may “prefer” one language over another in regard to the Mass, even a dead and therefore “non-offensive” or politically correct one and then claim “this is how it has to be forever” is in fact idolatry. I believe that what we now call form 2 of the Mass goes back to the 5th century–it is a rather simple yet highly dignified way to celebrate — that is what I mean by ancient liturgy. Church architecture betrays where the church is (form and function) spiritually. Originally the Mass was celebrate around a simple table, with a simple liturgy, and one also had the idea of the closeness of God. As history moved more to the roman era and way of doing things, churches eventually evolved architecturally to what we call Gothic. The table was removed from the people and only the priests etc. could function around it –altar rails were installed to keep “lesser” faithful out of the sanctuary (and also animals) The high arches of the great cathedrals seem to point to God “up there” away from us, and while the liturgy grew elaborate, people were bored and bells had to tell them that the consecration was taking place and to behave themselves. The baroque era sought to rectify some of this but it too failed. Modern architecture in churches has also tried to bring back the ancient “form” (gathered around the table as Jesus did with his disciples) and it is criticized as too “informal.” While I hear people say that the celebration of the Mass today is not dignified, I defy those saying that to prove it…yes, there have been abuses, but I have attended many masses that are truly dignified and reverent.

    • Grace2U says:

      Thank you. A true Christian cannot a blindly religious person. This notion that all things old and original are superior to the present can indeed be a form of idolatry. Christ looks at our hearts, not our clothes, our words, our customs — our heart. And He died to set us free from the bondage of sin. For eternity. It is wonderful to hear the Word of God in your native language where you can understand the meaning. Christ did not speak in a language his listeners could not understand! How bizarre! I grew up hearing Latin and it was a ritual — when the church changed to English I could worship with my words, my mind, and my spirit. I don’t like this regression to “the old way” — it feels wrong and idolatrous. Remember the Pharisees … Be humble. Love everyone and make the gospel accessible to everyone. God Bless.

  14. Tom Canning says:

    For many – more than forty years the SSPX has been reviled – castigated – shunned – excommunicated – schismatic et al by many in the Catholic Church – who have not cracked a bookon what actually happened after Vatican II let alone study and learn – to be schismatic means to set up a parallel Church to that which is already inbeing. – Right – ?

    THe SSPX DID NOT set up a new Church as this would mean a new Liturgy – Priesthood – Canon law – Catechism – new Saints etc……

    So who did set up a new church with all those changes ? – Oh Dear – that was Pope Paul VI and JOhn Paul II
    ably assited by people such as Hans Kung – Rahner – Schillebeekxz – Suenens – Frings – Koenig – Congar – Chenu and a chap called Courtenay -Murray – and the well known Fr Joseph Ratzinger……

    who now that he isPope — has wandered downhis Road to Damascus and is beginning to see the damage all his friend caused in the 70;s and is now trying to rectify that …..all we can do is to pray that he succeeds- soon before this Apostasy which JP II finally admitted spreads throughout the whole world

    • Michael of Alberta Canada says:

      The truth shall always prevail, today they want us to be less holy as so we could not procliam there is no salvation out side the Catholic Church, if you are to be holy, you are called inbalance, rebellious, disobedience to the Pope, holier than thou, insane, overboard, unchristian and even call a protestant, what? protestant because I become more Catholic? so to be more Catholic such as asking the NO why the Mother of God is outside of the Church is less Catholic, right? to be more Catholic like asking the NO why is the Tarbenacle not in the middle of the santuery make me become less Catholic, I thought praying the rosary is a Catholic virtues, now I am called to be silent while praying the rosary before and after NO Mass but talking, hugging and hand shacking is OK. Now the theology is such, I see if it make sense!! to become more Catholic made be become less and to become holy made me become a protestant, Can any one please explain? so today the Catholic church should become less Sacred as so we can be even out with our separated christian brother, I was told to be holy so as I can become Saint, that how I was taught, we are more that a mere follower of Christ, we are called to become His Saint, right, right? no not now from VEC II onward you have been demoted to just Christian and give or take in another 10 year you will become universally, because your brother moslem and hindu and hairishna are coming on board, as for now let us get your priest a wife, he is kind of lonely, yes that what’s happening as we speak in Vatican today, Our very own Cardinal Bertone would like to have a option for marry priest or priest to be marry, uhhh!!! again the game of mass confusion is spining, to become unholy instead made us more holy, to be less or not holy make us better Catholic, no wonder as I was correcting a heretic in Church because she believe we are wire in by the Holy Spirit to have physic power, I go uhhh!!! are you one serious Catholic?, so now she can go on and procliam her holiness, she did not go too far with me and whala!!! I got a new name Mr. INBALANCE.

    • I understand your anger at how some traditional Catholic have been treated, SSPX among them. But I cannot affrim that the Pope, of all people, set up a new Church. THere have surely been schismatics in the past 40 years but you are wrong to number the Popes among them. Are you a sedevacantist?

  15. AnnaRose in Oswego, NY says:

    I myself want to hear the words in English, but there definitely needs to be more reverence in saying the mass. We all need to pray for Pope Benedict for guidance in the right decisions to be made in the mass. I wonder what Jesus prefers…….Latin or native language?

  16. Tom in Wisconsin says:

    WARNING to myself !!!

    IF I am either anti-N.O. or anti-L.M., THEN I am, in fact, “anti-mass.” IF I am “anti-mass,” against a Church approved form of mass, THEN I am also anti-Church to some degree or another.

    The Mass brings me to Jesus and Jesus in me (if I am in a state of grace). Only the Church has authority, from the office of Peter by order of Christ, to change the forms of Holy Mass as it sees fit. I trust Jesus. So it follows, I trust His Church to do His will with the Mass. I love to be at Holy Mass in any of it’s many approved forms when it is said in great reverence by a holy priest with correct intentions.

    Dominus Vobiscum

  17. Mother Angelica says:

    Dear People of God-
    Try viewing the Daily Mass at 8 am live on EWTN — The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is said with reverence, the music is beautiful, and if you turn on the closed caption bar, you can try to learn the Latin parts of the Mass!
    I also must add that you will more than likely get a good sermon, too!
    Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge, there are no on-line Missals available to read by using the side-by-side Latin and English, but many of these Missals have beautiful prayers in them, too.
    The Latin Mass at the Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception was beautiful and long overdue. Praise God!


  18. Climacus says:

    My God, my God I love you in the Blessed Sacrament of Altar! What great joy to once again see you loved, adored and glorified in the Latin Tridentine Mass. I pray this is the beginning to the end of the liturgical abuses, secular humanism, heretical moderism and general confusion infecting our Churches today.

    Thrice Holy is the Lord our God. May we all exercise the patience, reverence and sacrifice necessary to come to understand and love this form of the Mass, which for centuries, was never an ‘Extraordinary Form’ but our common form of worship.

    Msgr. Charles Pope, I’m humbled by your patient witness and defense of truth.

    Deo Gratias

  19. Mr.John Harmsen London United Kingdom says:

    I too love the traditional Latin Mass from before the council but,when oh when will the Pope himself
    celebrate this beautiful rite of Mass himself and in PUBLIC to “encourager les autres” so to speak.
    This,as far as I know,has not yet happened. I know that the Holy Father sympathies are with
    TRADITION so when is he going to do this? It would help the cause of tradition a great deal if he
    were to do this.

  20. Will says:

    To Annie @ 1:

    “ won’t see people in jeans and T-shirts, short skirts, shorts, low-cut blouses, and worse. Nearly every woman wears a skirt and top, or a dress, and often a hat or a veil. ”

    I can agree on the teenage girls that were tight jeans and tank tops but would you say this to someone who might not be able to afford such? Or perhaps in another country that wears different things?

    • Joseph says:

      Will, are you serious? Tight jeans ain’t cheap, many times. What are you smokin’? Other countries know about modesty, dressing for the occasion, even when not regularly observed. Dear Lord, travel a bit. When people don’t have nice houses, cars, trips, one thing they do have, a few nice things to wear. Almost universally.

      • Michael AB can says:

        Joseph, you did not commented well by asking what are you smokin? this is a religion topic please be polite, I am those that grow up in those other countries, as a matter of fact the poor that walked to Church, yes my poor auntie who have to travel three hours on Sunday, would come to Church with her Sunday best, not great outfit, but her outfit tell you that she is poor but well cover, I came over here in the Americas and today in the N.O. esp in summer, well, guess for yourselve,some comes with a tank top and a shorts and sandal to Holy Mass!!!! please take time and reflect upon this, it this Sunday best?, I think Will is not by any means trying to offend anyone and I think Will heart is in the right place.

        I have a simple question for you to answer, Joseph, if you go to a wedding dinner and this is the wedding of Bill Gates’ son, what would you wear? again say your are broken and have only four different outfit, would you take your best and wear to that dinner? or would you put on your t-shit, short and sandal, bravo!!! to you if you put on you t-shit, short and sandal, or by change would you do put on your best outfit, and this just means that you have respect for Mr. Gates because he invite you, right, oh yes, so that means there is one more option to this question, if you put on t-shit, short and sandal, you are sending Mr. Gates a message, you are someone that I do not real care much about yourselve and about others including Mr. gates that happen to invite you, right oh yes, just like those that wear tight jean and t-shirt, they send a message to Jesus and say I do not think you really that important and not worth much to me and I do not think you are God!!!! oh yes, who ever go to the House of the Lord and dress with out fit that less than dinner party ready is infact sending God a message, I do not care much for your banquet celebration!!!!!

    • Mother Angelica says:

      Dear People of God —
      Here in America, we catholics are quite charitable, and that includes giving clothing (from our surplus) to St. Vincent DePaul so that they can GIVE it to those who need it. If you see someone at church who is in need, for God’s sake help them!!!! I did it discreetly and the lady was happy. Let me remind you all that true charity begins when we give something new to someone — look at when the US Marines collect Toys for Tots.
      For the most part, there is no excuse for pleading ignorant in America — most people have tv and access to a computer (they can go to a public library). They can window-shop, or look through fashion magazines. I can tell you that Grace Kelly did not get married in a strapless wedding gown — look at pictures of her wearing pretty clothes that COVERED her body. Most houses of high fashion design beautiful clothing that is NOT revealing.
      If you can sew, you can make something very nice to wear to church.
      Also, the parents need to hear it from the altar to come to Mass looking decent, not as if they were going to the beach.
      So, sweetheart, think about it and pray on it.


  21. Peg says:

    When you spoke about facing east, it brought back to mind that maybe even animals do this. Every morning our golden retriever would sit in our back yard facing the sun and be still for awhile. Maybe he just liked the warm sun but I like to think he was praising God, too:):)

  22. Mother Angelica says:

    Dear People of God —
    May I impose on all of you who attend the Latin Mass to offer up each time you attend and worthily receive Holy Communion for our beloved United States? Would you? I beg of you! We have been and continue to go through much turmoil especially here in the South. Yes, we do suffer the consequences of the sin that runs rampant and the good people suffer! But God is merciful to those who ask, seek and knock!
    There is power in The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and all of the Angels and Saints rejoice when Mass is said with reverence and you all offer yourselves up to God!!!
    I knew a good Benedictine priest who told us that his poor mother would light a piece of palm (from Palm Sunday), blow it out, and they would all say the Pater Noster together in times of danger and storms. That is faith in action, my friends.
    If you would be so kind, in some way/ shape/ or form, pass this along to those who attend the Latin Mass.
    Also, try doing a little penance — like fasting or abstaining — and ask the Poor Souls in Purgatory for help. We are in a battle for souls. God Bless all of you always and in all ways!


    • Climacus says:

      Dear Mother,

      You can count on me!

    • Climacus says:

      This is exciting. I just learned of the Missa Cantata High Mass offered in the extraordinary form for Our Lady, Mediatrix of all Graces this Saturday 5/8 at 8:00 AM ET on ETWN. Three big ‘Ave Marias’ for the Eternal Word Television Network. I’ll be be sure to be participating from home!!!!

  23. Climacus says:

    You can count on me….

  24. Mother Angelica says:

    Dear People of God —
    There has been a lot of church closings lately and this is not good for helping to maintain and spread the faith.
    Remember that when the lights go out, darkness prevails and oh how dark it can be! We are salt, light and leaven….
    If anyone knows of a prayer to keep churches open and it also includes support for those suffering because their church is being or has been closed, please post it or provide a link. We know God does not want this.
    Maybe Msgr. Pope has something to offer us.
    Also, please continue to offer your Masses and communions for America. Since yesterday, much has happened with these mystery bombings and the oil spill.
    Maybe the Good Lord is trying to tell us something. I think so. Recall the ad that said, “When EF Hutton talks, everybody listens?” It should be “When God talks, everybody listens!”
    Say a Hail Mary if you get to read this today — and every day through the month of May.


    • ah yes Mother Angelica, it is tragic each time a parish closes. Once these parishes were filled with the faithful back in the day when 80% went to Mass each Sunday. Now only 27% faithfull attend each Sunday.

  25. BobP says:

    It’s an insult to an Italian opera to have it translated to a different, more local language. And the fact is that opera lovers can learn to understand the opera as it is, without knowing Italian. For the same reason, if not more of a reason, it would be an insult to the Latin Mass to have it vernacularized, or vulgarized, into a local tongue. For centuries, people understood the Mass perfectly, even when most of it was silently said. No reason at all to have it translated; it certainly won’t improve its poetic beauty. The Novus Ordo can stay but it will never be long-standing art.

    • Mother Angelica says:

      BobP —
      Can you understand Latin/ Italian? I will say this, I still enjoy Handel’s Messiah…
      And how did the altar boys assist at mass (and still do)? They have a lot to learn in order to assist at the Latin Mass. Who teaches them all they need to know? The priest. If they have good parents, they work with the kids, too. Many parishes that have the Latin mass have good altar boys helping out — I believe in giving credit where credit is due.
      Learning Latin also helps children with their vocabulary.
      What do you think about the Douay- Reims Bible?
      EWTN follows the guidelines and does the parts in Latin and tries to have the Latin Mass on a regular basis. Try watching this Saturday.

    • Hans says:

      I agree – Latin is preferable to me also, though the first translations into English were actually quite poetic and beautiful. Then more changes, and “He took into His goodly hands a most excellent chalice” became, “He took the cup”. The Mass is Sacred Liturgy. It is DRAMA. It is a moment OUT of time, though definitely grounded in the here and now. In the blonk of an eye, bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ, and priest and people are one with Christ on the cross and with all Christians who have celebrated the Eucharist for centuries. The Mass – when one thinks about it – is a COSMIC experience. Writer Annie Dillard once attended a Catholic “folk” Mass. She could not understand why the service was casual, with people going to communion with their hands in their pockets, chatting. “If they really believed that God was present on the altar,” she said, “they’d fall to their knees!”

  26. Climacus says:

    The Missa Cantata High Mass – RESPLENDENT. May EWTN, through the grace and mercy of God, continue to ever increasingly magnify his Glory. Amen.

    Deo Gratias

  27. jeanne says:

    Cher Monseigneur,
    Chers Amis américains,

    Merci de montrer l’exemple à suivre, aux évêques et aux catholiques du monde entier !
    Oui la messe en latin est une merveille, et il est juste qu’elle puisse être offerte à Dieu par tout ceux qui le souhaitent.
    J’espère qu’en France nos évêques vont suivre votre exemple, et la volonté de notre Saint Père, avec courage. Priez pour nous !

    God bless you,


  28. Reverend Father Robert E Hutchison, Anglican Priest Dallas says:

    It does my heart well to hear this wonderful news. I was reared a Roman Catholic in Hollywood California, I was taught the Latin High Mass, went to school at Immaculate Heart of Mary .. but sadly left the church at the onset of the “new mass” it grieved me so. Following my heart I became an Episcopal Priest as the Church was much more accepting of all. The Mass was in Anglican High Church and the Sacraments are the same. I am now retired and am smiling as I read this wonderful news that the Original Latin is returning – finally! I look forward to the day when it is more widly used and accepted as the ONLY Mass. Then perhaps one day I may return to Holy Mother Church. PAX+

  29. Fr. Nicola Martino says:

    DEO GRATIAS ! Thanks be to God !
    As a priest now I can celebrate in Ordinary form of Local Language and in the Rite of Vatican 2,
    but I can celebrate in LATIN, Tridentine Rite, ALSO. It is wonderful for me !
    If there is a group asking Tridentine Mass, I am so happy to celebrate with them! I can celebrate also alone !!
    I enjoy so much to have a great SENSE of MISTERY, in the sacred Latin language familiar to many,many Saints. It so wonderful to look many times to the Crucifix during the Mass, and touch HIM still on the cross, alive in the Sacred Host, in my hands….
    It makes me alive in faith and love to recite in normal voice, in low voice, in silence, in singing… in keeling, in making signs of the cross, in turning to the people, in worship with me. My soul and body partecipate in so many ways, alone and the people.. who keep silence, kneel, pray and sing…without disturbing me, because my eyes are on the altar and crucifix…
    And I feel connected to the Church of 2000 years…. ant to the whole Catholic Church and all Christians.
    Alleluia ! Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo !! I shall sing the mercies of the Lord ! Amen !.

  30. Ben says:

    What I am not getting is this:
    Q: “Why is Latin used for Mass?”
    A: “Because it is a sacred language”

    Yes, Latin is clearly a language apart from the vernaculars of modern Catholics. Yes, I can understand the sociological function it serves in uniting the disparate peoples of the Catholic World. What I don’t understand is how one could compare for example Hebrew or Syriac in the Hebrew and Syriac churches to that of Latin. Yes these are also sacred languages that were used apart from vernacular but there is a clear difference. From the Israelite perspective Hebrew was the actual language god spoke when making his covenant, and was the original language of the holy text of Israelites. The Syriac rite is considered by its adherents to be a language closely related to that which Jeshua himself spoke, and again there are holy texts in which the original (emphasis) was in Syriac. Nothing about Latin as a “sacred language” makes sense to me in this regard, it was never the original language of the bible (Greek) it was certainly not the original language of Jesus (Aramaic, possibly some Greek), and God never, ever spoke a single word in Latin. What about this language is sacred, aside from its original definition of “set apart?” Every word of Latin in the bible was translated from Greek, the Gospels were written in Greek, every word that Jesus spoke was in Greek, and we know for example that in the Latin versions of the bible things were altered to fit Nicean theology, for example there were phrases inserted into the Latin versions that are never found in Greek manuscripts until after Latin was standardized (once again, no disrespect. Bullinger’s Companion Bible (footnotes) on [1John 5:7]
    “The text reads “the Spirit, and the water”, and c., omitting all the words from “in heaven’ to “in earth” inclusive. The words are not found in any Gr. MS before the sixteenth century. They were first seen in the margin of some Latin copies. Thence they have crept into the text.” ).

    I am in no way trying to denigrate Catholics or the Roman Catholic rite, I am simply trying to understand how it is Latin can be regarded as holy, rather than simply a useful language for consistency across time and space.

  31. Hans says:

    Ours is a mystery religion, and the old Latin Mass is the supreme expression of this fact. Understanding is good, but it is not necessary when receiving Christ in the Eucharist, for the Real Presence transcends all understanding. For centuries, kings and paupers, intellectuals and fools, attended the same Mass and received the same benefits. I do not suggest that Latin Mass Catholics need not study or comprehend, but stress that Intellect takes us only so far. St. Anselm had as his motto, “Credo ut intelligium: I believe in ORDER to understand”. The Latin Mass is a vehicle which takes us to a “destination” when we give ourselves up to its gentle demands and submit to tradition. Even the word “religion” touches on this. The Latin word “religio” (hard “g”) is where the word religion comes from. It means to “rebind”, to “reconnect”: to God, to our ancestors in faith, to each other in the here and now, and to those who are with God in heaven. We do this via tradition, and sacred tradition has always been one of the three legs that the Church, for centuries, has stood on.

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