Is the Old Latin Mass Charismatic?

Some of you know that I am pastor in an African American Parish. Our liturgies are dynamic and very celebratory. We don’t rush the Holy Spirit and so the masses often go well beyond an hour and our principle liturgy is often two hours. People respond during the homily with “Amen” and “Yes Lord!” They often clap hands during many of the songs. Over all it is a very charismatic experience.

I also celebrate the Old Latin Mass on a monthly basis, usually in the Solemn High Form where in there is a Priest, Deacon and subdeacon, six torch bearers, incense Gregorian Chant and a polyphonic choir that usually sings a Mass from the Renaissance period by Palestrina, Victoria, Viadonna et al.

Now both communities wonder about me. “How can you celebrate Mass THAT WAY?!” they both say. The attendants at the Gospel Mass think the Latin Mass to be a bit stuffy. The Latin Mass folks think the Gospel Mass is off the hook, far too exuberant and some even think irreverent.

But having lived in both worlds as a priest for over twenty years I see more similarities that you might at first imagine. “Similarities?!?!” you might say, “Impossible. These forms of the Mass are worlds apart!”  Not really. Let me explain.

The Latin Mass became very formalized over the centuries. What I am about to explain really has to be done in a spoken format. You can’t actually just read it. So I hope you might view the video I have made at the bottom of this post. But here is my point: the origins of the Old Latin Mass show forth a very exuberant and charismatic quality. Consider the following:

1. Gregorian Chant has an ecstatic quality. Long melismas extend syllables sometimes for more than an page. Al-Le……….Lu……….ia………….. Some have likened Gregorian Chant to singing in tongues. While it is true that these sung texts were eventually written and formalized it seems clear that their origin emerged from an ad libitum (free) improvisation by the cantor who was (ideally) moved by the Holy Spirit. It is a kind of ecstatic praying, a yielding to the Holy Spirit who, although we do not know how to pray as we ought makes but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. (Rom 8:26).

2. Many of the Prayer of the Latin Mass are quite exuberant, almost flowery and exhibit a kind of charismatic enthusiasm:hostiam puram, hostiam sanctam, hostiam immaculatam, Panem sanctam vitae aeternae et Calicem salutis perpetuae.(!) (this pure sacrifice, this holy sacrifice, this spotless sacrifice! The holy bread of eternal life and the Chalice of perpetual salvation! An exuberant and almost charismatic sense of joy at what lies upon the Altar. Earlier the priest said: Te igitur, clementissime Pater, per Iesum Christum, Filium tuum, Dominum nostrum, supplices rogamus ac petimus, uti accepta habeas et benedicas + haec dona haec munera, haec sancta sacrificia illibata (You therefore most loving Father, through Jesus Christ you Son, Our Lord, we humbly ask and beg that you might have as acceptable and bless these gifts, these offerings, these holy and unspotted sacrifices(!)) There is a vigorous enthusiasm and ecstatic joy in these prayers. Where five words might have sufficed 25 words are use. Surely these prayers emerged from a very enthusiastic and charismatic experience.

3. One of my favorite forms of music is Renaissance Polyphony and it is often quite exuberant and written in dance time. I’ve posted an example of it in the videos below. And don’t tell me that the Church music from the Baroque period isn’t  toe-tapping. Mozart’s several Regina Caeli’s, his Church Sonatas, A Scarlatti Mass, Beethoven’s Mass in C….all wondrous and exuberant in their way.

Over the Centuries the Latin Mass came to be very strictly regulated and some of the spontaneous and charismatic qualities were codified and formalized. But such was not always the case. In each era the Church showed forth joy and exuberance in ways often subtle to us now. But when they were first experienced, before they were formalized there was a kind of charismatic quality to it all.

To those who think the Latin Mass dull, I tell these things. To those who think the Gospel liturgies too exuberant I tell these things. I hope to build bridges. There are more similarities in the roots than we might think. One of the fruits of the Spirit is Joy. And when God is truly encountered in the sacred liturgy, joy can’t be far behind.

As I say this post is better heard than read and here is a humble(!) video version I made. The video is old and grainy since I recorded it on a old iphone ten years ago.

Another video follows that illustrates the exuberance of Renaissance Polyphony often written in dance time: Byrd’s Haec Dies (This is the Day the Lord has Made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it).

The third video is Agnus Dei for Hassler’s Second Mass

64 Replies to “Is the Old Latin Mass Charismatic?”

  1. Was it Chersteron who said, “The Church is bigger on the inside than it appears from the outside” ?

  2. i couldn’t have said it better. Side note: consider doing more self-videos. Very effective in relaying your message, coupled with the article.

  3. Thank you for these wise words! Above all let charity prevail between brothers and sisters who see these matters differently!

    1. Amen!

      Now those who favor a more individualistic expression of Mass seem to fear that if the more prescribed form of Mass were allowed to happen (at all) in their parishes, their freedom would be curtailed.

      This is a reactionary attitude.

      Let’s hope we can see both forms at same parishes on a regular basis. This could alleviate the fears of each “side” that the other will squeeze it out. I hate saying “sides”, but at least with regard to preferences for accidental forms of worship there are and can be without “sides” with regard to sincerity and credal commitment.

  4. I remember Fr. (now Bishop) Joseph Perry being at home with both a Gospel choir and a Gregorian schola…someone should forward this essay to him…

  5. What a great post. And a wonderful witness of priesthood and excellent ecclesial sense. Thanks for being a priest, Monsignor. Blessings on your ministry.

  6. Coming from a charismatic background, and having been for several years a member of an African-American Pentecostal congregation before entering the Catholic Church in 2007, I enjoyed reading a clear expression of what I’ve felt but had difficulty expressing regarding the affinities between singing in the spirit, gregorian chant and renaissance polyphony. I’d appreciate hearing more on this topic.
    Also, where are these masses? Did I miss that listed somewhere?

    Grace be with you,

    1. Here in DC The Latin Mass is at St. Mary’s 5&H Streets NW 202-289-7771. Good Gospel Masses can be found at my parish – Holy Comforter 1357 East Caitol Street 202-546-1885 and also at St. Augustine and St. Thomas More 202-562-0431

  7. Ok, i found Holy Comforter- St Cyprian. And when is the monthly EF high Mass at the Basilica, if i’m correct that it’s now regularly scheduled there? I very much enjoyed the CMAA gregorian seminar/mass there back in the spring.

  8. As a former Charismatic, I experience the exact recognition of the Holy Spirit during Mass as you describe! Thank you for the “confirmation”. My first receiving of the Eucharist was the most annointing I ever received. Please post these videos on GloriaTV.

  9. Thank you, Father. I agree that the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is more “exuberant” than most people at first perceive or anticipate. The pre-Palestrina polyphony, especially that of Obrecht, were free and flowing. Even the Roman school of Polyphony under the influence of Palestrina was highly emotional. I’m thinking particularly of William Byrd.

    However, we can’t ignore the fabricated nature of modern liturgy, especially “ethnic” Masses. The Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and the communities surrounding it are doing very well in modern Africa. While many ethnic African elements are used, the ultimate Christ-centeredness of the Extraordinary Form transcends particular ethnicity. This is something that is appreciated by Africans, as they perceive the modern ethnic Masses as fabricated attempts at racial pandering. My priest friends from Uganda were scandalized at what was being passed off as “African” liturgy in the United States while they were seminarians in Columbus, Ohio.

    There are indeed similarities, but no matter the similarities in exuberance, the stark differences are not just facial, but speak to a core difference that can not be ignored. The Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite turns people, along with everything in their life and cultural, toward God. The modern attempts at ethnic Masses attempt to clothe, I would even use the term “disguise”, the mystery in the merely human. That difference simply can not be ignored.

    1. Well, I understand what you are saying that some modern liturgical notions seem “fabricated” and in a way pushed on an unwilling congregation. e.g.: “Let’s all hold hands while we say the Our Father!” But are you saying all modern liturgy is facbricated? I do in fact sense a lot of authenticity in the Masses in my parish and that the exuberance of the worship does emerge from a true sense of God’s presence.

  10. I have no principled objection to the ‘Gospel Mass’, as you term it Msgr – we Catholics are a diverse bunch and will find ways to put our particular stamp on things. What I do object to is those ‘Gospel’ Masses that definately are irreverent, if not downright disrespectful. For example – clapping and whooping musicians’ solos (Mass is not a concert, surely), extended talking, hugging, and walking all over the church during the sign of peace (including the priest and deacon making a full circuit), and people continuing to talk as the priest resumes Mass, esp. preparation for the Liturgy of the Eucharist (so much talk that the priest is no longer audible). I’m all for the community coming together – but surely these practices can be held before or after the Mass?

    Masses like this happen in the Archdiocese every week. I brought my concerns about this kind of Mass to my priest; his response offered no engagement or explantion of my concerns; so I left the parish. In all seriousness Msgr, I would love to know how to bring issues like the ones I describe to the attention of someone who could at least investigate and perhaps do something about them.

    1. SOme of these concernes have been addressed in my parish. For example here is a blog post of mine that was taken from a flyer I circulated in my parish on the sign of peace:
      As for reverence, it is one of those words that we can all salute but it’s hard to mathematically define. There are also cultural differences. For many sitting quietly and listening to the sermon is reverent. For others that seems less reverent than actively listening with responsiveness. For some hand clapping is irreverent for others it is joyful and reverent worship. It’s not so easy to define reverence with one simple standard

      1. I think that regardless of the culture any person can be silent. Secondarily some cultures
        need to become more catholic. Thirdly if one encourages people in any kind of culture to
        engage in silent mental prayer, then soon a desire for silence will come about which can
        then be transferred to the liturgy.

        God Bless


  11. While I commend the explanation(s) on the traditional Latin Mass, I must strongly disagree on any connection between that ancient Latin Mass of the saints and the so-called “Gospel” novus ordo liturgy found in black (or in the case of Chicago’s Saint Sabina, black-wanna-be-pastors’) churches.

    The traditional Latin Mass has been offered in Africa via missions just as long as the sacrifice has been said in Europe. Only until 45 years ago did the hand-clapping, drum kit-slamming, Amen-shouting novelties become so widespread and accepted. Sure, there were hymns and dress that were locally formed and sometimes even historic — but the basic structure was Roman, not African.

    Imagine a restoration to Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony again in Africa and at black Catholic churches around the world again. It wasn’t a half century ago that it was common during Mass to see an all-black choir sing Palestrina and chant, at least at larger churches. Not once a year, or once a month, but every Sunday and holy day.

    It can be done. I have seen black choirs sing beautiful sacred polyphony. We don’t need to revert to our base impulses of popular music and a conversational language at Mass. Mass is something higher than a concert or a Baptist show. Here are two Catholic examples of traditional Latin Mass orders in Africa leading the way:

    I apologize in advance if this offends those who try to have their cake and eat it too — but “catholic” means “universal.” We cannot have such radical cultural differences in the Roman Catholic liturgy if we are to survive as “unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam.”

  12. Maybe what we really are trying to say is that the word Charismatic needs to be reworked in our heads. The term is broader than it has been used over the years. ” Charisms” from the Holy Spirit are tough to put into a box…
    Peace to all

  13. Thank you for this insightful post. I was raised in the latin mass and remember (fondly) the fun we had as children learning the liturgical chants. I also remember, as an altar boy, helping the presider find his place in the sacramentary when we changed to vernacular (it was obvious he did not spend much time studying the texts).
    As a teenager, I was one of the first to pick up a guitar and use it in the post V2 days. I remember that being a time of great joy for me as well. Later, in college, I discovered jazz and a whole world of sacred music in a jazz idiom that was perfectly suited for Catholic liturgy. I found, as you say, a charismatic exuberance in jazz and gospel music I had not felt since a child.
    Two last notes I would like to offer. Because of my upbringing in latin chant and polyphonic classics, I was very picky (and critical) when choosing contemparary music for the liturgies of the 70’s, 80’s nd 90’s. I had a good foundation of what reverence, prayer, and beauty were about. To say that all of the music from those decades is bad, or lacking, is thae same as saying the latin mass has no life, or charisma. Also, to proove a point, when I was teaching music at a Catholic school, I decided to teach the entire student body (kinder too) the Mass of the Angels. The kids loved it. And… they sang the entire thing acappella. I thought our pastor (an elderle Irish Msgr.) was going to come unglued. We are many parts and one body. To live that out we must respect, understand, and rejoice in each other at all times… even during mass.
    See how you inspired me to write!
    Ron Jones (from California)

  14. One more thing to point out. In regard to comments as: “Gospel’ Masses that definately are irreverent, if not downright disrespectful. For example – clapping and whooping musicians solos (Mass is not a concert, surely).”
    I would like to point out that a well trained (and often times well paid) choir singing a stunning polyphopnic setting of the mass in latin during eucharistic liturgy in often no more than a performance. Who in the assembly gets to sing during any of the ordinary parts? Mozart is a show piece. Palestrina… not so much. Remember, they wrote most of these pieces to please (and impress) their benefactors more that to give glory to God. Bach was the exception. That man was definately Spirit filled.
    Also I find it sad that folks can label giving honest and profound glory to God as “base impulses”. That kind of comment goes against the meaning of “Catholic.” What was the message of Pentecost meant to be if not that the Catholic faith is going to be a faith of all peoples, and all languages, for all of time as “unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam.”
    Charity in all things,
    Ron Jones

    1. I think you are right that it is possible that any genre can become a mere performance depending on the circumstances. In the liturgical setting I usually presume the musicians are sincere in their deire to worship God. But in the end, anything can devolve to a performance. I also suppose that there are mixed motives in just about anything we humans do. The hope is to have more of the better motives (worship) than some of the lesser ones (impressing people).

  15. I agree. I enjoy both, and people think that’s odd, though I don’t tend to be as comfortable with a lot of individual demonstrativeness at Mass because it distracts from the altar. What appeals to me is authentic and fervent love of God and when I feel that in a particular celebration of Mass, I love it, no matter which rite or form it is. The Latin Mass is much more exhuberant that people give it credit for. It produces an intensity, both emotional and theological, that I do think is unsurpassed, when celebrated fervently and with humilty.

  16. Msgr Pope:

    I WANT to like this essay. I just don’t see how a charismatic or “Gospel” Mass is compatible with the Church’s tradition, her present legislation, or the hermeneutic of continuity.

    For example: do your “Gospel Masses” give pride of place to the Latin language, Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony, traditional hymnody, and the Pipe organ? Do the congregants at these “Gospel Masses” know the ordinaries of the Mass in Latin by heart, as the Council says they should?

    I’m not saying a reverent Roman-rite can’t have “Gospel” ELEMENTS, but it seems to me a “Gospel Mass” itself violates the mind of the church.

    For an example of right I mean about REAL inculturation in conformity with the hermeneutic of continuity, have you ever heard the Missa Luba, Monsignor?

    1. Does pride of place mean every liturgy has to feature it?
      I have heard the Missa Luba and do like it.

      Also, what of my question: Is the Old Latin Mass Charismatic?

      1. Monsignor:

        Your question, “Does pride of place mean every liturgy has to feature it?,” misses the point, I think, given what is today ACTUALLY the liturgical situation on the ground. The Council, for instance, gives SOME clue as to what “pride of place” means when it says all Catholics should know the ordinaries of the Mass by heart in Latin. So here’s the question I would ask myself as a pastor:

        “Are those who regularly assist at my Gospel Masses sufficiently acquainted with the Catholic Church’s liturgical patrimony? Do the worshipers at my Gospel Mass KNOW the ordinaries of the Mass in Latin? Do THEY know that Latin, Gregorian chant, and sacred polyphony have pride of place at my parish, and indeed in our Gospel Masses? Would someone regularly attending my Gospel Masses know that these things have “pride of place”?”

        Otherwise, Father, these expressions “pride of place” have no significance whatsoever. It’s pretty clear the Council, and ALL the post-conciliar legislation are urging pastors to acquaint the faithful with these things, not relegate them to special liturgies that cater to a certain segment of the Catholic population.

        For instance, what cognizance do your “Gospel Masses” take of Paul VI’s Jubilate Deo?

        I agree that traditional Liturgy IS charismatic when celebrated well, and many of your observations are spot-on. However, you’d have a lot more credibility if we sw that your Gospel Masses were celebrated within the “hermeneutic of continuity.”

        Any Catholic attending a liturgy in which the Missa Luba was sung, and assuming the ministers at the altar were formal and reverent, would know they were at a Catholic Mass. If my Sicilian great-great grandmother were to sit-in at one of your “Gospel Masses,” would SHE notice the continuity? Would she recognize it as a Catholic Mass?

      2. Msgr. Pope,

        I would love to see you take up this question of what “pride of place” really means. Does this phrase have any precedent pre-1970 in ecclesiastical legislation? When I read “pride of place” I do think that means at every Mass possible, but that’s not based on any elaborate understanding of the legislation, just my personal reading, influenced doubtlessly by my own desire to experience these elements at Mass every Sunday. Is there anything that might indicate a correct technical reading of this phrase?

        Closely related might be faithfulness to the true intent of the Council, which based on my rather unsophisticated reading did not seem to anticipate the universalizing of Mass in the vernacular.

        And thank you for a very interesting article.

      3. With all due respect, Monsignor,

        “Does pride of place mean every liturgy has to feature it?”

        Probably not, but doesn’t “pride of place” mean every parish has to feature it?

        And do I even need to point out that almost all parishes *don’t* feature it? (I don’t know the exact number, but nobody would doubt it’s higher than 50%, few would doubt it’s higher than 75%, I would put it at +90%: that’s one out of ten, being generous)

        If you own Baskin Robbins, and the flavor “Baskin Robbins Delight” has “pride of place”, would you have to drive an hour and make it a special occasion to go to the only Baskin Robbins in the metropolitan area which carries that flavor, when you have a Baskin Robbins right down the street from your house?

        Not that I consider the Mass my personal Sunday treat, the flavor of which I get to pick.

        I attend my parish church regularly, even though I often find it difficult to follow the incomprehensible ad-libs which the celebrant speaks over the bread and wine, and I worry about whether I am actually receiving the Eucharist if the priest says whatever the Spirit tells him to say in whatever way the Spirit directs him to say it on any given day.

        I don’t throw bombs at buildings or hijack planes or attend Tridentine Masses or anything revolutionary like that!

  17. I would think that if there is sufficient reason a “Gospel Mass” might be celebrated, but only if it is able to retain within its context the mystery of Christ’s sacrifice–which is, of course, the reason for any Mass. The Masses I’ve attended of this type had a Protestant theological point of view in which the people acted as if they were already saved by the Blood of the Lamb, with little regard for personal spiritual growth and important matters like sin after conversion.

    I wonder, too, if this type of Mass may act as a divisive action. Many now understand that the post-Vatican II years when the Latin Mass of hundreds of years, and hundreds of saints, was disowned was a terrible mistake. The effects can be seen today. Fewer Catholics believe the central truths of the faith, with a corresponding serious diminishing attendance in the Mass itself. There is great wisdom in the saying “one believes as one prays.” If the Gospel Mass in any way deflects ones mind from the defined truths of the faith, I think it is a mistake to nurture it.

  18. Thanks for this insightful post, Msgr. When it comes to authentic and reverent liturgy – to misuse some Scripture here – the Father’s house has many rooms.

    I love the idea of chant being charismatic prayer! You have put into words what I have only understood internally. My choirs can certainly benefit from such an understanding of the Church’s dearest form of artistic expression. I think I first understood this idea of exuberance in chant when I heard the Alleluia proper for the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. Indescribably beautiful.

    If you would, please remember my vocation in your prayers. Priest, musician, both, something completely different? A toughie.

    God bless you.

    1. Prayers!

      Thanks too for your response. This is really what I am trying to inspire. Unfortunately some of the commenters here are veering off to a discussion about which liturgy is best or which should be imposed. I am trying to build bridges, to find common ground and sadly some want to say, “my way and understanding is the only way,” even when the Church allows the diversity. Again, thanks. I love the old but also a great deal of the new.

  19. I belong to an EF parish and love it. Occasionally, we visit a friend who attends an AfAm parish (Novus Ordo). I thoroughly enjoy the Mass there. The majority of the parishioners there are from Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Personally, I find it interesting to see how the Mass is celebrated in different parts of the world. I can’t see why people have to be so rigid. So long as there are no liturgical abuses, what’s the problem? These people are mostly refugees and need as much normalcy in their lives as possible. I certainly prefer gospel music sung with feeling to the protestant Marty Haugen drivel that is performed at the local NO churches.


    1. I take issue with the assumption that black Americans or people in Africa should be happy with a liturgy that merely contains “no liturgical abuses” or “protestant Marty Haugen drivel.”

      All Catholics deserve the highest and most holy Mass — a traditional Latin High Mass. Just because someone is poor or black does not mean he should be happy with something less than the ideal.

      The ideal is being done in Africa —

      There is no reason this cannot be the norm for black Catholics; the same reason I as an Italian would be offended at the notion of a Mass with the soundtrack and set of the Sopranos. I want access to the Mass nearly all the saints knew throughout the history of Christendom, not a 45 year old novelty.

  20. Mass should be the People’s praise and worship to almighty God – We have latin as our language, because it was the language of Europe for centuries – It was the Language of the people – However we have non latin catholics –

    To say that Latin should be the “Proper Language” of the Church as a whole, is both historically and theologically incorrect – If anything we should all be speaking Aramaic, like our Maronite Catholic Brothers. That is the “Language of the Church” as most of the apostles spoke it, and so did our Lord and Savior.

    What is CENTRAL to worship is where your heart is. All the symantics in the world are meaningless if you are just “going through the motions” . Sadly, many traditional communities have this “THis is the way we did it for 400 years, blah blah blah”.

    Where its true, How we Worship is How we Believe , you have to go deeper with this. WHo are you worshiping? Ideas? Rubrics?

    At the same time, its important if you do take a more contemporary approach to your worship, that it most importantly focuses on He who died for us.

    I am sorry, I take great exception at bottle necking all catholics into needing to make Latin the prominant language. If anything, thats more a cultural attribute

    1. Yes, I guess some balance is needed, as you point out. It is a true fact that the western roman liturgy is rooted in Latin and should continue to have reference to that to some extent. But there are many other Liturgical traditions from the eastern Church. Further, we have to avoid being more “catholic than the Pope” here. He allows and celebrates in a diversity of liturgical climates, languages, musical forms etc. He has also allowed the Latin Mass to flouish. The current climate from him is permissive, not restrictive. Yet there are some here who want to go much further in “clamping down” than the Holy Father himself has indicated. I am blssed to love both the Old and the New. Jesus said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” Matthew 13:52

  21. What an inspiring post and video, Msgr!

    This is such an encouragement. I will share it with the hope that it will build bridges, as you said.

    Hopefully we will be given the freedom to reform the Gregorian Rite from the grassroots to some extent…Because that is how organic developing liturgy has come to us in the first place. The officialism with which the Roman rite has been treated since Pius V’s time had its historical opportunism…But it only served to weigh down what was once a gushing fountain of diversity and freedom in the Holy Spirit. Gestures which were always solemn, yet more comparable to the Eastern liturgies became uninteresting, minimized, and obscured…especially with the predominant celebration of Low Mass made ever so popular by the early Jesuits. The ancient liturgy said with anxiety will never appeal to everyone. One said with confidence and great joy will always capture the sentiments of the faithful: and this I do believe you have been practicing! Such hope! God preserve you in your ministry!

    In the love of Christ,

  22. Remember everyone I am trying to build bridges here and to indicate that perhaps the Church is big enough for all of us in this regard, We are a Church of 2000 + years and there is much of the old to appreciate along with the new:

    Jesus said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” (Matt 13:52)

    1. Msgr., I listen to a classical radio station that sometimes plays new classical music. They remind us to “remember that all music was once new.” Keep the good from the new, keep the good from the old.

    2. Thanks Msgr. Serena Conn makes the valid point “So long as there are no liturgical abuses, what’s the problem?” I agree; even if a particular expression is not too my liking, I can live with it if it is not an abuse. My concern is that there are liturgical abuses taking place, but covered up under the desire to be culturally sensitive or inclusive. There have to be limits – and there has to be a way to inform those with the authority to act of those who abuse those limits.

    1. “Those dedicated to the ‘extraordinary form'” is not a group coincident with “The Society of St Pius X”. Implying that it is criminalizes (by implicating in schism) the first group. I assume you didn’t mean to do that, but I’m afraid it’s worth pointing out.

      1. Thanks…I certainly did not mean to imply that. I merely wanted to point out that [even] Archbishop Lefebvre recognized the practical necessity for a peaceful co-existence between the two forms.

  23. I suspect ‘charismatic’ is a word with various (sorts) of dangers – which is no reason not to use it! (I understand Max Weber has contributed to some, by using the term in a political/social context – ‘charismatic leaders’, etc. – though how much his use has been abused, I don’t know enough to say.)

    I am struck by what C.S Lewis says in ‘The Discarded Image’ (about the background to how people thought about things in the Middle Ages), about “the word ‘hearts'” not having “merely emotional associations. The Hebrew word which St Paul represents by ‘kardía’ would be more nearly translated ‘Mind’; and in Latin, one who is ‘cordatus’ is not a man of feeling but a man of sense” (p. 160). ‘Not merely emotional’ does not (I take it) mean, ‘not at all…’, but including emotions and reason, together.

    In my experience, “the Old Latin Mass” – Ordinary, Pater Noster, and (with adjoining translations) Propers and other parts – “is Charismatic” indeed if that means speaking to the heart in this sense, aesthetic appreciation, emotions, intelligence, conscience, together, at once, and doing so, intensely.

    I love music, but am woefully ignorant of music theory, yet I have easily acquired a ‘simple’ and direct appreciation of Gregorian chant, and polyphony of different periods, and do not know why that would not be very widely possible, though for various reasons easier for some than for others.

    I could say the same (in differing degrees) of the Byzantine Liturgy whether in Greek or Church Slavonic, with many or few vernacular parts, though, for example, aesthetically I generally prefer Slavonic- to Greek-style music.

    As others have indicated,surely the virtues of different rites and styles need not exclude each other.

    1. Wow. Quite vibrant. I remember Cardinal Arinze celebrating Mass here in DC for the ADW Eucharistic Congress and the Nigerians making a similar procession.

  24. I’ve been to both the Tridentine and the novus ordo Pauline mass aka venacular and I’ve talked to a lot of my friends most in the 20-40 yr old catagory,a large percent are going over to Latin EF masses exclusively since Summorum Pontificum.There has been tremendous abuse, ridicule and marginalizing of Traditional minded Catholics in S. California in the last 35 years a horrendously unChristian attitude.An example is the hierarch Tod Brown of Orange cty calif who on one hand humiliated a lady at one of his masses for daring to kneel to recieve the eucharist but allowed masses like Halloween masses where the eucharistic ministers were dressed as satan and witches and the priest dressed in a Barney costume, it seems that bishop brown was ok with that just highly restrictive rules for anyone daring to request a Tridentine Liturgy. Things are looking up as Los Angelos is getting a Opus Dei new Archbishop in 2011 to replace roger mahoney. Cardinal Roger Mahoney has been one of the most abusive and reactionary Cardinals in the U.S vis a vis the Traditional mass or anything to do with tradition. In fact he may yet not be off the hook as the district attorney and grand jury are still investigating his coverups of sexual abuse of children by many of his priests in his tenure as our “chief” pastor.Folks that is just one of many reasons I am now an Orthodox Christian and will never return to the hell that has been Catholicism since Vatican 2. There have been millions like me that have sadly & unwillingly left the Catholic church in the last 40 yrs, heart broken and abused, many former catholics now reside in Orthodox, protestant or no church at all. Although pope Paul the 6th was one of the main instruments of this so-called new venacular mass and under his pontificate the church sunk into an abyss, even he said “the smoke of satan has enter the church” since vatican 2. Also until you as Catholics realize the ultimate importance the Orthodox world attaches to the Liturgy& tradition amoung other things there will never never be a reunion of 1/2 billions Orthodox Christians & Catholics, sadly at least not in my lifetime.

  25. If artists required a PERFECT voice just to get people to PAY to see them, there would be almost no live concerts anywhere in the world.

  26. Msgr. Pope,

    I am involved with the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and also love and appreciate the power of
    the Latin Mass. I know that my fellow Catholic Charismatics are very fervent in their love for God,
    the Blessed Mother, and the Sacraments. I applaud your efforts to help build bridges between the
    two groups. Our Lord taught us that authentic worship must occur in “Spirit and in truth.” I can
    understand why some would consider the exuberant style in worship as irreverent, but one has to
    remember that we we don’t know what is happening in someone’s heart. This is for the Lord to judge.
    We must also keep in mind that the Catholic Charismatic Renewal has been supported by many Popes
    and has been recognized as as an authentic movement of the Holy Spirit which has lead many to a more closer walk with God and and observance of the Sacraments. For my part, I feel there needs to be a greater focus
    within the Charismatic Rewewal on the Latin Mass and Catholic Hymns. We have such a wonderful treasure trove of music, I am bit distressed that Charismatics seem to draw mostly from protestant sources. On the other side, I also sing in a choir at a church where the Latin Mass is held. It was a tremendous shock to me to discover that
    there are actually members of our choir who are not Catholics, but simply hired singers. I know that the end result is beautiful but this bothers me. I am glad for this forum and it is nice to know that others like myself see the value in both forms of worship. Keep up the good work, Msgr. Pope.

  27. Ok, it’s been 15 months since the last post, but better late than never. I googled “african-american latin mass community” and found this blog. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    BTW, I am a 63-year-old, African-American, convert (March 1972), and have been involved in Charismatic Renewal. While my preference is the Latin Mass, it would be nice to be in a community that offers both. I frequently visit our local predominantly black parish (whose choir does great justice to many songs written by the Hawkins family). And I have a confession to make: what makes me enjoy the Latin Mass so much is that while the priest is praying in Latin, I’m praying in tongues! Of course, during the sermon, I have to remember that this is NOT a charismatic community, lest I be given the “left foot of fellowship”!

    Agasin, thanks for the post. I’m praying that someday there will be a single parish that offers both Charismatic and Traditional liturgies.

    God Bless!

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