Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I know it’s been a while since I posted last. Sorry for that. Today’s post I would like to focus on religion. As I mentioned, I attend a Latin Mass parish. Actually it’s a Latin Mass community within a parish—we share, or rather they share with us, the parish with the Novus Ordo crowd. Why do I prefer the Latin Mass? My reasons are many.

I am a convert to the Catholic faith. I entered the Church when I was 14 in a Novus Ordo parish. I stayed there for a few years, but was tired of the liberal trend growing in the parish. The last straw was when the priest had a layman come up during Mass and give the sermon. I then moved to another parish in town, where liturgically speaking it was more conservative—although the parish had a “pastoral associate”, a woman, who claimed that she personally felt to desire to become a priestess but did believe in the ordination of women. While I attended this parish, I went to the neighboring diocese about once a month to attend a Latin Mass—our bishop repeatedly refused to allow the Latin Mass in his diocese, for reasons that changed based upon to whom he was speaking. After about two years of this, I moved permanently to the Latin Mass parish.

Since I’m only 24, I don’t love the Latin Mass for its nostalgia—I was born decades after Vatican II. I chose the Latin Mass because I felt a greater sense of heaven when I attended it. The Mass was said reverently, uniformly from one priest to the next—not differing from one priest to the next—the people were dressed and acted more reverently than in the Novus Ordo Mass. Perhaps the most that drew me to the Latin Mass was that it was authentically Catholic. I was tired of the touchy-feely Catholic Masses I was accustomed to that appeared more Protestant than Catholic. Protestant services are okay for Protestants, but we’re not Protestants, we’re Catholics!! The music (guitars, pianos, drums), the vestments (drab, ugly, multicolored, even rainbow—does that mean the priest is gay?), even the altar (nothing more than a table brought close to the middle of the church to give the feeling of community) seemed to me to be nothing more than a Protestant service with authentic Sacraments thrown in to keep in Catholic.

Then there’s the emphasis on the Mass itself. Liberal Catholics will tell you that the Mass is a community meal. We in the “faith community” gather together for fellowship to praise the resurrected Lord. Sorry folks, but that’s not what the Mass is all about. The Mass is an un-bloody reenactment of our Lord’s crucifixion. We do not gather together for fellowship and community, but we gather to assist the priest as he offers up Jesus Christ, physically present on the altar, as an offering for our sins and the sins of the world. Oh yeah, liberal Catholics don’t like to talk about sin, if they even believe that sin exists.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a heretic or schismatic. I accept the Novus Ordo Mass as sacramentally valid and perfectly licit, but I do find that it can be quite irreverent, at least how it is said most places in America. Watch our new Holy Father say Mass in Rome—now that’s a reverent Novus Ordo Mass. But I still long for the day when the traditional Latin Mass is restored in all of its glory to the entire Latin Rite. I hope and pray that this day will not be long off.

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