A quote from Debbie Harry. From Blondie.
On New Year’s Eve, we spent time together as a family. Played cricket. Of sorts.
And prayed at Mass, Mass celebrated in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. The Tridentine Mass. The Latin Mass.
The Tridentine Mass is a common name for the form of the Roman Rite Mass, contained in the typical editions of the Roman Missal that were published from 1570 to 1962. In this time period, it was the most widely celebrated form of the Catholic liturgy in the world.
In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI‘s Summorum Pontificum designated the 1962 edition of the Tridentine Mass an “extraordinary form of the Roman Rite“, a term that has begun to be used as a name for this form of Mass.
The Pope issued a motu proprio called Summorum Pontificum on 7 July 2007, together with an accompanying letter to the world’s Bishops. The Pope declared that “the Roman Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the lex orandi of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. Nevertheless, the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and reissued by Bl. John XXIII is to be considered as an extraordinary expression of that same ‘Lex orandi'”. He further stated that “the 1962 Missal … was never juridically abrogated”. The Tridentine Mass
The prayers of the Mass provide hope and encouragement. I find that my mind and heart are lifted to a higher spiritual and moral level. I feel a connection with the saints who prayed at this Mass for centuries.
The focus is on God and on worship, not on man .
There is silence in the Mass. Why silence? The silence helps us to transcend our present existence and become present at the foot of the cross itself. The quiet helps our soul touch the divine presence of God on the altar. We are lifted up with the oblation to the altar of God Himself in heaven, surrounded by all the Hosts and angels in prayer and adoration. We, in a way,become one with our Lord in offering ourselves to the Father in an act of self-giving, love, adoration.
Traditionally, the priest faces east, standing before the altar. He leads the people in worship and sacrifice . Mass is not merely a meeting or an act of praise with a presider guiding the people. It is an act of sacrificial worship. A step to eternal life. We join the priest, who acts in “persona Christi”, in offering the sacrifice, Christ Himself, to God the Father.
Wow, can you sense the beauty of this Mass?
Latin is in a unique position here. First, Latin grammar has an uncommon clarity, and to know it, is an incomparable training for our thinking. Secondly, Latin has a great beauty, a spiritual nobility of quite a special sort. This is also true of medieval Latin, which moreover produced works of highest poetical art and religious depth. One need only think of the Dies irae, which is ascribed to Thomas of Celano, of Jacapone da Todi’s Stabat mater, of the magnificent hymns of St. Thomas Aquinas, of the sequences of Venantius Fortunatus, and many others. The role which Latin has played in history, especially in the liturgy, and the universality which it possesses, gives the learning of Latin quite a special place The Devastated Vineyard by Dietrich von Hildebrand
So, like Deborah Harry, I had a lovely extraordinary experience on New Year’s Eve. Time with our family, rare to have all nine of us together. Time to play. And time to pray…. praying together at Mass.
The whole ethos of the Mass exhibits a profound belief in the doctrines of the Church , especially in the Holy Sacrifice and the substantial presence of our Lord, Jesus Christ. The beauty and Catholicism of the offertory prayers confirm the doctrine of the Catholic faith in the upcoming consecration, unambiguously.
The rubrics of the Mass are very strict; when we attend a Latin Mass we know what to expect – it depends on the Mass itself, not the personalities that surround it. The repeated genuflections of the priest before the sacred species confirm this most divine presence, as well as his repeated signs of the cross over It, before and after the consecration. Before the consecration these actions serve to bless and set the offering apart, after the consecration to signify the reality of the cross before us and its redemptive quality. The genuflections within the creed and the last gospel emphasise our belief in the profound doctrine of the incarnation, the centre of the Christian faith. The striking of the breast, during the Confiteor and the “Lord I am not worthy…” bring in all aspects of our existence to increase our realisation of own unworthiness and the infinite love and mercy of God.
The traditional Mass is not something heard or listened to. It is a divine experience seeping with the beauty of the faith, that touches the heart and soul of all who participate, giving a boost to the spirituality of those who immerse themselves in its mysteries. The secular world is the battleground; the Mass is the place that charges us up, puts us in touch with our divine mission and motivates us to face the prince of this world with great courage and faith.
David Joyce, the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales