Traditional Latin Mass

If Charles Martel Were Alive Today

Sunday was the 1,276-year anniversary of the death of Charles, King of the Franks. Charles, who won the decisive victory at the Battle of Tours against the Umayyad Caliphate (an Islamic state), gained the nickname “Martel,” meaning “the Hammer.” This battle was the beginning of the expulsion of Islam from, and victory of Christendom over, [...]

The Traditional Mass: A Remedy for Modern Man’s Spiritual Ills

King Henri IV, after a long and bitter fight for the French Calvinist cause, finally sought to quell the fires of religious war by adopting his country’s traditional faith. “Paris is well worth a Mass,” he is rumored to have said, confirming the impression that he continued to reject Romanish ritual in his heart, even [...]

Reflections of a Summorum Pontificum Pilgrim

Over the weekend of September 16, 2017, I was privileged to attend the Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage in Rome, marking the tenth anniversary of promulgation of the motu proprio that has restored to the Church the “Extraordinary Form” of the Roman Rite. This is a short reflection on the experience. The city of Rome remains the [...]

Worship Worthy of God

July 7 is the tenth anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum, a decree that allows priests to celebrate the form of the liturgy of the Mass before it was reformed in 1970. For most Catholics, this will likely fall into the category of ecclesiastical arcana, and pass unnoticed. Yet this same decree’s widespread obscurity—enacted [...]

A Traditional Society of Priests That Practices True Mercy

If I remove the central reason for a thing to exist, it will slowly cease to exist, and even what it had will be lost. On the other hand, if I proclaim and reinforce that central reason, the thing will not only continue to exist, but will likely even increase and bear fruit in due [...]

The Best Priest I Ever Knew

I may be something a bit rare in Catholic circles, both a convert and a revert. Between my conversion in 1985 and my reversion in 1993, I lived the life of a non-practicing orthodox Catholic. There really is such a thing; someone who for various reasons is not practicing but who does not question any [...]

On the Restoration and Promotion of the Traditional Mass

The third anniversary of the election of Pope Francis seems an apt time to take stock of the state of the Traditionalist movement within the Church. While the term may encompass various goals for the Church, I focus here on its essential aim, namely the restoration and promotion of the Tridentine liturgy. The reign of [...]

Which Papal Document will Renew the Earth?

It was my intention to offer a fulsome commentary and critique of Laudato Si. However, as I commenced my third and closest reading of the document, I found myself overwhelmed by its voluminous nature, meandering and mixture of solid proclamation of Christian teaching with incoherent detours into all manner of political controversy. My principal concerns [...]

Spiritual Renewal Paul VI Spoke of Has Not Yet Materialized

Earlier this month, Pope Francis celebrated the Saturday Vigil Mass at All Saints Church in Rome in order to mark the 50th anniversary of the so-called “first Mass in Italian.” For, in this parish, on March 7, 1965, Blessed Paul VI celebrated Mass partially in the vernacular for the first time, according to a reformed version [...]

On Integrating Latin Mass Parishes into Church Life

During the past few decades there has been a sharp rise in the number of Catholics attracted to what Pope Benedict XVI called the “Extraordinary Form” of the Roman Rite. This phenomenon has manifested itself in the foundation of traditional orders, the vocation boom that these orders are experiencing, the establishment of new parishes and [...]

Liturgical Wisdom from the Mouths of Children

This past Yuletide, my husband and I decided to escape the Minnesota winter by taking our family to South Texas. We had a joyfully green Christmas, with our children running wild on the beach while the Gulf of Mexico lapped at our toes. We didn’t miss the snow. Of course, there are always drawbacks to [...]

What the Traditional Mass Means to Me

I came to the Church through the Traditional Latin Mass. I would have converted anyway. It was becoming more and more obvious that the Church was where I belonged, and it seemed pointlessly obstinate and even artificial to remain apart from her. But the Traditional Mass made the situation clearer, because it made it more [...]

Popularity of Latin Liturgy is Not “Unfortunate”

In an article on the website Millennials, sponsored by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, William Bornhoft accuses “TLM Millennials” of hindering the new evangelization by favoring the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM). Bornhoft, a recent college graduate, makes a number of groundless assertions about TLM supporters and about the liturgical reform promulgated at the [...]

Love for Latin Liturgy More than a Fashion

As a lover of traditional liturgy, I was momentarily excited by a report last week that, for once in my life, I might actually be hip to the trends. It would be a nearly-unprecedented thing for me, and I’m still not sure how to feel about it. But according to a recent second-hand report, Pope [...]

The Rise of Latin Mass Youth

Liberal bishops dismissed Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict XVI's apostolic constitution authorizing wider use of the traditional Latin mass, as a bone thrown to over-the-hill conservatives. But Pope Benedict XVI probably wrote it more for the young than the old. One of the points he stressed in his letter accompanying Summorum Pontificum was that "what earlier [...]

Addressing the Church’s Attrition Problem

  It's no secret that the Catholic Church has an attrition problem. As Father Thomas Reese points out in his column "The hidden exodus: Catholics becoming Protestants," the findings of the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life, point to a stark reality: One out of [...]

They Will Know We Are Traddies by Our Love

Over the course of the seven years I've been writing on Catholic topics, I made no attempt to hide that I was flirting with, then later became, a "traditionalist" Catholic. The process was, for me, a surprising one, since despite my liturgically conservative tastes, my first few exposures to the Gregorian liturgy left me cold. [...]

Reflections of a Foster Dad

My wife and I are quickly approaching the four month anniversary of having two foster children in our household, and although it's been an experience unlike any other, I can't help but to feel like an "Associate Member" of the Parent Club. Not that we give our foster children any less love, wisdom, discipline, praise [...]

‘The Mass is not a flag’

Our good friend Tom Hoopes of the National Catholic Register enjoyed John Zmirak's column on the Traditional Latin Mass from a couple of weeks back, calling it "hilarious, copiously linked to supporting material, clever"...and also wrong. John argued that, while the form of the Mass itself may be composed of changeable externals, "Inessential things have [...]

A Young Father Meets the Old Mass

My discovery of the Traditional Latin Mass, now known in the wake of Summorum Pontificum as the "extraordinary rite," was a slow but logical process rooted in a lifelong desire for a liturgy that was sensible, sacramental, and enhanced by the trappings of orthodoxy. The journey began in a small, rural parish in Pennsylvania attended [...]

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