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 obvious what the Church is.

It is easy for present-day Americans to get that point wrong. The Catechism and the Second Vatican Council say that the Mass is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” The claim seems odd to most of us today. Americans usually think religion has to do with spirituality, which we see as personal and rather vague, with moral commitment, whether defined as “family values” or as “social justice,” or with joining a community of mutual concern, acceptance, and support. Even if we accept in theory that the religion to which we claim to adhere is something much more definite, it goes against the grain to treat the definite part as more than decorative. After all, doctrine divides, and we’re all pragmatists, so why emphasize that side of things?

If you look at religion that way a worship service becomes something like a lecture, pep rally, self-help meeting, or social get-together. Other people do those things at least as well as Catholics, so why bother with Catholicism? Why not go with something even more modern and American than the New Mass as presented in the average suburban parish? Why not do praise and worship at a megachurch?

The Traditional Mass made it clear that the Mass is something different from all that. The formality, the silences, the use of an ancient language, the orientation and gestures of the priest, the indifference to popularity—all those things meant the Mass wasn’t anything like an ordinary meeting. It wasn’t about the people present, and at bottom it wasn’t even their doing. To the contrary, those present evidently understood what was going on as awe-inspiring, mostly invisible, and dependent on someone other than themselves. There was no other way to make sense of how they were acting.

So the Traditional Mass made it clear that there’s a basic dimension in Catholic Christianity, the reliable concrete presence of God, that I couldn’t find anywhere else. That realization clarified what the Church is—she is the way God maintains a visible presence in the world—and the necessity of becoming part of her for those who want to live a complete life.

We’ve been hearing a lot about mercy lately. That’s good, because mercy is the whole of Christianity. We’ve fallen away from God, and his mercy is his readiness to reach out to us to help us come back to him. So whatever makes it easier for people to understand the means of mercy and make use of them helps the mission of the Church.

The Mass, in which God becomes present to us in the most concrete way imaginable, is an extreme case of His mercy. The Traditional Mass makes it as evident as possible what is going on when it is celebrated. That feature helps people recognize and accept what is offered, and eliminates the barrier to mercy that arises when the nature of the Mass is obscured.

In the divine mercy it is God who defines the way and makes the first move. That means that we don’t form the Mass, it forms us, and the Traditional Mass makes that clear. It is what it is, so it’s the same for young and old, rich and poor, happy and sad, saints and sinners, Irishmen and Brazilians. It’s a Mass for all seasons that joins Catholics every place it is celebrated with other Catholics all over the world and throughout the ages. It works for all of them, because it has to do with what they all have in common: they’re human beings who are born and die, who go astray, and who hope to see God.

Which leads to another benefit of the Traditional Mass: it helps the Church see herself as a whole, as the same always and everywhere, and it unites the Church on earth with the Church in heaven in a special way. Relics of the saints help us feel their presence and communion as a reality. The Traditional Mass is a relic of the saints whose images are in the niches and on the walls, and who surround us when it is celebrated, because so many of them worshiped through the same Mass or something close to it when they were visibly here among us.

This discussion started as a conversion story, and every conversion has its more personal aspects, so I should also mention benefits the Traditional Mass had for me in particular. The New Mass, especially the earlier translation, was very close to the Episcopalian eucharistic service I was used to before becoming Catholic. The two had evidently been designed to be as similar as possible. That was a problem for me.

What the intentional similarity suggested to me was that the New Mass didn’t give nearly so distinctively Catholic a view of things. I won’t claim that view was fair or that I knew more about the needs of the Church than Bl. Paul VI did, but that was what I saw. The New Mass looked to me like it had been produced less by saints and the sensus fidei fidelium than by an interdenominational committee of credentialed experts and then modified in accordance with the demands of particular communions. For that reason I found it hard to trust unreservedly. It seemed to have been produced in cooperation with people I had good reason not to trust and wanted very much to escape from.

The Traditional Mass did away with that problem. It was something I knew I could rely on because it came out of Catholic devotion that saints and ordinary believers had lived by for hundreds of years. It made the Mass a no-spin zone that let me forget about the factions bedeviling the Church during the current period of her history and helped me see the Mass as the action of God through His Church.

To summarize a somewhat rambling and personal account, it seems to me that the Traditional Latin Mass helps believers and the Church, because it helps believers see what the Mass and Church are all about. It helps people see the Mass as more than an ordinary assembly and the Church as more than a collection of individuals with varying tendencies and idiosyncrasies. So it helps the Church reach people with what she has to offer. It also helps the Church see herself as One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, and so helps focus her on her nature and mission. What could be better, or more Catholic, than all that?

James Kalb


James Kalb is a lawyer, independent scholar, and Catholic convert who lives in Brooklyn, New York. He is the author of The Tyranny of Liberalism: Understanding and Overcoming Administered Freedom, Inquisitorial Tolerance, and Equality by Command (ISI Books, 2008), and, most recently, Against Inclusiveness: How the Diversity Regime is Flattening America and the West and What to Do About It (Angelico Press, 2013).

  • BillinJax

    Excellent summation. As a convert from back in the 50’s you made me recall the awe I felt when experiencing my first mass.

    • Now the Mass is just a tea party where the “presider” gabs with the guests and tells them how great they all are!

  • samnigromd

    The Mass is a touch of pre-Big Bang Eternity–in physics: a touch of “The Statimuum”—as in “Soul of The Earth”. All the transcendentals you have lived with Nature and Nature’s God of LOVE!! But you have to PARTICIPATE and not be a passive observer–it is not watching a show, but LIVING the “everything”….I still say the Latin when appropriate…easily done…there are many times when it fits in today’s Masses.

    • Contemplation is participation.

      • Vinny

        That’s something else I recently learned. The implementation of Vatican II was horrendous. Probably on purpose. After a seminar on the documents of Vatican II so we knew what the real intent was, my pastor said there should have been a moratorium on any changes until the documents were fully explained to all. One outcome of not fully understanding intent was that the simple word, “participation” meant one thing – movement. Whether lips, arms, feet, hands, head, whatever, movement equaled proper worship.

        • steve5656546346

          And yet, it was claimed that the Council was “pastoral”: there has never been a LESSS pastoral council…

    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

      I don’t really understand this post, but if you think people attending a Latin Mass are “passive observers” then you do not understand the Mass or Catholics.

    • Glenn M. Ricketts

      How exactly do you define “participate?” It’s much more than simply “doing things,” isn’t it?

    • Martha

      I agree with Mr. Kalb. You need to reassess what participation really means. What is called that in the NO is highly distracting and an impediment to true participation. Pretty difficult to enter into the mysteries of the Divine when so much noise is constantly happening.

      The NO vs the TLM parallels raucous youth vs. their elders. I am reminded of the old adage to ‘shut your mouth and open your ears.’

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    I was intellectually converted by Chesterton to a church that is no longer exists. I can never know what it is like to take the Latin Mass ‘for granted’. To take the teachings of the Church ‘for granted’. This ‘for granted’ was the solid ground of all the rest.

  • Vinny

    I was just too young to remember when the priest celebrated Mass with his back to the congregation. Through these many years (and many, many priests) it just seemed right that the priest faced the people. Why would he want to disrespect his parishioners? Then we got a new pastor. Many parishioners were upset by him and left for “friendlier” parishes. At age 53 I finally learned what the Catholic Mass was. For my whole life I never really experienced the Mass as it was intended. Between my new pastor’s teaching and preaching, St. John Paul’s liturgy change and the explanations of it, I found the Mass and Catholicism. Our pastor faces the congregation but, finally, I understand that the priest with his “back to the people” is more a part of the congregation than if he’s facing them. The priest isn’t up there as an actor or for entertainment or for everyone to see his countenance, he simply leads the people in the worship of God and the sacrifice of the Mass. Facing with the congregation makes much more sense in context. Then we all face the altar and crucifix giving glory to God. If the priest faces the congregation, he should, at least, have a crucifix in front of him on the altar since he is not worshiping the congregation.

    • Salvelinus

      There is the problem. .. is not “his back is to the people”. The mass isn’t about the people. .. the priest is offering sacrafice, at the holiest of holies, the altar.
      Instead, now at the novus ordo, Yvette is a Cranmer Table, communion standing, in both forms. .. exactly like the protestant “reformers” wanted

    • Yes, the Mass went form “back to the people” to “back to God in the the Blessed Sacrament.” I guess that pretty much sums up the entire philosophy of the Novus Ordo.

    • AcceptingReality

      I think it’s also true that priests who preside over the EF Mass are less inclined to be telling jokes and yucking it up during their homilies. They are also less inclined to be yucking it up with altar servers when they are washing their hands prior to the Eucharistic prayer. The Mass used be such a solemn occasion but that’s not always the case anymore.

      • ForChristAlone

        It is important that we locate worshipping communities where the priest is NOT yucking it up.

    • ForChristAlone

      Exactly. The Eucharistic Prayer is a prayer offered to the Father. Who is being offered? Christ is being offered. Who is doing the offering? Christ is doing the offering in the person of the priest. The Mass is a remembrance of calvary and the gift of His divine life by Christ to the Father in fulfillment of the Father’s will that creation be saved from their sins.

  • Harry

    The Mass makes the far near and the past present.

    If one is aware of the realities the Mass makes present and is mentally focused on them, then how we arrived at the foot of the cross beside the Blessed Mother of God is insignificant compared to the fact that we are there. How it is that the risen Christ is made present is trivial compared to the fact that He becomes present to us.

    The liturgy ought to be conducive to making us aware of these sacred realities. A devout Catholic can’t help but have liturgical preferences, thinking one form of the sacred liturgy is better at this than another. A devout Catholic also will respect the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff in matters liturgical. In the pre-Vatican II encyclical, Mediator Dei, Pius XII informs Catholics that:

    … the Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites, and also to modify those he judges to require modification.

    The liturgy has undergone modifications repeatedly over the last twenty centuries. In the essentials it forever remains the same. If Catholics focused on the essentials — the invisible realities made present to us — there would be much less controversy over the liturgy.

    Not that there shouldn’t ever be controversy. Pius XII goes on to say in Mediator Dei:

    Bishops, for their part, have the right and duty carefully to watch over the exact observance of the prescriptions of the sacred canons respecting divine worship.

    It should be controversial when the Bishops fail to do this.

    • Glenn M. Ricketts

      The Sovereign Pontiff will also respect the authority of his predecessors, of tradition and of the tranquility and good of the faithful. Change should not be abrupt or arbitrary, as the Catechism instructs us, #1125:

      ……….No sacramental rite may be modified at the will of the minister or the community. Even the supreme authority in the Church may not change the liturgy arbitrarily, but only in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the liturgy.

      Many of the post VII reforms, including those promulgated by Pope Paul VI, are hard to square with this advice.

  • Miketom

    I became Catholic in 2008. As I study the faithand learn about the history of the church I began to realize that something was seriously missing from the Novus Ordo. Unfortunately, I feel like I’ve been robbed of something beautiful. In the secular world it can be difficult to keep the faith sometimes. The way the church is today, and in particular the mass, I feel like I fight to keep the faith inspite of the Church, not because of the Church. This article articulates perfectly why I feel this way.

    • ColdStanding

      No, friend, you definitely keep the faith because of the Church. Get your head around this point pronto. It is the Church the Jesus Christ founded that is the teacher of mankind. She is the pure and spotless Bride of Christ. Our Lady, the Queen Mother, has told us, through prophesy, the Church will provide for this very difficult time. What do you think all those great books you read are?

      Additionally, really meditate on that feeling of loss or of having been robbed. That is your salvation right there. That is a chance for you to experience the loss of the Sin of Adam. That is your spur to deeper prayer and partaking of the sacraments.

      The Church is with you. Pray to Her Lord, your Lord Jesus Christ to allow you to get to know Her all the more.

    • Martha

      I empathize deeply with your feeling that you’ve been robbed. I think we all do, at least those of us who know what has been taken away! How many of us even knew what the TLM was when we were growing up?

      I feel as though life for us today is so much more difficult than it was when the Church was a force, and people wore their religion on their sleeves. Rote prayers, Feast Days, Patron Saint celebrations, Fasting, Processions… the whole lot. I feel like I’m starting from scratch with my family, trying to institute all of these things that should’ve been second nature to me. The only parallel I can think of is if, in the future, no one celebrated birthdays and, learning of that tradition, you tried to figure out ‘what to do’ on someone’s birthday- the proper songs, the cake, blowing out of candles, gifts, etc. It would be odd and hard to remember. That’s what I feel like. Robbed of my heritage. Frustrated, but trying my hardest to make some of these things second nature to my children so their Catholicism will meld into their lives more easily. My plan is to have my children know nothing BUT the TLM! 🙂

      And you’re right; the Church has not been supportive. It has not given a ‘shout out’ to us truly Conservative Catholics in quite a while. Keep up the fight, Miketom. It will turn around eventually!

  • samnigromd

    “Participation” means an active engagement with what is going on…contemplating all one hears, saying all one can to oneself with the priest, the ministers, readers, choir (*I cannot sing, but I do the words however they come out–the words/messages of the songs are incredible), servers, and saying during the quiet moments the Mass Mantra which tells what it all is about: “Life, Sacrifice, Virtue, Love, Humanity, Peace, Freedom, Death without Fear!” Participating in the Gospels: I was there with the five loaves…I asked the Italian guy next to me what was going on…He stopped “mama mia” and said , “Shut up and keep slicing the bread”…The ancient secrets…metaphors forever which change with new words at times–even words of basic physics to challenge atheist scientists…but always True, One, Good and Beautiful–the Transcendentals give levitation.–with or without Latin highs….a touch of The Statimuum.

  • Guest

    I started attending an EF Mass when I can about 2 years ago, mostly out of curiosity. I found that I was not a passive participant. It was and remains a beautiful Mass. I easily follow along in my 1962 Missal and when I happen to find time to attend Mass and do not have my Missal there are always aids available. From one Mass to another there are no musical innovations or phrasing as there are in the Novus Ordo Mass (which I keep being told are not allowed-but they seem to keep popping up). The EF draws me in to the central tenet of the Catholic Faith with the Priest leading us and not performing for us. All of the Mass is drawn to the center of the Tabernacle and God. I feel as a complete part of the Mass that is being offered and the Priest is leading us toward God and not that he has is back toward me. That is a very centrist point of view; it is not all about me, but the worship of God and what Jesus sacrificed for us.

    • Salvelinus

      By reading the Vatican II document on liturgy (Sanctrosanctum Concillium) (sp) I came to the conclusion, like much else written at Vatican II, Purposely Allowed a vague interpretation…
      then I read pope Pius V, and his order that no change ever, under penalty of excommunication was to be done to the mass of Trent.

      • Guest

        I think they were vaguely written so as to allow for interpretation based on changing times (whatever that means). It disturbs me when others say the Mass is a living part of the Church that should change and grow as time progresses. I reject this notion that in order for the Mass to grow it has to change with the times. It lasted for over 400 years (promulgated by Saint Pius V) with some small changes in the calendar etc, but the massive change post-Vatican II is counter to the long history of the Mass. A change of this magnitude should only occur over a long period of time and not in such a cataclysmic manner.
        Thank you for the reference to Saint Pius V. I need to read more about him and his pontificate.

      • LionelAndrades

        The vague conclusion comes from an irrational inference used in the interpretation.Without this premise Vatican Council II is traditional like the Syllabus of Errors.

        Now when he was informed the cardinal was not willing to say that the Syllabus of Errors was in perfect agreement with Vatican Council II

    • I’ve found when I go to the Novus Ordo Mass all my “participation” is nothing more than parroting the responses back at the priest (kind of like ‘saying the Plegeallegiance’ in grade school), whereas at the True Mass I find myself actually PRAYING the responses to God silently and devoutly.

      • Guest

        Exactly! The EF is one continuous prayer. Most people I see at a Novus Ordo Mass are either mumbling the response, making up their own response or saying nothing at all. I find the peacefulness and quiet of the EF very prayerful and heightening my participation since I am concentrating on what is going on and not on what are the next phrases I have to repeat.

      • Catholic pilgrim

        Well you’re certainly entitled to your feelings. I too also prefer & support the EF Mass- although I’ve got no problem reciting Mass responses in the vernacular. But it’s theologically ignorant to call the EF “the True Mass” as you’ve done. EF Mass & Novus Ordo Mass are both as true. Our Sacramental Lord is just as present with both forms; His Sacrifice is also just as true in both. Be careful how you word things.

        • Forgive me, but I simply cannot place (Freemason) Bugnini’s dubious Mass on a parity with the Mass of St. Pius V…

        • LionelAndrades

          I attend the Traditional Latin Mass and the Mass in Italian and I am aware that the priest at both of them, is interpreting Vatican Council II with the common apparition theology and so is rejecting the Traditional ecclesiology.The TLM in Rome is no different here.

      • fredx2

        Exactly! The Novus Ordo is a child’s birhtday party where we are constantly being told to be busy doing this and than. It leaves no time for deep reflective prayer and communion with God. Someone else has designed “activities” that they think are fun but are often merely annoying. We are led by the nose and asked to repeat phrases that are not in our hearts at the time. At the TLM, the prayer is yours and yours alone and is sincere and real, rather than being forced to mouth words on someone else’s time schedule.

  • Joseph Arlinghous

    In the Traditional Mass, I experience the following:

    1. I am not welcome. I am in a place where no one speaks my language and I remain isolated and alone throughout the mass.
    2. I am given the left overs at the rail, outside the sanctuary. Most priests distribute from the pre-consecrated hosts left in the tabernacle, not from those consecrated at that mass.
    3. I do not have the impression that I am a Child of God, rather that my presence is a nuisance and a bother to the priest. The prayer before I receive the Eucharist is mumbled and rushed. I am locked out of my Father’s sanctuary. I am a commoner.
    4. Many sit praying a rosary because there is nothing else for them to do. The sense of Liturgy is lost. Liturgy is the common prayer of the church. Are the laity a part of the Church? Why then are they not allowed to participate in the Liturgy and are relegated to only praying private devotions?

    With the Novus Ordo, however, I experience the following:

    1. I am welcomed. There greeting me are the smiling faces of my brothers and sisters in Christ welcoming me to celebration of the Eucharistic Feast. They speak my language and resonate with love.
    2. I receive communion, more often than not, that is consecrated at that very mass. I am treated as a needed and vital part of that celebration.
    3. I am affirmed as a Child of God, and my sense of heritage as sharing in the three-fold ministry of Christ as Prophet, Priest, and King reaches its apex. And indeed that is what my baptism conferred upon me.
    4. “Liturgy” means common prayer. At the Novus Ordo, it is indeed common prayer. I am able to audibly hear and pray with the celebrant the “Liturgy” the common prayer of the Church to which I belong.

    Consider this, the Ordained Priest, by the power of Christ at work in him, confects the Eucharist. But then, how is that consecrated bread, the Body of Our Lord, offered to God to God the Father?

    In the Jewish Temple, the sacrifice, once made, had to be offered to God through consumption, either by burning or by eating. On Passover, the sacrificial lamb was distributed to all the people. Thus, the Hebrew people were indeed a Royal Priesthood because they consumed the sacrifice thus offering it to the Lord in their person. In the same fashion, whoever consumes the Body of Our Lord, becomes a living altar, afire with the blaze of the Holy Spirit, upon which the Pascal Lamb is offered to the Lord. We are the priesthood of the laity. Our dignity is being restored and we will one day be truly the People of God we were meant to be.

    • ColdStanding

      So, the Mass of Ages did nothing for your self-esteem. Praise God! Self-love is the enemy of your salvation.

      • Salvelinus

        Perfect response!

      • Martha

        Can I give you more than 1 upvote?! 🙂

      • ken

        giving oneself to god in front of the community is sacrifice WITH UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORDS , NOT SELF LOVE. the only difference is the language

        • steve5656546346

          Ken, please re-read the post to which ColdStanding was replying: then you will see the point.

      • Catholic pilgrim

        Come on, people might not agree with Joseph’s post, ColdStanding, but try to be a bit more considerate. The man obviously wrote a lengthy, respectful, engaging response, & you gave him a sneer. He deserves better than that sneer, come on.

        • ColdStanding

          It is difficult for me to read your post and not want to respond with a comment that will give me the sense of “winning”. I have binned several attempts that were unworthy because of this fault rooted in pride.

          I appreciate your fraternal correction. You have brought to light an ugly fault in me. If you say I have sneered, so shall it be. I apologize to you here and will offer him an apology.

        • fredx2

          It is hardly respectful to slant the truth about what happens at the TLM and and the Novus Ordo. Nothing he wrote has any connection to reality.

        • ColdStanding

          Well… what say ye now? I gave him a mulligan and he took advantage of it to double down with more of the same.

          I sorry to say, but if you or anyone else want the Mass of Ages, there simply can be no quarter given.

    • Aliquantillus

      The Jewish Priest stood with his back to the people, facing the Holiest of Holies, like, in an imitation, the Chazzan in the Synagogue faces the Aron HaKodesh or Holy Ark where the Torah Scroll is. This is the same liturgical place where in a traditional Catholic Church the Tabernacle is situated. Many of the liturgical customs of the Catholic Church which are found in the Tridentine Mass were derived from this Jewish pattern of worship. All this beautiful continuity was set aside in the Mass of Paul VI.

      It would be unthinkable in the ancient world to turn one’s back to the king, much more so to turn one’s back to the King of kings, the Holy One, Blessed Be He. Since immemorial times the Jews pray in the direction of Jerusalem. If Christians had preserved this custom, no one would ever have considered even the possibility of celebrating Mass while facing the people, since all had to pray in the same direction. Celebrating versus populum betrays a loss of the sense of the sacred.

    • Salvelinus

      I get the feeling you maybe went to one traditional mass. Go 8 weeks in a row, and maybe like everyone else, you won’t go back to the novus ordo protestant “people’s supper” mass.
      When you detach from yourself and other people around you, and study the actual theology in the Missal, you will feel differently

    • You seem to think the Mass is necessarily about those physically present, so if it’s not about the laity it must be about the priest. An advantage of the TLM though is that the focus is much more on God than on the people, clergy or laity, who happen to be there. So who the priest is doesn’t matter nearly so much as in the NO. He’s clearly acting as a servant of the ritual, which he and his brother clerics don’t shape nearly so much as in the NO, and the people on whose behalf he’s offering the Mass.

      • Joseph Arlinghous

        James, thank you for your kind and thoughtful response. I expressed my sentiments as those things that “I experience”. I made no claim that they were true of false. I am not opposed to the NO Priest celebrating ad orientem. As for the image of the priest that appeals to me and other at the N.O., we must necessarily look back to the first Apostles. They were not so stoic rather St. John leaned against the chest of our Lord. There was intimacy and love. Again, what I experience at the TLM is cold and distant. I have never experienced the rushing of the Holy Spirit at the TLM (and I have attended quite a number, well over 100) but I have experienced the Holy Spirit descend and abide with me at the Novus Ordo (every hair of my body stands on end and I am in awe of my Lord by the working not of my own proper intellect but by the gift of the Holy Spirit). The intimacy not only with my brother and sisters in Christ but also with my Lord is at times simply overwhelming. I imagine that it must have been similar to that at Pentecost. Christ has never spoken to me from the Eucharist at the TLM but he has spoken to me from the Eucharist at the Novus Ordo affirming that he was present Body, Soul and Divinity. I am sure those events happen at the TLM, just not to me and I never hear anyone speak of them who attends the TLM. But what is truly objectionable is the lack of understanding of the dignity of the laity at the TLM. At the sign of peace in the Novus Ordo we minister to each other Christ’s peace celebrating the fact that Christ by his death and resurrection (i.e. by Calvary which has just been made present again on the altar) has broken down the dividing wall between man and God. We recall that the Veil of the Temple was torn in two. The Holy of Holies that Christ opened, has it now been shut again? The early Church allowed a small portion of the Eucharist to be reserved for the sick and infirm, but do we not abuse this allowance when the Clergy must consume only the host consecrated at that particular Mass while the laity must receive the Eucharist reserved for the sick and infirm? I know its not leftovers. It is our Lord’s Body. But it is the lack of affirmation of the dignity of the Baptized Child of God who happens to be in the lay state that is at play. We are called to bear Christ to the world, but how are we to spread this message if we are told that we are second class citizens? Do those who attend the TLM go door-to-door evangelizing the lost? How do they spread Christ? I see plenty of Knights from the N.O. and plenty of the Legion of Mary working for the harvest of the Kingdom, but I honestly do not see the TLM crowd out there bringing souls to Christ and I wonder if it does not have to do with the fact that they do not understand how vital and important the role of the laity is especially in this day and age. In other words, Christ’s ministry focused on the lost sheep. How does the TLM in today’s world have a focus on bringing in the lost sheep?

        If I have offended anyone, I do apologize. But remember that I said clearly that this was my “experience”. I welcome constructive comments that may help me see the TLM in a better light.

        For those who do not understand my prior point about the Royal Priesthood of the Laity, please explain in your own words, how the sacrifice of the Mass is offered to God?

        • People take very different views of these things. For my own part I don’t understand the business about downplaying the dignity of the lay faithful.

          My basic dignity and responsibility is that I’m a human being. It’s not so easy to do what that calls for but it seems obvious that a connection and right orientation to God is part of what’s needed. The Church and her sacraments provide a route to that and I’m extremely grateful to those who make them available. I want the sacraments to be available and I want them to look like what they are so I can better make use of them but I have no objection to specialists taking care of the details. The Church is more than ceremonies and other specifically churchy stuff, and I have my own things to look after.

          Suppose I’m present at a miracle, the resurrection of Lazarus or whatever. Would it make sense for me to say “Hey, I want to be the guy who finishes unwrapping him and folding up the grave clothes, it’s humiliating just to stand here at the back of the crowd and let Mary and Martha be the ones to do the cool stuff”?

      • WSquared


    • Martha

      Leftovers???!!! If you could ever refer to the Eucharist as leftovers, I think you have bigger problems to overcome.

      • Martha

        I’d also like to add that your ‘cons’ as it were would be resolved if you attended more TLMs, and came to understand it. It is not about you, it is about offering the most perfect worship possible to our Lord. You are not a Priest, and are not the one offering the sacrifice.

        Also, the feelings of being a stranger with a strange language are what we are experiencing today. Latin was binding- universal. You could travel anywhere in the WORLD and understand. It would be identical. Now, you must be somewhere colloquial, or you will not understand. It doesn’t take long, believe me, to learn the Latin of the Mass, to understand it fully, and to feel at home there. Also, there are missals, and you could be following along in one. Says everything the Priest says, with English translations.

        • ken

          so….. if you understand it fully and feel at home it is perfect? English does that as it is. English is now the universal language, so the rationale you just gave supports use of English or better yet the vernacular of the community. why argue one is better or more perfect , the offering of Christ’s body and blood , soul and divinity is the same in all languages for the mass even if the priest faces you.
          I will pray that all can love each other who go to mass.

          • Martha

            English is the universal language of the world? I think many people would find that quite the egotistical assumption, including myself!

          • Martha

            “The use of the Latin language prevailing in the Church affords at once an imposing sign of unity and an effective safeguard against the corruptions of true doctrine.”

            Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei, 1947, sec. 60

        • Joseph Arlinghous

          Yes, Martha, the laity are the ones offering the sacrifice. That is the point. Only the priest can confect the sacrifice but the laity must offer it to Our Lord through consumption.

          • ColdStanding

            That’s just totally wrong. Jesus Christ is the one offering the sacrifice of Himself to His Heavenly Father. The faithful piggy-back on this action of Our Savior by uniting our prayer intentions with the sacrifice His duly authorize agent, namely the ordained Catholic priest, is offering at the the altar. The consumption is differentiated from the sacrifice. They are different acts because they fulfill different purposes.

            This is called the economy of salvation. This is what the Church means when She speaks about station in life. This is what St. Paul talks about when speaking of the variety of gifts. The laity can not offer the same sacrifice because Jesus Christ did not arrange His Holy Church that way. That doesn’t mean they do not receive the benefit. There is no question that they do. It is sure sign of a lack of humility when this condescension of Our Savior is deemed or, and this worse, denigrated by a member of the Church.

            There is not one doctor of the Church that speaks about the sacrificial offering on the altar in the way that you are presenting. To continue to hold the opinion you voice is to act contrary to the sensus fide of the Holy Roman Catholic Faith, which means to persist in error.

            I have given you the benefit of the doubt, sir, and you have taken licence by it. A most unfortunate choice. Your fanciful notions will be met with the unambiguous teachings of the Church, I pray to the good of your soul.

            • Joseph Arlinghous

              ColdStanding, perhaps then you take issue with the Canon of the TLM? What I am saying is long established in the theology of the Church. It is in the TLM that we find the words: “or they offer it for themselves”. Yes the laity offer the sacrifice to our Lord. He gives us his Body and Blood for that very purpose. That is why St. John the Baptist calls him the Lamb of God. We are a Royal Priesthood and he is the sacrifice that we offer. St. Paul calls us the Royal Priesthood, not I. Every priest is called to offer sacrifice to God.

              But perhaps you do not understand Latin. I too will pray for your salvation.

              “Memento, Domine, famulorum, famularumque tuarum N. et N. et
              omnium circumstantium, quorum tibi fides cognita est, et nota devotio, pro quibus tibi offerimus: vel qui tibi offerunt hoc sacrificium laudis, pro se, suisque omnibus: pro redemptione animarum suarum, pro spe salutis et incolumitatis suæ: tibique reddunt vota sua aeterno Deo, vivoet vero”

              (Remember, Lord, your servants (Name) and (Name) and all gathered
              here, whose faith and devotion are known to you. |For them, we offer you this sacrifice of praise or they offer it for themselves and all who
              are dear to them, for the redemption of their souls, in hope of health
              and well-being, and paying their homage to you, the eternal God, living and true).

              • ColdStanding

                Without the priest, priest that is in the proper sense of the word which is one upon whom the Church has prayed for the Holy Spirit to anoint, the laity could not offer the sacrifice.

                That’s the difference. A priest is not a presider. He is acting on behalf of Jesus Christ to do the Holy work assigned to him. It is not the community of believers that empowers the priest. The Mass is not the something that man does out of his own source; out of his own self. There is nothing there to do that work. It is all God’s action. That the laity or the priest or the bishop or the Pope can do anything it is entirely because God gave them the where-with-all to do it.

                Different things are prayed for in each of the seven sacraments, which means that the Holy Spirit is conferring something different. The priesthood conferred at baptism is of a differing character than the priesthood conferred in holy orders.

                So, in the end, it becomes clear why you reacted as you did to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the ancient rite of Rome. Namely, you don’t understand what is happening because your sacramental theology is very weak.

                • Joseph Arlinghous

                  The have ears but they cannot hear.

                  I do not disagree that the Ministerial Priest is the only one who can confect the sacrifice. I had already made that point in earlier posts. I really don’t take any issue with your post until you get to the insult at the end.

                  • Joseph Arlinghous

                    But you have failed to answer me on the point of the laity offering the sacrifice of the Mass. You were confronted with the very words of the Canon to which you so firmly ascribe (and in Latin no less) and you respond by changing the subject. Prayerfully consider who has the weaker sacramental theology here.

                    I do not have time to waste on being lost in rubrics and sentimentality when there are so many who need help getting to heaven. Bury your talents if you must, I dare say if you are not winning souls to Christ you are simply burying your talents.

                    • ColdStanding

                      There is no offering of the laity at the Mass without the priest’s offering. It is the priest that says these things, not the laity. This portion of the canon refers to how the laity unites their intention with the sacrifice being performed by Jesus Christ. The old manuals and books of spiritual council teach very clearly how to do this.

          • Martha

            Point taken. Misspoken on my part. The transubstantiation was the part I meant to refer to.

      • Joseph Arlinghous

        The Eucharist may be reserved for the sick and infirm; it is not to be consecrated in such quantities that it can serve as the primary source of communion for three or more masses. There is a big difference in believing that the the Eucharist (which is reserved for the sick and infirm) is “leftovers” and experiencing it as “leftovers” when it is distributed to the laity while the celebrant partakes only of the host consecrated at that Mass. Are not the laity the Children of God also? Was not the Veil of the Temple torn in half and the dividing wall removed?

        • Martha

          Still, you are inferring that the ‘value’ of Christ in the Eucharist is dependent upon whether transubstantiation occurred now or yesterday. That has no bearing.

          It’s a bizarre hang up, and one that should not be on your ‘cons’ list.

          Although Priests should try to consecrate only enough for that Mass and other needs that may arise, I imagine the guesswork to be rather difficult. What would you propose be done with the hosts?

    • ES

      I grew up in an area with no TLM, and without any decently celebrated Novus Ordo. I went to my first TLM when I was a teen and I absolutely hated it, so I sympathize with your reaction. Now, over ten years later, I can recognize clearly that the problem was me, not the TLM. I attend the TLM now as exclusively as possible. I love it. It is beautiful, reverent, challenging, and stable. It allows the faithful to put their guards down and truly listen and be changed.

      I now believe that the Novus Ordo encourages us to have a lot of misconceptions. I too used to look down on the TLM because people “just prayed”, silently received Communion, and so on. Now, I am appalled at that mindset. I scorned the silence because I completely misunderstood participation. I was taught that it was external, not internal. Now I know that participation is prayer, not activity. Without realizing it, I disrespected the Holy Eucharist by minimizing the importance of receiving Holy Communion in a respectful manner.

      I encourage you to do some serious soul-searching about calling Our Lord’s Body and Blood taken from the Tabernacle as “leftovers,” or say that people pray because “there is nothing else from them to do.”. I think if you give that some thought you would take the insults back. Besides, Novus Ordo Masses regularly also distribute communion taken from the tabernacle, and communion should never be received in the sanctuary, even at a Novus Ordo. The way the Novus Ordo is celebrated in 99.9 percent of churches encourages these attitudes, often without us being aware of it.

    • ken


    • ColdStanding

      Joseph: I did not like what you said about the Mass which I love so dearly. It hurt me. I lashed out at you. I realize now that that was wrong and that you obviously have not had a good experience attending the Mass of Ages. This deeply saddens me and I wish it were not so. Never the less, the truth is the truth. Please accept my apology if I have offended you and pray for my salvation as I will surely pray for yours.

      • Joseph Arlinghous

        ColdStanding, apology accepted. You did not offend me rather you confirmed what I had already experienced and affirmed my commitment to the Novus Ordo.

        • ColdStanding

          Ever so glad to hear that. Being in your good graces I do, however, dare to request that you take the time to consider more carefully and with deep prayer what you posted. 2000 years of guidance by the Holy Spirit has produced much rich and nourishing fruit without the help of the novus ordo. The teachings by the spiritual masters, masters formed by the ancient liturgy, warn the faithful most forcefully against judging by what is pleasing to ourselves. This is the point, marred as it was in my presentation, that I aimed to relay to you.

          • Joseph Arlinghous

            Gee, the TLM only goes back so far. An even more elaborate and exceedingly beautiful rite is the Sarum Rite. The Latin Mass was forced on my ancestors and by force replaced the beautiful Sarum Mass. So, unfortunately, Coldstanding, you cannot claim 2000 years for the TLM. Trent was only implemented in 1570. The point is, yes there are variations in the Mass that have happened under the guidance of the Holy Spirit throughout the past 2000 years. To deny the validity, holiness, and beauty of the N.O. is to deny the work of the Holy Spirit within VII and to deny your legitimate hierarchy to whom you seem very attached. Your argument regarding what pleases ourselves seems misplaced given how much you seem pleased to attend the TLM. You cannot deny that you are pleased with that particular Mass while displeased with the TLM. So yes be on guard against what pleases you.

            • Joseph Arlinghous

              Correction: You cannot deny that you are pleased with the TLM while displeased with the N.O. So yes be on guard against what pleases you.

              • ColdStanding

                The difference is in what source the pleasure comes from. I esteem the work of God in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and it is that from which my pleasure derives. God is the proper object of our love, adoration, worship and sacrifice. The Roman rite, mind not the ecumenical rite of the Vatican City, affords all these necessities and more.

                It is not a case that one is good and the other is bad. What childish nonsense to think that way. It is that one is good and the other, the ancient and every young Mass of the Ages, is better.

                Marriage is good. Our Lord said so. Chastity consecrated to God is better. Virgin marriage to the eternal spouse is the best. This is the, in reverse order, bringing forth “100, 60, 30 fold” with virginity being the 100, chastity being the 60 and marriage being the 30.

                Your original post framed your preference for the novus ordo in terms that are properly classified as expressions of self-love. This is incorrect and needs a thorough examination. Free advice, that.

            • ColdStanding

              Again, no. St. Pius V after the council of Trent codified the Roman rite, but it is the same immemorial rite stretching back centuries to the very earliest era of the Church, carefully incorporating elements of the Mass that were done in the catacombs. In Pompeii, there is a graffiti on a wall that has “Sanctus, Sanctus, Santus” Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 78 A. D. burying Pompeii.

              The Sarum rite is, in its essence, the same thing as the Roman rite. Pope St. Gregory the Great sent St. Augustine (not of Hippo) to England in 597 AD. St Augustine took Roman liturgical culture with him. It isn’t odd, then, that the two rites have so much in common. They are the fruit of the same tree. A member of the same species of tree will have your “variation” if it is found growing in different circumstances from another member. That’s variation, which means difference in accidentals. Change in substance is change in species.

              Now you say that the novus ordo is valid. OK, does that make the Tridentine Rite invalid? Of course not. Why then was it suppressed if it was perfectly valid and a licit sacrifice? Many have said that it erred in somethings. To make such a claim is to completely invalidate the entire authority of the Catholic Faith. If the Church erred in Her worship before, how can we have any faith that She did not err in the documents of the VII council? You can’t have it both ways. How could it be that the Church founded by God, Our Lord Jesus Christ, is only now getting around to offering a sacrifice to God in accordance with His Holy will?

              • Joseph Arlinghous

                Your response is inaccurate and fails to take into account the myriad of rites that were in use at the time of Trent (including rites in the Orthodox Churches) that were, are and will always be valid. The TLM is only one of many from our ancient heritage. Just as those rites were suppressed in their day, so the TLM was suppressed in its day. Neither you nor I were given the chrism of the Holy Spirit given to the Bishops and Cardinals of VII (as you clearly point out in your other post). So they must know more than you and I.

                Your arguments are actually distracting and distort the intent of the original post which was to say that not all who attend the TLM react or experience the same euphoria when attending the TLM as you do. I have never said or even implied that the TLM was not valid. I have said and maintain that there were and are abuses in the TLM that are just as grave as those in the Novus Ordo. In particular, the role of the laity is greatly downplayed and, IMHO, perpetuates a sense of helplessness that lends itself to apathy with respect to the evangelical message of the Gospel.

                You need to get a clue as to the difference between “self-love” and accepting that you are a Child of God and have been raised to that honor not by your own merit but by Christ Himself. Therefore, what Christ has deigned to elevate, let no man trample upon. Do you not know that your very body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit? Do you know who you really are in Christ? Do you realize that you have been given power over the demons? Do you realize that you have been given power to proclaim the word of God? Do not bury your talents. Try to see VII as an attempt to empower the laity to truly become warriors for Christ. I admit it is still a work in process but there is fruit and plenty of it for anyone who will open their eyes and see.

                I actually feel sorry for most Trads. They are locked in their minds and in suppositions about theology. On Wednesday we celebrated the feast of St. Francis Xavier who recounted how he wanted to return to Paris to tell the seminarians to “stop learning” and help him win souls to Christ. He died headed to China to preach to those starving for the Word. Yet, we waste our time saying:

                The TLM is so much better.

                No it’s not.

                Yes it is.

                My theology is better than yours.

                No it’s not.

                Yes it is.

                I genuflect better than you.
                My mantilla is longer than yours.
                I only pray in Latin.

                Self-love? Hmm. You figure it out. I am off to feed the hungry.

                • ColdStanding

                  Take your marbles and run. It is your affair. But for the record:

                  Pope St. Pius V in issuing the revised Roman rite as the gold standard of Catholic liturgical work, did not suppress the other rites. Quite the contrary. He specifically said that this rite could be adopted, not must be used, but only if the canons of a cathedral or the monastic foundation were unanimous, ie not even one dissenting vote, in wanting to do so. Many rites were retained. However, there is no denying the excellence of the work the Fathers of Trent did, attested by the wide popularity of the Tridentine-revised Roman rite.

                  There simply was no reason why the Ecumenical rite of the Vatican City was put into practice the way it was. It was an action without precedence in the life of the Church. A spasm of iconoclasm.

                  “So they must know…” but suddenly my priesthood is back to not being as good as the ordained priesthood. See, even you can not help the Catholic reflex of deferring to authority. Indeed, having binned all the other arguments in favour of the Catholic faith, this is the only one the revolutionaries, oh so conveniently, retained. All must bow to authority (never mind how the fact that it was seized by violence and subterfuge). The trump card of all trump cards. However, the Church has already exercised Her authority in all of these matters. Therefore, it is a simple exercise to compare what was said and done (and approved by authority and fruit) to what is being said and done to see which one is authentic.

                  Sir, there is no denying that you, in your original post and elsewhere, have heaped abuse upon the ancient Mass. That Mass was made sacred not only by the prayers over thousands of years by unnumbered faithful, but also by the presence and action of Our Lord and Saviour. You have disparaged it. This is most reprehensible.

                  There were indeed abuses in the offering of the Holy Sacrifice prior to the council. Who the heck do you think it was that flocked to the new mass other than those guilty in their conscience for their faithless service and abuse of what God declared holy?

    • fredx2

      All of these are idiosyncratic constructions that YOU have chosen to put on the TLM, and most other people find your constructions curious, to say the least. No rational person would come to these conclusions. Much of what you say is simply made up and makes no sense. At the Novus Ordo everyone is smiling? Get real.

  • slainte

    Lawrence Kudlow on his conversion to Catholicism:

    “…grace operates in our life even when we don’t know it or want it to, that grace overtakes us as we run from God…” Evelyn Waugh, “Brideshead Revisited”

    Link: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2000/lawrence-kudlow-how-a-wall-street-star-became-a-catholic

  • ColdStanding

    An anecdote for you. Just last night I mentioned to another parishioner that I had not seen for awhile that I was attending the Latin Mass. His comment was that his mother used to say how she hated the old Mass.

    Let that sit in your minds. She “hated” the Mass!

    Oh, you will protest, she did not, per se, hate the Mass, just how it was offered. Balderdash! She hated the Mass. Period. You all have similar stories or have thought the same things yourself.

    Later that evening, it occurs to me, the feeling must have been mutual. I mean, what would Our Lord think, and He knows all of our murmurings, if someone (and it wasn’t just a few, we know that) was in Mass thinking “I hate this.” What a slap in the face it must have been. What a slap it still is.

    Fine, He says, that’s the way you want it. No problem. Here is the door out.

    This is what the novus ordo is. Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, is keeping His promises to be with us, but He has opened the door a little more to let us go our own way.

    He promised to be with us, but, in turn, we must be with Him.

    I don’t want a half commitment to Jesus Christ. I want total commitment. For this reason, it is not that I hate the novus ordo, it is that I don’t want to be halfway out the door. I want more rules. I want more discipline. I want more time to enter deeply into prayer.

    I can do this at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by the vetus ordo. It is very difficult to do at the Community Spiritual Supper Service of the People of God.

    Fellow Catholics, comfortable with the fall out of the revolution, it is not that I don’t like you or think less of you, it is that I think more of God. He can do for me what you can not. If I prefer Him to you, it isn’t personal.

  • OutsideTheGate

    I always find Dr Kalb’s posts excellent.

    However, if I’ve ever seen a concert – sorry, Mass – treated as a spectator sport, apart from a Clown Mess, then this is it.

    The only place I’ve been completely distracted by cameras flashing in the audience is at TLMs.

    • ColdStanding

      There are no audiences at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

      • OutsideTheGate

        No. But there are at all the TLMs I’ve been to – making the sort of pedantic distinction you seem to love…

        • ColdStanding

          I do love making distinctions. I do love accuracy. I thoroughly enjoy scholastic theology. It does make me acute in comparison with those that do not have the same disposition. If you see me at Mass and I seem standoffish, it is because I am busy petitioning Our Lord for His mercy on some matter or other. I mean no disrespect. My neighbors are often the substance of my petition.

          I see no reason for their to be enmity between us. If you find discussion with me distasteful, I will not take it to heart.

    • steve5656546346

      Camara’s flashing at a TLM? I’ve never seen that in my entire life.

  • Consolatrix Afflictorum

    The Traditional Latin Mass is absolutely vital for my salvation. Without the Mass, I would have been lost a long time ago and fallen into the devil’s lies about the world and finding false peace in the wrong place. The TLM shows us that the divine exists even in the midst of this mundane world and it gives a foretaste of heaven while on earth!

    All thanksgiving to the Holy Ghost who has organically created this most venerable Liturgy and guided it for over 2000 years!

  • St JD George

    Thanks for that Jim, I enjoyed the personal experiences shared.

  • Paul Roese

    doesn’t it ever make you wonder how the Church ever spread in the first place when it was devoid of all the infrastructure and liturgy to speak of. no one can seriously believe that services that Saint Peter and the other apostles were doing with fellow Christians could be mistaken for the Tridentine Mass. to a time traveller from today they would look more like a Protestant gathering. having attended both the “Classic” and “Modern” versions myself i have no favorite and find both edifying. to me it seems a lot comes down to the aesthetic of the individual. a mass that doesn’t conform to the standards of the individual is deemed of little to no value. the individual determines what meets his spiritual and artistic need be it incense and bells or the priest facing towards or away from the congregation. personally i think if you are going with the Latin service then everything, all prayers, readings and the homily should be in Latin to get the full benefit and maximum holiness.

    • Salvelinus

      If you think just the language of Latin is what differentiatea the traditional mass from the novus ordo, you are seriously mistaken.
      I’ve been to a novus ordo, in Latin, ad orientum as it was intended, and it’s literally “lipstick on a pig”.

      The new mass, with Anibal Bugnini, and six protestants “input” was meant to destroy the faith. .. it has, the church is wrecked and soon will schism.

    • Is anything known about what very early liturgies looked like? It seems entirely speculative, so that the line of thought gives you only what you put into it.

      In any event, it seems that the form of the Mass is going to be different when the Church becomes less novel and more public, when the connection to eyewitnesses of the events described in the Gospels becomes attenuated, and when life generally becomes more resolutely secular. It’s going to have to remind us that there’s something enduring and special about the Faith that doesn’t simply blend into everyday life in the age of Oprah and shopping malls. And experience suggests that the TLM does that better than newer liturgies.

      • LWC

        I’m fairly confident my faith is as enduring and amplified within the NO as yours might within TLM.

        • No reason why not. The “experience suggests” related to the Church in general. Each of the faithful also has his own experience, which is whatever it is.

          • LionelAndrades

            Often those with the ‘experience’ reject the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. How can you have the TLM without extra ecclesiam nulla salus according to Fr.Leonard Feeney, the Church Councils, popes and saints?
            The Novus Ordo Mass is often accompanied with the Cushingism theology and the ‘experiences’.

    • Who can say what the primitive Church services were like. Since the Apostles and many of the Disciples were Jews, it’s very likely they attended services in the Temple on the Sabbath where the priests wore their beautiful vestments as described in Exodus 28, and then afterwards retreated into secret places for distribution of the Eucharist. Plus one must also keep in mind that the early Christians (including all the writers of the Epistles) thought Christ’s return was imminent, and a church with formal infrastructure and ritual would be superfluous. Comparing the Early Christians to the Church now is somewhat like comparing the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock to today’s United States of America. The first century Church was definitely a work in progress!

  • LWC

    Everybody knows there is no more perfect worship of God than TLM.

    • ColdStanding

      Do you mean more excellent or more perfect? Perfect means complete, but has slumped in definition to include, wrongly, the idea of excellence.

      The Mass used by the Church through the ages is perfect because it is complete.

      You are really so close. You are looking right at it. Don’t let the momentum of your personal failings make you overshoot the mark.

      • LWC

        The ‘momentum of [my] personal failings’ are certainly no less than yours.

        There is no argument the mass is an example of the highest worship; but TLM is no greater than NO in terms of worship before God.

        • ColdStanding

          I made no claims about not having personal failings. I am, however, very aware, from personal experience, how failings can make one continually miss the mark. Just because someone is outside of the well reaching down to you to pull you up doesn’t make them uppity.

          In my judgement, you are stuck in a well.

          As to your claim that there is no argument as to which deserves to be called complete (perfect) worship, well, that simply isn’t true. First of all, one Mass, the ancient one, emphasizes the sacrificial aspect much more clearly. The Catholic position is that the Holy, the Saints, are due our worship, but God alone is due our sacrifice.

          • LWC

            ‘Stuck in a well’

            An interesting analogue of sanctimony, to say the least.

            That aside, how much of a departure do you find “the one Mass, the ancient one” to be from that celebrated by Sts Peter and Linus?

            • ColdStanding



              A lot.

              • LWC


                • ColdStanding

                  How much has an old man departed from being a baby?

                  How much is an ancient oak different from its time as an acorn?

                  A lot.

      • OutsideTheGate

        Thanks for your post which I’ve screen-grabbed for later use.
        You are a paradigm example of what’s wrong with TLM-goers.
        Snobbery and pedantry personified.

        • ColdStanding

          Since when does being a Catholic mean you can’t talk about things that pertain to the Catholic faith? Since when does posting on the net mean you have to follow some (impossible to find) style sheet?

          I won’t take my post down. But screen grab away if that’s your thing. Am I going to be the poster boy for some smack-down you are planning?

      • Salvelinus

        Pay no mind… LWC is a troll from National Schismatic Reporter. .. they come over here to troll and such..(before the 4PM early bird senior citizens special at Dennys)

        • LWC

          Funny you mention that. I’m in the middle of a Grand Slam right now within a sea of blue hair.

    • Catholic pilgrim

      LWC, why are you a Troll? Seriously, why? Are they (National Schismatic Reporter) paying you? Do you do it for laughs? Waste time?

      • LWC

        Hardly a Troll, Precious–and certainly making no coin at this.

        I’m a Roman Catholic who’s concerned for the mission and fate of a Church where ostentatious worship could eclipse courageous evangelization–again.

  • Salvelinus

    The Traditional Latin Mass is all I can attend now. I recenter went to my parish church, instead of the mission where I attend the TLM, and it was, in a word. .. Horrible.
    I’m sorry, but I cannot assist at the New Mass (novus ordo) any longer.
    It’s actually bad to my faith to do so, especially with all of the Obama and Wendy Davis bumper stickers in the novus ordo church parking lot.
    Dominus vobiscum!

    • LWC

      “[B]ad to my faith” ?

      Just. Wow.

      I’m afraid our ‘crisis in the Church’ begins here.

      • Salvelinus

        Yup… the new mass is chock full of old people, who averaged two children, and are full of liberal disenting catholics (national catholic reporter type) their children have since left thr church (thanks to watered down liturgy and sacraments) and are now down the road at the local megachurch.

        While the traditional mass is full of young people and large young families. They believe the 2000 years of church history and realize the mass apostasy has caused unbelievable harm.

        Where is the crisis again?

        • LWC

          “I find that it is rather a kind of fashion.”
          –Pope Francis

          Perhaps even “Harry Potter Syndrome.”

          Lumos solem!

          • Salvelinus

            Quoting antipope Francis. .. good job

            • LWC

              Precious, forget Malta. It’s folks like you and Burke that are heading off to Avignon.

              Bon Voyage!

          • Martha

            Do you think that all of the saints that assisted at the TLM throughout the last millennia and a half or so would agree with that statement?

            Are you saying that up until 1970, the Church was just in a fad, and now we’ve finally found the Truth?

            I certainly hope that you realize those are rhetorical questions.

            God Bless.

            • LWC

              That was then. This is now.

              It is far too easy to become lost among the pomp and circumstance than it is to become lost in the pursuit of Evangelization.

              Endless rubrics become endless distractions from our adoration of God. They are indeed the opiate of Pharisees.

              • steve5656546346

                LWC, obviously your misunderstanding of the traditional Latin mass, and those who attend it, is total.

                And to claim that it is the “opiate of Pharisees” is JUDGMENTAL! Who are you to judge? You can’t have it both ways…

              • fredx2

                But you are simply ignoring what these people have been telling you. They say their ability to worship God has increased at the TLM. No one is getting lost at all. They are brought more deeply into their religion. Perhaps you should ad mit that the TLM is a good thing for some.

                • LWC

                  I haven’t ignored anything anyone has stated.

                  Again, it’s my belief that endless rubrics are endless distractions. Further, worship for the sake of worship is not too unlike the Parable of Talents.

                  Ostentatious worship invariably supplants the primary directive from Jesus himself, “[t]herefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

                  • The TLM doesn’t say much about what the laity have to do, so not many distractions for them. And for the clergy it’s a more uniform ritual, so they don’t have as much to worry about either (or so I would think). That’s one reason it strikes so many of us as contemplative and indeed far from ostentatious or self-involved. And contemplation is good. “In the beginning was the Word,” not the Deed (that was Faust’s view), and the first and greatest commandment is to love God.

                    • LWC

                      So much for that exhortation in Psalm 150:1-6

                    • Does Psalm 150 put forward a universal law for all liturgical celebrations? To my mind we need a balanced diet, everyday contemplation and periodic festivity.

              • ForChristAlone

                There is a difference between a “Low” Latin Mass and the “High” Mass. There’s not much pomp and circumstance at Low Latin Masses, just a helluva lot more reverence and understanding of what is transpiring there.

              • Glenn M. Ricketts

                Having attended the almost rubric-free OF since 1970, I can now see why they are so necessary – they protect me from the distracting and often embarrassing free form improvisations of so many celebrants, who behave like our Sunday morning hosts or entertainers, and force me to keep muttering “ex opere operato.” over and over. I invite you to have a look at this piece from several years ago in America Magazine, by a priest who describes his surprising experience with the EF, having been born after VII:


                It’s much, much more than rubrics, as he sees it.

                • ForChristAlone

                  Glenn, I must remember the mantra “ex opere operato” each and every time I am assisting at the NO Mass and:

                  1. the priest begins Mass with “Good morning”

                  2. The priest begins Mass with asking us to greet our neighbors next to us in the pew.

                  3, The next time the priest provides us with an impromptu homily that amounts to “random thoughts while shaving.”

                  4. The priest gives two or three mini-homilies interspersed throughout the Mass

                  5. The Mass concludes with the priest thanking the ushers, choirs, altar servers, and the band if there is one.

                  6. The altar servers are dressed in sneakers

                  7. There are more Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion than there are recipients of Communion

                  8. There are Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion while the second priest assigned to the parish is in the rectory sleeping or playing golf on Sunday morning.
                  9. We are forced to sing “Gather Us In” or the “St. Francis Prayer” put to music.
                  etc, etc etc ad nauseam

                  • Glenn M. Ricketts

                    Alas, yes – and the list could be much longer for some parishes. Even when the OF is celebrated in a fairly straightforward manner, the best i can say is that it’s very flat, pedestrian and focused on the immediate. There’s little or no sense of awe or eternity, and I still keep repeating “ex opere operato.”

                • jonnybeeski

                  For your consideration, Mr, Ricketts: http://reverendknow-it-all.blogspot.com/2010/11/reflection-on-liturgy-celebrated-ad.html

                  The ending, “the show must go on”, is really sad.

                  • Glenn M. Ricketts

                    Thank you for the link. Unfortunately, many who still attend Mass think of it as they do the parish ice cream social. In that case, mystery and eternity are bizarre intrusions that have no place when the “community” is assembled.

              • PGMGN

                The opiate of Pharisees is dismissing that which actually promotes the teaching and feeding of the Faith that is to be evangelized, LWC. Recent surveys show the this is ‘now’ offering has folks in the pews not knowing what the Church teaches, let alone believing it.

                • LWC

                  Indeed. Not too far afield from signing a contract written in a language you have little fluency.


                • LWC

                  And seeing how your vulgarity escaped the censors, I’ll attempt a re-post (sans your very language):

                  And indeed orientation is moot. It was my original point and clearly lost upon several….including yourself.

                  A bit of caution advised before throwing the vulgarity card—especially when you fail in your own understanding of satire.

                  Nice try, though.

                  • PGMGN

                    What is vulgar, LWC, is your misuse of the term to twist what, in reality, is an accurate assessment of your diversionary tactics. Yet again you prove the point that you are not about promoting Faith in your posts. Do you even comprehend what the term ‘vulgar’ means?

                    Even so, one can be refined to the point of sandpaper with absolutely no grit, LWC. That renders the sandpaper useless. Salt which has lost its salt is of no use and is only good to be thrown out.

                    You may want to contemplate that before making weak attempts to be the sophisticate.

                    • LWC

                      Oh indeed I’m vanquished; but only by sanctimony and condescension.

                      The only diversion here is your inability to comprehend the satire from the outset.


                      Try again.

                    • PGMGN

                      LWC, the only failure is your own in attempting to be something you are not, which is knowledgeable about the Faith and the needs of the faithful. You defeat yourself with your own sanctimony and condescension.

                      Go seek help for that – and not from a priest.

                    • LWC

                      Precious, not once have I claimed any expertise in the matters of theology, doctrine, or otherwise. Insofar as sanctimony and condescension, I’m clearly outgunned in the presence of you Pharisees.

                      I can only submit my own humble understanding of the faith and the manner in which Jesus called us to exercise that faith.

                    • PGMGN

                      Odd, LWC.

                    • LWC

                      My apologies for the previous post, “[a]nd seeing how your vulgarity…”

                      It was intended for another thread.

                      My sincere apologies.

          • fredx2

            “One church on the near north side of Chicago isn’t fazed by the holy hubbub. When it comes to millennials, yours truly included, St. John Cantius Catholic Church bucks the trend. The struggling old church was once slated to be closed by the archdiocese, but pastor Frank Phillips had an idea to save it: celebrate the Mass in Latin.

            “That’s actually when people started coming to the parish,” Fr. Phillips said in a church video. “Today, there are so many adaptations [to the Mass] that one wonders sometimes — because I hear this from parishioners — ‘Did I attend Mass? Or did I attend the Johnny Carson show?'”

            Some young adults probably don’t get that reference, but they know what the good priest meant. At a recent meeting of Juventutem, a network of Catholic youth who love the smells and bells, it was standing-room-only in Cantius’s basement. “I’m not a child,” one 24-year-old in skinny jeans told me with craft beer in hand, “and that’s how a lot of these ‘young adult Masses’ treat me.”

            • LWC

              “Craft beer”?

              …Says it all.

              • ColdStanding

                No it doesn’t . If the article had said Coors Lite in hand you’d have said the same thing.

                • LWC

                  Possibly. Would depend on my mood after my Early Bird Blue Plate special.

                  • ColdStanding

                    I hope you ordered the fish today.

                    • LWC

                      As any good, faithful Catholic would 😉

                      Though, I’m partial to the fried salt-herring my mom used to make on Saturdays (because she often worked very late on Fridays). Complete with her own cornbread.

              • You have a problem with craft beers?

                • LWC

                  Not a’tall.

                  That would truly be sacrilege.

                  • ColdStanding

                    Ah, but the solemn teachings, declarations and admonitions of the the Church on sexual morality.. meh, take it or leave it.

                    However, in fact, that is sacrilege. I haven’t forgotten on what account you have arrived here.

                    • LWC

                      Indeed the topic is a matter of TLM and not matters of sexual morality.

                      But I’d be delighted to discuss even that in the proper forum. But in full disclosure, it’s my belief orientation (either way) has its place within God’s design.

                      If the Church could err in matters as fundamental as cosmology (vis-à-vis geocentrism), she’s no more immune to potential err in matters of human genetics and psychology; particularly as it applies to God’s mercy and our advancing understanding of nature and humanity.

                    • ColdStanding

                      Its Crisis Magazine. You’ll have your chance soon enough.

                    • LWC

                      Yes indeed 🙂

          • fredx2

            It is bad form to quote Pope Francis when his supposed quote has not been said by HIM, but by someone else who claims the Pope said this. There is a huge difference.This supposed quote by Pope Francis comes from someone who came out of a meeting with the Pope, and he claims the Pope said this. We have no idea if he said this at all.

            • LWC

              “It is bad form to quote Pope Francis when his supposed quote has not been said by HIM, but by someone else who claims the Pope said this”

              Appeared such ‘form’ worked okay for Jesus.

          • PGMGN

            Pope Francis may want to think it a fashion, but perhaps it is just something he, personally, doesn’t prefer. Considering all the ‘it’s a language barrier” excuse that is used to cover many of his statements it is entirely possible that His Holiness’s use of the term fashion could be trend and/or movement. And it is definitely a movement toward being fed with the fullness of Faith, not a fad as others would like to interpret.

            • LWC

              Ephemeral, none-the-less.

              • PGMGN

                Pray tell, LWC, did you just gift yourself with a Thesaurus? Thanks for the humor.

                • LWC

                  It would indeed appear that challenging folks’ use of a thesaurus is a chronic pathological affectation of yours.

                  Tell me, is that online degree laminated or not?

                  Methinks the Lady dost protest too much!

                  • PGMGN

                    Methinks I protested once, your bizarre commentary in this instance. Have fun with the thesaurus and the Shakespeare. But stay away from medical books – supervision by a trained professional is advised.

                    • LWC

                      Your Disqus history betrays your pretense.

                      As for avoiding medical texts, I may only lay claim to my contributions in mammalian and amphibian cardiac physiology. But otherwise I appreciate the advice.

                    • PGMGN

                      No pretense, LWC. It’s all real. And you are one odd bird.

                    • LWC

                      Fashioned by God himself.

                    • PGMGN

                      Prayers all around, LWC.

                    • LWC

                      Likewise, PGMGN.

                      Merry Christmas!

                • LWC

                  Beyond that, you’re adorable.

                  • PGMGN


    • Martha

      Et cum spiritu tuo. 🙂

      • LWC

        Punctum meum exigo!

    • zoltan

      Wow, Wendy Davis bumper stickers on cars at a Catholic parish, you must live in Austin! 😉

  • Martha

    Amen! I was a cradle Catholic, but worked on my husband, who was Lutheran, for over 10 years of our marriage. He just didn’t see the difference, in practice. He was right, too. We were awestruck after our first TLM, and that was it; the difference he’d been waiting for. He converted, and we’ve been going there ever since. 😀

    • reddog44

      There is that word again, “converted”, which is simply the wrong use and application of convert. A convert is someone who changes from an unbelieving background to become a Christian. When one “changes” religions convert is certainly not the correct term, as other less flattering terms could be applied.

      • Martha

        Enlighten me; what would one call it?

        • reddog44

          con·vert verb kən-ˈvərt

          : to change (something) into a different form or so that it can be used in a different way
          : to change to a different system, method, etc.
          : to change from one form or use to another

          The above is Mr Websters definition, and as you can see there is a radical difference from one state to another.

          “To convert” to Catholicism from another religion is hardly changing from one form to another. Perhaps, a more appropriate term would be completeness, or coming into a state of fullness, utilizing your previous religious gifts with a complimentary set, or two partials making a whole.

          To me “convert” has an abrasive edge to it.

          • Pamela

            Well, I have to respectfully disagree. Changing from Protestant to Catholic IS radical, in my view. I understand your explanation of “coming into a state of fullness” — but that is transformative, in my book. Protestants might have the basis of our faith, but converting to our faith transcends the concept of “completion” as it requires the convert to adopt previously rejected (or unknown) doctrine. To me, convert is a beautiful term, not “abrasive” at all. As I like to tell my RCIA catechumens and candidates, converts make the best Catholics! In fact, I embrace the term “re-vert” for people like me, fallen away Catholics who have returned to the faith.

            • reddog44

              Thanks for your opinion, which i might add is fully subjective and a man-made doctrine, but I do admire your commitment to the RC faith, as we need more devoted Christians in the world.

              I share your view that Catholics too, make the best Protestants, they bring more to the faith table than your average run of the mill Christian/Catholic.

              The completeness of faith exists within your own faith tradition, no one can claim this truth fully without realizing the missing pieces that exist within denominational Christianity.

  • BillinJax

    If you are a lover of the liturgy and Holy Mass as the epitome of Catholic worship you will indeed want to read the essay as detailed in …. The Holy Mass..Explained to Catalina by Jesus and Mary here. http://www.michaeljournal.org/holymass.htm

  • redfish

    “Americans usually think religion has to do with spirituality, which we see as personal and rather vague, with moral commitment … Even if we accept in theory that the religion to which we claim to adhere is something much more definite, it goes against the grain to treat the definite part as more than decorative.”

    I think when people talk about religion, they don’t understand that even something we take for granted, a funeral — ritual burial — is an inherently religious act.

    Its not decorative, and its not practical. Some people I’ve talked to about this have responded by pointing out the emotional aspects of a funeral, that it provides closure. But its only important emotionally because we see in it a moral dimension. And sure, we can show up to a funeral wearing beach clothes and without a word of prayer, but, to most of us, it wouldn’t feel it to be the right thing to do. On the occasion of a funeral, we think it only right to respect it in a way that brings the proper sacredness to the occasion and reminds us of our frailty and mortality.

    That’s what religion is about in general: respecting life in a sacred way.

  • Mike Roth

    Here in St. Louis we have the benefit of the headquarters of the Association of Hebrew Catholics, operated by and primarily for Jewish converts to Catholicism. The President of AHC, David Moss, is a fellow Cathedral parishioner and friend. He once told us that his first time in a Catholic church, he remarked that it was just like a Jewish temple, but with a crucifix. That comment catalyzed my realization that we are not just reciting a prayers in a “meeting,” we have the physical format of a true altar for the real sacrifice of a true victim, just as the high priests of Israel offered sacrifice thousands of years ago. I am not impressed by the use of Latin, although we use it often, but by the fundamental fact that the people gather with a priest for the priest to do what priests have always done for the people – offer a sacrificial victim to God. For me the incidental details (we don’t spare the incense) have to enhance awareness of the brute metaphysical reality that the physical format forces upon us.

    And since this started with a conversion story, David’s sister Rosalind entered a Catholic church for the first time in her life to try to persuade David not to convert. She is now Mother Miriam of the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel’s Hope, a new order of Catholic nuns.

    • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

      I have always thought of the Association as an updated cult of 1st century style ‘Judaizers’ but was rather surprised that our Archbishop Raymond Burke (then of St. Louis) attended their Catholic Seder. I’ve always trusted his judgment.

      • Penelope Wincett

        Burke not only attended a Seder, he did some lengthy video interviews for them that are available on their web site.

  • samnigromd

    I can think of one disturbing Mass with the trumpets blaring…It was at a Mass in some city, I forget, in which we were vacationing, and I said to myself that this must be what many do not like. I agreed–it was hard to embrace, but we did shake hands with strangers wishing them “peace”. Other than than that one time, I have always gotten “into” the Mass easily…mostly NO, I guess…but I bring my own Latin with me whenever it fits which is a lot. Occasionally I am a little loud with the Pater Noster…and get a gentle elbow from my wife. Matthew 26: 26-30; Mark 14: 22-28; Luke 22: 19-20; John 6: 41-58; and 1Corinth 11: 23-26–I hope to be able to go to those verses if I ever end up in a dance contest again. My parish daily Masses in Cleveland are salutary delights: everybody is there on and off the altar, Caucasians, Negroes, Asians, all ages…life, sacrifice, virtue, love, humanity, peace, freedom, death without fear…As the comedian said about Catholics: “Here comes everybody.” And Holy Communion: an integrity field of “subdued spontaneity non-self excluded” enabling charity, truth, sacrifice. I was at the Last Supper, and I asked the Italian guy next to me what was going on. He stopped whispering “mama mia” to say, “Shut up and eat and drink when He tells you. That is why you are here.”

    • LWC

      “Salutary delights”?
      Dunno, but I’m thinking the liturgy should be the least of your worries.

      • ColdStanding

        You are so judgmental.

        • LWC

          No more than you.

          • ColdStanding

            Un petit jest. Why so sour? Grand slam not sitting well?

            • LWC

              LOL That’s pretty good! You made me laugh 😉

              • ColdStanding

                let’s end on that for the day then.

                • LWC

                  You got it!

                  It’s never personal. I enjoy the dialogue and genuinely appreciate your perspective (as much as we may disagree).

  • Maggie

    Amen. I attend the TLM when I can which is once or twice a month. We are fortunate in that one parish brings in a priest from another town every Sunday. When I first went to one, I had tears wondering why this beautiful liturgy was taken away from us.

  • steve5656546346

    A wonderful article!

  • Joe

    Regarding comments below about “participation” in the NO, it’s not that much. Other than the preface dialogue, which is 3 short phrases, and “Lord I am not worthy to recieve you”, what other participation is there? Nothing requires the laity to participate in singing or repeating the Gloria, Kryie, Sanctus, etc, if the choir sings those parts in a setting reserved for the choir.
    Yes, the TLM is beautiful, because the priests that celebrate it adhere to the rubrics. Much of which is broken with the NO is becasue priests and those responsible for the music don’t follow the rubrics. Nothing in the GIRM restricts NO masses from being celebrated in Latin, with chanted Gregorian propers, ad orientiam, and receiving communion at the communion rail.
    I’m not a liturgy expert, but I don’t writing off the value of the NO is the way to go. Whenever possible, the faithful should be encouraging their pastors to bring back more reverent music and behaviors to mass, not to make it look like a TLM in disguise, but rather because the NO is frequently not celebrated with the reverence it deserves. Organizations like CC Watershed are producing beautiful mass settings, propers, and psalms and there is no reason to think that better NO liturgies are not attainable. It doesn’t have to be a dichotomy of “Gather Us In” or the TLM.

  • Nancy

    I was born after the changes in the mass, but my parents occasionally attended “illegal” Tridentine masses and after college I went through years of attending legal ones (Please, don’t anyone go all ballistic on the illegal/legal terms). By in large, my experience with them was negative. They were usually poorly done and loaded with pre-conciliar abuses. Most often Sunday mass was a low mass. Some priests rattled through the Latin so fast, I could not follow in my missal (and my Latin is fairly good) and the priest could not possibly have been pronouncing every word. Some priests did not even know Latin, but just knew enough to pronounce it haphazardly. You can imagine how bewildered my kids were! It was definitely an extremely passive event for them, especially for the ones who could not read well yet. The congregation did not respond with the altar servers and the only reason I could think of that explained it was that it smacked of “NO participation.” Often there was no music and when there was, it was saccharine and sentimental pre-conciliar hymns. The crowd was predominately white and had cranky undertones. I have been to a few beautifully and reverently done TLM masses, but they were few and far between. Fortunately, my children have attended many reverent NO and Eastern liturgies, but they visibly shuddered when it’s suggested we attend a TLM. I can see the validity of the author’s experience, but from my experience, I can also attest to the need for reforms that the Council was hoping for. I also think the TLM is so foreign to Catholics growing up in the pre-conciliar Church that it would be a hard sell to the average pew sitter (and they do matter). A good approach, I think, would be to strive for “a reform of the reform” and make the NO as reverent as possible, starting with the music.

    • slainte

      Anything worth having is worth working at….Catholics (clergy and laity) should learn latin so that we may honor God in the liturgy that has sustained us for more than a millenia.

      Your post amplifies an intellectual laziness by Catholics which is disconcerting. We are better than that.

    • Joseph Arlinghous

      Well said.

  • Leloup

    Why does it say in the Gospel, : ” –unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life within you”? Most everyone thinks they are alive and yet the Man says, in a sense, you don’t know true life and I’m here to teach you. If that isn’t enough to get you to your knees in silence, join Christ on the cross and surrender to the will of God, even if only for the brief interlude of the mass, you probably are missing what God intends to happen. At the end of a NO mass immediate conversation erupts suggesting a return to the life before mass began. At the end of a TLM mass, silence and/or prayer is commonplace, suggesting a more profound immersion into the transformation of new life which is declared in the Gospel passage mentioned above.

  • anthonypadua

    Beautifully written article, James. I am fortunate to be able to hear the Traditional Latin Mass every morning here in southern California. It’s like coming home, spiritually. My Mom converted to Catholicism in the 1950’s because of that magnificent Mass. I can see how it helped produce so many great Saints.

  • ken

    Jesus spoke in the vernacular. He told the apostles to leave the others, who were not in their group but preaching in his name, alone. If they were not against Him , they were with Him. If you like the TLM so be it but do not think it is for all or that it is better then the others. Pride and bickering is the devil’s work.(Scewtape Letters). Agree on the Creed, the Body and Blood , Soul and Divinity of Christ in the Eucharist and love each other either way.

    • Glenn M. Ricketts

      But His public worship in the Temple was in liturgical Hebrew, a ritual non-vernacular language as Latin would later become for the Church.

    • ColdStanding

      Jesus Christ, setting aside His infinite glory, took flesh from the Virgin Mother, Mary most Holy, was born without labor pains (for they one of the punishments of original sin and Mary Theotokos did not have original sin), in a stable in Bethlehem. He lived His life in poverty and obscurity in a land far off from the great power of the time, Rome. Starting from as low as you can go in the esteem of the world, He launched but one stone and over threw the Goliath of the time, again, Rome. St. Peter is that stone.

      “Never have I found such faith…” he said of the Roman soldier. “Make straight the way of the Lord…” said St. John and the straight Roman roads spread the faith throughout the empire and beyond.

      “If you do not believe My words, believe my works.” He said. The splendor of Christian Rome is His work. Believe that.

  • Glenn M. Ricketts

    I’m posted this link in an individual response below, but I’m doing so again here so that other readers will catch it. It’s to an article that appeared in America Magazine several years ago – yes, America no less – by a younger priest who took the trouble to learn the EF for parishioners who had requested it. A much different experience than he expected, apparently:


  • Marian

    Thank you, Mr. Kalb. You have stated succinctly what the traditional Mass is to millions. Once truly loved, it can never be summarily relinquished, nor its beauty and value ever totally encapsulated in words!


    To all Catholics in Maine:

    Every Sunday at 8 a.m. the Latin High Mass is celebrated at Sts. Peter & Paul Basilica in Lewiston. Confessions are heard at 7:30 and the Rosary is recited at that time also. The music is acapella and the choir is wonderful – it ranges from 2 to 5 people. If you wish to accompany them the music is furnished. It is a beautiful Church, built by French Canadians about 100 years ago – the Stations of the Cross are in French as are the donor acknowledgments of the statues.

    Some people come from as far away as 100 miles for the Mass, and it is well worth the trip. I always get there early – at least an hour – so I can just sit there.

    If you come from down south and can’t make that Mass there is another Latin Mass at noon on Sunday at the Cathedral in Portland. Come in on Interstate 295, look to the right and you’ll see the Cathedral. Take the Congress St. exit.

    • Glister

      Thanks, Terry! I’m late with this, but for anybody who’s still following the thread, St. Norbert Church, in Roxbury, WI, offers the TLM every Sunday morning at 11:00, weekday mornings at 6:30. Sung High Masses are offered about 2X/month. Roxbury is a little north of Madison, a little south of Baraboo & Wi Dells. The church is staffed by priests from the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest (Spain). Among the best, holiest priests I’ve ever met.

  • Great post, thanks.

    A friend of mine and I are having some initial successes in arranging for the TLM to be said, in a part of the world where it could make a considerable difference. Please, of your charity, pray for the success of this endeavour.

  • pdxcatholic

    Thank you, Mr. Kalb, for another insightful article. This one, though, is particularly special, as it reads very much like a love letter. Anyone who has been deeply touched by the Extraordinary Form of the Mass will find this piece of writing genuine and true.

  • Cala

    There is something so special about Latin mass it helps me contemplate and I don’t even understand the words.