Traditional Mass

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Flip Turns and the Latin Mass by Patrick Archbold (Experiencing the Latin Mass for the First Time)

English: Bishop Athanasius Schneider O.R.C. ce...
English: Bishop Athanasius Schneider O.R.C. celebrating Traditional Latin Mass in Tallinn, Estonia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Latin Mass Magazine
Latin Mass Magazine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Latin Mass can be the same way. It feels awkward and pointless when we first assist at a Latin Mass, particularly a low mass. We watch the other experienced faithful kneel and stand and try to copy them.   Even after a few visits, the only thing we seem to have mastered is the “et cum spiritu tuo.”  We can barely follow what is happening and but for the re-readings in English, we wouldn’t have a clue.  It all seems pointless. Awkward silence, seemingly vain repetitions, and tons of stuff we can’t understand even if we can hear it; all with little or no discernible benefit.   Honestly, it can seem a lot like flip turns when you first start.

But something amazing happens when we stick with it. You get a good missal and learn the basics of following along.  You become familiar with the Ordinary of the mass, having read it and its translation dozens of times.  You know where to find the propers and read along.  Then you start to read the red instructions and begin to understand why the priest is doing what he is doing and what he is saying.  You know what to expect each day and it doesn’t really matter which priest is saying the mass.

And then one day you come to realize that you are no longer thinking about any of that and are totally focused on Christ in the mass.  That you are joined with the priest as he offers the sacrifice.  Your participation is much more active than it ever was before, even though you do less.  That in the silence you once found awkward, you now hear God, like you never have before.

Read the entire article here: