Here is an uplifting article from the Cincinnati Enquirer about the situation of the older form of Mass in Covington, KY. Summorum Pontificum is having an impact.
My emphases and comments.
Latin mass link to the ages
With Pope Benedict’s encouragement, more churches return to ancient rite
BY SCOTT WARTMAN | SWARTMAN@NKY.COM
The traditional Tridentine Latin Mass practiced by all Roman Catholics for centuries before the 1960s has started to creep back into Catholic parishes across the country.
The Rev. Phillip DeVous has brushed up on his Latin at the request of some parishioners at St. Bernard parish in Dayton who wanted the old-fashioned Latin Mass.
"I think Catholics should check it out," DeVous said. "The church has a 2,000-year history. Even if people don’t prefer the traditional Latin Mass, the Holy Father gives them the option. They should know about it." [That is a reasonable position. People should know their Rite: as Pope Benedict explained in Sacramentum caritatis, we are our rites.]
Pope Benedict XVI decreed in an apostolic letter on July 7 that pastors of the Latin rite can decide to offer the old Latin Mass without seeking approval from a bishop. [Exactly. I would add that the pastor probably doesn't even need requests of the faithful for this, perhaps even for a public and regularly schedule Mass.]
St. Bernard, a church of about 265 families, started offering the Latin Mass a week ago at 12:15 p.m. on Sundays. The Latin Mass [We hope for better terminology in the future.] moved from the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington to St. Bernard so the 100 devotees could have a regular priest and parish to call their own, DeVous said. The congregation comes from all over the Greater Cincinnati region. [This sounds like personal parish. Maybe we need some on the spot reporting. But it should stay at the Cathedral too!]
"It will provide an opportunity for St. Bernard’s to be a spiritual home for them," DeVous said.
A Mass that can last as long as two hours in an ancient language might seem like something that would appeal only to old-timers.
But in the handful of area churches that offer a traditional Latin Mass, the congregations tend to have a younger mix. [That's right. This isn't about nostalgiaor rejecting Vatican II, blah blah blah. This is about people looking for something to nourish their souls.]
Many people in their 20s and 30s fill the pews at these Masses.
Ashley Paver became enamored with the old rite in his native England when he converted [It would be interesting to poll congregations and check who is a convert. I bet quite a few are converts or reverts.] to Catholicism. Paver, 32, of downtown Cincinnati, attended the Latin Mass at Covington’s cathedral and now attends St. Bernard.
"It is very beautiful," Paver said. "Sometimes people overplay the aesthetics element, but it does have great importance. There is a striking beauty to the Mass." [Beauty reflects and leads to Truth.]
It was this beauty that drew Chris and Tracey Cusick and their seven children to start attending the Masses in Covington.
The Cusicks moved from New Jersey to Union in March. They now attend St. Bernard.
Chris Cusick, 35, said the reverence and beauty in the old Mass will instill in their children a greater respect for God.
"The priest at our previous parish had done such a beautiful job celebrating the new rite liturgy, we were afraid that if we didn’t find something similar, they would lose the mysticism they had gained in the Mass," he said.
Many of those who attend the Mass are young with big families like his, Cusick said.
A CONNECTION WITH THE PAST
By making it easier for priests to offer the Latin Mass, the pope [also] hopes people will experience a closer connection with the history of the Catholic Church, DeVous said.
The connection with the past appeals to many like Paver.
"It is not only connected with Catholics all over the world now, but all Catholics that have ever been," Paver said. "It is the continuity, the way we use the same symbols. We pray in the same way they have through the centuries." [This priest gets it: continuity.]
The Masses can last one to two hours depending on whether it’s a high or low Mass. Chants and polyphonic choruses fill the church.
Some people have come to misunderstand certain aspects of the traditional Latin Mass, DeVous said.
The priest saying Mass with his back to the congregation isn’t a haughty gesture. The position signifies the priest is facing the same direction as the congregation and leading them in the worship of God, DeVous said.
But the long Masses can be hard to adjust to at first, Cusick said.
"It is a challenge the first few times, especially with kids," he said. "We feel we are called to go because of the reverence shown in the Mass."
SPREADING AROUND U.S.
Since the 1980s when Pope John Paul II encouraged dioceses to offer the old form of the Mass, it has spread throughout the country, said Mary Kraychy, executive director of the Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei, an Illinois-based organization devoted to promoting the traditional Latin Masses.
The number of U.S. parishes offering Latin Masses has grown from six in 1988 to more than 120, Kraychy said.
Requests for Latin translation missals from Ecclesia Dei have risen from 1,000 a month to 1,000 a week [!] since the pope’s July decree, Kraychy said.
"Many of them come to Mass totally confused at first," Kraychy said. "They feel this is part of their heritage that has never been explained to them. There is this wonderful sense of awe at this treasure." [Yes! The "I've been robbed! Why didn't people let me have this before?" phenomenon is pretty common.]
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has had some slight additional interest in expanding the number of Tridentine Latin Masses in addition to the two parishes that offer the Mass, said Dan Andriacco, archdiocese spokesman. [LOL! How predictable. The archdiocesan spokesman says there is "slight" additional interest.]
Two archdiocese priests have expressed interest in bringing the Latin Mass to their parishes.
But the number of Catholics who practice the older Mass remains a small percentage of the total membership in the Cincinnati Archdiocese, with 100 people attending the Latin Mass at Sacred Heart Church in Camp Washington and about 200 people at Our Lady of the Rosary in Dayton, Andriacco said.
But some see the appeal growing.
"In a world with so much busyness, this particular Mass is popular," DeVous said. "Some feel maybe too much was stripped away too quickly.
"It communicates to me with the music of traditional chants and polyphony. I remember it communicated an immediate sense of the sacred. It communicated the grand nature of God."