There is an interesting article in the Springfield, MO, News Leader about the older form of Mass. Here it is with my emphases and comments.
Published February 11, 2008
Catholics celebrate revival of Latin Mass
Traditional Latin Mass will be performed monthly at Holy Trinity Catholic Church.
Lili Simmerman found the Latin Mass a "little hard to follow," but she is ready to give it another try. [Do you remember that amazing thread we had a few months ago with so many comments from people about their first experiences of the TLM? This was a common reaction.]
On Sunday afternoon, Simmerman and her mother, Pat Shanahan, both of Springfield, attended the first traditional Latin Mass celebrated in Springfield since the Roman Catholic Church introduced Mass in the vernacular in the 1960s.
Shanahan remembers services in the ancient language from her youth, but her daughter grew up hearing only English in church.
On Sunday, Monsignor Raymond Orf dusted off his Latin to perform what will be a monthly celebration at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Springfield. [With soft shoe… "Brush up your Latin, start quoting it now…"]
Orf entered the church in an ornate Roman chasuble, woven with gold wire, and wearing a black biretta on his head. Four altar servers assisted, wearing white surplices over black cassocks. Two carried large candles.
They stepped up toward the altar, backs turned to the congregation, [Well… only apparently. They are actually facing the liturgical East.] and began. "In nomine Patris …" — "In the name of the Father …"
The servers flanked Orf, on their knees, sometimes placing their heads on the step before them. "Quia tu es, Deus, fortitudo mea …" — "For thou, O God, art my strength" — they replied.
The prayers continued, a back and forth between the elderly priest and the young servers, [This is nice.] all male.
Then, Orf ascended to the altar, lifted his arms up, his palms open, to pray for forgiveness of sins and pure minds. After kissing the altar, he turned around to face the more than 200 people who had attended the historic event.
"Dominus vobiscum," Orf intoned.
"Et cum spiritu tuo," the congregation replied.
"The Lord be with you."
"And with thy spirit." [Which is what we will hear in the new translation of the Novus Ordo.]
The voices came from young and old, from women in hats or lace cloths on their heads, from many with bare heads, from those with well-worn missals, many saved from their youth, or those who got a copy of the bright red booklets at the back of the church. Some replied easily from memory. Others stumbled with the unfamiliar language.
Sharon James is only 16, but she had no trouble following the service. She and her parents and three sisters have been driving all the way to Kansas City for the past year to experience this same Mass.
"There’s more reverence" in the Latin Mass, she said. "But I understand and get more out of the English." [Hmm… but she understands that there is more reverence at the TLM. It would be interesting to know what she is getting from the Mass celebrated in English.]
The family immigrated from India 14 years ago, [Where languages other than Latin are considered sacred languages.] but it is not the familiar language of home they seek. It is the mystery and the "holiness" of the ancient Latin, said her father, James Xavier, who also attends an English Mass daily at Immaculate Conception in south Springfield.
Mike Kramer, 20, who was one of the servers, would prefer to experience the Mass only in Latin.
"Everything in this Mass is completely timeless," [Well.. maybe not "completely timeless". It is still culturally conditioned to a certain extent, but we get the idea: there is continuity with the past. That is the important point.] he said. "It’s from Christian antiquity. If you worship this way, you are worshipping the same way your great-great-grandmother did. In some ways, it’s your only connection to them.
"There is a bond there with your entire family tree, [And far more than your family tree. Or perhaps it helps you see that your family tree is bigger than you thought.] that is only accessible through this."
For Sharon Hollars, who attended Sunday with her 84-year-old mother, Lucille Holars, the experience transcended language:
"It’s just beautiful."
Pretty good article!