This is an interesting report:
The Catholic News & Herald, May 2, 2008
Back to the ‘old Mass’
Several parishes now offering Mass in extraordinary form
by KATIE MOORE
CHARLOTTE — In December 2007, 14 priests from the Diocese of Charlotte participated in a five-day training session on the 1962 Roman Missal, providing them with the background needed to offer the Mass in the extraordinary form.
Now, four-months later, having completed the diocesan training, some of those priests have begun celebrating at their parishes, Latin-language liturgy that predates the 2nd Vatican Council. [Brick by brick, people!]
The first was Father Eric Kowalski, pastor of Holy Angels Church in Mount Airy, who began celebrating the low form of the Latin-language Mass [NB: The Novus Ordo is also Latin language.] at his parish on January 5.
“When the Holy Father released the ‘motu proprio,’ that’s when it really began,” said Father Kowalski.
In his July 2007 apostolic letter, “Summorum Pontificum,” Pope Benedict XVI eased restrictions on the use of the 1962 Roman Missal, which was standard before the new Order of the Mass was introduced in 1970. The papal decree was issued "motu proprio," a term that reflects the pope’s personal initiative in the matter.
The Mass from the Roman Missal in use since 1970 remains the ordinary form of the Mass.
After inserting copies of the “motu proprio” and the pope’s letter to the bishops in his parish bulletin, [Another use of the parish bulletin. Excellent.] Father Kowalski opened the issue up to his parish and hosted a general meeting to talk about the Mass in the extraordinary form.
“The people were very open and very interested,” he said of the approximately 50 parishioners who came to the meeting.
Soon he began offering refresher seminars for those who wanted to work on Latin pronunciation and familiarize themselves with the prayers.
Now, Father Kowalski celebrates the Mass in extraordinary form every Saturday at 6:30 p.m. [Let us hope for more.]
“It fits very seamlessly into our liturgical life here,” he said.
By adding the Latin-language Mass to the weekend Mass schedule, it fulfills the Sunday obligation for the 40 to 60 parishioners who typically attend.
In terms of execution, the extraordinary form of the Mass requires a great deal of preparation on the part of the priest.
“It’s a bit intimidating at first because you want to do it with attention and devotion and you want to offer it properly,” said Father Kowalski, who typically spends about two hours a week preparing for the liturgy.
“It’s become a great joy for me,” he added. “It really has deepened my own spiritual growth and faith.” [When younger priests learn the older form, it changes them.]
Another church in the diocese where the Mass in the extraordinary form is now offered is St. Joseph Church in Asheboro.
For Father Christopher Davis, pastor of St. Joseph Church, the Latin-language Mass was particularly appealing.
“I had studied renaissance and medieval music,” said Father Davis. “It was right up my alley and part of my own personal spirituality.”
Father Davis celebrates the Mass at his parish every Wednesday at 7 p.m.
One of the things he enjoys most is the structure and silence of the extraordinary form.
“It allows time for contemplative prayer,” he said. “You really get that sense of reverential silence upon entering into the mystery of the Eucharist.” [The whole point of Mass is that encounter with Mystery.]
He also mentioned the noticeable similarities between the two forms of the Mass.
“To me it’s been beautiful to see how much of the ‘new Mass’ is still retained from the ‘old Mass,’” he said. “You can see the progression of what the church has now and what we can go back to.” [Continuity. And again, the priest learned more about what Holy Mass is.]
In a letter to bishops, Pope Benedict stated, “There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal.”
“In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture,” he said. “What earlier generations held as sacred remains sacred and great for us, too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.”
The pope noted, however, that the ordinary form of the Mass must not be neglected.
“Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, also the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books,” the pope said.
“The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness,” he added.
Anyone who remembers the pre-Vatican II form may notice a few changes.
Now, the congregation is more involved in dialogue and responses and the readings are said in English.
“It’s just easier for everyone,” said Father Davis, who noted that all of the changes have been approved by Pope Benedict. [Though "easier" isn’t necessarily "better".]
Later this month, Father Timothy Reid, pastor of St. Ann Church in Charlotte, will begin celebrating the Mass in extraordinary form at his parish.
Father Reid will offer an introduction to the extraordinary form at St. Ann Church on Wednesday, May 21 at 7 p.m. He will begin celebrating the Mass in extraordinary form on Saturdays at 8 a.m., beginning May 31.
Contact Staff Writer Katie Moore by calling (704) 370-3354 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
WANT MORE INFO?
Catholics interested in attending a Mass in extraordinary form should contact the office of their vicar forane — a priest who coordinates pastoral activities among groups of churches — to find out Mass times and locations.
For a complete list of vicars forane visit www.charlottediocese.org/agencydirectory_post.html and click on vicars forane.