Here is an opinion piece in the Charlotte Observer.
My emphases and comments.
IN MY OPINION
Latin Mass is fine, but I like the new ways
MARY C. CURTIS
When in Rome – and you need to go to Mass – do as the Romans do. A few years ago, I did just that, dashing into a beautiful church a coin’s throw from the famous Trevi Fountain.
As I made my way through the ritual, following along, just barely, in Italian, I had a sudden longing for the Latin Mass of my youth. The feeling was only part nostalgia for lace mantilla head coverings and the soothing sound of “Dominus vobiscum” and its answer, “Et cum spiritu tuo.”
I wanted to fully share in the celebration with those gathered in the pews around me. [But, by wanting to, and by being baptized, and by trying to, you were fully participating.] When Latin was the common language of the ancient liturgy, you could go to any Catholic Church anywhere in the world and be at home.
In the little church in Rome, the people were friendly, the handshakes sincere and the communion inspiring. [hmmm] But if we shared the words in Latin, I thought, there would be the comfort I did not feel stumbling my way through prayers and responses in bad Italian. [Fair enough.]
The Latin Mass [Remember that the term "Latin Mass" should not be applied only to the TLM (traditional Latin Mass, according to the pre-Conciliar form)] retains a sense of mystery [YES!] at a time when little in life offers that particular quality. And it restores a sense of community with Catholics of every race and region. [And era.]
I was curious when St. Ann Catholic Church became the first parish in Charlotte to begin offering a weekly Latin Mass. [I think she means the TLM.] Would a return to the rites of the past – with Mass a silent time of reverence and contemplation – bring a peace that’s needed in today’s complicated world?
At 8 in the morning on a recent Saturday, I joined the few, the proud, the traditional at St. Ann. [For those of you not reading in the USA, the United States Marines has the phrase "the few, the proud, the Marines".]
I noticed the lace mantillas, lots of them, on the women’s heads – and the quiet.
The Mass has become more convivial of late, with lay readers and ushers and Eucharistic ministers. Someone or other is always marching up and down the aisle. Lay people – and altar girls – get to play a part.
I missed that. [hmmm She poses the question "Will the older rites and silence with contemplation bring the peace which is lacking but needed today?" She asks the question and then veers into something else.]
Following along in the Latin-English Booklet Missal isn’t difficult. I did it easily enough as a Catholic grade schooler. But it isn’t the same.
I’ve also gotten used to the priest facing the congregation, drawing us in. [Into what? His personality? A sense of "peace needed in the world"?] When he turns toward the altar, the feeling is just the opposite. [Opposite of being drawn into what?]
It seems less inviting and more like a secret society, one I’m not sure I’m good enough to join. [Okay… we are back to the challenge of being a Marine?] The sermon – about being vigilant in your faith – is fine, but a little muscular, a little Mel Gibson. [I wonder if she has been exposed to effeminate priests for a long time? Or if there is something in Mass facing the people, with all those other things she talks about, above ("lay readers and ushers and Eucharistic ministers. Someone or other is always marching up and down the aisle. Lay people – and altar girls") is not "muscular", that is, … atrophied Catholicism?]
The Catholic Church was once more exclusive, [Um… "Catholic" means "universal".] the one true faith, we were taught. The one thing it wasn’t about was dialogue. [Grrr.]
And I missed that dialogue at the Latin service. [This is a problem, I think, with the way the TLM is often celebrated, wherein some communities nearly repress congregational responses.]
We’ve grown up a lot since the days when the watchword was silence and the priest had the last word. Secrecy can be suffocating and mystery just an excuse not to ask questions. [For pity’s sake.]
Openness is not heresy. [My heavens! She has gone spinning off into the void!] As the lay organization Voice of the Faithful [Riiiight!] says: “provide a prayerful voice, attentive to the Spirit, through which the faithful can actively participate in the governance and guidance of the Catholic Church.”
There are things we know now that we never knew or chose not to see.
If the Latin Mass provides a clearer path to faith for anyone, it is worth having the choice.
But I see the world differently now. You can’t go back. I don’t want to.
This article exhibits some pretty sloppy thought.