From KansasCity.com comes this, with my emphases and comments.
Never mind the problems with terminology, dig right in and read to the end.
My spirit came alive through Latin Mass
I cover my head when I worship. I am not a Muslim woman but a Roman Catholic who attends Tridentine Mass.
Like millions of other cradle Catholics, I grew up with the simple, easy-to-follow liturgy performed in English across America. Officially it’s known as the Novus Ordo (New Order) Mass and was introduced 40 years ago by Pope Paul VI. [That "easy to follow" stricture sure has has been two-edged.]
Novus Ordo was a response to the Second Vatican Council in the early 1960s, which declared that “the rites are to be simplified, due care being taken to preserve their substance.”
Simplified it was, but substance? What I learned about my faith in those early years you could’ve stuck inside a fortune cookie.
Not surprisingly, then, I fell away from my faith in college — like so many other students — because the foundation of my beliefs was a pile of sand, not the solid rock of Christ. I stopped attending Mass and neglected my spirituality altogether.
At one point I attended a couple of Greek Orthodox worship services. I remember there being something alluring in the stunning and elaborate series of rituals that I saw there.
A seed had been planted, it turns out, one that would grow as I became older and realized a spiritual yearning growing inside me. One day I was recalling that experience warmly and realizing I wanted that kind of worship in my life. I wondered if my own church, the Catholic Church, offered something similar.
And that’s how I found myself at Our Lady of Sorrows in downtown Kansas City, and heard for the first time what Mass sounded like to countless generations of believers prior to Vatican II. It was in Latin, so I had no idea what the priest was saying. The strange old rituals of this Mass, what I’d come to know as the “smells and bells,” were completely foreign to me.
But it had me right away. I realized that very first hour that I had come home. The beauty and the reverence of this rite struck a chord deep inside of me that resounds to this day.
Since I began attending the Tridentine Mass, I’ve come to appreciate the substance and textures of my faith that were never evident to me before. My husband still doesn’t attend church, and my mother-in-law refers irreverently to the “doily” I wear on my head during Mass.
But it’s not just about smells, bells and knowing what Agnus Dei means. For me, it is about experiencing the fullness of my faith.
Jennifer Leeper is one of 13 contributors writing the Faith Walk column. Reach her at email@example.com.