I am on a plane waiting to take off so I can’t give this the usual treatment. I will add that later.
But this is a brick by brick moment.
Folks, in about five years or so we are going to see huge changes taking place.
Most of you seasoned readers of WDTPRS will find some of the strong points and weak points, but this is good.
From the Globe Gazette:
Ancient Rite Returns: Mass celebrated in Latin
By DEB NICKLAY
Father Ray Atwood says a return to the periodic Latin Mass may help parishioners reconnect with their liturgical roots. He said the Mass on Sunday at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in New Haven. (DEB NICKLAY/The Globe Gazette )
NEW HAVEN — At St. Peter’s Catholic Church in New Haven, Father Ray Atwood, dressed in the deep purple of the Lenten season, began the Mass on Sunday:
“In nomine Patris, et Filii et Spiritus Sancti; Introibo ad altare Dei (In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. I will go in unto the Altar of God).”
For the better part of an hour, the Mass was spoken almost entirely in its original form — Latin — called the Tridentine, or Latin, Mass.
About 50 people attended the Mass at the small Mitchell County church, a rite celebrated every fifth Sunday for the cluster of churches that make up the Holy Rosary parishes.
For those who are not Catholic, it is a rite seldom heard. The Mass was celebrated for centuries until the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s. At that time, the “vernacular” Mass was adopted, allowing the Mass to be spoken in a language familiar to the parish congregants.
Pope Benedict XVI, however, has since 2007 begun to encourage churches to celebrate the Mass periodically.
“I believe the Pope wants us to experience both forms; to see the history of the Roman rite,” Atwood said.
The word “Tridentine” refers to the Council of Trent, the Roman Catholic ecumenical council that standardized the Latin Mass in the mid-1500s. The Mass was used until the Second Vatican Council.
The church began offering the fifth Sunday Mass in November, at the start of Advent — and it has not been without challenges.
Celebrating a Mass in Latin instead of English is not the only difference in the rites, Atwood said. The church liturgical calendar and ritual itself have distinct flavors, he said.
During a Latin Mass, the priest faces largely away from the congregation toward the Eucharist — the blood and body of Christ — known as the “liturgical east.” There is more time given to contemplation. Communion is given only at the altar rail.
The altar moved forward and the priest turned toward the congregation after the Second Vatican Council.
Atwood, fortuntely, is well-grounded in the Latin Mass, having said it frequently when he served as associate priest in Dyersville.
Technology helped to bring the Latin rite into the church, said Pat Wickham of New Haven, one of the choir members whose job it was to learn the Latin responses.
“Fortunately, we were able to put (the responses) on CDs so everyone could have one — and that helped tremendously,” she said.
She is one of 10 choir members who have labored to learn the Latin. All were intimidated at first, they said, but have worked hard to be proficient.
“And our organist, Betty Condon, makes everyone sound good,” said one of the members.
“It’s been hard but there are those who really enjoy the Mass,” said Marilyn Johanns, another choir member from New Haven.
Atwood finds the Latin Mass not a replacement for the vernacular but another option that helps widen the worship experience.
“For me,” Atwood said, “it is a rediscovery of our liturgical heritage.”