From a Canadian Catholic newspaper The Prairie Messenger comes this great story for your Brick By Brick file.
My emphases and comments.
Latin mass celebrated in Winnipeg
By Brenda Suderman
WINNIPEG — The pews of Winnipeg’s St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church were filled to near capacity for mass on Sept. 4, with parishioners keen to worship in a language that most did not even understand.
The now weekly 10 a.m. mass is being said in Latin, with Rev. Jeffrey Burwell, SJ, presiding. [And a Jesuit to boot!]
“Following the liturgy, even with the help of the missal, can be a grace-filled challenge for those who either have no prior experience or have not attended the Latin mass since the 1960s,” says Burwell. “It is nevertheless clear that those attending have a real desire to actively participate. [And that, for the baptized, is the key to true active participation.] With such dedication, they will soon understand the liturgy in its fullness.”
The Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is the term used for the traditional Latin mass. After the Second Vatican Council ended in 1965, Roman Catholics were granted permission to celebrate the liturgy in their own languages, called the Ordinary Form.
“The church’s language is officially Latin. Other religions have sacred languages, Islam has Arabic, Judaism has Hebrew, and Hindu has Sanskrit,” says Burwell, 36, who teaches Catholic studies at the University of Manitoba and studied Latin during his undergraduate days at the University of Regina.
“There’s something about the sacred language. It roots us in our tradition.”
Parishioner Kateri Muys was eager to participate in the mass, having experienced it while studying at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy in Barry’s Bay, Ont.,
“There isn’t anything really like it,” explains the 21-year-old Oak Bluff resident. “Once you worship in Latin, you don’t want to go back.”
The first two Sundays of the Latin mass featured the 75-minute high mass, but from then on the hour-long low mass is being celebrated, with the high mass being reserved for feast days, says Burwell,
Winnipeg’s first official Latin mass in nearly five decades comes about with the support of the archdioceses of Winnipeg and St. Boniface after Pope Benedict XVI declared that those who want to worship using the traditional Latin liturgy should be given the opportunity, says Winnipeg Archbishop James Weisgerber. [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]
“We’ve been encouraged to expose them to that, to continue this tradition of the church,” explains Weisgerber. “Archbishop LeGatt (of St. Boniface) and I are co-operating on this because we want to make it accessible to the whole community.” [WDTPRS Kudos to them. BTW.. how many Archbishops are there in Winnipeg? Quite a few, if memory serves.]
Ordained while Latin was still widely used, Weisgerber says he’ll consider dusting off his Latin and pinch-hitting for Burwell on Sunday mornings if necessary. [WDTPRS ultra-kudos.]
Attending Latin masses in London, England and St. Louis, Miss. convinced Winnipegger John Cortens to join the group at St. Ann’s on Sunday mornings.
“It is very, very moving and prayerful and reverent in those places,” recalls Cortens. “We’re just sort of a ragtag group trying to do the same in a small way.”
For Anselm Ragelti, worshiping in Latin also means an opportunity to learn the liturgy in a new way, since he is serving as an altar boy at St. Ann’s. Unlike the Ordinary Form in which the people respond to the priest in the liturgy, the six altar boys recite the responses in the Latin mass.
“I found it really beautiful,” says Ragelti, 14, of his previous experiences with the Extraordinary Form while attending a Catholic boys’ camp in South Dakota. “Latin is very beautiful and it translates into music easily.”
Burwell’s homily is delivered in English, as are the readings from Scripture. He is confident his new parishioners will become more comfortable with Latin and will soon know the difference between the Gradual and a genuflection.
“Those who attend the Extraordinary Form of the liturgy at St. Ann’s will find themselves nourished both by a beautiful celebration of the eucharist on the altar as well as a community of prayerful friendship that is developing in the pews,” Burwell says.
WDTPRS kudos all around!
See? It doesn’t have to be agony.