I just read the post in which you shared a reader’s observation about the pastoral nature of the TLM. I experienced something similar. I went to my first TLM on Nov. 2 for All Souls. A few days before I was chatting with our priest and asked him to tell us how to prepare for the Traditional Mass. His answer surprised me.
He said that for the first few times, we shouldn’t try to follow along or read. We should prepare and participate in a way similar to how we would for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament – quiet prayer and meditation, while enjoying the beauty of the Mass without distracting ourselves by trying to follow a text. That could be left for later.
The older form of the Mass, he explained, is actually easier for people at any level, any state of mind or at any place spiritually.
Basically, it’s easier for everyone. Those who want to follow along can do so and get a good deal out of it. Those who are not ready to follow along can still “participate” in the way most suitable for them.
My priest is not anti-NO. He said that the kind of participation required for the NO is good for people who understand the texts, are well prepared (theologically) and in the right frame of mind.
Unfortunately, this does not describe most people who attend the NO Masses. The downside, in his opinion, is that it’s all too easy for people to simply fall through the cracks, to just say the replies, without putting their mind or heart into it. If people are not in the right internal disposition, the “active participation” required can actually be a distraction.
I went to the TLM with this advice, and did precisely what he suggested; I prayed, enjoyed it and did not worry about following along. I brought with me a new-age semi-atheist, an Evangelical, my cradle-Catholic wife who had never been to a TLM, our two oldest sons and my Protestant brother. (Interestingly enough, in my experience non-Catholics are much more interested in attending the TLM than the NO.) I told all of them the same thing my priest had said. Chatting afterwards, everyone agreed that it was very beautiful and that it was in fact a good approach to take; even the least Catholic and the least “prepared” could gain a good deal from this. (For this reason I also believe there would be far more conversions with more TLMs.)
Of course, in the future I do hope to get a missal to follow along.
But for now I’m happy with this approach.
The part that is still very pleasantly surprising for me is this; the TLM is *easier* than the NO! If you had asked me a month ago, I wouldn’t have guessed this; it’s in Latin, it’s more in depth, more theologically intricate, etc – I would’ve assumed that since there is more to get out of it, it would’ve been harder.
But my priest was right; it’s easier. The fact that “there’s truly something for everyone there” makes it easier. It is the “Mass for the advanced,” but it’s also the Mass for the weak, the poor, the suffering, the joyful, the ignorant – it’s the Mass for everyone. As your reader said, it effortlessly “meets people where they’re at.”
It is truly easier for lay people to participate at whatever level they are at, and for that reason it is more pastoral.
Search Fr. Z’s Blog
SHOPPING ONLINE? Please, always come here first!
Enter Amazon through my link. Use the search bar below. Fr Z will get a small percentage of what you spend.
Here's Fr. Z's "catholic" search for Amazon: US HERE - UK HERE And you do need a Kindle! - HERE
“This blog is like a fusion of the Baroque ‘salon’ with its well-tuned harpsichord around which polite society gathered for entertainment and edification and, on the other hand, a Wild West “saloon” with its out-of-tune piano and swinging doors, where everyone has a gun and something to say. Nevertheless, we try to point our discussions back to what it is to be Catholic in this increasingly difficult age, to love God, and how to get to heaven.” – Fr. Z
YOUR RECENT COMMENTS
- Malta: I studied the European Union at Trinity College, Dublin. I knew back in 2001 that the Maastricht Treaty was eventually going to pave the way to legalize abortion throughout all of Europe. I...
- stephen c: Thanks Father Zuhlsdorf, for your years of service. You know this, I am sure, and most Christians whose life has been devoted to a vocation such as yours (priests, nuns, monks, and...
- Sword40: May I add my Congratula tions, and a hardy Semper Fidelis !
- LeeGilbert: As multos annos, Padre! Thank you for saying yes when the Lord called you to become a priest, for making all the requisite sacrifices then and now, for all that you put into your...
- Sword40: After much frustratio n waiting for the video techs to correct their problems, we were treated to a magnificen t Ordination Mass, complete with lots of electronic glitches via the video...
- kat: Happy Anniversar y Father! May God continue to bless you and your apostolate . Prayers for you!
- Elizabeth D: At the Madison transition al deacons 217; ordination last night Bishop Morlino 217;s homily instructed the men to be ordained deacons (Stephen and Lawrence, I kid you not) that...
- Deacon Jason: If memory serves, the OF rubrics for matrimony outside of Mass also optionally allow the use of a dalmatic with the alb and stole in lieu of a cope.
- jose.a.0121: It brings great joy to see and hear a bishop or a priest speak to the flock clearly about truth and the teachings of our Lord. It shows that he is truly concerned about their eternal...
- Kevin: To PostCathol ic In a few years they’ ;ll be insisting the church accept their kids for the ‘fun days out’ like Baptism, First Holy Communion, and Confirmati on. That...
- majuscule: mater101 expressed my exact sentiments only more clearly than I could have!
- Fr. John Zuhlsdorf: Snark? Not at all! I’m truly interested in what they have to say!
- Mike: Rigorous honesty and candor no more distinguis h the sycophants of the throne of Peter than they do its current occupant. In a few days they and he will be back to bashing the traditiona l...
- tamranthor: That right there is some Class A Number One snark, Father. Well done. :)
- Clinton R.: Congratula tions on your priestly anniversar y, Father. Thank you so much for you concern for the state of our souls, especially reminding us to GO TO CONFESSION !. May God bless you...
- APX: I remember once making an appointmen t to make a General confession over a half hour before the regular time, only to have some other woman who came to the church early walk into the confess...
- mater101: Thank you so very much for giving us an insight into your wonderful, wonderfill ed memories of your ordination . A delightful gift, in addition to the other gift : which is your faith...
- AUEagle: My Mother bought each of my siblings the paperback version of the Catechism 3 years ago. It’s a big book! My wife (recent convert from the Baptist Church 7 years ago) likes to flip...
- majuscule: Our Lady of Knock, pray for us. Get a copy of In Sinu Jesu (I tried to use Fr. Z’s Amazon link.) Also, support Silverstre am Priory with prayers and donations.
- excalibur: May Saint Patrick rise from his grave and condemn this generation , who know what they do.
- Andreas: Many blessings and a hearty Navy ‘Bra vo Zulu’ ; to you, Father Z., on this your anniversar y!
- MikeM221: May God bless you in a very special way today, Father. Happy anniversar y!
- iPadre: Ad multos annos! No greater gift could we have been given than to share in His priesthood . You are remembered in my prayers and Masses.
- Joy65: Praying for Ireland and for our world. May we be so ashamed of our sins that we RUN to Confession and ask forgivenes s for the sacrileges we do against Our God. Lord Please have mercy on us...
- robtbrown: Sawyer says: Pope Francis will visit Ireland in August. Wonder what he will say or do in response to what just happened there. How will Francis instruct, teach, admonish, encourage, pray...
CLICK and say your daily offerings!
- WDTPRS – Trinity Sunday: Are you beautiful at Mass?
- Did the catholic Left and homosexualists ignore Pope Francis’ words about seminarians?
- Bp. Morlino’s clear commencement address: “let’s be politically incorrect”
- LIVE VIDEO of FSSP priesthood ordinations
- URGENT PRAYER – IRELAND
- Fr. Z’s 27th Anniversary of Ordination
- MADISON 31 May – Corpus Christi – Pontifical Mass at the Throne and Procession
- Concerning innovations
- ASK FATHER: Deacons vesting in dalmatics for concelebrations
- ASK FATHER: How do we get the TLM where we are?
- Card. Arinze: If you want Communion, become a Catholic
- ASK FATHER: When to make an appointment for confession
- ASK FATHER: Sorting out confusing, contradictory messages from priests
- Wherein Fr. Z assigns some worthwhile reading
- Met “Gay-la” and new movie. Coincidence? I think not.
- ASK FATHER: Forgetting sins during confession
- Day Of Prayer For The Church In China
- Pope Francis on homosexual seminarians: This bridge is closed!
- My View For Awhile: Urban Devastation Edition
- Does Pope Francis have a “long game” strategy?
- Interview about Honduran Card. Rodriguez Maradiaga
- Canadian Jesuit Archbp. Prendergast comments on crazy German bishops’ scheme
- Pope’s words about God making someone “gay”
- Some cool stuff, old and new, in Rome and Detroit
- @Card_R_Sarah terrific sermon for Pentecost and pilgrimage
- A Bishop calls on his brother Bishops to celebrate the Traditional Pontifical Mass, TLM
- “I originally sent you this story 8 years ago, for the brick by brick file…” UPDATE
- “Where there is no temple there shall be no homes.”
- Pastor Iuventus on the appalling Met “Gay-la”
- Chilling – probably correct – explanation of mass school shootings
Let us pray…
Grant unto thy Church, we beseech Thee, O merciful God, that She, being gathered together by the Holy Ghost, may be in no wise troubled by attack from her foes. O God, who by sin art offended and by penance pacified, mercifully regard the prayers of Thy people making supplication unto Thee,and turn away the scourges of Thine anger which we deserve for our sins. Almighty and Everlasting God, in whose Hand are the power and the government of every realm: look down upon and help the Christian people that the heathen nations who trust in the fierceness of their own might may be crushed by the power of thine Arm. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.
My "challenge coin" for my 25th anniversary of ordination in 2016.
Want one? I do exchanges with military and LEOs, etc. and you can make a donation.
Coat of Arms by D Burkart
I travel a good deal. As I get older, it takes more of a toll. My main airline - sigh - is Delta. Were I to get some Gift Cards for Delta, I could more easily upgrade for longer flights. I'm just sayin'. I'd be much obliged. HERE
New miscellaneous releases and events
Yes, Fr. Z is taking ads…
A great hymnal…
Because it matters what children read…
I carry one of these super-strong rosaries in my spare mag pouch! The Swiss Guards have them too!
Because you don’t know when you are going to need to move fast or get along without the supermarket…
PLEASE RESPOND. Pretty pleeeease?Loading ...
WDTPRS POLLLoading ...
Fr. Z’s stuff is everywhere
Help support Fr. Z’s Gospel of Life work at no cost to you. Do you need a Real Estate Agent? Calling these people is the FIRST thing you should do!
GREAT causes to support
Help Monks in Wyoming (coffee – UPDATED LINK) and Norcia (beer) and the wonderful "Soap Sisters" of Summit, NJ!
Please follow me on Twitter!
If you travel internationally, this is a super useful gizmo for your mobile internet data. I use one. If you get one through my link, I get data rewards.
A book by an old friend…