TLM at the Cathedral of Savannah, GA

Check out this article in the Savannah Morning News about the the older form of Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

My emphases and comments.

Latin Mass moves to cathedral downtown 

Sunday Mass marks return of old rite after nearly 40 years.

The Latin Mass is returning to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist for the first time in nearly 40 years.

Leaders for the Catholic Diocese of Savannah said this week that the old rite – once allowed only by special permission from a bishop – will be celebrated weekly at the cathedral.

Fewer than 100 Roman Catholic supporters of the Latin Mass have organized occasional services at Nativity of Our Lord parish since about 2003.

The group began meeting quarterly. Then, in 2006, the group persuaded Bishop J. Kevin Boland to allow the Mass to be celebrated every two months. This year, the frequency of the Mass increased to monthly and then, in November, weekly.  [Patient is needed!  Don’t ruin good projects by demanding too much too quickly.]

Monsignor William O. O’Neill, who oversees use of the Latin Mass for the diocese, said the service was starting to interrupt programs [Ehem… I don’t get this.  I don’t see how MASS interupts anything at a parish.] at Nativity of Our Lord, a predominantly Vietnamese congregation in Thunderbolt.

Other parishes have been unwilling to accommodate the Latin Mass because it requires loaning [as if it their possession] out their sanctuary for at least an hour and a half. [So long?] Because the prayers and rubrics are different, furniture on the altar must be rearranged, which takes up more time.  [Gosh!  So much trouble!  What an inconvenience!]

O’Neill said the bishop decided to make changes to help out the congregation of Nativity of Our Lord as well as the 50 or so Catholics who regularly have attended the Latin Mass.

"They’ve been anxious to come to the cathedral anyhow," he said.  [Finally some common sense.]

Savannah dentist Felix Maher has coordinated local efforts to celebrate the Latin Mass.

"Certainly I think it’s the right move," Maher said. "Good liturgy flows from the mother church, [And forms the Church as well.] and this is certainly a good move for the Latin Mass."

James Langley said worshippers were told of the changes last Sunday.

"We were just overjoyed. We’ve been waiting for so long, and that is such a fitting location for it," Langley said. "I think we’ll enjoy the prominence (the Latin Mass) deserves in that location."

iTypically called the "Latin rite" or the Tridentine Mass, [Cleary the writer needed do to some extra homework.] it was used for nearly 400 years in the Roman Catholic Church, with some revisions from time to time. Aside from the language difference, this version of the Mass positions the priest facing the altar, the same direction as the parishioners. [Hurray!  Yet another article avoids the old chestnut.  Perhaps these fiskings are helping.] The service also includes different prayers, some read in Latin, some in the vernacular and some that the priest recites almost in a whisper.

In 1969, the Vatican issued a number of reforms intended to make worship more accessible to followers, [So accessible that fewer and fewer people went to Mass and confession each week.] including a new version of the rite turning the priest to face the parishioners, saying the new prayers aloud, and reading the entire Mass in the common language.

Some purists and a new generation of orthodox Catholics say they prefer the beauty and antiquity they sense in the old rite.

In July, Pope Benedict XVI eased restrictions on the use of the Latin Mass. Special permission from a bishop no longer is required to celebrate the Latin rite.

O’Neill said not since the reforms of the late 1960s has the Latin Mass been celebrated in the cathedral.

Savannah Deanery Latin Mass

1 p.m. every Sunday, starting Jan. 6, at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, 222 E. Harris St. The choir will sing Missa Cantata. All are welcome.

There is also a blurb in the bulletin of the Cathedral.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Patrick says:

    Fr Z says: “Because the prayers and rubrics are different, furniture on the altar must be rearranged, which takes up more time. [Gosh! So much trouble! What an inconvenience!]”

    Hmm How about just leaving the High Altar in place and celebrating the Ordinary Form oriented? It would sure save trouble!

  2. Templar says:

    Well, that’s good news indeed. I was beginning to feel as if Bishop Boland was working against SP, perhaps my impression is wrong. At 2+ hours away it’s still too far for me to attend on a regular basis, but hopefully this will mean that the TLM at Macon (less than an hour from me) will grow from monthly to weekly.

    Brick by brick eh?

  3. Mary Jane says:

    Well, it’s a bit of a drive from St. Augustine to Savannah, but with a 1 p.m. start time (and no Sunday gigs), it might be do-able. And the Cathedral is beautiful.

  4. frcd says:

    I am really grateful for this. For a reason I suspect different from some readers. The parish church to which I am currently assigned is very, very unsuitable for the Extraordinary Form. It was built in 1967 as “a model for the diocese as what a church should look like now…” (Don’t blame me, I was 1 year old when it was built!)

    The liturgy calls for suitable architecture. Huzzah to Savannah for seeing this!

  5. Chironomo says:

    I visited the Cathedral in Savannah this Summer… a REMARKABLE structure that just spent a HUGE sum on renovations to return it to it’s glorious splendor! It is an ideal location for the Traditional Mass (I recall commenting to my wife that it seemed as though the Bishop saw Summorum Pontificum coming a mile away and was getting ready!). They also had (correct me if I’m wrong please) 8 seminarians in training at the time. Remember that this is a SMALL diocese in a predominantly Baptist stronghold of the South. There is also an amazing Organ at the Cathedral with concertts every Sunday. Pray that all this keeps going!

  6. Brian2 says:

    Yet another reason I wish I lived in Savannah…

  7. Regarding Thunderbolt:

    If you’ve ever been there, you probably didn’t know it. The town and the Church are both tiny. In all fairness, 100 extra congregants may have been a big problem.


  8. eft says:

    “furniture on the altar must be rearranged”

    What is furniture doing on the altar?
    There must be a really wacky Mass
    just waiting to be photographed! :-)

    How do we get article writers and editors
    to review vocabulary?
    prepositions (on, in)
    nouns (altar, sanctuary)

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