Springfield, MO: good article about the TLM

There is an interesting article in the Springfield, MO, News Leader about the older form of Mass.  Here it is with my emphases and comments.

Published February 11, 2008

Catholics celebrate revival of Latin Mass

Traditional Latin Mass will be performed monthly at Holy Trinity Catholic Church.

Linda Leicht

Lili Simmerman found the Latin Mass a "little hard to follow," but she is ready to give it another try.  [Do you remember that amazing thread we had a few months ago with so many comments from people about their first experiences of the TLM?  This was a common reaction.]

On Sunday afternoon, Simmerman and her mother, Pat Shanahan, both of Springfield, attended the first traditional Latin Mass celebrated in Springfield since the Roman Catholic Church introduced Mass in the vernacular in the 1960s.

Shanahan remembers services in the ancient language from her youth, but her daughter grew up hearing only English in church.

On Sunday, Monsignor Raymond Orf dusted off his Latin to perform what will be a monthly celebration at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Springfield.  [With soft shoe… "Brush up your Latin, start quoting it now…"]

Orf entered the church in an ornate Roman chasuble, woven with gold wire, and wearing a black biretta on his head. Four altar servers assisted, wearing white surplices over black cassocks. Two carried large candles.

They stepped up toward the altar, backs turned to the congregation, [Well… only apparently.  They are actually facing the liturgical East.]  and began. "In nomine Patris …" — "In the name of the Father …"

The servers flanked Orf, on their knees, sometimes placing their heads on the step before them. "Quia tu es, Deus, fortitudo mea …" — "For thou, O God, art my strength" — they replied.

The prayers continued, a back and forth between the elderly priest and the young servers, [This is nice.] all male.

Then, Orf ascended to the altar, lifted his arms up, his palms open, to pray for forgiveness of sins and pure minds. After kissing the altar, he turned around to face the more than 200 people who had attended the historic event.

"Dominus vobiscum," Orf intoned.

"Et cum spiritu tuo," the congregation replied.

"The Lord be with you."

"And with thy spirit."  [Which is what we will hear in the new translation of the Novus Ordo.]

The voices came from young and old, from women in hats or lace cloths on their heads, from many with bare heads, from those with well-worn missals, many saved from their youth, or those who got a copy of the bright red booklets at the back of the church. Some replied easily from memory. Others stumbled with the unfamiliar language.

Sharon James is only 16, but she had no trouble following the service. She and her parents and three sisters have been driving all the way to Kansas City for the past year to experience this same Mass.

"There’s more reverence" in the Latin Mass, she said. "But I understand and get more out of the English."  [Hmm… but she understands that there is more reverence at the TLM.  It would be interesting to know what she is getting from the Mass celebrated in English.]

The family immigrated from India 14 years ago, [Where languages other than Latin are considered sacred languages.] but it is not the familiar language of home they seek. It is the mystery and the "holiness" of the ancient Latin, said her father, James Xavier, who also attends an English Mass daily at Immaculate Conception in south Springfield.

Mike Kramer, 20, who was one of the servers, would prefer to experience the Mass only in Latin.

"Everything in this Mass is completely timeless," [Well.. maybe not "completely timeless".  It is still culturally conditioned to a certain extent, but we get the idea: there is continuity with the past.  That is the important point.] he said. "It’s from Christian antiquity. If you worship this way, you are worshipping the same way your great-great-grandmother did. In some ways, it’s your only connection to them.

"There is a bond there with your entire family tree, [And far more than your family tree.  Or perhaps it helps you see that your family tree is bigger than you thought.] that is only accessible through this."

For Sharon Hollars, who attended Sunday with her 84-year-old mother, Lucille Holars, the experience transcended language:

"It’s just beautiful."


 Pretty good article!

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  1. magdalen says:

    I know Msgr. Orf–or rather I should say I have met him. He is the reason my brother-in-law and then his family became Catholic. Also he brought my sister totally back to the faith. He is so kind! He is a spiritual father! He visited his people. He also tells what he calls ‘orf-full’ jokes.

    One time when I was visiting my sister, I missed morning Mass because the weekday schedule changed day to day. The front doors of the church were locked but I found a back door that wasn’t. So I went in to make a holy hour. And I was upset about missing Mass and I also had not been able to get to confession with my usual frequency. I was praying the stations with deep meditation when Msgr. discovered me there in his church. I asked him if he had a moment, and he is one of those priests who DOES have a moment for a soul who asks such a question. Anyway, he heard my confession and gave me Holy Communion and restored my soul to peace.

    And now Msgr. Orf grants the gift of the TLM. Thanks be to God for him and priests like him.

    Ave Maria!

  2. Guy Power says:

    Fr.Z: “And with thy spirit.” [Which is what we will hear in the new translation of the Novus Ordo.]

    WOO-HOO! Give us some more G-2 (intelligence) from your recent meeting at PCED …. pleeeeezzzzeeeeeeeee

  3. AJdiocese says:

    Guy: The new translation (at least versions of it being reviewed by the bishops) have been leaked from time to time and it’s going to be super compared to the horrible translation we use now.

  4. elizabeth mckernan says:

    I am curious to know why the French were allowed to say ‘Et avec votre esprit’ for ‘et cum spiritu tuo’ whereas we in Britain (and in the USA?) had to say the clumsy ‘and also with you.’ The same reason I suppose as they carried on bring able to say ‘pour la multitude’ for ‘pro multis’ and ‘Je crois en Dieu’ for Credo. An English priest who has lived most of his life in France admitted to me that the French translation of the Mass was far more accurate than the one we received in Britain. So what happened?

  5. AJdiocese says:

    Elizabeth: The uber liberal International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) is what happened.

  6. Austin says:

    Elizabeth: On the other hand, why do the French reply ‘Ainsi soit-il’ when a simple ‘Amen’ will do?

  7. Daniel Muller says:

    “And with thy spirit.” [Which is what we will hear in the new translation of the Novus Ordo.]

    Obviously I am not the expert here, but I am afraid that we shall never hear this at all in a non-Anglican-Use Mass. No, we are condemned to praying in the second person plural slum of “you” because “nobody” understands grammar anymore. I wonder if we could at least get a Texan Use translation with you/y’all in place of thou/you.

    [“One” cannot live by bread alone … sheesh!]

  8. Jack says:

    It would be interesting if Thee and Thou were returned to the English translation – at least sparingly (I really don’t see a return to completely archaic English, with all the -est and -ith word endings, but I could see a return to an, admittedly improper, use of some archaic words and phrases). The rest of the mass would then match the version of the Our Father we use.

  9. Fr W says:

    On the young being inspired by the Ancient Mass, it was just this morning that, as usual we chant the Agnus Dei at morning Mass – a young man came up afterward, a newcomer, asking: ‘What was that we sang before Communion?’ ‘It was beautiful!!!’ I explained it to him, and he said: ‘I wish the whole Mass was like that!’

    Unrelated question: Is there anywhere to be found on-line the actual Latin for Anointing of the Sick? I don’t seem to have it anywhere. (The new Rite).

  10. Richard says:

    I wonder who got mixed up, Linda Leicht or Msgr. Orf. There is no “Dominus vobiscum” after the priest recites the “Oramus te, Domine” while kissing the altar stone. The first “Dominus vobiscum” comes after the Gloria.


  11. Tony says:

    Daniel & Jack,

    I agree – bring back the thou and thee! This sort of avoidance of the old poetic use of language was in first fever back in the late ’60s when a certain Christian Brother who taught me was really into modernising language – and mocking pre-conciliar praxis. Shall we call him Brother Herman of the Discontinuity? Anyhow – I suspect that the boffins on the vox clara committee will lack the imagination, nerve and verve to reintroduce an elegant use of the old personal pronouns.

    Having said that, has anyone else noticed what could perhaps be considered a symtom of the dumbing down of the populace on this issue, as, ironically, demonstrated in the recitation of the Hail Mary in its traditional form? I speak of this attrocity:

    Hail Mary full of grace
    the Lord is with Thee
    Blessed art Thou amongst women
    and blessed is the fruit of THOU womb, Jesus

    C’mon now y’all, how many of you have been guilty of ‘thou’ing’ thy ‘thy’s’!! ‘You womb, Jesus…ugh!!! I must admit that it is an irritant that repels me during group recitations of the Rosary. And a mea culpa for my lack of charity, too!

  12. Jack says:

    Yeah, I also doubt we’ll get to see some cool archaic language in the new translation.

    BTW, I’ve fortunately never heard “thou womb, Jesus” when reciting the Hail Mary with others. The only discrepancy I’ve ever encountered is that some say “among” and others say “amongst.”

  13. Maureen says:

    There’d be a natural tendency in some dialects of English (like Yorkshire) to say “tha” for pretty much every part of the thou/thy/thee thing. What can I say? English loves the schwa sound.

    Alternatively, there may be a lot of Catholics who’ve learned the Rosary by ear, or who’ve never been taught correctly. I dunno.

    Interestingly, Quakers apparently say or used to say “thee” for everything, as a subject as well as an object. This shows up occasionally in fantasy novels, and is both disconcerting and confusing. “Thee are annoying me.”

  14. Terry says:

    Many may not be aware of the great trials the faithful of Springfield, MO have gone through in order to have a licit Latin Mass in their diocese. Many of them would travel as far as Tulsa on occasion just to be able to attend the Mass because their recently retired bishop would not allow them that which the Pope had said was rightfully theirs. They are to be commended for their faithfulness, devotion and humble submission to the heavy handed authority which Providence deemed worthy to burdened them with. They will be richly blessed for their fidelity in the face of persecution.

  15. Daniel Muller says:

    and blessed is the fruit of THOU womb, Jesus

    I know that this is off-topic, but I would like to mention that I have never heard this, either. What I have heard — and, I must confess, used to say before I checked the Latin in my teens — is:

    Pray for OUR sinners …

    I notice that this is quite common in the pre-Sunday-Mass rosary in the parish that I attend — as well as the response “Pray for us!” to the invocation “Sacred Heart of Jesus.”

  16. Richard says:

    I’ve never heard “Thou womb” but we used to have listen to a local nun lead the Rosary thus: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Jesus. No big deal, I suppose, but I always found it jarring and irritating. Cui bono? I get enough distractions during the Rosary as it is!

  17. Matt Q says:

    This is totally stupid!

    THOU is “you.”

    THY is “your.”

    People are getting sloppy.

  18. And THINE is “yours”

  19. Angels_Stole_My_Phonebox says:

    Elizabeth, AJDiocese and Austin:
    I recently compared the Italian and English Vernacular Mass texts, to that of the Latin Novus Ordo text. As Fr Z will know, unlike the English, the Italian translation preserves much of the correct sense of the Latin, including those phrases you mention (‘e con il tuo spirito’; ‘Credo in un solo Dio’). What is intriguing and questionable though, especially given the closeness of Italian and Latin languages, is that ‘pro multis’ is, just like the incorrect English translation, rendered ‘per tutti’ (for all) in Italian. Any thoughts?

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