TLM at the NAC in Rome: “Coolest Mass I ever saw!”

Here is a follow up to what I postede the other day via John Sonnen’s fine Orbis Catholicus:

I guess the sixties are ending? And of course there’s always good news coming from Rome!

Today at Rome’s Pontifical North American College, America’s seminary in Rome, there was celebrated in the crypt chapel Holy Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal.

Over sixty seminarians were present, including the Rector and some staff. After the Mass the seminarians had a lot to say as one student remarked: "A first and it was very nice and hope we can see more of it in the future" while another smiled and noted with emotion: "Coolest Mass I ever saw!" [This is both a very encouraging comment, and sad, in sense.  It is sad that a major seminarian had to wait this long to see even the simplest version of his own Rome Rite.  It is encouraging because, as I have been saying, this form of Mass is going to have a profound effect on the way young priests say Mass and who they perceive themselves to be.  The gravitational pullllllll will be very strong through these young men.  Very strong indeed.]

Before Mass there was a nice instructional time held in the chapel for the seminarians to become aquainted with this "new" rite. A Benedictine cleric, a member of the faculty, shared some words about the ordo of the usus antiquior and then read through some parts of it so as to instruct the students on proper proununciation, etc. [You would think that Latin instruction, required in canon law, would already have been a part of formation.  But, I am glad that there was this propaedeutical moment.]

At the very end, though, there was an awkward moment when the same cleric then instructed those present that anyone could receive Holy Communion in their hand if "they so wished" as there was never any "written rule" which said one couldn’t.  [Well… tehcnically he was right.  However, it strikes me as singularly out of place to be saying something like that in such a moment.  IMO.]

Feeling embarassed (as the layman in the crowd!) I wanted to raise my hand and say: "Gee, doesn’t everyone know that consuetudo pro lege servatur (custom is held as law) here?"

Yes, John, but most of them wouldn’t have had a clue what that meant.

Good for you, John Sonnen, for your good reporting.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Geoffrey says:

    We have great reason to hope for the future. John Paul the Great was right in announcing the new springtime of the Church. Wonderful. Deo gratias!

  2. Volpius says:

    These two things struck me: “I guess the sixties are ending?” & “according to the 1962 Roman Missal.”

    It just seemed funny to see that the sixties are ending so we are going back to a the Rite used in the 60’s.

    On a side note why do priests feel obliged to make such announcements, it suggests a severe lack of prudence and sensibility to those attached to this rite. The last thing we want is for us to have the 1962 rite but bring all the questionable practices that have developed recently into it, that would leave me personally feeling that more has been lost than gained.

  3. sacredosinaeternum says:

    Amazing in one way- this would have never happened even three years ago. Yet, as an alum now ordained and celebrating the Holy Sacrifice in the EF, I must say that it’s very disappointing. It’s completely ridiculous that the celebrant is NOT wearing a ROMAN vestment, which lies in the drawer less than 100 feet behind him (in the sacristy) nor the acolyte wearing a cassock/surplice. As a former sacristan of the NAC, I can say that the “house custom” of wearing an alb is not that binding. Shameful, really. Vergine Immacolata, aiutataci!!

  4. Volpius says:

    Are we going to start naming all the Popes who happen to live in our times the Great now or just the ones certain people like?

    It would be a grave mistake in my opinion to elevate John Paul II to such an elevated title, while he was Pope he scandalised a lot of people on several occasions.

  5. Michael C. says:


    What are you saying! John Paul the Great was even greater than Pius the Great I and Pius the Great II combined! Seriously though, this “John Paul the Great” stuff getting pretty tiring and offensive. John Paul did nothing that a good Pope shouldn’t already be doing. It’s like the people are using it just so other will ask why and they can go on and on about hos he single handedly destroyed communism and restored the Church to its former glory. If we’re going to give his the title “the Great,” there are dozens of other Popes who should be getting it first. There’s no room to mention them all here. But no one realy cares. John Paul wasn’t even dead yet and people were already deciding what role he would have in history. No one wants to wait to find out. They know if they do, people will forget about his charisma and the title “the Great” won’t seem as fitting. Let’s wait 100 years and see if teenagers are still chanting “JPII we love you!”

  6. Fr. Dave says:

    Who would have ever imagined. As a seminarian at NAC in the early 80’s I never thought such a day would arrive. We found ourselves in trouble if we knelt during the Consecration. Deo Gratias.

  7. Diane says:

    That gravitational pullllllll IS the Holy Spirit, I’m convinced. All the tactics to prevent this pull or hinder it will fail because the Spirit blows where He wills!

  8. caesium says:

    I have only just started attending the EF in England and it takes some getting used to but I am slowly getting there. What I find baffling however is why, in bi-lingual Catholic America, the EF is not actively encouraged to bring communities together (to use the flowery language of the now finished 60’s)? The OF has become a source of division in the USA. It’s crazy! Even Sinful!

  9. Joseph says:

    To Caesium:

    The EF is attended by people of different clutural backgrounds, as one might imagine. It will still take some time for this to take hold, but I see a fair number of Latinos (more PC than “hispanics”) at the TLM so just for what it is worth.

  10. Joseph says:

    In my attempt at avoiding any sense of word play at play in the last post, I have, unavoidably tripped over yet one more opportunity for bad humour (my strong suit!!)

    Hence with the EF more and more prevalent in the US, the take over warned about — especially right leaning on talk radio — is being accomplished. More and more, and at an accelerated rate, we are all becoming “Latinos.”

    Sorry :-()

  11. Tom says:

    Father Z wrote: “…this form of Mass is going to have a profound effect on the way young priests say Mass and who they perceive themselves to be. The gravitational pullllllll will be very strong through these young men. Very strong indeed.”

    Father, does the Novus Ordo Mass have a profound (positive) effect on the way young priests say Mass and who they perceive themselves to be?

    Many Latin Church priests have been ordained in recent decades without reference to the Traditional Latin Mass.

    Do said priests suffer from the inability to say Mass in profound fashion…and are they wanting in their ability to perceive who they are?

    Thank you.


  12. jason hauser says:

    have you ever read john’s rantings about the muslims–i think you can find them archived on his blog—they are very hateful—even his mother doesn’t like those remarks–maybe you can talk to him

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