“It was a Mass that fosters vocations.”

Many of you have expressed how you wish you could have attended the Pontifical Mass at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.  You have probably read various accounts posted in the Catholic blogosphere.

Here is from from The Crescat which merits some attention.  An excerpt with my emphases:

More so than all the beauty that surrounded me at that mass, within the liturgy and the church itself, was the beauty and looks of absolute wonder on the children’s faces. I guess because I am mom I notice these things.

I noticed two little boys in some matching traditional Asian dress who kept peeking around the pews. They would get up and cautiously walk up as close as they could to see what was going on. The babies in their parents arms would raise their sleepy heads and look around at the sound of the chorus, as if angels had called their names. Toddlers sat in stunned awe and craned their necks to look at the ceiling mosaics or stand on their tip toes to look over the seated heads.

It was a mass that enveloped their entire senses; sight, sound and smell. I know it will leave a lasting impression. I still remember the first time I went to a Catholic mass as an unchurched child and the mark it left on me unbeknownst at the time but resurfacing almost two decades later.

It was a mass that fosters vocations… as I believe any reverently celebrated mass has the opportunity to be. Any time a child witnesses something so out of ordinary [hence "extraordinary" form] it burns itself into their memory.


Read the rest there.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    At the age of 9 I experienced my first Solemn High Mass (Feast of the Assumption). It was as she describes above, except more! Absolute awe and perfect delight are the memories I have of that Mass. I was there all by myself and sitting in the front row where I could see everthing perfectly. When I got home I tried to describe it to my mother, as I was just bubbling over with delight over what I had experienced. Perhaps that one Mass is partly why to this day the Feast of the Assumption is my favorite Marian Feastday, and it is also my favorite Mystery of the Rosary.

  2. anna 6 says:

    Pope Benedict speaks beautifully in his biography “Milestones”, about his experiences at Mass as a child. He describes his fascination with the sights and sounds of the mystery as well as being engrossed in the discovery of the meaning of the latin words. There is no doubt that his vocation was born in this environment…perhaps it will be the same for a future pope!

  3. Geremia says:

    Good post indeed. This proves that beauty is objective and that the Mass isn’t just a Western or European cultural manifestation, as heretics like Hans Küng think. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the Sacrifice at Calvery! Does that mean it is restricted to a certain time, place, age group, or culture? Absolutely not! God transcends these things.

  4. I wish I was able to see the Mass on EWTN…maybe it is floating around online somewhere. This is beautiful…proper liturgy fosters vocations. Simple and plain.

  5. apagano says:

    We watched it at home on the computer…thank you EWTN. And my son who is almost three loved watching it and commenting on what was happening. Of course, being at home he would leave and go play and then come back to the computer again. But when he would here the bells he knew that Jesus was present and when the Bishop elevated the Sacred Host or the Chalice he’d kneel down no matter what else he was doing. How important the “smells and bells” really are.

  6. irishgirl says:

    I watched it at the library on my laptop…and I say THANK YOU EWTN for putting this Mass on.

    I went on the Crescat’s blog and read the full post. Wonderful….!

  7. MAJ Tony says:

    I heard this comment on the EWTN-aired “Sonrise Morning Show” out of Cincinnati this morning on our Catholic Radio in Indy, 89.1 WSPM. I didn’t catch where it came from, but I’m guessing this is what they were reading, unless it was an independent reaction. I have to agree with the statement. If I had been exposed to the EF as a youngster, I probably would be a Catholic Priest.

  8. Rob Cartusciello says:

    I recall a few experiences that have fostered my fidelity to the Church at an early age:

    Lighting candles with my parents after Mass
    2nd grade CCD class taught by a nun in traditional habit at St. Rita’s on Staten Island
    Learning about Ash Wednesday & then celebrating it
    Serving Midnight Mass for Christmas & vesting in cassock & surplice for the first time (at age 10) at St. Charles’ Seminary (Scalabrini Fathers)
    Having to memorize the Our Father, Hail Mary, Apostles Creed & Act of Contrition for First Confession & Communion and being quizzed on it by the Monsignor
    The beauty of St. Patrick’s Cathedral (NYC)

  9. Andreapkn says:

    These High Masses are gloriously and indeliby impressed upon our souls! How privileged we are as Catholics who were graced with a good Catholic education and with having priests and religious faithful to the teaching Magisterium of The Church.
    In the High Mass our soul anticipates the transforming power of the Mystery of Our Lord’s Physical Presence in the Eucharist and our senses are sated with the signs and traditions of the extraordinary form of the mass.
    Oh, the profound joy of our solemn worship!

  10. Dr. Eric says:

    This is why my son willingly goes to a Ruthenian Divine Liturgy, a Ukrainian Divine Liturgy (in Ukrainian even!) or a Solemn High Mass while I have to drag him to the local OF.

    All of my kids love to go to St. Francis de Sales and that’s where we are going to start going to Mass even though the drive is 58 minutes longer than our usual drive to Mass.

  11. Leguleius says:

    A very wise friend of mine once said: “If they had just translated the Mass into English, and left all of the ceremonial, things would have been fine.” I love Latin, but I tend to agree.

  12. The Cobbler says:

    Leguleius — that’s a kinder way to put it than the way I last said roughly that! My comment was something to the effect that life would be Hell for liberals if there were an easy to truly understand translation from the Latin into genuinely good English.

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