Prayers for a priest who will celebrate TLM for the first time

From a priest reader:

Fr. Z, this Sunday I will celebrate my first public Mass in the
extraordinary form
. I have not yet done it in private either, but I’m
practicing as much as I can in preparation. I don’t want to put it
off, because I need to fill in for the priest who usually offers this
Mass every Sunday, and I really want to take the leap to the E.F. –
but I also want to do it right
, and I’m not quite ready as of today. I
will probably have an M.C. on hand to help, but I’m nervous.
So, please keep me in your prayers. Thanks!

I will do so, and so will many WDTPRSers!

It is good to have a little anxiety, Father.  A little anxiety creates focus and clarity of thought.  But a lot anxiety causes paralysis.  My advice is to forge ahead and do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.   If you make a mistake, just move on (unless it is at the consecration, of course!).  And don’t rush things.

I believe this is an experience which will change your view of who you are at the altar.

In the meantime, have some…


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When you’ve had a hard day of reviewing rubrics and trying to get that pesky Host fraction part down so that you don’t feel like an idiot in front of several hundred pairs of eyes, fixedly staring at you and dissecting every move you make as experts who have been blasting priests for years for liturgical abuses, just relax with a brimming Say The Black – Do the Red mug of delicious Mystic Monk Coffee!

That’s right! With Mystic Monk, you’ll be rubrically astute in no time!

Mystic Monk Coffee!

It’s swell!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Brick by Brick, Mail from priests, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. GirlCanChant says:

    Yay, something happy to pray for!

    To the priest who wrote the letter: I was a cantor up until earlier this year when I started assisting at a TLM, and it took years for me to get over the nerves. When I was younger, I was convinced that I would someday have a “perfect” Mass – hit all the right notes, not breathe in the wrong places, etc. At some point I realized that was never going to happen, and that it was silly to expect it. At my last parish, I was the youngest of the 3 cantors in the choir, but also the most experienced. The others were always asking me questions. I remember the one woman saying to me, “I still haven’t gotten everything right,” to which I replied, “Don’t worry, neither have I!” God knows we all make mistakes, but I am sure you will be great. Good luck, God bless, and I hope they find an MC for you!

  2. Henry Belton says:

    To this awesome priest:

    You’re not alone. First, each person in the pews is thrilled for you and looks forward to many more of your EF masses. Second, each person is in the pews is assisting you with the mass. They are praying for you and with you. I wish my family and I were there.

    You’ll do great.

  3. Said a Hail Mary for this priest. May it be the first of many TLMs!

  4. Mike says:

    I will say some prayers before the Tabernacle for this priest and his intentions.

  5. Flambeaux says:

    Praying here.

  6. Jaybirdnbham says:

    To the priest who wrote: Father, as you’re about to begin the Mass, just ask Mary to take your hand and lead you through it. You’ll do fine! And we’re all praying for you too.

  7. wolfeken says:

    You have lots of support, Father — best wishes for a beautiful liturgy. “All things are in Thy will, O Lord and there is none that can resist Thy will: for Thou hast made all things, heaven and earth, and all things that are under the cope of heaven.” (Introit for the 21st Sunday After Pentecost)

  8. ipadre says:

    I will pray! Congratulations! I love to celebrate the EF, it is a great gift from our Holy Father!

  9. Liz says:

    We will pray too.

  10. SonofMonica says:

    In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen

  11. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    It’s only Thursday, but I will pray my Chaplet of Divine Mercy tomorrow for you, Father.

    I have just one thought: at first you will probably worry about little details, but when it becomes natural, you will wonder how you ever prayed the other form. A priest of my acquaintance has had exactly this experience — first he had to study to learn to do it properly, but later (and he’s still a young man) he has reported that he had to remember how to pray using the 1970 Missal.

  12. Dr. Eric says:

    I offer my prayers through the intercession of St. Jean Vianney.

  13. edmontonn18 says:

    Very best wishes to Father, preparing for his first EF Mass. Pick a good MC. Perhaps tell him that you are probably as nervous as he was the first time he MC’d, and ask for his understanding.

    Those of us who are MCs realise that our job is to make sure the ceremonies are dignified and well ordered. We should take the pressure off our priests by our doing our job diligently and discreetly, particularly if we are assisting a priest who is faltering. We know we’ve done our job right when things go wrong in the sanctuary and the faithful aren’t distracted by the way we put them right.

  14. priests wife says:

    “Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” Fr. – I love this! Are you the ‘first’ to say this- or is it a Chesterton quote that I should know? In any case- I am making it my motto of the week.

  15. tonio5555 says:

    Reminds me of a sign I saw once in the sacristy of Saint Lucy’s in Newark, NJ.

    “Holy Priest of God

    say this Mass as if it was

    your first Mass

    your last Mass

    your only Mass”

  16. xsosdid says:

    We have a new priest at our parish, Fr Tom, and I asked him, as I ask every priest “Will you learn the latin mass? If you will I will be your server.” He said “Yes”!! So we had our first practice last Saturday and he thinks (optimistically in my opinion) that we need only one or two more.
    I am still studying the server responses but they are coming.
    If this community would pray for us it would really help. Father Tom’s notion (he is not the Pastor at my parish, but the Associate, and the Pastor is against the latin mass being said) is that we start by saying a low mass at the local university for the students. I think that this is an excellent place as the latin mass will create vocations. This is all happening in London, Ontario and right now it’s kind of a secret because we can’t tell parishoners what we are doing as the Pastor would not approve.
    Anyway please pray for our work because it is so important! Pray for Fr Tom that he persists. And pray that he gets a baretta. He doesn’t have one and he laughs every time I tell him he needs one!
    God bless you Father Z!!!

  17. juxta crucem says:

    Dear Father,
    Thank you for being man enough to offer this Mass! My 14 year old son is serving at the extraordinary form Mass for the first time this Sunday and is a bit nervous, too. I’ll ask him to pray for you. I will pray that you offer this Mass well for the glory of God and that Our Lord will conform you ever more closely to Himself.

  18. poohbear says:

    Will add to my rosary intentions.

  19. Trust your MC! If an MC could protect the Archbishop of Khartoum from dancing dagger-wielding assassins, your MC is surely capable of keeping you out of a few mixups! :)

  20. Mitchell NY says:

    I am probably late in posting to wish you peace and serenity before and during your first Tridentine Mass, however that does not stop my prayer for a future filled with beautiful Tridentine Masses and a heart that becomes larger and clearer by your experience of offering your first EF Mass. God Bless and may your service continue to be called upon.

  21. ChantalM says:

    A little late in replying, but I will pray for you Father for your intentions.


    I know Fr. Tom! Not only was he the deacon at my Confirmation but also he was one of the priests to come with my group to WYD ’08. He also heard my confession in L.A. before leaving for Sydney. I had no idea he was interested in the EF. Not really that surprised however. My prayers are with him as well. I happen to know the priest at the local university, and I suspect he wouldn’t be too pleased either (he’s also the Chaplain at King’s University College). He’s pretty liberal, and I also think if you were to approach him about this he would point out that FSSP already does Mass (I forget which low or high) before the OF Mass at 10:30. He might be all for it, but I don’t know. Say hi to him for me (Chantal) and assure him he’s in my prayers.

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