Brick by Brick in Duluth – 14 Sept. Solemn TLM (Great story behind this!)

For your “Brick by Brick” file, from the site of the Diocese of Duluth where the His Excellent Most, and I do mean Most Reverend Paul Sirba is Bishop, comes this. I have written about Bp. Sirba before, here.

The Northern Cross – Local News

Deacon gets first taste of solemn high Mass

By Kyle Eller
The Northern Cross

When Deacon Scott Peters of St. Benedict in Duluth was in deacon formation, he was told repeatedly that you never know just what ministry you will find yourself in. But perhaps the last thing he expected was to be preparing for a solemn high Mass as it would have been celebrated in 1962.

Yet that Mass, with a polyphony choir, a chant schola, servers and another permanent deacon who is coming up from a Twin Cities parish famous for its traditional liturgies to fill the subdeacon role, will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, at St. Benedict. The liturgical celebration is the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, and it is the anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum,” which liberalized access to the traditional Mass.

“I never thought that I would be working in liturgy, especially the Traditional Latin Mass,” Deacon Peters said. When he was in formation, he was doing social work and thought his ministry might involve that. He says he didn’t even know what the old rite was.

He said the whole thing began with the Duluth Men’s Schola. (Full disclosure: This writer is the founder and director of the schola, which will be singing Sept. 14.) Then Father Eric Hastings, who will celebrate the Sept. 14 Mass, began to offer the simplest version of the Traditional Latin Mass, a “low Mass,” and there were no servers, so Deacon Peters learned how to serve.

From there, [Brick…] things began to develop slowly. The next step was doing the more complicated sung version of the Traditional Latin Mass, a “missa cantata,” culminating in a heavily attended missa cantata last year featuring a polyphony choir. (This year the choir will be singing William Byrd’s “Mass for Four Voices.”)

From there, [… by Brick] the next step was a solemn high Mass, which is vastly more complex — and a vastly more demanding liturgy for a deacon.

Deacon Peters said all along it was something meant to be guided by the Holy Spirit and carried out peacefully.

“There are no agendas, there were no expectations, it was just people who loved liturgy and wanted to be faithful to what the Holy Father was asking of us,” he said.


Deacon Peters freely admits that his work with the traditional liturgy has changed him as a deacon. “I’m a different deacon than I was before,” he said. He said he is more prayerful and reverent in how he approaches the sacrifice of the Mass, in whichever form it’s celebrated, a sentiment he has also heard from altar servers[I have often written this about the effect the older Mass on priests who learn it.  Why should it be different for deacons?… for lay people?]

He said the approach for this Mass and all the work associated with it is not confrontational or controversial but simply motivated by a desire to hand a “precious treasure” on, as a gift.

We want it to be an act of love,” he said. [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]

He said the parish is inviting all the faithful from the region to attend. Priests and deacons from the diocese are invited to attend the Mass and sit in choir, as there is no concelebration in this form of the Mass. For details, contact the parish at (218) 724-4828.

WDTPRS kudos to Dcn. Peters and Fr. Hastings.

Brick by brick with Pope Benedict!

Brick by Brick with Pope Benedict

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I can testify to what Deacon Peters says: The EF made me definitely more prayerful and reverent in how I actively participate in the sacrifice of the Mass.

    I’m starting to believe that maybe the Holy Spirit, in His infinite wisdom, used the Novus Ordo precisely to give us something to make a comparison, and to be more aware of what goes on in the Holy Liturgy.

  2. Fr-Bill says:

    When I was 13 (I am now 70) I served (and censed folk) at such a mass (the investiture of a monsignor). It remains a high point.

  3. asperges says:

    I am sometimes astounded that clergy have are either entirely ignorant of the old rite or cannot see any use for it. But the gap in their knowledge should not be wondered at, or blame laid at their door, given the poor formation in seminaries and the counter propaganda of so many years.

    This is a wonderful account and those who come in contact with the old rite(s), find an extraordinary (no pun intended) effect on them spiritually which touches them deeply. Doubly pleasing that a deacon should experience this. I am sure he can have a positive effect on others now.

  4. jaykay says:

    Was at the 8:00 a.m. TLM in Dublin this morning. We were able to venerate a relic of the Cross after Mass. And it’s a beautiful sunny and bright autumn morning here (after a pretty dull and miserable “summer”). How better to start the day?

  5. kiwitrad says:

    Not all are affected by TLM like this. Our Bishop has begrudgingly allowed us to have a Latin Mass once a fortnight in a small country church. He does not allow us to advertise it in any of the churches or their newsletters.

    Recently our beloved priest told us he was going away on a retreat and the Bishop would say the next Latin Mass for us. Astonishing news! But he came and said the Mass beautifully. Afterward I asked him if, when all the Bishops gathered together in Rome, they spoke in Latin. he said that no, they all speak English. Then he looked at me sideways and said “English is the new Latin!”

  6. pappy says:

    My son graduated from UM-Duluth this past spring, and I had the opportunity to attend mass
    at this parish. Fr. Hastings celebrated the OF ad orientum (he called it ad Dominum”).
    It was one of the most beautiful masses I had been to in many years.

    And yes, Bishop Sirba is indeed “Most Reverend”, he was an associate pastor at our parish
    many (many) years ago.

  7. Andy Milam says:

    This is wonderful news…it certainly hasn’t taken Bishop Sirba long….HUZZAH!

    I’ve known Fr. Hastings since our seminary days and I can attest personally that he is a very holy and worthy priest. I can also attest personally to the musical talents! These are encouraging times.

    This now goes beyond the idea that it would “seem that the EF is gaining traction…” The EF IS gaining traction!!!!

    Wonderful news….Fr. Z, it’s finally working…the vision of “The Boss” is being realized!!! Praise God!

  8. William says:

    At St. Benedict? Is that the same as St. Scholastica? If so, then this is truly stunning news. The nuns at St. Scholastica turned their magnificent old chapel into a library–stain glass and all. The new, modern chapel is a low-ceiling, rabbit warren directly beneath it.

  9. albinus1 says:

    A young priest at our parish is learning to say the TLM and apparently is coming along very well and enjoying learning to celebrate it. He will be celebrating his first TLM in private today, and will begin celebrating the Mass in public, for the parish, later this fall. The plan is for a weekly High Mass when he feels confident in celebrating it. Please keep him in your prayers!

  10. Alice says:

    Sometimes I wish SP had been a decade earlier. The deacon at the parish where I grew up (may he rest in peace) would have been a huge help to the priests in offering the EF. He loved Latin: He was a beloved old Classics professor.

  11. GOR says:

    And then there is Bishop Emeritus of Derry Ireland, Edward Daly, who opines that he finds the Usus Antiquior “lifeless and somewhat meaningless”…

    Of course, as Father Daly, the retired bishop was an activist priest and probably finds that there is not enough ‘active participation’ in the TLM…

    The Mass “lifeless and meaningless”…? From a bishop???

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