There is a good article at greenvilleonline.com:
Old Latin past illuminates future for Catholic church [Great headline]
Tom Kelly felt like something was lost 50 years ago this month, when traditional Latin Mass was abandoned by the Roman Catholic Church with a Second Vatican Council ruling that Mass could be said in local languages with alternate choreography. [Alternate choreography. That’s about it. BTW… I just saw videos of the “liturgies” from the annual Three Days of Darkness in LA.]
The intention was to make the ceremony more accessible, more understandable, simpler, but connection that lasted through centuries evaporated. [The problem was, the reform that was mandated by the Council Fathers is not the reform that we received.]
Holy reverence and awe seemed to be exchanged for colloquial comfort. [I can’t think of other words… ]
Now, though, the formal worship is making a comeback in South Carolina and at Catholic churches worldwide.
The daily Latin Mass held at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Taylors – among services that also include English and Spanish Mass – led Kelly and his family to move to the area.
“It’s so very reverent,” said Kelly, a native of Long Island, New York, who moved with his wife Donna and children from Rutherfordton, North Carolina, to Taylors in 2005 to be closer to Latin Mass. “You can go to a Mass in New York, you can go in South Carolina, you can go in Rome, you can go in China and it doesn’t really matter. You’re attending the same Mass.”
“I can tell my children this is the Mass that all of the saints that they’re learning about in school would’ve been at,” said Joel Raines, a Campobello resident who travels with his wife, Marty, and four children to Prince of Peace almost weekly. “From my perspective with my kids, I try to tell them that the Catholic faith is 2,000 years old, but the Mass that we were taking them to was kind of new. It had contemporary music. It was English. It was like handing them a penny and telling them it’s a 300-year-old penny, but it looks shiny and new. It’s kind of hard to buy into that if you’re a kid.”
Now, though, as the smell of incense rises through the sound of Gregorian chants, they more easily sense that they are part of a tradition that’s been handed down from the second century.
Prince of Peace Catholic Church, with more than 2,000 families as members, is one of the few churches in the nation to celebrate a daily noon Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. It’s one of only two in the state – Stella Maris Roman Catholic Church on Sullivan’s Island is the other – to celebrate the Latin Mass on a weekly basis.
Father Christopher Smith, formally installed as the parish’s pastor just last week after three years as administrator, said it’s helping the church grow.
“I think that there are as many reasons that people come to it as there are people,” Smith said. “One of the things that we’ve found very interesting is that a lot of older people who grew up with the Latin Mass and then switched to the vernacular when they were growing up, a lot of them are just not really interested in the Latin Mass anymore. What we’ve found – and this is the case all over the world – a lot of younger people tend to be attracted to the Latin Mass.
“What they tell us is they see a great sense of beauty and reverence and devotion, and also a sense of historical continuity. You know when you come to a Mass that’s celebrated in Latin that you’re praying the same prayers that saints from 1,500 years ago were praying when they went to Mass, in the same language. There’s a great sense of connectedness, and I think a lot of young people are searching for something very concrete and very deep in their spirituality. The Latin Mass fulfills a need that many of them gravitate towards.”
This is a great development. Kudos to all!