I blogged a few months ago about my decision to start attending a “Traditional Latin Mass,” or the “Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite,” to refer to it by its proper name. This post may repeat some of the points I made then, so bear with me.
This post also further explains my recent blogging disappearance. Why would a Mass affect one’s blogging? Because I have become almost obsessed, nay, call it addicted to learning the rubrics (the “rules” of how to offer a liturgy) of the Latin Mass and thus have spent hours poring over Latin Mass websites, or Facebook Groups on Catholic Tradition and liturgy, or digesting the “words in red” in the Missal I use. As the saying goes, “Say the black, do the red,” the black being the prayers and readings recited, while the red in missals and breviarys are the directions or instructions as to what is supposed to be going on and what to do. I’m finding this stuff fascinating. The Missal that I use is the St. Andrew Daily Missal. I’m finding the “words in red” to be not just instructional, but informative as to the deeper religious and spiritual meaning of what is going on. This isn’t always the case in the more recent liturgical books. As I said elsewehere, “‘Ritual’ is also the hidden word in spiRITUALity,” and my “spiritual progress” since attending the Extraordinary Form has improved.
Why have I become so affected by the Latin Mass? It is uplifting. The beauty of it, even when said simply, is awesome. I feel disconnected from the outside world. This is what the Mass is supposed to do for you: when you first walk into a Catholic Church, you should feel different. You should feel that you have left the secular world and have entered into an extension of Heaven. And the Mass that is offered should take you further away from the world outside. Otherworldiness…. and I just can’t get over the notion that all my favorite saints celebrated or attended this same Latin rite.
Although I do believe that the Mass imposed since 1970 is valid and licit, there is too much of a discontinuity with the Ancient Rite; the closest that I’ve experienced in the Ordinary Form that compares to the Traditional Mass is when the former is said by a pious priest more attentive to the rubrics and to the proper worship of God than he is to making certain that the people are entertained or are totally incredible for being there.
The Mass is about the right and proper worship due the Lord; it is not about us.
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