The weather this weekend where I live is abominable and to make sure I made my Sunday Mass obligation I attended a Vigil Mass in the Ordinary Rite (the Mass that is the most common and is everywhere. The Mass in the local language). The weather proved difficult on Sunday and thus I stayed home, missing my Mass in the Extraordinary Form (The Traditional Latin Mass.) I watched it online, streaming from St. Mary’s of Pine Bluff, WI.
I missed going in person. The “New Mass” doesn’t do it for me. I’ve long thought about why. I won’t go into the transcendence or the beauty or history or any of that. That’s better written elsewhere on blogs devoted to liturgy. My reasons for preferring it are all those mystical, wondrous reasons plus a few more ordinary ones.
Mainly, it’s more reflective of how I pray in the home. I do have a fairly hefty prayer life. By no means is this intended to be boastful, but my morning prayers take 60-90 minutes. Not so long in the evening, maybe 15 or so. I recite the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary (a pre-Vatican II version, dating from the early 20th Century) as well as the Liturgy of the Hours. Add to those a few prayers from the Militia of the Immaculata Prayer Book and Mother Angelica’s Prayer Book as well as some other odds and ends.
These all steep me into some pretty deep prayers and meditations. When I attend and pray the Latin Mass, I am connected to that. When I say my morning prayers, I am reminded of the Latin Mass. The two reinforce each other, which is as I think it should be.
The “New Mass” seems too trite and watered-down. I have witnessed exceptions to this. These exceptions all involved priests and altar servers who obviously understood that Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is Truly Present in the sanctuary; Really Present – Body, Blood Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist and they comported themselves in a manner acknowledging this reality. For too many other times it seems as if the priest and servers and other laity in the sanctuary just think the Eucharist is a symbol. Or perhaps they thinks He’s the hippy Jesus that “understands and accepts” everything and is cool with things. They do not appear to behave in a manner consistent with the belief that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords Who is the Just Judge (and King of Mercy) is there. With them. Watching.
Also, when I’m at the Latin Mass, I feel that there is something mysterious going on. Some supernatural religious ritual enshrouded in mystery and antiquity is happening, I don’t fully grasp what is going on, but that’s all right. I don’t think I should because this is something greater than me. And we need mystery in our lives.
Kind of sad when you think your personal prayer life is more substantive and reverential than the common Mass.
Anyway, not that anyone’s asked, but that is why I prefer the Latin Mass."The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)