punchy line

...and he (Simon Peter) saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth ... not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. - Jn 20: 6-7
-Jn 20: 6-7

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

So why do you prefer the Latin mass, really?

Alright, Latin mass attendees, here's you chance to gush.

I want to know what you love about the Latin mass.

As a Novus Ordo goer, who has only attended a handful of Latin masses (and probably only because she didn't make it in time to her preferred venue) I struggle to know why anyone becomes a devotee to that form of the mass.

It's not the Latin thing.  I love Latin.  I just really love the Novus Ordo.

Permit me a moment of gushing.

I love the Novus Ordo.  I love its structure and flow.  I love hearing the Word of God proclaimed in English.  I love listening to the consecration prayers (when I can, over the kids) and I love feeling the mass resound in my soul - it's not this way all of the time, of course, but grace mostly comes.

I love the songs.  My particular parish uses the Adoremus Hymnal, and I know many hymns by heart.

I love how we have options for how to receive the Eucharist.  My particular parish uses a communion rail which I appreciate as my family can kneel together.  But whether we kneel or stand (depending on how many kids we are holding or if I am pregnant), receive in the hand or on the tongue (because flu season) I appreciate that there are many ways to reverently receive Christ.

No kiss of peace or corn for you!
Admittedly, I am a bit of a kiss of peace curmudgeon...we keep the kisses in-family and gesture at everyone else but I really don't mind when someone politely extends their hand.  I just slap it away in disgust a la Nacho Libre.  Okay, not really.

I just love the Novus Ordo.  Respectfully, reverently done, even with several traditional elements (we sing the Ave Maria in Latin at the end of every mass) with holy priests at the helm,  it rocks my world.

The Latin mass...not so much.  A bit of a spiritual dry well for me.

But maybe I'm missing something?  Hence I want to hear from the Latin mass goers: why do you prefer the Latin mass?  In responding, please limit your answers to the Latin mass, or the spirituality of the mass itself and how it feeds you personally.

The reason for this is that many times when I've posed this question, I've received more of a venting response against the Novus Ordo. Responses like, "The people who go to the Latin mass dress better and are more respectful," or "It's high mass (implied tone: why would I ever want to go to a low mass?)..." or "The Latin mass used to be the treasure of the Church..." which as nice as that is, still doesn't answer my question about why they personally attend the Latin vs. any other form nowadays.

By the way: the same Novus Ordo mass that I profess to love is not perfect by any means.  People don't always dress like it's Easter or come on time (Guilty! Yes, flip flops do happen in California I am afraid!). Sometimes you hear a cell phone and many enthusiastic individuals elbow their way to the communion rail to receive Jesus in a shameless display of eucharistic line olympics.

So why do I still love the Novus Ordo, in sprite of that?  Because I go to mass to go to mass and for no other reason.  And I attend one that feeds me. Period.

How about you, Latin massers?  I want to know! Comments are now unmoderated just for you! Go!


8 comments:

  1. I wish there were other comments here, I was looking forward to reading what Latin Mass devotees had to say.

    My only experience with the Latin Mass is daily Mass which I've probably attended 2-3 times a month over the past year when I'm not able to make daily Mass at my own parish.

    From these experiences, I would say that I like the quietness of those 30 minutes at 6:30 in the morning, and I like being able to kneel when receiving the Eucharist. From a larger perspective, I like the potential that Mass in a universal language (once people have become familiar with Mass in Latin) has to make it easier to unite all people in the celebration of the Mass regardless of the language a person speaks. I don't know how important of an issue that is to consider, but I like the idea nonetheless. I do miss being able to hear the readings in English, but of course I could look those up and read them before Mass.

    Ultimately, the Mass that I prefer most is a Mass that is reverent, and the Novus Ordo can definitely meet that requirement. I know the term reverent seems like it can leave itself open for a wide range of interpretations, but for the most part I think we know it when we see it. I also think Mass celebrated in Latin is less likely to be changed in ways that would make it less reverent, but I could be wrong about that.

    I enjoyed your thoughts about why you like the Novus Ordo.

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  2. Hello, I was raised on Novus Ordo mass and have for the last few years been going to both. I actually like Latin better for a few reasons. I feel a more sense of Gods presence during mass, the mass is not a cluttered with mini bands, or music that is inappropriate. For example last week someone was telling me about the Polka Mass that her polish church was having. Really? A Polka band playing during mass? Or that my church they broke out with a mini band and some guy with a huge drum kit, which made my son comment "dad, when in Techno Jesus coming out". Funny yet sad. I have been to Protestant masses as well with my friends, just to be curious, and you know what, their was the same feel as the Novus Ordo mass. Yet there are huge differences between the two. As far taking communion, ask yourself this. You are about to hold the most scared thing in the world, the body of our lord. From the time you left your shower, you touched about ever germ infested thing around from door knobs to touching the bottoms of your shoes, as well shaking hands with people who's hands did the same thing. Are your hands clean enough to show the respect the host deserves? The Priest washes his hands. All in all I feel part of the Latin mass more then Novus Ordo, which to me is more of a Jamboree.

    Mike

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    1. I think attending a mass where your feel more of God's presence is an admirable reason for attending any one particular mass. Thank you!

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  3. Hi, I see this is rather an old post but I am only seeing this now. I think I know the church you go to in CA. We use to belong there too. We loved it there. But now that we moved to the East coast I have to tell you that many parishes are vastly different from that church. Overall I think the Novus Ordo is a lot like a jamboree like the above said. Most parishes have lost the reverence. I still do go to NO but I would prefer a Latin mass and can understand why others prefer it.

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  4. Hi, I see this is rather an old post but I am only seeing this now. I think I know the church you go to in CA. We use to belong there too. We loved it there. But now that we moved to the East coast I have to tell you that many parishes are vastly different from that church. Overall I think the Novus Ordo is a lot like a jamboree like the above said. Most parishes have lost the reverence. I still do go to NO but I would prefer a Latin mass and can understand why others prefer it.

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  5. We go to Latin mass because mass is not about feeding you. Although you will receive graces if your heart is open to it, the mass is to worship God. Is to give to HIM. So, if you truly understand that God is much more that the guy who shows up every mass to "feed", you will look for things that "describes" or shows or teach us better about God. The CCC explains very well about that. The Latin mass, as the Eastern rite also. are the only masses that give to God what is due to Him. The priest ad adorentum leading the community offering/sacrifice to God. The issue today is totally lack of knowledge of our faith and Novus Ordo do help with that.

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  6. Marissa, How consistently did you go to the Latin Mass before you came away with the impression that it's a spiritual dry well? The reason I ask is because when I first went, I felt it going against the grain of my own sensibilities, too. But the more I went, the more I realized how much more I benefited spiritually by the extra effort it took to me direct my focus toward God during the Mass, the opportunities for which are demanded much more by the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite. The direction of much of what makes the Novus Ordo what it is is to make the Mass more accessible to the people, and that's great. But, after a while, the sensibilities of the people become such that they are passively sitting back and allowing this didactic nature of the Novus Ordo do all the work at meeting them where they are. Such sensibilities go hand-in-hand with the attitude that this or that does this or that for me. The Latin Mass makes the people do what they need to do to make the effort to participate and focus their minds and hearts toward God, and this over time forms a different direction of the mind, one which helps one to be more inclined to make the internal effort to direct the mind and heart toward God during the Mass, as opposed to sitting back and waiting for the Mass to meet them at their level. This is how the more didactic nature of the Novus Ordo, and the more demanding nature of the Latin Mass to direct one's mind and heart toward God in the liturgy, which I think are intrinsic to either form of the Latin Rite, make a difference in the person, and so, for those who are ready to make the effort, makes the Extraordinary Form preferred over the Ordinary.

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