Wisconsin: Latin Mass support "vocal and growing"

The local press is reporting on this phenomenon:

Ellie Arkin doesn’t speak Latin, so upon entering Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Madison on a recent Sunday, the 21-year-old UW-Madison student opened a Latin-to-English translation book provided by the church.

For the next hour, she and many of the other parishioners followed along in the book as the Mass unfolded mostly in Latin.

For centuries, this was the only way Catholics around the world experienced Mass. Reforms ushered in by Vatican II in the 1960s largely eliminated Latin Mass, but now, across the country and in the Madison Catholic Diocese, traditionalists are seeking its comeback.

Supporters say it offers a reverence and gravity lacking in today’s more casual worship approach.

“There’s this incredible sacredness you can feel and taste and see — it is not just a social gathering,” said Jacek Cianciara, 67, of Madison, one of the parishioners helping to bring back Latin Mass locally.

Other Catholics find the older style needlessly difficult to follow and too passive.

“When it’s in Latin, it’s just rote — you’re not reading the words for the real meaning,” said Alice Jenson, 66, of Fitchburg. “I’m opposed to having this artificial barrier being put up.”

Catholics now can attend a Mass in Latin somewhere in the 11-county diocese every day, although the vast majority of worship services remain in English. About 200 Catholics consistently attend a Latin Mass at least weekly, with others dropping in periodically, the diocese estimates.

That’s a tiny slice of total church attendance — about 57,000 people attend Mass in the diocese each week — but it’s a vocal and growing slice.

Read the rest.

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22 responses to “Wisconsin: Latin Mass support "vocal and growing"”

  1. Many Churches now have Latin in many areas of the mass on a regular basis. Many of those attending love this and have aquired a missle with the Latin included. I have relearned many of these to stay involved and it our parish surveys show that it is very acceptable to the majority. We will soon begin adding the changes to the liturgy and have had ongoing bullitin additions on the changes as well as once a week classes. What it has done is raise the awareness of everything going on in the mass with the focus where it should be once again. Many attend the mass while others pray the mass.

  2. We have attended Latin mass for close to two years now. By we I mean our family, including our three daughters 13, 18 and 23. They love it and so do we. I attend daily mass at the ordinary form so there is no exclusivity in our approach. There is a stable group of about 90 people that attend every Sunday. Before the criticism starts let us remember that the Latin mass is the Holy Sacrifice offered by Christ just as the New Mass is. Both forms desrve our reverence and respect.

  3. Maybe we can go back to the “black masses.” 10 minutes of barely-differentiated noise and your obligation for the week is done. Better than the Bulwer-Lytton Contest Mass, anyway…

  4. The sisters who taught me in grade school did a good job of teaching us the meaning of the Latin responses and how to follow along in a missal. I was comfortable with it then and could still do it if I had to. But a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then. I am glad for the people who are happier with the Latin Mass that they now have it available; however I am leery about jumping on that bandwagon. It usually comes with some other baggage. Such as our discussion here yesterday about girl altar servers. There are a lot of ways in which I would not like a rollback to the 1950’s. I think it is possible to have a reverent Mass in either Latin or English. For the most part we do have reverent Masses, it’s the exceptions that get noticed; we’re not living in the ’70’s any more than we are the ’50’s.

  5. I attended Catholic schools both pre- and post-Vatican II. In elementary school we were taught how to sing Gregorian chant and everything was in Latin. Everyone had their St. Joseph Daily Missal with both Latin and English versions side by side. I don’t recall anyone who could read being totally confused about what was going on, but perhaps my memory fails.

    I am not opposed to Mass in the vernacular. I think we should have both liturgies available to worshippers. But we have lost more than the sacredness and beauty of the Latin liturgy since the banishment of Latin to the dustbin of Church history.

    We lost a larger sense of community with Catholics all over the world who speak many different languages. It used to be possible to travel, attend Mass in a foreign country and be able to recognize the liturgy no matter which language one spoke.

    I’m not quite sure what the “black mass” that one of the commentators referred to is but I think I get what she is trying to say. However, I don’t believe Mass in the vernacular has saved us from bad liturgies or increased the faith of the average Mass attendee.

  6. In the tradition of the Latin Mass and from an earlier post, I wonder if girls will be allowed to serve.

    Peace to all

  7. It would be very difficult for Roman Catholics of this generation to adjust on a large scale to the Latin Mass. Most of them have not attended Catholic grammar schools and many of them are relatively unacquainted with the sacrament of Penance never mind the Latin Mass.

    Maybe in 100 years, after many incremental reforms, the Novus Ordo Mass will begin to have the reverential mood of the Latin Mass. Maybe the guitars and the Peter, Paul and Mary atmosphere will go away and maybe people will stop waving to each other after the Our Father and maybe some folks will stop popping the Host in their mouths like popcorn.

    And maybe bishops will find the guts to deal with the kinds of problems created by politicians like Cuomo, Biden and Pelosi being pro-choice and still coming forward to receive the Holy Eucharist.


  8. Donal, I disagree with your first sentence. I have had the opportunity to take several students to the Extraordinary Form—some of them Catholics, many non-Catholic and/or unchurched. They all basically got it on the first go around. Yeah, some did not “like” it as much, but most came away with a very positive impression of this form of worship. Indeed not a few wondered aloud why the Church made the liturgical changes it did, since the old mass was “so beautiful” (or similar words).

    I think that this generation is not as incapable as many seem to believe, if we just challenge them to rise to the occasion, instead of assuming the worst and constantly dumbing things down (i.e., the “children’s mass”) for them.

  9. Oldstof9, It is my understanding that Rome recently clarified several points, this being one of them. The upshot is that (if I recall correctly) it is assumed that rules about only boy servers are in force for those masses using the 1962 missal.

    This is not really a problem for the small number of such masses, as they tend to appeal to the more conservative minded Catholics. I also think that it will be no real problem in the long run. *If* the older form of the mass spreads, eventually parishes here and there will begin to use girl servers no matter what the rules are, just it happened in the 1970s and 1980s. And eventually Rome will be compelled to issue an indult vaguely worded allowing girl servers in “extreme circumstances” or “rarely” or for “specific pastoral reasons,” and through this whole the truck will pass, bring girl servers with the,

  10. Universae Ecclesiae states “the Moto Proprio Summorum Pontificum derogates from those provisions of law, connected with the Sacred Rites, promulgated from 1962 onwards and incompatible with the rubrics of the liturgical books in effect in 1962″. Permission for female altar servers came with the Circular Letter of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments of 1994. However, the rubrics of the 1962 Missal did not allow for females on the sanctuary during Mass.

    The letter, signed by Mgr Guido Pozzo, Secretary of Ecclesia Dei, said that “permitting female altar servers does not apply to the Extraordinary Form”.

    From the UK Catholic Herald, June 8, 2011.

  11. Hey if we could have a mass where the homily was in Latin and the rest of it was in English, I’d be all for that. Easier to tune out the idiots.

    Although when the priest’s accent is completely impenetrable, it already pretty much works that way in practice. The parts where you know what the words are and what they mean (because you can read them in the missalette) make sense, and the homily where you have no clues as to what he is saying you have no clues as to what he’s said…

  12. I’be been at Mass in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mexico and the Philippines. All of these masses were the Novus Ordo (the ordinary form). The masses were in Mandarin, Vietnamese, whatever language they speak in Indonesia, Tagalo and Spanish. I was clueless as to what was being said except for the Spanish mass (my native language). The only way to know what was happening was due to my familiarity with the English mass and its different parts. Had I attended mass in these countries in 1960 all of them would have been the same in Latin.

    CathyF: I am not sure what you mean by your first sentence in comment above.

  13. I don’t understand what some of the posters are talking about the NO not being sacred or reverent; I attend on a regular basis and I find it to be sacred, reverent and holy.

  14. I agree with Michele. NO is sacred, reverant and holy. And orthodox. And many many Catholic faithful find it to be the sustaining center of their week.

  15. Mark and Michele S. are totally right. I think a faithful Catholic would not argue that point. It is the abuses of the mass that are objected and this happen in the Latin Mass too (like a priest I saw yawning constantly during the liturgy, perhaps too little sleep but very bad form).

  16. CathyF: I am not sure what you mean by your first sentence in comment above.

    Too many meandering, incoherent homilies/sermons/whatever-the-heck-he’s-babbling-on-about-between-gospel-and-creed. And then when he gets excited and starts shouting and it causes feedback through the speaker system and it devolves totally into noise.

    If I knew beforehand that it was going to be in Latin, I would save myself the wasted effort of paying any attention to him at all.

    As for the rest of the mass, where the sounds are recognizable as words and are deeply meaningful (at least for now before we switch over to the Bulwer-Lytton Contest Mass), it would be a real loss if that turned into noise.

  17. Extraordinary Form…Ordinary Form…Byzantine Rite…they are all holy and beautiful…even if they are done imperfectly. The Lord, who is used to our imperfections will understand either way. However, certainly the prayers will be more efficacious to the faithful if they are done with intensity and reverence.

    Cathyf, you seem to be saying that if a tree fall in the woods and nobody hears it, it didn’t happen.

    It happened.

  18. I’m happy to see that folks back at my Alma Mater (Go Bucky) are embracing the TLM. Mad-City is such a great place It is now that much better. Great food, so much to do, Badger football…and now the TLM? What more does a fella need?

  19. No, Eka, I am saying that when a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, nobody hears it.

    Some things in this world are so important that it is a tragedy when they go unheard.

    Other things, well, not so tragic…

    I’m simply old and bitchy, and with Church, like with everything else in my life, my rule is that if you have something to say, I will happily listen to you. But if you don’t, please be quick about it, and even better if you mumble from far enough away that it won’t interfere with me doing something productive.

  20. I am old enough to remember the transition from the Latin Mass. My parents generation went to mass, but for the most prt understood very little. Many said the Rosary while mass was going on.

    Have we forgotten why the venacular was approved?

  21. My father was an altar boy in the late 40s and early 50s in NYC, on the Upper West Side. He used to tell us that the priests would blow through the daily mass in 20 minutes flat. Some were drunk. I agree with johnplacette, there was a reason, and a good one, for the vernacular. I think it should be offered for those who want it, but it shouldn’t be held up as this redeemer of the Catholic Church. If only, we had the Latin Mass, then none of this would have happened, etc.

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