Green Eggs and Ambo

In the film adaptation of Herman Wouk’s World War Two novel, The Caine Mutiny, there’s a scene where three officers of a high-functioning but very messy minesweeper report aboard Admiral Halsey’s flagship. Their mission is to denounce their Captain Queeg as an incompetent paranoiac. But as soon as they reach the admiral’s hatch, the theme music swells up, diverting their attention to the flight deck, where a couple of hundred bluejackets form perfect ranks and snap to attention.

“This isn’t the Caine,” gasps one of the officers, played by Fred MacMurray. “This is the REAL Navy!”

When I first declared my intention to attend a Mass in the Extraordinary Form, I got the sense that this reaction — or something analogous — was the one many readers wanted me to have. More than I cared to admit, I was open to having it. For years now, traditionalists have been in my head, digging their little saps, laying their little mines, until, half-consciously, I began wondering whether my Mass was somehow less genuine than theirs. This morning, when I set out for Central Phoenix’s Mater Misericordiae Mission Church, run by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, I was, at some level, wide open to a mind-blowing.

I didn’t get it. Instead, I shared the modest epiphany of the furry, top-hatted guy from Green Eggs and Ham: Hey, I like it. Really, I do. It’s a nice change, certainly something to put in rotation. Rather than bore readers with a play-by-play description of something they already know by heart, I think I could do the venerable rite more justice by sketching out a few impressions:

Now I get the “bells” part of “bells and smells.” It has nothing to do with the bells in the bellfry and everything to do with the bells rung by hand during the service itself. Apart from the two marking the consecration, I couldn’t quite figure out what each ring signifies, but there are lots of them. And they’re loud — not like those itsy-bitsy bells they ring at Novus Ordo Masses. If my ear is a reliable judge, EF bells are a little bigger than the ones used by Salvation Army canvassers at Christmastime and a little smaller than those worn by cows.

Four of five singers in a choir loft can fill a chapel with sound. Speaking as a perfectly rotten singer with a voice trapped midway between tenor and baritone, I was overjoyed to let these good people carry my share of the burden.

A Mass in the Extraordinary Form does not have to be cold, bombastic, or decked in glitz like Liberace’s bathroom. It’s always seemed to me that trads like to plug all these qualities as a package deal under the label “reverence,” “majesty,” or “transcendence.” Eavesdrop on the wrong Internet debates, and you’ll come away thinking they want every church to look like the cathedral at Rheims and every service to resemble the coronation of the Dauphin Charles. The chapel at MMM church is very small, in fact. I doubt more than 200 people were on hand for the 11:00 High Mass, but the pews looked nearly full. Though not severe, the decor is simple — no gazillion-dollar baldecchino, just a corpus, a tabernacle, a couple of statues, and some very nice tilework. I found the overall effect warm and homey.

In fact, a Mass in the Extraordinary Form can be downright easy to miss. When the celebrant priest entered the nave, followed by the altar servers, I knew something was up. When he about-faced and marched them back down the aisle, blessing everyone with holy water, I was sure of it. But then he went back to the altar and stood in front of it for what seemed like a very long time. Just when I was about to ask the lady sitting next to me what was keeping Father, I overheard him praying. Oh, wait. I thought. This is the Mass. He sure doesn’t beat anyone over the head with it.

Time can fly duing an EF Mass. Exactly 6.7 miles separate my house and MMM. To atone for allowing my car to be towed, I hoofed it the whole way, in cordovan oxfords. I arrived expecting to wince at every liturgically-mandated change in posture, but I didn’t. I credit the Gregorian chants, which are so hypnotic that standing and sitting and kneeling flowed into one another without causing a single spasm of discomfort, though the transitions came at a rate that would impress Billy Blanks.

Trad priests hold confessions right before, and even during, Mass. I’d heard this before, but had forgotten about it until this morning. This means that a fully-functioning traditionalist can end up spending less time in church than a fully-functioning regular Catholic. Well played.

Trad altar servers have the best knees of any human beings on earth. At this Mass, I counted six, all boys. By my lights, they seemed to kneel at least twice as often as us parishioners, and they had to do it fast — no dying-camel act would have passed muster. It’s just as well none of them looked old enough to play high-level organized football. Having them line up in size order, with the tallest on the left, is a good policy, a gentle brand of regimentation far more in the spirit of Martha Stewart Living than Mein Kampf.

Trads can be very nice. I arrived just as the 9:00 Low Mass was ending, which is to say an hour early. After grabbing a donut (which tasted exactly like a Novus Ordo donut), I milled around, trying to look so lost that someone would talk to me. Three people did. When I explained I was a first-timer, they wasted no time in stuffing my hands with missals and programs. A bit later, when I announced I was ducking out for a cigarette, none of them looked at me disapprovingly. Maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised at the last part — in 1962, when the Vatican published the final version of the Tridentine Missal, smoking was still cool.

One woman was wearing jeans. One. More than half the men — including me — wore neckties, though few wore full suits. On the whole, people seemed less dressed up than dressed, period. Compared to the average Arizonan, they wore more layers, in darker colors and heavier fabrics. In effect, this meant they looked like East Coasters, which only served to make me feel more at home.

But I wasn’t at home — not really. Pivoting off the Gospel reading, which covered the story of the miracle at Cana, the homilist lit right into prolonged singlehood as a threat to the sanctity of marriage. I took that as a word to the wise that the cultural gulf separating me from the good Father and the people in attendance might just be a little too wide to bridge. More basically, I doubt I appreciated the EF on anything like their terms. I’ve put in plenty of time at parishes where the altar servers looked shabby or clumsy, and where hundreds of untrained voices droned Wesleyan hymns off-key. Somehow, I never sensed God had a strong preference for one milieu over another.

Of course, my radar on that score may be jammed. Like Captain Queeg’s sane predecessor, who, as he relinquished command, set his watch back 30 minutes in memory of the Caine’s laid-back style, I may have a natural or acquired preference for the mediocre. If that’s true, then I’m doubly glad places like MMM will receive me as a guest and let me taste the alternative from time to time. To give a more generous emphasis to the cliche, Tradistan’s not a place I could live in, but it’s certainly a nice one to visit.

Valentine’s Day: For Some, 50 Shades of Blue
Click Here for Altar Girls
Lent and the Lame Evangelist
Adventures in Acedia
  • Theresa

    Somehow your last line made me think of Ernie’s song on Sesame Street, “Well I’d like to visit the moon.”

    Thank you for sharing your perspective!

    [Well I'd like to visit the moon,
    on a rocket ship high in the air.
    Yes, I'd like to visit the moon,
    but I don't think I'd like to live there.

    Though, I'd like to look down at the earth from above,
    I would miss all the places and people I love
    so although I might like it for one afternoon
    I don't wanna live on the moon

    Yeah, that about covers it!]

  • RJ

    You should give the EF at least 5 or 6 times before making a full assessment. Keep coming back.

  • Roaming_Roman

    While I am no traddie (at least, according to the traddies. To others I’m probably the closest thing they know to one LOL) I am one who is fond of the Extraordinary Form – as well as the Ordinary Form in Latin celebrated akin to the traditions of the Extraordinary Form which my home parish also offers.

    I would make two observations out of my own experiences. 1) The first experience of a TLM is not quite the same as the fifth experience of one, or even the second. The beautiful thing about the Extraordinary Form, and one that we cannot begin to appreciate on our first occasion, is that it is seamless in its lifting us up to God – but only once we become familiar with it. This is rather hard to explain, but I suppose a start is to consider that mere decades ago people simply went to Mass. This Mass. Every week. And most of these Masses were not celebrated in grand cathedrals or (as you fittingly put it) like the Dauphin’s coronation Mass. These Masses were done simply (well, maybe a little more elegantly than we often see today, but still) and consistently by one’s parish priest, at the church that one always went to, with the people that one always saw at church. There was far less “church hopping” then, and “what style Mass do I feel like going to today?” was a decision unheard of. The very Mass itself, as celebrated in the Extraordinary Form, was rather shaped by this “constancy” and sense of grounding. Father doesn’t make a big fuss about the “start point” of Mass because the assumption is that everyone knows that already. The difficulty in following along at first is difficult for the very reason that, again, the Mass doesn’t wait for you. It assumes you know it and as Father runs ahead of us we are keeping up behind him. Not saying this is all good or anything, or even that my phrasing here is best appropriate, but like I said I’m not really sure how to put this into words…. basically I’m saying to give it a little time, and while I’m not demanding you drop your whole routine and do only this, I guess I would advise you to try to keep the same sort of open mind about it for another few Masses, to allow yourself time to “acclimate” so to speak.

    My second observation is, as you noted, homilies and preaching can be…. different. It’s funny, though, while *liturgically* the TLM is far more consistent than the NO, in *preaching* the NO is actually far more consistent. Ironic. :) I have been to TLM Masses with literally crazy traddie priests (against which the prolonged singlehood rant would seem positively innocent) and I have been to those whose priests are veritable reincarnations of St. Francis de Sales. Likewise for the people in attendance…. large normal families, and large whacky families; lots of young women in veils that (yes, really) would actually feel utter shame and despair if the found themselves in church unveiled, and lots of women who wear veils out of respect but also because they appreciate how it assists them to focus more fully on the mystery before them rather than the baby behind them or the cute guy a few spaces over to the right. I guess what I’m saying here is that in the Extraordinary Form crowd just like elsewhere in the Church, Evelyn Waugh was right: “Here comes everyone.” :)

    [Didn't those old parishes break down along ethnic and class lines, with poor Slovaks here and lace-curtain Irish there? My mother (and her brother, and her three sisters), recall that in pre-conciliar Trenton, New Jersey, the Polish-Americans attended a parish called St. Hedwig's; the Germans and Italians, other parishes whose names I forget; and the Irish (weirdly, I thought), St. Anthony's. In pre-conciliar Philadelphia, according to Joe Queenan's memoir, Closing Time, the parish a Catholic attended spoke volumes about the kind of person he was and where he stood on the pecking order. The service might have been the same, but there were still plenty of other factors -- some probably intangible -- through which Catholics customized their identity.]

  • Will

    Prolonged singlehood is a threat to the sanctity of marriage. Now there is a thought.

  • Dante

    Do they still pray for President Kennedy at the Intercessions? Oh wait…I do not think the EF has prayers of the faithful…except the ones going on in the pews while the people listen to the priest and servers say their Mass I guess. I’ve never been to an EF Mass and from what I have read and heard doubt that I ever will, But thanks for your take on it as I really like the way you write.

  • Romulus

    A wonderful remark Flannery O’Connor tosses off in one of her letters is that you won’t find the best of a thing (she was speaking of protestants and Catholics) plainly exposed and comprehensible. The x-form is more challenging because it does not neglect the element of mystery. Any liturgy that does neglect mystery neglects almost everything about God.

    As for smells and bells, the x-form is crammed with symbols, because symbols are the way God communicates — and because our incarnational faith rejoices to see every created thing achieve its best and highest use in glorifying God. So, yeah: you’re not loving God with your WHOLE body unless the seeing and hearing and tasting and even smelling bits are included.

    Speaking of OTT celebrations, it requires a nice judgment to discern between Liberace theatricality and solemn Roman splendor. American are frequently not good at this, esp. as we’re culturally trained to distrust splendor, gravity, or exotic richness. What we like is rumpus room liturgy — something comfortable and immediately accessible, that puts us at ease. Trads would scratch their heads and ask how that is supposed to help us understand we’re in the midst of an encounter with the strangeness of God. It’s no use evaluating the Mass — any Mass — according to our debased and commonplace worldly expectations.

    I am pleased you’ve given the x-form a look, and encourage you to return more than just occasionally, till you make peace with its sacred otherness.

  • Romulus

    Dante, it’s easy to caricature something of which you’re entirely without experience. In my culture, we call this bigotry. How odd — assuming you’re Catholic — to see such disdain for a precious liturgy at the heart of your own faith.

  • Chris

    I was born shortly before the start of Vatican II, and remember the transition from the old ordinary form (now Extraordinary) to the NO. Sometimes I think we overate both the glorious past and the glorious present.
    As Max comments, the old parishes did break down along ethnic lines–in many cases to the point where the sermon was given not in English, but Polish, German or Italian. Catholics immigrated in waves. So the older “established” parishes were Irish or German. The later parishes were Italian and Eastern European. After a few generations and WW2, this started to die, especially with the rise of the suburbs.
    People chose the style of Mass they wanted then too. Early low Masses were very quick, and as a kid, I regularly saw an older priests get through Mass in 15-20 minutes flat. No sermon, no music. In mumbled Latin, but after the change to the vernacular, he was able to do it in the same amount of time in mumbled English.
    Because of the fast after midnight, there weren’t afternoon masses, but there was often one at 5 or 6 am. My mother used to say that her father and brothers used to go to the 6 am Mass on Sunday, chiefly so they could finish quickly, and be the first ones at the coffee cake.

  • Robster

    I go on occasion to a Latin mass, particularly when it’s I High Mass (choir, incense, the whole shebang.). I have to say, based just on the wording of the prayers, it’s something I can comfortably call “worship,” and the music I can confidently apply the word, “hymn.” Seeing a whole procession with 6 or more altar servers, candles, incense, and the priest in his ornate regalia, is quite impressive. (How about a crime drama featuring a traditionalist priest? Let’s call it …..Biretta!)

    However, at a low mass (no music), I am dismayed at the speed with which it is run through. I hear the rapid murmuring of the Confiteor done in a perfunctory style akin to that of a bored cop reciting the Miranda rights to a suspect. And there is no reason for it, since no mass is following it. In less than 10 minutes there’s the consecration. Whew!

    There is an FSSP chapel 20 miles away from me, a NO parish in Tarrytown NY that hosts a Latin mass on Sundays, and chapel in West Orange NJ, operated by a European outfit, Christ the Eternal High Priest or something like that. I suspect FSSP of retaining a certain uptightness from the Pius X org, from which it originated after Arch. Lefevbre was excommunicated. At a low mass with a server, some congregants actually made the responses, something you don’t do if a server is present. The priest admonished the erring sheep on this point. In confession once, priest scolded me (mistaking me for someone else, apparently) for not following up on his previous counsel. Tend not to go to confession there now.

    However, at the West Orange chapel, the people make the responses with the server present. And the priest waits for the choir to finish its singing before going on. At other masses, it seems the choir does its thing and the priest goes on regardless, without regard to coordination. So while choir is finishing up one sung part, the priest is way ahead at another section of the mass, doesn’t even wait. Odd.

    [Ah, now you're speaking like a connoisseur. Would you believe I refused to open my missal? I figured sitting there in a state of complete incomprehension was the best way I could put myself in the head of a nose-picking swain of the 16th century. It probably did help. If there were bloopers, I missed them completely. Instead, I thought, "Hm, nice tilework. Hm, nice chanting," and assumed everyone knew what they were doing.]

  • Dante

    Took Romulus up on his challenge and attended my first EF Mass this morning. Only handful of people in a small rectory chapel. I am utterly under impressed. Even the readings in Latin… No wonder we Catholics in the past were (falsely) accused of keeping the Word of God from being understood by the people. That’s what I would think it as an observer. While it was definitely a spirit of prayer i got the impression it was all about the priest’s prayer and we were there to observe him offering Mass and then receiving communion was our part of the liturgy. I totally get it now why people prayed the rosary during Mass…you need to be doing something prayerful while the priest is praying and the atmosphere certainly lends itself to quiet personal prayer.

    I totally see now why the Holy Spirit inspired the Pope and Bishops of Vatican II to reform the 1962 Liturgy. So I guess my main thought it this: did the Holy Spirit change his mind (so to speak) and decided he was wrong to inspire the Church, led by the Popes, to reform the old liturgy? The document on Sacred Liturgy was overwhelmingly approved by the Vatican II bishops. I really do not see how you can have TWO calendars with non-uniform dates, TWO liturgies, etc. all in the same Rite. How can a church live in liturgical schitzophrenia?

    Finally I would say that I was turned off by the way the people I spoke with seemed to think the EF needs everything to be 1962-ish…no female servers, mantillas on the head….I get the impression (and it is obviously is limited to my experience but reading blogs seem to confirm its not isolated) that a HUGE drawing card for the EF is not so much love for the liturgy itself (Latin, ad orientum, etc) but rather a repudiation of the Vatican Council’s developments. Otherwise it wouldn’t matter if there were female servers, mantilla-less worshipers, communion in the hand (which I am personally against BTW), and celebrating feasts according to the revised calendar. It would still be the same centuries old Latin Mass just brought into the 21st century in its non-essential trappings.

    Well, that’s my follow-up two cents worth.

  • Romulus

    Robster and Dante: Y’all need to understand that the x-form low mass is a pared down, minimalist liturgy that’s really better suited to the liturgically advanced. The normative x-form mass is Solemn mass — with deacon, subdeacon, and all the rest. That is the basic, starting point, of which low mass is a derivation (if you’ve been thinking of solemn mass as a “dressed-up version of low mass, you have it exactly backwards). With only the barest visible vestiges of many elements at low mass, important symbolism is detectable only by the most sophisticated and highly experienced. Y’all should not attend low mass again unless/until you’ve become intimately acquainted with the elements and usages of Solemn Mass.

    [Re: Low Mass. I always found the concept of paring-down easy enough to understand. Weekday NO Masses are pretty no-frills in their own right.]

    Dante: 1. You really don’t seem to know enough of the history of biblical translation to be talking about it. Please consider that the normative text of the Bible was in Latin in the western Church for the excellent reason that for over 1,000 years most people couldn’t read, and those who could, read Latin. Early modern European languages were highly regionalized patois, with no literary tradition behind them for a good 800 years after the Vulgate’s production. 2. You are mistaken that receiving Communion was ever perceived as “our” part of the liturgy. 3. The maleness of altar servers has the essential role of presenting the sacramental sign value maleness of the celebrating priest. In the OF, the sanctuary is usually not seen as a “male” space, and the significance of priestly maleness is obscured and mostly lost. 4. Finally, I doubt whether the Council gave two seconds’ thought to ladies’ mantillas. I can assure you that among most traddies, ladies’ headgear ranks very low on the list of what’s truly important. You make an excellent point (and timely) point about the schizophrenia of two calendars, but apart from that your inexperience and preconceptions are not doing you any favors.

  • Romulus

    Weekday NO Masses are pretty no-frills in their own right.

    Max: not to be tiresome, but “frills” is not a helpful word here, because it falsely implies the opposite of what you’ve just acknowledged. Solemn Mass also is no-frills, if it’s done right. OTOH, I’ve been to many weekday masses in the OF which featured multiple Extraordinary Ministers to administer the Eucharist in both species to a congregation of maybe forty. That strikes me as mighty frilly.

    ["Frilly" is a pretty good word for hiring twice as many as the job requires, but the private sector has an even better one. If I'd been to business school, I'd probably know it. You do get the idea, though? That plenty of daily Masses in both forms are quick and low-key? Personally, I have nothing against either quality.]

  • Liz

    We celebrants of the Divine Liturgy are going to start demanding equal time on your blog, Max. ;)

    Besides, there’s nothing quite like looking askance at the passionate devotees of the Tridentine Mass, and – with a twinkle in your eye – inquiring why they’d attend such a newfangled & modern innovation when the Liturgy was perfected by St John Chrysostom so many centuries prior.

    (Watching hipster Catholics trying to outdo each other is one of my favorite Facebook past-times. Can’t we all agree that the different Liturgies may speak to each of us in a different manner?)

    In seriousness, thank you for your description. My husband’s family is big into the more traditional masses. My knowledge of Latin stems from Spanish and if it isn’t a cognate, I’m basically doomed. When I go with his family I try to enjoy the scenery, the smells and bells and music, and I pray. The TM isn’t really my thing, but it’s not a bad environment for contemplation.

  • Tim in Cleveland

    I’ve never been to such a Mass but, from what you describe, it sounds like it’s worth looking into. Especially intriguing is the complete lack of Naked Lena Dunham.

  • Metro

    Love the adventure-seeking double-dog-dareness of your visit!
    I went to one out of curiosity and to see if I could be more charitable towards the doily-wearing folks, because of Pope Benedict’s “hermeneutic of continuity” themes. It was all mood swing for me. My first impression was gratitude they changed the Mass to the Novus Ordo. Then, being mad the priest wasn’t paying attention to me. Then, being struck at the humility and sweetness of it, and being connected to my short little ancestors :) I really wished more of the EF prayers had made it into English in the new Mass. I’ve been to few since then, and it does grow on ya. I can see what the “mutual enrichment” thing is about.

    The same curiosity took me to an Anglican Ordinariate Mass – to see what the patrimony was that they were preserving. Wowee zowee. *Love* Beautiful chant, english, with great congregational singing, and hymnbooks in 4 parts. Lovely language, and humility, joy, reverence all together. Small congregation, mostly African-American and African, which was sweet for me. Like the best of all worlds together.
    So – for your next adventure :)…

    [If I'd really felt like bearding the lion, I'd have gone to Our Lady of Sorrows, the local SSPX church. But I'd have had a chip on my shoulder the size of a barbell plate, and no good could ever come of something like that. At best, I'd have played it cute: when the women put on their mantillas, I'd have put on a kipah.]

  • Lynn

    I went to a High Mass, and even though my Latin is strong, I couldn’t help thinking in reply to NO critics, that liturgical innovation could easily happen there as well, because the celebrant could be up there saying his ABCs for all I knew. I guess I prefer to know what someone is saying if I’m going to unite my prayer with his. My Catholic preference is a reverently celebrated Ordinary Form with Latin propers.

    That said, I grew up Anglican, and they’ve got us completely whupped in the liturgy and sacred music departments! The second an ordinariate parish opens its doors within a hundred miles of here, I will be there!

  • Robster

    Since I grew up with the participatory vernacular mass, I have trouble just sitting there keeping an eye on the priest to see where he’d be, while I frantically try to find my place in the missal. And if I’d carefully placed all the ribbons in the proper places for mass I thought was being celebrated, the celebrant might announce he’s doing the votive mass of the Sacred Heart. I once questioned the whole low mass ritual with the speed thing. on a blog, and it seemed to be treated as a foolish question. In effect, “It’s the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, doofus! How dare you raise any questions! The Holy Mass, everything in it is perfect and complete! It doesn’t matter! Hurruph!” BTW, Max, what instruction if any did you receive in the elements of Judaism in your tender years?

    [I can tell you in exactly two words: not enough. I did attend a Jewish summer camp, which held services every Sabbath, so I still have quite a few Hebrew prayers stuck in my head. Tisha b'Av, the holiday commemorating the destruction of both temples, usually fell toward the end of the summer. We kids observed some light form of fasting during the daytime and reported in the evening for a service that made Good Friday look like a luau in comparison. On Passover, I often -- though not always -- ended up at a seder. But my father never observed the High Holy Days, and I never did study the Old Testament in any systematic way. When I was going for my bacehlors in history, I seized the opportunity to fill in some of the gaps. I studied Modern Hebrew and took some classes on the history of the Jews in Europe, particularly in Spain. Where theology's concerned, I remain an absolute nitwit. A couple of years ago, I reviewd a book called Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, written by a Catholic scripture professor named Brant Pitre. It was the first time anyone had explained Talmud to me in a way I found intelligible.]

  • Jan Frederik

    “Tradistan”? That’s not exactly a nice way to describe your fellow Catholics, is it? Now, an EF homilist can be awful, but so can an OF homilist – and both can be good, if they are inspired on that day by that particular Gospel reading. That has nothing to do with the liturgy. In any case one cannot expect to feel at home at a different liturgy at once – even the same liturgy as they celebrate it in the next parish! It can take some getting used to. Did you ever go attend an OF Mass in a different language, say Vietnamese? Theoretically, it should be the same – but it definitely doesn’t feel like it… I’ve personally gone to EF Mass occasionally, but usually attend OF Sunday mass in the nearest chapel, so you can describe me as “crossover” – or traitor to both sides, if you want to be absolutist about it ;-)

    [Maybe I should have made this clearer, but the homily wasn't bad. It was actually very nicely focused, which I appreciated. As for the "-stan" suffix, I'm using it in a value-neutral way, to mean "the realm of the trads." No imputation of "Taliban Catholicism," to use John Allen's phrase, is implied.]

  • John Ruffle

    Why do tongue in cheek? And what about the 3-hour fast prior to Mass? This sounds pretty much like an Anglo-Catholic mass to me, and it can gender an intense spiritual communion to be experienced. It isn’t for first timers. But then NO mass is for first timers… that’s why there is Alpha for Catholics, the video series “Catholicism” and other means of Catachesis. What I find saddest about many masses is that incense has become a rarity, and the altar rail invisible. But there is always the Ordinariate, made up of Anglo Catholics who left the disjointed Anglican Communion and have come under the See of Rome.

    [As a convert, I'm in an excellent position to agree with you: at first any kind of Mass seems strange. Maybe a fair number of people are allergic to incense?]

  • Nancy

    I loved your comment about the donuts tasting the same! HA made me laugh. There is a “new” church here in Kansas City, St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, that bought an old Lutheran Church, and it now has A Latin Mass. I really want to visit there. Thanks for your observation and light hearted comments! God Bless!

  • Metro

    To Max:
    Yeah, SSPX. I think I would feel like I was eavesdropping on a neighbor couple negotiating divorcing or getting back together. Too much tension and other people’s business.
    I now have a mental image of someone swooping into Mass, a barbell plate on each shoulder, kipah on head. Needs at least a mask and cape too! The SSPX Bandit :D