Now that the Pope has legalized the Latin Tridentine mass as an alternative to contemporary Catholic worship, guess who is flocking to those services?
“It’s the opposite of the cacophony that comes with the [modern] Mass,” said Ken Wolfe, 34, a federal government worker who goes to up to four Latin Masses a week in the Washington area. “There’s no guitars and handshaking and breaks in the Mass where people talk to each other. It’s a very serious liturgy.”
And it is a hit with younger priests and their parishioners.
Attendance at the Sunday noon Mass at St. John the Beloved in McLean has doubled to 400 people since it began celebrating in Latin. Most of the worshipers are under 40, said the Rev. Franklyn McAfee.
Younger parishioners “are more reflective,” McAfee said. “They want something uplifting when they go to church. They don’t want something they can get outside.”
For some, the popularity of the service represents the gap between older Catholics, who grew up in the more liberal, post-Vatican II era, and their younger counterparts, who say they feel like they missed out on the tradition that was jettisoned in the move to modernize.