Sunday, October 07, 2007

Future of the Traditional Latin Mass at St. Theresa's

The Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite will be celebrated at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Sugar Land on every first Sunday of the month at 2:30pm, starting today. I also understand that a low mass will be celebrated on All Souls Day (Fri, Nov. 2nd) at 12:10pm.

I want to say a few things about seeing the TLM come to St. Theresa's. I've been to many TLMs over my last 10 years as a Catholic. I am a more Reform of the Reform minded person, but what I found in this experience of the TLM at my parish is something very interesting, and dare I say, in the face of the awesome mystery that is the mass, that it is also a lot of fun -- in the most vague sense of the word.

First of all, nothing is being imposed ex alto here. As far as I know, the diocese never asked my pastor to do this. The TLM came about basically because of the interest of my pastor and parishioners in the wake of the Holy Father's motu proprio. It was truly a home-grown, parish-rooted happening.

Secondly, unlike at many of the indult locations I have been, it's exhilarating to attend a TLM that isn't inundated by bunker Catholics, those Catholics with a major chip on their shoulders and an axe to grind. This is due in part to the sheer genius of the motu proprio and the Church's desire to move away from an indult mentality that might also breed rebellion and disobedience in some groups. While I know there are those who are there because they love the TLM and prefer it to the novus ordo missae, many in attendance at our mass have never assisted at a TLM before this time. It's something any Catholic can appreciate.

Thirdly, many of the folks in attendance are quite prepared. In addition to understanding the importance of participating in the mass by joining in prayer with the actions at the altar, folks also participate thoroughly in the chants and take part in many of the responses. When I am there, I know that I am with fellow parishioners in the company of honored guests worshiping God in our own parish space, just as we do in any other mass.

Those are just a handful of observations I will note for the time being.

Perhaps I can convince my pastor to write about his experience in preparing to offer the TLM for the very first time...

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