Saturday, February 20, 2010

Traditional Mass Jottings: Positive Article by Valley Catholic Editor About the Traditional Mass Where We Sing

I was flabbergasted and thrilled to see this article in the Valley Catholic, San Jose diocesan paper! It presents the San Jose Latin Mass community and our love of the Latin Mass from the community's own perspective, and the journalist gets out of the way and lets the priests' words speak eloquently about the reasons for the appeal of the traditional Mass.
Left: Father Jean-Marie Moreau and Abbe Eric Majewski (seminarian) at the altar at Five Wounds Church

Father Morgan, pastor of Five Wounds Church in San Jose, who welcomed the Latin Mass that is said at his church at 9:30 a.m. every Sunday, was quoted as saying that he is intrigued by the numbers of young people he sees at the Tridentine* [sic] Mass. “Perhaps they find the formality of this liturgy appealing because they are so used to informality, especially in California.

Tridentine* (which the author used often in the article) is not quite the correct term. The form of the Latin Mass that was allowed to be celebrated more freely by Pope Benedict XVI in his Summorum Pontificum is called the "Extraordinary Form" (EF). The EF is contrasted with "Ordinary Form," which is the New Mass, or Novus Ordo" (NO).
This blog explains more about the terminology.

“People have a great desire to connect with the mysterious which they don’t find in the ‘new’ Mass,” he said, “where there is a focus on community."
Since I sing in the choir, I especially like this quote from Fr. Morgan: “We have a great choir here and they are excellent with Gregorian chant, one of the Church’s and civilization’s great treasures.”

Left: Choir loft; look at all the young people!

Fr. Morgan is a diocesan priest, recently installed pastor of Five Wounds Portuguese National Church where our choir sings every Sunday at 9:15 a.m. High Mass and at other Masses and services. Fr. Morgan has been eagerly learning how to say the Latin Low Mass and to lead Sunday Vespers. As a result of his being a quick study, Fr. Morgan has just begun to offer a low Mass every Wednesday evening at the church at 6 p.m. And he leads the sung Latin Vespers at 3:30 p.m. on the Last Sunday of every month.

And I like this other quote from Canon Jean-Marie Moreau, who is from the Institue of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, the Episcopal Delegate for the Extraordinary Form at St. Margaret Mary Church in Oakland, and the rector of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Oratory in Santa Clara, and who says the High Mass at Five Wounds at 9:15 a.m. in Sundays.
“The liturgy speaks to your senses. The Gregorian chant is beautiful and the high Mass at Five Wounds has a wonderful choir.”

There is one thing I would want the diocese of San Jose to understand from the glimpse in this article of the vibrant set of volunteers who keep the Latin Masses going in the diocese. It is that lay involvement does not mean everyone should be a minister and take the role of the priest--which is one of the often stated goals of the diocese's Institute for Leadership in Ministry, that laity should be trained to assume the role of the priest as pastor. Lay involvement is what we all do! And we do it out of love. We don't need no ILM to know how to serve!

The current Pope is quoted often as having called for a new liturgical movement to counteract the over-the-top liturgical innovation that followed Vatican II. Here is a link to my blog post about the subject, aptly called: Traditional Mass Jottings: Pope Benedict XVI Called for a New Liturgical Movement. I believe we are part of that movement.

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