Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Is the Latin Mass part of your practice as a Catholic?

Despite predictions that time had passed for the Latin Mass, the rise of the EF is a phenomenon in the modern church. Does it represent a deeper, underlying cultural change? What do you think? Is the Latin Mass part of your practice as a Catholic? - 

For those who may not be familiar with the EF I suggest a visit to New Liturgical Movement for a textual and visual feast of this phenomena.

My childhood liturgical life was firmly grounded in the EF. I was an altar server who had mastered the best of the Latin tongue twisters and had perfected the ritual logistics including bell ringing down to a fine art. It never occurred to me at that time to wonder why no girls or women were allowed into the sanctuary. I didn't bat an eyelid at the ornate  vestments and the intricate hand woven lace patterns on the albs and surplices. I was too busy getting the movements right and the auto responses out to wonder if this was the way God wanted to be worshiped all over the world.

I was in grade six at St Pat's Primary School in Geelong West when the English Mass was introduced. It was such a climatic shift that we had class sessions reading out the new texts as if it was a foreign language. Churches suddenly began to echo with the voices from the pews who had been mostly silent. The  priest began to face the people and his actions were more public as we saw bread and wine offered blessed, and broken in our midst. Rosaries were left in pockets and handbags for private devotion as we needed to be ready to turn pages, shake hands and receive communion like adults.

The EF is back in town and some will find consolation in the home coming of the lost child. However, the family has migrated and things are different now. I left that lost child behind so I could mature and grow into a better person of faith and service. I don't mind my liturgy done "ad orientum" and bits of Greek, Latin, Hebrew and a host of other languages are good reminders  of our universal connection.  In the quirky way of Catholicism I will stick to my Latin Novus Ordo rather then the English Extraordinary Form!!!
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