Laudetur Iesus Christus!
Nunc et in aeternum! Amen.
So I woke up to sad news: the NHL began its lockout at midnight. I was despondent. I almost started weeping bitterly into my Ozzie jersey while wearing my Red Wings hat and slippers (not really but I do have those things). My phone then vibrates. It’s my father. He texted me. “LOCKOUT.” Nice. Thanks, Dad.
Why was I so sad? Because my friends and I were planning on getting together to see a game. It’s been two years since we’ve gradumatated but lots of stuff has kept us from getting together regularly. The last time the group of us got together was for a friend’s wedding last year. That was fun. Imagine a bunch of young adults dressed to the nines (I wore heels that to this day I know not how I didn’t bust something wearing let alone ambulating in let alone DANCING in them!) in varying levels of inebriation/buzzed-ness (I have never been inebriated or schwasted in my life) dancing raucously to Flogging Molly on the dance floor. In the center of the mob is the bride (part of the group) really dancing up a storm in her dress and everything.
Never heard of Flogging Molly?
Here’s the first song the DJ played per our request:
We used to play this in the dining hall on Saint Patrick’s Day, it was amazing how many people would join us. We’d be pounding on the tables, drinking our alcohol-free Shamrock Shakes (that was for Mulligan’s or the apartment later), and singing/shouting the song. It was a tradition. One year, we didn’t do it and people asked what happened.
I never knew I could rock out in 6 inch heels without killing someone or myself. Those shoes were a weapon.
Oh, and then I caught the bouquet, unaware of what happened to me after (I am a sheltered little girl … it was my first non-dry non-family wedding in a while). My friends were laughing uproariously. “Sister Allie has to have a guy stick his hand up her dress!” Repeating it over and over again. While pointing, laughing, and trying to keep from peeing their pants and messing up their outfits (we all looked quite swanky … not skanky … we’re a classy bunch of youths).
Needless to say the guy who caught the garter was a sweetheart and said we could dance instead. I told him that there are just some things that are better left a mystery (and that I was entering the convent). He laughed and made a comment on how I am already taken. My friend (the bride)’s father came up to me and said “Yeah, somehow I don’t think the sisters would approve of that.”
I have great friends. The poked fun at me the rest of the night. They kept telling me I was cheating on Jesus. lol Mind you, I was moving into the convent a few weeks from then. How can one cheat on One Who is Omnipresent? Ya can’t.
That was fun. Then at the end of the night, some of us (myself excluded) were not suitable to drive so we all piled into a sober friend’s car. That time (when I had an inebriated friend laying across my lap and thus unable to escape) was the time they decided to play “Who can break Allie first?” How do you play? Say horrible things that would drive my mind to Blue Screen of Death (BSOD): it could be something just plain …. ewww to talking about how inclusive language is all right in the context of liturgy (anything theologically wrong or philosophically postmodern). Anything with the term “inclusive” or “Spirit of Vatican II” in it usually got me.
So that was the last time we got together. We also went around to the different orchards, shopped, and ate food. It was idyllic. And we found a used book store that was an occasion of sin for me … lots of books I wanted to buy but not enough scratch.
Coming back to the topic.
If this lockout holds out, we won’t be able to get together for a hockey game. All of us are die-hard Red Wings fans. In fact, we’ve been Facebooking and texting each other about the tragedy. We have to console each other. My one friend (the one at whose wedding we last got together) is pregnant and she keeps saying that no one wants to she her “preggers” and on a rampage about no Red Wings. lol
But the Lord knows how to bring good out of even the darkest moments.
My sister, mother, and I were supposed to spend the afternoon together going to see an exhibit on the Titanic at a museum (my sister has wanted to see it since it came to MI in April but schedules is crazy). We were all ready when my sister looks up tickets and they are sold out.
Okay, plan B.
My father was going to see my brother about some stuff so now that our afternoon was free, we decided to go with him so he wouldn’t have to drive alone.
My sister went about her own business while we went for a drive.
After we took care of business with my brother, my mother asks me if one of my priest-friend’s parishes is around there.
Yeah, I don’t think it’s not far out of town.
Want to go?
Sure! Especially since he has a 2pm TLM and it was around that time.
When we got there, Mass had already started so we walked around the campus, his parish has a beautiful Way of the Cross that goes through the woods. After a bit, I decided, “Oh heck, I’ll sneak in.”
My mother asks, “Do you have your veil?”
“What kinda question is that? Of course I do!”
I pull it out of my purse, put it on, and sneak into church.
As soon as I caught up mentally to where the Mass was (I didn’t have my Missal), it was deja vu. In case you are new to the blog or, more likely, have tried to black those memories out (my apologies for opening wounds afresh; no I won’t pay for your therapy), I wrote a post about my last experience at a TLM in April. You can read it here.
It was basically the same experience. Yep. Any question about my liturgical preferences were confirmed again. I prefer the TLM. I can’t go to it as often as I would like. Hopefully that will be amended once I get my license and wheels. God will provide. He always does.
Seriously, I would go to TLM every Sunday if I could.
Better yet, my parentals said that they would come up again and go to Latin Mass with me! OH JOYNESS!!! I probably won’t convert them to the ways of 1962 (they did live during that time so they aren’t completely in the dark) but it’s nice to see them open to it.
I can’t wait until I can attend TLM more regularly. Seriously. I love it so much. Read the linked post for a more elevated explanation.
Another wonderful perk: I got to see my dear priest-friend for the first time since he was assigned to his new parish. It was great to see him. And he heard my Confession and blessed something for me. Yay! :)
Did I mention that when I first came into the church, besides the fact that I was at a TLM, I saw an Infant of Prague statue all dolled up in green! YAY!!! That made my heart smile so broadly.
But really, the best part of today was the TLM. I wasn’t even around for the whole thing. I kinda snuck in like sketchy little church lady.
I❤ the TLM. Have I made it clear? I don’t think I have.
I❤ the TLM! I❤ the TLM! I❤ the TLM! I❤ the TLM! I❤ the TLM! I❤ the TLM! I❤ the TLM! I❤ the TLM! I❤ the TLM! I❤ the TLM! I❤ the TLM! I❤ the TLM! I❤ the TLM! I❤ the TLM! I❤ the TLM! I❤ the TLM! I❤ the TLM! I❤ the TLM! I❤ the TLM! I❤ the TLM! I❤ the TLM! I❤ the TLM!
Why do I love it so much? Because it’s so peaceful and serene. With the majority of my experiences with the Novus Ordo (the Ordinary Form) there is a tendency for it to be kinda … crazy. I mean, the rubrics may be followed but I think sometimes the focus is lost. Sometimes you have so many people doing so many thing that one can lose focus on the Lord.
At the TLM, you have the priest, the altar boys, and the choir (which is where it should be … the loft … not the sanctuary). The only persons in the sanctuary are the priest and the altar boys. And everything is so well-executed. You don’t have people schlepping around. You don’t have an overpopulated sanctuary, which I think is a problem at some parishes.
The Mass itself, in my not-so-humble humble opinion, when said in the Extraordinary Form is more conducive to prayer. I find it “easier” to pray the Mass at the TLM than at the Novus Ordo.
I really think that when the priest is facing ad orientem (aka “facing God”), the focus is directed where it ought to be … GOD … duh. At the OF, when the priest is facing the people (versus populum) (because you know, the OF does not need to be said with the priest facing the people … just sayin’.), there is a chance (a pronounced chance) that the priest may become the center of attention (even if the priest himself doesn’t mean for it to be as such). Yes, he’s an alter Christus but the focus ought to still be on Christ’s Presence in the Eucharist which the priest confects by saying the appropriate prayers (“Say the Black, Do the Red. FTW).
At the TLM, you don’t see who the priest is through the whole thing save for the homily and maybe the Gospel (the Epistle and Gospel are usually read on their respective sides of the altar). At the TLM, I really think that the priest’s role as the instrument through which Christ becomes present is more apparent. You’re not focused on the priest. The priest is doing his “priest-y thing” and the Lord is doing His thing by becoming present in the bread and wine through the words and actions of the priest.
At the TLM, the priest truly becomes absorbed in Christ. Not that Christ isn’t there in the priest in the OF but I think it’s more apparent in the EF (that’s just my traddy opinion).
I just found it much easier for me to focus during today’s TLM. It was so nice to be able to pray. Thank the Lord I know the sung parts by heart. It was just nice to hear Latin more than just in passing. I think Latin needs to play a much bigger role in the liturgical life of the typical parish than it tends to. Vatican II never meant for Masses to be said entirely in the vernacular. Latin still has pride of place along with Gregorian Chant.
It’s amazing how my memory works. When I got into church, found my seat, and started to figure out where things were in the Mass, my mind immediately visualizes this bit of beautiful-ness that’s been on the Internetz for a while. You will recognize the voice most prob (It’s Venerable Fulton J. Sheen).
That is kinda how I figured out where we were. I fast forwarded mentally until I got to about where I think the priest was. I was right.
I was watching “Whose Line is it Anyway” clips on YouTube but EVERY TIME I look this up, I have to watch it. I got it bad for the TLM and I LOVE IT.
(Fulton Sheen just said that “It is a long-established principle of the Church never to completely drop from her public worship any ceremony, object, or prayer which once occupied a place in that worship.” How things change.)
I really hope to incorporate the TLM and all other things more 1962-ish into my spiritual life on the more regular basis in the near future. I try to pray as much of my Office as I can in Latin. The hour that has the most Latin is Compline but that’s because Compline was kinda set up to be memorized since it’s the last hour of the day. On feast days, I try to pray Lauds (Vespers can be kinda hit or miss depending on how tired I am … I know … crappy excuse) in Latin using Vatican Radio’s podcasts. I get the Latin text using the iBreviary app on my iPod. I need to find an EF Ordo app for the iPod/iPhone. If anyone knows of one, put it in the comments please. Thankies.
(As I am typing this, I am doing the responses to the Latin Mass … yep, I’ve got it bad).
I have always been a bit on the traddy side even since I was a grade school kid. I attribute it to the fact that the first Missal I received was my mother’s First Communion Missal that had the Mass of 1962 in it along with all the traddy devotions an 8th grader growing in her love of her Faith could want. Also, I read the more vintage Catholicism books from the school library.
My favorite was The Catholic Heritage Encyclopedia edited by the Maryknoll Sisters (before things went off the deep-end). Years later, one of my Theology profs and I were talking about something (can’t remember) when I bring up that book. A few days later, I am in his class again, and in my spot was the book. He had found a copy that the local Catholic high school was getting rid of and he got it for me. ’twas very kind of him. I have many memories attached to that book. Many rainy day indoor recesses spent reading that book. I checked it out for weeks at a time. That was the book that started it all. It started my love affair with Theology.
(Listening to the Schola singing the Kyrie makes me wonder “Sigh, what happened? Thank the Lord for Summorum Pontificum!“)
Like I said, while I have always been a bit traddy, it wasn’t until my priest-friend whom we visited today quite randomly came to my parish that I really openly embraced it (with some resistance but that will be taken care of soon enough). When I found out that he liked to (as he says) “party like it’s 1962,” I knew I had found a real spiritual father because (among other reasons) I knew I could talk about traddy things without getting eye rolls or condescending remarks. He blessed my mantilla, gave me a refresher in the TLM, and gave me a better understanding of the TLM. He even gave me absolution in Latin once. YAY!
Before he came to my parish, I was more quiet about it. I didn’t really talk about it because I knew I was in the minority. My immediate family knew of my proclivities (sounds so clandestine … sadly) and a few close friends (some of whom shared my traddy affinity) but not many others. I think it was out of pride. I didn’t want people to think less of me like “She thinks she is better than everyone else because she like Latin Mass and all that stuff.” My spiritual director/confessor at the time did not share my affinity for it so I never brought it up after having gotten a few remarks or eye rolls (that always killed me that I always felt like he couldn’t “accept” who I really was … of course, should we really care about what other think in such a way?). I just kinda let it be a private thing. When he came to the parish, I realized that while I should not push my traddy-ness in people’s faces or jam it down their throat, there is no reason why I should hide it.
Enter the Latin cheat sheets for my Breviary. Enter my subtle practice of covering the English in my Missal and praying the Latin mentally (save for the words of Consecration which I do not read at all … those are for the priest and the priest alone to see and read … my meager way of demarcating sacred words). Enter the whispered Sancte Michael Archangele prayer at the end of Mass with thrice stricken breast with “Cor Iesu Sacratissimum, miserere nobis.” uttered during each. Enter the mantilla (though that was stricken down quickly, I wear it when I can … like TODAY). Enter my doing some of the responses at Mass in Latin quietly (I usually mouth them). It’s not me calling attention to myself (I can’t stand doing that), it’s just how I pray.
I think Latin has a beautifully symbolic role in the life of the Church. It acts like the iconostasis that one sees in Eastern Rite and Orthodox Churches. The iconostasis serves as a curtain between God and man. It marks off the holy of holies much like an altar rail does. Latin is the figurative veil on the liturgy. These words are so sacred that we pray them in a language that we do not commonly use because the Mass is not just a common thing: it’s the holiest action in which we can participate as human beings because at the Mass, we encounter Christ in the priest and especially through the Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament. It has nothing to do with polarizing in the negative sense. It has everything to do with maintaining a sense of the sacred and maintaining continuity with the tradition of the Church.
I really could write much more. I probably will at some point or another but I need to get ready for bed. Vespers and Compline and then sleepy-sleep. Remember, if you want me to pray for something/someone put it in the prayer box up there. I write it down on a snippet of paper and present it to the Infant of Prague. He’s answered most of my prayers (He’s working on others on His time) and a goodly amount of the prayers that friends have referred to me have been answered (many times in ways they never imagined). My dear Infant is my dearest devotion because I can always count on His help in anything.
Oh, while we were driving home, we passed a Christian faith community (there is only one Church) with a sign that said: “P.U.S.H.”: Pray Until Something Happens”
I found the Theology of that erroneous but I will get into that in a later post. I don’t know, something with it just rubbed me as a bit off .
Have a nice night!