What is the appeal of the Latin Mass for so many devout young adult Catholics?
The reverence involved in a Latin Mass is so different than anything we've experienced.
I've lived only in the post-Vatican II era. Yet, I recall older people getting extremely upset over the changes. I mean ready-to-leave our Church mad. I didn't have anything against Vatican II, in fact my childhood pastor attended as an observer. Some of the changes I liked. I never learned enough Latin to fully understand what was being said. I like hearing the Mass in English.
Another point of contention after Vatican II was the laity receiving Holy Communion in the hand. I like receiving Holy Communion in the hand. To me it seemed to mirror how the Apostles received The Eucharist.
It's not a hatred of the Ordinary Form Mass that drives us to the Latin Mass. It's that the Latin Mass is reverent in a different way. The desire to be holy-- and to feel taken away from the ordinary into the extraordinary—drives us to the Latin Mass.
I attended one Latin Mass recently to see what was the big deal. For the first time I connected to my parents' experience of the Mass (they having been born before Vatican II). This was cool.
I'm not going to join a Latin Mass parish. I like the regular Sunday Mass. But I have to be honest. The Ordinary Form of the Mass has its challenges. It's too social. It's too musical and I can't sing. I can't seem to pray as I want to pray because of the lack of silence. Sometimes I feel like I attended a concert and a Mass broke out.
The Latin Mass gives us the feeling of awe. It just fits what we need in the modern world.
I do not believe the Latin Mass is harming the Church. In fact it enhances our Church. It is like an Italian Mass on March 19 for the feast of St. Joseph in my opinion--or a weekly Spanish Mass held in the United States. It is an accommodation for those who like that type of comfort.
And the Mass is a meal. I mean how many of us want the comfort of chicken noodle soup when we are sick? Maybe others hate chicken noodle soup and prefer ginger ale when they are ill. I guess what I am saying is I don't see it as a threat like some do. I honestly don't understand why anyone would want to rid the Church of an avenue to holiness. That seems petty to me.
I'd like to share an event I witnessed. In my last parish's perpetual adoration chapel there were battery-operated candles and some plastic flowers. I was told this was done because the risk of fire in the chapel overnight worried the elderly priest. A few years later, when a younger priest replaced him, he switched out to real candles and live flowers. The new priest explained these changes were in line with the requirements. Soon the priest closed down the overnight chapel and limited the hours during the day. I'm sure there were many reasons he felt he had to limit the hours. Still, an avenue of grace was erased to anyone who needed an overnight place to pray in our diocese. I wonder if in order to bring about "the requirements" we may lose some things people need to thrive.
In an imperfect world, accommodation is a beautiful thing.
We just want to be fed. The Latin Mass feeds us.
Well, anyone who understands a bit about human nature knows that forbidden fruit will increase the desire of something. So those inside the Church who clamp down on the Latin Mass only increase its appeal. In fact I had no desire to ever go to a Latin Mass until the big brouhaha about the Latin Mass being banned. The appeal was “hey this is banned, let's go!”
Never thought we'd see the day Latin Mass attendance was “bad boy” behavior.
A long time ago I thought I was a writer. Because my parents were practical, I went into teaching. About eight years ago, I began to write again. So here I am.
I hold a B.S. degree in Elementary Education from Penn State University (University Park). I enjoy gardening, reading, Pittsburgh sports, and cooking, but not in that order. My regular job is being a wife and mother.