Another church offers weekly mass in Latin (in Cedar, Michigan)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Holy Rosary Parish in Cedar Michigan. Image from the church's site.

While we're on the subject of Latin, here's another church that has begun to offer a Latin-language mass once again. These articles have been popping up every once in a while in the local paper when a church decides to start offering the traditional Tridentine Mass in Latin after the Summorum Pontificum in 2007.

Here's an example from Wikipedia of some of the reaction to the Summorum Pontificum:
Various advocates for the Tridentine Mass voiced cautious optimism for the future and are now preparing for the practical aspects of the decision. In a statement, The Latin Mass Society of Ireland said: "We are very grateful to the Pope for enriching the life of the Church in this way and for enhancing legitimate liturgical diversity. In doing this Pope Benedict is building on the foundation laid by his predecessor Pope John Paul II in his 1988 motu proprio Ecclesia Dei Adflicta. The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales said: "Thirty-seven years ago, the Latin Mass Society was denounced by The Universe newspaper for its attachment to the Traditional Latin Rite under the banner headline, 'Latin Madness'. Today, the loyalty, determination and sufferings of the Traditional faithful have been vindicated by Pope Benedict XVI's wise and pastoral motu proprio. This [decision] puts an end to the discrimination, marginalisation and exclusion which, too often, Traditional Catholics have suffered. ... However, now is the time for the 'interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church' for which Pope Benedict calls." The Catholic Publishing House Baronius Press warmly welcomed the motu proprio and prepared to publish a special printing of their edition of the 1962 Missal around September 14, 2007, the date of the coming into effect of Summorum Pontificum.
The article on the local church is pretty much what you'd expect: an introduction to the mass, the history behind why Latin stopped being used in local masses and how the Tridentine Mass is being restored. The biggest problem for a church in restoring the Latin mass is understanding the language:

Wachowiak says that since the Latin Mass was reinstated, priests conducting the Mass must be certified. "The Mass Pope Benedict authorized, done in Latin, is the same Mass that was done in 1962, the last time Latin Masses were said. Back then our priests were versed in Latin, but since the 1960s Latin is no longer required in seminaries. The important thing is that the Mass can not just be recited verbatim, it has to be understood."

Currently Fr. Donald Libby is the only priest in the diocese with those qualifications. "A priest came from Chicago to train Fr. Libby," Wachowiak said.

Fr. Libby said the Masses have been averaging between 150 and 200 weekly worshippers. "We're getting pretty good feedback and attendance has been steadily increasing," he said.

Also, the average age of those attending the mass is surprisingly low:

Becker said the weekly Latin Masses have fortified his faith. He grew up learning the Catholic faith, but not too much, he said.

A trip to the Medjugorje shrine in 1995 turned him back to Catholicism. Returning through Rome he learned more about the church, came back and started learning more. "I got enthused about faith," he said.

By the time the 2000 millennium came around Becker's interest in Latin was growing. Mary already could read the language. "Fr. Libby came and wanted to start a Latin Mass, and it fit in with us," Becker said.

Becker says the average age for those attending the Latin Mass at Holy Rosary is about 35. "A lot are drawn by the meaning of the words," Becker said. Many are carrying missals with Latin on one side and a parallel English translation on the other side of the page. "Some like to listen to the chants. They're something new they haven't heard."

So which church is next?


Unknown said...

Way to go. I personally attend a Latin Mass in New Jersey, and have for 6 years, before the Summorum Pontificum. I am also 15. I enjoy it, not just because of the Gregorian chant, but because (at least the Low Mass) is quiet and dignified. I can´t speak for anyone else, but I enjoy peace and quiet once in a while.

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