"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"
Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (November 18, 2018):
November 18, 2018 – Resumed Sixth Sunday After Epiphany
Reasons for Thanksgiving and Optimism
It seems that most of the Catholic news nowadays comes in one of two categories, either bad news about malfeasance and corruption in the Church hierarchy or “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” seemingly forced-happy news from establishment Catholic media outlets.
Ignored in both of the above are the quiet signs of improvement in many areas of Catholic life, most connected with the Traditional Latin Mass. Given that this is the week of American Thanksgiving, it’s appropriate to remind ourselves to give thanks for what we do have. For example:
The continuing mainstreaming of the Tridentine Mass, and its increasing prominence in diocesan life. The ever-increasing number of Extraordinary Form Mass sites in metro Detroit and Windsor (and elsewhere) is something unimaginable just eleven years ago. Consider how many options we now enjoy on major weekday Feast Days as one example. In this region, we’re now limited by number of volunteers available to organize and run more Masses rather than by number of willing and interested host churches and clergy.
The ever-increasing number of priests and seminarians interested in learning to serve and celebrate the Extraordinary Form. A perfect example of this was at the All Souls Day Mass on Friday, November 2 at Old St. Mary’s Church in Detroit [photo above]: Brothers from the Franciscans of the Holy Spirit served the Mass, with seminarians from Sacred Heart Major Seminary representing two dioceses sitting in choir. Every one of the Franciscan seminarians repeatedly expressed their gratitude for having been exposed to the Traditional Mass. And stay tuned – there will be more good news along this front in next week’s Tridentine Community News column.
The increasing prevalence of Gregorian Chant and sacred polyphony in parish life. For example, this week this writer heard Gregorian Mass XVIII’s Sanctus and Agnus Dei and the Salve Regína sung at a weekday Mass at an average parish in Las Vegas. That would have been unthinkable in the pre-Summórum Pontíficum era as recently as eleven years ago, when blogs and discussion boards proudly boasted of Ordinary Form choirs taking the daring step of chanting the occasional Communion Antiphon in Latin. Clearly the bar has been raised.
A gradual evolution of where serious Catholicism is found. Prior to Vatican II, many if not most parishes seemed to have been fairly orthodox. Post-Vatican II, only a handful of conservative parishes and ethnic parishes cared enough to maintain traditions. Nowadays there is no mistaking that Tridentine Mass communities lead the charge, but an increasing number of Ordinary Form parishes are shifting to a more traditional presentation of the Faith, at least at certain Masses.
A recapturing of the importance of celebrating the Feasts of the Church Year, and increasing integration of the Church calendar into daily thinking and prayer. Catholic media and many priests’ preaching are helping to rekindle awareness of the sanctoral cycle, Feasts of Our Lady, octaves, and the lives of the Saints.
Rediscovery and rededication to traditional devotions, from the Rosary to Eucharistic Adoration to gaining Indulgences. Even at otherwise “modern” parishes, ground-level support from the faithful is causing a resurgence of popular devotions that often went ignored in the 1980s and 90s. One example is the increasing number of novenas and devotions prayed before or after weekday Masses.
Increasing availability of Confession before and after Mass. If you offer it, they will come, even in Ordinary Form parishes.
The resurgence of traditional art and architecture, both in new church construction and in restorations and un-wreckovations of older churches. The number of church restorations seems to be outpacing wreckovations these days. Communion Rails, High Altars, and serious religious art are making a comeback, and the designers and contractors supporting those efforts are growing in number and busier than ever.
The rise of a whole industry of secondhand and new traditional church goods vendors, as presented in the November 4 edition of this column. The era of 1970s style products is finally starting to pass.
One might ask, with all of this good news, why isn’t the Catholic press more focused on it? Certainly much of the mainstream Catholic press is under control of the bishops, most of whom still seem oblivious to or disinterested in traditional forms of piety and worship. However, web sites, blogs, and social media – and of course this column and Extraordinary Faith - abound with example after example of the resurgent interest in our immemorial traditions, so the encouraging word will spread via other channels.
Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
- Tue. 11/20 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (St. Felix of Valois, Confessor)
- Sat. 11/24 8:30 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (St. John of the Cross, Confessor & Doctor)