Sunday, August 7, 2022



Yes, you read the title correctly. The only time I have been at a Traditional Latin Mass since it was freed from the dungeon of the Vatican Museums, has been as a celebrant for this Mass since 7/7/07, the day of liberation. 

I have not attended as an participant other than as a celebrant.

Today I attended the first Mass for the 1962 Roman Missal at Sacred Heart Church on Bull Street in Savannah, about eight blocks from the cathedral basilica where it had been for almost 15 years. 

This was the first time that the 1962 Roman Missal was celebrated at Sacred Heart since the transitional Missal of 1965 which quickly morphed into the 1970 Roman Missal by 1968 or so, for all practical purposes. 

As I watched the Mass and participated in it as the laity does, but in choir dress, it brought me back to my first memories of this Mass around 1957 or so in Atlanta, both at Fort McPherson’s Cantonment Chapel in Atlanta/East Point and St. Joseph Church in Augusta where I experience the Mass with great fascination as well as the transitions from 1965 to 1970 and the deformations after that time. 

This is what struck me today and resonated with my childhood.

1. Fascination with the Mass from an innate, non academic or intellectual point of view. Like love, one doesn’t describe it, but experiences it and knows what it is from a mystical experience.

2. The silences of this Mass as prayers are prayed in a low voice, especially the Canon, is stunningly beautiful enabling contemplation, wonder and awe.

3. In the altar server responsible for moving the Missal from the epistle side of the altar to the Gospel side and then back again, I saw every altar boy I scrupulously watch as a child wondering if I could do what he was doing and doing it without dropping the missal and its large stand or tripping down the three stairs leading to the altar. 

4. I received Holy Communion as every lay person did at this Mass today, kneeling and on the tongue and yes it brought me back to Atlanta and Augusta doing it that way. 

5. Finally, while the Modern Roman Missal allows for the godawful liturgical dance added to the Mass at various points, like adding music and entertainment, the Traditional Latin Mass is itself the dance with his high choreography. It is like a minuet! Stunningly beautiful.

Pray, pray, pray, that Pope Francis experiences a conversion to the older form of the Mass and the communities who love it. He hated charismatics and thought them mentally problematic when he was archbishop in South America but then repented and embraced them.  Maybe he will have a similar conversion toward the TLM and the people who love it.   


rcg said...

So bow did Sacred Heart escape the bishop’ directive?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It has to end by Amat 20, but a Latin Modern Mass, ad orientem and kneeling for Holy Communion will replace it.

ByzRus said...

Interesting that the replacement liturgy, which arguably should be the normative expression, yet will still be isolated within a specific community. Shouldn't this be an opportunity to implement things as they should be as opposed to a compromise solution for that former TLM community?

There's a shrine about 40 minutes from me that offers midday mass in its lower church on the high altar that, honestly, isn't that old all things considered. I've attended there before and thought, this is how it should have been. It seemed so right. People were free to do as they pleased for the reception of communion. Most knelt before the priest. I tried to fall into line....big mistake. The lack of cartilage in my knees caused me to tip to the right when attempting to stand back up. I almost took out a concelebrant. Hey, I tried.

Drew said...

Yes, ByzRus it's quite interesting. I can't speak for the diocese of Savannah liturgical landscape or future, but having the 'replacement liturgy' become more of the normative expression of Mass where I am in the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has been a blessing. It's unfortunate that reverent, traditional liturgies in the Latin Rite aren't too ubiquitous. Someday I hope....