Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Legendary Beauty in Sleepy Hollow

Yes, that Sleepy Hollow.

This past weekend, I skipped town before the Fall rush, and went to New York to visit some friends. On Sunday, I was able to attend the Traditional Latin Mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Sleepy Hollow (formerly North Tarrytown), NY. This building had been an Episcopal church, built, if I understood correctly, with funds from none other than Washington Irving. It is one of many handsome buildings in this picture perfect town which is nestled along the placid pools of the Hudson River.

There were some things which stood out which I'd like to share with the readership here.

First of all, in keeping with Fr. Z's Rule Number 4, this traditional community (Una Voce Westchester) takes up a monthly collection that is given to the Immaculate Conception parish. A great number of this Mass's attendees are also registered as parishioners there. In addition, the pastor of the parish goes out of his way to make the group feel welcome. Caritas seems to be the operational word here.

Secondly, I was able to meet a number of people at the convivium after Mass. It really seems to be a trend that traditional communities are close knit, happy places in which people hang around for an hour or more socializing. I enjoyed meeting these most interesting people. They are full of energy and have joyfully offered their talents for the good of their community. Note well: They are not sitting around waiting for someone else to do the work; they're doing it themselves. It should also be noted that they're able to talk about subjects other than Catholic liturgy. This is a healthy thing. I detected not a trace of "bitter" traditionalism.

Thirdly, the schola at the Sleepy Hollow Mass is first rate. (Full disclosure: The magister musicorum, David Hughes, is a friend of mine. Nevertheless, I assure you of my objectivity.) Only the best music is used, and it is always well-organized and well-rehearsed. It is a model schola for others, and if the music at newer celebrations of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is like the music at Sleepy Hollow, the 1962 missal is bound to flourish. If lesser music is used in places where the motu proprio is implemented, the 1962 missal is bound to suffer the same fate it suffered in times past. The folks at Sleepy Hollow are helping to save the 62 Missal from 1962.

Sleepy Hollow is accessible via the Metro North railroad. Take it from New York to Tarrytown. From there the church is about a ten minute walk.

I would like to thank all of the good folks at Sleepy Hollow for their warm welcome on Sunday. I hope to visit again soon.