Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Mystery and Majesty

Latin Mass Isn't Dead (Spartanburg, SC):

Searching for reverence and their spiritual roots, some younger Catholics might feel drawn to the Latin Mass.

Priests say it is the solemnity of the centuries-old rite, known as the Tridentine Mass, that appeals in part to worshippers who grew up celebrating the Novus Ordo Mass.

"The real energy and enthusiasm around this Mass is with the younger people," said Father Lawrence McInerny, pastor of the Stella Maris parish on Sullivan's Island.

The church has offered the Latin Mass in addition to the Novus Ordo Mass for the past five years.

Between 180 and 200 people attend the weekly Latin Mass at Stella Maris. Many are visitors who are drawn to the service for various reasons.

"I don't want to disparage the Novus Ordo Mass, but (the Latin Mass is) more mystical and contemplative," McInerny said.

He believes it is the Latin Mass' symbolism, mystery and order that partly account for its rising popularity.

"People need symbols and ritual," McInerny said. "You don't change the traditional Mass around. It changes you."


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