Friday, November 02, 2007

"Tridentine Mass for Dummies" - Bringing the Ancient Liturgy to the Masses

[A parish priest associated with the Nobertine Abbey of St. Michael's brings the ancient Roman liturgy to the masses. It is an interesting idea and approach. Whatever one might think of the names, certainly the concept of catechizing the average Joe Catholic with regards to his liturgical tradition is a very necessary initiative and one which we should hope to see spread. The piece comes from the California Catholic Daily.]

"Tridentine Mass and Sacraments 4 Dummies” is the title of a series of courses on “the extraordinary form of Blessed John XXIII” to be held at Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Wilmington (near San Pedro). Norbertine Fr. Michael Perea, the parish’s associate pastor, will teach the courses.

“The Tridentine Low Mass for Joe Sixpack” is the name for the first class, to be held Nov. 7. The titles for the classes to be held over subsequent weeks are “Getting Married the Way Grandpa Did It” (Nov. 14), “The Requiem Mass” (Nov. 21), and “How to Baptize Babies the Old Way” (Nov. 28).

Fr. Michael told California Catholic Daily that one parishioner was upset by the title of the course series. But, said Fr. Michael, it was not meant to be offensive. “It’s a popular approach,” he said. “We want to make the course user-friendly. We want to encourage the average Joe to attend, because it seems that the Tridentine crowd tends to be a specialized crowd.”

Fr. Michael said he is basing his courses on the Latin-English Sunday Missal, which offers a sample Low Mass, with all the readings, a sample Nuptial Mass, a Requiem Mass, as well as the Rite of baptism for one child. “I thought I would divide the course into four parts, following the book,” said Fr. Michael. “My approach is to be simple and practical. My target audience is someone who is interested in the Tridentine Mass, but doesn’t know a whole lot about it. So, it’s not going to be academic.”

The class has elicited “a lot of interest so far,” Fr. Michael said. “People keep asking the book store for the book.”

The classes serve as an introduction to the weekly parish celebration of the Tridentine Mass at Ss. Peter and Paul, which will begin ad experimentum, said Fr. Michael, on the First Sunday of Advent, at 6.30 a.m. The first Masses will be Low Masses, though Father Michael says he will encourage the people “to participate in the parts they traditionally participated in,” and there will be devotional singing. Fr. Michael said that, in the future, he hopes to have High Tridentine Masses.

So far, 131 Ss. Peter and Paul parishioners have added their names to a sign-up sheet, indicating they want to attend the Tridentine Mass. “But there’s more interest than that,” said Fr. Michael. “I’m suspecting that, once we start, we’ll have a regular congregation of about 200 people.”

Source: California Catholic Daily - “The Tridentine Mass for Joe Sixpack”

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: