Monday, June 09, 2008

Tridentine News from Tallahassee, Florida

As a born-and-bred North Floridian (readers familiar with only Disneyworld and Miami read: South Georgian), I was gladdened to hear of the great success of the first Tridentine (Low) Mass at my old parish, possibly ever, considering the church was built immediately before things got deeply weird in the 1960s. Stephen Mozier provides detailed coverage over at his blog, which is worth quoting below:

In fact, it passed all expecations. First and foremost, the attendance was incredible! The church building is quite large and holds quite a crowd as is, and I am not exaggerating by saying that it was about ninety percent full! I was so floored that I was speechless! I was hoping for about half full at best, while expecting maybe quarter-full. Was I wrong! This, in turn, led to a problem: we fell short on Latin Mass missalettes. We had 150 English-Latin ones and 25 Spanish-Latin ones, and I had worried that we had ordered too many! Thankfully, people took it in stride and shared.

The mass itself was just beautiful! Fr. [name] did an outstanding job as celebrant, with his booming voice and perfect Latin diction. The congregation did its best with the Latin responses, so it was all good. The altar servers, Nicholas and Tommy, were just the best. And may I not forget Mary Fran, who helped as sacristan. A gentleman and a lady helped me with usher duties, along with my good friend Lou.

Being a Low Mass, there was no music and the mass had long stretches of silence. But the congregation was told of that ahead of time, so no one worried or got antsy. The most beautiful part of the whole mass was, by far, the consecration, with the bells, the genuflections, and the elevation of both the host and the chalice! What a sight to behold.

If there was one drawback, it was that communion took a while. Fr. [name] was joined by Fr. [name](God bless him!) and they distributed communion. Unfortunately, the Co-Cathedral does not have a communion rail, so we used prie-dieus, or singular kneelers. The effect was great (many have never received communion kneeling and on the tongue while a paten is placed underneath the chin) but slow. It also made the side pews wait quite a while. Perhaps in the future, we can work that detail out.

Still, overall the mass was a rousing success!!!! I made sure to tell everyone to let our cathedral's most excellent rector, Monsignor [name], know that they enjoyed the mass and to please allow another one in the near future. The good monsignor, in turn, will let our equally most excellent bishop, John Ricard, know how it went so he may bless another TLM. God bless these two men, true servants of God and very, very open-minded pastors who saw the desire for a TLM and allowed it with their blessing. I just hope the feedback rolls in so monsignor will green-light another TLM in the near future, as many of us hope. Perhaps that one will be a High Mass, complete with Gregorian Chant, incense, and all other good things!
The local paper, the Tallahassee Democrat, did a surprisingly competent article on the event, which can be read here. Let us pray that we hear more stories like this coming from the red hills of Florida.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: