The Most Holy
We are Clueless
the foggiest idea what is going on during Mass.
You may not even know why you're there.
The reasons are many:
what Catholics do and I am Catholic.
I want my kids to grow up in this tradition
that comes from my parents, grandparents, and
forebears throughout the 2000 years preceding
my coming into this world through them.
It is something good to do and it is holy ...
although why it is good and why it is holy remains
a mystery to me.
My friends go ... although they do not know
I need God’s
help, and if I go to Mass He will look favorably
God is there ... although just how He is there,
I do not understand – after all, God is everywhere, right? – so why is this place
Do not be ashamed. It is not your fault. There
are answers — good answers — for all the
questions this short list brings up.
were never taught.
It is really that simple. No one took the time to
sit down and talk with you about what is
the most important event in your life
– and it occurs every 7 days. In fact, whatever
else you do during the other 167 hours of the week
(job, school, charity – in fact, every other
responsibility, necessity, or good work) however
good, kind, lofty, noble, pales in
significance to the Mass.
Before you go further in this brief study – and
it is a study that we invite you to — of
the single most important thing in your life,
we must make a promise to you
first: it will not be dry or boring, nor will it
be fraught with meaningless pieties. You will understand
what the Mass is, why it is holy, and why you must
be there. This is our promise to you.
It will not be “socially
to sensitivities, or keeping in step with the passing
fads that blow through the pews and across the Altars
as so many shifting winds following that elusive
mantra of “what is in vogue”. There is perpetuity
in the Church, and unchangeable elements of the
Mass. Hopefully, we will enable you to see beyond
the Mass so often presented as entertainment, hosted
by an entertainer, to the deep and very sacred reality
as we most often call it, is really short for,
Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass”.
a moment on those 7 words, for they contain quite
nearly everything that you will need to know in
order to understand why you go to Church, or why
you ought to.
The Mass, first and foremost, is a Sacrifice.
Not a figurative sacrifice, not a mere remembrance
of something done long ago, and not a metaphor.
It is a real sacrifice. At Mass you are witnessing
– even participating in – a sacrifice, very real
and very present.
Does that surprise you?
We do not hear very much about this — but unless
we understand this most fundamental,
this absolutely central aspect of
the Mass, nothing else makes sense. Our lack of
understanding the Mass as a Sacrifice contributes
to most of the confusion that surrounds our going
there and being there.
But what is the nature of this Sacrifice, and how
is it enacted? Who does the sacrificing and who
or what is sacrificed? How do we ourselves
participate in it?
Tomorrow we will begin to understand.
(click any graphic above to expand it)
What we have learned
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you can find a
Latin Mass in your diocese (the Tridentine Mass
of 1962, prior to the many unfortunate changes and liturgical
abuses common to nearly every Mass celebrated in the
vernacular subsequent to Vatican II) ... we have one
GO! Find one! If you are
in the Greater Boston area, three immediately
come to mind:
321 South Broadway
MA 01843 (Dominican
Fathers, Brothers, and Sisters, O.P. — Ordo Praedicatorum)
The distinctive white
tunic, or habit, and black scapular of the
are the first intimation that things at Sacred Heart
are different from most parishes — and distinctly different
from Novus Ordo parishes — the more one enters
into the Church. Holy statuary, beautifully crafted,
abounds. There is a Communion Rail!
An Altar of marble
of Sacrifice!) majestically ascends to the Sanctuary
— in place of the dreary wooden “table
of the Lord” that became the pseudo-Catholic equivalent
of Protestant disdain for the Sacraments ... and most
especially “the Holy Eucharist as really and truly the
Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ.” And
the Mass is entirely in Latin
(the homily in English)! It is Holy Mother Church in
every way prior to its
by Vatican II. In a word, it is
and refreshingly, Catholic.
River Road Still River, MA. 01467. 978-456-8296
The Benedictine Abbey,
and the Saint Benedict Center (Slaves of the Immaculate
Heart of Mary) for many valiant years retained the Traditional
Latin Mass — until it relented to pressure from the
Vatican and was eventually reconciled with it. In turn
it was eventually allowed to celebrate the “Extraordinary
Form of the Mass” (the last Traditional Catholic Latin
Mass, dated 1962, and re-instituted by Pope Benedict
XVI in his Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum
in July 2007. From the junction of I-93 and 95 (Rt.
128) it is approximately an hour drive west. It offers
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
Mary Immaculate of
270 Elliot Street,
See our review
Mary Immaculate of Lourdes is a large parish that offers
the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Homepage:
Sunday 10 AM
High Mass in Latin according to the “Extraordinary Form
of the Mass” . The
is also celebrated daily at Mary Immaculate of
Lourdes. Approximately 15 minutes east from Rte 95 (128)
and about a 45 minute drive south from the junction
of I-93 and 95 (Rt. 128) it is approximately an hour
If you have experienced
little of sanctity ... and much in the way of silliness
... if you have encountered (wo)man more than you have
encountered God ... if you have left as empty as you
had arrived ... go to a Tridentine Latin
Mass. If you were born after 1960 you will experience
something you have never before encountered; something
of unutterable beauty, sanctity, solemnity, and ceremony
that your forbears knelt before for over 2 millennia.
You will find God.
every gesture, every act, is directed to God Who is
the sole focus of the Most Holy Sacrifice that
we call the Mass — and
not to a music “Ministry” or a priest as an entertainer
— most often a comedian —
who demand your applause ... at the foot of the crucified
Christ. If you have never really and truly experienced
“the utterly sacred” and have no idea what it means,
what that experience is ... the experience of proximity
to God Himself ... go to a Tridentine Latin
Mass! Your life in, with, and through Christ will never
be the same again. You will know what “worship” really
is ... and how very different it is from the many forms
of self-adulation you have encountered in every vernacular
Mass (no two are exactly alike). Instead of the exaltation
of man, you will find the exaltation of God
come to realize the vast gulf between the two and the
paltry exchange that has been traded off when man chose
to worship God on his own terms and sought to
share the very Throne with Him.
who cannot find a Latin Tridentine Mass, or whose bishop
or pastor, in defiance of Rome, deliberately suppresses
it — we offer the following as a way of attending the
vernacular Mass without losing your faith as a consequence
Go to Part:
Download the entire series as a PDF
Totally Faithful to the Sacred
Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in Rome
opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum
Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum”
know your works ... that you have but little power, and
yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name.”
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