Attended My First Latin Mass

I was shopping for churches, so to speak, and a great thing happened to me.

I started in the very local area, where there is a catholic church right next to the town I live in. I visited it, but it was very modern…priest facing the congregation, lay people reading the gospel, babies crying everywhere (despite that there was a cry room - what’s so darn hard about bringing your screaming child to the back of the church?). There was something about the service that was…right, but the modernism really turned me off. I was saddened, thinking that “well, if this is what the catholic church has become, then why do I even want to become catholic?”

I had heard about a parish that served the Tridentine Mass, but I had neglected to visit it first. I spoke with the priest, who very kindly, gave me a free St. Joseph Latin-English missal (An old and slightly weathered one copyrighted 1959), as well a brief explanation on the Tridentine mass. Last Sunday, I went to my first service there, which was, evidently, my first REAL service.

Words cannot describe the glory of God, and words cannot describe the Tridentine Mass, because the Glory of God was prevalent and evident throughout.

It was so beautiful. The parish was, by no means, anything like the churches and cathedrals I had seen in Germany, and it felt old and in need of a few minor repairs, but it was more glorious than even the Vatican itself.

It was a miraculous experience. My missal required a lot of back-and-forth flipping, and I constantly had trouble finding where the priest was in the pages, but somehow, I understood the jist of everything being said, even though it was in Latin.

I had never experienced something so beautiful, so solemn, so modest, and yet, so rich and robust.

All throughout the service, I felt like crying from happiness, and I thanked God profusely for finally answering my prayers, which I thought he had been neglecting. “Please, God, help guide me to the true faith and the true way of worship.”

I thought God had led me to Russian Orthodoxy, and I believe he did, in order to help me understand Christianity better and in order to help guide me towards Catholicism. But one distinct thing I noticed about the difference between the Orthodox Liturgy and the Latin Mass, even the English Vatican II revised liberal horibble “mass,” (despite what is said and done), was that even though the Orthodox liturgy and churches are very beautiful, there was something sad about it all - something dead - as if Christ is there, but is in mourning; and the Latin Mass and the reformed catholic church I went to were happy and alive. Solemn, but happy. Living, breathing, and Christ was, undoubtedly, there with everyone.

God works in subtle and mysterious ways, and it may take Him years to answer your prayers, but He does it for a reason - so that we learn and strengthen our souls.

Thank you for sharing. I have experienced exactly what you’re talking about, myself. I think that those centuries of organic development of the liturgy brought out the best in the Mass. Unfortunately, I was robbed of that heritage as I was born in 1974. I went to my first TLM (Traditional Latin Mass) in 2007 and felt transported back in time. I felt a connection with the saints of ages past who had partaken of the same rituals in the same language. The feeling of “timelessness” was the closest to Eternity I’d ever felt.

I sometimes go to a Latin Mass on Sundays, but it’s an hour away in another parish. With three kids (6 and under) and a wife that is not as much into the TLM, it is sometimes a hard sell - especially since it is an early Mass. I keep praying my Rosary for a Latin Mass to come to our town, but I start to lose hope. The guitars, bongos, and folk music start to wear me down and I sometimes get depressed. I’ve started bringing my St. Joseph’s Daily Missal (1956 ed.) and praying that quietly at Mass. That’s helped.

I am so happy for you to have found peace in your search. Please pray for those of us who are still searching.

Welcome home. I’m glad you are converting.

However, here’s some friendly advice: you should really watch what you say. You may have a preference for the TLM, but as someone who’s becoming a Catholic, you will need to accept the fact that the NO Mass is valid.

Check out this video of Cardinal Arinze:

youtube.com/watch?v=mqnjgg1vNgU

Pay particular attention to the 1:09 mark. Cardinal Arinze states that we are welcome to celebrate the TLM provided that we do not challenge the authenticity of the NO Mass.

<<I thought God had led me to Russian Orthodoxy, and I believe he did, in order to help me understand Christianity better and in order to help guide me towards Catholicism. But one distinct thing I noticed about the difference between the Orthodox Liturgy and the Latin Mass, even the English Vatican II revised liberal horibble “mass,” (despite what is said and done), was that even though the Orthodox liturgy and churches are very beautiful, there was something sad about it all - something dead - as if Christ is there, but is in mourning; and the Latin Mass and the reformed catholic church I went to were happy and alive.>>

In all my years of Orthodox, I’ve never experienced what you’re talking about.

In fact, the devotional emphasis in the prayers of the Divine Liturgy is on the RISEN Jesus, as opposed to the devotional emphasis on Christ Crucified in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite.

Are you aware that according to the canons of the Catholic Church, you should enter through an Eastern Catholic Church?

Next–make sure this is a REAL Catholic Church you are attending and not SSPX or an independent sede-vacantist chapel.

ErichK,

As a Washingtonian myself, I’m curious what parish you found with this beauty. I really am partial to the North American Martyr’s (FSSP) in Ballard. Its held temporarily at St. Alphonsus.

If you’re in the area this Friday evening at 7:30pm there is a Solemn High Mass with the Archbishop presiding from the chair. If you can make it, you’ll be very Blessed. There are now four FSSP priest that will be there plus numerous Diocesan clergy. There is a reception afterward. A good chance to meet the Archbishop and the priests.

I had a very simular experience, I was born in 1969. I went to my first EF in 2004. It was different at first. The Experience was breathtaking. I felt I was at home. When I go to the OF, I feel different. I feel the EF calling me there. It is a feeling that you have to experience when you go to both.

I am glad for you.

That is wonderfu. I’m so glad that tradition is what is guiding you to the church. I have started attending TLM a few months ago and it has very much influenced my understanding of the Mass and made my participation in NO more prayerful as well.

Oh, please! Why does it pain you so much to have someone praise the Mass of all times without throwing your little jab in there in the name of “friendly” advice? There’s nothing in the post that would hint at this person not accepting the validity of the NO so why do you assume so?

I guess you didn’t read my ENTIRE post, or ErichK’s: I was responding to him saying:

Last Sunday, I went to my first service there, which was, evidently, my first REAL service.

Notice that he captialized the word real, suggesting that his attendance at the NO Mass was not real, or as real, as his attendance at the TLM. If this is not a questioning of the validity of the NO Mass, I don’t know what is.

Also notice that I said “we” are free to attend the TLM as long as “we” do not question the validity of the NO Mass. “We” means he and I, meaning that I recently found that I prefer the TLM also, but I don’t go around knocking the NO because it’s “modern” or because the priest faces the congregation.

It would behoove you to read posts in their entirety before questioning people or suggesting that they are doing something other than giving friendly advice (which is what I was doing).

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