Attending TLM Sunday

This Sunday I’ll be attending the TLM at St. Alphonsus church here in Baltimore. I’ve attended once before but I know I didn’t get as much as I could out of that experience because I didn’t have a Missal so I had no idea what was going on, I just did what everyone else did. Now I do have a Missal, but I’m a little bit confused, what parts should I as a layperson be praying? If the servers sing the responses of the laity does this mean I should pray all the parts of the servers? Or should I pray all parts marked “R”?

In the tradition Latin Mass the laity aren’t required to say a word (which is why it’s so conducive to mental prayer and contemplation). If your intent is to “more actively participate” you might want to join the choir or spend some time with them; you’ll more quickly learn the parts of the Mass where the choir respond to the priest (which the faithful in the pews are free to do if they want). I presume you’re a man from the “dude” part of your moniker, so another option open to you might be to become an altar server. Depending on who is doing the training/vetting of servers you can plan on having to learn the Latin responses (or at least how to pronounce them from your responses card if you can carry one with you during Mass) as well as the general ruberics of the priest and most/all of the servers.

Ahh, St. Alphonsus. Before moving to Texas I used to attend the TLM there on a regular basis. An absulutely beautiful Church (which, if I am not mistaken can claim 2 Saints as pastors), and Monsignor Bastress is awesome. As I recall, Mass is celebrated with the schola on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month, and with the mixed choir on the 2nd and 4th. But I digress…

As for your question, the previous answer was sound advice. I do remember there were several people that would respond out loud (albeit softly). Personally, I responded to all the “R” parts under my breath (probably force of habit from being raised in the Novus Ordo Liturgy).

If you can understand the Latin then you can say the servers’ parts. This is a C20th innovation, traditionally only the servers would say them. If the Latin is just a string of syllables to you it is probably better to remain silent.

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