Over the past year I’ve become deeply interested in Roman Catholicism and have been strongly considering being received into the Church. During this time I’ve been attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days at a Cathedral- namely, Westminster Cathedral, London- that I felt I could strongly trust to conduct their Mass services in accordance with the requirements for Mass set by the RCC. But now that I’ve moved from London to North Carolina, I’m faced with the basic question of how I know that the Church I decide to attend is “the real deal”. Hopefully the sense of this expression is clear enough- I just want to make sure that the Church I attend is in full communion with the RCC and that its practices are in accordance with the requirements set by the RCC. There may be an easy answer to this, but I am admittedly a complete beginner.
One worry was flagged for me by this interesting article on music at Mass from Crisis Magazine: crisismagazine.com/2012/catholic-music-its-time-to-stop-making-stuff-up. The author writes,
“The second Vatican Council plainly stated: Gregorian chant is to have first place at Mass (Sacrosactum Concilium). This statement has profound significance if you understand something of the structure of the liturgy and the purpose and applicability of Gregorian chant within it… The trouble is that hardly anyone does understand this.”
So, for instance, insofar as this is right at least, I would want to make sure that the Church I decide to attend gives the proper place to Gregorian Chant in its Mass proceedings. What else do I need to be looking out for? Or should I only be worrying about whether a Church is in full communion with the RCC and assume that this takes care of the rest? If so, how does one make sure that a Church is in full communion with the RCC?
Any help is appreciated!