First Ever - Tridentine Mass in Phoenix, AZ -- Packed Standing Room Only

Mass in Latin is Back
AZ Republic, Michael Clancy, June 5, 2004

azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/0605latinmass05.html

I attended part of this with my son, N (age 3). We arrived on time, but ended up being late for lack of parking. All parking lots, including the Methodist parking lot next door, were full. Cars were lined up and down the road in every direction. We parked on a side street and walked half a mile to get in (105 degrees at 1pm).

Inside, it was standing room only on all sides of the church and some folks did not enter due to the crowd. Most women had their head covered with hats or with netlike coverings made available at the church. There was also a dress code for men (ie. shirts with collars).

Channel 5 News was filming a portion of it. Many older people, but also many young couples were present. Fifteen new altar boys were inducted — quite a sight. The estimates in the article above of only 200-400 people are definitely on the low side!

Clancy is the reporter who covered Bishop O’Brien’s recent troubles. It was pretty clear that he’s not a Catholic and doesn’t understand the basics. So I read anything he writes with a skeptical eye. Although I do agree with one quote from a diocesan official:

… said he is certain that the first Mass could draw a bigger crowd just because people are curious. As to its long term success, he is less sure. “The whole culture has changed,” he said, "so it will be interesting to see how this all plays out."
Did they provide any materials to help people figure out what was going on? And did they really turn anyone away for “dress code” violations?

I plan to check it out, after the novelty has worn off. But before football season starts - 1 PM on Sunday is not the most convenient time they could have picked.

The “Arizona Republic” article has this precious sentence:

“But others, including some priests, privately, say the return of the Latin Mass is another nod to conservative elements in the church who want to turn the clock back.”

Proponents of the Tridentine Mass usually become defensive when faced with such comments. I wonder whether they might find it useful to say something like “No, we’re aren’t interested in going backward. We want to fast-forward, right past the liturgical abuses that are so prevalent today. We think this ‘old’ Mass is the Mass of the future.”

Materials were provided to aid in understanding. I don’t know if anyone was turned away for dress code violations.

I’ve been to a polish mass in our neighborhood. Everything but the sermon was in polish. I don’t speak a word of it, and it was on palm Sunday making it longer than normal. I was able to understand what part of the mass we were in, I just couldn’t understand the language. Just because one cannot understand the words, doesn’t mean they don’t understand the message.

The article is definitely superficial… another cringe-worthy comment is “Communion is taken on tongue while kneeling, as opposed to receiving communion in the hand while standing.” A Catholic would never use the word “taken”, and it ignores the fact that communion on the tongue is still valid. (I still don’t understand how they can deny communion-in-the-hand in the Tridentine mass - the church has said that it is a valid option, and it seems that the rite of mass shouldn’t matter.)

Clancy quoted “an attorney who recently left the Mesa City Council” (how does that make him qualified to comment?) thusly:
said lots of Catholics are concerned that the Latin Mass symbolizes a backward turn by the diocese.

“It’s an example of a trend among some people to return to a more nostalgic time,” he said. "They see the last 40 years as a perversion of Catholic teaching."
So he thinks he knows what “lots of Catholics” think. Apparently the “lots” are concerned that about what “others” think? So what does the attorney believe? That didn’t make the article.

With a response from someone equally unqualified (except that he has attended Latin Mass elsewhere):
"Based on what I see, there is a yearning for tradition, even among young families."
Again, just poor journalism. Don’t make anyone state their opinion - instead, let them ramble on about what they think others are thinking.

The Catholic Church has always been given incredibly poor news coverage here, except during our ex-Bishop’s recent troubles which merited breathless “we interrupt this program” news conferences. In other places I’ve lived, like Pittsburgh, Chicago and Buffalo, you can expect to see routine Church news in the newspapers quite often. There, the Church is indeed treated as part of the community. But for some reason, not in Phoenix. I doubt the Latin Mass will ever be mentioned in the newspaper again.

[quote=Melman] (I still don’t understand how they can deny communion-in-the-hand in the Tridentine mass - the church has said that it is a valid option, and it seems that the rite of mass shouldn’t matter.)

[/quote]

I think the rite of the mass should matter and it may… i just haven’t read up on it. One thing I think of is the Byzantine Rite Divine Liturgy. There is NO WAY you can take communion in the hand there… It is done by intinction – the host and precious blood are poured into your mouth…

God Bless

:clapping: I am SOOOOOOO happy the Tridentine Latin Mass (of the indult) is spreading in popularity in this country!!:dancing: I hope the Bishops continue to realize that for the MOST part, this is not because people are nostalgic about the past, but because they are tired of all the liturgical abuses: Clown Masses, liturgical dancers, ballons and party supplies in many Masses, priest telling jolks literally from the pulpit, 10 or more (usually ultra-feminists) extra-ordinary ministers of the Eucharist, who distribute while the pries/priests sit down and lead the pe ople in the pew in singing on Eagle’s Wings, or other 1970’s “hymns.” :nope:
Yes!! lets continue praying that God through Mary may bless the Catholic Church in the United States with EXCELLENT:clapping: Bishops such as His Excellency Charles Chaput of Denver, Colorado.:dancing: :bounce: :smiley: :bowdown:

See, this is the thing I don’t understand. Yes, there are lots of priests who allow abuses of the New Mass. So rather than try to stamp out the abuses (which the Church really seems to be trying to do of late), or simply find a parish that does things right (there are probably more that are doing it right, than not), there seems to be this “subculture” that pushes for the Tridentine Mass, conveniently forgetting that there are many good reasons that Vatican II asked for liturgical reforms.

I just don’t get it.

[quote=Melman]See, this is the thing I don’t understand. Yes, there are lots of priests who allow abuses of the New Mass. So rather than try to stamp out the abuses (which the Church really seems to be trying to do of late), or simply find a parish that does things right (there are probably more that are doing it right, than not), there seems to be this “subculture” that pushes for the Tridentine Mass, conveniently forgetting that there are many good reasons that Vatican II asked for liturgical reforms.
[/quote]

Do you think that the result of the liturgical reforms (the Novus Ordo Missae) is really what the Council intended?

Some people who prefer the traditional Mass prefer it because it does not seem to be afflicted by the same abuses with which the NOM is afflicted. I am not one of these people. I prefer it because I find in it a fuller expression of the Catholic Faith. And I know that I am not alone.

It really isn’t the abuses.

I just don’t get it.

Well, no one is asking you to “get” it (I know this sounds rude, but it’s not meant to be – I simply don’t know how else to put it). All we (that is, aficionados of the TLM) are asking for is tolerance. Not necessarily understanding. That can come later. :wink:

Karl writes :

“No, we’re aren’t interested in going backward. We want to fast-forward, right past the liturgical abuses that are so prevalent today. We think this ‘old’ Mass is the Mass of the future.”

Maybe, but such a decision as to bring back Latin would be earth shaking and would have to be handled delicately.

The core of any church is the volunteers, and the number of volunteers doing work as EMHC’s lectors, readers, etc., who would be turned away would have to be handled very delicately in order that these volunteers at the core don’t feel disenfranchised.

I am a newbie (currently in RCIA), but my preliminary observations lead me to wonder whether there is any possibility for a desirable middle ground in the future?

The Tridentine excels in uniformity, precision, reverence, deep historical roots, and music that truly pushes the soul near eternity. It suffers from failure to adequately acknowledge the role of the laity.

The New Mass excels at offering readings in a language understood by the masses and acknowledging the importance of the laity in the process. It is also an eaiser bridge for Protestants. It suffers from abuses, obnoxious music, and a lack of reverence and uniformity.

Why shouldn’t we seek to combine the best of both worlds? Perhaps that is what Vatican II intended, but the application has not been as intended and adjustments are needed???

The vast majority of Indult and even SSPX traditional masses being celebrated today have the bible readings read in Latin first, then re read in English/vernacular just before the sermon.

Also it doesnt have to be either or. There are parishes that use the current missal that retain elements of tradition such as use of the communion rail, incense, the priests facing the altar rather then the parishoners during parts of the mass and use of Latin. It is just too many Pastors/Priests/parishes are too used to doing things a certain way now.

[quote=dts]I am a newbie (currently in RCIA), but my preliminary observations lead me to wonder whether there is any possibility for a desirable middle ground in the future?

The Tridentine excels in uniformity, precision, reverence, deep historical roots, and music that truly pushes the soul near eternity. It suffers from failure to adequately acknowledge the role of the laity.

The New Mass excels at offering readings in a language understood by the masses and acknowledging the importance of the laity in the process. It is also an eaiser bridge for Protestants. It suffers from abuses, obnoxious music, and a lack of reverence and uniformity.

Why shouldn’t we seek to combine the best of both worlds? Perhaps that is what Vatican II intended, but the application has not been as intended and adjustments are needed???
[/quote]

I don’t think it’s fair to compare the tiny number of Indult Masses with the New Mass that 99.999% of us attend. In that light, of course the New Mass is going to seem less uniform, less reverent, etc. - just from the variation that comes with the larger numbers. I’m quite sure that if the Tridentine was still the standard mass today, it would have many of the abuses blamed on the New Mass… as well as all the old abuses it had pre-Vatican-II (low masses being mumbled through in 10 minutes, people showing up only for communion, etc.).

You can have “precision” and “reverence” in the New Mass too, as well as “music that truly pushes the soul near eternity” and all those other flowery things ascribed to the Tridentine.

The New Mass IS the Mass of the Roman Rite.

I am a new Catholic of only 2 years so I have no experience with the Tridentine Mass. I have attended mass in a couple of different cities and have been surprised at how different they were. There were a couple of masses – one I can only describe as a “hootenanny” and another as a charismatic-like “revival”. I was unable to even find a crucifix in one church. I would like to feel “at home” at mass no matter where I happen to attend so uniformity of the celebration would be desirable – at least for me. While I understand that a livlier liturgy works for some, I personally prefer a more solemn and reverent celebration without the Woodstock-like atmosphere. My home parish has a pretty conservative type of mass which I like.

I have reservations about instituting the Tridentine mass at all Catholic churches only because of logistics. Case in point: My home parish has almost 3000 registered families and many tourists and we have only one priest (in his late 70s) and one parochial vicar. There are many masses and they are all well attended. There are 8-10 EME’s at each mass. It would be almost impossible to celebrate the Eucharist in the Tridentine manner without making each mass at least 2 hours long. This is also an parish with a lot of retirees making it difficult to have only young boys/men as alter servers. There are fewer young people here.

How could these problems be addressed in instituting a Tridentine Mass which would be available and convenient for everyone? I try to accept whatever brings people to God and His church even if it’s not what I prefer, but I must admit the hootenanny would take some real effort on my part!
:wink:

[quote=mizcebe]I have reservations about instituting the Tridentine mass at all Catholic churches only because of logistics. Case in point: My home parish has almost 3000 registered families and many tourists and we have only one priest (in his late 70s) and one parochial vicar. There are many masses and they are all well attended. There are 8-10 EME’s at each mass. It would be almost impossible to celebrate the Eucharist in the Tridentine manner without making each mass at least 2 hours long. This is also an parish with a lot of retirees making it difficult to have only young boys/men as alter servers. There are fewer young people here.
[/quote]

Logistics is an important concern, and is probably one of the reasons why the Novus Ordo Missae met with so little opposition when it was imposed. Low Masses adorned with sentimental hymns were already the norm in many places in the United States, even when the “Tridentine” Mass was the norm, and this manner of celebrating the Mass is not much different from the Novus Ordo Mass as celebrated in many parishes today. The statutory minimum time for the celebration of the Mass was 12 minutes (this does not include the sermon or the Communion of the Faithful), and I am reliably informed that there were priests who could do it and these were greatly in demand in suburban parishes with Masses on the hour and a parking problem. Urban parishes didn’t have this problem, but I better stop rambling before I start ranting about how the Highway Act was part of a govt. conspiracy to break the Catholic hold on the inner city. . . . :wink: Suffice it to say that there is no reason even a reverent Low Mass need take more than an hour. Twenty minutes for the Mass, 15 minutes for the sermon, and 25 minutes (at most) for the distribution of Holy Communion. The greater problem is that celebrating the traditional Mass requires more effort than celebrating the Novus Ordo Mass.

It is not uncommon to see men of all ages serving the altar at the traditional Mass. At Mater Ecclesiae (materecclesiae.org/) we have both adult men and boys serving at the altar, as many as 12-15 at any given Mass.

I hope this answers some of your questions and concerns.

Karl…We live in the Greater Cincinanti area, where there seems (at least on the West Side) to be a Catholic church on every corner. My own suburban parish has about three-thousand families, and we are currently building a new 1500 seat church…


**My point is this…It seems that we ALSO have a fair number of schismatic Cathiolic churches…One is quite near us. These churches are growing…The one near us has just built a new church, in fact. Many of the people who attend these chapels, or churches (various groups) are young. It seems that young families abound. **


**I think the reason is for this growth is that many are tired of belonging to parishes that may as well be Protestant…in looks and attitudes…They want a strong Catholic identity. **


I am not one who thinks we cannot learn or seek to emulate some Protestant practices, but I do think our churches should look and feel “Catholic”…I want our priests to teach and preach our faith…We MUST give Cathoilc people a strong Cathoilc identity, so they will know who and what they are…


As a convert, I am constantly amazed to find out how little many cradle Catholics actually know about their faith…It’s a shame, and I am sure contributes to the success of Evangelical proselytizing. How can one be strong in a faith one doesn’t fully under-
stand? Same goes for those who seek out what are actually schismatic churches…


This forum will be a great help in guiding many into a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith, and how we can all lead fuller Catholic Christian lives…Thanks

The parish I attend that uses the communion rails usually takes about 15 minuites to distribute communion to 500 communicants with just two priests distributing, so it doesnt take any longer than standing for communion would with a small amry of EMHCs, though to be fair, it does take slightly longer to distribute communion to each person in the Traditional mass because the priest says a little more than “Body of Christ”.

Out of cusiosity, how many parishoners attend Mater Ecclesiae?

[quote=JNB]Out of cusiosity, how many parishoners attend Mater Ecclesiae?
[/quote]

Good question. I’m not sure how many people the chapel holds. That would be the answer. :wink:

I would estimate that it’s probably about 500-600 people over the three Sunday Masses (Saturday evening anticipatory Mass, Sunday morning Low Mass, Sunday morning High Mass). Holy Day Masses are always standing-room only. There are always new faces present, too.

**We knelt at the altar rail for communion in the Methodist church…I was very disappointed to see this tradition was no longer in practice when I became a Catholic. **

I agree…It really doesn’t take an “army” EME’s to distribute Holy Communion to an average sized congregation…I have received at indult Tridentine Masses, and have loved being able to kneel at the altal rail…

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