How to participate in the TLM

What is the best way to participate in the TLM Mass. Any tips?

What about being a server? I would love to hear about posisble ways to actively participate in the TLM Mass.

Take a missal, pray along silently. That’s called internal participation! Many parishes will also have hand missals or other worship aids available so that you can follow along as the priest prays the Mass silently. There are very few responses to be made by the congregation, but they’ll also be in your missal and when you get comfortable with the sound of the Latin you can join in.

Imagine yourself at the foot of the Cross with our Blessed Mother and Saint John. Contemplate what our Saviour endured for our sake. Offer yourself, memory, intellect, will on the paten. Die with Christ at the Consecration. Rise again at the reception of Holy Communion. Picture mentally the angels prostrate around the altar adoring the Son of God.

The way the phrase “active participation” was translated is misleading. The word active literally means (in the VII documents) an internal, spiritual involvement. Some people take it to mean prancing around and looking important (carrying up the money, lectoring, having many people distribute the Holy Eucharist, etc.). This is not what the phrase means :smiley:

It means being before the altar of God, and watching Him give His very Self for us. An understanding of the “Holy Sacrifice of the Mass” is needed - what it really is. It’s where Jesus gave Himself totally and completely for us so that we may be united with Him forever. Listen to this: catholic.com/radio/event.php?calendar=1&category=&event=5599&date=2009-03-20 There’s a part where they talk about how Christ’s sacrifice for us seems almost excessive - if He had spilt just one drop of blood, maybe by scraping His knee as a child, that that one drop of blood would be enough to save all mankind. But it’s an at of love - the guest answers with the quote on my signature, that God must be mad with love for us. Imagine, God Himself, the one who created the world, the one who could disapate it all in a blink, humbled Himself so much that He became one of us, one of His creation, and then died for us that we could be happy one day with Him. All that our very God endured from His own creation, is just wrong and disturbing. Read the Last Gospel of the Mass, the beginning of John, and try and grasp how incredible this is.

So at Mass, literally we are there at the foot of the cross, where the entirety of eternity kneels watching our Creator give Himself up for us, humbled so much and tortured so much, all because He loves YOU. That’s what the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is. :slight_smile:

So to “participate,” we don’t need to walk around at the foot of the cross strutting our stuff and looking important, we need to realize where we are and appreciate what God has done for us :heaven: And just kneel in awe and love before Him, and adore Him, telling Him over and over how much you love Him. It’s really helpful sometimes to close your eyes, because with them open we can’t see what’s happening, and our mind can help us see what our eyes cannot, but what we know is there.

Excellent list! I’ve learned more from this forum in about 2 days than I have at any other forum community.

The responses to the priests prayers of the Sunday Extraordinary Form Mass totals approx 850 words. [The responses for the OF totals approx 700 words] Our TLM community uses the dialog format. As such, the faithful are responsible for the same responses as the altar servers. The responses are sung during high mass, spoken during low mass.

unavocesb.org/category/video/

Not very many parishes (in my experience, for whatever that’s worth) use the Missa dialogata. It was, after all, invented around the 1920s, so you can’t count on finding it at the more Traditional parishes.

Anyway, for the OP, whichever one of the various versions of the TLM they’re doing, it’s just fine if you wait until you’re familiar with the responses before you really join in. And Ljubim, again, is right that you don’t have to be carrying something or reading something to be participating. On the other hand, choirs always need more members, and there may be a non-liturgical role like usher that might be a good fit for you.

Great way of doing it at the TLM:thumbsup:

Why would it be untraditional to have a dialogue Mass? :confused: It’s a traditional latin Mass approved by Rome… I guess I just don’t understand what you’re getting at.

I just mean, those were changes that were introduced around the 1920s due to the idea that the congregation should have a more substantial role in the execution of the liturgy, a notion that many would attribute to Modernism, which was gaining speed at the same time. It’s definitely a novelty, since it has no legitimate basis in the Missal of Pius V or, as far as I know, in liturgical practice for the thousand years before Trent. It’s just that people didn’t like being excluded from virtually all of the responses (most notably, e.g., the Confiteor), so the Church shifted course and allowed the responses that had been the exclusive province and reserve of the sacred ministers for centuries to be opened up suddenly for all and sundry to say if they felt like it. So in a way it’s a TLM approved by Rome, but really it’s more of, well, an LM.

My condolences. In my experience, where the missal calls for silence, there is silence. Where it calls for responses, there are responses.

It seems the dialog format is becoming the defacto standard for EF offerings across three contiguous diocese where I assist. In more that two years of regularly assisting 2-3 EF Masses per week, I have never even heard of the faithful being admonished - for responding aloud - by any diocesan, religious, FSSP or SSPX priest.

Has anyone?

Regardless of what it [the dialog format] was called when it was “invented”, the prayer responses to which I refer appear in both The Roman Missal (1962) by Baronius Press and the Roman Catholic Daily Missal 1962 by Angelus Press.

When the 1962 Missal was officially unleashed by Summorum Pontificum in 2007, the organic development of the Mass - temporarily halted in 1970 - appears to have picked up from where it left off.

Some traditional Catholics would agree that this is exactly how things ought to be.

Don’t worry, no condolences are necessary! :wink: The Mass sine dialogo sustained and nourished at least a millennium and a half’s worth of saints, martyrs, and doctors of the Church, so I think I can get by without. Besides, most of the time I assist at the OF anyway, so I get my fill of congregational responses.

And no one’s talking, I don’t think, about being “admonished” for saying the responses along with the sacred ministers, just that it’s not done. You couldn’t hear them in the first place, so it’d be pretty tough to try. But maybe this is more popular in other parts of the country or something, I don’t know.

Regardless of what it [the dialog format] was called or when it was “invented”, the prayer responses to which I refer appear in both The Roman Missal (1962) by Baronius Press and the Roman Catholic Daily Missal 1962 by Angelus Press.

When the 1962 Missal was officially unleashed by Summorum Pontificum in 2007, the organic development of the Mass - temporarily halted in 1970 - appears to have picked up from where it left off.

Some traditional Catholics would agree that this is exactly how things ought to be.

It’s definitely true that some traditional Catholics would prefer the Mass to be prayed the way it was for centuries, and other Catholics think it should be updated and modernized to give to the laity more and more of the functions that used to be reserved to the clergy. Whatever floats your boat, I guess, these days! :thumbsup:

What sustained and nourished saints, martyrs and doctors since Pius V codified the so-called Tridentine Mass in 1570 was a succession of five typical editions of the Roman Missals before the 1962 Missal was promulgated by John XXIII. It was in effect when I served my first Mass in 1966. Without exception, my parish’s altar servers were responsible for every response that was preceded by the symbol “R:” in the Missal. Every student in my school, when attending Mass with their class, were also responsible for those responses.

The priests who said the weekday Masses were our catechism instructors as well. It was their job to teach us the Faith. It was ours to learn. As such, they spoke clearly at Mass and we were required to listen and respond appropriately. The Canon of the Mass, [beginning after the Sanctus and continuing thru the minor elevation] has always been recited quietly by the priest alone. There are no responses for servers or faithful during this part of the TLM or EF.

No need to pile on the flattery. While altar servers in those days suited-up in cassock and surplice, none of us were allowed to erroneously believe we were either sacred ministers or clergy of any type. Lay altar servers were exactly that, nothing more, nothing less.

In my personal recollection, the silent congregation syndrome began [in our parish] during the confusion that followed the promulgation of the 1970 Missal by Paul V.

That’s kind of a funny way of looking at it: “Hey, we’ve been doing it since the Swingin’ Sixties – that ages ago, dontcha know! – so by now it’s just as good as the Traditional way. Actually, it’s even better! Just a minor edit in the constant tinkering with the Missal.”

Forgive me for putting it that way, but you’re not going to convince me that the Missa dialogata is traditional. There are plenty of perfectly fine reasons to like it, but great antiquity is not one of them. And as to “silent congregation syndrome,” that’s pretty much the ideal, isn’t it? Praying along intently with the Mass. You don’t have to be gabbing your jaw off to participate actively in the Mass.

Well, this is pretty far off the topic of the OP, so I’ll let it go. It’s just to bad when you can’t even go to a TLM and know what you’re going to get – the Mass of the Ages, done as it always was, or a Frankenmass hybrid.

This is a very accurate statement, especially at traditional Masses (and even more so, parishes) in the United States. The dialogue innovation never took root there (or in Ireland). It wasn’t the norm throughout an entire country or region anywhere before the Council, but many revitalized parishes in France have adopted its use. Because of the huge French influence over the traditional movement, this became much more common in the US (by percentage of Masses using it) at the present day traditional Mass compared to the situation before the Council.

Well, this is pretty far off the topic of the OP, so I’ll let it go. It’s just to bad when you can’t even go to a TLM and know what you’re going to get – the Mass of the Ages, done as it always was, or a Frankenmass hybrid.

That is hilarious. :slight_smile: I think your comments regarding the dialogue Mass are spot on.

The 1962 Missal is what it is: the official missal of the Extraordinary Form. It’s heritage can be traced to the 1570 Missal of Pius V. I’m not trying to convince or recruit you. I’m merely reporting my first-hand observations of the TLM before V2 and the EF after. I can assure that I know what to expect from Extraordinary Form Liturgies within 100 miles of my residence.

If your experiences of EF offerings in your are are different than mine, that’s cool. You stated that the priest prays the Mass silently. I’ve never been to a mass like that, before the council or since. What I’m saying is that to hold up your SLM [silent latin mass] as some sort of industry standard is not useful.

If the OP wishes to assist a genuine EF Mass in 2010, he should expect to participate by responding to vocal prayers during some parts of the Mass and observing reverent silence at others, as specified in the 1962 Missal. He should not expect to find anyone gabbing their jaw off in Canadian vernacular.

This is true. However, the 1962 Missal does not say that the congregation are to make the responses. The rubrics say Ministri respondent, The ministers respond. Permission was conceded by the Holy See in separate documents in the first half of the 1900s, but it never worked its way into the Missal.

If your experiences of EF offerings in your are are different than mine, that’s cool. You stated that the priest prays the Mass silently. I’ve never been to a mass like that, before the council or since. What I’m saying is that to hold up your SLM [silent latin mass] as some sort of industry standard is not useful.

Well, the “industry standard” these days is a run-of-the-mill OF. I’m talking about what it takes to celebrate the Mass as it was before the Modernist era. Obviously the whole thing will not be silent, although things like the prayers at the foot of the altar are not intended for the congregations ears and, unless you’re sitting really close, you shouldn’t be able to hear it.

And I agree that different things work for different people. It sounds like the congregationalized Mass is what you were raised with, so it makes sense that you would have an attachment to it, even if it represents a complete novelty in liturgical practice in the Latin rite. I was raised on subpar OFs, so I guess I just like to see it done in the traditional way. Like I said, I get my fill of congregational participation elsewhere.

I just wish that if they were going to modernize and update the TLM because the congregation wants to say the ministers’ parts, they would have done so universally, instead of balkanizing the Mass into a plethora of forms and uses.

If the OP wishes to assist a genuine EF Mass in 2010, he should expect to participate by responding to vocal prayers during some parts of the Mass and observing reverent silence at others, as specified in the 1962 Missal. He should not expect to find anyone gabbing their jaw off in Canadian vernacular.

I’m sure IntegraCatholic is right, and what you get in terms of the (T)LM will just have to depend on which parish you happen to walk into, resulting from the spread of various cultural innovations into this country in the last century.

For those interested, an article covering some aspects of this topic may be viewed online:

romanitaspress.com/articles/dialog_mass_article-remnant.pdf

An excerpt:

LITURGICAL PRINCIPLES & NOTIONS
Concerning the Dialog Mass

Recently, there appeared in this publication a negatively-charged article about the Dialog Mass. Amongst the varied conclusions were accusations that this practice is theologically unsound, a liberal innovation contributing to the liturgical revolution of the Novus Ordo Missae, and a distraction to those who desire to observe silence and follow Mass according to their own private manner. That a discussion of the faithful vocally participating (sung or spoken) in the Church’s liturgical prayer generates so much controversy amongst traditionally-minded Catholics, shows only too clearly that the struggle which the father of the Liturgical Movement, Dom Gueranger, fought in his time still exists today.

The Testimony of Universal Tradition for “Active Lay Participation”
It is an indisputable historical fact that from the Early Church until approximately the 17th century the faithful in the West customarily participated at sung Masses by alternating with the clerical schola and responding to the sacred ministers. In addition to the numerous liturgical-archeological studies that have been published, another witness to this fact is seen in the various Divine Liturgies of the Eastern Rites. There the sense of active participation was never lost, and as a result, even today the very idea of the laity attending the Divine Liturgy as muted spectators is incomprehensible in the Eastern Rites. In the West however, a curious set of historical influences cause this sense to be greatly diminished, if nearly lost.

Another Contributing Factor: The American Liturgical Ethos
Without a doubt, a Low Mass mentality permeated the liturgical mindset of most American Catholics for at least a hundred years before the Second Vatican Council. This partially stemmed from the immigrant Irish, who due to centuries of religious persecution at the hands of the English had developed a liturgical prejudice against all “high church” practices that smacked of that “English” and “Protestant” Anglicanism to them. As Thomas Day humorously outlines in Why Catholics Can’t Sing, this resulted in the “Immense Irish Silence” at quickly said Low Masses, which many present-day, traditionally-minded Catholics associate as being “Tradition” and the liturgical ideal.

This notion not only poorly represented the Church’s universal liturgical traditions, but caused friction amongst the other ethnic groups that emigrated from the Old World fully expecting to continue in their native liturgical traditions, such as sung Masses where the congregation actually sang. Instead, these groups were pressured by the Irish-American dominated hierarchy to conform to their “American Church Liturgical Standard.” Though the establishment of “national churches” (i.e., ethnic parishes) allowed these groups to preserve amongst themselves their traditions, this “solution” marginalized any possible beneficial effect they could have borne upon the prevalent American liturgical ethos.

As the necessity of this article sadly bears witness, despite repeated admonitions of popes and the labors of many American Catholics, the struggle to break free of this ethos was never fully achieved in our country. And efforts to encourage what the popes desired are still often met with accusations of “Protestantism” and even “Modernism.”

Peace.
Out.
.

Can you sing?
If your TLM has a schola which sings the gregorian chant then that is a great way to serve the church. I believe that knowledge of gregorian chant will be in hot demand as congregations the world over swing away from “cultural” music toward ageless universal music of high quality which will unite Catholics the world over.

I have also noticed that many of our schola’s are overworked and rarely get a break. So this would be a great way to serve.

Some Missals are designed with large margins which are filled explanations and ideas for how to join one’s prayers with the priest’s. I find that this style of Missal helps me to bring more understanding, attention and reverence to worship. I have a small red booklet that contains only the Ordinary of the Mass which is very good this way. You might also find it easier to use a booklet like this (especially if you attend TLM at a parish that gives the Proper of the Mass printed separately.) When I first started attending, I was a bit distracted by all the flipping between bookmarks using my big Missal.

Another thing that I have found helpful is studying Latin. While following along the English translation is good, I feel even more connected to the prayers as my Latin has improved. I’m not sure that this would work for everyone, but it has been good for me.

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