[quote=Mummybee]Scotty, I was so glad to see you reply to this thread. You’re one of the best people to answer questions for newcomers to the Tridentine Rite.
Superstar, I’m fairly new to the Tridentine Rite myself. IMHO, I think you are suffering from a shock to the system. My husband went through something similar, but he was not cynical about it. He just is slower than me to adapt to it. I agree with Scotty that you surely attended a low mass. Hooo boy, that is a bewildering experience for a first timer!
I was introduced to the Tridentine rite last Holy Week when I was invited to sing. For me, it was a thrill from beginning to end, I was actually giddy. It was a dream come true. (I was pretty cynical from some bad experiences with liberal, irreverent parishes). Although, I must admit that I felt deeply ashamed that I didn’t know what was going on. THIS is how the church worshipped for over 2000 years! THIS is the actual, true, organic mass, as it came to exist naturally, from the times of the apostles, through the days of teh early Roman martyrs, and the centuries until roughly almost 40 years ago. And I, lifelong devoted Catholic, didn’t have a clue! I was so ashamed! Yet, it was heaven, and I felt I’d finally found my home. My husband and I just joined the Latin Mass Community here in Pittsburgh, and again, I feel like I’ve found my home. However, to one who has only ever known the Novus Ordo rite, it does NOT come naturally. As a musician, I was aware of the ‘structure’ of the mass parts, but it never made sense to me in my music history classes. Now it makes sense! Parts of the mass that I’d never witnessed before in worship now had their place. Bit by bit, piece by piece, it’s almost like being an amnesiac who is regaining their memory. Glimmers of childhood masses are returning to my memory (watching my mother receive at the altar rail, for example).
I encourage you to give it another chance. Please try attending a High Mass, preferably with someone who is familiar with it. Our community has wonderful missals that explain lots in the margins. I must say, though, that the singing won’t necessarily help you to navigate, as the priest says many of his prayers almost silently on the altar. I started a thread a few weeks ago called “Latin Mass for Dummies”. (sorry, I don’t know how to link to it from here). In it the other posters made some great suggestions of books to help the newcomer to navigate through the rite. Following the priest’s gestures, when the bells are rung, when they cense the altar, etc, all help you know what is going on.
I don’t know about other Latin Mass communities, but in ours, the mass is incredibly reverent. In my experience, I’ve never been to an NO mass as reverent as the Tridentine in our diocese. The whole entire mass is about CHRIST! There isn’t an extraneous second to the entire liturgy. Nothing superfluous, nothing over simplified, nothing distracting. I have to give incredible credit to the parishioners, because their reverence, piousness, modesty and pure focus on the Lord and awe in His presence are contagious, and a grace for anyone who joins them. I thank God for the rare priviledge of being able to worship Him in this ancient liturgy.
Please don’t give up. Once you gain some familiarity, I feel quite certain that you will embrace this liturgy. You were called this far, weren’t you?
Thanks for your insights. I have not found a High Mass yet in Toronto. I just want to be clear, that in no way do I consider the current normative form of the mass (I’m guessing called the Novus Ordo) to be any less valid, just different. One thing I must say though, is that from what I’ve read, the Tridentine Mass is not the same mass practiced in the times of the Apostles. It has developed throughout the early Church: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tridentine_Mass
Thanks again, I certainly will revisit this mass, as i do feel somewhat drawn to it. I need to understand what is happening and what is being said though, so I will have to learn the latin parts.