It appears that the TLM is going to be more widely celebrated and I was wondering about something. I don’t want this thread to degenerate into a “How to dress for Mass” thread, but I am wondering about more people going to the TLM…will they come dressed as they do to the NO? I have been going to the TLM daily for a few months now and I am struck by the deep respect…in manners…dress and all aspects. I would be very disheartened to see the TLM go the way of the NO where people show up like they have just left the beach and left their manners there too.
I think those that discover the TLM will be moved to a more reverant style of dress for mass.
Before discovering the TLM, I would wear a nice pair of bluejeans and a halfway decent shirt (button or polo type). Never dresspants or slacks though (but never shorts either!).
Now, however, I wear dresspants and nice buttonshirt - often with a tie. I don’t have a suit or a decent jacket to wear though - (maybe one day when I can afford the luxury). I didn’t start doing this because “someone told me”…it just sort of, I don’t know, happened.
Sort of like staying after mass and praying a while, paying a visit to the side-altar of Our Lady has become the norm. Didn’t really plan it and no one “told me to” - it just sort of happened.
I feel blessed to have discovered the TLM!!! I think other folks will find the same thing happening to them with this and the other “little” blessings that come from this mass!
At the moment the TLM tends to attract unusual people. That is to say, Catholics who are unusually pious and unusually conservative. That correlates with all sorts of other things, including wardrobes.
As the old rite becomes more commonly used, that will begin to change. The typical person at a TLM won’t think of himself as a traditionalist keeping alive the ancient practises of the church, but just as a Catholic who attending a Mass that is in Latin. The congregation won’t look noticeably very different from regulars, although the women might still wear mantillas and, hopefully, there won’t be any rainbow sashes.
At the moment the TLM tends to attract unusual people.
Our SSPX church boasts doctors, lawyers, architects, shop keepers, ex drug addicts, and everyone inbetween… unusual??? NO… just christians who Love God, and Respect the Mass. Yes we dress formally, all women cover their hair, men mostly in suits… but that is not because we are “unusual”.
First time attendees might wear dungarees.
I assume after their first attandance/experience to the Traditional Latin Mass they’ll dress up nice because everybody dresses up nicely/modestly in a Traditional Catholic Church.
The Bible teaches us to “dress with modesty”, so as a Christian who understands and learned the Bible and knows the traditional rules we have an obligation to share what it says and teaches.
Most likely, at first, people will dress the same way the do at a NO Mass at that time. For instance, if there is a 10 a.m. Mass and it is changed to TLM, the people who already go to 10 a.m. Mass will still go and dress the same as they always did. However, once they see other people in the congregation dressing nicer (the ones who are going to 10 a.m. Mass because it is TLM) they will probably start dressing nicer if they continue to attend.
I pray that no one that has been attending the New Mass will stand and ask for Communion in the hand. That would put the Priest in a very tough spot. He will of course have to refuse. Or will he? If he has been trained in the New Mass for many years, he may allow it.
I bet that this would definitely happen a lot. If the TLM begins to be offered more widely, I think that a lot of people will begin to attend if, for no other reason, out of curiosity (or, sorry to say, for convenience if the TLM is offered during their favorite time slot). Think about it, a lot of people do not know how to properly receive in the NO Mass (that is, according to the NO rubrics) [chewing gum, no act of reverence before receiving, sticking out one hand, etc.]. …what do you think they’ll do at a TLM that they are unfamiliar with!
Out of pastoral charity, presiders of the TLMs should make a brief announcement on the essentials to all those who are new to the TLM (and maybe have some literature on Mass etiquette/rubrics). Liturgical catechesis will be necessary if people want the riches of the TLM to be shared by more of the faithful. It is understandable that some newcomers will fall into default habits because it is all they know. If no one tells them different, (or worse, if priests or others turn their noses at them or scold them), they may never again give the TLM a chance because they were embarassed and felt awkward.
Keep in mind, according to my casual obsservation in various parishes, the vast vast majority of Catholics at the NO Mass receive in the hand. A good number of them may have never received on their tongue before in their life. … And some are going to feel awkward making the switch. They should be taught that reception on the toungue is expected at a TLM.
From my own personal experience…I was raised NO. The NO I was familiar with was that of the 70’s and 80’s in Conservative Irish Parishes in New York City. Old Priests who said the TLM for years offering a very reverent and Holy Mass, compared to what passes muster today.
At my first TLM (and it may have been different for me being a former Seminarian and a Latin speaker) I felt unworthy to receive. To be honest, the only way I began receiving was the fact that Father offers Confessions before Mass.