This year I noticed something rather interesting during the Feast of the Assumption. Since it was a Holy Day of Obligation, there were additional Masses celebrated all over Seattle. At the FSSP Parish where I attend, it was the last Mass of the day in that area of Seattle, so it was really packed with the after-work crowd.
I noticed several people in front of me had not picked up the Mass booklet from the back, so I thought they must really know the Tridentine Mass well. It was a Solemn High Mass and they seemed really impressed with the platoon of altar boys and beautiful strains of the polyphony choir. I’m always glad when we get newcomers who like what they see and hear.
When the Asperges started, they seemed a little puzzled. They said a few words to each other and I realized they were speaking Spanish. Apparently they saw “Latin” on some Mass schedule and assumed it meant Latino (or Spanish Mass).
I had to smile a little, because once the Mass got going they were able to follow along fairly well: Spanish being a Latin-based language. Some of the words are very close e.g. “Let us pray” = Oremus in Latin = Oremos in Spanish. Pretty soon they seemed very comfortable with it. It was really nice to see how both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking people could attend the same Mass together and get the same benefit from it.
Afterwards it occurred to me that the Tridentine Mass could be a great unifying source in some parishes. Where I grew up, there was a large Hispanic minority in the parish. Things turned out there the way they do in all parishes like that. In effect, you have two parishes: An Anglo parish and a Spanish parish. It’s not like anyone intends it to happen, but the language difference drives it.
We had an EF Mass in the that parish from back when Ecclesia Dei was first issued, and we made sure we had both Latin-English and Latin-Spanish missal booklets, but we could never get the Spanish-speaking parishioners to come, no matter how much we encouraged them. We did get some French-speaking people from Quebec, and they brought their own Latin-French missals, but that’s about it.
Does anyone have an idea why the Spanish-speaking people might not want to go to the Latin Mass? You would think simple demographic percentage alone would get a few of them to come in a parish with a large Spanish-speaking minority. Have they been given some erroneous view about the EF Mass?