Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Changes in Roman Catholic Worship

An observation made in "Latin in Patton: 4/5/09 Johnstown [PA] Tribune Democrat article", concerning the return to old ways in the local Catholic congregation. "For the first time in more than 30 years, Queen of Peace Roman Catholic Church in Patton is providing the all-Latin Mass, the only church in the diocese to do so.
Many supporters of the traditional Tridentine Mass are convinced that it is a priceless gift that must never be forgotten."

“Ironically, older people started coming out of a spirit of nostalgia, but they discovered a reverence for the deep and sacred character of the old Mass,” Kopp said.

And younger families have found that the old Mass teaches the centrality of Christ in the Catholic faith.

The focus of the old Mass is God, not man.

This article details much of this style of worship. Of interest to headcovering Christian women is this paragraph, one small part of the difference: "Some women in the congregation have returned to the practice of wearing chapel veils, a head covering that displays reverence to the Lord and modesty."

Read the entire article for more description and information.


mary montgomery aka greatgranmary said...

This extraordinary Mass is the one I grew up with. The mumblimg priest the incomprehensible missal the feeling that as a female I could only observe.The grave sense of loneliness and lack of connection drove me away from the Church for many years.The priest and the accolytes seem to have a good time but contemplation and reflection needs to be a daily discipline Mass is for the congregation a communal way of all souls meeting with God.The old way is like having some one else do my worshipping for me and a constant reminder of the gulf that exists between clergy and laity. I am not a fan.

Michelle Maddocks said...

I appreciate your sharing your thoughts on this, Miss Mary. It does seem that when man's ways become more than God's ways, the pendulum of our actual involvement in worship and obedience to God begins to swing back and forth away from the narrow path that Jesus spoke of. But there is not just two choices of way too many man's traditions or way too much freedom - both of which leave others disregarded and possibly turned away from the Truth. There is the way of Truth itself, which is in the saved written Word - no need to add so much ceremonial OR self-oriented showiness to please God according to that Word.

Alana said...

Tradition of Man...Your interpretation, Lisa. But then again this IS your blog. Sola Scriptura is not in the Bible, either, while many things in catholic (I'm including Orthodox Catholic here too) ARE indeed Scriptural: Liturgical worship, incense, an altar, the Eucharist, the Scriptures, the Psalter...prayers offered for all.

The Tridentine Latin Mass is much more similar to the Divine Liturgy celebrated in the Eastern Orthodox Churches. One beef I have with it is, that in keeping with ancient Christian practice, worship should be in the language of the people not in Latin, once up on a time Latin was that, but no more. The same criticism can be leveled at the Old Church Slavonic used in Russian Churches, too, though.

Michelle Maddocks said...

I'm not a "sola scriptura" person, because I'm not sure exactly what the creed is to call yourself that - I just like to follow the Bible as closely as possible, and when differences arise in interpretation of how prayers are to be said, scripture is to be read, songs are to be sung or people are to be shepherded by elders in the faith, though I understand the loyalty of tradition and culture, I personally desire that we would "err" on the side of being careful not to "lord it over" or "teach as commandments the traditions of men". I agree with you Miss Alana, that much of what is done is certainly in scripture, but it is the way in which things are carried out that can get mired down in the "traditions of man" and True worship and obedience can get lost in a desire to "tithe out mint and cumin" and merely follow a list of laws, as Jesus pointed out to the Pharisees of his day.
I suppose it looks condemning of me, but honestly it is a cautiousness - perhaps even an over-cautiousness - in reaction to the problems like Miss Mary pointed out above: of followers of Christ, or of those who desire to follow, being turned away either on purpose or accidentally, not because following Christ might entail something difficult for them (like the rich young ruler), but because of the over-focus on how things are done. It isn't just a problem in the Catholic and Orthodox churches; I've seen it in the most conservative of Protestant and Evangelical-type friends.
To me, it is a shame that something which one person regards as a beautiful tradition which helps them in their worship and obedience can be seen by someone else as a hindrance to their faith - and it goes "both" ways.
Please don't think that I wish to put anyone "down", but I do hope to encourage others to consider what they're doing. Especially for my blog here, that simple little act of a woman covering her head in prayer and prophecy is not just a tradition of a certain church, or that certain styles are required, but that it is done in humbleness and obedience according to the saved inspired Word of God.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Michelle Maddocks said...

TO ALL - I offer my thoughts here as humbly as I can; I know words can sometimes confuse the issues. I hope that you'll understand, reading, that I am just voicing my observations and understanding at this point in my own walk, and in no way am I uttering what I think are the very words of God - I am not so gifted. Thank you again, always, for offering thoughts to my comments here - it always helps me, and others reading, to think on these things, as I believe the LORD wants us to do. If I am ever in error with Him, please pray for me and point it out to me if you are able. Thank you!

Arthur Sido said...


"Liturgical worship, incense, an altar, the Eucharist, the Scriptures, the Psalter...prayers offered for all. "

There was no liturgical worship in the NT, nor a eucharistic resacrifice of Christ nor an altar for offering a sacrifice. Worship in the early church as described in Acts was very simple, long on fellowship and short on ritual.

Sorry to interject Lisa, but I had to respond to that.

Amber said...

From a purely personal point of view, the promulgation of the Tridentine Mass makes me very happy.

It's a gorgeous, reverant service. To my mind, much more so than any Protestant service I'd ever attended, and also more so than some of the OF Masses I've been to.

My only complaint is, yes, it should be in the vernacular as Alana stated.

And that all the parishes in my diocese that hold it are more than an hour away from me.

mary montgomery aka greatgranmary said...

The Novus Odo or new Mass is actually the closest we have to what was performed by the Christians of the 1st and second centuries. It was added to and embellished and was never the same twice in any locale until the council of Trent made it a form in response to the Reformation. Even then it was intended to be in the vernacular but there were wars and upheavals going on and the bishops never got together again until the first Vatican Council which was continued as the Second Vatican Council. Again change is hard for people. The Eucharistic service is supposed to be a meal shared by all attendees to re-enact the passion death and resurrection of Jesus. Done in the traditional Jewish sense it is as if we are transprted to the actual time and place and become partakers in the actual events as they unfold free of time and space. It is meant to be a messy noisy family meal. If you want high spiritual experiences there are plenty of other celebrations for that. And contemplation is for a quiet corner. This(the Mass) is when the whole gang gets together and listens to the latest news--we call them epistles and remembers the old stories. And if you cannot think in a language you cannot pray in it either. But to each his own said the old woman as kissed the cow. And there is really no such thing as going back as we westerners think of it. We have lost the ability to transport back to the actual events to think abstratly enough--we are too caught up in form.
Lisa you are always kind and courteous on these matters and the truth is none od us really know how it was done back in the day.

Amber said...


While I can't verify it myself, having not read it, one of the Deacons at my church says that you can understand how the Mass was celebrated in the early church by reading the Didache. We didn't get into it much, as this was RCIA, but he seems to think that a blending of the two forms, again, we didn't get into detail, would come closest to the original Mass.

Just in case it seemed like I was picking on OF Masses, I really wasn't. I'm a new convert, so I didn't grow up with the Tridentine Mass, and we're lucky enough to have two very good priests at my parish, and their Masses are lovely, always. And in OF. But I also appreciate the Tridentine Mass. But again, it's all personal opinion, and I'm new, so I'm always open to being wrong. :)

mary montgomery aka greatgranmary said...

Amber do get a copy of the Didache-- it is very interesting to see what was important to the early Christians---one funny thing is that they didn't let actors in, they had to find a new career. The Didache is short, ask the Deacon where to get one in your area. He's right about the Mass but there is as always a lot of politics involved. An old Desert Father story tells of a monk who tried to get away from his hut to a more holy place. He looked across the room to see his sandals going on before him and asked "where are you going?" "I'm going on ahead of you, for where-ever you go I will be there first". None of us have control of our sandals and we all meet ourselves where ever we go so charity in all things is best don't you think? Of course "they" still make me crazy! And I suppose I ought to get off my high horse and go to a Tidentine again after so many years I might learn something.

Alana said...

Here ya go, Arthur Sido: