Search A Catholic Life:

Monday, December 24, 2007
Back After a Long Absence: The Traditional Latin Mass in Mexico City

Published: December 5, 2007
California Catholic Daily
Republished with Permission

"For first time in more than 40 years, traditional Latin Mass celebrated at Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral; extraordinary form now to be offered once a week

"For more than 400 years, the Tridentine Latin Mass was celebrated at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City -- until 1965, when all masses in this and all the other Catholic churches around the world began to be celebrated in their respective vernacular languages as part of the Vatican II liturgical reforms. Forty-two years later, on the morning of Nov. 29, on the high altar of the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Latin Mass was once again celebrated at the most important Catholic house of worship in Mexico.

"The traditional mass, which thousands of Catholics in Mexico still long for, was celebrated by Msgr. Rudolf Michael Schmitz, Vicar General and Superior of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, according to the weekly publication of the Archdiocese of Mexico City, Desde la Fe (“From the Faith”).

"The same day, Msgr. Schmitz celebrated Latin masses in three other Mexico City churches of historical and religious significance. The first was at La Profesa, an educational and religious center of the Society of Jesus since 1574. From La Profesa, some of the most daring and fruitful missionary enterprises of Mexico’s evangelization were launched, including into the then-remote areas of Baja California and Sonora. La Profesa was also the center of the famous “La Profesa Conspiracy,” which led to the final victory for Mexico’s independence in 1821.

"Two other Latin masses were celebrated at the Ville de Guadalupe -- one at El Pocito chapel, built in the 17th century on the site where the image of the Virgin Mary was miraculously stamped on Juan Diego’s tunic; the other in one of the lateral chapels inside the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

"For the celebration, Msgr. Schmitz wore the traditional biretta, rochet and cassock. At the altar were six processional candlesticks, with all the sacred ornaments necessary for the Eucharistic consecration.

"At the end of the celebration, Msgr. Schmitz thanked the faithful for their warm welcome, as well as authorities from the Archdiocese of Mexico for making available the high altar of the Metropolitan Cathedral for the celebration.

"As the gestures and forms of the extraordinary form of the Mass differ from the present day liturgy, for many faithful the Tridentine Mass was a little complicated to follow. Msgr. Schmitz explained, “The Mass cannot be completely understood because it is a mystery of faith; but the faithful do not need to understand each and every Latin word to take part in the Mass. Instead they have to get used to the rite, and live it with respect. The Mass, prayed in Latin, has helped in the conversion of many people, especially youth.”

"Rev. Francisco Beccerra, major sacristan of the Metropolitan Cathedral, announced that the traditional Latin Mass will now be celebrated once a week at the cathedral.

"Celebration of the traditional Latin Mass came just two weeks after archdiocesan authorities had indefinitely closed the Metropolitan Cathedral following an attack by a left-wing mob during a Sunday Mass celebrated by the Archbishop of Mexico, Cardinal Norberto Rivera.

"The cathedral reopened on Nov. 24 following assurances from Mexico City authorities that they would beef up security around the cathedral. Mexico City police chief Joel Ortega said 46 police officers will be present at the cathedral and four police cars will patrol the surrounding area during Masses. People entering the cathedral are also subject to police searches of any bags they are carrying."


del_button January 10, 2008 at 10:26 PM
Anonymous said...

Hi, Matthew,

It is only today, Jan. 10. that I saw this posted on your blog. I was there for that Mass! Know that because I prayed before the miraculous tilma of O.L. of Guadalupe for everyone I knew, you were included. (I have never met you face to face, but we have corresponded, so from that, I know you, and prayed for you.)


del_button January 10, 2008 at 11:00 PM
Seminarian Matthew said...

Martha, thank you greatly!

Post a Comment


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Subscribe to Future Posts on A Catholic Life

Enter email address: