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Thursday, June 14, 2007
Old Latin Mass Makes a Comeback

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a great story today entitled Old Latin Mass Makes a Comeback. Here is an excerpt:
Old Latin Mass Makes a Comeback
By Tim Townsend

Melinda Scanga (left), of Jefferson County, prays during Latin mass at St. Francis De Sales Oratory. (Dawn Majors /P-D)

The church's windows are broken, its beige bricks are sooty, its paint is chipped. The 300-foot steeple, a hallmark of the St. Louis skyline, is pulling away from its foundation. One day it could tumble into traffic on Gravois Avenue.

St. Francis de Sales church, often called the Cathedral of South St. Louis, is an ideal home for a group of Roman Catholic priests devoted to restoration. But restoring this 19th-century neo-Gothic church to its former glory is only one reason St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke assigned the priests to oversee St. Francis de Sales.

The real mission of the group, called the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, is the restoration of the traditional Latin Mass.

The 1,600-year-old Mass isn't used much today, but it's making a comeback.

That effort will get a boost Friday when Burke — one of the most devoted supporters of the old Latin rite among U.S. bishops — will ordain two deacons of the Institute at the Cathedral Basilica. Burke has ordained members several times in Italy, where the institute is based outside Florence. But Friday will mark the first time members of the 17-year-old institute will be ordained in the United States and the first time the traditional Latin liturgy will be used in an ordination here in more than 40 years.

Most of the world's 1 billion Catholics are familiar with the celebration of Mass in their own languages. The traditional Latin Mass, also referred to as the Tridentine Mass, Classical Latin Mass, Old Rite, Classical Roman Rite or Mass of Ages, was largely set aside by the church in the 1960s when the Second Vatican Council approved changes in the liturgy.

The Latin Mass is thick with pageantry, solemnity and symbolism and is often referred to as "smells and bells" for its generous use of incense and music.

A papal decree, which Vatican officials have said should be released soon, is likely to expand the use of the ancient Mass. The decree — called a motu proprio — is expected to allow any priest to celebrate the traditional Latin Mass without the permission of his bishop.

Vatican watchers say the decree could be released July 14, the date, in 1570, when Pope Pius V published the liturgical text that would be used to celebrate Mass for the next 400 years — until the reforms of Vatican II.

In today's church, priests are free to celebrate the post-Vatican II liturgy, or new order Mass, in Latin — though most don't. What a priest cannot do without the permission of his bishop is celebrate the traditional Latin Mass as it was structured, worded, sung and heard in 1962, the last time it was changed before Vatican II.


del_button June 14, 2007 at 11:34 AM
Ma Beck said...

Thank you SO MUCH for bringing this wonderful article to my attention. And the slide show is gorgeous!

del_button June 14, 2007 at 11:49 AM
Mark said...

Wonderful, Matthew. Thank you.

del_button June 15, 2007 at 10:54 AM
318@NICE said...

I get to experience this every Sunday Morning.
Great pics.

del_button June 19, 2007 at 10:37 AM
Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

don't think the nail-varnish goes with the mantilla!

del_button June 19, 2007 at 10:41 AM
Seminarian Matthew said...

I definitely agree about the nails :)

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