Wednesday, January 22, 2020
What Should I Do For My First Time at a Latin Mass?
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If you are new to the idea of attending the Tridentine Latin Mass, you may not know what to do. What should I wear? What do I need to say? How will I sit and stand? Do I need to cover my head?

Above all, don't let these questions prevent you from attending the Most Beautiful Thing This Side of Heaven - the Latin Mass said according to the Church's Traditional Rubrics. More and more people are thankfully finding the Latin Mass and returning to it.

Fr. Eric Andersen recently well advised those attending a Latin Mass for the first time:
“If you are new to the Latin Mass, my recommendation to you is not to worry about how to participate. Put down the booklet all together. Watch and listen in the silence and let your prayer arise. Have no expectations. Let yourself be surprised. Let the Holy Spirit be your guide. Treat this time like a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament. Realize that during this Holy Hour, something magnificent is happening: Jesus Christ, the High Priest, is offering the Holy Sacrifice.”
The Mass is truly the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross and this is clearly shown by the gestures, reverence, and actions of the priest. Stop attending the Novus Ordo with its Communion in the Hand, watered down prayers, irreverence, and lack of mystery. Do not let the fear of the unknown trouble you. I travel around the country all the time and have attended Latin Masses everywhere I go - even around the world. I am never bothered. No one thankfully ever asks me why I'm there. I am not forced to participate in any way with the signing, the prayers, the greetings, or more. I am there to worship the Triune God in the one, true, and perfect Sacrifice.

What to Say? Do I need to wear a veil? How do I receive Holy Communion?

For those who do want to still get a good understanding of what the Mass is - what will be said and how it will be said, I found these series of videos to be quite helpful. As to when to sit and stand and kneel, just follow everyone else. You are not required to know this. And there is no requirement to say anything. The priest and server are able to say all of the prayers.

For receiving our Lord in Holy Communion, you must be a baptized Catholic in the state of grace. If you have mortal sin on your soul, you must go to Sacramental Confession before receiving Communion. Assuming you are in the state of grace, then you may approach the Communion rail with everyone else when it is time to receive our Lord. You receive kneeling - though the old and those physically unable to kneel may stand at the Communion rail. Communion is received only on the tongue - never in the hand - and you do not need to say "Amen" or any prayer. The priest will say a prayer in Latin for you as he gives you the Body of our Lord.

And for women, while I believe all women should bring a veil and cover their heads, the overwhelming majority of Latin Masses would never ask a woman to leave who does not do so. In fact, I've never seen it or even heard of that happening. If there is a basket of veils at the door with a sign for women to wear one, the woman should politely follow this custom and veil. Simply borrow a veil - any color will work - and return it after Mass. If there is not a notice or a basket of veils, which is the case at the overwhelming number of churches, then you of course may attend Mass even though you do not have a veil.

As for men, it is not appropriate for a man to cover his head in Church so remove all hats or caps when entering a church and do not wear them until you leave the church completely.

But of course, as Fr. Eric well said - knowing what will happen is not required in the least. You are only asked to be in physical attendance and to lift up your hearts and minds in prayer. All else is extra. The most important element is something you can already do - pray and offer your prayers in union with the priest at the altar.

The Latin Mass Step by Step:






1 comments:

del_button January 24, 2020 at 7:40 AM
Anonymous said...

Wonderful, thank you kindly for this much appreciated info!!

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