Attended a midday Latin Mass at our parish for today’s feast of the Immaculate Conception.
It was a particularly interesting experience after a vigil Mass the night before at another parish that is decidedly less, well, reverent than ours:
- fully blinged-out Christmas trees behind the altar;
- strict adherence to arcane diocesan rules that all but discourage reception of the Eucharist on the tongue;
- a small army of laypersons armed with hand sanitizers before you receive;
- and an “extraordinary” Eucharistic minister helping to hand out Communion next to the celebrant, even though there was another priest available to do so.
And for all of that, today’s Latin Mass – in the middle of the day, a somewhat more inconvenient time, really – had more than twice as many people attending, and our pastor distributed the Eucharist himself.
I really don’t want to be one of those stereotypically cranky and indignant TLM types. I’m fine with the so-called Novus Ordo liturgy in the vernacular, so long as it’s celebrated by clergy and parishioners in a reverent and respectful manner. This is rarely the case in the three parishes in our DuPage County suburb, which is why we are registered at a more orthodox parish down the road in a decidedly more working-class Cook County area.
But every time I attend Mass in our town, I’m immensely grateful for our parish, where the faith and the Real Presence is taken seriously. It’s been a gift.