Monday, August 20, 2007

Fr. Perrone: Tridentine Mass at Grotto starting on Feast of Holy Cross

Grotto's pastor, Fr. Eduard Perrone gave parishioners some indication of what will happen with regards to the motu proprio on the old form of the Latin Mass, in this week's bulletin.

I had said that I would be writing a little each week about the TRIDENTINE MASS. Here I would like to remind you and to inform for the first time our more recent parishioners, that our parish had twice in recent years signed petitions to Cardinal Maida requesting permission for the Tridentine Mass to be celebrated here. And twice the permission was refused. No doubt his Eminence had reasons of his own for this and I do not question his judgment. He has the grace of office and must direct the affairs of the archdiocese according to his own counsel.

Now, however, that the Holy Father has manifested his will that the Tridentine form of the Roman Rite be granted greater availability, we will avail ourselves of his graciousness and begin to celebrate the older form of the Latin Mass here regularly. My plan is to offer the fullest expression of the splendor of the old Mass, the ‘Solemn High Mass,’ on the very first day of its permitted return, September 14, the Feast of the Holy Cross, for the 7:00 p.m. Mass. Thereafter our Sunday 9:30 Mass will ordinarily be a Tridentine High Mass. This practice will be evaluated in the weeks following and your comments–surely ever charitable–will be thoughtfully received. It will take some time, however, for us to get used to this manner of celebration, although I dare say that for Grotto parishioners it will be an easy transition.

In talking with Fr. Perrone at the conclusion of Assumption Day, I can say that he is geared up to train the altar boys, who are now in the process of memorizing some things. This will be a learning process and will take the entire crew of people involved, time to learn very well. Practice makes perfect.

Just today I was thinking that with so many boys in our program, there will also be other things to work out with scheduling since there can only be one such Mass on Sundays, and a limit on servers. Father may need to train a crack-crew before others can join in and I pray that all will be patient and flexible in this regard.

I plan on assisting at this Mass and have asked Father for permission to take photos, and perhaps video. I have only experienced the old form of the Latin Mass once, and from own perspective, I felt that it was a contemplative's Mass. The language in the 62 Missal along with prayers (through translations) that I've never heard before, were so beautiful and so worthy of the God I was there to worship that I became quite excited over the motu proprio.

I know many at the parish who are bursting with excitement at the opportunity to experience it in our home. I also have met some who don't particularly care for it and for them, I am glad that the other Masses will be unaffected. The Novus Ordo at Grotto will always be reverent and majestic. Our Lord will be as joyful at those who lift their hearts in worship at both forms of the Mass in our parish.


I have been reflecting so much on this of late, digging back all the way to my early teen years.

I am 45 now. But I actually purchased a Latin Grammar book when I was 16 and attempted to teach myself Latin. I truly loved the language that I had only heard in Christmas songs, like Adeste Fidelis, and yearned to know it. That yearning is still there. But, now it comes with a desire to read The Confessions of St. Augustine in Latin.

As a young child I recall the disappointment that the "good old songs" were being replaced by contemporary songs. I yearned for those hymns that I now sing regularly at Grotto. I yearned for chant and was always intrigued by it, and sacred polyphony. I was a closet-choir fan all of my life, but actually caved in and played instruments at folk masses. I would have jumped at the chance to be in the choir all those years - the choir that was shown the door by the newer "music ministers" I now call "choir-killers".

I actually have recollections of the Lefebvre break and later, Ecclesia Dei. I was so far removed from it, yet what little I knew, i recall wondering secretely if I could ever experience the old Mass. I remember the disappointment at the realization that only few would get that opportunity because traveling great distances was not possible for me on Sundays.

I have longed for a sense of the sacred, while allowing myself to become like a wild animal just subsisting on what would come my way. Worship was as casual of a thing as going to the mall, as was evidenced by my irreverence, my coming late and leaving early, and by being nothing more than a body in the pew.

I yearned terribly for hard-hitting homilies that would jar me from my complacency and sinfulness, yet week after week, year after year, the homilies were becoming more banal. I yearned to know the faith deeply, but could never find what the Church truly taught - or at least, could not get past the confusion of vocal theologians. All I had was "My Butterfly and Me" catechism.

My wild-side resisted the sacredness of Assumption Grotto's Latin Novus Ordo at first, but in such a short time, those old yearnings found their way to the surface where I was able to truly worship God fully.

Now, the Latin Novus Ordo at Grotto had many of these things. But it now seems to have been a stepping stone to the old Mass.

I have no doubts from Whom those yearnings were prompted. How else does someone born in 1962 have them throughout a lifetime after never having been exposed to these things?

Summorum Pontificum, in my view, is an affirmation to me, that the Holy Spirit was front-and-center in all that I yearned. Now, it feels it is about to be complete. Someday, I hope to cap it off by learning Latin once and for all.

Deo Gratias!

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