Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bishop Celebrates Latin Mass for Overflowing Congregation
On a Holy Day, no less!

Excerpts from a news item in the Burlington Free Press (commentary in bold print):

For the first time in more than 30 years, Roman Catholics in Vermont had a chance to attend a traditional Latin Mass last week, and the overwhelmingly positive response means there likely will be more to come.

About 1,000 Catholics from across Vermont, New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire packed the pews at Burlington's St. Joseph Co-Cathedral on Wednesday, spilling out into the vestibule for the 90-minute ceremony. (When was the last time you saw a church filled to capacity, much less overflowing, for Mass?)

The Mass, celebrated by the Most Rev. Salvatore Matano, bishop of the Diocese of Burlington, was filled with tradition: Incense billowed toward the ceiling; worshipers brought black leather-bound missals containing prayers in Latin and English; women donned lace mantillas, or veils, as a sign of respect; and a 14-member choir sang Gregorian chants. (Very impressive, and certainly ballsy, of the bishop to to decide to be the celebrant!)

Matano decided to celebrate it on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary -- a holy day of obligation for Catholics -- because of the significant role the mother of Jesus plays in the diocese. Looking out on the overflowing congregation, Matano promised to invest time in similar ceremonies. (What!? Catholics showed up for Mass on a Holy Day of Obligation? A Latin Mass? I thought the modernists had already consigned that to the ash heap of Church history. And they came from four states to be there? Amazing!)

"If this is what it takes to fill our churches, then so be it," he said. "I will do whatever I can to fill our churches."
That's right, Your Excellency. Have at least one classical Latin Mass in ever parish every Sunday and watch your Mass attendance, baptisms, marriages, and collection plates increase ten-fold. I'll bet you even see a rise in vocations.

13 Comments:

Blogger Vir Speluncae Orthodoxae said...

Now THAT is the Mass! That is what we Odox expect to see all the time and at every church, chapel, monastery and covent, not the over flowing per se but the ancient liturgy and people supporting it and insisting on it.

Nice to see balsy Bishops in your church. This is so Tolkeinesque.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

VSO,
And that's the same thing we Catholics expect to see every time we attend Mass as well.

This brief flirtation with neo-Protestantism is FINALLY coming to an end. It'll take decades... but the beginning has begun!

4:06 PM  
Blogger Lynne said...

"That's right, Your Excellency. Have at least one classical Latin Mass in ever parish every Sunday and watch your Mass attendance, baptisms, marriages, and collection plates increase ten-fold. I'll bet you even see a rise in vocations."

And that scares the heck out of some people...

5:16 PM  
Blogger Long-Skirts said...

"(What!? Catholics showed up for Mass on a Holy Day of Obligation? A Latin Mass? I thought the modernists had already consigned that to the ash heap of Church history."

STARKENBURG
The Holy Mass, that cannot die,
Was said amidst the oaks,
While pin-oak leaves came floating down
Around the simple folks,

Who knelt upon the acorn floor,
All dotted nutty brown.
The acorns cracked and old knees snapped,
Yet still there was no sound...

But the tinkling of the golden bells
As the White Host Son rose high,
On priestly limbs, like mighty oaks,
They branched up to the sky.

And in that wood, I laughed with joy,
Amongst the souls bowed down,
For the mighty oak was once a nut
That merely held it's ground.

So Christian souls, like acorn nuts,
Must burrow all around
And be the seed that sprouts new oaks
On consecrated ground...

Where the Holy Mass, that cannot die,
Is said around the oaks,
While pin-oak leaves come floating down
Amidst a mighty folk!

Nov. 2000

7:22 PM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

VSO,
"This is so Tolkeinesque."

What an apt analogy! Having abandoned belief in the Real Presence, the Modernists turned their backs on Our Lord's Precious Body and Blood and are afraid to let go of their "Precious" (liturgical ministers calling the shots in face of emasculated pastors, laymen crying for a married priesthood and women thinking they can become priests, etc., etc.)

7:41 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

HE Bishop Salvatore Matano is really one of the good guys. Balsy? He clangs when he walks. He inherited one of the worst dioceses in the USA, and he's starting the turn-around.

9:51 PM  
Blogger the Mom said...

We can't wait for the TLM to begin in our parish. Thanks be to God that we have a priest who is willing and excited to learn the rubrics and offer it to us. He's just been sent to our parish and we are so lucky to have him. We've heard that our former priest is resisting it in his new parish. We'll continue to pray that he sees the wisdom of the Motu.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Orthodoxae said...

Well you do have married priests, just not in the Latin Rite. IMHO you really should ordain married men to the priesthood in the Latin Rite, other than Prot preacher converts. They just can't be bishops. But that's neither here nor there.

March on to Gondor!

9:02 PM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

VSO,
You are correct. In addition to the special dispensation available (but not guaranteeed) to Prot clergymen who convert, the Roman Catholic Church has married priests in our Eastern Rites (an important part of the universal Church that too many in the Western Church are sadly ignorant. Yes, as you say, married priests, even in the Eastern Church cannot become bishops and -- another fact unknown to many -- neither a single priest not a widowed married priest cannot marry. So even the Eastern Church has partial celibacy in that regard.

10:10 PM  
Blogger Kasia said...

F.A.B.,

So the celibacy guidelines for married Eastern Rite priests are very like the guidelines for deacons in the Latin Rite?

I'll tell you one thing: a Mass like that is more of a lure than any of the cheesy marketing tactics I've seen from Protestant churches lately...

7:55 AM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

Kasia,
Yes, they have to be married before they are ordained, just like deacons. And, though I suspect, a widowed deacon could go on to be a priest, he could never be a bishop.

Big 10-4 on you closing comment.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Coffee Catholic said...

YES!!!! AWESOME!!!

Er...what on earth is a "Co-Cathedral"?

11:25 AM  
Blogger Coffee Catholic said...

"Balsy? He clangs when he walks."

Hopefully that'll be coming soon to a church near all of us??

11:27 AM  

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