Monday, January 07, 2008

Traditional Latin Mass Returns To Raleigh Cathedral After Almost 40 Year Absence
“I know our Holy Father will be very pleased by the Diocese of Raleigh” - His Excellency Bishop Michael Burbidge

From the official website of the Diocese of Raleigh, NC (Emphasis mine)

Forma extraordinaria of the Mass celebrated at Cathedral

A Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form was celebrated at Sacred Heart Cathedral Sunday, January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany. Father Paul Parkerson, Pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Dunn, was the celebrant in the presence of the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge.

“How blessed and privileged we are,” Bishop Burbidge said in the opening remarks of his homily, “to gather for this sacred celebration making profoundly visible our one holy Catholic and apostolic Church and the unity that is our in Christ Jesus.”

More than 300 faithful attended the Mass, which will be celebrated at the Cathedral on the first Sunday of each month at 4:30 PM. In addition to the Cathedral, the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is celebrated weekly at Father Parkerson’s church and monthly at Saint Therese Church in Wrightsville Beach and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Rocky Mount.

Bishop Burbidge noted that 15 priests will attend a three day training session this week on the rubrics involved in celebrating the Extraordinary Form, fulfilling the promise that the Mass will be made available to as many of the faithful as possible.

“I know our Holy Father will be very pleased by the Diocese of Raleigh,” Bishop Burbidge added.

Above: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, in choir, at Forma extraordinaria of the Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral Church. Below: Father James Garneau distributing Holy Communion during the Solemn High Mass.

And believe it or not, there's even a fairly favorable story done up by the secular media. From the Raleigh News & Observer. (click here)

Here's a bit of it;

Latin Mass revives an ancient Catholic rite
A Raleigh cathedral celebrates Tridentine Mass for the first time in years
Yonat Shimron, Staff Writer

Roman Catholics filled Sacred Heart Cathedral to overflowing Sunday afternoon to celebrate Mass in a language not heard in that church in nearly 40 years: Latin.
It was a historic moment for the Raleigh church, a chance to experience the Mass as it was celebrated in Catholic churches for centuries.

Worshippers arrived appropriately attired: men in suits, women wearing lace head coverings, and many clutching dusted off missals -- prayer books containing the Latin and English texts of the Mass.

They sat in the church in silence as tradition dictates, contemplating God before the priests arrived wafting incense through the sanctuary. There were some awkward moments as worshippers fumbled, not knowing when they were supposed to rise, sit and kneel. But that was to be expected. The rhythms of the ancient rite are no longer second nature to Catholics.

"It reminds us of our roots and our tradition and where we come from," said Bishop Michael Burbidge, who delivered the homily at Sunday's Mass. Burbidge said he has received 50 to 75 requests from Catholics asking for the Mass in Latin since he arrived in Raleigh about a year and a half ago.

To many Catholics, that careful attention to detail connects them more intimately with the purpose of the Mass, which is receiving the Eucharist, or the bread and the wine transformed into the body and blood of Christ, according to the Catholic faith.

"It makes you realize there's solemnity going on at the altar," said Stan Wesner, 61, of Raleigh, who participated Sunday.

But traditionalists aren't the only ones who like it. Catholics too young to remember the rite were well-represented at Sunday's Mass. They are people such as 28-year-old Erich Engel of Cary, who said the English Mass is lacking in spirituality, in large part because parishioners feel obliged to hang on every word the priest says -- an experience they say places the priest rather than God at the center of the service.

For some priests, such as [Father Paul] Parkerson, who celebrated the rite at Sacred Heart on Sunday, the tradition has renewed and transformed his faith.

"It is similar to discovering in your 20s and 30s who you really are," said Parkerson, 37. "You discover you're a descendant of a royal family, and there's a whole lot more to your identity than what you've been taught to believe about yourself."
Click here for the News & Observer photo gallery.


Blogger Vir Speluncae Orthodoxae said...

This is what should be seen at any "Catholic" church. Unfortunately this is still seen at few. Here's to the death of Nervous Order!

6:14 PM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

"You discover you're a descendant of a royal family, and there's a whole lot more to your identity than what you've been taught to believe about yourself."

What a great quote. I never thought about it that way, but how true. God bless Fr. Parkerson. I've attended the classical Mass for years but was still moved by the wisdom of that statement.

9:22 PM  
Blogger Alli said...

My only major problem with the N&O article was that line "But traditionalists aren't the only ones who like it..."

I think that was a bit shoddy, as many young people (*raises hand*) consider themselves "traditionalists" now, and they should have emphasized the AGE of the not-"too-young" people they were referring to.

And I'm picky and would've liked a mention of Parkerson being a convert. Mostly because he hasn't told me about that yet.

6:48 AM  
Blogger Alli said...

Oh and also, that's not just a "wafer" anymore, in the picture they used on the front page (of him saying "Ecce Agnus Dei"... not that they printed that.)

6:52 AM  
Blogger PreVat2 said...

Ladies & Gentlemen,
Once again, I bend my knee to the brilliance of our Holy Father.

BTW: If John Paul II can be called "the Great" by the Neo-Con, Scott Hahn style Catholics based on his two "Prayer Meetings at Assisi" and kissing the Koran, can we call Benedict "the Brilliant" for his Motu Proprio and his return to Tradition?

8:14 AM  

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