Friday, July 17, 2009

Series on the Mass: Introduction

It's been a while since my last post, but it's time to get to a series on the Traditional Latin Mass, the Mass that was the norm in the Roman Rite until 1970. It was officially codified during the Council of Trent, but had only minimal changes since the days of St. Pope Gregory the Great, and had minimal changes even up to the time of Pope John XXIII.

Father Frederick Faber once referred to the Traditional Mass as "the most beautiful thing this side of heaven." I have found this to be very true. Whether in a small room in a rectory in Fairpoint, Ohio, to a grand cathedral in Wheeling, West Virginia, the Classical Mass is truly the most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed, and as many today are not familiar with it at all, I feel it necessary to explain what happens during the Mass.

I will have two series, the first being on what happens in the Mass, as well as before and after, and all things encompassing it. I will divide the Mass into parts, and in each post I will explain what occurs in each part. In the second series, I will take the same divisions, but this time I will give my own personal reflections and insights into each part of the Mass, giving historical reasons for the existence of the part being analyzed as well as its origin. Overall, the first part will mainly be copying and pasting from websites that have the text of the Mass. I will also present all the prayers in Latin and English for the benefit of the reader.

I intend both of these series to be presented as somewhat of a well researched essay, so that people can use them to their advantage when learning about the Classical Mass. I am aware that in the schools people are getting taught to be weary of internet sources, so the better I write these the more they could be used by those who are the product of a high school education.

In case you are wondering, according to the motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum" of Pope Benedict XVI, any competent priest of the Roman Rite, that is, a priest who knows all the rubrics of the "Extraordinary Form," is allowed to celebrate the Classical Mass according to the Missal of Pope John XXIII for the people of a parish, except during the Paschal Triduum, and is to acknowledge the people's request for the Classical Mass to be celebrated at the parish.

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