From the FB page of Matt Menendez. “Low Masses at Le Barroux. Happy feast of our holy father Benedict. I attended Pontifical Mass at the Abbey this morning.”

Le Barroux is a Benedictine Abbey dedicated to the use of the Extraordinary Form. Since priests do not concelebrate in the EF, except for an ordination, there are various side altars for each priest to offer his own Mass. 

I haven’t posted about this because I wasn’t sure about it until recently, but I’m going to my first ever mass in the Extraordinary form tomorrow.

I’m really excited and super anxious, but I’m praying that it will be a great experience.

Pray that I don’t feel awkward and out of place (though, it seems almost inevitable :D)

There are many zeniths in [the EF] mass, far distant peaks above the clouds that you may gaze at with wonder and yearning. Have I ever adored the “equality in Majesty” of the divine persons? Do I even have a sense for what Majesty means? Have I ever prayed, “why hast Thou cast me off?” out of anything more than heightened juvenile self-pity? Yet, there is one zenith in this mass that towers over the rest. The priest elevating the host towards the eschaton, the servers drawing back his Chasuble, the angels represented on either side of the altar adoring the Incarnate Christ, and the faithful with eyes wide open – to see this is to gain a short glimpse of Christ the King and His Kingdom. Surely this mass is beyond us, surely it is incomprehensible, foreign, strange, even weird. But surely this is what Heaven is like. The mass seems to trace an outline of the grace God wants for us, and we can see glimmers of what we may one day begin to understand. For struggling sinners, this mass allows us to rejoice in smallness, rejoice in humility, rejoice in our lack of understanding. We are taught, above all, to rejoice that we are owls in the daylight, not because we ought to be blind, but because we are meant to see – and how glorious that must be!
—  Carl over at The God in the Cave

I really want to go to the EF Mass in Latin at my parish but the only Sunday of the month we have it is also the same Sunday of the month I sing at another Mass… maybe I’ll just spend the entire afternoon in church. I practically live there anyway, since I don’t have a job right now.

Also I’ve never been to an EF Mass and I want to attend one so much. I have very pre-Vatican-II preferences when it comes to a lot of things. And I think we have a couple of missalettes at home - only they actually are pre-Vatican-II, which I’m not sure will be of any use.

idk, tell me about EF Mass things. For example: I have a black scarf (of the “large square of thin fabric” variety), can I just wrap that loosely around my head? But also just things. Obligatory question mark because Tumblr?

Off to my very first EF Mass in half an hour… where is that heart-eyes emoji when you need it?

I grew up pretty traditionally, even though it was the early 90s… there were always barriers and kneeling for communion in the churches we went to up until my teens, and Polish Catholicism is pretty specific in general (mostly in a good way, apart from the politics and more recent influences from American protestantism, regrettably).

There is so much I love about the EF Mass - the reverence and abundant use of the Sign of the Cross, to name just one thing - I am very excited.


A solemn high Mass from Ushaw Seminary in England, 1960. Absolutely beautiful for those who love the Extraordinary Form. The seminary chapel is PACKED with seminarians.

bellicosita asked:

Father, my name is Marie. I've seen you defend the Catholic faith in these complicated issues that involve tradition. I know the TLM and the NO are both valid. Some traditionalists hold the belief that neither Padre Pio, nor St Josemaría Escrivá, liked the NO, and that the latter said "What is this shit?" when he first was told about it. I know that saints are not free from error but that seems too much! What do you know? I think it's bad to pit saints against the Church. Thanks and God Bless!

Hello Marie:

I wholeheartedly agree with you. Saints are holy because they journey with the Church, in union with the Church, and call the Church their holy Mother, no matter what they like, or do not like, within the Church.

Maybe there are great saints who did not like the liturgical changes after Vatican II. That is fine. The 1960′s were days of great controversy about Catholic teachings of just war, Catholic involvement in colonialism, the Catholic response to environmental concerns, social justice for laborers, Catholic practice regarding race relations, birth control, abortion, the role of women, and the Catholic ability to reach the modern world with a message which made sense.

The changes of the Mass are a “Latin rite” problem. The Eastern rite Catholics did not change their liturgy at that time. Within the Latin rite, the practice was to focus on the Tridentine Mass as THE Catholic Mass and ignore the other rites and customs, for instance, of the Oriental churches. So, when changes were made to the Tridentine Mass, many Catholics assumed “the Church changed” or “the Church was no longer the same Church.” 

And yet, these fights and hatreds deal with a problem in the Latin rite, which is our propensity to think that the Latin rite is THE ONLY (or the MOST important) expression of Catholic Faith. Latin rite Catholics have often believed that if Catholics attended the Latin, Tridentine form of Mass, that this is what mattered most. Also, we Latin rite Catholics have often believed that if we are not happy, then the rest of the Catholic Church is sinking to the bottom of the ocean LOL.

Not only that, but western European and Western nations (U.S., Canada) have, within the Latin rite, focused on their issues. So, if Padre Pio is angry, that means the whole Church should be angry–who cares if the Africans, Asians, and Latin Americans are doing fine. Or if Josemaria Escrivá was angry, the whole Church should take this as a sign that something is wrong–who cares what is happening in the Philippines or in Eastern Europe!

So, yes, I do not like people trying to pit certain saints against the entire Church, in order to discredit the liturgical reforms of the Vatican Council II.

That is one approach to putting your question in perspective. The other approach is our hagiography, or the way we study the saints. Is there anything wrong with a saint getting angry, or cussing? Does that “unsanctify” them? Are they less than human? The fact of the matter is that saints in the Church are holy, but they are still sinners. They sin with venial sins to the end of their lives.

Padre Pio never spoke out against the Ordinary Form Mass. In fact, Padre Pio died on September 23, 1968, which is over a year before the “novus ordo” was even promulgated! So much for that rumor. How could Pio celebrate, or say no to a Mass, which did not even exist yet??

If you see the videos of Saint Pio’s last Mass, you will see that he incorporated the style of offering a Mass that is facing the people. So, Padre Pio was not against all liturgical change, as long as it came from the Church.

Finally, Padre Pio went on record to write Pope Paul VI and to defend him and pledge prayer for him. Just a few weeks before he died, Padre Pio wrote these words to Paul VI, who would promulgate the new Mass a year later:

I know that Your heart suffers much these days on account of the happenings in the Church: for peace in the world, for the great needs of its peoples; but above all, for the lack of obedience of some, even Catholics, to the lofty teachings which You, assisted by the Holy Spirit and in the name of God, have given us. I offer Your Holiness my daily prayers and sufferings, the insignificant but sincere offering of the least of your sons, asking the Lord to comfort you with His grace to continue along the direct yet often burdensome way—in defense of those eternal truths which can never change with the times. (https://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/PIOPOPE.HTM)

Those words put to the lie the impression made by some traditionalists that St. Pio somehow did not like Paul VI or resisted his pontificate.

As for St. Josemaria, you know as well as I, that he was a Spaniard. With all respects to Spain, our “Madre Patria” (speaking as a Hispanic), the Spaniards cuss a lot, and they often use the word “mierda” (shit) when they are cussing. Even priests and nuns in Spain will protest anger or disgust by saying at times “Que mierda es esto?” (”what crap is this?”). 

No, this is not very proper behavior. It can be shocking in certain contexts. But we cannot condemn all Spaniards and all of Spain because they use more cuss words than we do. In their nation, in their country, in their culture, they express their passions and their emotions as best they know how. I think they are kind of strong in their language, but at least they are upfront, frank, and tell you what they think, unlike certain parts of the world where people smile at you but they are sneaky and passive aggressive when you turn your back.

Did St. Josemaria say, “Que mierda?” (what crap) when he saw the rubrics, the vernacular, the changes of the Ordinary Form Mass? I seriously doubt it. If he did use that phrase, it was probably anger at something very specific, at that moment. That, I can believe. If he had an outburst of anger, it would not have been at the entire Mass, but at something concerning the Mass which he felt was not for the good of the Church.

Which does not mean he is not a saint. It means that St. Josemaria wanted the good of the Church in all things. Most importantly, let’s not forget that St. Josemaria instructed the priests of Opus Dei to be loyal and obedient to the Pope in all things, to never, ever preach against the Church, and to guide people to make peace with the trials of their life in the world–which means if the new Mass is the only one available, to accept that and attend with devotion.

I do not believe at all that St. Josemaria was against the new Mass, for the simple reason that practically all the Opus Dei priests switched in 1969 immediately to offering the Ordinary Form, not the traditional Latin Mass, and the Saint never criticized them and never told them to stop, “because the new Mass is bad.” To this day, the Opus Dei priests mostly all offer the present Mass of the Ordinary Form.

God bless and take care, Fr. Angel

@thespiralboundmastermind answered your question

“I really want to go to the EF Mass in Latin at my parish but the only …”

I mean, I’ve seen girls forget their scarves and just wear a winter hat to cover with during EF. Regular scarves are just fine. The one in my parish provides missals to follow along with, too.

afaik any kind of head covering is permitted (within reason, one would hope :P) but I don’t want to stick out too much. That’s good to know, thank you!

And yeah, my parish is really good about printed Mass texts, they even have them for regular Sunday masses so I can’t see why they wouldn’t provide some help to us uneducated folk.

@notentirelyunprecedented answered your question

“I really want to go to the EF Mass in Latin at my parish but the only …”

Yes, absolutely your scarf will be fine! Most places will provide Latin/English missalettes for you- the ones I’m familiar with have explanations in the margins. Kneeling/standing is slightly different but you can take your cue from the others. <3

Thank you, yay! I will probably feel incredibly awkward about mistakes (potential or otherwise) because that is Who I Am, but I’m very excited :D

anonymous asked:

Dear Father, why do you think more and more younger people are attracted to the traditional latin mass and other traditional devotions, often not observed by even their parents?

Hello anon:

As the generation after Vatican II, so used to Latin and the Tridentine Mass, found the vernacular Mass and dialogue with the people to be novel and attractive, I believe that young people who grew up with the new Mass now find the Latin, quiet prayers, and choreography of ritual by the priest alone facing the crucifix to be the novel and attractive thing.

Objectively speaking, a quiet setting with more kneeling, bows, and signs of the crosses, and everyone looking only at the altar, is a more reverent and seemingly “mystical” experience. And for a generation that has had little stability and fewer roots into their heritage, the ancient rituals of the Tridentine Mass, which are always the same, is a seemingly greater rock of spiritual steadfastness.

Finally, people are entertained enough outside of the liturgy and so when they go into the modern church and see liturgical ministers trying to entertain them, they have little reason to be impressed. The Tridentine Mass, however, looks to worship God alone, with no entertainment, and that is more appropriate for many youth.

God bless and take care! Fr. Angel

atthefeetofjesuschrist asked:

do you celebrate the Tridentine Latin Mass along with the Novus Ordo Mass? And what are your opinion on those who argue one over the other? God bless! +


I used to celebrate the Tridentine Mass every Sunday when I was in charge of a community which had weekly Extraordinary Form Mass. I love the Latin, the gestures, and the “old rite” very much.

However, in my last two assignments, I have so much work in the Ordinary Form that I don’t have the ability to continue offering the Tridentine Mass at this time.

As far as the arguing, it is based on a false premise. The false premise is that the “form” of the liturgy IS THE LITURGY.

But the sacred liturgy IS NOT TO BE EQUATED WITH ITS OUTWARD FORM (sorry for shouting lol). So, saying that “The better the form, the better the liturgy” is also a false premise that does not take into account the totality of what a “Mass experience” is religiously and in the order of God’s grace.

The sacred liturgy is not just exterior rituals and outward signs. The sacred liturgy is interior acts of receiving the Father’s love through Jesus, growing in love for Jesus, and experiencing mysterious encounters with His holy Presence.

From this variety of encounters with God during different parts of the Mass and in different settings, we each experience the outpouring of God’s grace which comes not only from the Sacrifice’s outward form, but from the INTERIOR experience of being “touched” or “moved” or “sanctified”.

The Catholic Church celebrates the sacred liturgy according to various outward forms, both Western and Eastern, because the experience of what actually “makes” beautiful and sanctifying worship is different according to different people and places. God bless and take care, Fr. Angel

Grant was my altar server when I offered the Tridentine Mass for the Latin Mass community in Bakersfield. His mom and dad were very faithful parishioners and I spent many evenings socializing at their house. After I left Bakersfield, he went off to college, started his career in baseball, and was at the point of being signed on in major league baseball for the Oakland A’s. 

Then he walked away and gave it all up to enter the priesthood. Right now, he is Frater (brother) Mattnew with the Norbertines of St. Michael’s Abbey. He is, like our Tumblr seminarians and pre-seminarians who are loyal sons of Mother Church, an indescribable cause of pride and joy.

closertothelost asked “Norbertines? Is that the only Norbertine seminary in CA?”

Actually, St. Michael’s is an Abbey of canons regular. The charism of the Norbertine Fathers is to pray the Divine Office in chant and focus their spirituality on the liturgy. They dress in a white cassock and capelette which looks like the Pope’s cassock.

And yes, it is the only Norbertine Abbey in California. However, once their candidates finish taking philosophy, they are sent away outside for theology. Right now they are utilizing the Oratory of Toronto which is known for very orthodox, Thomistic theology. The Norbertine Abbey of St. Michael’s is the most traditional in the world. The founders of this abbey escaped communist Hungary in the early 1950’s and so were not inclined to liberalism and novelties, before or after Vatican II.

slag02 asked:

Father, I have been glad to follow you and read your answers to fellow tumblrs and handling some tough questions with charity. I have a few questions for you myself! I am curious to hear your take on the Extraordinary Form, whether you celebrate it or if you ever would. Why do you think it is making such a comeback? Why are some Diocesan Priests / Bishops so opposed to it? Thanks again for all you do on here. Christopher

Hello Christopher:

Wow, thank you for that very kind compliment.

It always feels good to be appreciated. And it’s pretty fun to help out fellow tumblrs, although you’re very kind with the compliment about my being charitable because as most tumblrs know, I have a temper and can get pretty angry at some fellow bloggers.

But to answer your question, I am a believer in the beauty and importance of restoring the Extraordinary Form Mass in the life of the Catholic Church. I have offered the traditional Latin Mass since 1998, and from 2001-2003 I was pastor of the Latin Mass community of Bakersfield, CA when they were at San Clemente Parish there.

Some have referred to me as “bi-ritual” but that is not correct since the EF Mass is not another rite but a different form in the same Roman Rite. I guess I am “bi-formal” LOL. In my present parish I do not offer the EF Mass because my parish work keeps me pretty occupied in the Novus Ordo or Ordinary Form Mass and sacraments.

I believe the ancient use (usus antiquior) Latin Mass is popular in some circles of Catholics because it is a vehicle of an immemorial custom of prayer, the beautiful medieval and European culture that accompanied that, and very highly evolved musical treasury (the irreplaceable Gregorian chant). The ancient Latin Mass is a depository of many treasures of Catholic Faith, and the only Mass known to 1,000 years of saints in the Catholic Church.

However, some bishops and priests are opposed to it because of psychological, emotional, and mental problems. It is claimed that they are opposed because the traditional Latin Mass is boring, and that the people are like passive zombies and don’t get involved.

But honestly, the EF Mass is a reminder of all things pre-Vatican II for some bishops and priests. The Catholic Church in the pre-Vatican II era was simply like a different religion. You would not recognize it from what we have today. I caught the tail end of that era as a little boy. I grew up during the changes. I didn’t actually grow up a “pre-Vatican II” Catholic.

But some clergy connect that era with autocratic authority, total lack of lay involvement in favor of priests and nuns doing all the work, an emphasis on ritual instead of a lively faith and friendship with Jesus, a membership that was good at memorizing doctrines and answers but not good at thinking on their own and apologetics, and a tendency to just go along with the Catholic Faith as something routine and repetitive.

There may be some slight validity to those criticisms, but I believe they are exaggerated and inaccurate. It is neither fair to that era of Catholic history to bathe it in golden nostalgia nor to paint it as horrible and something that “warped” us for life. It was, what it was. For some clergy, it certainly was a “harsher” Church to live and work in than the Church of today. 

As a post-Vatican II generation priest, I don’t carry any of the baggage or mental issues that some connect with the traditional Latin Mass, so it never bothered me to learn the EF Mass and offer it. To me, a priest exists to serve the faithful, and if that is what the faithful want, I believe that is what we should make an effort to provide, if possible.

It’s hard to be a Catholic in today’s world. If going to the EF Latin Mass makes it easier and more enjoyable for some Catholics, then I think priests need to be open to that as shepherds and pastors. At the same time, some Latin Mass Catholics can be hyper-critical, a little overbearing and whiny, and make it hard on the clergy to minister to them. That doesn’t help the situation.

God bless and take care! Fr. Angel