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What Brings the Masses to Mass?

I wonder with the pressure from Charismatics and the influence of Latin America, whether this will become an Old World v. New World conflict.

Can the Catholic church in the U.S., for instance, ignore the fact that "liturgical" music isn't really the universal tie that it once was, but instead the musical language of Africa or Latin America is probably the future of the church, not Europeans (and Americans) chanting in silence in empty churches?

This quote is from Daniel in the comment box on Amy Welborn’s Open Book blog. An article written by Terry Mattingly started the discussion. My response to Daniel is “ Which churches are empty?” Our parish is packed to the gills every Sunday and we have 5 weekend Masses. We have disposed of the OCP Music Issue and now sing real hymns. Once a month we use sung Latin responses at all the Masses.

This past Sunday, the Diocese of Arlington celebrated its first Tridentine Mass since Bishop Loverde gave the okay a little over a month ago. It was estimated there were over 600 people at the Mass.

This morning our priest spoke of the Mass he celebrated a couple of weeks ago during the high school youth group retreat. He has only been a priest a little less than a year. He said the Mass he celebrated with our high school youth was the most moving Mass he has ever celebrated. The setting was a very traditional chapel in the Virginia mountains. It had a prominent tabernacle, beautiful stained glass windows and an altar rail. The youth asked Father to use the Latin chanted responses, celebrate the Mass ad orientem, and to receive communion at the communion rail. He said over half the youth had tears in their eyes when they received the Blessed Sacrament. Afterwards they spoke of how much easier it was to appreciate the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist when the Mass is said with such reverential beauty.

So, Daniel, I suggest to you that the empty churches you find are the result of empty liturgies. When the focus of the liturgy is on me and my entertainment, I might as well go to the movies, to a soccer game, or to a party. When the Truth of the Eucharist is understood and is the center of the Mass, the church will be full. How could anyone resist the opportunity to be in the physical presence of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?

Comments

Tony said…
Mom, here's the latest google ad I saw on your site.

Accused Catholic Priests
List Those Accused of Sex Abuse Also Secret Church Documents
www.bishopaccountability.com

Is this the advertising you're looking for?
Catholic Mom said…
Tony, I saw that earlier today and put it on the filtered list. It is supposed to not show up again. Thanks.
Anonymous said…
Very happy to have found your blog, via Open Book.

I share your hope for the future of the Liturgy.
Dymphna said…
My church, a very tradtional Latin loving one in the VA suburbs is always full.
Esperu said…
Denise,

I spoke to the secretary at St. John's church in McLean: http://www.stjohncatholicmclean.org/church/index.html . On the 21st of May at their 10:45 Mass you will find a N.O. Mass celebrated in Latin, facing "East".

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