I've mentioned various times that our family has been delving into the Extrodinary form of the Mass (a.k.a. the Latin Mass). Last week we were able to assist at two High Masses (one being a Pontifical High Mass) and three Novus Ordo Masses in Latin. BTW, a Pontifical High Mass is a High Mass whose main celebrant is a Bishop. In this case it was Bishop Perry from Chicago.
A number of months ago I had a conversation with some friends that attend the Latin Mass and I was telling them how I didn't like it, how I didn't even feel like I went to Mass. I didn't exactly say that I NEVER wanted to go back again, but I came pretty close. They assured me that if I would go back about 5 or 6 more times that I would feel differently. Well, the Pontifical Mass was about the 5th or 6th time and I can honestly now say that they were right. (It's also easy to admit that because I know none of them read this blog!)
It was at that Mass that I finally felt like I could see the beauty and sacredness of it all. I also felt familiar enough with it to roughly follow along with what was happening. Of course, the beautiful chapel and the angelic-like singing of the sisters and Gregorian Chant of the brothers sure added to the feeling.
It's funny, sometimes, how God works. He could have made me "see the light" the first time I went. I suppose that does happen with some people. In this case, He waited until I had invested some time and frustration into it before He opened my eyes to see more clearly. I can't say I'm ready to go to a Latin Mass every weekend, but I am definitely more open to going occasionally.
I did have a humorous conversation in regards to this last week. I was speaking with one of the priests from St. John Cantius and he asked if we had ever been to their church. I mentioned that my daughters had, but that we had never made it there as a family because it is almost a 2 hour drive for us. Being a quick priest, he said, "Yes, but you drove 13 hours to get down here (Alabama), didn't you?" Touche! I guess we'll be making that 2 hour drive sometime soon!
Just one last note on this topic that I feel is some very good food for thought. On the show "EWTN Live", Bishop Perry was talking about the Latin Mass and how it doesn't have to be all or nothing. He said that some people feel that you should only go to the Latin Mass and not the Novus Ordo, but that he feels that you can have a nice mix of both. He made an excellent point when he said that we have to stop thinking about it as two different Masses: It is only ONE Mass, with two different ways of celebrating it! That really helped it all to click in my brain.
I guess after talking with people who seem to me to be of the "either/or" and not the "both" variety, I was falling into the same way of thinking. I felt much better about the whole thing after he said that. We can find beauty, reverance and sacredness in both forms of the Mass, it just might be harder to find it in your average Novus Ordo Mass. We must keep searching and praying, however, because bringing reverance and sacredness back into the Mass could change the world!