What’s all the hubbub?

It’s all over the news, blogs, social media, the subject of conversations in the parishes, missions, dioceses, it’s everywhere. We can’t escape it. And, we are expected to have a position on it. If we don’t, then it’s oversimplified for us: Are you rigid or are you with the Pope on this? Of course, this hubbub is the Latin Mass. I think some background, here, is in order so we can understand the debate a bit before we are forced to choose a side. I only am going to highlight some important aspects that are often left out of the conversations on this subject.

Giorgio Picchi, the Younger (Italian, Casteldurante [Urbania] ca. 1555–1605 Casteldurante [Urbania]) A Priest Celebrating Mass, ca. 1600–5 Italian, Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over traces of black chalk, and lightly squared in black chalk; Sheet: 9 7/8 × 7 7/16 in. (25.1 × 18.9 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Harry G. Sperling Fund, 2014 (2014.195) http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/648559

The Traditional Latin Mass, also known as the Tridentine Mass, is known as Traditional because it had been the Mass for at least 1400 years. It was codified by Pope Pius V, in the Roman Missal of 1570, following the Council of Trent. This is why we know this Mass as the Tridentine Mass. What was ordered in this Roman Missal, however, was the Mass that was largely unchanged since at least the 7th century (1400 years ago), but also very closely followed the very Mass that St. Ambrose himself celebrated in the 4th century (1700 years ago). So, we’re not just talking about small “t” tradition in this case, we’re talking about the big “T” Tradition. This is the Mass that was celebrated by such beloved saints as St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. John of the Cross, St. Padre Pio, literally all of the saints from the 300’s AD to 1970.

Let’s think about this another way. The Mass has been celebrated in the Church in much the same way for about 1700 years before it was radically changed. Martin Luther protested the Church in 1517, just over 500 years ago. So this Mass was celebrated in the Church for 1200 years before Martin Luther came along. So, we can confidently say that the Traditional Latin Mass has some serious history in the Church.

With that in mind, let’s look at Latin. Why Latin? Latin is the official language of the Church. It is a “dead” language, meaning it does not change. The definitions of words in the Latin language do not “evolve”, the language is not “malleable”, it is precise and unambiguous.

St. Jerome Writing, by Michelangelo Caravaggio, ca. 1606, Galleria Borghese, Rome, Italy,
Public Domain

Today we hear the phrase, “Latin Vulgate” and we might not know what that really means, especially when found in the context of a bible translation. The Latin Vulgate bible was translated by St. Jerome in the late 300’s, who famously said, “ignorance of scripture is the ignorance of Christ.” It was the language used by the common people of the Roman Empire, and later the Holy Roman Empire. It was the “commoners” language, the lingua franca of the time. Think about that for a moment. This was the language that was common to those who professed the Christian faith. This translation was used for over 1500 years. So, again, we have some serious Tradition with Latin.

You might be thinking I’m taking sides here. No, I just want to highlight the facts that get shoved to the side in the name of modernism or are omitted when the discussion gets underway. These facts ought never to be ignored.

It is the Latin Vulgate Bible and the Latin Mass that provided the foundation of faith for Saints to be made. That’s nothing we should ignore.

Chalice, straw and paten used in at Mass in the Church in Germany in the mid 1200’s. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, Public Domain

This hubbub about the Latin Mass is a huge deal in the Church. This isn’t about the pros or cons of Vatican II. This is about restricting the Mass that has been celebrated in the Church for 1700 years. It’s definitely worth discussing and the facts are worthy of understanding before jumping to conclusions.

Also, it is worth mentioning that the Traditional Latin Mass is not widely available in all dioceses. I attend the Novus Ordo Mass because when Mass is available in my parish and deanery, that is what is celebrated. On extremely rare occasions, the Traditional Latin Mass has been celebrated near my parish, and I have attended. If both were regularly offered, I would likely attend both regularly. I love the big “T” Tradition and the small “t” tradition of the Catholic Church. I love my Catholic faith. The more I learn about the Church, the more I love her, despite all of the infighting, backbiting, name calling, and hair pulling, even with the abusive clergy. We are a family, and we certainly act like it.

I’d like to make mention of one more thing before I sign off here. Whether you’re a Novus Ordo or a Latin Mass lover, we’re all Catholic. The Mass is a sacrifice, not a party, nor a social event, nor a concert, nor is it subject to fleeting secular scrutiny nor its norms. The attitudes of the secular world should have no influence on the holy sacrifice of the Mass. When we allow that to creep into our sacred place of worship, the sin of sacrilege often results. This is the serious sin of profaning the holy. Whichever Mass you prefer, worship God with reverence, with the proper disposition of repentance, remember the purpose of your presence there and don’t forget where you are at that moment. You are in the presence of God, in the Holy of Holies, and you’re there to worship Him, with praise and thanksgiving. Do it with awe, reverence and humility.

The Antioch Chalice, ca. 500-550, Byzantine, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC,
Public Domain

Ms. Renee Valenzuela, OP

Please share this blog!

As we embark on this new adventure, we’re learning quite a lot along the way. As the admin of this site, I’m asking that you might share this blog with others. You may not know me, or maybe you do, or only know of me, I’m asking for your trust in our Lay Dominican group to bring you great catholic content that will stimulate your mind and your soul. We want to help you to not only better understand the Catholic perspective, but also to help you to invite Christ into your own personal life. He wants you to spend eternity with Him. That’s the reason why God created you, me and everyone else. And that’s the reason why this blog exists.

If you have questions or comments, a content wish list, that’s why we’re putting this out there. As this blog grows each week, share it with others and ask them to share too. We plan to add media, reflections, saints, history, events, links, social media pages and handles, all to help as many people as possible to see how God is relevant in our modern world. Right now, what you see is only the beginning. Some of us even want to start a YouTube video blog (aka vlog) which will also be added on this site.

So, please, share with your family and friends, and stay tuned for more content to be added frequently! Oh, and, we also ask for your mercy and patience as we learn how to do all of this. Thank you and may God bless you and your families abundantly!

Ms. Renee Valenzuela, OP

The Journey Begins

“To convert somebody go and take them by the hand and guide them.” St. Thomas Aquinas, OP

The journey begins, indeed. We are venturing out onto the waters here with a new page, a new blog, a future in social media, there so many ways to preach. Welcome to the 21st century!

Thanks for joining us on this adventure! Taking people by the hand and guiding them is exactly what we intend to do here. Subcribe to our blog, open your minds and hearts to God. Together we can overcome those stumbling blocks that stand in the way of a great relationship with our Creator.

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Setting sail can be daunting. You don’t have to do it alone.

On this blogsite, we will discuss all sorts of topics that relate to Christianity. We will make reflections on scripture, discuss the faith, explain difficult teachings, and talk about current events as they relate to faith matters. A solid foundation in your faith makes navigating in this chaotic world so much better.

It isn’t easy and sometimes we just need a little encouragement. The video below is a sample of what Dominican preaching looks like. It’s simple, understandable, and true to the faith. Check it out.

From Friarly…

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