WHAT TO EXPECT
BIGGER ON THE INSIDE
Our church 50’ by 100’ metal building.
It doesn’t really look like a church.
The Gate of Heaven is inside.
BRING A CUSION
Our pews are converts. Like many of us.
We don’t have kneelers on most of them them.
We kneel anyway.
BEAR WITH US
We’re just getting started. There’s a lot of work to do. Please be patient.
And pitch in. Many hands make small work.
NEW TO LATIN MASS?
You are not alone! All over the globe people are discovering the treasure that has been at the heart of the Catholic Liturgy since the first century.
Do not feel out of place if you are not familiar with Latin or if the actions on the altar look different. Here are some of the differences you will notice:
The priest prays the Mass in Latin, the official language of the Roman Catholic Church. The priest will always preach the homily in English.
PRIEST FACES THE ALTAR
The priest faces the tabernacle and the altar as he offers the Mass. In this manner, the priest and congregation face our Blessed Lord together and unite their prayers during Mass.
People are quiet as they come into the church to show reverence for the Blessed Sacrament and to prepare themselves for Mass. Silence allows us to reflect upon our relationship with God and allows Him to speak to us. You will also notice periods of silence throughout the Mass where the priest is silently praying.
FOLLOWING ALONG WITH THE MASS
Red booklet missals are distributed for those who wish to follow along with the text of most of the Mass. Many of the faithful eventually purchase their own complete missals that contain all the texts for the Mass, including the Epistles and Gospels for the entire year.
If you are unsure when to stand, sit or kneel, you may follow the instructions in the red booklet missal or just follow the cues of the others around you.
The most important form of participation while at Mass is interior prayer. For this reason, the altar servers make the responses to the priest, rather than the congregation. During a High Mass, some of the responses may be sung by the congregation.
Those who wish to socialize should do so outside to respect those still in prayer after Mass.
At the traditional Latin Mass, one receives Holy Communion while kneeling (if capable) at the altar rail. The Host is received on the tongue, not in the hands. Additionally, one does not respond “Amen” to the priest; he will say it for you. The Roman Catholic Church permits baptized Catholics who are in a state of grace to receive Communion. By “state of grace” is meant those who are not conscious of any grave sin which has yet to be absolved by sacramental confession.
We ask that everyone – men and women – come to Mass dressed modestly. We are in the presence of the King of Kings, and therefore we dress accordingly. Clothing should not be too tight or transparent. Shoulders should be covered and necklines should not be revealing. Dresses and skirts should be long enough to cover the knees when sitting. Shorts are not suitable. (These are the same guidelines at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.)
You may notice ladies wearing chapel veils or other millinery. This is a commendable practice with ancient roots. It is not required, but encouraged. There is a small box of chapel veils in the back if you would like to borrow one.
Photograph by Travis McAfee
Photograph by Michael Gray
Photograph by Michael Gray