In my Traditional Latin Mass series, I shared something that happens after Latin Mass. As a new attendee (December 2020) in my late-40’s and having attended the Novus Ordo since birth, what happens after Latin Mass was confusing for me. So confusing, I almost made a fool of myself and now, I treasure these moments.
What could possibly happen after Latin Mass that is so interesting someone would blog about it? Well, since I haven’t seen this happen in a Novus Ordo Mass (at any of the dozens of churches I have attended), it warrants a post. I have attended Novus Ordo in many states and have never seen such a sight. So let me share it with you.
When we attended the Latin Mass for the first time on the first day of Advent 2020, we went with friends who helped us throughout the Mass. I recommend that if you go, you either watch videos and go with friends who attend (or even a mentor), or watch the videos ALL THE WAY through. Many have their Masses online now, thanks to COVID so you have an opportunity to watch every aspect, with the exception of the communion rail (although some do show this).
I watched some videos on the Latin Mass, to include how to receive on the tongue, prior to attending. I noticed immediately that Mass was similar to what I had been participating in my whole life. Kneeling, standing, sitting, etc. I was concerned about receiving on the tongue, NOT because of disease transmission, and believe me, as a germaphobe, I am always concerned about germs. I was mostly concerned that I would look stupid, the Eucharist would drop, I would not stick my tongue out enough, etc.
I needed to feel confident that I would be able to receive on the tongue so this was very important to me. It was not at all a concern of my husband or children. I guess I was overthinking it. The good thing is, the parish newsletter actually published information on how to receive the Eucharist on the tongue not long after we began attending.
Back to my story.
As I stated in my one of my TLM posts, I felt alone and isolated during the Mass but I had no idea the changes that were occurring in my family. It would be weeks before I would feel “at home.” I was okay with that because I wanted to see and believe that the Latin Mass was for my family.
So I sat through Mass, grasping at all the pieces I recognized and found comfort in them. I tried to ignore the areas that felt out of place or I didn’t understand. The communion rail was so much easier than I had anticipated and it moved along so quickly. It was perfect order and I loved that only the priest offered me the Eucharist.
At my Novus Ordo parish, people would flock to the priest or deacon and that line was always much longer. I wonder why so many want to receive from the priest? Is it just merely the location in the pews or do they have an underlying desire (from the Holy Spirit) to receive from the priest?
It was clear when the Mass ended. We all kneeled and performed the Sign of the Cross. Then the priest went to the Gospel side of the Altar and it looked like he just stood there for a while and then everyone kneeled briefly as the priest kneeled. The music began and the priest and altar boys began to recess out of the church. That’s when it happened.
Not a single person moved. No one rushed out of the pew. It was the strangest thing. Everyone was singing or just listening. When I attend Novus Ordo with my parents, as soon as the priest passes them, they bolt out of the pew. I used to do so with them, but then I started staying until the song was over (usually one verse).
It annoyed my parents but they didn’t say anything to me about it (except to mock me occasionally by calling me “holy”). They would meet us at IHOP anyway so they left as usual and my family stayed. Sometimes my sister would stay too and I loved that.
So why were the people staying in the pews at the Latin Mass? Did they not have a breakfast/brunch to go to? Did they not have a football game, kids soccer or something else to attend to? I thought to myself, “How respectful to the choir and organist. I guess we need to wait until after the verse to head out.” Four verses later and everyone was still in the pew.
Once all the verses had been sung, I was shocked at what I observed. Instead of people bolting out of the pews, everyone kneeled. I was surrounded! There was no way I could get out of the pew! It was almost like I was a hostage…except not really since we had the aisle and could scoot out at anytime but then we would be noticed.
So we kneeled. I wondered what everyone was doing. Now I know but at the time, I was confused. I want more people to experience what I have but so many have their eyes and ears shut. They don’t want to see anything beyond what they know. I didn’t either until it was placed on my heart. I pray the Lord places it on your heart, before this is gone. Before all the bishops follow the demands of the pope.
I ask you…why take this away? What benefit is it?
There would be few people at my Novus Ordo church that kneeled after Mass. If they did, they couldn’t concentrate because those that did stay, would begin talking in the pews with each other, sharing about the football game or whatever they felt like talking about and laughing loudly.
The same thing would happen as you entered the church. If you wanted to kneel and pray before Mass began, there wasn’t silence. There certainly wasn’t any priest telling the parishioners not to talk when they enter. There was no bulletin to remind people of the proper reverence due to God by being silent in the pews while people prayed. There was no instruction at all.
So I found it just as shocking that the more we attended the Latin Mass, we heard the rosary being recited as we entered the church. People were kneeling and praying the rosary together. So we began to come earlier so we could pray with them at the start instead of joining in the middle.
Unfortunately, we have had to stop this practice because there is not enough time to pray the full rosary prior to the Mass. Why? Because we have FIVE Sunday Masses with a half hour in-between! There isn’t enough time to pray the rosary AND prepare yourself for Mass. The priests didn’t want to stop the rosary but the rosary was going right up to the processional. That can’t happen either.
We have FIVE Sunday Masses that are nearly packed. It’s not a tiny church but it’s not as big as our Novus Ordo parish. I’m not sure many of you can imagine sitting through every Mass when it feels like Christmas and Easter at those Masses. Packed in the pews like sardines. If only you can imagine.
So what do we do when we kneel after Mass? We pray. We thank God for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We don’t ask God for things like health, a better job, etc. We THANK Him. And now, I beg the Lord that this isn’t taken us, because that’s what the pope wants. Pray for us. If you don’t agree with the Latin Mass, pray that it’s not suppressed. It will not affect you. No one is pushing this on you.
I’ll end with this…please try it. What do you have to lose? It might just bring you closer to God in ways you could never comprehend. Maybe that scares you? Maybe it scares you that you will learn to be more accountable to God and then desire it?
Recommendations for when you attend Latin Mass for the first time:
Watch the Mass online before you go
Watch videos on how to receive the Eucharist on the tongue
Read about what happens at a Latin Mass
Use the Missal or handbook that all churches have to help you through it
Don’t worry you don’t know Latin, it’s all in the Missal and you will recognize many parts depending on the liturgical season outside of just the Kyrie, Alleluia, Gospel, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei.
I pray you try it out. Give it five Sundays or two months? Make this your Lenten journey! You can sit with us!