Some view traditional liturgy as divisive, others attracted by reverence
Sunday, July 15, 2007
At 11 a.m. today, Latin chant will fill St. Boniface Church, as veiled young women kneel with their husbands and children to hear the Rev. Matthew Talarico offer his first High Mass for Pittsburgh Latin Mass Community.
The 26-year-old from Cecil was ordained last month by Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis for a community whose call is to offer the traditional Latin, or Tridentine, Mass. Demand is expected to rise now that Pope Benedict XVI has said that the 1962 Mass -- the last approved Latin Mass before the changes of Vatican II -- no longer requires special permission from the bishop.
"Latin is the mother tongue of all Catholics," said Father Talarico, who will serve in the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J.
"Modern languages are always changing. In order to express a timeless liturgy and eternal truths, we use a language with a venerable tradition, a language which does not change, a language which unites us with all of our ancestors in the faith and which serves as a bridge to the future in bringing all Catholics the unity of faith."
[...] After this paragraph there follows an unfortunately typical collection of misunderstandings, real or feigned, about what the Motu Proprio actually says. It quotes some persons who state that the traditional Mass is "banned" during the Triduum and more pablum about how "Jewish leaders" are concerned, and how the priests of the diocese won't be "required" to say it, etc. Blah, blah, blah. It is all just so depressingly predictable and sad. I could go on, but I wanted to post this nice article about Fr. Talarico's first Mass in his hometown, so, without further ado, back to our regularly scheduled article.[...]
The Latin Mass "was mysterious, but very attractive," he said. "There was a real sense of reverence. I wanted to learn more, and became an altar boy."
Yesterday he celebrated low Mass -- without chant, or the Bible readings and sermon that would otherwise be in English. Vested in a lace alb and ornate chasuble, he prayed facing the same direction as the people, so they saw only his back.
The 50 worshipers could follow in a Latin-English missal, which explained every gesture. But they never spoke. Only the altar boys -- they have no altar girls -- answered in Latin.
Jim Cardelini, 41, of Munhall, has attended for about five years.
"At first we came because of an invitation. But then we started to come more. My wife and I were attracted by the reverence," he said.
"In the silence and the meditation, there is a mystical experience."
Lack of speech doesn't mean lack of participation, Father Talarico said.
"Participation is interior. It comes from the heart," he said. "People love that beauty. They can pray very simply to God."
Father Talarico joined the Institute of Christ the King because it is not divisive, he said. Its priests serve at the request of bishops, who often lack priests able to offer the Latin Mass.
"Our mission is to teach the truth of the Catholic Church, but to teach it with charity. We want to show that the faith is attractive for people today, that it has answers for all of the problems of today's world. But ultimately, it is about love," he said.
"We are not about going back to something, we are looking ahead to the future. The Mass is timeless. The church is always young."