Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Tale of Two Masses

Though this comes a couple weeks late, I had been meaning to blog about my experiences at two of the Diocese's three early afternoon, non-English Masses.

Week one: Novus Ordo Spanish Mass, 1PM, St Francis DeSales, Geneva: 7 June 2009

The priest decided against fully dressing himself, skipping the chasuble and stole entirely, settling on a simple Alb, with Crocs as his footwear. Crikey!

This seemed to mesh perfectly with the music, a guitar-player and a tamborine player in the sanctuary. St. Francis has an absolutely beautiful Pipe Organ in the Choir Loft, which I have not seen used the past three times I have attended Mass there. Incidentally, the music was horrendous once again.

Idle chatter and irreverance abounded, even as the Sign of Peace took a great deal of time. Of course, the priest also kept a dixie cup handy about the sanctuary to sip from throughout Mass, should the idle chatter parch his throat.

There was a baptism as well. Save for the actual baptism itself, all of the dialogue/questioning with parents and Godparents was done by the nun, who apparently was also celebrating her birthday. During Mass, to show our appreciation, we had the distinct pleasure of singing Happy Birthday to her in both Spanish and English.

Finally, in the spirit of unity, the priest, nun, and all 15 others inexplicably in the sanctuary (I don't believe any were serving Mass...perhaps one) gathered and held hands. On the plus side, not one person broke out in a chorus of kumbayah.

Fast Forward One Week

Week 2: Tridentine Latin High Mass, 1 PM St. Stanislaus Kostka, Rochester 14 June 2009

The church proper was silent before and after a most beautiful liturgy.

The Choir sang incredibly, from the Asperges through Mass, to the Eucharistic Procession and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Perhaps I am biased, as my favorite song was sung...Panis Angelicus

Reverent Altar Boys and a Liturgically Dressed Fr. Bonsignore were the only people in the Sanctuary.

There were lines for confession.

Rather than the crazy rush to leave immediately after communion, nearly the entire congregation remained through a lengthy and beautiful Eucharistic Procession and Benediction.

If only I could get to Latin Mass more often!

And in closing, with English Translation:
Panis angelicus
fit panis hominum;
Dat panis caelicus
figuris terminum:
O res mirabilis!
Manducat Dominum.
Pauper, servus et humilis.

Te trina Deitas
unaque poscimus:
Sic nos tu visita,
sicut te colimus;
Per tuas semitas
duc nos quo tendimus,
Ad lucem quam inhabitas.

The angelic bread
becomes the bread of men;
The heavenly bread
ends all prefigurations:
What wonder!
consumes the Lord
a poor and humble servant.

Triune God,
We beg of You,
that you visit us,
as we worship You.
By your ways,
lead us who seek
the light in which You dwell.

Tell me that's not more beautiful than Halle! Halle! Halle! *shudder*



  1. There is an SSPX Tridentine Latin Mass in Geneva. I'm not saying that you should go there, but just to let you know that there is one. Some of my friends go there.

  2. FYI - From the Vatican (circa 1998):

    "While it is true that participation in the Mass at the chapels of the Society of St. Pius X does not of itself constitute "formal adherence to the schism", such adherence can come about over a period of time as one slowly imbibes a schismatic mentality which separates itself from the teaching of the Supreme Pontiff and the entire Catholic Church classically exemplified in A Rome and Econe Handbook which states in response to question 14 that the SSPX defends the traditional catechisms and therefore the Old Mass, and so attacks the Novus Ordo, the Second Vatican Council and the New Catechism, all of which more or less undermine our unchangeable Catholic faith.

    It is precisely because of this schismatic mentality that this Pontifical Commission has consistently discouraged the faithful from attending Masses celebrated under the aegis of the Society of St. Pius X."

    I would advise against attending an SSPX Mass until the status of that group is clarified.

  3. I agree with Lee. I just wanted you to know that indeed that is a TLM in Geneva. We'd rather have you with us at St. Stan's whenever it is convenient.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Re above few posts: The SSPX Mass is valid, but illicit, so yea, St. Stanislaus is where one would want to go to experience the Mass of ages and worship God in the greatest method we have available to us. A SSPX Mass should only be attended in rare situations, such as the lack of a Catholic church in the area.
    Your experience, Arialdus, is one I have felt many times in my travels. I have seen many irreverent celebrations of the Mass, others that are mostly following the rubrics and are probably fine most weeks of the year but have the annual passion mimery, and lastly and certainly not least (though smallest in number) a few very reverent parishes.

    It's almost night and day between the reverent Mass and the irreverent Mass. One pleasing to God, one pleasing to man. It's sad. If only clergy and laity alike would remember that as Catholics, we attend Mass to worship God together as a community, not to celebrate ourselves and turn Mass into a social gathering.

    Don't get me started on the Spanish Masses... I haven't seen a DoR Spanish Mass without a massive choir that plays bouncy music. The DoR does a lot of stereotyping.

    ~Dr. K

  6. If anyone is interested, tomorrow, Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. at St. Stanislaus the Sacrament of Confirmation will be conferred by Father William Laird. Bishop Clark designated him as his representative.
    The Holy Sacrament will be followed by Benediction, obviously in Latin. It kinda goes without saying, huh.

    Please come if you'd like. Remember church should be a place of devotion, not commotion.

    You are all most welcomed.

  7. I don't think that either Arialdus or myself would go to an SSPX Mass except in the absence of any other Mass or in the event that a full reconciliation is brought about. Besides that, is it even an SSPX chapel in Geneva? Last I'd heard the priest there was more or less acting on his own.

  8. Indeed--from what I gather, the guy isn't technically SSPX, he's part of a group that's not fully in with them any case, the desire of people to go to this ought to make someone in the FL area actually start having Latin Mass...St Stephen's in Geneva is one communion rail and a tabernacle move away from being a wonderful building!


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