While my first impression of St. Odilo was tepid, I have to give them high marks for the Latin Mass. Not that I am swayed by pageantry or grandness of a structure, those are superficial factors. And maybe that is my feeling in general about the new mass vs. the old. I think religious holidays are better celebrated in Latin and the ordinary Sundays in English or what we consider now as traditional. Unfortunately I can only pick one parish but no one says I can only attend that church. No one is telling me that I could not participate in a tridentine mass whenever I want to.
Tridentine pertains to one of the ecumenical councils held in the city of Trent, Italy in the 16th century. It emphasized the teachings of the pope of that time, Pope Pius V. The tridentine mass was the most widely used liturgy in the world until it was replaced by the Mass of Paul VI in December 1969. It most countries Tridentine mass was celebrated strictly in Latin. I grew up in the Philippines attending mass in Latin so it was embedded in my memory.
“In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI issued a motu proprio entitled Summorum Pontificum, accompanied by a letter to the world’s bishops. The Pope stated that the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal is to be considered as an “extraordinary form” (forma extraordinaria) of the Roman Rite, of which the Missal as revised by Pope Paul VI in 1970 is the ordinary, normal or standard form. As a result, some refer to the 1962 Tridentine Mass as “the extraordinary form” of the Mass The 1962 Tridentine Mass is sometimes referred to as the “usus antiquior” (older use) or “forma antiquior” (older form), to differentiate it from the newer form of the Roman Rite in use since 1970.”
Attending the Latin High Mass in St. Odilo is a different experience, a great one. It brought me back to the old days which in my book is not necessarily bad. I think it was a time when people were more religious and mindful of their faith. Sometimes I miss the pageantry of these masses but it was also very solemn and prayerful. A lot of the prayers were said quietly.
I didn’t have any qualms attending a Latin mass. I didn’t know a Latin word, except for the routine phrases we heard as children but in the end I didn’t have any reason to fear. I said to myself I knew the mass in English, so I know what would be going on. But the parish priest was very kind to explain to us what we would do and the missalette they gave us in Latin had English translations side-by-side. He told us when we have to sit and the homily was given in English. This time we were active participants and witnesses. The choir sung beautifully, truly a special communion with the souls of our beloved departed. Remember, St. Odilo is a shrine for the souls in purgatory.
The church was half-full but I attribute that to the bad weather. Many in attendance were nuns from different religious orders. A few of the attendees still wore veils and the communion rites were administered the old way – kneeling in front of the altar. This time I didn’t hold out my hands to receive the host, I received Him the old-fashion way.
[Sorry for the blurry picture, I am not in the habit of taking photos during the mass. I used my phone for this one at the end of the beautiful ceremony.]