Fidelity to the Word
Our Lord and His Holy Apostles at the Last Supper

A blog dedicated to Christ Jesus our Lord and His True Presence in the Holy Mystery of the Eucharist

But Christ having come a high priest of the good things to come, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption.

Hebrews 9:11-12

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Trouble following the Mass

Someone new to the old Mass is concerned about losing track of where the priest is in his prayers during Mass, and about keeping up with people who pray the rosary quickly before Mass, and about not having the strength to kneel like other people.

Originally Posted by Hipster Doofus
But if anyone has any suggestions as to how I can do better at my next Latin masses, I'd appreciate them.
I would try saying the rosary very softly until you can keep up. Half-kneeling, using the seat for support, seems like a reasonable compromise and I would follow this practice with a peaceful heart for a long time. The transitions from sitting to kneeling to standing will probably gradually get easier with practice, but if not, then just do the best you can, and pray confidently, comforted by the knowledge that our Lord will certainly not ask more of you than you can do.

You could also offer up whatever discomfort and embarrassment you cannot avoid to our Lord, and in union with Him, who suffered pain and humiliation for us. That might be the starting point for a heartfelt inner dialog with God about the sacrifice being presented to you, and what your response should be. In my opinion, it is ok to have such silent dialogs during Mass, and to weave in your prayers with those of the priest as an offering to God, who desires the conforming of your soul to Him more than a mere outward conformity to the activity around you.

Don't fret if you lose your place. I'm still fairly new to the Traditional Mass myself, and rather than attempting to follow the priest's every word and gesture, I'm trying to learn landmarks within the Mass, so that I have the option of following along again word-by-word starting at those points. But following word-by-word isn't the only way to worship at Mass. This post from Athanasius Contra Mundum is worth reading.

The most important part of the Mass cannot be seen with the eye or heard with the ear at Mass: our Lord's sacrifice, the sanctification of our souls, the strengthening of the bond of Charity, the worship of our Lord across the ages and in heaven. All invisible. All essential. The little defects in worship that the good Lord must put up with from you and me will be fixed in God's good time.
When the time comes for perfecting the sacrament, the priest uses no longer his own words, but the words of Christ ... it is Christ's words that perfect this sacrament.
- St. Ambrose



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home