Welcome! If you are thinking about coming back to the traditional
Latin Mass, or if you are assisting at it for the first time,
you probably have a number of questions about why we do what
we do. We have remained faithful to the traditional Mass not
out of stubbornness or "disobedience." We have remained faithful
because it is the Catholic thing to do.
The traditional Mass is a perfect expression of the unchanging
and unchangeable Catholic teaching on the nature of the Mass
and the Holy Eucharist, as well as a refuge from and an antidote
to the myriad false teachings and sacrilegious practices which
have found their way into our parish churches as a result of
the New Mass and the changes in the Church. We have a right
to assist at this Mass, guaranteed in perpetuity by Pope St.
Pius V, which no one can take away from us, and a duty
to assist at this Mass so we can save our souls.
In 1969, seventy percent of the Mass was rewritten by a Vatican
commission whose membership included six Protestant ministers.
The very nature of the Mass was changed: the altar was replaced
with a table; the sacrificing priest became a "President of
the Assembly"; the traditional Offertory prayers, so redolent
of the Catholic theology of sacrifice, were discarded and replaced
with a Jewish grace before meals; the actual words of Consecration
used by Our Lord Himself at the Last Supper have been changed
and perverted, thus calling into doubt the validity of the New
Mass. The New Mass, so similar to Protestant worship services,
mirrors a new "ecumenical" religion.
In the context of the new religion
which the New Mass expresses, everyone is expected and encouraged
to receive Communion, no matter what. This perhaps may have
been your experience.
Our practice here, however, is different. Catholic law and
tradition emphasize the seriousness and the sanctity of the
act of receiving the Eucharist. While you are most welcome to
assist at Mass with us whenever you wish, we trust that you
will respect our requirements for Holy Communion:
Non-Catholics are not permitted to receive Holy Communion
Should you be a Catholic who is assisting at the traditional
Mass for the first time (or for the first time in a long time),
we ask that you refrain from receiving Communion until you decide
to assist at the traditional Mass exclusively and to refrain
from assisting at the New Mass. This is a major decision to
make, and a difficult one for some. But since the New Mass does
represent a new religion, this decision should absolutely precede
your reception of Communion here.Please take the time to make an informed decision. We have prepared a little booklet, Welcome to the Traditional Latin
Mass, to assist you in understanding the differences between
the traditional Mass and the New Mass. It is available free
of charge to newcomers, and you may obtain a copy at the literature
table or in the vestibule.
Please remember that Holy Communion must be received fasting
(three hours from solid foods and alcoholic beverages; one hour
from liquids other than water, which may be taken at any time),
and in a state of sanctifying grace (having confessed all mortal
sins to a traditional priest).
Two particular difficulties have arisen of late which affect
the question of receiving Communion:
1. Unfortunately, some Baptisms performed after the Vatican
II changes are of doubtful validity, either because the priest
altered the essential words ("I baptize you...," etc.) or changed
part of the essential ceremony (pouring water over the child's
head while saying the essential words, for instance). This has
been well documented in The Wanderer and confirmed by
our own experience.
2. Unfortunately as well, the "marriage annulments" handed
out by diocesan tribunals are usually based on spurious reasons
and amount to little more than a "church divorce." (This, too,
has been amply documented.) Thus, they pose a grave spiritual
peril for those who have received them.
If you or your children have received Baptism in the new rite,
or if you have received an annulment, please speak with Father
privately before you go to Holy Communion. He will be happy
to help you resolve any difficulties in these areas.
Our Dress Code:
Since the changes in the Church, few
parishes these days have a dress code. Here, however, we still
believe that modest and appropriate attire at Mass is a sign
of respect for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and of fraternal
charity toward our neighbor. Please observe these rules regarding dress
A Respectful Silence:
In many parish churches these
days, it is considered acceptable to carry on conversations
in church before or after Mass, or to make occasional comments
to one's neighbors during the course of the service.
Here, however, we request that you follow the custom of maintaining
silence in church before, during and after Mass. It is a sign
of reverence in the presence of God and demonstrates your spirit
of consideration towards those who wish to pray in silence.
For Further Information:
We recommend that you visit
our literature table. (We have Missals available for sale so
that you can follow the Mass more easily.) You may want to fill
out an address card so we can put you on our mailing list. If
you have any questions, please do not hesitate to speak with
the priest after Mass.
May the powerful intercession of the Queen of the Most Holy
Rosary obtain for you the grace and courage to return to this
Mass which is your portion, your inheritance and your right
as a Catholic!