Sunday, June 8, 2008

Mass at St. John Cantius

Being in Chicago on a Sunday morning has it's advantages... Mass at St. John Cantius. I don't really know what to say except to thank God for such a place, and to pray that there shall be more and more places like it.

After Mass (The 12:30PM Tridentine Mass), the thought ocurred to me that the best way to dispel the many, many misconceptions, protestations and criticisms of the "Old Mass" (Priest turning his back, not being able to understand what's going on, no participation from the assembly) is to simply go to Mass. Particularly go to a beautiful and so carefully prepared and executed Mass such as one finds at John Cantius. You would be hard pressed to say you don't understand what's going on... that is entirely clear! The direction that the Priest faces seems not only natural, but is demanded by the action of the Mass. And given the faces of the people in the pews, riveted, yes riveted, to what was taking place before them, and responding when called to, I would dare anyone to say that they were not participating in this sacrifice.

The logic of the liturgy is laid bare before us in the "Old Mass"... tghe role of beauty, the role of silence, the role of the Priest and the role of the faithful are all so obvious, that for a moment, I very uncharitably thought "What were they thinking, God, what were they thinking to change this?" And the reason suddenly became clear why Pope Benedict has taken the path that he has with the liturgy... for the first time in a long time, I felt Catholic, I felt that this is what we are supposed to be. These things we call "tradition" aren't old worn out relics. They are what we are supposed to be.


Dad29 said...

Ah, yes...the role of silence!

Whadda concept!!

matt said...

I was just married at St. John Cantius on May 17 (my now-wife is a parishioner). I was saddened by the response of many of our older relatives -- we got many of the old "ingrained responses" from those aged 40-55.

But from those younger (and especially those older) there was great enthusiasm. My grandmother loved it. My wife's great-uncle complained that if someone didn't get up to Wisconsin and bring him down for the Latin Mass, he was going to throw a fit. And younger people commented on the beauty of all the sculpture, paintings, and especially the Gregorian Chant.

As for me, attending mass at St. John Cantius was my second-favorite part of that day.

matt said...

Oh, and yes, I was married in the Forma Extraordinaria of the Latin Rite, though this was of course not mandatory at SJC. At one point, we had to kneel on the bare wooden steps before the altar for a special blessing, 2-3 minutes long... my knees are still smarting, but I wouldn't have changed a thing!