Thursday, April 24


It's Coming: Tridentine Goodness in the Sunshine State

I am informed via Fr. Z's blog that the Tridentine Rite is, at long last, returning to "my" end of the diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, and will be celebrated as a (so far) one-time event at the Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More. (While I am now officially a New Yorker, I spent nearly the whole of my youth in Tally, for those of you entering this blog in progress.) As the cathedral was built right at the hinge-point of the liturgical changes of the mid-1960s (resulting in an interesting hybrid sanctuary design centered on a freestanding altar with a hanging baldachin above it), this may well be the first time it has ever been said at that altar and under that roof, making it doubly historic.

The mass will be at Sunday, June 8, 2008 at 2 PM at the co-cathedral. I do not know if it will be low or sung, though you can contact the organizer via the address given in the parish bulletin, available in .pdf form here.

As far as I know, up until this point in the diocese the Tridentine liturgy was available only in Pennsacola, about 200 miles east, or, if via the liturgical black market*, from a couple of sketchy fly-by-night schismatic (or just about) groups, one of which operated out of a strip mall for a while, so this is indeed a welcome development.

As with many of such events, I imagine this will be a bit of a trial run to gauge interest in the historic form of the Mass, so pack the place to the rafters. Even if it's not quite to your taste, it's the mass that thousands of saints were nurtured in, and is, as Dr. Will Miller might put it, a part of our Catholic heritage. (Sorry, extraneous Nick-at-Nite reference.) And for those of you who will be going to this for the first time, just try and keep your minds open, especially if it is a low or simple sung mass, essentially the equivalent of a daily Novus Ordo mass or an ordinary sunday liturgy. Let it form your prayer, however foreign it might seem, and see what happens next. The old mass rewards those who receive it with patience. The first time is always a bit of a shock (it was for me), but by the third time I assure you, you'll be hooked. I hope they will consider bringing it back at least one more time when the school year starts up again, as the co-cathedral has a marvelously vibrant student community. Certainly, I can say the Extraordinary Form has attracted a consistent following among the students at Notre Dame since its reintroduction last fall.

Also, all priests look like Jesus from the back.

*Think Via del Seminario in Rome, after dusk, and a young acolyte hears, "Psst! Hey kid, wanna buy a maniple?"

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