February 22, 2009

That Old Time Religion

I've been wishing very deeply that there might be a Tridentine Mass at a parish near my neck of the woods, but not so. I miss the Latin mass of old with the altar facing the faithful and the communion rail that we all knelt down on to receive the body and blood of Our Lord with such reverence.

Today I got out one of my old missals, The New Daily Missal, to be exact, dedicated to St. Joseph and published in 1959 with an imprimatur from Francis Cardinal Spellman, archbishop of N.Y. How it took me back to my days in Catholic grade school and our times in church. We would go for Mass on holy days, for practice on our entrance hymns as well as communion and closing hymns.

There was always a deep sense of awe and holiness that would come over me when I entered the Church then. Plus the parishoners showed such respect for the real presence of Our Lord on the altar by their demeanor, their dress, and their attention to what was actually happening on the altar. We could pray and meditate on what the priest was doing and what it meant as he said the Mass.

I miss all of that and I miss the customs that seemed to be written in stone.....who knew that once Vatican II came in, much of the above would simply fade away. I pray that one day we may have that reverence and deep desire for prayer and community that we had then, but seem to have lost along the way trying to be 'up to date' and all about 'us' instead of all about Jesus Christ who died for our sins.