Saturday, October 27, 2012

methods of hearing the Tridentine Mass

Lady Lucy befor her entrance into
the convent

Did you know that you aren't required to follow the missal at at TLM? A priest, and I can't remember if it was a young Archbishop Sheen or not once told a story about asking an old Irish woman what she was doing at Mass because he never saw her with a missal. She replied with some asperity, "Father, I sits and I loves." He thought about it and concluded that she was doing just fine. Some people follow the Mass  by praying suggested prayers as the priest hits different parts of the Mass and others follow by meditating  on the Agony and death of Our Lord or the sufferings of the Holy Souls.

 Mother Teresa Joseph (Lady Lucy Herbert in the world), an English  Augustinian nun who died in 1744,  wrote a book called Several Excellent Methods of Hearing Mass which spells out how to do this. I tried a couple of her  methods and they were  not for me. I think it takes practice to do the meditations and stop at the right time so that you are moving along roughly at the priest's pace instead of being surprised with the consecration bells ring. It is HARDER for me than following along in the missal ---but it was interesting and I'm glad I read the book. No matter how many degrees you have or even if you're a papal knight there is ALWAYS something more to be learned about the Faith, devotions and Catholic customs. Holy Mother Church has inexhaustable treasure in wisdom for those who are willing to study.

1 comment:

Gina said...

When I was in fifth grade I first learned of the "Old Mass" as it was called. Our teacher told us that while the priest was praying in Latin, everyone else was praying their rosaries.

That's why the rosary was such a well-known and well-loved prayer for the laity. It's what we once offered during the Mass together with everything the priest was doing.

Ever since hearing that, I've had no trouble going to Masses offered in different languages. I just pull out my rosary and go to town.

Same thing if I can't hear the pastor due to a poor sound-system, actually.