Monday, 7 August 2017

Late But Warranted: Happy 10th Anniversary for Summorum Pontificum! My Reflections on This Anniversary, Globally and Locally.

Hello Everyone,

Almost one month ago, a special day in my faith life involving the Latin Mass occured. In my 6th year of involvement as a Latin Mass server in organized masses within theArchdiocese of Toronto, two special 10 year anniversaries have come to pass.

October 30, 2016, marked the first, that of my allies and friends of St Patrick's Gregorian Choir, who with His Eminence ' permission, got to hold a Solemn Latin Mass at our Cathedral Basilica of St Michael's, to commemorate their 10th anniversary. Cardinal Collins was present on the altar and was homilist for that great Mass of Church history.

The second 10 year anniversary is Church wide, that of the Promulgation of the Motu Proprio  (immediately acting law) Summorum Pontificum, bestowing much freedom and a resurgence of the Latin Mass in the Church, by Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus, on July 7, 2017.

Because of that one act, I have been blessed to have served in multiple Latin Masses, since Oct 2011, organized by parishes or lay choirs/organization who operate in the boundaries of the Archdiocese of Toronto, although I carefully select what offerings I assist, out of rejection of that which causes division within the Church and is the new Jansenism/Pelagianism that is infecting from within, to even our youngest minds: Radicals Misrepresenting Traditionalism (herein RMT. ) Also see my fourth blog goal, here.

In honour of the 10th anniversary of SP, allow me to "pontificate" on how far things have seemed to have come, globally and locally. While there has been much overall progress, unfortunately, there are still plagues that are harming the Latin Mass from progressing even more than its current rate to helping restore Catholic identity, liturgical beauty and sacredness, and saving souls.

GLOBALLY

Overall, since Summorum Pontificum has happened, the number of Latin Masses being offered in the world, even just weekly or monthly, have skyrocketed from only a handful of 1988 "Indult" offerings. To quote the most recent statistics of general growth, the best I could find was an article from an online theological magazine I subscribe to, Homiletic and Pastoral Review here. The numbers they list, as of a 2014 article, for North America, are as follows, giving an overall picture:
  • 191 Dioceses with a Latin Mass or parish focused on the EF
  • 485 individual parishes offering the TLM with some frequency (at least monthly)
  • 335 parish locations with a WEEKLY TLM offering (not necessarily Sunday Obligation)
  • 75 Parish locations with DAILY TLM offerings, of which more than 1/2 are in the hands of the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) and the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest 
Now obviously, there have been more priests and parishes offering it in the last three years, and the FSSP and/or ICKSP have obtained in North America the odd, new additional parish here and there. Further, in individual (arch)dioceses, more and more newly ordained priests are choosing to offer this form at the Mass, and even do it as their first Mass of Ordination. Some cardinals and bishops, including my own, Thomas Cardinal Collins, have either presided/celebrated the Latin Mass at the Pontifical Level, or contributed their presence on the altar during Solemn Level or Masses with "Presence" as part of the rubrics (e.g. they sit on a "throne" with the Archdiocesan crest behind them, on the Gospel side of the altar.) 

However, we are not out of the woods yet. Under the pontificate of Pope Francis, there has been clear scolding and finger pointing on numerous occasions, especially in his daily homilies of the Casa Santa Marta, where he's taken to task the Traditionalists, and as of recent months, one homily even attacked young "traditionalists," calling them, "Rigid" and implying deep seated sins and/or problems if they are this way.

Personally, I agree with him ... to a point. There are truly examples of such youth who have become spiritually sick with the wrong spirit of the Latin Mass, akin to the Non-Canonical Society of St. Pius X who are NOT in communion with the Church, and attack with contempt and spiritual hatred the "Novus Ordo" Church in numerous ways, including the regular/Novus Ordo Mass. I will even highlight a particular example later of one of these youth, in this post when I speak about local matters to illustrate. 

Now, where I draw the line is the inordinate amount of homilies devoted to such finger pointing. Clearly His Holiness should think about the number of times he does this, and perhaps, think about WHY he scolds the Traditionalists so much. Unfortunately, the Trads, even young trads, continue to slander/calumniate against the Holy Father and the rest of the Novus Ordo, even going so far as to agree with the horrible sentiment of it being a "bastard rite" and encouraging the SSPX to stay outside of the Church.

Regardless, their example only seeks to create a continually hostile environment in the Church, with recent finger-pointing, in example, launched by Fr Antonio Spadaro against the radical Church Militant Internet channel, and rightfully so against the poisonous Internet "apostolate" who has been told by its regional archbishop ++Vigneron it is not aloud to call itself Catholic.

Even the more "balanced" trad bloggers who celebrate/partake in the Latin Mass, aren't afraid to continue embarrassing good trads or priests in orthodoxy who should be their allies in what they view as a theological-political war.

ARCHDIOCESE of TORONTO

In my Archdiocese of Toronto, things are progressing in a sense for the Latin Mass, but certain avenues are stalling, and the ever lingering smell of Satan, Radical Traditionalism, is infecting the minds and souls now of even younger participants, who have none of the history or spiritual trauma of their older "friends" and are taking to online slander/detracting like their idols or "friends" in the EF.

First, there has been an increase in general, overall Masses of the TLM in Toronto, though the new offerings are not Sunday offerings. We need much more of thoese. Still, the more offerings, even occasional ones, the better. Further, some of these newly known offerings are small masses not in parishes, but word is spreading via technology (particularly Google calendar.). Should one have car, offerings even in the farthest reaches of Toronto ' s boundaries are even accessible (eg Schomberg.)

While I do not cover (with noted exception) the daily/weekly activities of offerings outside of the Archdiocese of Toronto, I can say that in other dioceses (e.g. Pembroke, London, Hamilton,) more offerings of the Latin Mass, even one or two spearheaded by recent ordinandi, have come to fruition. Also of note to mention is that some more younger priests are picking up/studying the TLM in their private time, and even doing their first TLMs, albeit wit a few people or privately, in taking their first few baby steps in proficiency in the TLM.

Let us also not forget the incredible hard work of lay organisations or choirs in our diocese, such as St Patrick's Gregorian Choir, who work diligently and have faced much adversity in past, and even present, to organize high or Solemn Level Latin Masses, providing opportunities for laymen and clergy to partake in the Latin Mass, even just to attend the "Mass of Ages" and formation of countless saints. There is even a Latin Mass Triduum that happens every year now, though my allies and I (and this blog) have no affiliation or personal/professional relationship with those who organize the Triduum. I have never aided this Triduum in the past, though I might attend in the pews in the future, should a Holy Week give me an opportunity.

The biggest, new development in our archdiocese is the creation of not one but TWO Juventutem chapters. Juventutem, is in short, a young adults organization with chapters in multiple cities, which provide social interaction and spiritual formation via traditional Catholicism and the Latin Mass. Last year in 2016, a Toronto Chapter and a University of Toronto chapter were formed. I would link to the Facebook group here in this post, but they want to avoid politics as of recent, and therefore, you must do the search on Facebook yourself for the group.

While at first I declined to be connected in any way as some of the leadership of the group was RMT, and one member even engaged in unfraternal actions akin to a notorious other RMT in the Archdiocese before the St Mikes Cathedral Basilica Mass of 2016, I am glad to say that the person and I have reconciled to an acquaintanceship, and the leadership of Juventutem Toronto is now in a charitable and Church - respecting position (despite possible opinions of individual participants,) I've even joined the Facebook group. Some members even came to the offerings for masses organised by SPGC. And gradually more youth are connecting with the chapters, showing that young adults with even occasional love for Traditionalism are becoming more of a force in the Church. Bishops better listen if the Church and parishes are to have a future in their respective (arch)dioceses.

Deep, darker concerns, both from RMT and the Church side. The vile poison still within ...

What I have listed above is a good share of promise for the Latin Mass in Toronto. However, this progress is not as good as it should be, due to two factors: the hatred and bigotry of priests and established/employed laypeople in general (read: older pastors) against the TLM, and the Satanic poison of quasi - schismatic, Radical Traditionalism from the key players/leaders, which is now infecting the young adults in the movement to the point even a few are being imprudent and even calumious/slanderous against the Pope and the Church/it's Communal Body of Christ (read: Non Latin Mass people).

Let's turn our attention to the Church side first. Sadly, there are STILL priests and bishops, and jealous lay bodies in the Church who are sick with pride or racism, who don't want ANYONE to either step on their territory, or worse, they only want certain people to conduct it, mainly themselves. Between my last two Masses with SPGC, sadly, I've become aware that there were MANY, SATANIC obstacles to holding the masses, some emanating from certain clergy themselves. Some offences were: territorialism, bullying/bossing certain choir members around, laying down conditions to hold Masses including (initially) including a stupid restriction of NOT using the required 6 candles for the Solemn Latin Mass, and diabolically Satanic racism exhibited by a clergy member. Thankfully, no specific offences have been inflicted upon the altar servers who assist in these Masses, but I will not be surprised in future if even WE are targeted unnecessarily. Me, at least it will be because of this blog of WITNESS, a blog trying to FIGHT the idiocies of the RMTs, but also to defend those who are doing the good works in the Latin Mass, and against those people who give to Satan's temptations in doing so.

Further, Pope Francis is a double-edged sword for the movement. On the one hand, he IS rightfully calling out sick and evil examples of those doing the Devil`s work of gossip/slander in the Church, and rightfully points the finger at radicals and hypocrites, both Latin Mass side AND in the general Church, including wayward clergy. Unfortunately, Pope Francis is NOT pro-Latin Mass, though he will not expel it or kill Summorum Pontificum as long as Benedict Emeritus XVI is alive. Also, the Pope continues to anger the Latin Mass community, and even regular "orthodox" practicing Catholics with his comments, like the time he insulted large Catholic families with his Argentinian, poorly worded into English, sentiments about "breeding like rabbits." As long as he continues to make these sentiments into poorly translated words in English with his off-the-cuff interviews and fervorinos/daily homilies, he only serves to embolden clergy in the Church to throw away Tradition and to spite the Latin Mass crowd. Thankfully, we soldier on in spite of those "soundbites" from a biased Liberal media, and the majority of the Church also does, their own thing (whether it may be living an ordinary Catholic life, or a lack there of.)

Now, what about the Latin Mass side of the Church in the Archdiocese? Unfortunately, the Archdiocese of Toronto continues to not have a direct hand in governance If they did, say, having a specific office that would monitor the actions and behaviours of leaders in the community including certain clergy members, as well as establishing standards in catechesis and training of leaders, much of the darkness still present would erode. But sadly, they do not. As a result, those leaders and groups of people STILL hold sway over the mindset of the group, now ever encroaching into the next generation of youth. That`s right, it`s not not old cranky men, some with blogs to fear ... it`s the next generation that will stall growth and acceptance by the Archdiocese of the Latin Mass.

To illustrate generally, a couple of my serving acquaintances, whom are more heavily invested in the Latin Mass than I am (and in a way, I am thankful I am not,) now do not regard the regular Novus Ordo highly. One, who is one of my closest friend in the Faith, simply ``tolerates`` the Latin Mass Novus Ordo (my words,) and won`t sit close to the front in the Body of the Church unless out of necessity of the situation. He'll go to the TLM every Sunday when he can do it. Another of my acquaintances in the movement, recently, on Instagram, made a comment akin to Vatican II, having nothing good come of it, with a picture of either the layman`s hand Missal or Breviary of the TLM. I politely, and to prevent him from making further errors that could be used against him by Church officers to excommunicate him via written evidence, fraternally corrected him to temper his language. No sooner than I did that, than an RMT friend of his interrupted using the classic ``I demand evidence`` argument (a.k.a. You are wrong I am right, so be quiet, and I will not listen to you anyways) to shut me up. I simply declined to respond to such an individual on the Instagram post, an individual whom I will now describe as a more specific example of the spiritual corruption of young people in the movement, which will stop the spread of the TLM in the Archdiocese and the Church.

On one of the RMT blogs I monitor, to stay aware of other Latin Mass leaders/groups/activities in the Catholic "Blogosphere," locally and globally, it seems a young man of 23 years old has become spiritually corrupted to the point he is now acting in the hateful mindset and behaviours of the older friends/role models he admires and affiliates with in the Latin Mass. I know who this young man is by name and picture, and was once in his physical presence at a recent event of personal note, but for the sake of things and to illustrate my recent concern for stunted growth in the Latin Mass, let's use his pseudoname, "Irenaeus," after a saint of the Church who fought against heresy.

On June 21st, on the blog of one of his "friends," Irenaeus attacked Pope Francis, the Vatican, and the Communal Body of Christ in the Novus Ordo, in a guest post. His post was a reply to the recent survey by the Vatican office for the Synod 2018 for Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment. Irenaeus' sentiment about not patronizing or coddling the youth as "special snowflakes" as a whole, I can agree with ... though not in the angry and spiteful way the author means it. And what was this now non-Novus Ordo, Latin Mass attending "yute" (his term) suggesting as a solution to the youth crisis in the Church? Removing virtually EVERYTHING of the following that is being offered and replacing it with the Latin Mass and Gregorian Chant, plus rigid catechesis [he likely implied the type of the old Baltimore Catechism series.] He mentioned to remove specifically: all youth ministry including Lifeteen and EDGE(TM) youth ministries, the ALPHA program, youth bands, all modernist music. Basically, replace all major church ministry/programming with the Latin Mass and its chant only. While I may not agree with elements of the Novus Ordo church/ministry, I would NEVER write this hate screed against all the people who work hard, as Catholics in this modern 2017 secular world and broken Church, with a smug elitist attitude.

More so, this author, a couple of weeks ago, decided to use a public Catholic facebook group, "Toronto Catholic Youth," to further the ideas of the RMTs he hangs around with. by posting something from the twitter feed of Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, CEO of Salt and Light media based out of Toronto. Fr. Rosica made a possibly not well thought out joke about Laudato Si and Mary on Jun 8/17 on his Twitter feed. Irenaeus uses the twitter to create a posting on a group that is made of many Catholics of all ``stripes`` (e.g. Novus Ordo and EF attending Catholics,) whereby he accuses Fr. Rosica of ``... willful manipulation of Scripture ... endorsement of a controversial document ... sheer anacronism ...`` and to instill fear that Fr. Rosica will be our future bishop (as in to hate the priest and that he will bring ruin to the Archdiocese of Toronto.) Rosica is hated by the majority of Toronto Traditionalists because he attacked one of the Latin Mass movement's "heroes" in 2015 with threat of lawsuit, though via aggressive social media strategy, the suit was called of.

That said "hero" is the primary author of the blog that Irenaeus wrote his guest post on, and let's face it, almost every 23 year old remaining a practicing Catholic would not care two pieces about Fr. Rosica or to take the time to make a hate and/or warning post against him. To have such disparaging attitude against the priest, it is clear that this 23 year old has been influenced by those senior friends around him. Worse, this misguided young man is a symptom of the poison of RMT-ism in the movement that is seeping into those who have no viable grudge or injury to then by members of the "institutional" Church (a.k.a. people, teachers, parents, priests) inflicted upon them in the name of the False spirit of Vatican II. To people like Irenaeus and his influencing friends/seniors, it's not enough to establish the Latin Mass in the archdiocese, or in the Church. Through smear campaigns in social media, they must wage war against the establishment of the "Novus Ordo" Church up to, and against, the Pope Himself, and every soul must be converted to the only "One True CHURCH" of the Latin Mass, regardless if they don't want to partake in the matter.

Am I insane to suggest such, and am just drinking the kool-aid of 70's theology Pope Francis? No. It is not just Spadaro and Francis that are sounding the alarm on spiritually poisoned youth in the Church. Fr. Raymond de Sousa, a well known Canadian priest from the Archdiocese of Kingston, ON, who co-chairs the conservative (theologically/politically/culturally) journal called "Convivium," and is frequently consulted by the National Post newspaper and the Catholic "CRUX" news website funded by the Knights of Columbus, also vocalizes this concern regarding youth who are liturgical purists (read: RMT type Latin Mass youth,) set to have the Church their way, or no way. He did so in this recent article for a British publication in print and online, the Catholic Herald, while discussing the validity of Cardinal Sarah`s recent proposition to fuse the EF and OF in some way, but also the rejection of most Latin Mass attendees/traditionally leaning Catholics of the proposal:

``.... It is unlikely that apologies are going to be forthcoming. Yet Fr. Zuhlsdorf’s point about wounds requiring time to heal is valid; he may be right that the EF community is too wounded just now for reconciliation. A challenge though is to ensure that wounds are not passed down to younger devotees of the EF who were not around to have their hearts riven."

Clearly, with examples like Irenaeus, who are adopting the hurt, pains, hatred, and even dare I say it, ever approaching to self-schismatic thoughts, of those whom they associate with in the Latin Mass, we have ever the more to be careful of, and even fearful of, with regards to the progress of the Latin Mass. As the expression goes, "With friends like these, who needs enemies?" While the generation of bigoted and racist, EF-hating priests and laypeople, will die off eventually creating a larger window of potential growth, that growth will be stifled by the thorns and weeds of the garden, weeds mutated ``genetically speaking`` from the once hopeful seeds of youth in the Latin Mass, weeds created by those older friends/mentors who have said grudges against the institutional Church for (possibly) valid reasons.

SUMMARY

In short, YES, the Latin Mass is a slowly growing snowball that virtually, cannot be stopped as numerous (but not all) lay parents, teachers in Catholic schools, and clergy in the Church, FAIL to give their children the spiritual nourishment they require and to properly catechist them in the Faith. Merging and closing parishes in dioceses worldwide are proof of this failure. The Latin Mass WILL become a vital facet to the New Evangelization, and will become the spiritual solace for more and more people in the Church, as the desire for clarity, truth, and objective FAITH and MORALITY in an ever chaotic and crumbling world continues. I say this as both one who serves in the Latin Mass (at selective offerings not tainted fully by RMT-ism) but also as a soon-to-be 34 year old Catholic male aware of societal and Church politics.

However, there is STILL much to be accomplished on a grand and local scale, with the biggest, NEW hurdle, being the very "rigid" youth that Pope Francis and Fr. de Souza are warning us about. It is now the NEWER generation of Trads who just might end up ruining it, as this will form two generations of an army that mistakenly, will serve the Devil via their so-called, puritan, crusade of liturgical and theological purity at the expense of the whole body of the Church and "Trads" like myself who won't drink their foul, spiritual poison.

Now I realize many of you will hate me, dismiss me, and even abuse the power of prayer to ask God to smite me (like how Protestants or non-Catholics say "I'll pray for you" which really means I'll pray you see things my way as you are wrong,) but if we do NOT fraternally correct one another, sharpen each other like iron against those practicing RMT-ism, and expel such examples of anti-Catholic leadership, the face of the Latin Mass movement will NOT improve in the Church, it will be the face of the "angry youth" movement, and guaranteed, it will NOT be taken seriously, and even sanctioned against by the hierarchy. More and more, public/Catholic media is ALSO noticing in the WRONG way these leaders, including the Pope. If this continues to happen, we will return to a full banning of the Latin Mass. Don't think this can't happen to at the local level. There are ways to get around SP, or to just ignore the Church law anyways.

Finally ... don't forget all those people in our lives, family, friends, co-workers ... if we want to invite them in, just what will we be inviting them to? A church that hates it's highest leaders and bashes its neighbours, that demonstrates a superiority complex disguised as "pure" religion? One that shuts itself off from the rest, with only one difference between its non-Catholic brothers in Protestant "churches," valid sacraments? Most will NOT be called to that, and it will be a counter example to that order of Christ for us, sharing in his three-fold ministry of priest-prophet-king, to be "fishers of men."

I will continue to work at my end in doing what I can to ensure that the future I described does not happen. I will continue to do that in spite of my youthful Latin Mass brothers and sisters who have drank the poison of RMT-ism, and I encourage ALL of you to do the same, in prayer, in time, in energy, in finances, and even in fraternal correction guided by TRUE CHARITY, HOPE, AND LOVE.

If we do all this, I am positive that despite institutional collapses in the Church, and other types of collapses in the world, we will triumph, and the Latin Mass will become, at least more highly accessible, and able to evangelize the Church at large, as we move onward from the 10th year anniversary from Summorum Pontificum. I'll be doing my part in the Archdiocese of Toronto as an independent layman via altar serving .... what will you do? Will you become spiritually sour like a lemon? Or will you add sugar to the mix and create lemonade? The choice is yours. Sin ... or Salvation?

Pax Tibi Christi, Julian Barkin. 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Solemn Latin Mass on June 23, 2017 7:30 PM for the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Paul's Basilica, Toronto.

Hello Everyone,

Another offering of the Latin Mass at a high level, will be happening in the Archdiocese of Toronto, whereby I will once again be serving at the altar of our Lord.

Once again, the esteemed St Patrick's Gregorian Choir, led by professional musician and choir master, Surinder S. Mundra, will be organizing, and providing the liturgical music for, a Solemn Latin Mass on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the EF/Latin Mass Calendar.

As in past offerings, This solemn Latin Mass will be held at St Paul's Basilica, 83 Power St., in Toronto, at 7:30pm. Below is the advertisement poster with information:



For those who are venturing to this form of the Mass for the first time, or who need aids, the SPGC will be providing a limited number of booklets with Latin and English translation side-by-side  with cues as to when to sit, stand and kneel. In addition, feel free to view my series of posts under "General Question and Answer Posts" that will tell you more about facets of the Latin Mass, so what you see and experience will not be that foreign to you.

As a final note, the St. Patrick's Gregorian Choir, in terms of a liturgical perspective, do not just limit the laity to only say the handful of responses that was only allowed in past. While the liturgy will be carried out in the proper structure and manner as per "the books," and the choir will be providing the chants and music for the liturgy, you are encouraged to say/chant the responses and parts in Latin, should you know them, and even to sing along if desired (that is, if one can keep up with the chanting.)

Normally, when SPGC's full booklets are printed, certain pieces' chant notations (music notes to read) will be provided as well. Also, some people might have the St. Edmund Campion Missal for the Latin Mass, which contains the parts for the Kyrie, Sanctus, the Agnus Dei, etc. I will attempt to add to this post in future, the score of the music for the liturgy to be known in advance.

Please, share this information with friends and family, and come to experience spiritually, sensually, and internally, what is this most awesome form of the Mass in the Church, one that has nurtured many a saint in the last centuries. We hope to see you there.

Pax Tibi Christi, Julian Barkin.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Missa Cantata/High Latin Mass at Mary lake Shrine in King City This Saturday June 10th, 2017 7pm

Marylake_tridentine_mass
(As advertized on https://www.marylake.com/upcoming-events?tag=Tridentine%20Mass, this is the poster that has been distributed to nearby parishes.)

Hello everyone, particularly those living in King City, Ontario, and the surrounding areas of Woodbridge, Vaughan/Maple, Brampton, Newmarket, Aurora, and Richmond Hill, 

As is now the annual tradition of the Mary Lake Shrine in King City, overseen by the Augustinian Fathers, in the month of June they allow for a yearly celebration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite a.k.a the Latin Mass. Last year I was able to altar serve that offering as thurifer and the posting of that past offering is here, where I also briefly talk about the Fathers and the Shrine.

Once again, the Augustinian Fathers will be organizing a Missa Cantata/High Latin Mass, with the offering being celebrated by Fr Steven Szakaczki, one of the main priests in our archdiocese of Toronto who celebrates the Latin Mass, and is frequently consulted for such offerings by multiple parties. Fr. Szakaczki also oversees the St Lawrence the Martyr, Scarborough, daily Latin Mass offerings. In addition, a full complement of 5 servers (MC, 2× acolytes, crucifer and thurifer,) including myself as acolyte 2, will be serving our Lord at the service of the altar.

The date of this Mass in the EF is this coming Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 7pm EST start time, at the Mary Lake Shrine of our Lady of Grace, 13760 Keele St., King City, ON, just north of Keele St. and King Rd. This will take place in the Eucharistic adoration chapel, beside the main altar/sanctuary at Mary Lake Shrine. 

Allow me to add some additional notes of generality and of the liturgy:

Generally speaking (and for the laity to attend):

  • In the Latin Mass calendar, this is "Ember Saturday" in the Octave of Pentecost. For the laity, there used to be binding laws of partial abstinence from meat and full fasting. Partial abstinence means meat is ONLY eaten at one meal/the main meal of the day. While the current Canon Code of Law of 1983, combined with the change of the Novus Ordo (vernacular) liturgy, the Papal document Paenitemini of Pope Paul VI, and the Vatican II "invention" of Bishop's Conferences, they have made these practices not binding by sin/law in today's Church. STILL, one should always be encouraged to participate in the customs and life of the Latin Mass, such as these. So if capable, do fast and partially abstain from meat this coming Saturday.
  • There WILL be confessions before the actual Mass, as the prior has been made aware. A priest will be available for the sacrament in the confessional beside the main altar

Liturgical notes:

  • At the decision of the Augustinian Fathers, the regular maximum of five servers will be maintained, with no additional servers to be added in supplementary roles such as boat bearer and torchbearers. Part of this was an organizational decision (as the sanctuary in the chapel is small,) while at the same time, it was also motivated by allowing for the richness of the liturgy to be fully seen and carried out as per the EF/TLM of 1962. Therefore, our acolytes (myself included,) will also be pseudo-torchbearers in the Mass of the Canons from the Sanctuary until after the people's communion. You will receive communion with acolytes as "guards" next to each prie deux.
  • As this is the Saturday of Ember days during the Octave of Pentecost, some interesting additions to the liturgy will happen:
    • On an ember day liturgy, up to 5 additional Old Testament "lessons" of Scripture are added in addition to the standard Epistle. This is followed by a collect after each lesson. As was custom before in the EF, there is the granting to the celebrant of the option of a shorter amount of only one lesson in addition to the main collect, followed by the Epistle, a tract (instead of an Alleluia), a "sequence," and then the Gospel reading. It has been decided that for the sake of time and unnecessary burden on all present, that the shorter option will be in effect on this day.  
    • In addition there is a sequence sung during the Octave of Pentecost called the Veni Sancte Spiritus, before the Gospel is proclaimed. This is NOT the same as the "Come Holy Spirit ..." prayer we know, though ``Come Holy Spirit`` is the literal translation of the title of the sequence, based on its first three Latin words. 
Thankfully, the more senior brothers of the Augustinians here, including the head brother, have a solid appreciation for this form of the liturgy and a good head about how one goes in celebrating this form. As just one example, while all of us servers, Fr. Steven, and the head brother/prior, were waiting outside to begin practice this Monday, Fr. mentioned that he has seen in his many years a true and reverent way of celebrating/serving the Latin Mass, and ways it has not been such. When serving or celebrating, one must not be an "actor on a stage" moving like clockwork. Your movements must not be grandiose, but smooth, and genuine, with an attitude of true humility and service to our Lord at the altar.  

I ask kindly that you please spread word of this offering by any means of communication, and bring any family and friends to this offering. I hope to see some of you there, afterwards, when we will have a post-Mass celebration with refreshments. 

Pax Tibi Christi, Julian Barkin. 

Sunday, 14 May 2017

I Have Returned! A Reflection for an Important Day this May14 2017, One Year Later.

Hello Everyone,

I take it that some of you thought I was dead or gave up on the Latin Mass and/or blogging with smiles and many curses of victory. Nope! I'm still alive and still being a certain part of the Latin Mass. I haven`t blogged lately as I work full time, commute at least 1.5 hours to my job, and my wife expects an equal contribution to the housework. Weekends are the limited time to maintain the house and get shopping and the like done. Oh and then there are those pesky weddings that pop up on weekends in your late 20`s/30's cause that's the time all your friends are doing it. You try doing all that and having oodles of time to blog daily, unless of course you`d like to do that at your job and risk being fired. So life's been the barrier for me.

But don't think the EF has taken a back seat in my life because I don't blog as much. This year, I was privileged to have been invited to a good acquaintance's wedding which was a Missa Cantata in the Extraordinary Form, and I did make it out to an offering for an Extraordinary Form Candlemas, whereby I had candles blessed in the EF Rite. No darkness nor demon will be laughing at those candles when they are lit!

Serving-wise ... I have not served an EF Mass this year at the offerings that have taken place. I draw the line when it comes to that. I will attend offerings should there be no other ones with neutral parishes/groups, or organized "glad-trads," as in that way I do support the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite itself. However, if I altar served, this would be material co-operation against the goals of this blog and in support of those who violate my goals. I will not stray from that.

Now, onto more important things and the reason for my re-appearance on this blog. Today marks a special occasion for me. It was one year ago that I entered into Holy Matrimony, in the Sacrament of Marriage, with my lovely wife [name and pictures of her withheld to protect privacy, as well as Catholic parish of marriage.] in the Catholic Church of our Lord, Jesus Christ. While not an EF Mass, it was nonetheless a sacred, holy, and beautiful testament to the Love of Christ for all humanity, via His Holy Church, the Bride of Christ.  

One of the most pivotal elements that made this day so special, was the liturgical music that was provided. While my wife was not open to a full EF Mass (as she wanted a Mass liturgy, and liturgical music, in a language she can understand,) she allowed a gracious compromise, and a promise to be kept by good friends who are truly doing the work of Christ in the Extraordinary Form community in the Archdiocese of Toronto. Since I have been faithfully loyal, in my service at the altar, my blog in vocal defense of, and my promotion of liturgies that would be otherwise unnoticed in public social media for, the St. Patrick`s Gregorian Choir, they were more than happy to provide liturgical music for my wedding, should I venture down the vocation to marriage.

Well .... I did end up pursuing that vocation to serve my Lord optimally with my now wife, and sing to the heavens they did! In combination with vocalists that my wife wanted for certain portions, the St. Patrick's Gregorian Choir provided the liturgical music for the ordinary parts of the Nuptial Mass (e.g. The Sanctus, The Agnus Dei ...,) as they do every Saturday 5pm vigil at their downtown parish and base of operations, St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Toronto. Alongside my wife's vocalist companions, everyone's liturgical contributions brought to us a peace and sanctity in our Nuptial Mass, and a foretaste of Heaven alongside the one person who will assist me in that journey (as I must also do for her.). I am truly indebted to all of these great vocalists for being there for me, and making good on a promise they gave to both my wife and I.

One of the other vocalists even decided to join the Choir for the SPGC`s 10th Anniversary, Solemn Latin Mass at St. Michael`s Cathedral Basilica Mass last year, packing a whallop in the Soprano section, a young lady who might I add is an accomplished leader of choirs at both our parish of marriage and another parish nearby. Her skills continue to amaze me, as she can master and teach contemprary music, but also perform classical styles of music such as Gregorian Chant, and true ``Classical`` and ``Romantic`` period pieces in multiple languages.

Back to the SPGC Choir, here is the choir below, alongside myself and their accomplished choirmaster, Surinder S. Mundra, professional musician, whose talents have been highly appreciated in the classical music scene in Toronto:



Now, here I am. One year later, still in love with my wife, and wondering where the time went from this hectic, yet beautiful day. While the party was a good, grand affair, with the presence of a few reverend fathers we knew, I would rather focus on the liturgy of that day as that was the highlight of my day. Deo Gratias. May the Lord, in combination of her intercession and protection of her mantle of the Blessed Virgin Mary, continue to watch over us and guide us in the future. May the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, continue to play a part in our faith lives, and that it will positively grow in this Archdiocese of Toronto in union with Holy Mother Church and the Holy Father in Rome. 

Pax Tibi Christi, Julian. 

P.S. As per a ``t``radition, a portion of the wedding cake is saved and frozen, to be eaten a year later on the anniversary of our wedding. Alongside some flowers I purchased for my lovely wife, here is our cake, which we feasted on this evening after dinner. Delicious and sweet like the Sacrament of Marriage!


Sunday, 4 December 2016

REPORT: OCTOBER 30, 2016 2PM SOLEMN LATIN MASS AT ST. MICHAEL'S CATHEDRAL BASILICA WITH HIS EMINENCE, CARDINAL COLLINS IN CHOIR FOR 10th ANNIVERSARY OF ST. PATRICK'S GREGORIAN CHOIR!

REPORT: SOLEMN LATIN MASS For the Feast of Christ the King (EF), October 30, 2016, 2PM EST, at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Michael, with His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, "In Choir" on the Altar and Homilist


Ad Majorem Gloria Dei!

Just a little more than one month ago, on the Sunday of the 30th of October, 2016, one of the most profound events ever to occur in the history of our Archdiocese of Toronto, and in the Church's liturgical history, happened! Despite the many efforts of the Devil through those acting not in obedience to Christ our King, and those who do not take favor to the Latin Mass, a glorious Solemn Latin Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite occurred at 2pm, in Toronto's very own, newly restored, Cathedral Basilica of St Michael's. Not only that, it was done with the permission, and in addition, presence of His Eminence, Thomas Cardinal Collins, on the altar in choir, as well as having His Eminence as the homilist. This Solemn Latin Mass was in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the formation of the St. Patrick`s Gregorian Choir (herein, SPGC,) on this feast day in the Extraordinary Form/Latin Mass liturgical calendar.

Preparation

The organization of this Mass was an endeavor requiring a few months of preparation and logistical planning in advance. Upon acquiring the permission of His Eminence to do the Mass at the Cathedral for the 10th anniversary of SPGC, numerous meetings were conducted and much had to be discussed such as liturgical details, who would be the main clergy members for this position, etc., with input as well from a known quantity in the Archdiocese's for the Latin Mass, Fr. Steven Szakaczki, whom has been involved in Latin Masses around the Archdiocese of Toronto, and is head of the daily Latin Masses in his home parish of St Lawrence the Martyr, Scarborough.

Being such, Fr Szakaczki became the designated celebrant for the Latin Mass. Eventually, it was decided that Fr Michael Simoes, a fairly recent ordinandi in the Archdiocese from 2011, who has become acquainted with the Latin Mass over the last few years, was made the deacon, and a new Young seminarian, a Peter/David, from the Archdiocese of Pembroke, Ontario, was asked on request to be the sub deacon.

While the choir rehearsed for this Mass after their 5pm vigil at their "home base" Church, St Patrick's Toronto under the Redemptorists, liturgical training for the servers was conducted over a series of two practices for the lay members, with seminarians joining us for the final practice Wednesday evening prior to the Mass at the cathedral basilica. The SPGC received a great turnout from our seminarians, with 7 young, future priests in the making who showed interest. These men of the future of our church, respectfully and happily, were given the major serving roles with exception of the Master of Ceremonies, of whom was carried out by our experienced mainstay, the choirmaster's brother. The Cathedral's sacristan, a Mr Ricardo Aleixo, who had been of great help in past at his prior position at St Francis of Assisi and fellow server as our thurifer at Immaculate Conception in 2014, assisted the choir in doing a practice arrangement of the altar to examine any needed changes (e.g. placement of items,) and ensured that all the proper liturgical items of the Cathedral were in place (save items brought in by clergy or other members) for Sunday.

Also during our practice, Surinder was able to practice on the "Phoenix" organ and configure the necessary settings in the limited time granted for the Wednesday practice, just in time for Sunday`s Mass.

The Actual Mass


Finally, the day of the historical Mass came upon us all. An hour's time before the mass, the principal members arrived, ready to suit up and prepare the altar, alongside the staff of the Cathedral. The preparations of all the equipment and vestments was superb, with some of the finest liturgical equipment at our disposal, as this sample below of the credence table and the central altar demonstrate.

The altar, set up and ready for the first, public, Latin Mass in the cathedral basilica since Vatican II.

As per my usual photographs, a picture of the credence table for the Mass. Just look at the beautiful, gilded and metallic Evangelarium! The Ciboria! The Aspensorum and Aspergillus! 

The stand for the gothic-style censer and boat that is used by the cathedral basilic. 

The choirmaster himself in action, Surinder S. Mundra, beginning the organ prelude to the Solemn Latin Mass, with choir members waiting for the moment to begin singing as if the angels themselves were chanting from Heaven on high. 

With everyone on the liturgical and the musical end in place, the cathedral bells were rung, our celebrant Fr. Steven led us in prayer to process, and then .... it began. We processed reverently towards the sacred altar, fully robed, with His Eminence awaiting us at the altar, with the splendid addition of a good number of brothers in Faith in the Knights of Columbus, of the 4th degree Cardinal McGuigan Assembly.

To the left, members of the 4th Degree Assembly of Cardinal Mcguigan, of the Knights of Columbus.

Just a sampling of the seminarians who were principal servers in the Sacred Liturgy. Please pray for the vocations of these valiant souls and good gentlemen in their journey. While I am pictured here, I was simply placed in order with the last seminarian as we laypersons were of an odd number.  

The other laymen in procession, whom were asked to be part of this liturgy in choir. Some of these men have altar served in the SPGC`s organized Masses in past, with myself being the longest of 5 years as of this feast day of Christ the King in 2011. 

The Mass proceeded to lead all faithful present in the greatest form of prayer on earth, immersing all there in the foretaste of the Heavenly Banquet (as depicted in the Book of Apocalypse/Revelations,) and Unbloody Sacrifice of the Holy Mass. The choir's Gregorian chants were carried with a strength of many choirs of angels, without sounding like a beating gong, all under the masterful and professional direction of Surinder S. Mundra, with much emotion and dynamic enthusiasm of one who is truly passionate in what they do.

On the liturgical end, our clergy members missed not one cue or step, carrying out the Sacrifice of the Mass in fluid motion, as if the Latin Mass has become second nature, or of "muscle memory" as it were. Even our seminarians, many or all of whom it was their first instance in participating in such roles on the altar in the Extraordinary Form, carried them out as if they had been serving for years in the Extraordinary Form.

As for His Eminence, he was present in Choir on the Gospel side of the altar, in his Cardinal red cassock and mozzetta, wearing a stole for his most prominent part of the Mass, proclaiming the homily, as pictured at the beginning of this report.

I will describe some of the most prominent notes of the Homily I could commit to memory:

  • He began by quoting a popular Latin phrase attributed to Christ "Christus Vincit! Christus Regnat! Christus Imperat." He conquers, he reigns, he commands.
  • Going further into more Latin, and a poignant note of the newly restored Cathedral Basilica, overhead the altar is a cross with eight letters: IC XC NI KA. these letters mean "Jesus Christ Conquers." 
  • He then further went into the history of the Feast, promulgated by Pope Pius XI in 1926. It was highly essential not only as a counter to the Protestant feast day of the Reformation, but because at the time, many secular "kingdoms" of counter example to Christ, had begun to become highly rampant in the world, such as communism in Russia, as well as the emergence of Fascism (under Mussolini) in Italy.
  • On this note of kingdoms, in the form of these oppressive governments, His Eminence did allude to the evil of this world that had been commencing at that time, and still goes on today, that necessitates a firm devotion to the Heavenly Kingdom and Kingship of Christ. 
  • Further he also mentioned a great tie into our modern day, via a newly appointed Saint. During that time period of Pope Pius XI, Mexico was undergoing its own totalitarian regime with its government, suppressing and even executing Catholics for practicing their faith. In retaliation the Cristeros war emerged with their slogan being "Viva Christo Rey!" (Long) Live Christ the King! In this war emerged one of our newest saints, a young boy named Jose Sanchez del Rio, sadly assassinated by execution by the government for his faith, who was recently canonized by Pope Francis this year.
  • Taking a note of the presence of St Patrick's Gregorian Choir, he reminisced a prayer of the Saint that speaks to His Majesty, Christ the King. While I do not remember the exact words as to what prayer it was, it was likely the Lorica of St. Patrick, with lines outside of the usual 15 lines starting with ``Christ with me.``
  • The best ways we can show our obedience to Christ our King, is in repentance to He, and his Divine Mercy, inwardly and externally. To repent, we must turn our whole selves to the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist in the Mass. 


When all was said and done, history in the Archdiocese and the Church was made. Our Majesty, Christ the King, has been honored and glorified through the Latin Mass in the "court" of one of his mightiest princes of his Church in our time, a rare event that has happened in Church history since after the changes to the Mass of the 1970 Roman Missal (the novus ordo/vernacular Mass.)






Of those whom were present at this Mass, a great turnout had occurred! Thanks to numerous promotional efforts, both individual and larger scale, via social media sites and print media, The Cathedral was filled to near capacity! According to some friends of one of the choir members, of whom three are working in mathematical/statistics professions, they estimated that  over 80% of the Cathedral's main floor space was filled, which was about 1400 people!

What makes me full of joy and hope in the Church was noticing the variety of people present at this Mass! Age wise there was a variance of all age ranges, but particularly noticeable was a significant number of attendees were young adults and children, of which this author recognized a few from past and present communities he has been a part of. Also among the crowd was a few priests from within the Archdiocese, altar servers who have served in Masses in past organized by SPGC, and other members from the choir who were unable to attend practices for this event due to life commitments. Further, groups of people came from all over Ontario from areas such as Brampton, Orangeville, Barrie, etc. with even one group coming outside from Montreal, Quebec! The Quebec group might have been parishioners with the Fraternal Society of St Peter's, as the FSSP has a parish in Montreal.

With the conclusion of this major event in Church history, it is clear that it was "Marvelous. Simply marvelous," to take lines from our celebrant, Fr Steven Szakaczki, post-serving/celebrating the Latin Mass.
The men of this sacred liturgy from the altar: The clergy, the seminarians/servers, and laymen privileged to have been a part of this monumental event. Unfortunately, an opportunity for a photo with His Eminence, was not arranged for those of us on the altar, and we had to clear our belongings and selves out of the Cathedral in haste, due to necessary preparation for their 5 pm Sunday Mass. 

The Knights of Columbus of 4th Degree Assembly, Cardinal McGuigan, with His Eminence, Cardinal Collins.

The members of the St. Patrick's Gregorian Choir with His Eminence, with head choirmaster Surinder to the right in formal, Catholic choirmaster attire. 

With a cathedral basilica full of young Catholics, in the presence of Cardinal Collins, it is clear that the future of our Church was expressed here in this sacred and Solemn High Mass. A future that one can have a great hope in the Church, especially when those present take the preaching of His Eminence to heart, in pledging obedience to His Majesty, Christ the King, in both Faith and works, with Christ's Holy Sacraments provided by the Church.

May His Eminence, Thomas Cardinal Collins, continue in his steadfast leadership of the Archdiocese of Toronto's faithful, and continue to be a prominent witness of the sacredness, beauty, and the mercy and redemption of the Catholic Church.

"Christus Vincit! Christus Regnat! Christus Imperat!" 

Pax Tibi Christi, Julian Barkin.


Sunday, 6 November 2016

EST FINIS!!!! CHRIST THE KING HAPPENED LAST WEEK AT ST. MICHAEL'S CATHEDRAL!!! ANY PHOTOS TO SHARE?

UNBELIEVABLE!!!!! 

That, is but one of the few words to describe what happened last weekend in the Archdiocese of Toronto, and the history of the modern Roman Catholic Church. 

As even promoted on major Latin Mass sites, a Solemn Latin Mass was done last Sunday, October 30, 2016 at 2pm EST, in the presence of His Eminence, Thomas Cardinal Collins "in choir", who is our Archdiocesan Cardinal Bishop! This Mass took place at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Michael's, the flagship parish of our Archdiocese of Toronto, not to mention that parish which is where he is formally seated!

Furthermore, Cardinal Collins gave the homily for this Latin Mass .... and it was splendid. While I will be posting more details in future, I will say that if anything, the take away message, on this Feast of Christ the King, was this:

"HEROISM, IS THE NORMAL WAY FOR CATHOLICS"

You heard me correctly, Cardinal Collins said that in his homily. There was much more where that came from. 

This Mass was made possible with the Cardinal's blessing and permission, to be organized by the esteemed St. Patrick's Gregorian Choir, based out of the Redemptorist Parish in downtown Toronto, and led by Surinder S. Mundra, professional choirmaster and assistant director of the prestigious Toronto Concert Orchestra. 

The Mass, while organized by the St. Patrick's Gregorian Choir, was also the work of many hands, from the priests and seminarians that took part in major clergy (subdeacon) and all serving roles except Master of Ceremonies, to the presence of the Brothers of the Knights of Columbus from the Cardinal McGuigan Assembly, to the laymen such as myself and my brothers who were present in choir.  

As usual in my reporting of the Masses, here are my before Mass photos of the prepared altar for the Mass, and the credence table:



I will also be in future, publishing a full report of the Mass, which shall be posted here on Servimus Unum Deum, and possibly on other Latin Mass websites in future.

However, and this is a big, however, before I do so, I would like to ask of your assistance in a necessary manner, an attempt before I publish.

Due to tight security at the Cathedral, it was challenging for us servers and for the Choir to allow for our own photography. While we have received a couple of photos of before and after, and the procession, the security at the cathedral during the Mass was going up to random parishioners and stopping them from taking photos at certain points. My wife, her friend's boyfriend and mother, who were present at the Mass, witnessed this and observed them stopping people near her from taking photos. 

Further to my knowledge, the Archdiocese of Toronto did not make any arrangements to have their official media staff take any sort of video or photo recordings of the event.

However, we know that many people DID take photos at many different points during the Mass. I, even personally remember, as an example, an Asian man with a higher quality camera and lens, took photos of us at the entrance to the narthex of the Cathedral in the entrance procession.

My request: If there are any readers of this blog, or who can pass word along, would you please send any photos taken during the Christ the King Mass to my blog email, torontotlmservers@gmail.com? Thank you and this is highly appreciated. 

If I receive a bulwark contribution from a single member up to three people, then they will be credited for the photos. Should the contributions be from more than three people, or many, it will be too many to credit. Please realize that I will need the photos to be distributed in future to Latin Mass Sites (eg. Fr. Z, Rorate Caeli, New Liturgical Movement) who were kind enough to promote the Mass here in Toronto.

Again, Deo Gratias for this Solemn occasion! For all of us, the Choir, the priests, the seminarians, the lay acolytes (as in, generally altar servers,) it was a memorable experience for our soul, one in the annals of Church history.

Pax Tibi Christi, Julian Barkin



Thursday, 27 October 2016

LAST ANNOUCNEMENT FOR SOLEMN LATIN MASS FOR CHRIST THE KING AT ST. MICHAEL`S CATHEDRAL BASILICA THIS SUNDAY OCTOBER 30TH 2PM WITH HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL COLLINS PRESENT AND AS HOMILIST!




FINAL ANNOUNCEMENT FOR CHRIST THE KING SOLEMN LATIN MASS AT ST MICHAEL`S CATHEDRAL BASILICA, 2PM, THIS SUNDAY OCTOBER 30TH!

Hello everyone, 

As announced previously, the upcoming weekend will have the blessing of a Solemn Latin Mass/Extraordinary Form Mass, taking place in our Archdiocese of Toronto's St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica! It will take place this Sunday, at 2pm, at St. Michael's in Toronto, ON, Canada. 

Preparations have been taking place as the time draws closer to the day. I, your author and blogger, alongside a good number of other laymen, will be joining 7 awesome seminarians on the altar as well as three priests, or two priests and a deacon, in this Sacred Mass organized by St. Patrick's Gregorian Choir, in commemoration of their 10th anniversary. 

For the serving end of the Mass, we have been in two major practices, the last being at the Cathedral Basilica this wednesday evening, with all seminarians and laymen present. Hence the photos taken above and below inside this magnificent building, the capital "flagship" of our Archdiocese. 

As for the musical end, practices have gone underway, and our professional choirmaster and organist, Surinder S. Mundra, has been attending to all necessary preparations leading up to that glorious day. 

I hope that many of you will attend and spread the word, despite only being a few days away.

For more coverage concerning the Mass, please see my original posting HERE

There is also a facebook page for the St. Patrick's Gregorian Choir, with the event page being here: https://www.facebook.com/events/683222405175712/ 

Coverage of the event has also been broad-casted on Traditionalist Blogs/news portals the New Liturgical Movement, Rorate Caeli, and Fr. John Zuhlsdorf's WDTPRS blog. 

Also, for any new comers/1st timers to the Latin Mass, you may want to browse my Question and Answers pages, which you will find under the "Collection of My Latin Mass ..." tab at the top of the blog pages. I just recently added a section about decorum (behaviour) and dress for the Latin Mass, though it should be for all Masses in any rite of the Church. You will find other guides, such as when to do responses and actions, how to use a hand missal or Mass booklet (of which St. Patrick's will be supplying a limited number for the Mass, first come first serve so arrive early!) etc.

May you be there on Sunday.

Deo Gratias, and Pax, Tibi Christ, Julian Barkin.



Basic Q and A for the Latin Mass Part V: Decorum and Dress for the Latin Mass ... Something that Should be for the Whole Church!

Basic Q and A Part V: Decorum and Dress for the Latin Mass ... Something that Should be for the Whole Church!

Hello everyone,

This post is dealing with a bit of a weighty issue regarding the Latin Mass: dress and decorum. I realize that some of you, might become upset at this post, whether you are a "trad" already or a first timer. Some of you will hurl insults st me, either because I will likely say something displeasing, or on the trad side look like I am enforcing stereotypes that hurt the Latin Mass

Know this, and this is a "trigger warning" for you sensitive folks: what I am discussing if for your benefit, so that for first timers, they will not be caught off guard, so that their experience is a spiritual one, and for those already in the know, to give advice to first timers, while at the same time fraternally correcting those who ruin the Latin Mass through giving credence to those stereotypes you deplore so much. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem so butt out and leave if you want to gripe. 

This post is for the benefit of bringing people in to Traditional Catholicism without the hypocrisy and works of the Devil others who truly do not Love Christ have brought onto others. 

And so here it goes. Time to describe the decorum and dress with regards to the Latin Mass, while bearing down some controversy and unruly a behavior all at once. 

GENERALLY SPEAKING ... DRESS AND DECORUM.

If I had to make a summarize statement about the overall attitude of those who attend the Latin Mass, it's this: We take our Lord and His Sacred and Holy Mass seriously

If you have any friends from work or elsewhere, say Evangelical or Baptist Christians for example, and you have been with them for Sunday dinner, or perhaps gone with them to their "services", or seen people as such walking down the street, they are at the very least in more "fancy" casual wear like died jeans and a crisp shirt, but more likely in suit and tie for men, dressed/skirts and stockings for women, with maybe a fancy or large hat. 

The sights I've described, reflects that for those Christians, they have the right approach to Sunday! It is the Lords day, and may He be worshiped and revered and respected for all He has done! In Particular for our Lord, Jesus, our Saviour! 

At one time, most of those Catholics who attended Mass, before the 60's/70's of Vatican II, dressed up to properly respect the Lord in the Sacrifice of the Mass, as in Sundays, this awesome event of the Lord giving us the totality of his love was happening! This was the highlight of our week! The Most Sacred of all banquets! 

Unfortunately, not just solely attributed to Vatican II (a disgusting mistake made by Radicals who Misrepresent Traditonalists,)   cultural and liturgical priorities began to shift, along with an attitude that "Jesus loves me no matter what!" "You don't need to show off in fancy clothes for him, we all die together anyways so screw fancy things for him in Mass!" 

Sadly, that has gone, along with the dispersion of doctrine, decorum, respect, etc. that once surrounded the Catholic Church culture and beliefs of the faithful. 

As for decorum, that has also been lost from the Church. Generally, most people think that anywhere, including the main worship space of the Church, is a great time to chat with your friends, play with your phone or read that last e-mail before the Mass starts, and even to do running commentary during the Mass. What ever happened to respecting our Lord in the tabernacle, and preparing ourselves in prayer for the ultimate unbloody sacrifice to take present on the altar? What ever happened to thanking our Lord for the greatest gift he can give us on earth from the Mass, His Flesh and Blood, the TOTALITY OF ALL HIS DIVINE LOVE, in the form of the Eucharist confected on the altar? 

And so that brings me to my points about decorum and dress with the Latin Mass, as one will find, it's quite different an atmosphere than one is used to. 

DRESS 

Why Do it? 

First and foremost, it is a sign and show of respect for our Saviour, who gave himself Body and Blood for our eternal salvation. Here at Mass every Sunday, we become re-presented with the most pivotal acts of our Lord, in his Passion, Death, and Resurrection. This is the highest form of prayer that we have in this world, and a taste of the heavenly banquet. 

This is a central part of dressing up for Mass. an analogy might help here, that I have used before. Let's say Prime Minister Trudeau invited you to a private dinner at 24 Sussex Drive, the house of the Prime Minister. His private chefs, trained at the Cordon Bleu in France are making the most exquisite meal for you with the finest ingredients and skill. Would you show up in T-shirt and jeans? NO! This would be disrespectful to everyone involved and insult Mr Trudeau, unless as the poorest of the poor, that is all you have and Mr Trudeau was aware at the time. Drawing the analogy closer to Christ, you would not do the same either to Queen Elizabeth, or Prince Charles in England would you? 


So why should the King of Kings, Christ, be treated any differently from Earthly Kings? Should we, if we were to dress up for earthly kings/queens and dignitaries of countries, deal differently with our Lord? Most would agree by that logic that the answer is no. 
GENERAL SUGGESTIONS AS TO DECORUM/DRESS. 

Alright, now that you hopefully understand why better dress is preferred in the Latin Mass, here is where I'm giving you an honest opinion how to respect the environment of the Latin Mass in what you wear. While no Abracious Abners (to use a character from LifeTeen Inc who could be coined a "radical Traditionalist,") or cranky Cordelia's (old batty ladies ... and sadly some young ones too,) have no right to commit sins of pride, slander, and bullying on you, it would be best to understand the decorum/dress so you can truly partake in the Latin Mass more easily. 

What Constitutes Appropriate Dress?

Please be advised that if one is so financially strapped they cannot afford clothing/shoes of a specific kind, then obviously you wear what you have to the Latin Mass. I am cognoscente that the Latin Mass is NOT to be for elite and trendy people and that it's for everyone. I am just giving the best suggestions overall for proper decorum and dress. Basically, its all about minding the respect of each other's minds and souls around you. 

MEN

For guys, while revealing "skin" isn't the norm, wearing muscle shirts/tight tees, even a skin hugging couture button down would be somewhat scandalous to women. Mass is not a marketplace whereby one "shops" for ladies in an aggressive manner via the showing of their fit bodies. Also, wearing most casual clothing, those with slogans of a sexual nature or graphics of the sort wouldn't be a good idea. Personally, I include those tight hipster pants/jeans. They come dangerously close to being like women's leggings. Seriously, leave the hipster couture at home. Guys, let the women focus on Christ, not your abs and biceps of Vanity. 

For men, of course the "gold standard" would be a full suit and tie for western dress, and dress shoes that match the suit in modest styles and tones. However for those not willing to dip in so far yet, I would recommend a golf shirt in the summer, a crisp regular button down shirt in the winter for men's top, and chinos/slacks for bottoms, with black socks. 

In a desperate pinch, a young man could rely on their school uniform for clothes. As for shoes ... sneakers and running shoes wouldn't be appreciated, but rather a more dressier shoe. Obviously if you have problems of the feet, and you must wear such shoes, or are a handicapped person, then that is a valid and worthy exception. Dress shoes are always best, but perhaps for the summer, a slip on dress shoe/loafer can do (not the kind for boating and sailing!). Obviously it's best to dress children as best as possible, but if naughty and rambunctious Ronald is having a horrible day, and if it's the difference between Velcro shoes and his fancy booties that gets you on time for Mass, go with the Velcro.

WOMEN

As for women, I'm going on what I have seen worn at these Masses, as well as by women of
excellent modesty, taste and self-esteem. While there is not exactly an obvious "gold standard," those who are super serious or more extreme in the trad movement, tend to wear shin/ankle length dresses with hosiery, dress shoes, full length tops, and the mantilla of which I'll cover separately a little later. 

Personally, and this is my opinion as sole author of this blog and firmly anti-radical Traditionalism, I get put off by this style of dress due to the fact that the SSPX, who are not in union with the Church, make their women dress this way. It conveys a creepy Christian cult vibe, although the main message is modesty. As for you, dear reader who isn't an SSPX adherent ... if you choose to dress this way, go ahead. That's your call and likely you do it honestly. 

What about the opposite extreme? Obviously, most modern fashions are not appropriate. Many are tight fitting, and shirts are low cleavage or reveal the stomach. As youth ministries tend to say, your stomach, like Mary's, is a tabernacle that bears life, as Mary bore our Lord. It is a sacred and vital part of a woman's body that should be treated with respect. Leggings would be a bit of a fine line. Say if a women wore a skirt down or close to the knees with leggings or a dress, and say a good pair of boots, OK. Done right it is quite modest and modern in fashion. Unfortunately many young girls wear them as pants. Following the saying "Leggings are not pants" would go a long way. 

You might think I'm sexist in what I've said, but let's face it ... the midriff shirt for guys died in the 80's and they don't wear leggings ... though some pants come close in the hipster world. In summary, you want your attention, and guys attention on the Lord, and not in a way you wouldn't want. 

However, what would be more appropriate from a modern or vintage type of perspective? I will let this poster that is present in the narthex of a Church I've been at and mentioned a number of times, St. Lawrence the Martyr: 

   


It's actually a good summary sheet for both sexes. And if you just aren't the type for skirts, modern office pants, an office suit, and modest tops would be an excellent choice. And regardless of what you hear, pants, as long as they are not tight, ARE acceptable. The Cranky Cordelia's and Abracious Abners are wrong to judge you and insult you for doing it. 

THE MANTILLA FOR WOMEN: A MUST FOR THE TLM???

If you have ever been to a Latin Mass, or sometimes becoming increasingly more common, you will see fancy/laced kerchifs that cover the back and sides of a women's head on some ladies. This item is called a mantilla.  It looks like this:
catholic-mantilla-women-latin-mass


There is a scriptural basis for wearing the Mantilla (http://www.catholic.com/blog/matt-fradd/what-happened-to-head-coverings-at-mass ) as in 1 Cor. 11:2-16: 

"2 I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions just as I handed them on to you. 3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the husband[a] is the head of his wife,[b] and God is the head of Christ. 4 Any man who prays or prophesies with something on his head disgraces his head, 5 but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled disgraces her head—it is one and the same thing as having her head shaved. 6 For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or to be shaved, she should wear a veil. 7 For a man ought not to have his head veiled, since he is the image and reflection[c] of God; but woman is the reflection[d] of man. 8 Indeed, man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for the sake of woman, but woman for the sake of man. 10 For this reason a woman ought to have a symbol of[e] authority on her head,[f] because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man or man independent of woman. 12 For just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman; but all things come from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head unveiled? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair, it is degrading to him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if anyone is disposed to be contentious—we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God. "

In Church history, which is stated well here (http://catholicinsight.com/to-wear-or-not-to-wear-church-veils-and-mantillas/,) a mantilla, or some form of head covering (e.g. Wealthy ladies wearing elegant, large sized hats,) was mandatory by Church/Code in Canon (CIC) Law for females in Mass. After the 1983 CIC edition was released, this law was abolished. 

Now, if you do go to a Latin Mass, most serious Trad ladies will wear this, and some grouchy angry seniors may chastise you for not wearing one as a woman. So is it mandatory?

The short answer is NO. No one has the right to insult you and hurt you for not wearing one to the Latin Mass. Again if you are being harassed, get to the nearest spot away from the person acting in prideful sin, or bring it to the attention of an usher, security guard or priest. If the people in responsibility do nothing, then don't bother supporting that community, and if necessary, report the incident in detail to the bishop. A Latin Mass community and/or priest steeped in the Devil's
machinations in spite of the Holy Mass and tabernacle, deserves to be shut down and/or the priest reprimanded for such cruelty. 

However, women wearing the mantilla is part of the Latin Mass culture and practices that have carried into today's carrying out of the EF Mass. 

So why should one wear a mantilla to the Latin Mass, even outside in the Novus Ordo/everyday vernacular mass?

This website, which was the source of the picture above, is a well thought out dialogue of a vibrant, young Catholic woman's debate as to why or why not to wear the mantilla. She explains the pro's very well, including supporting scripture. 

In summary as to why to wear it:
- It's part of the Latin Mass cultural practices at the time, allowed under Summorum Pontificum, alongside only males on the altar.
- Wearing the mantilla will aid in keeping us males' attention on our Lord and the unbloody Sacrifice of the Mass on the altar. 
- Scripture supports it above in 1 Corinthians 11: 2-16. 
- It is one of the many beautiful and holy traditions that passes along our Catholic Faith. Our traditions are not pointless and are often based in conveying virtue, teachings of our Faith, and gives us a Catholic "identity" different from the rest of the world. 
- It's quite "Marian." Mary is depicted as being veiled. You imitate the Blessed Virgin Mother of Christ! You also reflect the "bride" of Christ in the Church.
- They are quite beautiful to behold to the eyes ... aren't they?
 
But what about NOT wearing he mantilla?

Apologist Michelle Arnold, who attend the Latin Mass, works for North America's largest Catholic apostolate devoted to apologetics (education about, and defense of the Catholic Faith,) Catholic Answers, provides interesting arguments and what turns people off to such a practice here: 

Besides it not being enforced by Church law, there are some other reasons for not wearing it, from
my perspective. 

First as a new person to the Latin Mass, it might be best to just concentrate on getting familiar with the flow of the Mass, using the Missal, etc. without getting flustered over one's appearance or other details, like you must get all the "boxes checked off on a list" to experience the solemnity of the Latin Mass. This is the wrong approach, one sadly adhered to in word and deed by Radical Traditionalists, clergy or laity.  

The Mass itself is the source of God's saving grace and the foretaste of Heaven in the Eucharist and the Sacred Blood, not in being the perfect physical specimen. Not wearing a mantilla will in no way make you unable to receive the Eucharist (rather, that is due to mortal sin and not refraining from food 1hr before communion does.) If you become easily nervous in that way, or are a more compulsive type, adding an extra like the mantilla may not be wholesome to you and personally distract you from being fully attending to the Mass. 

Another reason is vanity. A mantilla itself does not make one vain, nor does it automatically make you holier than others. In that same stroke, just wearing one, but wearing immodest clothes, doesn't make you better than one without it ... you are still immodest. If you are prone to the sins of vanity and imprudent judgement of others, a mantilla may then become a source of sin. You should add this element then, once you address your spiritual weakness. 

A final reason, may be simply that you do not feel drawn to wearing one, and are comfortable as you are in worshiping the Lord in the Latin Mass. At that I say, good! You are fine not to wear the mantilla and are not bound under Church law or sin to wear one for the Latin Mass. 

In short, there are many good reasons to wear a mantilla, but one should not feel ashamed to show up at a Latin Mass if its not their calling. Rightfully so other frequent attendees should respect those not wearing the mantilla, and perhaps in Christian friendship, or during the post-mass social, if one is interested, explain why they wear the mantilla. 

DECORUM

Along the same lines of dress, the decorum of the Latin Mass, one which should also be administered to the everyday Mass/Novus Ordo, is also to reflect the seriousness of the Holy Mass. 

Another sad facet of today's attendance at Catholic Mass, is the lack of seriousness before and after, even during the Mass. Generally speaking, Mass is treated as a giant social gathering where anytime is acceptable to fraternize with one's neighbours. 

Mass, however, despite the banquet analogy used earlier, is not a party. In light of knowing this is the ultimate sacrifice of our Lord to happen, we should be drawing our attention to Him in his Holy Sacrifice. When you arrive before a Latin Mass, the moment you enter the body of the Church, vs the narthex which is the Church's "back lobby" so to speak, you will find people kneeling or sitting in prayerful reflection before the Lord at which is to come. 

To put it on perspective, think of an athlete, a performer, or someone about to give a talk. They mentally prepare themselves before the actual performance or sport by a number of means .... of which in fact, prayer is common. They stand in front of their dressing mirror room in silence, going about their parts or lines or how they will execute whatever they are doing. Some commentators call this, the "pre-game" ritual in sports. Those who are Christian/Catholic athletes, even consider this their prayer before their "prayer" in the glorification of God via their athletic performance, of which is how they express to themselves and the world His presence in this plane of existence. 

Do you see now why such a "serious" tone is taken before Mass? Because what is happening here, is the highest form of prayer on earth, and those who do this Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, know this and want to give it their mental and spiritual "best" as it were for Him who sacrificed himself on the Cross. They want to put the all into this for Him! 

As for during the Mass, IT is happening on the altar. It is not the time for socialization unless absolutely necessary (e.g. A child who is fussy or needs to go to the bathroom.) You will also notice this among the ministers and acolytes/servers up on the altar. They are not bored, fidgeting, or spacing out (we hope,) they are firm in posture with eyes drawn toward the Holy Sacrifice happening on the Altar. When not holding objects their hands are in prayer position or on their knees to indicate full cooperation. This is not only for themselves .... this is part of their duty, to assist you, the faithful in paying full attention and prayer to the action on the altar. It's as if they are saying "hey something BIG is happening here!Pray and be alert"

As for when Mass is said and done, most people stay for a time in silence and prayer, to thank the Lord, Son of God, for the Mass and for his Sacrifice on the Cross and receiving his Holy Gift of the Eucharist, the foretaste of Heavenly Bliss in Heaven. Sadly, most of us don't do this, and just walk out like "the play is over," or rush over to our friends/family on other pews to talk. 

Thing is, the Lord didn't just go away after Mass was done. You know that golden or wooden box the priests put the remaining Hosts in? He's there in the Tabernacle, Truly And Really present! So when people go and chat IN THE NAVE, unfortunately it is ignoring the most important important person in the room: the King and Host of the Holy Banquet.

Hence, when you do come to a Latin Mass, don't be offended by the quiet before and during Mass. it is people showing their love and respect in prayer, and reflecting before and after on His Ultimate Sacrifice and Love He gave us in the Act and in His Holy Eucharist, the totality of his Love. Now, of course once you arrive and are in the narthex or the basement, before and after Mass, feel free to fraternize and develop that showing of community! Don't be a stranger and leave after the Mass (save necessary, lengthy travel,) stay a while and prove those naysayers wrong that we Catholics aren't warm and social! 

I said enough above earlier that you get the general idea how Latin Mass attendees act, but you should be applying both a respectable sense of dress and decorum to all Masses in the Church. 

Decorum, Rules of thumb:

•Save socialization for before/after Mass, and socials

•If necessary to talk in the body, it should be something in a low tone/whisper, say an usher helping a lay person for pews, giving out Mass booklets, etc. 

•Mass commentary should be dropped as well as snark and crude comments about other Mass attendees or the priest during the Mass. This is the most sacred event in life and to abuse it for sin is crucifying Christ again on the Cross. 

•Are you a fan already of the Latin Mass? Unless the priest is giving gross negligence to the Mass, it's not your authority or experience to criticize how Father says the Mass. Not every priest did the Latin Mass the same pre-Vatican II and you shouldn't expect it even more now that it's being regenerated. 

•The same goes for laity who don't do everything you do for the Latin Mass (e.g dress, gestures.) If you don't have a badge that shows you have a job as an archdiocesan policeman or an attorney with the power to sue, keep your comments to yourself, do an examination of conscience and ask why you are hateful of those "lesser" than you. Newsflash: it isn't the other person. If you truly give a care about spreading this tool of the New Evangelization, one evil word or deed may turn a person off forever to Catholic Tradition. 

•Be as respectful as possible during Mass. If you need help, ask more experienced people at the right time, and look to regulars (who aren't acting crazy or over doing actions) for proper cues. Don't forget to make use of the red Missalettes and printed Mass books of the whole Mass for guidance. 

•If anyone starts barking on about hating the Pope or Vatican II or Church politics in a bad way, leave them politely to their own corner. It's no sense to engage with those who have fallen to darkness. If they continue to make you uncomfortable, they are harassing you. Get an usher or a priest immediately to remedy the situation. If the priest is not helping you but aiding the harasser, then that is a community to avoid in future and a priest worth reporting to the diocesan office. 

•Finally, be positive cheerful, and happy. Show that in the Latin Mass the Joy of the Gospel is found, and that most people who do this aren't "pickled-face peppers" who go about acting as if it were "Lent without Easter" as pope Francis has said. 

Conclusion

I hope that in this post, I've covered the bases as to how and what is best for attending the Latin Mass in terms of decorum (behavior) and dress. 

Realize that my intentions were in no way to anger you as some sort of Mass or Church police. If you truly think so, then perhaps you should look elsewhere or simply stay at the Novus Ordo Mass if this all is an occasion of the sin of anger. 

If anything, it is mainly twofold why I made this weighty post:

1.To aid you in honouring and glorifying the Lord in the Mass, not just the Latin Mass, but also in any rite's Mass in the Church. Does the Lord love us as we are, broken, weak, and needy? Yes. But conserving the ultimate Sacrifice He made Freely on the Cross for our salvation, under vile and inhuman treatment at the hands of the Roman Empire, and THE most glorious food there is in this world in the Eucharist, the totality of his love, can we not just do a small part, even to our discomfort, to adore him and say, "thank you?" Yes we can! And we do that in dress and behavior at the Mass, which is a part of the whole in living a full Life in Christ, and having a deep and personal relationship with Him. 

2.To address many of these issues, including the "hot topic" ones of the Latin Mass, but also in a way that calls out those extremists who are judgemental elitists that ruin the whole Mass and movement by being policemen. At the least I've covered more "why" to do this and where this goes wrong. That way, you as a lay member understand properly why these actions are part of the Latin Mass culture, and where things go wrong. 

Regardless I hope you found this post informative, and will allow to prepare not only how to arrive at the Latin Mass and act, but as a whole how to approach our Lord and Saviour in the great Banquet, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, at any Catholic Church in any form of a rite, or another rite. 

Pax Tibi Christi, Julian.