It's taken two weeks for me to write this, it has taken this long to digest what I experienced. July the fifth my family and I attended a Latin High Mass at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Dayton, Ohio. I have previously attended a Low Mass in Cincinnati at Sacred Heart Church.
Honestly I loved the Low Mass, it was so quiet and reverent, the High Mass at Our lady was a overload of the senses, once I gave up on following along and just relaxed, I really started to enjoy the spectacle. I do not remember a true High Mass at our little country parish where I grew up, just the Low Mass, what I served was the half English half Latin Mass post Vat ll that was used until the Novus Ordo and the turned altar. I still remember the communion rail and we servers turning the rail cloth over the top just right for the few faithful who came to communion, positioning the Paten under the chin of the parishioner to catch any crumbs (and there were always crumbs) each crumb is as much the body of Christ as the whole Host, to allow a morsel to hit the floor and be walked upon was sacrilege, they were swept off into the chalice and consumed by the priest, today we are so flippant about the Body of Christ. I have watched in disbelief as altar servers pick up the corporal (?) alter cloth and literally shake it off before they fold it, no one seems to remember that the cloth is to be folded up carefully like an envelope to protect the crumbs on it so they can be disposed of reverently. This reverence was so apparent at both of these Masses.
However the real eyeopener for me was at both masses the priest was in the confessional 45 minutes before mass and during the Rosary and afterward to finish up any who did not have time before. Instead of glad handing the parishioners, he was allowing them to make use of a sacrament that is little used today because of limited times and bad timing. There was a line before mass and the line returned as soon as he was back inside the confessional, yeah I said CONFESSIONAL, SCREEN AND ALL, I loved it, I will not go to confession face to face, just hate it, the confessional was set up to allow either use depending on the side you entered, no one was going face to face. Ran into a fellow from home my area at Our lady and he told me he goes there once a month just to go to confession for that reason. On the same theme many did not go to Communion, see my rant from June 17th, is it just the traditionalists that get it?
The one thing that really stood out to my family was that the priest was not the center of attention, the Mass was, several priests in the area have set up a throne for themselves where the Tabernacle should be, placing themselves at the center of attention, the Latin Rite priest sat off to the side and bowed his head in prayer wearing his biretta. i have seen one local priest set in his throne leaning on one elbow looking like a rendering of Julius Ceaser from the movies. PUT CHRIST BACK, PLEASE. see here for Bishop John M. D’Arcy's directive to his parishes on the location of the tabernacle, may others follow suit
I hope to attend again soon, but I truly believe several more Low Masses will be in order first to get the feel of it