Basics For Newcomers
From the Pastor: Basics For Newcomers
We are growing at Epiphany! There are many new tongues sticking out at Communion time (that’s about all I see since I face Our Lord during most of the Mass instead of facing you!). “Newbies” often hesitate at the rail as they don’t know exactly what to do (kneel if physically possible, slightly tilt your head back and keep it still after opening your mouth and sticking out your tongue, keeping your hands out of the way of the paten which the altar boy will use to catch any stray Host or tiny Particles which may fall) or what to say (nothing at all, not even “amen”). I have written a bit more about the reception of Holy Communion in the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) twice over the summer (July 5 and August 16 if you want to go online and read them) as I faced more and more people coming from Novus Ordo Masses who tried sticking their hands out, or saying “amen” as I was already putting the Host on their tongue (or immediately afterwards, with Him already in their mouth!) or bowing their head just as my hand got close, touching the Host with their nose or forehead and nearly knocking It out of my hand). And, while this reminder is, perhaps, once again timely, I have also heard the need to explain a bit more than just how to receive Holy Communion. Today, let’s look at Missals.
For instance, several of you have emailed me asking where to get a Missal and how to use it (“how” will have to be tackled another time). Locally you can find a new one at St. Anthony Bookstore, owned by a parishioner (find the address on the back of the bulletin). Of course, you may also look in used book stores or online for an old Missal once used by someone long ago. If you need many copies for your family, this option will, though more time consuming, save you a lot of money! Just make sure to get one for the 1962 (or earlier) Mass or it will do you no good! Before you buy anything, though, read what I recently wrote to someone wondering what to do for his first trip to a TLM. “First, congratulations on strengthening your Catholic Faith! Many people are finding that the "old ways" which have stood the test of time are worthy of dusting off and exploring once again. The Traditional Latin Mass converted the whole world without anyone knowing Latin or, for most of its history, having a written Missal to read, with Latin on one side and their own language on the other. They just experienced the Perfect Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross being made present once again, though in an unbloody manner, at Mass. They worshipped and adored Him Who died for their sins. I suggest that you do that very thing. If you wish, you may read the readings and prayers of the Mass at divinumofficium.com (scroll down on the first page of our parish website to find it) before coming but then, once here, simply watch and become enthralled with the solemnity and reverence of the Mass. You can bring your own Missal if you wish (ours are not out for use due to covid), but when you are new to the Mass, you will probably be lost and spend all of your time with your eyes on the book and you will miss most of the Mass. Later, after you get used to the Mass, you can ask anyone around you to help you find your way through the Missal. Don't worry about being the only one who is lost. Every one of the people around you was lost when they first discovered the TLM, too, including yours truly! Just be sure to not sit in the front pew, since you won't know when to sit, stand and kneel without being able to watch the people in front of you!”
I also wrote the following to a new parishioner asking about “which Missal is best.” “I like the Angelus Press 1962 Missal. It is also a great prayer book. The downside is that if a reading is printed for one feast day and used again on another, they don't print it again but rather tell you to turn to where it is printed elsewhere, making it a pain when there are multiple page turns. The Baronius Press 1962 Missal is about the same but is not as complete a prayer book. The Fr. Lasance 1945 Missal prints out all the readings where they are needed, so there are fewer ribbons needed to switch pages from one part to the other and it is thicker due to more pages being needed. But it is not nearly as good a prayer book, just a good Missal. Most of the Masses will be the same even though it is decades older, except for Holy Week and any newer saints. All three of those Missals have all of the Masses for weekdays as well as Sundays. But if you want a "Sunday Mass Missal for Dummies" type of Missal, find a used St. Joseph Continuous Sunday Missal. It does not have any weekday Masses in it but on Sundays everything is printed page by page exactly as you need it. Everything. Just turn the pages like a regular book all the way through the Mass. Just be sure to get one that is 1963 (the last printing of the old Missal) or earlier or it will not match up with the Mass.”
There are some of the basics. Perhaps I will write more in the following weeks.
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka
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