I began my day by attending the TLM at my parish. The TLM is always a transcendent experience, but this morning was even more so because of the chanting! Usually, we have a simple, very quiet spoken Mass, but today, parts were chanted, and it was so… captivating! I felt that my senses were lifted to a completely different sphere. It made the Mass even more other-worldly.
It’s no wonder that the Second Vatican Council reaffirmed Gregorian chant’s pride of place in the liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium 116). It’s a shame that that little declaration of the Council’s is often overlooked or disregarded. As with so many liturgical treasures, many, if not most, Catholics have no idea what they are missing… or being deprived of.
Once again, I count my many blessings! To be able to enter into another world without leaving my city–that is something truly amazing.
And yes, I realize that it happens at every Mass, simply because the Mass is the Mass. But without the liturgy to fully direct us and transport us into the other world, to break the chains of the ordinary world, to liberate and enlighten mind, soul, and senses–without proper liturgy, the Mass can seem empty or boring, or else it can seem like a chore because we have to work so hard to find our own way into the other world, while being snatched at or pummeled over the head with distractions. That’s assuming that we already know what that other world is like–if we don’t, then we might never find it. We might be led to mistake the Mass as a place to socialize and be entertained. Or we might just leave altogether because there is far better socializing and entertainment to be had elsewhere.
I remember back when I was first starting to consider returning to the Church. I had begun doing a little exploration at Catholic Answers and other Web sites and radio programs. I read and heard people exclaim how the Mass is Heaven on Earth, an entry into eternity and another world. I remember thinking to myself: “Are these people really talking about the Mass?” I was skeptical… I had never experienced the Mass as something earth-shaking and other-worldly. But I was also intrigued… and after just a couple of times attending Sunday Mass at my parish, with my parish priest, I was utterly convinced!
I thank God always for bringing me to the right parish, and the right priest, at the right time. And I also thank Him for nudging me on to the TLM! I know I still have a lot to explore and learn and soak in! It is so unreal that I ever considered the Mass, or Catholicism in general, to be boring!