Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Arlington adds the Tridentine!

Bishop Permits 1962 Latin Mass at Two Parishes

By Mary Frances McCarthy
Herald Staff Writer
(From the issue of 3/23/06)

Something old is something new for St. Lawrence Parish in Alexandria and St. John the Baptist Parish in Front Royal.

As a result of Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde’s reflection on how the liturgy is celebrated in the diocese, he has asked Fathers Christopher Mould and Edward Hathaway (pictured at right) to celebrate a weekly 1962 Latin Mass — sometimes known as a Tridentine Mass — at St. Lawrence and St. John Parishes, where they serve as pastors, respectively.

“Wishing to make available to the faithful all of the options which the Church permits … I will extend the Church’s permission to allow the use of the 1962 Missal at one Mass each Sunday (at St. Lawrence and St. John the Baptist Churches),” the bishop said in a letter to the diocese. “Recognizing the riches which the 1962 Latin Mass offers, I pray that the spiritual needs and aspirations of those drawn to this liturgy will be met.”

“It is the bishop’s initiative,” Father Hathaway said. “He saw the need and is putting the (1962 Latin Mass) into effect.

“I’m excited about it,” he said. “It is something new for St. John Parish and gives people another option — hopefully to enrich our Sunday worship.”

A papal directive was issued by John Paul II in 1984 setting strict conditions for the use of the 1962 Latin Mass, which was replaced by the Missal of Pope Paul VI after the Second Vatican Council. The main condition for those seeking to celebrate the old form was that they must accept the teachings of Vatican II and the validity of the Mass in its new rite.

“I am glad to help make this form of the Mass available to those who are attracted to it,” Father Mould said.

In his 1988 Apostolic Letter Ecclesia Dei, Pope John Paul II asked for a “wide and generous application” of his earlier directives permitting the use of the Latin-language 1962 form of Mass.

“John Paul II gave an indult (papal permission) that is meant to legitimize the aspiration of people and Bishop Loverde has agreed that people have the liturgical right to the Tridentine rite as a legitimate spirituality,” Father Hathaway said. “People can embrace the Second Vatican Council and also find a spiritual Mass celebrated in the Tridentine form. Bishop Loverde is extending that right and I think there will be a lot of rejoicing.”

While some might think that the 1962 Mass would be attended mostly by those born before Vatican II for nostalgic reasons, Father Hathaway believes there is a spiritual pull, not just an academic or sentimental attraction, to the 1962 Latin Mass.

“Some like to pray in Latin,” he said. “There is an interest in the spiritual heritage and patrimony as expressed in the Tridentine rite. Particularly those born after Vatican II, I think they’ll be curious of this history.”
Father Mould also warns that attendance at a 1962 Mass should not be simply a journey back in time to one’s childhood.

“The use of this ritual should not be a matter of nostalgia, but an encouragement of understanding of the mystery of our faith,” he said.

The principal Mass on Sundays at St. John Church already includes parts in Latin and Father Hathaway feels that is important.

“We shouldn’t lose in 50 years the language that was in place for 1,500 years,” he said. “The Latin language connects us in space and time with Catholics around the globe and in history. That said, many prefer to pray in the language they speak at home too. There are a lot of desires that can be united in a variety of Catholic worship.”


This is great news! My thanks to a couple of friends who gave me the low-down on this! Arlington hasn't permitted the Tridentine until now. Much props to Bishop Loverde.

I wish I could say I loved all the news though...


Diocese Expands Permission for Female Altar Servers

Herald Staff Report
(From the issue of 3/23/06)

After months of reflection and consultation during the Year of the Eucharist, which concluded in October of 2005, Bishop Paul S. Loverde has announced an expansion of the Diocese of Arlington’s policy permitting women and girls to serve at the altar during Mass.

“Since 1994, our diocese has permitted girls and women to serve at the altar in several settings: university campuses, convents, nursing homes, retreat houses, hospitals, and home Masses,” Bishop Loverde wrote in a March 21 letter. “In desiring to make available those legitimate options endorsed by our Church, I am expanding our previous permission to include our parish communities and high schools.”

Bishop Loverde announced the liturgical change Tuesday afternoon at a diocesan day of prayer for priests. Effective immediately, pastors in the diocese, after consultation with their parochial vicars, deacons and the parish pastoral councils, may decide on a parish-by-parish basis to include women and girls as altar servers, the bishop wrote. Similarly, he said, those parishes that determine it would be more advantageous to maintain the male-only altar server status quo may do so.

“Some parishes have actively requested the liberty to allow female altar servers; others have not,” the bishop said. “The Church’s permission in this arena, accordingly, allows for a legitimate diversity of options.”

If the pastor’s consultation leads to a determination that the use of female altar servers would be advantageous at his parish, the pastor must state that conclusion in a letter to the bishop. The bishop will then reply to the pastor with confirmation of the decision. If a pastor is later reassigned to a different parish, the new pastor may go through the same procedure.

After the Holy See’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments approved the use of female altar servers at Mass in April 1994, the decision to implement this change on a diocesan level was left to the discretion of each bishop. In November of the same year, former Arlington Bishop John R. Keating announced that the diocese would permit female altar servers in a number of situations, but not at parish and school Masses.

Now, according to Bishop Loverde, women and girls may also have the opportunity to deepen their faith through serving at the altar at their parishes – “an experience which can facilitate a young woman’s discernment of the Lord’s call to religious life.”


I hate to sound like a fellow I just criticized, that is, always finding something to moan about, but I don't think this was a good idea. The role of the altar server is a good thing for boys to have because it's a bouncer pad to the priesthood. They see the role of the priest at the altar and are inspired by that (or scared off, as the case may be). I really don't see how serving the altar can do terribly much to aid a girl in discerning her vocation. Plus, girls on the altar, for whatever reason, just is unsettling to a boy. It's like wearing two different types of plaid. I can attest to that feeling.

Maybe I am overreacting at the news. I may disapprove of this, but I'm not going to allow myself to join the "loyal opposition" that spends their time bitching and bashing bishops just because a bishop has made a decision I don't like. I do still like Bishop Loverde very much! Did you read about my meeting him last December? If not, you can do so here.