I woke up at 5:30 a.m. today, wide awake. I considered the sun coming up, and how lovely it would be to go to the early mass with my girls. We got ourselves ready, and headed downtown to our parish... a beautiful, gothic style with stained glass... the building is over a hundred years old... we pulled in. I had secured our veils with bobby pins before leaving the house, so we hurried inside as the bells rang.
As a convert, I've only attended the "regular" masses... all English. One Sunday a month, Father does the mass in Latin. I am *always* lost. Not only do I not know Latin... sorry but the book doesn't help me. I get lost anyway. But even though I always feel a little lost and kind of dumb, I love the beauty of it.. and even if my 'ears' don't understand the Latin.. I am confident that my soul does.
So my girls and I file in, and then within a few minutes mass begins. I am a regular veil wearer at mass, and as I look around I am pleased to see most of the ladies are veiled. For once I don't feel odd.
The mass has started. Father has his back to us, but is facing the alter.. the Tabernacle. He's facing Jesus. I remember in things I've read that this is traditionally how mass was... I notice his vestments... and I notice that the whole mass is Latin... and though I do feel dumb for not understanding it... somehow it feels more beautiful... I can't explain why.
Listening to words my ears don't understand, and on the kneeler, I look up at the Crucifix, and notice the beautiful lilies around it, and the purple hues... absolutely gorgeous. We were on the kneelers a LOT more at this mass than usual, but again, it felt right.
After Father Consecrates the bread and the wine, and now they are the Body and Blood of Jesus... and we all start filing forward for Holy Communion... and to my amazement, everyone is going down and kneeling at the rail. Huh? What are they doing?
I felt confused. I felt my face getting red. I kept watching. I have always been one who receives on the tongue, as I feel I am not worthy to touch His Body. I have always wanted to receive kneeling, but my physical body is unable... so I always just bow... and it has grieved me for a long time that I could not kneel. So here are these people all lining up on this long alter rail, and Father walks down and gives Holy Communion to all of them, on their tongues. Oh no. I'm now at the front. When in Rome, do as the Romans. Right?
So I go to the rail and kneel. It feels awkward. My shoes are trying to slip off my feet, so I curl my toes so they won't fall off. Next to me, I hear a thud. One of my 11-year olds' shoes just fell off. I whisper to her to curl her toes so they won't fall off again. I am not sure what else to do. My eldest, who has been in martial arts for the last eleven years, has no problem keeping her shoes on her feet.
Father came to each of us, placing Jesus on our tongues... and we went back to our pew and resumed our spot on the kneeler. All I could think of... I had FINALLY received Jesus ON MY KNEES!! Beautiful. Just... beautiful...
I am not saying that I am going to go to the Tridentine every week now. I think it is lovely to go to though. I just wish I didn't feel so awkward with the Latin... but it is beautiful.... I 'get' why people love it so much. There is such a beauty to this mass... well, to EVERY mass.. but this one has a 'special' beauty...
Yes, I am a convert. I have attended church services at different churches/beliefs in my life prior to my conversion. I love my faith. I love the Church. I just can't imagine ever leaving it, going against it, or wanting anything different. The Holy Mass is such an gift to us. Sometimes, it's lovely just to be still, and to be thankful.