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The Future Has Arrived

In an article in the Washington Post (Nov. 24, 2007) titled “Latin Makes a Comeback: Young Catholics Are Leading a Resurgence of the Traditional Mass,” Jacqueline L. Salmon writes that the Tridentine Latin Mass is “catching on among young Catholics…. it is a hit with younger priests and their parishioners.” Salmon quotes Ken Wolfe, 34 years of age: “It’s the opposite of the cacophony that comes with the [modern] Mass. There’s no guitars and handshaking and breaks in the Mass where people talk to each other. [The Tridentine Mass] is a very serious liturgy.”

Salmon writes: “Attendance at the Sunday noon Mass at St. John the Beloved in McLean [Va.] has doubled to 400 people since it began celebrating in Latin. Most of the worshipers are under 40, said the Rev. Franklyn McAfee. Younger parishioners ‘are more reflective,’ McAfee said. ‘They want something uplifting when they go to church. They don’t want something they can get outside.'”

Writes Salmon: “Although Chris Paulitz’s parents never questioned the switch to the ‘new’ Mass, Paulitz and his wife, Diane, only attend Latin Masses. After each service, ‘you feel like you’ve learned something and you’ve grown a bit,’ said Chris, 32, in an interview after a recent Mass at St. Rita’s Church in Alexandria [Va.].” The Tridentine Mass celebrant at St. Rita’s, the Rev. Paul D. Scalia, age 36, and the son of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, told Salmon that he loves “the beauty of it, the silence…the antiquity…. It has a much more contemplative feel to it. This is the Mass that so many saints were raised on and themselves offered and prayed.”

Salmon writes: “In the Diocese of Arlington…the number of churches where the service [the Tridentine Mass] is celebrated has increased from two to seven since the motu proprio” that liberated the Tridentine Mass was released by Pope Benedict XVI on July 7, 2007.

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