Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

The Glory and Splendor of the Tridentine Mass

June 23rd, 2009, Promulgated by Gen

I had the honor and unfortunate privilege to attend a High Mass, Tridentine, in Rochester today. A friend of the family passed away and requested a Requiem Mass rather than a Novus Ordo liturgy. While any liturgy, when said correctly, can be a beautiful thing, the sheer antiquity and beauty of the Latin Mass surpasses all. The Tridentine Mass elevates the Blessed Sacrament to a level seldom reached in our parishes. Where else is there no room for heterodoxy? The progressives in our midst all too greedily dip their bread into the Novus Ordo, as did Judas on the night during which he betrayed Our Lord. Only “traitor bishops” would forbid this most noble sacrifice of the Mass. Then again, after the Motu Proprio “Sumorum Pontificum” any bishop who forbids the Latin Mass is in clear and blatant error and is refusing to do the will of the Pope and the Holy Spirit at work through him. I would like to give credit where it is due, however, and ensure that all who read this know that it was Bishop Clark who started the Latin Mass Community in Rochester. However, it has been suggested that this was more of a placation than a genuine and unbiased attempt at orthodoxy and reverence. After all, look at the “cathedral.”

I think that you will know that about which I speak when I say that some Masses provide more of a “rush of grace” than others. The “grace rush” I felt today kneeling at the Communion rail was unparalleled. Reverent priests, reverent acolytes, reverent schola and a generally reverent congregation all contributed to this. I urge you, I beseech you, give the Latin Mass a try sometime, whether you’re in Rochester, Albany, Buffalo, Batavia, Schenectady or anywhere else in New York State. You will find it to be an awesome thing, and truly worthy of being called “a Mass.”


27 Responses to “The Glory and Splendor of the Tridentine Mass”

  1. A most sincere thank you for your nice words about the Requiem Mass today at St. Stan's. In addition to having been in schola today, I was one of the people that went around asking others to sign a petition to have the Tridentine Mass.

    A little history would flesh this out, perhaps. I have been involved with getting the Tridentine Latin Mass said in the Rochester diocese since the early 70s, along with about a dozen other people. All of supporting the cause have attended Holy Mass in funeral homes, hotel rooms, converted garages, etc. It was in the early 70s, that Father Robert Meng would say the TLM at Holy Rosary for Holy Hour for the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima on the First Friday of each month. The now deceased Father Leonard Kelly, then pastor of the old Assumption Church in Fairport, would say the TLM on different occasions at the old church in Fairport. He was a great proponent of the TLM. As the source of priests dried up. We had to take a "circuit-riding priest". So we have attended Mass at widely fluctuating times from 7:30 am to 8 pm. It all depended on the priest's schedule.

    When Pope John Paul issued Ecclesia Dei to somewhat free up the TLM, some of us approached the DoR to see if we could have the TLM. They use their typical stalling tactics and much time went on. Finally, they said if would could get 1,000 names on a petition they "might" consider it. We got the names and presented it to the "chain of command" within the DoR.(We are in the early 90s now). Much time went on and we heard zilch, zero, nada, niente. Finally after many letters, we heard back from the diocese. The letter basically said "not now, that form of Mass would be too divisive".

    We petitioned Rome (exactly whom, I'm not sure, but it was somebody within the Ecclesia Dei Commission) and they, in turn, placed a very, VERY direct phone call to Bishop Clark and said to him (paraphrased, of course), "YOU WILL ALLOW THE MASS. IT HAS NEVER, EVER BEEN ABROGATED". That's when the doors, previously locked shut, began to swing open for us. We were told (we had no choice) that Mass would be at St. Stanislaus and at 8:30 am. This lasted maybe 2 or 3 weeks, at the first Mass at St. Stan's then was at 9:30 am. so you can just imagine what happened with parking, setting up and taking down the sanctuary. Finally we got a 1:30 pm time slot, not the best time for Sunday. but for right now considering the priests who say the Mass they have other obligations earlier on Sunday, but we are always looking to have Mass at an early hour on Sunday, like 10 am (a much coveted time slot).

    I'm going on and on here. If anybody has any questions, please ask them I will answer to the best of my ability. Thank you for your time. I truly believe that the TLM is the "most beautiful thing this side of heaven".

    I also left out a whole bunch of history that I'm sure would be boring to y'all, but believe me the history is there. WOW is it there!!!

    Oremus pro invicem,

  2. Gen says:

    You did an excellent job! And thanks for your history. I found it quite interesting and worthy of being an article by itself! lol

    Feel free to continue your thought process. I'm not one to cut off thought in mid-happening.

  3. It might be of benefit for me to compile our local history of the TLM. Most of the original people are still around, like me and if I wasn't "around" I'd be a square.hahaha!!! I'm about as funny as a pork chop at a bar mitzvah!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Choir, do you happen to have any history regarding the Holy Name of Mary chapel on Winton? Were they originally involved in the push to get a TLM here before turning to schismatics? Any info about this would be interesting.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Please do that, Choir! Put as much detail as you possibly can into it, because there are so many questions from those who were not involved back then but are falling in love with the Tridentine Mass today.

  6. I don't mind sharing the history. Always remembering that other people who were involved also have their "take" on what happened. My "take" is from my viewpoint. In history, there is a good and valiant side of the story along with, sometimes, a darker side of the story.

    The TLM in Rochester is like any other movement or group of people in that you have widely fluctuating personality. As I mentioned, I have been involved since the very early 70s (and a beginning for me personally after the Vatican II Council ended in the 60s) and have met some extremely kind, holy and devout people and families who have struggled against enormous odds to find a place to worship God in the tradition of their ancestors. If you haven't seen it, try and watch the movie "Catholics" with Martin Sheen.

    As we sit now in 2009, this is the absolute closest we have been to a measure of "normalcy" but we still have to stay the course towards tradition. I was with a friend today. He goes to Steubenville and said the TLM has been an explosion on campus and in other areas of the world, but especially in the United States.

    Would anyone like to get together and I could answer questions that way? Even though I am currently unemployed (read I need a job badly) and have more free time than normal, I do have duties that take me out and about during the day. So I could meet for coffee.

    Thank you!

  7. Anonymous says:

    God bless those who bless God with the Tridentine Mass.

  8. I attended the Holy Name of Mary Church in the early 80s when it was under the direction of the Society of St. Piux X. Today it is in the hands of the Society of St. Pius V.

    In short, the property was taken out of the hands of SSPX by a few SSPX priests (these priests knew they were going to breakaway from SSPX and start SSPV). This all ended up in court and the properties (Rochester wasn't the only one) were given to SSPV. There is more to it, if you'd care to know. I just hope that I can explain it well enough. Sometimes it reads right to me, but other people it doesn't. I would be glad to give it a whirl.

    PS: I have also attended the friary chapel on Mt. Read Blvd. in Greece too. Man o Man..I've been around!!!

    All the best and remember to pray that Litany of Humility!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know who the Priests are in rochester that can say a high mass?

  10. Why do so many Catholics attack any who request and desire the Tridentine Mass in their parish.Here in Norwich UK there is no wish by the Bishop of East Anglia and Clergy to have the Mass celebrated,the usual rumbles are made like Mumbo Jombo,reference to the liturgy of the "early church" the priest turing his back to the congregation 9not that we all face the same way) any ignorant reason to prevent the faithfull having exposure to the tridentine mass,"the left" in all ways of life have always used this tatic

  11. Gen says:

    In Rochester, the ones who actively say the Tridentine mass are Frs. Bonsignore, Meng (seriously ailing), McMahon and Antinarelli. However, Fr. Antinarelli is apparently busy during the summer months, because he's not on the schedule to say Mass with the Latin Mass Community. Rest assured, he was not pressured into doing this. I have my sources. 😉

    However, many other priests have expressed at least a positive intention towards the Latin Mass. In order not to rock the boat, I won't say their names, for it is their decision, not ours.

  12. Gen says:

    Oh, forgot to mention to choir loft: if you would like to get together to discuss your plans for a history of the Latin Mass in Rochester, feel free to email me so that we could get together when I am in town a some point.

    I'm looking forward to the end result.

  13. Gen – Sure I will email you about getting together. There are 2 concerns about a priest wanting to say the TLM. One is can/will they learn the rite of Mass and stick to it with no aberrations. The second thing is preaching. What will the priest say from the pulpit. Early in our history, one priest got up in the pulpit and just about canonized Bishop Clark and we (the Latin Mass Community) should be darn lucky that he let us have the TLM. If it had been up to Bishop Clark he would NOT have let us have the TLM, Rome had to intercede and MADE Bishop Clark have it.

  14. Bernie says:

    The Latin Mass community allowed us to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary with them on the Feast of Corpus Christi this year: High Mass, procession, Benediction. We are not members of the LMC but do try to attend the High Mass that is offered once a month. Everyone in Rochester should try to attend at least once. I wish there was a daily Latin Low Mass somewhere I could get to.

  15. Dr. K says:

    If only a couple of pastors in the DoR could work out an arrangement to have the TLM offered at their respective parishes at least twice a week. For example, Fr. A having the TLM at his parish on Mondays and Wednesdays and Fr. B at his on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The other days of the week would be the Novus Ordo Mass. Everyone is happy, and we have a local TLM on some weekdays.

    ~Dr. K

  16. DF says:

    Monroe Community Hospital used to have a relatively "built in" altar on the stage, against the wall in the auditorium. Maybe he could rebuild it? 😉

  17. BTW…If any of you are in the Southern Tier, there is a Tridentine Latin Mass at St. Patrick's in Belfast @ 12:15 on Sundays. The Mass is celebrated by either Father Dennis Mancuso, a priest of the Buffalo diocese or, Father Paul Schnacky, a retired priest of the Rochester diocese. They take turns celebrating the TLM.

    Here is the website link:

    Father Mancuso does celebrate the TLM almost every day, but it is usually a private Mass so the time is unannounced. Heck, if you're in the area, give the church a call and see if he is celebrating one that day.

  18. Gen,

    WOW!! You spelt Schenectady correctly, something I almost never do. I have to look it up.

  19. If anybody would like to hear Bishop Sheen narrate a Tridentine Latin Mass, go here to hear:

    Remember it was made in 1941, so it gets out of sync, but the content is excellent.

    Let me know whatcha think.

  20. Anonymous says:

    in the choir loft….

    I tried to get the video but all i got is Michael Jackson. Are you sure it is correct?

  21. Anonymous says:

    "I tried to get the video but all i got is Michael Jackson."


  22. ST.EMILY says:

    In the Choir loft.

    I cannot get the video with Bishop Sheen. Pls check again to see if you gave correct address.

    I would love to see it.

  23. Anonymous says:

    The video works fine for me, no king of pop or anything.

  24. I just copied and pasted the address and it worked fine. Try going to youtube and searching on traditional latin mass sheen. See what comes up then.

    Buona fortuna!!! Oremus!!!

  25. Sister Emily says:

    In the Choir loft… Thanks I finally got Bishop Sheen explaing the Latin Mass. I just started attending Latin Mass and this was wonderful for me.

  26. Dear Sister Emily — I'm glad that you got the video to work. There are many, many splendid videos on youtube, but also google videos, even yahoo videos has some. You will sometimes find the same videos on youtube, google and yahoo. I think Google allows almost an hour for a video, but if not, they have the videos broken up into smaller pieces.

    Enjoy and hope to see you at St. Stanislaus soon.

  27. I finally found a video of the Tridentine High Mass that is full-length. It is from St. Nicholas duChardonnet in Paris. The accents are unmistakably French. Also, European's do not genuflect at the Asperges (or Vidi Aquam) as Americans do.

    One of the most intense (for me at least) is when the procession starts for Mass and you have about 20 or so young boys come out in procession all totally vested in cassock and surplice. These boys are our possible future priests that is why boys should be on the altar sans girls.

    It almost a universal truism that the older priests of any diocese will tell you that serving the HOly Sacrifice of the Mass as a boy had a direct impact on that priest's vocation.

    I have been to this Church for Mass and it is extremely beautiful and packed to the rafters. Not all of France has lost the faith. The Tridentine Mass is very strong in France among the faithful; not very much among the bishops though.

    Enjoy this video.

    I would really like to hear your comments on this.

    Oremus pro invicem and see you at the communion rail.

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