I missed Faith Friday this week, even though I had an awesome story to tell. So I'm telling it today, because I feel like I don't blog enough anymore. It's hard to get as blog post in everyday when it's so busy here.
On Thursday, I had to cross into the US to go take care of some business in San Diego. I left really early, thinking the line would take forever early in the morning, when everyone and their mom is crossing to go to work. Well the line didn't take that long.... I made it into Downtown San Diego at about 7:45, the library doest open until 9:30. What was I gonna do?
The part of town I was in was a fairly nice part of town, however there is a large homeless population. I didn't feel particularly safe as some of the people were jeering and yelling at me. So instead of standing around for an hour and a half, I googled:
"ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCHES NEAR ME"
The first church on the list was St. Anne's and it was about 2km away from me, so I put the address into my GPS and stayed walking. I ended up getting lost because I had to navigate around construction, but I learned the Barrio Logan neighborhood pretty well! As I walked up to the church, I could see the door's were open. It was 8:55 and Mass stated at 9! Boy was I lucky!
As I reached into my purse to pull out my veil, I looked inside and saw another woman in a veil! This NEVER happens to me. Even in Mexico, I'm usually the lone veiler in church. I was super excited and I went in and then I was breathless. There was a Communion Rail. There was a beautiful high Altar. Every single woman was in a veil. I had walked into a Traditional Latin Mass.
Before Vatican II, all Masses worldwide were said in Latin. The priests wrote traditional vestments, performed Mass with their backs to the congregation, and all women covered their heads out of a reverence for God and the Blessed Sacrament. After Vatican II, these practices were done away with, after almost 1500 years. However, they are still performed, with the blessing of the Church, by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, or commonly referred to as FSSP. They are a group of priests who perform Mass and the Sacraments using the liturgical books of 1962.
During a Traditional Latin Mass, or TLM for short, everything is in Latin. There is also a lot more kneeling than I am used to. The church provides a booklet of the words and prayers of the Mass in Latin and English, but I couldn't keep up. Maybe if I had sat closer to the front of the church, but I was really taking it all in. As a language lover, Jadon to me is the most beautiful; it is old, traditional, and it sounds to me like the language of the angels. Hearing the most beautiful prayer of the Holy Mass said like that was like seeing heaven on earth. I was so lost, and I really had no idea what was being said it going on, but I just soaked it all in. You see, I had never been to a Traditional Latin Mass.
When the Mass had ended, I grabbed every newsletter and piece of informational paper I could find. I was amazed to see so many people in the US recording Holy Eucharist on their tongue and kneeling. In Mexico no one receives in their hands, but almost no one kneels anymore as it is also not required. I love seeing the long line of Tradition still being carried out.
This was truly a blessing from God, because that day I was really struggling; my faith has been shaken a lot since getting here. But I know I must hold fast, because my happiness and rewards await me in heaven, they will not come to me in this life here. I just thank God so much for last Thursday. It was the greatest.
I want to thank St. Anne Catholic Church from welcoming me into their parish. I was very pleased with this experience, and I would like to try to make it up maybe once a month, if border crossing allows.
EDIT: My dad informed me after reading this post that I have, in fact, attended a TLM as a child, but I don't recall it. I'm sure I did, but a lot of my childhood memories are kinda fuzzy.