Traditional Latin Mass Homily — 3rd Sunday After Easter April 13, 2008

Homily — 3rd Sunday After Easter (Traditional Latin Mass)

[Note: This weekend, I offered for the first time as a priest the Traditional Latin Mass at my parish. Here is my homily for that special occasion. If you wish to see my homily for the 4th Sunday of Easter in the Ordinary Form of Mass, please scroll down under this homily.]

We welcome the Reverend Clergy, (Religious), and lay people from other parishes for this, the first of Three Masses in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, commonly known as the Traditional Latin Mass.

We hope you will be able to attend one of both of the other two Masses, the next one being the second Sunday of May, May 11, which is Pentecost Sunday and also Mother’s Day (the Traditional Latin Mass makes a great Mother’s Day gift!); and the last one being the second Sunday of June, June 8.

This Mass is being offered for St. Joseph Parishioners, living and deceased, and especially for the many parishioners who have helped make this Mass a reality.

About a month ago I was talking to an older priest friend of mine, Fr. G., about how I was in the process of training the Altar Servers for the Traditional Latin Mass. Father said he remembered serving the Mass as a boy, but he didn’t remember the part at the Consecration, where, as the priest raises the Body of Christ, the Server lifts the back hem of the priest’s chasuble with one hand, while with the other hand he rings the bell.

Father remembered ringing the bell, but not raising the back hem of the chasuble.

But a few days later, he was with Fr. R., who also served the Traditional Latin Mass growing up. So he asked this priest if he remembered doing that.

And Father said said “Yes, I remember doing that. One time when I was serving all alone, I was so nervous that I shook the priest’s chasuble with one hand and raised the bell with the other!”

In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells His Apostles at the Last Supper A little while, and you shall not see Me, but . . . . I will see you again and your heart shall rejoice: and your joy no man shall take from you.

Jesus’ words proved true when on Easter Sunday Night, Jesus appeared again to the Apostles in the Upper Room and showed them His hands and side, and the Gospel says The Disciples Rejoiced when they saw the Risen Lord.

Well, Easter was 21 days ago, and the Easter Lilies are starting to droop, but the Joy of the Resurrection remains in full bloom in the Church, and hopefully in our hearts in a most special way throughout these 50 days of Easter.

But this Easter Season of 2008, the joy our hearts experience is made even greater by the return of this Traditional Latin Mass.

This Easter, thousands of believers throughout the Church, both young and old, are rejoicing in the Holy Spirit, as they hear Mass begin with the words “Introibo ad altare Dei”– “I will go to the Altar of God, to God, who gives Joy to my Youth;”

Rejoicing in hearing the Mother Tongue, the ancient and stately Latin language, being used again at Mass, as it was for well over 1000 years throughout Western Christendom;

Rejoicing, — yes, I say it again, rejoicing, to see the priest offering the Holy Sacrifice the way all priests everywhere offered it from Apostolic times up until the 1960s: Ad Orientem, Facing the East along with their congregation, where Christ, the Rising Sun that will never set, will one day return from to Judge the Living and the Dead.

Throughout the Church this Easter, more and more Catholics are coming to rejoice in the intimate and prayerful silence which takes place during the Canon of the Mass, a silence which many people find the best part of the Traditional Latin Mass, as it allows them to enter more deeply into the mystery of God coming down from Heaven to be present on this very Altar.

Rejoicing also as the Angelic sounds of Sacred Polyphony and Gregorian Chant can be heard adorning the Divine Worship.

Rejoicing in the Confiteor, the Last Gospel, and all the other ancient prayers that have nourished generation upon generation of Catholics for centuries.

And finally, rejoicing when the Server rings the bell, and lifts the hem of the priest’s garment (or visa versa if Fr. R is serving Mass!), and at that moment the greatest joy of all, seeing there, in the hands of the priest, Jesus Himself, come to us in this Holy Sacrament so that we may receive Him as food for our hungry souls at the Altar Rail in Holy Communion.

My brothers and sisters, let us ask our blessed Mother Mary and St. Joseph our Patron to intercede for the Church on earth today, that these Heavenly Joys may never again be taken from those of us who have a love and devotion to this Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite of Mass.

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