Monday, February 11, 2008

Revival of Latin Mass in Springfield

(The Springfield News Leader) - The servers flanked Orf, on their knees, sometimes placing their heads on the step before them. "Quia tu es, Deus, fortitudo mea ..." — "For thou, O God, art my strength" — they replied.

The prayers continued, a back and forth between the elderly priest and the young servers, all male.

Then, Orf ascended to the altar, lifted his arms up, his palms open, to pray for forgiveness of sins and pure minds. After kissing the altar, he turned around to face the more than 200 people who had attended the historic event.

"Dominus vobiscum," Orf intoned.

"Et cum spiritu tuo," the congregation replied.

"The Lord be with you."

"And with thy spirit."

The voices came from young and old, from women in hats or lace cloths on their heads, from many with bare heads, from those with well-worn missals, many saved from their youth, or those who got a copy of the bright red booklets at the back of the church. Some replied easily from memory. Others stumbled with the unfamiliar language...

...Mike Kramer, 20, who was one of the servers, would prefer to experience the Mass only in Latin.

"Everything in this Mass is completely timeless," he said. "It's from Christian antiquity. If you worship this way, you are worshipping the same way your great-great-grandmother did. In some ways, it's your only connection to them.

"There is a bond there with your entire family tree, that is only accessible through this."

For Sharon Hollars, who attended Sunday with her 84-year-old mother, Lucille Holars, the experience transcended language:

"It's just beautiful."

read full story here