“It’s the opposite of the cacophony that comes with the [modern] Mass,” said Ken Wolfe, 34, a federal government worker who goes to up to four Latin Masses a week in the Washington area. “There’s no guitars and handshaking and breaks in the Mass where people talk to each other. It’s a very serious liturgy.”
Attendance at the Sunday noon Mass at St. John the Beloved in McLean 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.”
Me: this is a good thing and I suspect it is not limited to Catholic youth. Truth is truth. Good is good. Beauty is beauty. They remain such despite vascilating fashions and trends. Quality never goes out of style. So too, the quality of the old school liturgy never goes out of style.
I can remember ten years ago having dorm room debates about the relative merits of “contemporary worship” versus the “traditional liturgy.” The criticisms were always the same: the old liturgy was just “old.” It was “hard to understand.” It was “not welcoming.” It was “boring.” Meanwhile, the “praise” music associated with contemporary services was easy to sing, uplifting, and new.
In every case, those critical of the “traditional liturgy” had very little knowledge about its origins, its ties to scripture, and its place in the life of the church. The liturgy is a journey from law to Gospel, from sin to grace. Its craftsmanship is remarkable. Its beauty is NOT in the eye of the beholder. It is beautiful, objectively so.
Things that do not share these traits become mere fads and fashions. I think that is what is manifesting itself in the story above. The young parishioners are reflecting, rejecting unserious liturgy, and returning to something beautiful and infinitely more meaningful.