6 thoughts on “From Ordinary to the Extraordinary: Why Men are Drawn to the Latin Mass

  1. “Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
    There’s always laughter and good red wine.
    At least I’ve always found it so.
    Benedicamus Domino!” ~Hilaire Belloc

  2. This is really inspiring. Thank you so much to both of you for sharing your thoughts on this topic! Honestly moved me to a deeper conversion just thinking about what you all said. Thanks both of you for your individual ministries.

  3. Hi Matt, I’m a big fan of all the work you do and I’ve been following for years. This had to be one of the weirdest pieces though…you lost me on why the Latin mass was appealing to men,. There was an emphasis on masculinity that I wasn’t sure where women would fit in. I too have been interested in the Latin mass having never attended but this post didn’t necessarily enthuse me to try it out. Nonetheless, good on you for posting the video and talking about something that isn’t often discussed.

    1. Hi Vasco,

      I know I’m coming to this comment late (and I know I’m not Matt), but as a fellow Catholic, I thought it might be worth offering some thoughts on your perspective, as well.

      I think Matt’s focus in this particular video was to address what it is about the EF that draws *men* in a special way. I don’t think it was intended to exclude women, but rather, to focus on a man’s perspective.

      That said, if I might offer some thoughts on what the EF can provide for women (though this is, admittedly, from a man’s perspective, so take from it what you will):

      At the EF parish at which I often assist at Mass, the congregation is very diverse: young and old, but also–in particular–both man *and* women. And, interestingly, I’ve found that it is usually a whole family–husband, wife, daughters, and sons. So I have not found a sense of exclusion towards women–quite the contrary.

      What I’ve found interesting is the sense I get that the woman, in her capacity as a wife, or mother, or grandmother, or daughter, is exalted–in particular, as regards the many votive/Daily Masses, often on Saturdays, in which the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, is asked for her intercession specifically. Again, this is just a sense of my own; I don’t know if it would hold true for all, but I’m certain there are some.

      In addition, there is a sense of the continuity mentioned in the video; for example, some women wear veils, while some do not–and no one seems to focus on whether a woman is (or is not) wearing a veil, but at the same time (in contrast to most OF Masses at which I have assisted) there is no sense of “embarrassment” about wearing the veil, which sometimes occurs at OF Masses (unless one is an elderly lady). So the “old and new” are very much present there.

      The choir is also comprised of about an equal number of men and women, and there’s something here that grabs me as I write it: where, in OF parishes that focus less on sacred music, the choir may have to “shift” the octaves to make the music “singable” by either one or other group (i.e., trying to make the music a “one-size-fits-all” approach), in the EF, with Gregorian chant, the complementary aspect of the two sexes really shines: Men sing the parts most suitable for their voices, while women sing the parts most suited for theirs.

      So, in that sense, there is something of a beautiful “interplay” between men and women, weaving beautifully throughout each chant. It’s harder to describe than it is to experience; I hope I’ve done an adequate job of at least giving some “glimpse” of that.

      One last thing I’ll make note of (I don’t want to “ramble) is that, in particular, I’ve noticed that the Daily Masses in the EF are typically attended more by women than by men–again, a sense of continuity between OF and EF here. The reasoning behind both cases may vary; I would not presume to guess why fewer men assist at either. But it is something I have noticed.

      Anyway, I do hope that some of what I’ve written helps offer some worthwhile food for thought.

      Pax Christi,
      Alex

  4. Matt,

    Fantastic video, I identified with your prospective completely. I recently bought the book that Sam recommended and I look forward to reading it. I understand that you were in NET when you were younger. I have not been involved in NET but I am very familiar with Catholic charismatic worship and Covenant Communities. I was wondering if you had anything to say about how both this spirituality interact, the charismatic and the traditional Latin Mass. I obviously am not talking about combining the two, what I am getting at is that I find such beauty in both (in their right context). I am running into tension with relationship, for example: When I tell a traditional minded friend about the goodness of charismatic worship I usually get treated like I’m not really Catholic; or when I tell a charismatic friend that I prefer going to the Traditional Latin Mass, I often get treated like I’m a Vatican II denier.

    I was wondering how you might handle this, what are your thoughts? Any advice?

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