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Tridentine Masses gaining popularity in Madison area Print
Letters to the editor
Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010 -- 1:00 AM

To the editor:

With great interest I read a reprint of the “Latin Mass Appeal” op-ed originally published in the New York Times on November 29, 2009. The op-ed discussed some developments underlying the construction of the Novus Ordo Mass, specifically liturgical changes forced by Cardinal Annibale Bugnini that were not called for by Vatican II, bringing liturgical “chaos and banality” to the Sacrifice of the New Law “in which Christ, through the ministry of the Priest, offers Himself to God.”

In addition, the op-ed pointed out an ongoing counterrevolution fueled by Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum with its liberation of the Tridentine Mass or the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

In Madison, following the initial Pontifical Mass at the Throne by Bishop Morlino in 2007, Tridentine Mass has been celebrated each Sunday at 7 a.m. at Holy Redeemer Church in downtown Madison. Tridentine Masses are also celebrated daily at St. Norbert Church in Roxbury and on Sunday at St. Aloysius Church in Sauk City.

The Diocese of Madison is blessed in having Bishop Robert Morlino, Msgr. Delbert Schmelzer, Msgr. Jim Bartylla, Fr. Eric Sternberg, and priests from the Society of Jesus Christ the Priest who have come to Holy Redeemer to celebrate this ancient liturgy.

Despite some concerns that only older generations would come to Tridentine Masses, there are many young families with small children who come to the Mass each Sunday. Many families drive long distances from the outlying areas despite such an early time and often very cold winter weather.

The conclusion reached by this op-ed, “Benedict XVI wants a return to order and meaning” in the context of the Tridentine Mass, seems to hold in Madison, as the next generation of Madison Catholics in increasing numbers come to celebrate this immemorial liturgy “and its accompanying chant, incense, and ceremony.”

Jacek M. Cianciara, Tridentine Mass Society of the Diocese of Madison