This past Sunday I attended the TLM for the second time in a row (second time ever) and there were some differences I noticed in this one versus the one before. The first one I attended was at a small mission about an hour away from where I live, and the second one was at an actual parish about forty minutes from where my parents live (who live about an hour and a half from me). They were both Low Masses but the second one used an Organ more than the first one. (I’m not sure if they had an actual Organ, it may have been just a recording). I also noticed that most of the songs this second Mass played were in English. I was surprised by this because I thought only Latin hymns or Gregorian Chant were allowed. I did find out later that English hymns were allowed at a Low Mass but I would still prefer the music to be in Latin even though the music they played was MUCH better than the music heard at the average Novus Ordo Mass.
Another difference I noticed was the average age of parishioners seemed to be much lower than the first Sunday Mass I went too. At the first one, there was only one family with a son that was probably high school age. I was probably the next youngest, then maybe the Altar server. At the second parish there were so many young families with young children and/or infants. This did have the effect of taking away that deep silence I experienced at the first one but it was nice because it demonstrated how tradition is the future of the Church.
In my diocese there are only a handful of parishes that celebrate the TLM and according to the diocese website, it seems we have more parishes than we have men in the Seminary. People are always talking about how we have this major vocation crises in the Church but I do not believe that this is because men no longer have the calling. I believe that maybe they see the crises in the Church and how far we have strayed from tradition, so instead of the risk of being shut down by the people in power for defending tradition (like me), they stay away from getting involved in the Church. That is MY theory anyways. It may not be true but from what I heard about this parish’s vocations, it definitely seems like they are doing something none of the other parishes are doing.
At this second TLM, there was a visiting priest who gave the homily. He is the Director of Development for FSSP and was there to ask for donations to help fund their seminary. They have over ninety seminarians at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Nebraska and are almost at capacity. What amazed me the most is that he said that that parish ALONE had four seminarians! Remember I said we have more parishes than seminarians in our diocese? Well between the three nearest parishes to where I live, (including St. Anonymous) we have exactly zero seminarians. If I end up entering the seminary, there is no way I will be giving the priest of St. Anonymous (the priest that kicked me off the youth ministry) the honor of having me claim his parish as mine.
So what is this parish doing differently than most of the others in our diocese? It can’t be because they embrace tradition! So may priests and bishops say that ‘the Church needs to change with the times so that the young people won’t leave…’ Obviously that isn’t working and from what I have seen, young people want tradition to return to the Church because we feel like we had our Catholic inheritance stolen by the “spirit of Vatican II” generation. The Diocese of Lincoln is a prime example that shows that where tradition is common, many vocations and strong faith exist. I will put a link at the bottom that describes how much better they are doing than other dioceses despite being relatively small.
The Church is having many issues with the younger population leaving but the leaders refuse to acknowledge the problem is them and those who refuse to let us young people have the tradition we desire.