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Ordained in 2011, Father Friel served for five years as Parochial Vicar at St. Anselm Parish in Northeast Philly. He is currently studying toward an STL in sacred liturgy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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“In spite of what it is currently called, the music of these songs is not modern: this musical style is not new, but has been played in the most profane places and surroundings (cabarets, music halls, often for more or less lascivious dances with foreign names). The people are led on to rock or swing. They all feel an urge to dance about. That sort of “body language” is certainly alien to our Western culture, unfavorable to contemplation and its origins are rather suspect. Most of the time our congregations, which already find it hard not to confuse the crochets and the quavers in a 6/8 bar, do not respect the rhythm; then one no longer feels like dancing, but with the rhythm gone to pieces, the habitual poorness of the melodic line becomes all the more noticeable.”
— Unnamed choirmaster (Northern France) circa 1986

An Extraordinary Event: NCYC 2015
published 23 November 2015 by Fr. David Friel

N SATURDAY, the 2015 National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) wrapped up in Indianapolis. The biennial celebration brings together an enormous group of Catholics: over 24,000 youth, 450 priests, and 35 bishops from across the United States. The event claims to become the world’s largest Catholic parish for four days.

What does one do at NCYC? It’s a festive atmosphere in which young people attend keynote talks, join in prayer, and enjoy concerts. They also engage in Eucharistic adoration, go to confession, and participate in service projects.

I have never attended an NCYC, but it was brought to my attention that something very interesting made its way onto the schedule this year.

The conference runs from Wednesday afternoon through Saturday night. Included in each day’s schedule are several opportunities for daily Mass. On Friday, one of the four Masses offered was a Mass in the Extraordinary Form. The photograph above was taken at this Mass, and it looks like there was strong attendance.

Young people, it is true, are not widely familiar with the traditional form of the Mass. Nor are they familiar with all the preconceptions & biases that led their grandparents’ generation to dismiss traditional forms. My experience has shown me that young people, when given the opportunity to experience the Church’s tradition, are able to appreciate the richness and beauty of our faith. Let us, therefore, continue to expose them to the Church’s tradition!

“What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us, too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.” (Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum)