F YOU WERE TO ASK ME why I attend the Latin Mass, I could wax lyrical over many different aspects that I now enjoy, but the reason I came to enjoy them was the Maternal Heart of Mary Church, Lewisham.
The liturgy there is beautiful.
Sunday Mass usually begins with a rousing organ prelude. Then the priest intones the asperges (or vidi aquam in paschaltide) and then the rumbling ground swell of the congregation joining the song. The singing suddenly drops off as the cantor takes up the psalm verse solo then the people come back in. The priest chants the prayers that follow answered with the same surround sound singing. Then the choir takes up the introit and the ethereal melody washes over the congregation as they kneel for the prayers at the foot of the altar.
And that is just the beginning.
It was strange to begin with. Sitting next to someone who knew where we were up to helped a lot. People were happy to hang around and talk after Mass and there were always new details to uncover. It took a while to get comfortable but now that’s my ideal. I can’t travel all the way there regularly, but I still go to a Latin Mass because it could be like that.