I regularly receive comments and messages from Catholics who attend the Latin rite Mass and call themselves "traditional" Catholics. They encourage me to "discover the beauty of the Latin Mass." In fact, this is a huge part of my subscriber base. Here's the top comment on my newest video: "Lizzie! YOU soon WILL BE A TRADITIONAL CATHOLIC (Pro Missa Tridentina). I can see it miles away with you. Consider this an early "Welcome Home" to you!" Because I'm not already Home? Here is my response to these people.
I can assure you I won't, because I already am, but not in the way you mean. Latin Mass is not better than Novus Ordo Mass. Both are valid according to the Pope, so it actually worries me when Latin Mass people on the internet push it as though being more Catholic is becoming a "traditional Catholic." ALL Catholics are Traditional Catholics, because we all follow the Apostolic Tradition taught to the first Christians and passed down to the present day. THAT is the true meaning of being a Traditional Catholic.
In a modern Latin rite celebration of the Eucharist, the language and music and vestments and altar boys and the type of prayers and the way scripture reading is done and the way the Priest walks and stands and the way the parishioners participate and kneel and receive communion is not even part of the "Apostolic Tradition" and is foreign to the Early Church. A majority of this was created in the High Middle Ages. It is a much later "tradition" (some of it 1,000+ years after Christ) and a majority of it is not Dogma. The Church Magisterium allows for much diversity in the Universal Church in how different countries and cultures celebrate the Mass. If we are going to be united under the Pope, we must trust the Church Magisterium in what is required to be a valid Mass. We must believe that Latin Mass is in no way "more valid" than other types.
If one of the Apostles came back today and saw the Latin Rite Mass, it would be unrecognizable!! The Novus Ordo would be as well!! Anyone from the Early Church would be SO confused and uncomfortable coming into the 21st Century and would probably not recognize it as a Mass. ALL of the women would be "dressing immodestly" compared to 1st Century standards. Even the wearing of veils would be seen as "immodest" and "pagan" if any hair was seen hanging loose.
The original Mass of the 1st generation of Christians was celebrated in Greek (the Latin language did not exist), only read Old Testament Scriptures (as the New Testament did not yet exist), would be interrupted by these erratic Prophecies, the Bishops (no Priest vs Bishop distinction yet) did not wear robes, the Eucharist was part of the "Agape Feast" meaning everyone was gathered around the table eating a meal and at the end received the Eucharist (probably touching it and chewing it) and they all drank the wine, not just the Bishop. (See Acts 20 and 1 Corinthians 11) Their Sunday morning service probably included public confession with everyone present and in these house churches, there were no pews or kneelers and it was very casual. The most shocking part (to Latin Mass parishioners) is that in the 1st Century Church overseen by Jesus' Apostles... WOMEN were publicly praying and reading Scripture and even prophesying in front of the whole Mass! (1 Corinthians 11:5)
If you knew the details of my conversion story, you wouldn't be encouraging me to "discover" the Latin Mass, because I already have. As I was learning about Catholicism it was through the Latin Mass! My Catholic friend who essentially catechized me and who I had regular Bible Studies with is a Traditional Latin Catholic!! Last summer when I first started going to Mass, I attended Latin Mass every week, but also an Orthodox Church 3x a week for Divine Liturgy and Vespers.
I still attend a Latin Mass when I'm in LA and am close to the community there. My main Parish where I did RCIA & my Priest who confirmed me, did my first confession, led my RCIA, who I LOVEEE & my main community is Novus Ordo, but since I go to Mass multiple times on Sunday and throughout the week, I am at the Latin Mass parish quite a bit! Many of the Latin Mass parishioners know me from my videos and are extremely welcoming!! Dozens of them do confession every week before Mass and even as Mass is beginning, so everyone has a chance to go. They have a potluck after Mass and always stay for so long talking with each other. The couples all have 4-5+ kids and it is exciting that they are educating the next generation of Americans in the Faith! Atheists and Protestants will birth control themselves out of the majority of the population. The future is Catholic couples that are open to life. Many of them being Latin rite Catholics.
A woman from the first ever Latin Mass I went to in Florida, she talked to me afterward and encouraged me to come back the next week. She is the only reason I came back the next week. And the next week and and the next week. So yes, I love the Latin Mass and the people who attend Latin Mass and it is deeply integrated into my conversion story. I attended this Latin Mass confirmation ceremony a few months ago and it was AMAZING seeing 50+ kids getting confirmed!! These people are SO devout and passionate about Christ and their openness to life is one of the things I love the most about being there. They LOVE children and see them as a blessing from God, as we all should. This Latin Mass is one of the most tight-knit Catholic communities I've ever seen. Some of the best homilies I've ever heard, etc.
I ALSO love Novus Ordo Mass! I also love Byzantine Mass! I love Mass in Spanish! I love visiting our Eastern brothers and sisters in Orthodox Divine Liturgy! My boyfriend and I are becoming somewhat of a unit growing into the future of our relationship. He became Catholic at the Novus Ordo Cathedral where he lives, and is really close to the people there. Like I am, at my Parish. We both prefer the Eastern rite of the Church over everything. So in the future we hope to live by an Eastern rite Catholic Church. I would REALLY want to raise my children (if I get married) in Byzantine Catholicism. I connect the most to the worship there.
If anyone is going to claim to be "the most traditional" or "the closest to the Early Church" it is the worship and mass of the Orthodox Church and the many other Orthodox Churches that broke off in the 6th Century i.e. Coptic, Armenian, Syriac, Eritrean, Ethiopian, Malankara. Much of the Eastern worship style most closely resemble the first Christians. But much of the way Vatican II restored the Early Church resembles it even more. So I love Byzantine and Novus Ordo the most, but I will attend Latin Mass for the rest of my life too! I don't like labelling myself as anything other than Catholic.
I LOVE Latin Mass Catholic and I LOVE attending Latin Mass. However, this mentality of trying to "convert people" to the Latin Mass needs to stop. We are ALL Traditional Catholics and all EQUALLY Catholic in following the Apostolic Tradition in being united under the Pope. The reason I would never only attend Latin Mass or identify as a "traditional Catholic" is because it represents division. From my experience, many of the Catholics part of this group and even some of the Priests, see everyone else as "less Catholic" and EVEN WORSE oppose the Pope and Vatican II in a really scary way. From the beginning of Christianity, unity with the Pope and respect of Church Authority and obedience to the Councils has been absolutely integral. Not only unity theologically with the Church Magisterium and its teachings, but especially submission and respect to the Pope. From our individualistic, anti-authoritarian American culture has come this group of Latin Catholics who are bringing cultural values into their Catholicism and being extremely anti-Catholic in the way they talk about and think about the Pope. That's a HUGE red flag.
We are ALL equally Traditional Catholics, the Latin rite pulls a lot of its Mass from the High Middle Ages, and I LOVE submitting to Pope Francis. That is all.