Category Archives: Religion

Latin Mass – Second time around

I’m a little late reporting on this – for some reason I haven’t had the urge to write lately.  Work has been busy as usual, and since I’m working on a whole different set of projects, I tend to push harder than usual, which is wearing me out.

Last Sunday was my second time at the Low Mass at St. Rose.  I’m happy to report that I was more comfortable this time.  I can chalk that up to several things:

1:  My brother Aaron attends, and has, since St. Rose started having the Latin Mass.  He also has a good grasp of the Latin language.  He was able to clear up some things that I didn’t understand from my first visit.

2: Anytime you repeat something, it’s more familar the second time, then the third, etc…  As you become familiar with some things, they become second-nature and you start to notice other things.  For instance, Catholics genuflect (go down on one knee) when they leave and enter the pew.  An outsider might find the genuflection interesting.  Since I’m familiar with it, I noticed the additional detail of someone in a certain circumstance genuflecting in a different way.

3: I managed to locate the “propers” this time.  I’m not sure of the technical description, but it’s basically those prayers that diverge from the regular missal.  During the Mass, the priest jumps back and forth between the two, and at times throws in some customizations of his own.

4: Aaron wrote a walkthrough that explains in a layman’s terms what’s going to happen.

Anyway, I plan on going back again this Sunday.  So far I’m sticking with the Low Mass.  I may try the High Mass once I get to be more of a regular.

My first Latin Mass

Well, I finally, along with my 8-yr old son, attended my first Latin Mass this morning.  My brother Aaron was there, although he was in the front of the church, so I don’t think he saw us.  Aaron volunteers at the church a lot, and has written lots of good info on the Latin Mass here.

The church we are talking about is the Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Quincy, IL.  It’s at the corner of 8th and Chestnut, for you locals.  It used to be St. Rose Catholic Church years ago, was shut down for consolidation, and was opened back up for the Latin Mass.  I’d only been inside once before, and that’s because my sister was married there some 16 or so years ago.

Since it was my first time, I didn’t really know what to expect.  Yeah, I knew the Mass would be in Latin, and I knew that the 8am service would be music-free, but other than that, I was a complete rookie.  I showed up late, so I didn’t have time to ask Aaron what things I needed from the vestibule.  There was a stack of prayer books, a hard laminated sheet of something else, and a copy of sheet music for a song.  I knew there was supposed to be something called “Propers”, but I couldn’t find them and didn’t want to be any later getting inside than I already was.

My impressions….   well, it’s kinda hard to describe.  Deep down I knew that I knew what was happening, because as a Catholic, I’ve sat through it thousands of times.  And yet, being all in Latin, having the priest facing away from us, etc… was enough to also make be feel completely lost.  I picked up the Missal a few times, which is left-Latin, right-English, figured out where I thought we were in the Mass, and was promptly lost because when the Priest started back up again, he wasn’t saying anything even close to what the Latin side looked like.

My son was okay until about 1/2-way through, and then he started asking how soon til the end.  He was bored.  Well, yeah, I can see that he would get that way – he doesn’t know the language, he doesn’t know yet what to do when it’s his turn to respond, and we were in the back row where it was hard to see.  I’m told that the 11am High Mass has a choir, which would make things more interesting for the kids, so I might try that next week.  Regardless of Low Mass or High Mass next week, I’m going to try and be more prepared so I can follow along better.

What wierd weather

Today was nice and warm, around 60 deg, but windy windy windy.  That turned into rain, so it’s sopping wet outside and dropping fast to freezing temps.  We’re supposed to get some freezing rain, sleet and snow overnight.   Ick.

We went and got our Christmas tree today.  I know, almost everyone else already has theirs up and has had since Thanksgiving or even earlier.  Sorry, I just can’t bring myself to do that.  I was raised with the knowledge that Christmas extended past the 25th, not before it.  My family always got our tree a week before Christmas and kept it for several weeks after.  We had a manger scene, just like I do now, where the wise men don’t arrive to give their gifts until 12 days after Christmas, on Epiphany.  Hence, the 12 days of Christmas that everyone sings about and probably don’t know why.  In some countries, gifts are given on each of the 12 days.

We went out to Eidson’s Tree Farm, which is about 1/2 way between Quincy and Payson.  We’ve been going to Eidson for quite a few years now.  He’s the Ag teacher at Payson Seymour, where I went to school, so he knows my family.  He’s also not a huge operation, so it’s a friendly place to visit.

Anyway, this year there weren’t too many trees left.  Apparently one of the bigger farms in the area shut down after last year’s season, and the 600 trees they had been selling had to be gotten somewhere, which means Eidson’s did a lot more business.

On the other hand, I’m a little concerned that he’ll have any trees ready for next year, since so many were taken this year.  Trees only grow so fast.  It may take a few years for the other farms to absorb that 600 tree loss.

Even though there weren’t too many left, we found one that would work for us.  Now we’re waiting for it to dry out some on the porch, since it got caught in the rain while we were bringing it home.

More Philosophy

Sometimes I think of wierd things.  Here’s one for you to think about.

Which is a greater tragedy, for a person to die very young or die very old?  I think most people’s gut reaction is to say it’s much more of a tragedy to die very young.  However, consider this:

The younger the person, the fewer lives they have touched.  The fewer lives touched, the less people to grieve.

An older person will have touched many more lives and many more people will mourn their loss.

Christians believe, for the most part, that our time on earth is preparation to enter into Heaven.  We experience all the things we do during our lives to make us ready to enter Heaven when God calls us.  A young death basically means the soul is ready for Heaven and doesn’t need to suffer here on earth for years like the rest of us.

What do you think?  Am I off my rocker?

How are you going to vote?

Check out this video at  It says better that I ever could how important it is to think about the issues that are at the heart of our lives, and then vote for the candidates that are the most likely to agree with you on those issues.

Think for yourselves, don’t get caught up in how others want you to vote or what the news media wants you to think.  Spend a few minutes thinking about how you feel about abortion, immigration, taxes, social programs, foreign policy, gay marraige, etc…  If you can’t put forth the effort to really think about why you are voting and who you are voting for, stay home.