My travels have once again taken me to the northern corner of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today I am here for the baptism of a little boy born last month. His parents are friends and they have asked me and my wife to be his godparents. It is an honor, but more importantly it is a duty we do not take lightly.
So this morning I set out in search of my beloved Ancient Mass in the venerable Gregorian rite that I might offer my sacrifice especially today for him.
Owing to my location, finding the TLM is no easy task. I should say, finding the Mass is easy. There are only a handful of locations allowed by the bishop. Finding the time of the Mass is another story. For some reason, the diocese has decided that Cardinal Roche has authority even to forbid local parishes from publicizing the Mass times (only for the TLM) anywhere. No bulletin, no website, no social media. I wonder if His Eminence were to tell them how to lace their shoes, if they would consent…
Through back channels, I found a Mass.
And here is how you know you have found a Latin Mass being said when you aren’t supposed to know.
When you drive past a small-ish parking lot packed with at least ten Ford Transit vans, five Ford Econoline 15 passenger vans, a slew of bumper stickers, and at least one vanity license plate that says something like “JUDICAME” or “INTROIBO” or “16KIDZ”; you’ve definitely found it.
Interestingly I think the priest was a Dominican friar and not a diocesan priest. The lack of a biretta (replaced with a hood) and the fact that he had clearly prepared the water, wine, etc. before the Mass were my giveaways. I follow along in the Missal, praying every word. I’m usually very good at pacing myself with the priest at the altar. However, this man seemed to fly through the offertory. Also of note, the good folks of this place really seem to like their dialogue Masses. I am not accustomed to reciting anything during the Mass apart from the Leonine prayers. On the plus side, their Latin is flawless. God bless us all.
And so now it is on to the Novie parish for the baptism and the welcoming to new life of my godson. Please keep little Joseph in your prayers. The Church he is about to enter is everywhere in disarray yet Our Lord Jesus Christ rules, conquers, and prevails! Pray for me also as the church building I am about to enter resembles a spaceship. Should it lift off during the sacrament, well, RIP me, right?
St Joseph, protector of the Church, pray for us!