Leaning into Latin Mass

By Jenny Dendinger

My family experienced our first Latin Mass on a Tuesday morning in December. It was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Mass started at 7 a.m., so it required extra effort to get our five kids out of the door in time, but the pep talk we gave them the night before seemed to help.

We arrived with only a few minutes to spare, but I’ll always remember the pastor’s reassuring smile as we walked in the door.

We made it!

Hearing Mass said in Latin was definitely different, but the familiar scent of incense in the air paired with watching the priest pray so reverently on the altar helped to balance my senses. Even when I didn’t understand the words, my heart still felt unexpectedly connected.

After Mass, I was eager to hear the kids’ reactions. I assumed they’d complain about not understanding anything, but one by one they told me how much they enjoyed the Latin Mass. They loved the reverence, the incense and kneeling to receive Communion. The change in language didn’t even seem to faze them.

Since we usually go to Mass as a family on Friday mornings, we asked the kids on Thursday night which Mass they would prefer. Even after reminding them of the earlier Mass time, they all begged to go to the Latin Mass.

I was both shocked and impressed by their willingness to embrace change.

By the following Sunday, it was no longer necessary to discuss our Mass options. Instead of feeling lost and out of place like I had expected, the Latin Mass felt like home.

We still have a lot to learn, but God continues to reassure us as we lean in and let him lead the way.

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