By Stacy LaMorte
Have you ever attended a Catholic Mass in another language? If not, I highly recommend it! My family and I did yesterday – on accident.
Our daughter wanted to say goodbye to a priest who was the pastor at her school, as he had been transferred. We had the option to say goodbye to him after the 9 or the 11 a.m. Mass, and 9 a.m. fit into our day a little better.
We arrived at the church (not our usual parish) at around 8:50 a.m. to ushers greeting us with “Buenos Dias!” We realized we were at the Spanish-speaking Mass. We looked at one another trying to decide whether to stay or go, not being fluent Spanish speakers.
However, we know the Mass. A different language doesn’t change the format. We knew when to stand, sit and kneel, so we didn’t feel like fish out of water. We followed along in the bilingual missalette and tried our best to keep up with the responses in Spanish. We enjoyed hearing how different these same prayers sound when not spoken in our native tongue.
The priest, not being a native Spanish speaker, spoke slowly enough that we could pick out parts of what he was saying and glean a lesson from the homily.
My favorite part, though, was the music and clapping that was a part of the culture of this Mass. Music is a universal language. So was the priest fist-bumping the children he encountered when processing out of the church.
We may just start seeking out Masses in other languages every once in a while!