AS PART of the activities of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC), the Societas Ecclesia Dei Sancti Joseph, or the Ecclesia Dei Society of St. Joseph-Una Voce Philippines, offered the traditional Latin Mass at the Asilo de la Milagrosa Church in Cebu City yesterday.
It was officiated by Hong Kong Archbishop Emeritus Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kium at 4:30 p.m.
The traditional Latin Mass was the most widely used liturgy before the introduction of the Novus Ordo, or new mass rites, by Blessed Pope Paul VI in 1969.
Cardinal Zen, who earlier gave a testimony before IEC delegates last Monday, had offered to perform the mass in Cebu.
In his message, Zen told churchgoers that he wanted to educate Catholics on how the mass was celebrated before the introduction of the Novus Ordo was introduced.
He said that regardless of what type of Roman Rites is being practiced, the message of the Holy Eucharist is still there.
The traditional Latin Mass is divided in two parts: The Mass of the Cathecumens and the Mass of the Faithful.
During the Mass of the Cathecumens, Zen performed the preparatory prayers at the foot of the altar.
After that, Zen recited the Confiteor, or the Public Confession. The Confiteor is a prayer of acknowledgment of a believer’s guilt before God.
Zen then kissed the altar nine times, begging for the intercession of the saints.
He then uttered the Introit, or entrance prayer. The Introit is so called because it is chanted as the priest enters the sanctuary to begin mass.
The priest and the mass-goers recited the Kyrie, a prayer that allows the faithful to ask God for mercy. They then recited the Gloria, or “Glory to God in the Highest,” and the Collects, which is the collected prayers of the faithful.
Facing the altar
The subdeacon then read the Epistle, consisting of letters of St. Paul, or books from the Old or New Testament, except for the Gospel.
Then the Gradual, or a short prayer of praise taken from Psalms, was sung followed by the Gospel and then the Credo, or the profession of faith.
The proceedings then shifts to the Mass of the Faithful, which included the consecration of the Bread and Wine and the Communion.
Unlike what is practiced in the Novus Ordo, priests who celebrate the traditional Latin Mass face the altar during the consecration of the bread and wine.
Also during communion, mass-goers are required to kneel before the priest when receiving the host or bread.
Some churchgoers who attended the mass yesterday said they were amazed by the traditional rites.
Iivory Baguio, 20, told reporters that it was her first traditional Latin Mass.
She admitted that was a little confused at first because the mass was in Latin, but she noticed similarities to what is practiced today.
“Nindot na (It was a nice) experience. We are lucky to experience it,” Baguio added.