FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums

Full Version: Starting a TLM
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
I have the priest on board with the Latin Mass. He actually approached me. Any way he is actually fluent in Latin. He said he will be going to training in the fall. What should I do in the mean time? 

I looked at the page on the main site about starting a TLM and download the information. 

Keep in mind this is a very small parish. It's in a town of about 2,500 people.

I guess I need to find and train alterboys.
What about Chant? To tell you the truth there isn't much of a choir. I'm new to the parish, the last thing I want to do is step on anyone's toes. I don't even know if they have a music director.

I'm excited and a little apprehensive.
Great!
.
Of course, actually getting things in order, making sure you have everything you need in good order, and such is your first priority.
But everyone needs to be trained, including the altar boys.  All of the people "working the Mass" should be well informed and well rehearsed - it gives off a confidence to the newcomers.  As many parishioners as possible  should also be well informed so they know what to do and when so they can lead by example.  Maybe they should volunteer to sit up front or on the ends of he pews for awhile so the rest of us can follow. Make brochures available that explain the differences between the NO and the TLM but don't insult the NO in any way (don't alienate your potential "customer").
.
But along the way make sure to publicize the TLM Mass  Church bulletins (every Church in town and the surrounding areas, local Catholic newspaper, some town newspapers list the local churches and services for travelers and tourists.  And online, Church website, Church Facebook, and  I believe there is a register somewhere that lists the TLM Masses in the US.  Keep the online information accurate at all times - people make judgements about the quality of the "organization" based on accurate social media.  Photos are VERY helpful on social media so newcomers know what to expect. Include a picture of the front of the Church, the Church sign and the altar.  Have a photo of Father in the Cassocks and Robes, altar boys in proper robes.   Have a phone number that is answered by someone with very accurate information.  If someone calls you and gets a voice mail, call them back promptly.   You are going to have to promote and market this to keep the TLM going.  You can also think about reaching people who have actually quit going to Mass but may come back to a more reverent, holy Mass.  How?  I don't know.  Put a card up at the local coffee shop and diner, grocery store announcement board, truck stops,  etc.  Maybe mailers to all parishioners, whether they have shown up to Mass in the last 10 years or not.  Expand beyond your small town to the entire county.  People will drive for a good, holy, TLM.  Can you get onto the local radio station?  Maybe after you get the Masses going you could contact the local tv station to try to get a human interest story on air.  
.
Something that was helpful in one parish I attended.  When there were changes being made or new songs to be song, we went over those changes, including the songs, before Mass started - you know, practice.  I was grateful they did not expect everyone to know the changes had been made and just "know" what to do.  This was done before Vatican II, yes, before Mass, in Church, but in a reverent way, not a "Sister's Act"(the movie) way.    Maybe flyers offered at the door for a few weeks before the TLM starts giving people the information about the similarities/ difference between NO and TLM. Mention the veils and conservative dress as customary  but don't make anything mandatory, if mandatory you may scare interested people off.  Have a list of sources for women's veils for those who ask - I believe one or two advertise here on Fisheaters.  Womens hats count as headcovering so a nice summer straw hat will work for those who don't want to buy a veil right away.
.
Musicians/Choir.  I don't know the rules.  But, organ music is nice, a soft piano is very good, a flute player with the melody.  The goal is to get the melody and the words right.  Gregorian Chant is beautiful, but everyone goes flat so sometimes the choir, even if it is just one nice singer, is to keep the people singing and hopefully, in tune.  Also, different Churches sing their Gregorian slightly differently, so people skip and slip over the parts they are unsure of.    One lovely voice, with confidence,  male or female, is very effective.  Practice with the parishioners before Mass is very helpful.
.
As you know, in the old missals, the English was on one side of the page and the Latin was on the other so we knew what we were saying.  After awhile you understand the Latin without having to refer to the English.
.

How exciting!  I wish you the very best.
While it is a good idea that he be personally trained, there are resources online where he could start familiarizing himself to say the Latin Mass.

The SSPX seminary in Winona produced this video back in the early 2000s, and while not extremely high quality it does explain things very well, probably better than the higher-quality video and production of the FSSP series.



The FSSP series is also quite good. Here is the first video :



If he is interested as well, you can send me a PM and I can provide you the e-mail of an SSPX priest I know who I am sure would be happy to answer questions for him or give pointers on the Mass.

He could then start doing some practice dry Masses (where he omits the consecration, or intentionally intends not to consecrate) and when he does his training it will be to polish things and correct mistakes rather than learning it all anew. In fact, if he is comfortable, he might be able to start relatively soon with offering Mass publicly, perhaps even before the training.

Regarding training altar boys, I would first find some older teenagers or men, not young boys. These are easier to actually teach the principles, and then they can get a good consistent standard going which can be passed down to younger servers.

As far as correctly serving get a copy of The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite, by O'Connell. There are others but this is a good overall book. Also useful for serving is Louis Tofari over at Romanitas Press. Who has plenty of resources, and a good starter guide for learning the principles for servers (aka Inferior Ministers).
As a note, if you can't get a choir going right away, you could always just do low masses in the meantime. I know a few parishes that only do low masses.
(04-28-2018, 10:22 PM)BobR67 Wrote: [ -> ]I have the priest on board with the Latin Mass. He actually approached me. Any way he is actually fluent in Latin. He said he will be going to training in the fall. What should I do in the mean time? 

I looked at the page on the main site about starting a TLM and download the information. 

Keep in mind this is a very small parish. It's in a town of about 2,500 people.

I guess I need to find and train alterboys.
What about Chant? To tell you the truth there isn't much of a choir. I'm new to the parish, the last thing I want to do is step on anyone's toes. I don't even know if they have a music director.

I'm excited and a little apprehensive.
Peace.....congratulations!  We are working on this here.  As for spreading the word - stay close to the priest who will be in training and ask but let him advise you when is the best time to put the word out - officially.  He has to consider his Bishop and you don't want to make waves there.  They know exactly what is going on behind the scenes.  I think in time, people will come forth and/or there will be recommendations; keep yours eyes and ears open yes, but as you said, don't step on toes.  God bless, angeltime Heart
(04-29-2018, 08:59 AM)GangGreen Wrote: [ -> ]As a note, if you can't get a choir going right away, you could always just do low masses in the meantime. I know a few parishes that only do low masses.

Agreed, start with and perfect the low mass, it is beautiful and reverent. I would make a handout of traditional Marian hymns which the faithful can sing during the Entrance and Recessional, like O Sanctissima, Hail Queen of Heaven - The Ocean Star, and Immaculate Mary, to add to the reverence of the mass.  They are simple to learn, do not require organ accompaniment, and even guys like myself who can’t carry a note in a bucket can sing along.

You should train ushers also, and you can even put up a sign in the vestibule as people enter, outlining the dress code and code of conduct. It’s a new concept to many who may have never turned off their ringers in the new mass, because silence is not always a characteristic of the N.O. environment.