People Will Drive Hours for an Extraordinary Mass
#1
from http://liturgyguy.com/2015/12/21/people-...nary-mass/



In the last two weeks I have met families who drive over three hours round trip to attend a Sunday Latin Mass.  I know of others who travel even further than that to occasionally attend.  Anyone who consistently assists at the Traditional Latin Mass knows how common it is for people to drive upwards of an hour every week to go to Mass.

PrairieMom Wrote:And that would be us, if the EF Mass was 1 hour later or 1 hour closer. Driving 2.5 hours with our gaggle of young kids to attend a 9 a.m. (and expect them to sit!) would be torture for them.

Now contrast this with a statistic we are all too familiar with:  only 24% of self-identifying Catholics attend Mass weekly. In other words, nearly eight of ten Catholics skip Mass, even though there are over 17,000 parishes in the United States. Despite most mid to large cities having multiple parishes, over 75% Catholics choose not to make the ten minute drive to go to Church on Sunday.

PrairieMom Wrote:Sad. But it comes back I think to what was mentioned in this thread about how making things easy doesn't make it worthwhile (or something to that effect).

Many of us on the blogosphere in recent years have written about the Latin Mass and why it is that people seek it out:

Reverence
Tradition
A sense of the Sacred
A sense of the transcendent
Beauty
Ad orientem worship
Chant
Incense and sanctus bells
Altar rails
Silence
Predictability
Universality

All of these factors help direct us towards God, foster humility, engage the senses, and deepen our love for Jesus and His Real Presence in the Eucharist.

Understanding the why of the Latin Mass, now more of the discussion needs to turn towards the what and the logistical how of this extraordinary weekly occurrence. In other words, people should honestly ask themselves:

Why would anyone drive 2 hours one way just to go to Mass, particularly if there are many other parishes closer?

Conversely, the question needs to be asked:

Why do a vast majority of Catholics stay home every Sunday when going to Church has been made so convenient by proximity and Mass times?

PrairieMom Wrote:I think the second is the more important question. Why won't they? And how do we fix that?

Can it be classified as anything other than a lack of charity when bishops and pastors know that many of their faithful endure this additional hardship due to the lack of availability of the Extraordinary Form Mass? Speak to any parish priest who offers the Latin Mass regularly and he can tell you how far many have to travel just to participate in the Mass of the Ages.

One wonders if bishops inquire to see how many of their flock are travelling to neighboring dioceses just to find the Mass that Pope St. John Paul and Pope Benedict tried to make more available through an indult and two motu proprios.

Finally, if more of the young are being drawn to the Latin Mass (and they are), and if more families are too (and they are), and if vocations (to marriage, the priesthood, and the religious life) are growing at traditional parishes (and they are), shouldn’t the Church look to this as a blueprint for the future?

That so many Catholics today will no longer drive even ten minutes for the most irreverent, banal and anthropocentric liturgy, while others will make an entire day of their Sunday obligation searching for the sacred, turning Mass into a weekly freeway road trip, is worthy of further study.

Pray that those who can do something to address this situation do so.
Reply
#2
I see what you mean... I moved very close to an FSSP parish just to be able to go there daily. Many people drive from very far. But when I visit my family and i want the Latin Mass I have to travel to another city, which means getting a ride to the bus, then being on the bus for an hour, then taking the subway, and then a streetcar.
Reply
#3
I have traveled with my wife 80 miles each way twice a week to attend our FSSP church for over 4 years. We have never missed. The two years prior to that we would travel 120 miles each way. But Seattle traffic is more than my nerves can handle. So when the FSSP came to Tacoma we swapped over. The first 3 years at Tacoma we had a close friend of the FSSP, FR. Ken Baker, SJ. as our priest. Then this past October our Archbishop gave us the old Slovak parish, St. Joseph's.
Reply
#4
The traditional Catholic teaching is that if the Mass is more than 30 minutes away, you are not obligated to attend. You must come to terms with the question of whether the Mass of the Modernist heretics fulfills your Sunday obligation.  I, for one, have made my peace with the fact that the new Mass is not a Catholic rite and must be avoided at all costs.
Reply
#5
I noticed in another thread about attending Mass when away from home for Christmas that the idea of "preference" came up several times.  It seems to me that so long as one is attending a particular Mass due to one's preference, then one will not understand why families drive such long distances to get to the traditional Mass or why families move across the country to be closer to a traditional parish.

People drive long distances and move out of necessity -- they recognize the necessity of attending the traditional Mass, and they recognize the necessity of raising their families in a Catholic environment.  Your preferences might convince you to just go to the local Novus Ordo service because the long drive to the Mass inconveniences yourself or your family.  Necessity, on the other hand, means that you make the sacrifice to overcome yourself to focus on God. 

With these ideas in mind, one can easily understand why some in the Novus Ordo world simply do not attend even the Novus Ordo service -- it does not meet with their preference.  On the other hand, as devoted Catholics, we recognize that necessity and justice are more important than our preference, and so we make the sacrifice.
Reply
#6
(12-23-2015, 11:50 AM)ermy_law Wrote: I noticed in another thread about attending Mass when away from home for Christmas that the idea of "preference" came up several times.  It seems to me that so long as one is attending a particular Mass due to one's preference, then one will not understand why families drive such long distances to get to the traditional Mass or why families move across the country to be closer to a traditional parish.

People drive long distances and move out of necessity -- they recognize the necessity of attending the traditional Mass, and they recognize the necessity of raising their families in a Catholic environment.  Your preferences might convince you to just go to the local Novus Ordo service because the long drive to the Mass inconveniences yourself or your family.  Necessity, on the other hand, means that you make the sacrifice to overcome yourself to focus on God. 

With these ideas in mind, one can easily understand why some in the Novus Ordo world simply do not attend even the Novus Ordo service -- it does not meet with their preference.  On the other hand, as devoted Catholics, we recognize that necessity and justice are more important than our preference, and so we make the sacrifice.

That's a very good point you bring up. I think some of that hinge on whether or not you accept the NO as Mass... if you don't, then naturally you would travel long distances out of necessity. But if you believe the NO is valid but inferior, that makes it more a matter of preference.

Sometimes though it's not a simple matter of "overcome yourself to focus on God". Our situation, for example, is complex. We not only have young children, but a special needs child so traveling can be challenging. The time factor is challenging because of the time of day the EF Mass is offered in our very geographically large diocese. Traveling to Mass entails returning to our hometown, which would necessitate visiting family to keep the peace, further complicating things. Moving is not a option because my husband's employment is here and is not easily transferable. We have made requests, but if there's no job there's nothing to move to and because of our special needs child we need his health benefits for drugs and extraordinary expenses not covered by socialized medicine. We are also tied to my daughter's special school program, which we haven't been able to find duplicated anywhere else in Canada.

But we have a NO Mass only five minutes from our house by car. So we attend it to fulfill our obligation. So yeah, the EF is a preference and we attend when we can when we go home. But I think it's unfair to say "get over yourself"... God brought us to this community for a reason all those years ago! He gave us our unique family. He also gave us a NO parish with a small underground Trad group. So maybe that's what we need to focus on, making the seed that is here grow into something beautiful.

Reply
#7
(12-23-2015, 11:50 AM)ermy_law Wrote: I noticed in another thread about attending Mass when away from home for Christmas that the idea of "preference" came up several times.  It seems to me that so long as one is attending a particular Mass due to one's preference, then one will not understand why families drive such long distances to get to the traditional Mass or why families move across the country to be closer to a traditional parish.

People drive long distances and move out of necessity -- they recognize the necessity of attending the traditional Mass, and they recognize the necessity of raising their families in a Catholic environment.  Your preferences might convince you to just go to the local Novus Ordo service because the long drive to the Mass inconveniences yourself or your family.  Necessity, on the other hand, means that you make the sacrifice to overcome yourself to focus on God. 

With these ideas in mind, one can easily understand why some in the Novus Ordo world simply do not attend even the Novus Ordo service -- it does not meet with their preference.  On the other hand, as devoted Catholics, we recognize that necessity and justice are more important than our preference, and so we make the sacrifice.

It all depends on the circumstances. If my wife is inviting family over in the afternoon, would it be appropriate for me to go to TLM in the afternoon just because I feel a "necessity" to go to TLM? I wouldn't think so. Instead, I can easily go to an NO Mass in the morning and fulfill my obligation to God and to my wife. On any normal Sunday, I can agree, do what you have to do. However, we have to balance it. It becomes selfishness if we feel the need to go to a TLM far away or at an inconvenient time when a valid NO is close by and it forces us to not be able to fulfill our duty to others.
Reply
#8
(12-23-2015, 12:10 PM)PrairieMom Wrote: That's a very good point you bring up. I think some of that hinge on whether or not you accept the NO as Mass... if you don't, then naturally you would travel long distances out of necessity. But if you believe the NO is valid but inferior, that makes it more a matter of preference.

I think it is still a question of necessity.  If you believe that the Novus Ordo is valid but inferior, and you choose to go to the Novus Ordo when you could go to the Mass, then you are choosing to offer something inferior to God.  That is where the necessity arises.  I see the necessity to avoid offering something inferior as the reason to avoid the Novus Ordo.

Yet, I recognize the specific circumstances that you have mentioned with regard to your family, so I am not trying to suggest that you need to "get over yourself."  I wrote that a bit differently than what I intended to convey.  I mean to say "get over yourself" in the same sense that all of us are trying to overcome our spiritual apathy and progress in the spiritual life. 

But, you're right to say that one's discernment of the Novus Ordo plays a large role in how one views this situation.  Since I would not attend the Novus Ordo under any circumstances or allow my daughter to attend it (or, in a perfect world, even become aware that it exists), my position on the matter is rather black and white.  If there's a traditional Mass within reasonable distance, that is where I will go.  Otherwise, the Church excuses the obligation to assist at Mass when doing so is impracticable due to distance.
Reply
#9
"Road trip, kids!"

"Where? The world's largest yarn ball?"

"Close enough!"
Reply
#10
At this point in time I am left with only the option of the local new rite parish that I can walk or bike to in 5 or ten minutes.  I'm still much more a stay at home and pray kind of guy but the Sunday obligation is the Sunday obligation, and barring me accepting some form of the sedvacantist thesis I cannot in good conscience not attend this church on Sunday's and holy days.

I'm basically an Easterner following the Julian calendar and praying an Eastern style book of hours whose stuck with no options outside the Mass of Paul VI on the Gregorian calendar. I basically go to fulfill an obligation and to go to confession every now and than. I'm not active in the parish otherwise.

I guess we all do what we have to do to survive. I'm actually content right now, and wouldn't drive the 40 minutes to the FSSP even if I had a car. Maybe I would for a major day like Holy Saturday or the Christmas Midnight Mass but not for the average Sunday. I don't have kids and a family though,so it's only me.  I'm more sustained by praying the hours than the liturgy anyway.
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)