My Tour of Churches last Sunday let me to the Holy Trinity Church in the Oak Lawn neighborhood in Dallas. It was a wonderful choice for Holy Trinity Sunday.
This Sunday's church experience actually started on Saturday. I have been seriously considering going to a traditional Latin mass, or Tridentine Mass. I've been to Latin Mass on a Saturday before, but I haven't been to a Sunday mass. To make sure I wanted to do this, I first went to the Saturday mass at St. Thomas Aquinas. I got there early enough to be able to go to confession, and had a wonderful confession with the priest. It was very thoughtful and he helped me quite a bit with an issue I've been struggling with. I've been looking for a decent confessor, so I'm extremely happy that I found one.
The Saturday Latin low mass was beautiful, as the previous one was, so I decided I'd take the plunge and go to the High Mass on Sunday. I went to Sacred Heart, my favorite little Catholic bookstore, and got a veil and a little red Missalette. I studied it last night so I could at least get a general idea of what was going on during the Mass.
The Latin Mass for Dallas is held in a small chapel attached to a cloistered Carmelite nun community in Oak Cliff (for more information check out the Mater Dei Latin Mass community home page). I left my house at 8:48a this morning and parked at 9:05a, so I made really good time getting there. The chapel is BEAUTIFUL. It's super tiny, but the altar is super ornate with lots of statues and woodwork. It was interesting seeing all of the other women there, all veiled. My veil kept shifting and I was really self conscious that it was crooked the whole mass. I was amazed at how many children and young parents were there. There were eight (!) altar boys helping the priest and all were in the traditional black and white garb.
I got there right before the Rosary started, and the place was already almost full. By the time Mass started, the church was packed and there were people standing. The mass started, and then the music kicked in ... Latin! Yes! Beautiful chanting by the priest, the choir, and the schola.
There was a LOT of kneeling. I'm going to need to toughen up my knees something fierce if I plan on going to mass on a regular basis. There was also a lot of up and down, which I didn't mind.
After Mass, there was a benediction and a procession with the monstrance and the body of Christ. Oh my gosh, it was beautiful! We all followed the procession, and when it doubled back on itself to go back to the tabernacle, we all knelt on the asphalt in adoration. Other than slightly flashing the people behind me because my foot caught my skirt, I did ok getting up and down. The asphalt hurt
I want to go back again. Bad. I think I might just become a Latin Masser.
I'll need to get a missal, but it's a small price to pay to be able to participate in such a beautiful mass.