Things to Review

The Roman Rite - Catholic Church - Latin Mass

This section of our site is prepared as an aid to visitors who wish to get to know us a little better. Times were that no Catholic had to be “introduced” to a different parish in any part of the world. An introduction like this was needless. All Catholics worshiped the same and were brought together by the common bond of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated in the Latin language. Truly our Church was seen by the world as universal. However, in our age, following the radical changes of Vatican Council II, explanations and justifications of the Latin Mass, and traditional Catholicism, are frequent, if not at times necessary.

Please take the opportunity, whether before or after Mass, to read this information. Perhaps it will answer most of your questions about the work done at Christ the King Lafayette Parish, that Father and many others like him throughout the world are doing. They are striving to preserve the Faith of the Catholic Church as it was taught by Jesus Christ and passed down from times immemorial. If there are any additional questions you might have, or you would wish to receive some counsel or advice from Father, please take the time to speak with him, or write to him using the Quick Message in the right sidebar of the website or the Contact form found at the main Contact US page.

If your questions may demand a little more time, don’t hesitate to arrange an appointment with him at a time that can be mutually convenient.

Some Typical Questions

Is this the "old Latin Mass"?

By attending Mass in at Christ the King Church you are sharing in the deep, apostolic traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. You are attending the Latin Mass of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.  If this is your first time attending a Latin Mass, you will be present for the single most powerful means of grace for the soul that God has given to man.  It will seem different at first, but here your soul will find rest.  If it has been a long time since you have been to a Latin Mass and have had enough of the “new church,” we say: Welcome Back!

Does this Mass fulfill my Sunday obligation?

Always of great concern to Catholics is making sure that the Mass they attend and the Sacraments they receive are both valid and licit. Those who attend Mass here can be assured on both counts that Father is a validly ordained Roman Catholic priest, and that he has permission from a traditional Roman Catholic bishop to offer Mass, to dispense the Sacraments, and to preach. And, Yes, one who assists at said Mass is fulfilling their Sunday obligation.

Why is it said in Latin?

All the reasons for the celebration of Mass in Latin, and according to the ancient norms of the Catholic Church, are too numerous to recount on this site. Rest assured they are not based on mere emotional appeals. We do not prefer the Latin language just because we like the way it sounds, or we merely feel more comfortable in the presence of its classical style. No, our reasons are based on very sound theological and moral principles. We attend the Latin Mass because, in our hearts and consciences, we know this is what God wants us to do. How do we know this? Because the Catholic Church has taught this for centuries!

Does the priest always say the Latin Mass?

The Mass you will attend is sometimes known as the Mass of St. Pius V or the Tridentine Latin Mass. Following the Council of Trent in the latter 1500’s, with his infallible authority as Vicar of Christ on earth, Pope St. Pius V solemnly proclaimed the Latin Mass said in Rome as the one to be used primarily throughout the Church. There were few exceptions. What is more, he demanded that this Mass, with the words of Consecration over the bread and wine that he outlined, was to be celebrated forever — “in perpetuity” were his words. No one, the pope decreed, was to ever take away the binding nature of his decree or dare to force a priest to offer Mass according to any other mutilated form. If they would, the Pope said, such a person would incur the wrath of the almighty God, and Blessed Peter and Paul, His Apostles. The Pope decreed this largely against the Protestant reformers who had instituted a new mass saying it was just the same as the old one. In following centuries, the popes have always upheld this principle, adding to it that no one in the Church has the power or the right to change that which has been determined to be the substance of the Mass, namely the words of Consecration of the bread and the wine.

Can I go to Confession here and, should I receive Holy Communion?

In general, anyone who is a baptized Catholic, who has sufficient knowledge to distinguish the Holy Eucharist from ordinary bread, and is in the state of grace may and is encouraged to receive Holy Communion. However, priests of the traditional Catholic Movement do not follow the practice of the modern church since the late 1960’s where people of different religions are allowed to receive Holy Communion. This is a privilege reserved to a baptized Catholic. If you are not a practicing Roman Catholic, do not come for Holy Communion when the others in the church do so.

Why the strict dress code for Mass?

Almost immediately upon entering, the newcomer will notice an atmosphere that is quite different from most modern churches in our land. All parishioners, old or young, men and women alike, are asked to dress respectfully while attending Mass, and when coming into the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament. The manner of dress is not done to please other parishioners, or even the priest. Rather, it is done out of respect for the sacredness of the place and of Holy Mass. Religious practice and attendance at Mass are our highest forms of worshipping God. As such, our manner of dress should reflect that high respect and standard. Our style of dress should be above our average daily wear. We show to God, by our external fashion of dress, that we love Him and wish to serve Him respectfully. This is the idea of worship — a public display of faith and love to honor God as our Creator and Redeemer. It is our obligation to worship God in a public manner and our attendance at Mass fulfills that duty.

A dress code reflecting Christian modesty and behavior before the Blessed Sacrament is in force. No, this does not mean that there is an usher at the door who reviews the dress of all who attend. However, men and women who attend Mass here, or who come into the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament outside of Mass, are asked to comply (on their own, for the love of God) with a certain set of norms for dress, especially if plans are made to receive Holy Communion. By Church law, Father cannot distribute Holy Communion to anyone who is immodestly dressed. These norms are minimum standards that Catholic parishes observed throughout the world prior to Vatican II.

Our manner of dress is not the only way we show respect for the Blessed Sacrament. Since Holy Mass is such a sacred action, the priest and the faithful will spend time in prayer before Mass begins. On Sundays, the Rosary is prayed before Mass. During the weekday, some may pray a Rosary while others may read some private devotions. Still others will be going to Confession by lining up in the back of church. It will be evident that all present are attempting to prepare for Mass in an atmosphere of prayerful, peaceful silence. In this manner all will profit from the graces that Holy Mass brings to the soul. You are welcome to join them either in the prayers recited publicly, or else with your own personal devotions.

Lastly, out of respect for the sacredness of Mass, and in charity to your neighbor, please refrain from talking to others or making some unnecessary movement throughout the church. The traditional Mass does not have all the “social activities” as the modern liturgies do. Thus the soul can be best disposed to worship God without innumerable distractions.

How did the changes of Vatican II affect the Mass?

Following the changes of Vatican lI, the Mass did change. In fact it is greatly similar to the Anglican “mass” that Pope St. Pius V spoke against, and for which many thousands of priests were martyred for their refusal to say it. If the Protestant “mass” of the 1500’s was heretical, nothing will change that teaching even in our age. What was true then must be true now.

A thinking Catholic only has to realize that the Liturgy of his Church was tampered with by Protestant theologians following Vatican II, and made more to their liking. Treasured practices of centuries, giving great comfort and graces to many millions of Catholic faithful all over the world, and producing wonders of grace in their souls, were swept aside to accommodate non-Catholics lest they be “offended”. We believe this to be a grievous, doctrinal error — an error which affects the validity of the Novus Ordo Missae of Paul VI, and subsequent versions promulgated by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy(ICEL).

Under the banner of false ecumenism, not only was the Mass altered, but the tide of change has swept through even to the Sacraments and sacramentals. Nothing was left sacred in the wake of the desire to get rid of the old and replace it with a “new and more meaningful” Liturgy.

Anything More?

As has been said, a few paragraphs on a web site are merely an introduction to the traditional Catholic Movement. They are not, by any means, an exhaustive study of why we worship according to the pre-Vatican II liturgical practices, even if it seems to be rebellious to do so. If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask. And don’t think your question may seem “dumb” or unimportant. Any question you may have is important to Father. He will be glad to take all the time you need to understand the importance of what he and other faithful Catholics have chosen to do.

Items to Review

All are welcome to attend Holy Mass.

If this is your first time here, please note the following things:

  • The church is a house of prayer. There should be no unnecessary talking in church, especially during times of prayer and during Holy Mass.
  • Food and drink are not allowed in church at any time.
    • MEN: Dress respectfully. Shorts, T-shirts, shirts and/or jackets with sports logos or other art or slogans, sweat shirts or sweat pants are not proper attire in church and should not be worn. While shirt and tie attire is not mandatory for Sunday dress, it is recommended out of respect for God’s House, as this is the style of clothing that is reflective of the dignity of a Christian man.
    • WOMEN: Dress respectfully. Shorts, short skirts (above the knee), sheer clothing, pants and pant suits, sleeveless blouses, tight, form-fitting and low-cut clothing, long skirts with long slits in them (more than 1 inch long), bare sections above the waist — in short, any attire which is not ladylike and reflective of the dignity of a Christian woman is not proper attire for church and should not be worn. It is the traditional Catholic custom that the head is to be covered, either with a veil or an appropriate hat.  Casual and sports dress is not proper attire for attending Mass. In addition, please note the following, especially when considering reception of Holy Communion:
  • Holy Communion is distributed only for Roman Catholics, for those free from serious sin, and who meet the standards of dress set above. Confessions are heard before the Masses on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, or by appointment.
  • Printed material explaining the Traditional Movement of the Roman Catholic Church, the Roman Rite (Latin) Mass, and the errors of the modern church is available in the back of church without charge. If you have any questions, please be sure to talk with Father after Mass or by appointment.