The Old Mass, the New Sales

San Secondo d’Asti Catholic Church in Guasti, California, is one of the few churches to celebrate the old Tridentine Latin Mass. Not only is this extraordinary form still celebrated at San Secondo d’Asti, it’s celebrated every week. Following the Tridentine Mass is difficult for those of us used to the modern Mass, especially as a good deal less is said aloud by the priest in the Tridentine Mass than in the modern form. So, I’ve had to keep a sharp eye on the missal to follow along with the events of the Mass, reading more Latin in a couple of hours than I have in the last few years. Tiring and difficult? Yes, but so rewarding. I’ve found that it’s best to arrive at San Secondo d’Asti early—the flagstones outside are painful to kneel on when there’s no space left inside the church. This form of Mass is so popular that the church is regularly packed to capacity!

unchurch mikehayes post6Thankfully, the homily is in English, so when my girlfriend and I visited the church one Sunday morning to attend the Tridentine Latin Mass, we were able to follow the priest’s instruction and explanation of the faith. We left very glad we had come. On the drive back, we passed a Toyota dealership appealing to the Spanish-speaking community with the phrase Su familia es nuestra familia on a roadside board. As I mentioned in an earlier post, it’s interesting to note the similarity between Latin and Spanish. The Latin Hail Mary is Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. It’s a very small step from the nostrae and other Latin in the Tridentine Mass, made uniform in 1570 following the Council of Trent, to the nuestra of the Toyota dealership, made to catch the eye of Spanish speakers in 2011. In a few miles of road, we’d traveled several hundred years, yet the language followed us all the way back.

Learn more about Mike Hayes’s adventures in language learning.

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Mike Hayes

Raised in London, England—a city of many languages—Mike Hayes grew up in a bilingual household, learning English from his father and German from his mother. He studied French and German in high school and has since forgotten much of what he learned, but he retains a love of languages and an aptitude for learning them. Since meeting his girlfriend, Mike has been determined to become fluent in Filipino (Tagalog), her native language, so he can better understand her friends and family. In addition to studying Filipino with Rosetta Stone, Mike also supports the charity Pusong Pinoy (Heart of a Filipino, The grassroots organization’s posts on Facebook and on its own website often allow him more exposure to Filipino language and culture, and he looks forward to the day when he can understand all the Tagalog text posted on these sites and elsewhere. Mike is also learning Latin American Spanish to expand his horizons and, hopefully, his career opportunities. What started simply as a means to an end has quickly become an active interest. Mike has wondered more than once where the time went after sitting down to Version 3 Rosetta Stone, with which he’s learning both Filipino and Spanish. He‘s sure, though, that since the time was spent learning languages, it hasn’t gone to waste. As learners studying Latin with Rosetta Stone already know, it’s how you lose the time that matters: sed fugit interea fugit irreparabile tempus.
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