Here in the Philippines, one would only have to pan the crowd to see the uniqueness of the Faithful who attends the Traditional Latin Mass or Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. The congregation encompasses not only the slightly bent, white haired, rosary-bead rattling, lace head covered old women, but also the middle aged, individuals as well as entire familes and young people. It is always an amazing phenomenon to see how the TLM attracts young men, especially in participating in certain functions like the schola or the ministry at the altar. While we could certainly accentuate all of the positive points regarding the congregation we must also look at some of the troublesome points that is quite evident.
Eccentrism. This extremism can be seen in any religious movement be it charismatic or traditional it has a tendency to turn the average person off or put then in an unconfortable position of feeling that maybe there is something wrong with them because they do not show such fervancy. There are those who believe that they have a direct line to the Holy Virgin who in turn has revealed to them that the Latin Mass is the ONLY true Mass and that the other Mass (Ordinary Form) is Protestant!!! Just recently I was told by a very devout man that he's happy that I am offering this form of Mass but he let me know in clear words that I should cease offering the Novus Ordo and only use the Traditional Mass. He even suggested that I follow in the footsteps of my dear friend Fr. JoJo Zerrudo in trying to build from stratch a new church as a personal parish in my diocese. Well, God bless him but he and so many others who are fixated on only one type of Mass is truly missing the point of the Summorum Pontificum.
What I believe will attract more people to the Traditional Latin Mass is the witness of regular, sane, and joyful people who just enjoy worshipping God in a very solemn way. (to be continued)