A Spiritual Workaround: Meditating on the Texts of the Traditional Mass

Over at One Peter Five, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski has authored an article that may be read in tandem with what I just published on the crisis of no public Mass: Your Local Mass Canceled? Try Meditating on the Texts of the Traditional Mass.

I’ll refrain from declaring that “We’re all home aloners now!” because we really are not. (For the uninitiated, a Catholic “home aloner” is a kind of traditionalist who refuses to worship anywhere because there are no pope, no valid Masses, no valid priests, etc.) But what many home aloners have been voluntarily reduced to in their liturgical life — refraining from Mass — we are almost all now involuntarily reduced to.

As the esteemed author acknowledges — indeed, it is dogma! — nothing we non-ordained can do is a substitute for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is an utterly unique rational sacrifice. But we now find ourselves in a situation analogous to that of the Christians in times of persecution (e.g., Elizabethan England); we, like they, have to “make do.”

Here is the kernel of Dr. Kwasniewski advice, but don’t let this stop you from reading his piece in its entirety (it’s short):

What follows are two methods for using a TLM missal for personal prayer: a Shorter Method (which takes about 15 minutes) and a Longer Method (20–30 minutes), with the length of time varying depending on how long the readings are, if they are extra commemorations, and how much you choose to meditate on the texts or keep periods of silence. The PDFs are formatted as booklets: print them double-sided and fold (for best results, select “None” for “Page scaling” rather than “Fit to printable area”). Either method may be done in English, in Latin, or in whatever proportion of either you are comfortable with. Postures are your call, even as they are in the Latin Mass itself, which has no regulations governing the postures of the faithful. You could, for example, kneel for the Kyrie and the orations, while sitting for the Epistle and standing for the Gospel. Or sit for the whole.

(The first two links lead to general templates that can be followed any day of the liturgical year. To show how the Propers of the Mass fit into the structure, I have also provided fully realized booklets for the Fourth Sunday of Lent; nothing else is required than the booklet.)