|Solemn High Mass at St Joseph's, Burslem - Laetare Sunday, 2011|
There is a stable group of Catholics, including a number of young families, who attend the Latin Mass in North Staffordshire on a weekly basis. Through the generosity of local priests, both those who say the Masses for us and those who give us permission to use their churches, we have the opportunity to attend a Latin Mass almost every day, and often have more than one Mass to choose from on Sundays.
Sunday Mass is celebrated (usually sung) at 6pm every week at St Joseph's parish church, Burslem, by the resident Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. The friars also have Low Mass at 7.30am every weekday morning (not including Saturdays). We also have a monthly Sunday Mass, beginning at 3.00pm, that alternates between Oulton Abbey near Stone and the famous Pugin church of St. Giles in Cheadle. Take a look at the monthly Mass listings to find out where the next Mass will be held (links on the right hand side of the page). Refreshments are also served after all Sunday Masses.
Finally, to address some common questions/misconceptions about the Latin Mass:
'Why attend the Latin Mass? Isn't it just the same thing, but in a language I don't understand?'
|Low Mass at St Joseph's, Burslem|
The traditional Mass is, many would argue, a much richer and fuller expression of the Catholic faith, and particularly of the Church's teaching on the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Eucharist. It was the main expression of the Mass in the Western Church for the greater part of Christian history, and the Mass that so many of the saints would have known and loved. It is also of immense cultural significance, having inspired some of the greatest cultural achievements of western civilisation. There isn't space here to go into all the reasons why but, for those that are interested, more can be found here.
'But I don't know Latin...'
It doesn't matter! Not many people who attend the Latin Mass do. Of course, if one attends regularly, one tends to pick up the basics. The greater part of the Mass remains unchanged from week to week, so it is relatively easy to start to understand (easier than you might think). Plus, English language translations are readily available (you can find one to copy, paste and print here) to help you follow along. Finally, participation at the traditional Mass tends to be chiefly interior, as opposed to exterior, and this has many advantages; allowing each person to follow along at their own pace and join their prayers, silently, with those of the priest at the altar.
'Is this really an accepted option for Sunday worship for a Catholic?'
Yes, absolutely. Pope Benedict XVI, in his 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, stated that the traditional Latin Mass has never been abrogated, and Catholics who wish to attend may do so. Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, during his visit to England during which he celebrated a traditional Mass in Westminster Cathedral, made the Holy Father's wishes clear. In a press interview he said that the aim of the Motu Proprio is for the Traditional Mass to be offered in "All the parishes. Not many - all the parishes..."
The provisions of Summorum Pontificum were then clarified and strengthened in the 2011 instruction Universae Ecclesiae.
Attending these Masses fulfils your obligation to attend Mass on any Sunday or Holy Day. Our Masses are all said by ordinary priests in good standing within the Catholic Church in England and Wales.
All are welcome!
All who wish to are welcome to attend these Masses. Holy Communion is, of course, reserved to practicing Catholics in a state of grace (as at all Catholic Masses). Nobody will look down on newcomers who don't know exactly what to do, just copy everyone else in the congregation and you'll be fine. Just find out where the next Mass will be held and come along. A warm welcome awaits you!