Friday, September 30, 2005

Why I Embraced Catholic Tradition

Having challenged Patrick and my other blog-mates to share why they embraced Catholic Tradition, I thought I should answer the question myself. Here's my story in a nutshell:

Almost fifteen years ago, I assisted at a Tridentine liturgy for the first time. I was seventeen and the liturgy was offered by an old French-Canadian priest who always insisted upon high Mass. The Latin chant, the golden vestments, the rich scent of incense accompanying our prayers to Heaven – this Mass was the most reverent experience I had ever shared. From that day forward I was a traditional Catholic.

Two of the tricks of the trade we learn as writers is "show, don't tell" and "use the specific over the general." One of the reasons I appreciate the traditional liturgy is that it appeals to all five senses -- thus providing a rich base from which Catholic writers can "show" the Mass in specific language.

Thus "colorful vestments" become "rich golden patterns of crosses, chalices and other sacred objects weaved into the crimson chasuble." With regard to sound, Gregorian and Polyphony also facilitate vivid description, and incense presents many possibilities as well.

On that note, I invite both our readers and our other bloggers to (1) "show" me how your local indult exemplifies reverence and beauty (2) using specific, rather than general, language.