MASS THIS SUNDAY (August 2, 2015)

10th Sunday after Pentecost

1:30 pm, Holy Ghost Church, Knoxville

St. Edmund Campion Missal & Hymnal page numbers:

          Processional Hymn (922):  Praise to the Holiest in the Height

          Proper Prayers and Readings (352)

          Order of Mass (569)

          Kyrie, Gloria, Credo III, Sanctus, Agnus Dei: Mass XI – Orbis factor  (740)

          Preface of the Most Holy Trinity (598)

          Marian antiphon (961):  Salve Regina

          Recessional Hymn (921):  All Creatures of Our God and King

3 pm, St. Therese of Lisieux Church, Cleveland

3 pm, St. Mary's Church, Johnson City


MASS NEXT SUNDAY (August 9, 2015)

10th Sunday after Pentecost

1:30 pm, Holy Ghost Church, Knoxville

3 pm, St. Joseph the Worker Church, Madisonville



Various surveys indicate that—whereas men and women attended Mass in essentially equal numbers at least up until the introduction of the new order (Novus Ordo) of Mass—today almost twice as many women attend OF Mass regularly, and women comprise the vast majority of participants in Catholic parish activities and roles. In contrast, slightly more men than women attend the traditional Latin Mass—typically 55% male and 45% female.



No shortage of men at typical Latin Mass


A recent position paper published by the international Una Voce federation—click here for a copy—explores the reasons why so many men are liturgical drop-outs. As predicted in 1967 by Cardinal John Heenan (Westminster) after observing an early demonstration of the new Mass for a synod of bishops in Rome:


“At home [in England], it is not only women and children but also fathers of families and young men who come regularly to Mass. If we were to offer them the kind of ceremony we saw yesterday in the Sistine Chapel [a demonstration of the normative Mass] we would soon be left with a congregation mostly of women and children.


Some additional comments and extracts from this position paper:


In addition to a discomfort with emotionalism, a preference for a wider range of forms of communication, as opposed to verbal communication alone, has been associated with men, and an interest in the ‘vertical’ as opposed to the ‘horizontal’ dimension of worship: the connection with God, as opposed to the community. All these are at work in a preference for a more formalised and sacral form of worship, as noted by the Jesuit sociologist Patrick Arnold:


Even more central to masculine worship is the notion of the Transcendent. In deemphasizing in recent generations a concern with absolutes and ultimates, heaven and hell, and eternity and infinity, modern Christianity has taken a decisive turn towards feminine religion, which is typically interested in the immanent and the incarnational, in finding God in the small things, the everyday, and the mundane. … As liberal religion stresses increasingly the immanent and ‘horizontal’ dimension of faith to the exclusion of the transcendent and ‘vertical’ reality, it inadvertently ignores the voracious appetite of men for the Great, the Wholly Other, and the Eternal.”


The sacral formality and lack of spontaneity of the Extraordinary Form, its orientation to the transcendent, and its expression of profound truths without demanding an openly expressed verbal or emotional response from the congregation, are features which do not make demands upon men with which they are uncomfortable. At the same time, they provide something particularly attractive to men: the expression of ideas through action, the drama of the ceremonies. The content of the ritual, and of many of the liturgical texts, further stresses the transcendent, the sacrificial nature of the Mass, and the necessity of reverence before Christ made present upon the Altar. Finally, it provides men with the kind of challenge with which they are comfortable, indeed can find attractive: the call to a conversion of life, in the context of a clear expression of the reality of sin and the need for grace.



The features of the Extraordinary Form attractive to men are not, necessarily, unattractive to women. While it seems natural to describe certain liturgical tendencies, such as emotionalism, creativity, spontaneity, and an emphasis on the community, as ‘feminine’, it does not follow necessarily that women want to see these features incorporated into their worship. What does seem to be the case, however, is that as a religion moves in the direction of the ‘feminine’, understood in this way, this causes particular problems for the retention of men.


DON'T FORGET . . . . .

To keep your tax-deductible Knoxville Latin Mass Community support between your parish and diocesan contributions and your tax payment.  To provide for Community expenses in support of Latin liturgy (which typically average as much as a few hundred dollars weekly)--for music, surplices and cassocks for altar servers, and liturgical supplies and equipment, and to maintain a reserve fund for special expenses ranging from special occasions (like last month’s solemn high Mass and reception) to candlesticks and vestments--please use the special addressed Knoxville Latin Mass Community envelopes that can be handed in, mailed in (address here), or left on the missalette tables after Mass (but should be kept separate from and in addition to the regular parish and diocesan offertory envelopes). For additional details, see the "Make a Contribution" page at our community web site:


Just send your name and e-mail address to  h DOT edwards AT mindspring DOT com, or write them on a Knox Latin Mass Community envelope and leave it on a missalette table after Mass. The e-mail version has live internet links, and sometimes additional content that doesn't fit in the printed version.