Traditional Latin Mass Schedule in Memphis

Blessed Sacrament - Sundays 8:30 am, First Fridays 12pm noon, First Saturdays 9am
2564 Hale Avenue
Memphis, TN 38112

St. Michael's - (None at this time)
3863 Summer Avenue
Memphis, TN 38122

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Monday, December 25 (Christmas):8:30am Traditional Latin Mass at Blessed Sacrament

Monday, January 1: 8:30am Traditional Latin Mass at Blessed Sacrament. Rosary at 8:05am.

Last Updated: December 22, 2017

Saturday, March 7, 2009

About the Latin Mass: The Music

Most of the hymns normally used for the English Mass are not used for the Latin Mass. There are a few exceptions, such as “All Creatures of Our God and King” and “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy”. This is likely a by-product of the differences between the English Mass and the Latin Mass as presented in previous articles. The English Mass focuses on showing Christ as the fulfillment of the prophesy and the law, and what we are called to do in this world, while the Latin Mass focuses on themes such as our communication with God, Christ’s passion, and adoration of the Eucharist at Mass.

As a result, hymns expressing what we are called to do are not used in the Latin Mass. Similarly, hymns that focus on self rather than God, and those that focus on peace and justice are also not used. It’s not that these concepts are bad, but it is clear to me, as a cantor and as the one responsible for selecting Nativity’s music for the Latin Mass, that these hymns simply would not fit the format and themes of the Latin Mass. Hymns that refer to Christ in the first person are not included, as they represent our interpretation of God’s communication to us, as opposed to our communication to Him. Many hymns also do not qualify as a result of having non-Catholic composers.

There are volumes of hymns that have been written recently in the name of liturgical revolution, which arguably are necessary to compliment the changes made for the English Mass, but which also add to the excessive variability of the English Mass. There are also many hymns which are musically challenging and show off the ability of the choir, but may be too difficult for the congregation to sing.

The hymns that remain may be referred to as the classics – they have withstood the test of time. Most of the hymns are Gregorian chant, sung in Latin, but many are also in English. These hymns are not heard as the “same old thing”, or as tired and worn out. Rather, the open ear will recognize them as our effort to communicate at a higher level with God, to help bring us closer to the threshold of God’s heavenly kingdom. They are a form of prayer to God, each fitting the themes and periods of the liturgical year.

The classics are certainly available for use in the English Mass, but sadly, most have been forgotten or ignored.

You will find that the Latin Mass community has different viewpoints as to whether the congregation should sing at the Mass. Some feel it distracts from their prayer and participation in the Mass, while others feel that the music is a means for them to pray and participate in the Mass. At Nativity, we provide copies of the hymns for a given Mass at the back of the church, so that those who want to sing can sing.

The ordinary parts of the Mass, that is the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Credo, the Sanctus, and the Agnus Dei, are not sung at a Low Mass. These as well as the readings and prayers are sung at a Missa Cantata, or Sung Mass. However, the musical complexity of the sung prayers, and the need for the priest to sing many of the prayers may, unfortunately, prevent the use of a Missa Cantata.

The Latin Mass is celebrated Sundays at Blessed Sacrament at 8:30 and Nativity at 9:00.