The Mass, the holiest and most important of the Church, is celebrated in this temple, truly a house of God. In light of this reality, we invite everyone to wear modest, respectful clothing that reflects the dignity of the One in whose image we are created. Casual attire, such as shorts, t-shirts, and sleeveless shirts are examples of inappropriate clothing. Following apostolic custom, we also ask women to wear a veil inside the church and we similarly ask men not to wear hats inside the church.
The reception of Holy Communion is reserved for practising Catholics in the state of grace. Specifically, to receive Holy Communion: One must be a baptised and practising Catholic, having made a good confession since the last committed mortal sin, if any, in order to be in the state of Grace, and one must not be a public sinner (living in sin with another, married outside the Church, etc.) One must observe at least one hour of Eucharistic fast (water and medicine do not break the fast). The most important requirement is to have a great desire to receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.
You may humbly approach the Communion rail when the other parishioners do so. To receive Communion, close your eyes, open the mouth wide and extend your tongue smoothly and horizontally. Do not say “Amen.” You might notice some parishioners who refrain from receiving Holy Communion, as there is no obligation to receive it daily, and there are many reasons people would choose to refrain, such as if they have not made a devout preparation. However, “Live in a manner to be able to receive Communion every day!” (St. Augustine). After Mass has concluded, instead of leaving immediately, take some time to make a good prayer of thanksgiving to Our Lord for the gift of Himself in the Most Blessed Sacrament. You will notice other parishioners doing so as well.
We are a Catholic chapel in union with Rome that maintains the traditions proper to the Roman Rite of the Church. We recognize that some aspects of this liturgy may be unfamiliar to you, such as the use of Latin or the priest facing the altar with the people. We do these things in accordance with the rubrics and practices that were normative up until the time of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.
Our priests and parishioners will be more than happy to help you with any questions you might have. Booklets are available to aid you in following and assisting in the Mass. For more information on books please visit our bookshop.
The Mass celebrated in this church is the Mass of the Roman Rite, the traditional Latin Mass. Until 1969, when a New Mass was created, the liturgy was of apostolic origin. The traditional Latin Mass follows the tradition of Saint Peter, the first Pope, and has never undergone any essential change till the present time. Every gesture, every word has been weighed and measured with the assistance of the Holy Ghost for the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls.
The Catholic Faith, which is so beautifully expressed in the Holy Mass, was spread by the Apostles and by the early Christian missionaries throughout the Roman Empire. The common language of the Western Roman Empire was Latin, and this became the liturgical language of our rite, the Roman Rite. It has been the consistent teaching of many popes that Latin has special qualities as a language of worship. The use of this ancient language is a safeguard against errors and heresies; it is not subject to constant changes but remains the same for all time. Latin is a symbol of the visible universality and unity of the Church that through the centuries has preserved the bond of unity with our common centre, Rome. Latin, as the language of the Church, unites Catholics from all nations and all centuries.
The Mass is celebrated facing toward the altar, the tabernacle, and the Cross, but not toward the congregation. The focus of all of our worship in the Holy Mass is toward God and Him alone. In all liturgical rites of the Church, including the Roman Rite, both the priest and the congregation have always faced the same direction, toward the East (ad orientem), toward the Lord who comes in glory. Together, the people face the same direction as the priest, who acts as a mediator between them and God.
Although the traditional Mass has a defined structure, it may seem unfamiliar at first. But don’t worry! This is a normal first reaction. There is an element of mystery here: the Mass communicates the unity, truth, goodness, and beauty of God on so many levels, not just with the spoken word. There are certainly printed Missals and booklets with translations you can follow. You might ask another friendly parishioner for some pointers later on; they will be glad to help you out. But at first, spend the time in prayer – unite yourself in prayer to the Holy Mass, to Our Lord in the Sacrifice of Calvary and in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Perceive how discreetly and beautifully the Holy Ghost sanctifies souls through the liturgy in every aspect, and allow Him to sanctify you as well.
After Mass, you will see that traditional Catholics are family-oriented and like to socialise! Take some time to introduce yourself and your family to the priest, to meet some of the other parishioners and enjoy some refreshments. Most churches also have a nice bookstore where you can find some good spiritual reading and religious articles which you can have blessed.