Altar boys swing incense in a procession in Cologne, Germany. / Shutterstock
Washington, D.C. Newsroom, May 14, 2022 / 06:00 am (CNA).
Six Latin Mass altar servers in a Washington, D.C. parish have written an impassioned letter to the Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Wilton Gregory, imploring him to consider their positive experiences in the Traditional Latin Mass when implementing the Vatican’s new guidance on the Extraordinary Form.
“For us, the Latin Mass is a refuge,” the May 4 letter, posted on the parish’s Facebook page, says. “A refuge where the evils of the world and the struggles of life cannot penetrate. We believe it is the closest thing to heaven on earth and we would love to see it continue.”
Pope Francis issued a motu proprio in July 2021 called Traditionis custodes that includes new guidance and restrictions on when and where the Roman Missal of 1962, typically referred to as the Traditional Latin Mass, may be used. The document, which gives local bishops increased authority on the celebration of the Extraordinary Form, was received with much pain and confusion among Catholics who participate in the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass.
Although many bishops issued temporary guidance for their dioceses, there have been few reports of permanent guidance issued. The Archdiocese of Washington has yet to issue permanent guidance.
Altar boys serving at a Traditional Latin Mass at St. Mary Mother of God parish in Washington, D.C. Screenshot of Facebook livestream video
The letter, written by altar boys from St. Mary Mother of God parish in the nation’s capital, says that if the Latin Mass were no longer allowed at St. Mary’s, it would feel like “losing something precious, something of ourselves, nearly comparable to losing a loved one.”
The altar boys wrote that they wish to “partake in the mystery of the Eucharist” through the Latin Mass and added that “hopefully, one or more of us will be called to serve Our Lord as a priest.”
The altar boys remain unnamed. The letter is signed, simply, “St. Mary’s Altar Boys.”
“We have been going to the Latin Mass at St. Mary’s since we were born and have loved it since we were old enough to understand the beauty of it,” the letter says.
The altar boys wrote that they drive an hour to get to the church to serve Mass.
“The experience of serving the Mass is amazing and we also find great joy in teaching the young boys how to serve the Mass and leading them through the motions and prayers,” the letter says.
The letter continues: “From the Gloria on Holy Thursday to the Procession with the Infant at Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and the sad but beautiful liturgy of Good Friday we enjoy every bit of partaking in the great work of Christ. Our siblings have been baptized into the Church at St. Mary’s and our families have received first Holy Communions there and been reconciled with God in our first Confessions at St. Mary’s.”
The letter concludes: “We ask that you consider these words when you make your decision about the continuing of this beautiful form of Jesus’ Sacrifice on the Cross.”
A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Washington was not immediately available for comment Saturday.