The Other Latin Mass: Charismatic Liturgies, with Their Lively Music, Mysticism, and Strong Community, Offer the Best of Both Worlds to Hispanic Catholics Looking for a Little More Oomph in the Mass

By Roman, Elisabeth | U.S. Catholic, February 2008 | Go to article overview

The Other Latin Mass: Charismatic Liturgies, with Their Lively Music, Mysticism, and Strong Community, Offer the Best of Both Worlds to Hispanic Catholics Looking for a Little More Oomph in the Mass


Roman, Elisabeth, U.S. Catholic


I was raised in a strict Pentecostal household and indoctrinated from an early age about the evils of the Catholic Church. I was taught that Catholicism was the furthest thing from spirituality, where God was nowhere to be found because saints and the Virgin Mary--referred to as "idols" in my family--dominated all worship, and Catholics served the pope instead of Jesus. The Eucharist was not seen as the Body of Christ but as a creation of the Catholic Church, and we should not have anything to do with it.

While for many this may sound absurd, I must confess that too many of my relatives still believe this. At many family gatherings I am lectured on how I have abandoned God for Catholicism, and should I die without repenting, my soul will be eternally condemned to hell. In fact, I had an uncle who was an evangelical preacher tell me I would be tossed into a hell seven times hotter than the original hell for abandoning God to become Catholic. Apparently my uncle, who passed away two years ago, believed God reserved the hottest level of hell for deserters like me since I should have known better. My new faith has been the hardest on my mother. Still very Pentecostal, she has trouble accepting that her daughter is condemned to spend eternity in hell.

Of course, I didn't convert from one religion to another. I spent almost 20 years without visiting any church. But I will never forget the guilt felt during my first visit to a Catholic parish in San Juan, Puerto Rico; it was as if I were betraying my family and everything I had been taught. I was in the midst of a personal crisis and felt the need to seek God. A Catholic friend, who knew I had been raised in a Pentecostal family, recommended I visit a charismatic church.

Over the years much has been said in favor of and against the Catholic charismatic movement. Many fear it is a faction within the church that is luring worshipers away from traditional Catholicism. But as early as 1969, a U.S. bishops' Committee on Doctrine report regarding charismatic renewal noted its "strong biblical basis" and legitimate theological reasons for existence. For many supporters, including me and other Latinos, the Catholic charismatic movement is another way to bring in the faithful.

On my first visit to this charismatic Catholic church, I sat in the back avoiding any eye contact, fearing it would signal I was a newcomer and would be harassed into conversion, a common practice in my family's church whenever a new face appears. If I had wanted such attention, I would have gone to church with any number of my relatives. Instead I was taken aback by the quiet and peace I felt as soon as I entered. Even the smell of burning candles was both appealing and ethereal. Candles were forbidden in my family's church.

Everyone was at prayer or gazing quietly at the altar. The quiet was gradually interrupted as members of the choir and music group, complete with guitars, maracas, tambourines, and palitos (wooden sticks), began taking their places in front. By that time most of the pews in the large church were filling up, providing me with a sense of relief. Now I would easily go unnoticed.

Mass began and everything was new yet familiar. The processional was festive; the priest smiled, waving at everyone as he advanced down the aisle toward the sanctuary to the tune of the upbeat rhythms; and from what I could see the musical director was dancing. This was certainly not the type of music I expected to he at a Mass. I was taught Catholics were subdued when it came to worship and practicing their faith. Pentecostals, on the other hand, are filled with the Holy Spirit and it shows in the enthusiastic way they serve the Lord.

As Mass progressed, I had no idea when to stand and when to pray but was amazed at how everyone prayed together in one voice and knew just what was coming next. When it came time to pray the Lord's Prayer (which was first sung, then prayed), the people standing next to me grabbed my hands and raised them without asking, smiling when they saw my look of surprise. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Other Latin Mass: Charismatic Liturgies, with Their Lively Music, Mysticism, and Strong Community, Offer the Best of Both Worlds to Hispanic Catholics Looking for a Little More Oomph in the Mass
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.