Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Latin Mass in Makati

Facade of St. Peter and Paul
Last Monday (June 24th) I attended a Mass at the oldest Church in Makati - The St. Peter and Paul Parish in Poblacion, Makati. I remember one going to this Church when I was in Elementary. It was old and dark like many thick walled Churches made by the Spaniards.

I had some problems going to the place since I used the MRT to there. starting with MRT Cubao. Yes, Cubao and the tons of people who go in and out of this station. That day despite not sleeping because of insomnia and going out early the MRT had its occasional and traditional technical problems. The line was long and the cars of the train jam packed with people.

Going down Guadalupe station was a great relief and I was able to breathe in again normally. Taking a jeep just below the station takes you to the place in just minutes. You will go down at the end of Rivera street, where you can see the Old Makati City Museum and the Poblacion Baranggay Center.

The invite for the Latin Mass was shared by some of the very traditionalist and cnservative Catholic friends on Facebook. This is actually my second time to attend an Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

Facade of St. Peter and Paul
So why the Latin Mass? Because the Latin Mass has been the Mass of the Church for hundreds of years now and was just replaced just recently. But you are an atheist, what are you doing there? And I say why not? The celebration of the Mass is unique and interesting in and of itself and there is something with Gregorian chant that just brings the idea of the other into context (despite my non-belief).

Historical Marker

Inscrption in Latin
This one is quite new since I remember an older one is marble and broken.
New paint
I arrived at the place early despite all of the delays in travel. Living ina Manila I have to leave at least leave two hours early for anything (unless I am walking) just to arrive on time. I like being on time, no need to hurry and make lame excuses. I took some pictures around like a fucking tourist would.

Everything inside looks new

Even the statues look new and made in China. 

The old and new holy water stoup

An inscription in Latin. Looks important since they have to palce it in view. 

The Altar of Our Lady of the Rose. 

Left side of the Chapel of Our Lady of the Rose. 
Right Side of the Chapel of Our Lady of the Rose.

Another view inside the Chapel of Our Lady of the Rose

Stained glass at the top of the Retablo

The Retablo of the Church
 I don't like the way they have made the restoration of the Church. It looks old and anceint outside and sickening new and cheap inside. You know the age and color inside just don't go together but is a nice place for the celebration of the Latin Mass.

Before the Mass starts the priest explain on why we are having a Latin Mass. He wa saying that the Mass is something so beautiful to be just set aside and to also make it a point that the Latin Mass is more universal because it is the same anywhere in the world.

There were few people inside the Church despite the small size of the Church, there were only so few people that we were just about a third of the whole Church. A few things I noticed is that people are already ready for the mass with the breavariums and handouts. Yes some people are dressed for the Mass well because of the veils and the works. But some people just wear whatever they want. In this Mass no one checked people if they wearing shorts and no veils. The first Mass I have been to asks people to dress properly or to go out. I like the later one's approach.

The Mass is in celebration of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist and is an important Feast thus this Extra Ordinary Form of the Mass.
Priest explaining the Latin Mass
There is a small separate room below the retablo. 

The priest enters with the altar servers and this hooded figure in black. 
 This Mass has many similarities with the regular mass of Vatican II except that everything is in Latin. So I think that is the only barrier in here but once the veil and incomprehension of Latin things would be easier to follow. But as a beginner it is better to just follow everyone around since there is no one to tell you when to sit, kneel, bow or stand. If you are interested with the Latin Mass I suggest you try Musica Sacra for FREE books and sources.
The main celebrant

Yes, he is facing the altar together with the people. 
 One interesting point said by the priest is that the priest is not turning his back to the people in fact he is with the people in the worship of the Lord or the deity. some ignorant Catholics think the Latin Mass is snob by pointing at the laguage, which few understand, and the mere fact that the priest turn his back.

There are only  few moments when the priest faces the people that is when he says Dominus vobiscum where he basically tells the people that we are doing this together.
Dominus vobiscum

During the Gospel

Washing of hands, rarely done in the mass nowadays.
It is hard to tell of the experience in words alone and even in pctures because what you will see is a priest assisted by altar boys with their backs all the time. You better check youtube on this and many sites like SantaMissa for more information.

So in the end the experience was way better than the Mass we have in English and Tagalog. As an observer you are forced to focus on what the priest is doing and also to admire the Music, the Liturgy and as well as the Architecture. 


As I was going home I decided to walk back since the way is just a straight line along the Pasig River. This area in Makati is quite old and I bet there are many more ancestral and old houses around street corners but I was an old house quite in bad shape but still being used and an abandoned one. I actually saw lots of abandoned houses in here. Makes me think. 

An old house I passed by. The joys of walking. 

A fallen roof of an abandoned old house.

Even abandoned old houses are not safe from politics

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