Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What I Learned Wednesday #34: Millennial "Trad Fad"

I know, I know. It's been a couple of week since I've written one of these WILW posts but most of my Wednesdays have been occupied with studying for exams so I haven't had the chance to write. Since this is my first free Wednesday in weeks (how did that happen?!), I thought I'd spent it writing about something that has irked me lately. I usually break these things up into three parts but I'm only focusing on this one topic this week.

Have you heard of the Millennial "Trad Fad"? You know, the trend in which Millennials immerse themselves in the world of Latin Masses, mantillas/chapel veils, and other pre-Vatican II things. Golly, we Millennials are such hipsters. (side note: don't let the article title fool you; it doesn't actually say that we're hipsters.) I'm kind of hoping that Pope Francis' comments were misunderstood and that he doesn't really think that this is a fad... but I've heard that he's not a big of Latin Masses so I don't know.

I've never shied away from the fact that I really, really miss Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for several reasons, including the fact that (thanks to him) we've had Summorum Pontificum for 7 years now. Are the alleged quotes from Pope Francis legit? I don't know... but I would be disappointed if they were. For someone who is so welcoming of others and their differences, the quotes made me cringe a little.

I can't speak for others on why they prefer "traditional" Catholicism but I can tell you that many of my fellow Millennials who do have a preference to Latin Masses, chapel veils, incense (aka "smells and bells"), Gregorian chant, etc. don't do it for the fad/trend of it. I've never once heard "ooh, not everyone is into this? I need to do this." A good portion of us were poorly catechized and/or we've reverted/converted to the faith and we've come to these things on our own. Nobody did the thinking for us; we learned to appreciate them on our own. Free will, y'all. I personally looked into some - not all - of the changes that came from the Second Vatican Council while I was at that awful CINO college (because they didn't teach these things; they taught that anything pre-Vatican II was outdated and bordered on evil) so I was able to make my own informed decisions based on my preferences.

When I reverted 8 years ago, no one told me there were different types of Masses... but I still knew that I liked my Masses solemn. When I learned about Latin Masses, I knew I'd found the right fit for me. The clappy-clappy/hand-holding thing has never been for me. Even as a child, I felt obligated to hold people's hands when I didn't want to. I just wanted to focus on what the priest was doing/saying. Part of this was because of my introverted temperament and partly because it just didn't feel right for me. I'm not going to knock it if it works for you but I personally just don't like it. I know I'm going to get a lot of flack for this, but I'd appreciate my Masses without a mariachi band or a jazz ensemble. Yes, I endured one *cringe* "jazz Mass" before... and, though I love jazz, it needs to stay far, far away from my Masses. That's just my preference. I like to feel like I'm there to have my time with God, not to feel about all the cringing or be distracted by other things. That's why I love the first Sunday Mass at my parish; my spiritual director and the lovely nuns praying in Latin (with no outside distractions) is such a wonderful way to start my day.

As for chapel veils, I know some of y'all saw the passionate exchange I had with a good friend a couple of weeks ago on Twitter. I won't get into it because there's no reason to but it did inspire me to write about this topic. I veil because I want to. No one is making me do it; no one told me it would make holier... because it doesn't mean squat whether you veil or not if you're not following God's commandments. I made sure I learned the significance of veiling, the custom origin, and it was enough to make me want to do it. Yes, I know -- nerd alert for all the research I've done! Again, no brainwashing; it was a conclusion I arrived to on my own and that I feel most comfortable doing.

I don't veil only when I attend Masses. I also do it when I pray in front of the tabernacle or when alone in a church. I don't always "veil" either. I do keep my head covered but hats and scarves replace veils from time to time. The point is that I cover my head as a symbol of my love and respect for God. It also helps that I always feel like I'm actually there for God; that all sense of pride, arrogance, vanity, all the distractions, etc. get pushed aside. The moment that veil is placed on my head, it literally blocks all earthly distractions from my peripheral view and all I can focus on is on the Mass and/or the tabernacle. Babies -- my biggest Mass distraction -- disappear from view. I am reminded of why I attend Mass and why I believe what I believe.

I do understand that there are people who might be into these things for the wrong reasons. I've heard of "mantilla selfie queens." I haven't actually seen it myself but I've heard that they exist. I've heard of the "holier than thou" crowd. However, they don't represent everyone. Just like a few misguided clergy members (I'm being charitable with my words here) don't represent the entire church, a few "Catholic hipsters" don't represent the rest of us. Give us some credit.

I don't think I really learned anything new this past week other than apparently Millennials who appreciate pre-Vatican II customs are seen as hipsters. At the very least, now y'all sort of know why I do it. Yes, it was a sort of "in a nutshell" explanation but I'll revisit this topic at some point when I don't have too much occupying my mind (aka yes, I have a week off from exams but I'm still trying to keep the info fresh in my mind). :)

That's it for now. I hope y'all are having a great week thus far! If anyone has any prayer intentions, send them my way. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D


Stephen said...

I agree with you on just about everything - not that I wear a veil since I'm an man. :) I do find it reverent to see women who use the veil within church, and men who make at least some effort at their dress and deportment when at Mass. It is, like you said, a place to come and worship God.

While I don't mind the occasional Latin Mass, I tend to prefer to attend the Mass in Common Language (English or French in my case). I like to listen and participate with the Mass fully. As for the hippy masses (jazz? ugh!), I am much more traditional in my style of music. I love a traditional 4 part choir (I sing bass in our choir), and we do do some Gregorian and/or Latin hymns. I also have real attachment to some of the more modern hymns - but those are once with true depth of meaning to the words, and not just "hand waving" and "clapping" types. And don't get me started on people clapping after the Mass is ended - really people? The choir is there to help in the worshop of God, it's not a public concert. If you want to show your appreciation, come up after the choir is done singing and tell them, please don't clap (sorry, end of rant :). I'm much more of the reflective type when it comes to my worship than over-exuberance that can be found in some charismatic Masses.

As for the frustration about Pope Francis, I would not place much credence in what is being spouted about by the media - they are in it for the hype and the gossip. I had a friend share this article with earlier today, and I think it's bang on about Pope Francis:

Anyways, thanks for sharing. I enjoy your blogs and tweets :)

Kate said...

I am not a millennial and I love the Latin Mass. I also veil ~ I researched too and it just feels right to me. My younger daughter veils as well. My older daughter veils when she attends a Novus Ordo mass that she feels is irreverent. She attends this church because it is the only one she can get to at the moment. So she knows the reasons for veiling and she does it to compensate for the irreverence that she feels in this particular parish. Thank you for sharing this with us!