“Serving My First Tridentine Mass”

by | Aug 19, 2008 | Altar Boys, FSSP, Latin Mass, Nebraska Road Trip | 20 comments

In Omaha, the day following Father’s First Mass and the day following our son’s First Holy Communion, Captain had the privilege of serving Mass with other highly experienced altar boys. Captain had been serving back home since he was five, but this was a special Mass for him because 1. It was his first Mass that he could receive Our Lord as an altar boy, 2. It was the first Mass he could serve for his godfather, and 3. As the title states, it was his first opportunity to serve the Tridentine Mass.

For a seven year old serving his first Latin Mass, the position of Boat Bearer was a good starter and instructions were given by the more experienced. The beauty of the Latin Mass is that every action has a purposeful and significant spiritual meaning. Those accustomed to the Latin Mass understand the significance of each action and it was edifying to see it practiced to the detail. We are grateful to the Altar Boys of Omaha for graciously passing this on to our son.

Although a little nervous around the older more experienced crew, it was apparent to Captain that he was among the best of the best, the Navy Seals of Altar Boys.

Vestments are carefully prepared in the sacristy before the Traditional Latin High Mass.

The Latin High Mass is celebrated by a Priest, assisted by Deacon and Subdeacon (the assistant roles often are filled by other priests, in this case, they were filled by Father’s two ordained brothers).

Processing to the Altar.

The Beauty and Splendor of the Ancient Liturgy. The Latin High Mass is celebrated with all the solemnity of Gregorian chant, incense, and full ceremonial.

Pie pellicane, Iesu Domine,
Me immundum munda tuo sanguine.
Cuius una stilla salvum facere
Totum mundum quit ab omni scelere.

“My Second Holy Communion!”

“May this holy Mass keep all stain of sin from my soul. May It keep me close to Your Sacred Heart, O Jesus, as long as I live.
May It bind me to You forever in Heaven.”
(From Pray Always by Rev. Alphonse Sausen, OSB)

The Final Blessing:
“Benedicat vos omnipotens Deus . . . “
The Altar of Sacrifice facing East towards the Heavenly Jerusalem.

At the reception, Father cuts the cake with some joyful humor.

Captain’s Aunt/Godmother with her husband and children.

(It was so nice to see them and meet our newest little Godson, who is being held by my sister-in-law!! He is such a sweet little guy!)

Enjoying quality time with cousins.

After Mass we returned to Valparaiso to visit with the Cloistered Carmelite Nuns. Sorry, no pictures to prove it.


  1. The Wades

    I love seeing all the kids’ smiles as the cake is being cut. Makes me wonder what he said.

    Pretty church.

  2. Amy

    Oh wow! Jessica, that is so beautiful. How wonderful for Captain too! I bet he loved doing it and knowing how important his job was!! He is an excellent altar server, I love watching him and his little brother serve. You don’t often find servers who take the job so seriously and with such adoration.

  3. Aubrey

    Wow! I feel so guilty for not taking advantage of the Tridentine mass here. We know many families who go to St. Francis. We’ve even been invited but I think that I’m holding back a little because I’ve never done it before, don’t know the responses or how to behave, and am pretty sure that I’d be in back with the baby (toddler) the whole time anyway. Luckily, our services are very reverent. We are blessed with a very wise pastor and a very conservative Bishop. What a blessing that Captain is able to serve with his uncles and to take part in these very holy Masses. You are turning out five very beautiful children!

  4. Trina

    Thanks for continuing to share pix from your memorable trip. These are truly spectacular. It really brings out the visual beauty that Holy Mass can contain…all those details are important.

  5. John D. Enright

    Deo gratias!

    I found your blog, and I’m going to continue to read it because it is so uplifting. Congrats to Captain on his selection as an Altarboy. I’m now in my 50s, but I still remember the day when I became an Altarboy when I was in second grade. The Mass was still celebrated in Latin, and I can remember every single word.

    I think that your celebration of Captain’s selection as an Altarboy is awesome, and it reminds me of the time when my son, Jimmy, became an Altarboy many years ago. Jimmy is now 24 and he serves as the Master of Ceremonies during High Mass according to the Extraordinary Form!

  6. Anonymous

    How lovely, Jessica! There are few moments as sweet as watching a young boy serve at the altar of our Lord for the first time. It has been such a blessing for our family to see our sons receive their 2nd Holy Communion at the foot of the altar. May God continue to bless Captain as he serves his King…

    I will go in unto the Altar of God… To God, Who giveth joy to my youth

  7. Shelly

    That *is* extremely beautiful.
    Are you *allowed* to take pictures during Mass?

  8. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you everyone!! My boys really do love to serve, and this was very special for Captain.

  9. Jessica Gordon

    The Wades ~ I too asked my hubby what Father had just said, he said he couldn’t remember, but they were all laughing!

  10. Jessica Gordon

    Aubrey ~ The Tridentine Mass was new to me as well, when we went back to Nebraska for the first time 4 years ago for my husbands oldest brothers ordination. I had been exposed to the Latin Norvus Ordo Mass while I was at Christendom, so that helped me not feel so out of place. We visited St. Francis a couple years ago, and it seems like such a wonderful parish! The prayers and symbolism of the Latin Mass are what won me over. If you ever have a chance to read them — the missals have both Latin and English in them, you will see the differences. Anyways, you are SO blessed to not only have the Latin Mass available in your area, but to also have a very traditional bishop and reverent NO masses! Our closest Latin Mass is about 5 hours away in another STATE! We are praying that that will change.

  11. Jessica Gordon

    Shelly ~

    I don’t think that there are any rules about whether or not one is allowed to take photos during Mass. I myself usually feel funny doing so, so I rarely do. Most all the pictures that I have posted from the various Masses in Nebraska were either given to me by my brother-in-law or taken by my husband.

    (I didn’t mention it in this post, but I wasn’t even able to MAKE it to this particular Mass since Snuggles was so sick… My husband mainly took pictures so I could see Captain serving! IT WAS SO HARD TO MISS!!! But if you remember my post Almost Excommunicated, that took place the day before, I wasn’t about to risk another episode! I did take the last two pictures of the Carmel, since I met up with everyone later that day.)

    I also think it would be awkward (and a distraction) to be taking pictures at just any Mass. I guess it is more common to take pictures of Ordinations, First Masses, First Communions, and other sacraments. Does that make sense?

    My husband said to add that there were Seminarians in cassocks and surplus taking pictures as well! 🙂

  12. Mrs. L

    I loved looking at your pictures and it made my excited for my eight year old who is going to be learning this fall how to serve at the Latin Mass that we attend. God Bless:)

  13. Jessica Gordon

    Oh, it truly is exciting Mrs. L!! Congratulations to your son!

  14. Thought and Action

    Congratulations to him. I served my first Traditional Latin Mass a few weeks ago. I’m 26!!!.
    It was Low Mass.I can’t begin to imagine how I would handle a High Mass.

    In the past when I was a seminarian I did Acolyte and Thurifier a couple of times at ordinations.
    In seminary I would have served Mass, did the readings etc etc.

    When I left the seminary here in Ireland. I spent a few days in Denton on a retreat. Nice to see Omaha mentioned. I took a cab from there (fixed fare) to the FSSP seminary in Denton.The driver didn’t know the route so we had the map on the hood (bonnet) a couple of times.I have to commend the man.Then I had fun walking into a bar in or near Denton at about 12 midnight looking for directions. A strange youth with an accent looking for a seminary was probably a shock for the few lads enjoying their beers. I kind of got the directions mixed up so the cab driver who was from Kenya went in. Two lads looking for the seminary at midnight must of turned a few heads.

    Anyways I got there and because of my flight times was able to spend nine days there during a hot July in 2001.God didn’t call me to the FSSP but was great to meet the priests, Sister Stephen and the men on retreat from various parts of the US.
    The following year the FSSP had three Irish students enter. They have left now though.
    Father Buckley FSSP has said Mass here in Ireland and I have met him a couple times.Father Jackson was rector at the time.
    Sorry for the digression and ramblings but congratulations to a true Captain and you all.A great Catholic Family.
    God Bless,

  15. Salve, sancta parens!


    Thank you for your kind words. Please keep us in your prayers that we overcome our own struggles. The limitations (and advantage) of a blog is that it is a sort of canned representation.

    It was nice to hear about your experience with OLGS in Denton. What a story! I could just picture the looks the crowd in the bar might have given.

    Fr. Buckley is a great priest. I love his writings in the newsletters. He has one this month (August) called simply, “Hell”. Straight and to the point.

    We’re glad to hear that you gave the priesthood consideration. Catholic young men have a responsibility to God to explore this possibility. Perhaps if all young men did so, we wouldn’t have this shortage of priests we keep hearing about.

    God bless, the “Husband”

  16. Jen

    I was just scrolling through your categories and had to go to Nebraska (that’s home for us) to see what you had. I could not believe you went to the Carmelite Monastery – that’s HOME for me! My parents live 2.5 miles from the monastery and my Dad visits regularly for his daily rosary (that he started the day he got home from the hospital after a heart attack last summer). Wow – SMALL WORLD!! And I found your blog through Aubrey who is my husband’s high school classmate and now a friend of mine as well!

  17. Lenetta

    Just like Jen, I was hitting the categories (looking for the recipe for the apple oven puff pancake, I found it) and saw Nebraska. We live in the middle (south of Kearney, where the arch over the interstate is) and love it!

    If I'm not mistaken, though, your husband is out of brothers so I'm not sure if you'll be making a return journey. If you do, I'll be sending you happy thoughts as you go by! :>)

  18. Anonymous

    Absolutely beautiful. (SO sorry you missed it!) Did your husband teach the boys? I assume so, however, I know there are DVDs and CDs out there to help. Any recommendations? – Genevieve

  19. Jessica Gordon

    Yes, he did! Perhaps I can convince him to write a post on the topic! 🙂

  20. Anonymous

    Thanks! Ha, ha! I saw the most recent blog post. I'll head over there and encourage!


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Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

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