The Mass and Its Folklore
Publication Date: June 19, 2018
There are many good and popular English books on the Mass. Some of them treat the subject after the manner of a Rationale, explaining the significance of the prayers and ceremonies of the Eucharistic rite; others are historical and antiquarian, and elucidate the origin and evolution of the ceremonial—while of devotional books there is no end. This book, however, is a treatise on the folklore and minor antiquities of the Mass; by which are meant the various aspects and the numerous details of the Holy Sacrifice which have so impressed the minds of Catholics in the past as to leave permanent traces in the popular traditions and speech. The aim of this book is to stimulate love for the ancient Mass by showing how it was valued by our ancestors in ages of faith, and what our predecessors in the penal times willingly suffered for its sake. Foreword by Charles A. Coulombe.
"A very remarkable book by a very remarkable man...This little book can be a powerful inspiration." -- Charles A. Coulombe, author of Puritan's Empire
Read the Foreword and Preface Now
This book is not only a great introduction to the old Mass, but it is a love story about the Mass itself. For being such a small book, almost tract-like in it's brevity, do not let it fool you. Interspersed among its discussions on the Mass itself are wonderful little stories of traditions and folklore. A great read.
This little book is a treasure chest of the wisdom of our ancestors!
This is such a great little book on how the Mass was not central to the lives of the people of yore but it was their life! Learn how the Mass permeated every aspect of life, this is the restoration we need today! Every Catholic must own this book. Thank you Tumblar House for publishing such a great work!
If I were to write a review of all the good things contained in this book, the review would end up being longer than the book itself. There are anecdotes which range from light hearted to downright scary within a page from each other. Fantastic highlights within highlights for example, the Our Father with the alternative of the "Give us this day our daily bread" and the foot note on that alternative thought in the Creed, reveals the reverence our predecessors held for the Sacred Host.
I also found it funny how the books and sayings the Protestants used to put down the Catholic Church are used by John Hobson Matthews to lift up the Church.
I am also grateful, for I once heard a lecture by an Orthodox Archpriest were he remarked on how the pews were invented by the Protestants and Catholics adopted them later on. I had no reason to disbelieve him but then I come across this line: “Oaken seats and kneeling-benches were the rule in this country in mediӕval times.” (I must do more research on this point)
I’ll stop here, but I tell you, there more things I wish to write about this book but I fear I might take away from the sublime experience you’ll get from reading it… Like how the story of the dove shaped box suspended above the altar explains why…
must… stop… typing…
Vivat Domus Tumblar!
Feast of St Lawrence
For being a short book, less than 100 pages after one takes out the foreword and other pages not directly focusing on the topic, there is a whole lot of fascinating information inside. For each part of the Mass customs and practices are discussed, which show that the faithful in generations not only prayed the Mass, but made it part of their lives. The only disappointing thing about the book is that it is so short, and it is clear that it only scratches the surface of the folk traditions around the Mass.
The Mass and Its Folklore is a great insight into the culture, folklore, and history surrounding the Mass in England. It also covers the whole Mass in detail, such as what people thought of certain parts, previous practices, and why certain actions are done. A quick and easy read that will further devotion to Catholic tradition and the ancient Mass.
This book really gives the reader an insight on how valued the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was to the faithful of old in the penal times. The first half talks about the virtue of the Mass and how it was celebrated in the penal times. The 2nd half talks about specific parts of the Mass. There is a lot of detail and stories in here that will sure to inspire a new sense of awe and excitement when you go to Mass after reading. So much information that people have never heard of. Definitely recommend it as a gift for yourself and others.
Lovely little book on some of the history of the Mass and its folklore - an insight into why certain traditions and items were used in the Mass, and a true depiction of how considerably the Mass is imprinted into old stories and ways of life. It is interesting to note how some of these customs still remain in the modern Latin Mass, if done well, and how strikingly these traditions are etched into remembrance and love of God and of the Faith and how they may be shown in the Mass. The book was not as extensive as I would have liked and thought (talking more comprehensively about the objects and rituals used during the Mass) but, rather, it was a compelling story of the Mass and the reverence and beauty surrounding it.
This book renewed my zeal for the Mass by looking at the historical perspective on the Mass; to see how much our ancestors valued it, to see how much they were willing to risk for it. And it was a delight to see all the little folklore that developed out of their love of the Mass. My favorite was the belief that Mass prolongs one's life for as long as one goes to it. In other words, if you've spent a total of 1000 hours at Mass during your lifetime, your life would be elongated by 1000 extra hours. This is something that could never come out of our current society because I don't believe we share that same appreciation or love of the Mass that our ancestors did. Reinvigorate your faith by reading this book!
A very good book to be understand and get a feeling for what the Mass meant to our forefathers.