Welcome to Our Lady of Fatima Parish, an apostolate of the Priestly Fraternity
of Saint Peter (FSSP) within the diocese of Paterson since 1994. Our Masses
and Sacraments are offered in Latin according to the use established for the FSSP
by Pope St. John Paul II in 1988. To find out about Chapel happenings, our groups and activities, our school, the FSSP, and more, you will find links on our home
page to direct you around our website. Thank you for visiting!
If you are new to the Mass in Latin we hope this page will provide you with some information on what to expect. There are red missals in every pew that will give you an idea of what is taking place during both Low and High (sung) Masses - when to sit, stand, kneel, etc. Additionally, a supplement with the specific Sunday readings can usually be found in a basket at the back of the Church (the red missal contains the readings only for Trinity Sunday).
Things to note:
While the Mass itself is said in Latin, on Sundays (and sometimes during the week) the Epistle and Gospel are read again in English at the time of the sermon.
There are two types of Masses offered: the Low Mass and the High (Sung) Mass. The Low Mass is spoken in Latin; the High Mass is chanted in Latin by the priest and scola, with added music at various points by the choir (please note: the High Mass is about a half an hour longer than the Low Mass and is offered only once on Sundays at 11am, on certain feast days, etc.).
The High Mass on Sunday begins with the Asperges, a sprinkling of the congregation with holy water accompanied by a beautiful chanted prayer ("Thou shalt wash me and I shall become whiter than snow ..."). After the Asperges, the Introit (first reading) is chanted by the scola while, simultaneously, Mass proceeds on the altar in the same way as the Low Mass.
It might be helpful for you to understand that all the well-known prayers found
in the Mass in English are also found in the Latin Mass. Listening for these cues
in Latin will help you stay oriented: when you hear Confiteor it means I confess;
Kyrie Eleison = Lord, have mercy; Gloria in Excelsis Deo = Glory to God in
the highest; Credo = I believe; Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus = Holy, holy, holy;
Pater Noster = Our Father; Agnus Dei = Lamb of God; Domine non sum dignus = Lord I am not worthy; etc.
You will find times of silence, especially during and after the Consecration, during which the priest is praying to God privately (“sotto voce”). You can read along or use these times as an opportunity for your own prayers and contemplation (the same goes for long passages of chant by the scola found in the High Mass).
Sometimes visitors can find themselves overwhelmed and lost even with these guides. If this is your experience we invite you to open yourself up to God and pray, letting the reverence and beauty of the liturgy carry you along.
The Use of Latin in the Mass
Latin has a certain solemn quality, uniquely suitable to the cultural richness of the Tridentine Mass with its reverence, symbolism and beauty.
But there are other important reasons why Latin has remained the sacred language of the Church for over a millennium. Not least among these is that it acts as a veil of mystery and protection over the ancient liturgy. Also, since Latin belongs to no particular nationality or ethnicity but to all Catholics, it truly unites us in the liturgy with our brothers and sisters in the Faith, as we worship together in one language with one voice (“una voce”). This is especially significant in a country like ours which has always been called to act as a “melting pot”.
We hope this introduction has been helpful and that you will be able to visit our Chapel some day. If you have any questions don’t hesitate reach out by speaking to parishioners or our priests after Mass, or call the parish office at 973-694 6727.