THE Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan plans to hold a Latin Mass every first Sunday of the month at 3:00 p.m. at the Sanctuario de San Juan Evangelista, or the “old cathedral” as fondly referred to by the parishioners.
The first Mass in Latin here in 60 years was held last weekend in line with the call of Pope Benedict XVI to revive the Latin Mass, now considered as a “high Mass”.
Msgr. Luis Ungson, the 77-year old priest who celebrated the Mass said, “What we did was only experimental. We still don’t know yet how the people will respond to it.”
But Fr. Ungson said the churchgoers, with the women wearing veils as in olden times, “were impressed by its solemnity” although they could not understand Latin.
Fr. Ungson said the attendees seemed to be more attentive in the whole ceremony as it was different from the usual celebration of the Mass in English, Filipino, Ilocano or Pangasinan.
Most of the parts of the Latin Mass were sung by Ungson, who said he felt nostalgic, as he was ordained in the old cathedral in 1960.
The choir also rendered the songs in Latin but the homily was done in the local language as it was then.
In an interview with The PUNCH, he recalled his advice to other priests: “Never get angry on the altar and deliver your sermon for five minutes only… Do not make the Mass odious. Make it palatable.”
“Delivering lengthy sermons is one of the reasons why churchgoers do not pay attention anymore to what the priest is saying,” he added.
Fr. Ungson, who has retired in 2001, still actively celebrates Mass around Pangasinan noting that priests aged 60 and above have more time to celebrate mass and able to celebrate Latin Mass.
He served as chaplain of the Chapel of the Resurrection in Barangay Baay, Lingayen in 2003.—Eva Visperas