The Sacred Triduum in the Traditional Catholic Latin Rite in the Southern USA

Español | English

    The Catholic Church celebrates mass every day of the year. Catholics attend mass every Sunday by Christ's precept at the last supper: "do this in memory of Me." The Eucharist ("thanksgiving") is therefore the sacramental axis of the Church since the first century.

The sacrament was traditionally officiated in Latin until the 1960’s, when permission was granted to use “vernacular” or local language. This was at the time of the Second Vatican Council, during which Pope John XXIII would bring intact a 20-century-old tradition and a body of doctrinal teachings closer to the faithful. It was a period of aggiornamento, which is translated as “bringing up to date.” This is how the New Roman Order of the mass came to be with new rubrics and was translated into the world's many languages.

    Today, even though the use of Latin is officially allowed and even encouraged under certain circumstances, most Catholic dioceses have found it more practical to celebrate the mass only in vernacular. Nevertheless, a handful of parishes have preserved the traditional Latin rite that was in use until the Second Vatican Council. He who attends these services witnesses a beautiful, solemn, mystical and unusual experience that, in our post-modern times, can only be remotely resembled by monarchical protocol. 

    The parish or Saint Francis de Sales in Mableton, Georgia, is one of these traditional communities celebrating mass in Latin. This series of photographs portrays the traditional liturgy of the Holy Week in Saint Francis de Sales during the Sacred Triduum—or the “three days”—beginning on Holy Thursday and ending on Easter Sunday. With this series I want to share these traditions with both, Catholics and non-Catholics, bring closer to them the many deep symbols of the liturgy, and in a certain way, allow them to experience "mass in Latin" from the pews.