As I mentioned in a previous post, I attended my very first Novus Ordo Latin Mass yesterday. Novus Ordo is a fancy way of denoting the "ordinary" form of Mass from the "extraordinary" traditional Latin Mass, also known as the Tridentine. The Tridentine is the one where the priest faces away from the congregation. Novus Ordo is the one more commonly celebrated today.
The first thing that struck me was the incense- I could smell it from the street it was so potent. I only saw 2 mantillas (a.k.a. head coverings for the women), both worn by 20 somethings. They aren't actually required for the Novus Ordo. There was one guy in a suit who looked like he walked straight out of the 1930's, but everyone else was dressed in casual attire.
The Mass was not well attended. There were maybe 30 of us there & its too bad, because it really is a beautiful way to celebrate. There were some older folks there, but the majority seemed to be people between the ages of 20-40.
It seemed everyone was content to listen to the choir do it all. Everything is sung in- you guessed it- Latin. I was lost at first because of this, but actually started picking up on it halfway through the Gloria. I would stick with it for a while, lose my way when the priest prayed & recovered briefly when we got to the Creed. Even then, I only figured out where we were because I saw people bowing at the appropriate place. Eventually I just gave up & resolved to sit back & observe.
We had a few precious bits in English- the Confeitor, the “May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands...” & the prayer just before communion ("Lord, I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof..."). We seemed to kneel more than usual (which is fine with me) and people had the option to receive the Body of Christ on the tongue or in the hand. Only the priest got to partake of the wine. Overall, Novus Ordo in Latin was awe inspiring (& I'll definitely go back), but I found I still prefer the Mass in English, simply because I can participate more fully.