Michael Shain

Photographer and reporter
Mass in Latin, Like it Used to Be
Nationality: American
Biography: Lives in Queens, N.Y.        
Public Story
Mass in Latin, Like it Used to Be
Credits: michael shain
Updated: 09/27/20
The only weekly pre-Vatican II mass in Queens — wholly in Latin — has been held in a small chapel on the grounds of St. John’s Cemetery in Middle Village since 2004.
The old-rite mass draws 60-to-80 people each week, with some coming from as far as New Jersey and Long Island. It is a throwback to a time when women wore mantilla to mass and communion was given only by a priest’s hand.
“It’s not for everybody,” said Bishop James Massa, who oversees the unusual rite.
The prayerbook used is from 1962, a relic of the year the Vatican ordered churches to say mass in the local language.
The congregation has its fair share of older worshippers but, surprisingly, most are young parents who weren't alive when the old mass was changed.  


Also by Michael Shain —


Mass vaccines

By Michael Shain — The story of the pandemic, years from now, will be remembered by many as waiting around in line a lot. New..

North Channel

By Michael Shain / Array — Just how two small, neglected beaches on the north end of Jamaica Bay became sacred places for the..

Elmhurst Hospital, Home of a Pandemic

By Michael Shain — Elmhurst Hospital in Queens never volunteered to be the poster child for Covid-19 disfunction. But the role..

The Vote

By Michael Shain — New York City is new to the idea of early voting. The Board of Elections ran what was in effect two dry runs..

Big Dig

By Michael Shain — Under the busiest street in Queens, New York City built a new sewer without stopping traffic. Three stories..

Food lines

By Michael Shain / Queens, NY — The operators of food pantry these days tell the same story. Aid organizations that used to help several..

Indie Wrestling

By Michael Shain — Wrestlers with names like the Bushwick Beast, Awesome and the Saint work in the regional minor leagues of..

Backstage at the Chinese Opera

By Michael Shain — At Flushing Town Hall, the backstage area is bright but cramped. One grimy window lets in some natural..

Diwali, Parade of Lights

By Michael Shain — Diwali is a big deal for Hindus. The fall festival usually requires a thorough housecleaning and new..

Empire Valley Railroad line

By Michael Shain — In the basement of a prewar apartment building in Astoria is a fantasy world that moves to the sounds of..

Bocce Champs

By Michael Shain — Every year, the New York City Park Department stages a citywide bocce tournament. But first, there are..
Join us
for more access