Yesterday at 18:30, Mgr. André Léonard, archbishop of Mechelin-Brussels and primate of Belgium, celebrated a pontifical high mass according to the Extraordinary Form. The two hour long sung mass was celebrated in the church of Sts. Jean et Étienne aux Minimes, a church with quite a history, no doubt. Built in the early eighteenth-century in a style unique to the transition between the Baroque and the Classical, the Church found itself, first in the hands of St. Francis de Paola’s Order of Minims, (OM’s), then in the hands of the French Revolutionaries as a Temple of Reason, and now in the hands of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP). From now on, the FSSP-Beglium will say masses in the extraordinary form at this church every Fri., Sat., and Sun.
Given that the pontifical rite in the Extraordinary Form is perhaps one of the most complex liturgies to carry out, the FSSP should be commended for the mass’s solid execution, along with the cantors and one of the oldest organs in Belgium. Without knowing any definite numbers, it must also be said that the mass was very well attended. Not only was the church full, but the diversity of age was striking; notable was the amount of young families and teenagers.