Last Easter's EF High Mass:
I don't have any photos of it yet, but our Solemn Sung High Mass in the Extraordinary Form for the Vigil of the Solemnity of Saint Joseph was absolutely stunning, inspiring and beautiful.
Our choirs under the direction of Ms. Nelda Chapman, our music director and organist, and our assistant organist Harold McManus, sang Schubert's Mass in G Major flawlessly. It is a very lovely choir setting and our choir did it with ease! Beau Palmer chanted in an exquisite way according to Gregorian melodies the Introit, Gradual, Tract, Offertory and Communion Antiphons. No hymns were sung until the recessional when we sang an English hymn, O Joseph, Mighty Patron.
This was the Roman Mass in its pure form, nothing but the Mass sung as it should be. No hymns, no anthems, just the Mass and nothing but the Mass.
We had about 150 in attendance for the Mass on a Friday night at 7:30 PM and not a Holy Day of Obligation. Many spoke to me afterward saying they had not been to a Mass like that in over 45 years. Some said it brought tears to their eyes.Many of the younger people who had never experienced anything like this asked why in the world this type of Mass isn't offered more often.
Others said that the Church made a tremendous mistake is dumping this style or order of Mass in favor of a too simplified and less dignified form of it. Thank God for Pope Benedict who has returned this form of the Mass back to the clergy and laity. It is truly a gift and as such and because it is worship and prayer it will build the Body of Christ.
Our deacon and sub-deacon did a wonderful job. Their parts and movements are the most complicated. The sub-deacon is actually a permanent deacon, Donald Coates and the deacon is actually a priest, our parochial vicar, Fr. Justin Ferguson. I hear they did what they were suppose to do well, although I couldn't tell. You really need eyes on the back of your head for this Mass when you are the priest celebrating it. Of course the acting deacon was none to pleased with the celebrant when he took his "ite missa est" from him by mistake.
We had at least eight adult servers.
From an ecumenical point of view, our choir director/organist is a United Methodist who knows both forms of the one Roman Rite backwards and forwards and our organist is a Southern Baptist. Now how's that for ecumenism????? And in the Extraordinary Form to boot!