Saturday, May 14, 2011
WHAT TO DO? HOW PUSHY SHOULD WE GET?
With yesterday's release of the clarifying document on Summorum Pontificum, called Universae Ecclesiae just how pushy should we get in promoting the extraordinary form of the Mass?
At St. Joseph Church, our current practice for almost four years has been to have a monthly Latin High Mass at 2:00 PM on the first Sunday of the month. Granted that 2:00 PM is not the best time for Mass, we average about 80 people. Not all, though, are parishioners. Many come from far away.
Then every Tuesday we have a Latin Low Mass at 5:00 PM. that averages about a dozen people. Compare that to our OF 8:00 AM daily Mass which averages about 60 people, sometimes more.
We have celebrated the EF Mass for special occasions. Twice now we have had an All Souls' Commemoration singing Fauré's Requiem and we get about 200 attending. The same for our St. Joseph Feast Day Mass on March 19th. Keep in mind these are not Holy Days of Obligation.
On Easter Sunday our 1:00 PM Mass was an EF High Mass with about 300 attending. Many who were only Easter and Christmas Catholics came because of the time, not the type of Mass, but no one complained. Maybe C & E Catholics realize they have no right to complain?
Now, this is just in the realm of ideas and I have no intention of any sort of immediate change. However, having five Masses on the First Sunday of each month is becoming a bit of a drain. I've often wondered if I shouldn't make the following changes:
Make our normal 12:10 Ordinary Form Mass (which is completely sung, including the priest's parts as is our 9:30 AM Mass) an Ad Orientem Mass in the Ordinary Form, but in English. Then, once a month, on the First Sunday of the Month, make it an Extraordinary Form Mass.
Our 12:10 PM Sunday Mass averages about 400 people, although it fluctuates. I would not want to run these people off with the EF Mass. And certainly if I made it exclusively EF that is what will happen.
With that said, I have found that those who desire the EF Mass are very grateful for the arrangement we already have. No significant group is pushing for this Mass to be every Sunday. I could not do it every Sunday as an extra Mass and perhaps they are respectful of that reality.