Friday, August 12, 2011

THE ORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS AS IT IS PRESCRIBED

(Please notice how many have their hymnals opened and are singing during the Procession, you can almost hear them in this photo!)

(CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE; I dont' know who the young priest is at St. Joseph Church in 2006)

There's a lot of talk about reforming the reformed Mass also known as the Ordinary Form of the Mass. Well, folks, it is being reformed and beginning in the Fall and by the First Sunday of Advent every English speaking Mass throughout the world will have a new, more highly developed and more accurate English translation of the original Latin. We can sing a Te Deum for that!

But with that said, given the reality that we should "say the Black and do the red" as another blogger puts it(I have one of his coffee mugs right in front of me with that saying) what are the elements of a transcendent, well celebrated OF Mass where God's grace is evident to people in a sacramental way and they are swept up into Christ's sacrificial love and the eternal banquet of heaven?

Let me list what all of us, clergy and laity ought to do for the love of Christ:

1. Humbly accept what the Church gives us in terms of the Mass and simply do it the best way we can. This includes what the Vatican has ordered as the new English translation, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal; what the American bishops have highlighted as the norm in this country for receiving Holy Communion in the OF Mass and loving the Mass even when one perceives there are a few warts in all of the above. Sometimes for the sake of unity we must put aside our personal preferences whether that means standing for Holy Communion rather than kneeling (or vice-versa if the norm changes)and also making the appropriate acts of reverence before receiving Holy Communion in the mouth or on the hand, such as the bow. Humility is a lost gift in today's world.

2. Participate, participate, participate! This means placing your heart, soul and mind into the actions of the Mass even before your utter a word. If you were a deaf-mute, one can internally participate in the Mass without hearing or saying a word. But for those gifted with hearing and speech, saying and singing the words of the Mass should follow one's internal appropriation of what is being celebrated.

3. Create warm hospitality with people, especially outside, in the narthex (vestibule) and even in the Church by being kind, considerate and modest. In the Church being kind, considerate and modest can all be done without speaking a word and creating silence for people to pray and contemplate is a very powerful form of hospitality.Silence is a lost commodity in our secular world and at home. We should recover the truth that "silence is golden" in our churches.

This list does not exhaust how we can reverently celebrate the Sacred Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist during Holy Mass, but it is a beginning. In all things we should strive for unity, hospitality, contemplation and become disciples in mission when we depart.

Finally, the dismissals of the new English translation indicate in a very powerful way what we as Catholics must do once we have celebrated the Sacred Mystery and depart our Church.

These are the new dismissal options which I pray every deacon or priest should say at the end of Mass, with the response being "Thanks be to God":

A. Go forth, the Mass is ended.

B. Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.

C. Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.

D. Go in peace.



10 comments:

Henry Edwards said...

I just noticed (via Rorate Caeli) an extensive and savvy discussion of the pros and cons for parish liturgical renewal--reform of the reform vs. traditional Latin Mass, and how for the pastor to avoid becoming a bloodless martyr--in the chairman's blog of the (British) Latin Mass Society:

The reform of the reform, and a more peaceful alternative
http://www.lmschairman.org/

His bottom line:

It remains to those many priests, not yet committed to the Extraordinary Form, who are concerned about sacrality, to realise that the best way to address the problem is not by arguing with the liturgy committee, the folk group, and Uncle Tom Cobley about having the Sanctus in Latin this week, but by learning the Traditional Mass, and introducing it into parish life as something in addition to, not instead of, the Ordinary Form. This won't solve all your problems overnight, but it will set things moving in a positive direction.

I noticed that the photos there are from a parish where the priest left the Sunday OF schedule intact, but introduced an additional EF Sunday night Mass. The idea being to keep it entirely apart from the vested parish interests who would complain if the EF intruded in their domains.

qwikness said...

You know you're from Georgia when you think "say the Black and do the red" has something to do with UGA.

Nancy A. said...

I agree with all the suggestions for celebrating the Mass, especially the one about humble obedience. Not only with the Mass, but in every waking moment, I find humble obedience to be one of the most challenging but the absolutely most rewarding thing I can do.

Nancy A. said...

qwikness: Lol!

henry Edwards said...

qwikness, having spent almost half my life in Athens, I know the monomania to which you refer.

However, let suggest that--to a real Catholic who follows the EF Mass daily in a 1962 hand missal--the real significance of the colors is that the RED ribbon is used to mark the commons of the day, and the BLACK ribbon is used to mark the saint of the day.

Anonymous said...

Regarding kneeling for Communion in the OF--I knew I had read this recently and will share it with you: Go to the blog entitled "Roma locuta est" for July 6, 2011 and read the article entitled "Kneeling for Communion and the New Translation." It shows how the translation of GIRM 160 has changed to basically state that, while the adapted norm for the U.S. is still to receive standing, a communicant may still receive kneeling if he/she wishes.

The big change appears to be that the new version no longer refers to the need for the priest to pastorally advise the kneeling communicant that the norm in the U.S. is standing. This is consistent with what Henry Edwards stated in an earlier post about this new version of the instruction seeming to place reception while standing or kneeling on a more even, or equal, "standing" (no pun intended!).

At my own parish, for the past two or so years, our pastor (ever since he got here and entirely of his own initiative) has kept a kneeler in place in the day chapel for his own use and for the use of communicants who wish to receive while kneeling. My observation is that at daily Mass (not a really big group, mind you) at least half, and often a majority of communicants, kneel--it just depends on which individuals show up.

Up until the last couple of months or so I continued to receive standing and on the tongue at Sunday Mass only while kneeling only at the daily Masses (when I could attend--my work often prevents my attendance). Some time ago, (probably because I read another article similar to the one I just referenced) I privately and quietly asked Father if it would be permissible for me to now kneel to receive at Sunday Mass. He said that would be perfectly fine (and he seemed to have a very positive attitude in his affirmation). I have done so ever since and so does my mother, my wife and my 13 year old daughter. There are other people in our parish who also do so. As of now, we are still in the minority at Sunday Mass.

While this may not yet be the norm in the U.S., it certainly appears that the Church (in the new translation of GIRM 160, the recent remarks by Card. Canizares,the head of the Cong. for Divine Worship, and in my local situation with my pastor) is at least giving those of us who wish to kneel for Communion "a wink and a grin!" Could this all be signs of what is to come?

Templar said...

If "standing" is the "norm" for receiving Communion, why did the USCCB have to seek permission from Rome to implement it? Precisely because it deviates from the "norm" of the Universal Church, which is kneeling and on the tongue.

Frajm said...

Standing is the norm in the USA precisely because the Holy See granted permission to the bishops' request. Protocol was followed.

Templar said...

It was indeed good Father, but I want to be a member of the One Holy Catholic Church, not an American Church. I am eternally grateful that the permission granted allowed for Communicants to continue to receive via the Universal norm.

Frajm said...

Just keep in mind that the Church has given you a "dispensation" to deviate from an approved national norm just as the Church has given American bishops permission to deviate from a "universal" norm. The Church has always allowed for dispensations!