Sunday, September 4, 2011

ON GOING LITURGICAL RENEWAL AT SAINT JOSEPH CHURCH MACON, GEORGIA, ESPECIALLY THE NEW TRANSLATION!

Click once or twice on picture to enlarge:



As I write this, we've only celebrated our Saturday Vigil Mass with the new translation and it went extremely well. The new Gloria we sung is the Gloria Simplex by Proulx and the congregation picked it up as the cantor led it very easily. We have a singing parish and they really try to sing everything they are asked to sing. We did not rehearse it ahead of time but made sure they have copies of it with notes in the pew.

I think the hardest part so far as been the new Memorial Acclamation which for now is the sung plain chant from the new missal. But even there many tried to sing it and by the end of the month, they'll have it down pat.

I think the one change that is so engrained in all of us is the response to "The Lord be with you." It is so natural to say "And also with you" even when you've been reminded two seconds earlier that the new response is "And with your spirit." We sing all our Sunday Masses and even sung, some reverted to "And also with you." It was kind of comical and you could see disbelief on the faces of those who intended to sing the new and sang the old!" But I predict in one month the old will be history except for those darn visitors we get from Interstate 75 who come from parishes who lag behind us on the implementation of the new translation curve and have pastors who haven't even bothered to inform them of this change which will be mandatory the First Sunday of Advent. We do have small green booklets from WLP in the hymnal racks for everyone, so visitors will be alerted to our extreme progressiveness in all thing liturgical!

The other major "reform" we are implementing occurs next weekend. It's not really a reform, but going back to what we've been doing for the past 35 years.

When the H1N1 flu was feared to become an epidemic, our bishop asked us to discontinue the common chalice and the sign of peace. We did. For me it was the first time anyone in the "official" Church acknowledged that indeed a virus could be spread through the shared chalice. We had always catechized parishioners that the alcohol content of the consecrated Wine, the turning of the chalice and the wiping of the rim with a purificator would prevent the spread of viruses. That was not quite true and I shall never again state it to parishioners in that fashion. I will state that it is possible to spread a serious virus from sharing from the common chalice. Therefore those who are sick with the flu or other viruses should not receive from the common chalice and those with auto-immune deficiencies should not receive from the common chalice if they are likely to get sick easily from others illnesses.

My preference would be intinction and it was well received in the parish the few times I offered it in the last year. However, it is not the norm in our diocese and I don't want to have a fight over it with my new bishop and my former bishop would not approve of it on a regular basis when I asked him if we could even though the General Instruction of the Roman Missal in the American Adaptation of it allows for it as a second option after the first choice which is the common chalice. Never mind that the first choice in the GIRM for the Entrance Chant of Mass is the the Official Introit from the Roman Missal or Roman Gradual and that the 4th choice is a suitable hymn of some other kind. Which is the most prominent practice in our diocese and throughout America for Entrance Chants? The 4th choice! But I digress.

(This should tell you something about my moderate conservatism. I want the bishop to approve what I'm doing and if I don't get it, I disinclined to do it. I do see the bishop as the primary liturgist of the diocese and while most bishops don't demand rigid uniformity from parish to parish, I don't want to be sticking out like a sore thumb "doing my own thing" (which is very 1970's) when no other parish in the diocese or elsewhere in the USA is doing it, but I digress again. But those who like my conservative nature better get over my desire to please my bishop or I could be a flaming liberal doing all kinds of other questionable practices!)

One of the things that I have like since eliminating the chalice is that we don't have a hoard of people approaching the altar at the Lamb of God to be Extra Ordinary Ministers of the Chalice. But what really drove me and others crazy to the point of distraction was those who didn't bother to be faithful to their schedule which meant that others who were not scheduled had to come up if they noticed we lacked the number we need. Then they'd come up only to be beaten to the punch by another person who saw the need. Very distracting to say the least.

So I'm requiring all the EM's to be in the Entrance Procession, but simply bow once they get to the sanctuary steps and circle around to their seat in the pew. That way we'll know everyone is there at the procession time. In addition, they will wear a "choir robe collar" not the robe itself, around their neck that is the liturgical color of the day to distinguish them for this particular service.

My parishioners use the Common Chalice and have missed it and really didn't mind intinction even though they have to receive the intincted host on the tongue. I've made it quite clear to everyone that the chalice is purely optional and that one receives our Lord's glorified and risen Body completely under either form of the Consecrated Host or "Precious Blood." Our Glorified and Risen Lord cannot be divided,Body and Blood, but is Risen and forever alive in His completeness as received under either Form.

24 comments:

romishgraffiti said...

We had always catechized parishioners that the alcohol content of the consecrated Wine, the turning of the chalice and the wiping of the rim with a purificator would prevent the spread of viruses.

I've always had a why-are-we-kidding-ourselves? thought about that. It only really makes a show of reducing the eww factor without really reducing it. Kinda like the "Employees must wash hands before returning to work" sign in the bathroom at the restaurant--it's there to put the customer at ease; no one is actually watching whether an employee washes his hands (who usually don't use the customer bathroom in many cases anyway.) So far I'm still a fan of single species for distribution. Less time is spent purifying chalices after, and you can reduce the number of EMHC's from a platoon to merely a gaggle. :)

Templar said...

Knowing you as I have come to Father, I suspected what you wrote here was the case, but I do very much appreciate you saying it (typing it). I knew some how it came back to the Bishop. I hope and pray that after October, when the new Bishop is installed, you will broach this subject with him and hopefully be allowed to distribute via intinction.

pinanv525 said...

It just sounds like unnecessary busy-ness to me...EMHC's in the procession, peeling off to their seats, wearing some kind of collar or stole (maybe a t-shirt reading "I'm an EMHC at St. Joseph's Catholic Church"), then crowding up to the front during distribution. Simpler is better and far more reverent.

Laura said...

Well written Father! There is alot going on at St. Joseph right now, all of which is very exciting!

Anonymous said...

One point of clarity to your statemend: "Never mind that the first choice in the GIRM for the Entrance Chant of Mass is the the Official Introit from the Roman Missal or Roman Gradual and that the 4th choice is a suitable hymn of some other kind. Which is the most prominent practice in our diocese and throughout America for Entrance Chants? The 4th choice!"

Technically, the first two options are to use either the antiphon from the Missal, the antiphon and its Psalm from the Graduale Romanum, or Graduale Simplex. The last two options involve "3) a chant from another collection of Psalms and antiphons, approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop, including Psalms arranged in responsorial or metrical forms; (4) another liturgical chant that is suited to the sacred action, the day, or the time of year, similarly approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop." Singing a "suitable hynm" isn't an "approved" option, but it is what we encounter. See http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/roman-missal/general-instruction-of-the-roman-missal/girm-chapter-2.cfm

I, too, wish that we'd use the propers as intended and, that eventually, they can also eventually be implemented as we introduce the new changes to the mass at St. Joseph. (These are included in the Vatican II Hymnal - another reason why it gets my vote!)

pinanv525 said...

I agree, Laura, and it is a shame that it isn't going on in more parishes across the country. I know of some where these things are happening, but they are spread out from Georgia to California, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. But, I know of large parishes where there is only one Mass on Sunday and maybe one during the week and nothing but the usual K of C, etc. Most of these are straight ahead OF, and very routine. I actually feared that one Priest might fall asleep at a Mass I attended out of town recently.
Fr. is energetic, hands-on, and clearly loves the Church, the Liturgy, and all of Her modes of devotion and prayer. He is also a bit of a perfectionist without being too obvious about it. You can't teach this stuff in seminary, but the spirit of worship and a love for the Church should be alive in the atmosphere of these places. For too long, they have been wallowing in experimental theology and social work of various kinds.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be wonderful to replace one of the weekly Masses with a Latin Mass (a low Mass), so that all of your parishioners would be happy? (Not knowing the constraints and administrative responsibilities involved it sounds like a simple enough option)

No clutter of Extra ordinary (with emphasis on Not being ordinarily necessary)Eucharistic ministers there; no worry about pride over piety when kneeling to receive (just sheep, following the herd), intinction would be easily incorporated on special occasions or for a once a month High Latin Mass.

If I whine enough will I get a kneeler to Kneel? Call it an Extra ordinary Eucharisitic accoutrement. ;-/

Marc said...

Father, after now experiencing the new translation, I must congratulate you on the catechesis building up to it's implementation. No one near me in the pews seemed shocked or completely lost.

It was a breath of fresh air to hear the Holy Holy Holy and Lamb of God sung in English to the same setting as we use for Latin. The Gloria translation is great (this struck me particularly during the EF Mass afterward where my 1962 Missal is pretty much word-for-word with our new English usage).

The Credo is likewise very good. It just felt right reciting the new Credo! There's no other way to describe it.

I cannot wait until we all have it memorized so the Mass will regain its usual "flow.". And... To think, we still have the new Eucharistic Prayers to look forward to! The best is yet to come!

Templar said...

I actually found the Gloria harder in english than latin but other than that the new mass was a refreshing improvement, actually reminded me of memories of Mass from my childhood wwhich must have been using the 65MR. On the way out of the 5PM Mass an older person asked Father why he had to change the Mass, Father replied it wasn't he it was the Church who changed it, and this was followed up with "What Church"? Despite the pouring rain I walked into I could not stop laughing. Poor Father, a parish full of know it alls like me and know nothings like that clueless soul.

PS: not to reopen the altar girl issue but if we must have them can we ask them to leave the pick sparkly ballet flats home and have them button the hems of their cassocks. Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

All of this makes me smile. It is wonderful to see Fr's excitement and I think it will be infectious. I agree with Pin's assessment of the rigor in the EMs procession. I had a vison of an anti-bark shocker collar with the remote control safely in your pocket for a discrete jab if they were a little slow responding. Perhaps the perfectionist peeking out.

You might consider discussing the movement of the ministers with them and letting a few 'lags' happen. People will notice and respond to fix it. This is insignificant change and there may be a few who will also recall the 'rigid legalism' of Pre-V II and worry that it will return with this new translation. Let them become comfortable with one issue at a time and they will adapt more quickly to them all.

Just a suggestion.


rcg

Anonymous said...

I only slipped and said 'And also with you once' *chuckle*


BTW: Father, what is the date of the top photo of this post??

~SqueekerLamb

pinanv525 said...

RCG, I would not call pre-Vat II "rigid legalism." I would refer to it as, "order, dignity, reverence, and humility." I know you and your devotion, and using progressivist slurs like "rigid legalism" does not become you. You can kick me later...

Anonymous said...

Pictures from 2006, so glad I haven't changed a bit!

Anonymous said...

Ouch, my collar tingled. Pin, I was quoting your pastor from a previous post! Heh,heh.

I am excited and am watching anxiously as our parish moves forward on the new translation. Our RE has tried to establish a series of formal classes and working groups with a strict schedule to get oh the facts bthis has been me with almost goal silence. It is envisioned as a sequence of classes with formal leaders going through a certification process followed by the classes themselves for the parishioners. I am not sure why there was no response.

rcg

rcg

Gerbert said...

Well the world did not come to an end as most of the crying progressives where wining about. I attended the 9:30 Mass and the transition to the corrected translation went well, one of the first things that came to me was the term "noble simplicity" chanting of the Holy Holy and the Gloria brought about what Vatican II meant when it called for a noble simplicity of the liturgy. I have been reading the changes for several weeks, and they did not seem to drastic, but in the context of the Mass they were, I found a deeper and more profound understanding, amazing what focus and surroundings will do for you.

pinanv525 said...

RCG, Well, if FR. said it, I am sure he was using the term loosely..., You, on the other hand, do not receive the benefit of the doubt...so, there!

TCR said...

If only we could have intinction.... I find this form of communion to be both moving and deeply respectful of the Real Presence. The act of receiving both the body and blood of Christ during the same moment and directly upon the tongue both reinforces our belief and strengthens the connection between the communicant, pastor, and Christ's Holy Church. Despite the liturgical progressives' love affair with reception in the hand, the pews are ripe with those seeking a closer communion with their Lord and His Church. Father, I hope you further the dialogue with Bishop Hartmayer when the timing is favorable.

Anonymous said...

I did not notice the pink sparkly shoes. I did not even remember if the servers were all boys or all girls. maybe because I am a woman, altar girls do not bother me, although I understand the traditionalist pov regarding altar boys. what I do notice at St. Joseph is that they are well prepared and comfortable with thier role. Perhaps the pink shoes were the result of a last minute change, filling in for someone. Please be generous. I can say that, I married templar. I loved the changes in the mass.

Anonymous said...

Turned on the television for the weather report this morning and it had been left on EWTN. (third daughter and boy friend had been watching. Hmmm). Anyway the daily mass was on and I noticed they were using the Latin prayers and allowing people to receive standing or kneeling without hesitation. Some approached standing, some knelt, one or two knelt then stood (?). Most of the standing communicants looked a little unstable or outright infirm so it seemed like the priest was using his judgement. There was no alter rail. Things went smoothly so I think such tolerance would be easy for folks.

Our relic is a sliver of the Cross found by our parish saint, Saint Helen. Each year leading up to Easter it is presented and people will come forward in an act of veneration and touch its capsule. Some kneel, some genuflect then touch it, some will kiss it. There are varieties of pieties and no one seems put out by it.

rcg

Anonymous said...

One thing I found very unappealing as a Eucharistic Minister was being required to finish the Chalice after everyone and I mean everyone drank from it. Talk about a petri dish. Will that continue to be a requirement?

Frajm said...

Yes, that will remain as a requirement. There are two options though. If a EM feels that this poses a threat to their health, they should request to only be an EM for the host or the home bound. Or, they should pay attention to what remains in the chalice and ask the last person to receive to consume what remains.

Templar said...

Or, they should pay attention to what remains in the chalice and ask the last person to receive to consume what remains.


LMAO....I don't know if you meant it to be, but this just made me howl with laughter.

Anonymous said...

Here we go again with the silly hype about the so-called dangers of the common cup. It is not, in fact, a petri dish. Bacteria can grow fast, but not as fast as the time it takes for people to recieve communion from a common cup.

"Previous studies have demonstrated the viability and transferability of microbes on the communion chalice, in the wine, and on the wafers. The results of this study indicate that fears from the last century, like those of Dr. Howard S. Anders (15-18), should not be of concern to individuals who attend church and receive Holy Communion. No significant differences were found in the rates of illness among Christians who receive Holy Communion, Christians who attend church but do not receive the sacraments, and people who do not attend Christian services. The only significant health factor found in this study was the presence of young children in the household, a commonly observed phenomenon. Replications in other seasons and in different locales might be warranted to further test this question. However, these data suggest that receiving Holy Communion as often as daily does not increase risk of infection."

Corresponding Author: Anne LaGrange Loving, M.S., M(ASCP ASCP American Society of Clinical Pathologists. ), Assistant Professor of Microbiology, Felician College.

OR

Glaser & Nadler, Archives of Internal Medicine
Vol. 145:1653, 1985.

O. Noel Gill. “The Hazard of Infection from the Shared Communion Cup
[Review].” Journal of Infection, Vol. 16, No 1 (January 1988): 3-23.

Anne LaGrange Loving. “Holy Communion and Health-is there a Risk?” Journal of Environmental Health, July-August 1997.

Frajm said...

The silly state of denial about viruses being caught through the common chalice, such as H1N1 have to come to an end and old 1980's and 90's health documentation just don't cut the new reality!