Friday, October 7, 2011



This coming Sunday will be the sixth week since we instituted the corrected English translation of the Mass. I will plead the 5th by not incriminating myself on a public blog that we've implemented the whole thing--be it far from me to incriminate myself!

But I have not had one person say anything (yea or nay) about the corrected Collects, Prayers over the Offerings, Post Communion Prayers, Prefaces, or Eucharistic Prayers as being anathema to them or difficult for them to follow, or that these are ugly. Not one! What I do recognize is that the priest must study his parts and some of the Ordinary time prefaces need to be studied well as do the other prayers, but these are now written as most of us talk or sing--in long sentences. It's up to the person singing or speaking to add the right cadence and pauses and emphasis. That will be more difficult but at least it isn't choppy like the 1970's caricature in reverse.

I personally do not like the simple tone to which the prefaces are set and would much prefer the solemn tone that the 1970 sacramentary uses. It is beyond me why this was changed. I find the solemn tone easier to sing and more melodic and the simple tone more difficult for me and choppy.

Be that as it may, there has been no hand-wringing, no weeping, no funeral dirges, no hysteria, no grieving, no nothing over the loss of the 1970's caricature in reverse of the Latin Rite Mass in English that we've been dutifully praying and without complaint for over 40 years.

We're singing all of the parts of the Mass. Most of us love Richard Proulx's Gloria Simplex. In fact the first Sunday, after the first paragraph was sung, our congregation picked it up and with gusto! They love it. (We've had no rehearsals either, no teachings on this at Mass (although an abundance of teaching outside of Mass and for four years!) We done it through doing it! That's the best way and it has taken only five short weeks to get it into our bloodstream.

The new Eucharistic prayers and propers are great too and I've become quite use to praying them. I haven't ventured into the 4th one yet as I find it redundant as it concerns the Credo which everyone is saying as though they've said it always that way including "consubstantial" and "incarnate!" Even our first graders know what these two words are now especially as they hear them each Sunday!

We're doing the Sanctus to the Latin Melody in the missal, but I must say that I'm looking forward to a more festive version; the 1970's in me is coming out preferring more lively music in this regard.

Everyone has learned the new first choice for the Mystery of Faith. I do like the music that we are singing for it from the Missal.

Everyone loves the revised Confiteor and they are striking their breast three times although only once is required, but three time is much more natural.

And the Lord I am not worthy to have you come under my roof is a great hit! They love that the biblical allusion is crystal clear now as it always was in the Latin.

They love the two new dismissals as well.

Overall, its as though we always been praying this way at Mass. It could not have been easier to implement! Be not afraid! And don't listen to the hysterics on other more 1960's blogs!

Our visitors from the northeast and Minnesota are blown away that in the heart of Dixie, I mean Middle Georgia, we're way ahead of them. Of course the south has arisen and that comment is a no-brainer! We are most gracious about these things!


Anonymous said...

Having spent much of my youth in the South I have a strong feeling for "I am not worthy to have you come under my roof". Many of our parishioners up here thought it meant their palate. I am serious. We prefer to continue the 'Mass of Glory' musical setting. We really like the the part where you snap your fingers and tap your foot while singing 'Glory to God, Glory to God...) I am serious.

"..Consubstantial, ..incarnate...Even our first graders know what these two words are now..." I am stricken. Fr you would not post a previous submission wherein I observed that even the most humble Southerner has a more poetic command of language than the best educated Midwesterner. I stand by that and think it is in no small part due to the religious and musical heritage of that region.

Well done!


pinanv525 said...

Fr, it is called "pastoral leadership." Your matter-of-fact approach and your obvious devotion and love for the Church and the Mass made everyone want to do it. Now, so that people will not say I am kissing up to you, this is merely what is expected of a Priest...imagine that. And, all these people are twisting and turning and wringing their hands across the country and wondering how in the Hell you and a few others like you did it. Pretty sad...when basic expectations are lauded as above and beyond the call. But, if I wanted to "kiss up," I might mention the care you take in preparation, your non-obtrusive but active presence at most Church functions,your administrative skills, the comfort we feel in times of crisis when you are present, and the dozens of other ways in which you exemplify the role of Priest. But, that would get me in trouble with the grumblers.
Seriously, though, the difficulties some parishes are having with the implementation of these changes says a lot more about the pastoral leadership than it does about the revised Missal.

Anonymous said...

Any chance you could film the Mass or the music?

pinanv525 said...

RCG, Why, Suh, that is because we grew up on those Williams boys...Hank and Tennessee. One of my early cinematic memories is from "Summer and Smoke," where a gaunt and haggard Laurence Harvey, after leaving his father's death bed, stands at the top of the stairs, glaring down at the prim and proper, white clad Geraldine Page and says accusingly, "He's daid; he's daid o' good works!"
Then, there is "Gone With the Wind...."

BTW, isn't "best educated Midwesterner" some kind of oxymoron? LOL!

Anonymous said...

St. Joseph Anonymous here.
"We love Richard Proulx's Gloria Simplex..."
That Gloria is difficult to sing - the music is awkward.
The shuffling around between the three books by parishioners to keep up with the Mass is disengaging and lessens gracefulness.
Too many moving parts.

Templar said...

Not raining on the parade but I will confess that I actually don't like the Gloria. Quite honestly it's easily to sing in Latin than in the revised English, but other than that, no complaints.

Frajm said...

With time, we'll know the new parts by heart. That is what I find disconcerting. We all knew the old English spoken or sung by heart now we have to rely upon the printed sheet music and words. But that will change in about a year when we know these prayers by heart. When I first started celebrating the EF Mass, I though I would never learn the long sentence when distributing Holy Communion in fact I had to paste the words on the cibroium and the same when I turn to the congregation for the Dominus Non Sum Dignus, but I have memorize these parts and many more--that amazes me.
The new Gloria we are singing will be our default Gloria. We'll still do the Mass of the Bells at Christmas and Easter and I'm hoping we'll also learn the Community Mass Gloria. Once we have the words memorized it won't be too hard to learn new music settings.
But I agree using books and having three to contend with it hard. Eventually we'll be getting a new hymnal that has everything in one place--one stop shopping. Fr. McDonald

Anonymous said...

Inflection has a huge impact on the understanding of the passages and prayers. It can make a chant or song meaningful or unintelligible. Some of our favourite hymns are traditional or borrowed tunes with religious words set to them. This can be tricky when accuracy is sacrificed for metre. When we approach it from the other direction and the words are carefully considered but we try to shoehorn them into a song we think is pretty we end up with an awkward or even irritating situation. This is the advantage of chant. Those little quarter, half, and whole notes bridge the gap and let the cantor use his voice to set the emotional stage and the flexibility to retain the words within that 'tune'. Tesserand did a good job with that.


Templar said...

Pin's comments in his first post express my feelings exactly, and are also why I prayed so fervently for you to be named Bishop. Higher Theology Degrees might make you "eligible" but do not speak to the true role of a Bishop which is TO LEAD. Sorry if that makes you uncomfortable that's how I feel.