Sunday, June 24, 2012


Not today's Mass, but like it, this one is March 19th, St. Joseph, Husband of Mary Solemnity

Please note: This afternoon's Reform of the Reform of the Ordinary Form of the Mass was recorded and as soon as Lovel Miguel in Houston gets it and formats it for the internet and thus my blog, I will post it. It will take a couple of weeks though.

Well, it was glorious! Our 12:10 PM Mass was the Reform of the Reform of the Ordinary Form of the Mass, at a regularly scheduled Sunday Mass! Please note my comments about the liturgy of the Eucharist ad orientem at the end of this post!

One of my EF fans who likes the EF Mass and would love to go to it exclusively writes in a comment at another post about this afternoon's Reform of the Reform of the Ordinary Form of the Mass:

Blogger Marc said...

The 12:10 Mass today at St. Joseph was precisely what is needed in the Church. I think we all recognize that a complete abrogation of the Novus Ordo followed by a complete return to the Tridentine Mass is unlikely. In that case, Masses like today's are perfect.

Many were singing with gusto the Asperges and the Gloria in Latin (less so the Credo, to be honest - might be best to keep that in English). I would be interested if anyone was "put off" by the ad orientem worship during the Canon.

Even I, a staunch advocate against lay readers, was less put off by the reader today in the greater context of the Mass.

Just a fantastic Mass that included the normal 12:10 Mass goers, as well as some who normally travel to the FSSP parish. It may just be the perfect compromise to unite the regular Mass goers and the more Traditional leaning Catholics under one umbrella. I am not a big proponent of the "Reform of the Reform" as I have articulated in these comments before. However, today's Mass was a Mass I would happily live with week after week (unless an FSSP parish opens up next door).

Kudos to Fr. McDonald. I hope you get enough good reaction to think about continuing this practice at the 12:10 Mass on a weekly basis.

June 24, 2012 3:36 PM

My Comments:

As much as I love the EF Mass, its rubrics and style of celebrating, I love the vernacular and a little Latin goes a long way for me.

I love the EF's Rite of Sprinkling Holy Water as a prelude to the Ordinary Form Mass as I find the reformed Rite of Sprinkling in place of the Penitential Act pedantic and preachy, just awful. The EF's version is not like that at all and it works well as a Prelude and in some ways mimics the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar as a purification rite.

I think we had a wonderful mix of English hymns and Latin chants. The processional to the altar prior to the Rite of Sprinkling was "For All the Saints." The Asperges was in Latin with the Latin conclusion. I changed from cope to chasualbe as the choir sang the official Introit, EF's version for the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, I reverenced the altar, kissed it and incensed it and went to the presiding chair as the Introit was concluded by the choir--it was marveloous.

The Sign of the Cross, Greeting, introduction was chanted in English by me, the Confiteor was recited by all in English, the Kryie was chanted using the Mass of the Angels and The Gloria was intoned by me and chanted using the Jubilatio Deo version. The congregation did well with it.

The Collect was chanted in English.

The lay lector came from the congregation and read the readings and the Responsorial Psalm was chanted in English with a fine English refrain.

We used the Latin Chant Credo III which the congregation did not have the music for, but our new hymnal that should arrive this week has it. The Credo was followed by the English Universal Prayers.

The altar was prepared, ad orientem,the Offertory Antiphon Chanted in latin, the offerings brought foward in procession and received.
The Sanctus was Orbis Factor, the Latin chant, Mystery of Faith, simple Great Amen. I prayed the Sanctus in English quietly by myself and prayed quietly the first part of the Roman Canon until the English "Hanc Igitur" and waited for the schola to end the Sanctus. I chanted the Epiclesis and words of institution in English and continued the Roman Canon aloud in English until the Great Amen.

The Lord's prayer and its embolism was the traditional English chant we use. I turned for the Peace of the Lord... and the exchange of the sign of peace.

The choir and congregation sang during the Communion Procession and the Communion Antiphon was chanted in Latin as the Holy Eucharist was reposed.

The Prayer after Holy Communion, blessing and dismissal were from the Presiding Chair.

This is it folks--no need for any other changes, except some minor rubrical ones. This is it, what Vatican II envision in Sacrosanctum Concilium!

Just a note about Ad Orientem, I absolutely love it for the Liturgy of the Eucharist and presiding at the Chair for the Introductory Rite, Concluding Rite and Credo and Universal Prayer.

The Liturgy of the Eucharist was perfect ad orientem. At our 4:30 PM Mass, someone had a fainting spell as I prayed the Eucharistic prayer facing the congregation that distracted me to no end as I couldn't tell what was happening and if it was serious--it wasn't just a child fainting. At the 7:45 and 9:30 Masses, several distractions occurred during the Canon of the Mass, people getting up, others coming in the side door late, etc--distracting me to no end!

Facing the opposite way eliminates all of that and I can focus on the prayer of the Church and what I am doing in this marvelous priestly prayer!


Marc said...

Bringing my comments on this from the last post, Father.

I was really surprised at the number of people singing the Asperges and Gloria in Latin. I'm glad you were able to hear that as well at the altar.

I think the people of St. Joseph are prepared to sing in Latin.

I was discussing this with my wife on the way home - it just seems like the people might prefer the Credo in English so they can sing what they believe - just a thought on that. Of course, I like the Latin chant, so I was trying to belt it out as best I could since I happened to know the setting used today!

The Mass was, as I said before, nearly perfect. Sure, you could "vest" the reader or have them at the altar already to avoid them walking from the crowd. As you say, there are some minor rubrical tweaks that could happen. But, on the whole, I agree with you that this should be the mold to follow and the other things are minor tweaks along the way.

I really, really hope you consider this as a possible "norm" for the future of the 12:10 Mass.

Marc said...

Oh, let me add that I actually thought the Canon was good in English at this Mass - going Latin would have likely alienated the people. So, I commend you for your decision in that regard.

On another topic we've discussed recently, I noted that your altar missal, at the beginning of the Canon has a picture of the Last Supper! Where's the traditional Crucifix! The makers of that Missal are trying to subversively get you in the "meal" mentality as you begin the Canon!

John Nolan said...

Keep it up, Father! I'm only surprised that the congregation was unfamiliar with Credo III - it, and the Pater Noster are the minimum that everyone should be able to sing. But if they really don't know it, opt for Credo I in English or Latin - unlike III it's Gregorian!

Andrew Berrigan said...

Today's Mass was indeed glorious! In regards to the sublime fusing of the "new and the traditional" I think it in many ways matched the Mass I attended a few weeks ago at the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament.

I'll echo Marc and say that this is a Mass my family and I could joyfully attend every week an EF Mass was unavailable. It all just felt so right, and it really demonstrated how beautiful an OF Mass can be.

Thanks so much for making that Mass available to us all. I pray we'll see that kind of OF Mass again soon. Have a blessed Sunday!

Father Shelton said...

An altar server fainted at my 4pm Saturday (Dominical) Mass.

Father Shelton said...

Well done with the ad orientem. I really think once orienting the OF builds up steam, it will spread exponentially around the Roman Rite world. If it takes a decade to get one percent of Masses oriented, a majority will be so during the following decade. But then, no one has ever even suggested I might be clairvoyant!

Laura said...

As an attendee of all forms of Mass at St. Joseph, I echo today's 12:10 Mass was well done. I also was surprised to see how well the congregation kept up with very little turning of the hymnal and green book pages! Well done Father!

Marc said...

Fr. Shelton, I'll be at your parish for a week in early-mid August (12th-19th) whilst on vacation with my family. I hope I have a chance to meet you in person while I'm there. Last year while there, I rode all the way to Knoxville for Sunday Latin Mass (to Henry's parish - Holy Ghost). Although, the next Sunday's OF Mass at St. Francis was extraordinarily reverent, so I could have saved the drive!

I really like your little parish there in Townsend. Based on what I have seen on your blog, it is a great example of what catechesis and willing parishioners can do for a parish in a very small town.

TCR said...

I believe you have found your practically perfect 12:10 Mass. Beautiful!

Ryan Ellis said...

Are you allowed to silently say the first part of the Roman Canon before the choir finishes the Sanctus? While that's a great idea, I'm not sure it's supported by the OF rubrics.

John Nolan said...

The Roman Canon in the new translation is, well, the Roman Canon (with the 1967-1970 revisions). It wasn't before. Latin is important and must be preserved, but I think we can say that the vernacular Mass has finally come of age. I am no longer irritated by it.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The quiet canon is not prescribed or proscribed and earlier OF misdials had rubrics that read "the canon may be prayed out loud" or something to that effect.

Marc said...

I think it this is an instance where a canon from the Council of Trent actually applies to the Novus Ordo: I believe if anyone were to mandate the non-silent Canon only, they would be anathema according to Trent... That "may" is quite important. If it said, the Canon "must" be prayed out loud, that would, violate Trent, I think.

Anonymous said...

I echo Marc's comments.
Hope it stays!
It was considerate tohave the sheets printed out and available to the congregation with the good explanations.

It was so very CATHOLIC.


Anonymous said...

Seeing the Deacon kneeling gave a sense of holiness to the Eucharistic prayer that is totally lost when he is hidden behind the altar. It was profound and a good way!

That one thing may do more to provide a sense of reverence than anything else.

Even if the ONLY change were Ad Orientem, it would go a long way to converting the mindset of the meal-takers.

Body language speaks volumes.


Templar said...

I think the Mass was wonderful, and would be a welcome regular addition to the Mass schedule.

I agree with Marc that the Credo in English may be preferred. I found it in Latin on my Android Phone and could sing that way, but I was one of very few that I saw singing that part.

John Nolan said...

Benedict XVI has actually recommended the 'silent' Canon as an option, suggesting that the celebrant raises his voice slightly at the beginning of sections (cf Nobis quoque peccatoribus in the EF). The first time I heard EP1 in the corrected translation the celebrant included the so-called false conclusions and the people instinctively replied 'Amen'. My first reaction was "you shouldn't be doing this!" but on mature reflection it seemed appropriate, the assembly being attentive to and endorsing the action of the priest.

Dare I say it, I quite like the words of consecration to be chanted, in Latin or the vernacular (now that the vernacular renders the Latin accurately).

You will probably have noticed that whenever the Pope celebrates Mass (even in Italy) he always uses Latin from the Preface dialogue to the Pater Noster, inclusive. I think he is trying to tell us something. So if a parish priest elects to do the same, even on an occasional basis, he has a ready-made answer to anyone who might object. Everyone now has a missal or misalette which gives a literal translation.

Father Shelton said...

SL said, "Seeing the Deacon kneeling gave a sense of holiness to the Eucharistic prayer that is totally lost when he is hidden behind the altar". I had not thought of that added advantage before. One more reason to do it.

Henry Edwards said...

Marc: "I noted that your altar missal, at the beginning of the Canon has a picture of the Last Supper! Where's the traditional Crucifix!"

In one new altar missal I've seen, there are separate art frontspieces for the 4 different Eucharistic prayers. The frontspiece for the Roman canon shows the traditional cruciform Christ, while the frontspiece for EP II (which doesn't mention sacrifice) shows the Last Supper.

Which seems to me not altogether inappropriate, since the Roman canon communicates sacrifice to the people, while EP II communicates common meal.

Marc said...

Henry: That is an interesting point.

Have you read Dom. Gueranger's book The Holy Mass? He discusses the importance of the Crucifix in the Missal, as well as the Canon beginning with "Te igitur" - the symbolism of the Canon beginning with the letter "T" in accordance with the Cross on which our Lord suffered and died.

These sorts of things have been, unfortunately, lost over the years - these are seemingly minor, yet important markers in our Faith.

Father Shelton said...

The GIRM does say, "The nature of the 'presidential' parts requires that they be spoken in a loud and clear voice and that everyone listen to them attentively". The problem with this wording, in my opinion, is that it gives the impression that the traditional Roman practice pertaining to the Eucharistic Canon is somehow 'unnatural', a prime example of the "hermeneutic of discontinuity' occasionally found in post-VCII legislative texts.

ytc said...

This was surely a wonderful Mass.

However, I must express some concerns about some comments here and I hope to shed some light on problematic areas that may have not been thought of.

I am particularly concerned with the Credo. Several in these comments have said that few sang along with the Credo, and then put forward the suggestion that it could in the future be in English. I disagree, and here is why:

1. Vatican II and the Council Fathers obviously and clearly wished that the Ordinary parts of the Mass remain in Latin and that the people learn the parts pertaining to them, and this includes the Credo.

2. Vatican II and the Council Fathers commanded that Gregorian Chant be retained and that it be the primary music of the Roman Rite. If it isn't in Latin, then it is not true Gregorian. Furthermore, the ONLY other music type that Vatican II mentions specifically by name is "polyphony," and it can be deduced without too much effort that this means sacred polyphony.

3. The previous paragraph leads to my concern here. Polyphony is clearly many times more difficult to sing than Gregorian. If it is common practice to sing the Ordinary parts of Mass in the sacral tongue, but the Credo is nevertheless in the vernacular because of some premature conclusions about how "the people can't do it" (how Bugnini-esque/Modernist is THAT?!), then I can guarantee that the Credo in Latin will never be a widespread practice. This irks me because if this is so, it will become a disincentive to priests in having the occasional--or regular...--Renaissance polyphony setting sung. After all, if a pastor is thinking about spending bucks on an orchestra and choir, as the case may be, then he might be turned off of doing so by remembering the grief he will get for having the Credo in Latin. In other words, who wants to spend money on a polyphonic setting only to remember that the common practice is to have the Credo in the vernacular? That's a waste of money; the Credo is always one of the best parts of a polyphonic setting. I suppose my point is this: We are in a liturgical restoration period. We must NOT give in to the Modernist/happy-clappy/the-people-are-too-stupid camp. And always remember, if you give them an inch they will take a mile.

4. The Credo is the most difficult of the Ordinary parts of Mass to memorize and sing, no doubt about it. However, as Father M. said, the people didn't have a copy of the music for it. This will be arriving shortly.

5. We should strive to promote liturgical and musical excellency in our parishes. I won't have a problem convincing most on here that it is not liturgically or musically excellent to have a vernacular Credo. It is pedestrian and run-of-the-mill.

6. It is untraditional for the Roman Mass to be in the vernacular.

The Ordinary Parts of Mass, to include whatever "Eucharistic Prayer" is chosen, should always and everywhere be in Latin/Greek.

Overall, it is an incentive to liturgical mediocrity to have the Credo in the vernacular. Give the people the music and put them through singing the Credo in Latin for half a year and they will be juuust fine.

Henry Edwards said...

I can see why one might in the absence of actual observation speculate and even argue about whether ordinary folks would be reluctant to sing Credo III in Latin.

Not so. Speculation is no substitute for experience with what actually happens. Go to a typical Latin Mass community, one in which the Sunday high Mass is "participative" and in which most of the people are fairly recent to the TLM. If my experience is any indication, they sing Credo III with more gusto than they ever sang typical Novus Ordo ditties. (Though of course nothing exceeds the gusto with which they sing the Pater Noster when it is not sung by the priest alone.) For some reason, it comes easy for people, easier than the Gloria, and likely any English setting of the creed. None of which are easily sung by a non-singer like me. Of course, Gregorian chant was shaped for untutored monks who presumably (like most men) couldn't really sing.

Not only that, but I am convinced that, without understanding Latin per se, they quickly grow to actually understand what each phrase of the credo in Latin says. It's a little remarked paradox that, where as people mechanically sing or recite the Gloria or Creed in English without any thought or understanding, people who sing a Latin text repeatedly with the English on the facing page, tend to absorb it by some osmotic process. At least, that's one theory as to why people over time actually appear to learn more from the Mass in a language they don't understand than from one which they presumably do understand.

Anonymous said...

Father McDonald, if you love the EF rubrics and form, but prefer English, you should see if you could get permission to celebrate the Anglican Use Mass.

Anonymous said...

One more thing...thanks for lifting the Host and Chalice higher than usual...I didn't think you'd overlook doing that...and you didn't.

While I understnad ytc's reasons/arguemnets for the Credo in Latin, and I love Latin, yet I must agree that Vernacular would make the whole pill easier for this particular parish to swallow...too much Latin and these people will be pushed away and alienated.

John Nolan said...

Prior to 1965 everyone knew Credo III; it was sung every Sunday and taught in primary schools. The same goes for Gloria VIII. Yes, there was an over-reliance on the Missa de Angelis! Mass XVII (Advent and Lent) was also familiar, as were the Benediction hymns. By familiar I mean that both words and music were known by heart.

It's no good singing the Credo once a month; it needs to be sung every Sunday. French congregations can sing the Credo and Pater (usually the only Latin in the Mass, and the liturgy in France is pretty appalling in most places).

I agree with ytc that if the Mass setting is other than Gregorian, the composed Credo should be sung, whether you're talking Haydn or Palestrina. Also, in the OF where you can't really dispense with the memorial acclamation (sadly), one option might be Benedictus qui venit ... which would allow the Sanctus and Benedictus to be split. This, along with the option for a 'silent' Canon could be inserted into the MR without much difficulty. Long settings of the Agnus Dei aren't a problem as they can be sung during the people's Communion.

Of course, these settings were written for the EF and work much better in that context, but the two most pressing issues in the resacralization of the OF are a)decent music and b) ad orientem celebration.

Marc said...

Father, along the lines of what SL says: Why did you elevate the Host at the Fraction? Seems like there is a danger of a lot of Particles going astray with that... I was thinking maybe there was some rubric or line of thought that the people should "witness" the Fraction even in ad orientem...

I noticed you did this at the last OF ad orientem Mass as well. Just curious...