Monday, July 9, 2012
Love of God or Love of Mass?
The Catholic Church has always had various rites for the Mass, both in the East and the West. The differences between western rites and eastern rites are rather pronounced. Since the Second Vatican Council, the differences in the same Latin rite, depending on parish, have become even more pronounced.
But even with the Tridentine Mass there was and is a vast difference between the sung Mass and the low Mass.
Everyone has their own individual tastes and sometimes we have to set those tastes aside for the common good of the Church universal and the parish local.
For example, I take very seriously that the norm for the Ordinary Form of the Mass as codified in its GIRM is that the sung Mass be the norm although there is now allowed a flexibility with what is sung and also what is known as a progressive solemnity.
Shortly after arriving at St. Joseph Church in 2004 we began to implement the new GIRM of the Roman Missal in the Ordinary Form. This meant that our first Mass on Sunday morning would have a processional hymn, sung Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Mystery of Faith, Great Amen and Agnus Dei. We also began singing the Processional hymn from the hymnal as well as a recessional hymn and a Communion Procession hymn that is congregational.
For our 9:30 AM and 12:10 PM Sunday Masses we did all that plus the priest would sing the collect, prayer over the offerings, preface and post communion collect. The Lord's Prayer is also chanted along with its embolism. The greetings are chanted too.
Our 4:30 PM Sunday Anticipated Mass on Saturday as well as our 5:00 PM Sunday Mass are similar to our 7:45 AM Mass. In the last three years we have begun chanting the Collect, Prayer over the Offerings and Post Communion Prayer as well as the Our Father.
We use incense at all the proper places at the 9:30 AM and 12:10 PM Masses.
In the last three years our cantor at all the Masses chants the official Introit as the procession begins which shifts smoothly to a metrical hymn from our hymnal. The Offertory and Communion antiphons are chanted too in addition to congregational singing at the Communion Procession.
As well everything is sung by for the priest's parts at the 9:30 AM and 12:10 PM Mass.
At our daily 8:00 AM Mass, the Alleluia, Sanctus, Mystery of Faith, Amen and Agnus Dei are chanted. Everything else is spoken and the Introit and Communion antiphon are spoken by all, led by the lector.
Other than our EF Low Mass each Tuesday at 5:00 PM, St. Joseph has no silent Mass.
Does everyone like that? No. But I no longer receive any suggestions for a low Mass on Sunday or during the week as I did when the changes above were implemented.
But this brings me to the point of this post. Do we love Jesus, His word proclaimed to us during Mass, His one Sacrifice re-presented in an unbloody way at the altar and His Risen and Glorified Body and Blood given to us in Holy Communion to keep us a part of Him and His Church, which is all of us who are baptized?
Or have we become so enamored with the form of Mass and its externals, that we have made the Mass into a false god, an end in and of itself, rather than simply the means to full Communion with Jesus Christ and His Church.
No matter how poorly or majestically a Mass is celebrated, if it is valid by shear force of "ex opere operato" than Jesus is present and Jesus will save us. We have to have this simple faith and humble attitude when attending any Mass and in whatever form.