Tuesday, October 23, 2012
WOULD HAVE KEEPING THE DESIGNATIONS OF LOW, HIGH AND SOLEMN HIGH MASS AND WHAT IS REQURIED FOR ALL THREE SAVED US THE CRISIS IN LITURGICAL MUSIC TODAY AND WOULD THE RECOVERY OF THESE DESIGNATIONS STABILIZE THE LITURGY MAKING IT MORE IN CONTINUITY WITH ITS PREDECESSOR NOW CALLED THE EF?
The Extraordinary Form of the Mass has three basic styles of celebration:
1. The Low Mass (which allowed for vernacular hymns on Sundays in Pre-Vatican II times, but purely optional)
2. The High Mass or Missa Cantata (Sung Mass) which required the entire Mass to be sung including the official Introit, offertory and Communion antiphons--most pre-Vatican II parishes knew how to do this with simple Gregorian chant in Latin, those with good choirs did more complex sorts of chants allowed.
3. The Solemn high required deacon and sub-deacon, although priests could take these parts, but very few parishes celebrated this form of the Mass as it is complex.
After Vatican II and with the revised 1970 missal, these designations were dropped and choir directors and liturgy committees made things up as they went creating hybrids of the Mass, singing some parts some times and other parts at other times. Then they made the required norm the 4-hymn sandwich even if only some of the actual parts of the Mass were sung and they rid themselves altogether of the official Introit, Offertory and Communion antiphons.
But in most parishes well into the late 60's and the 1970's simply did a skewed version of the low Mass with four hymns and then insisted on the folk genre to the exclusion of traditional hymns either Catholic or Protestant.
The allowance of Protestant hymns is another example of the breach in the sung Mass as well, but usually a version of the low Mass with some of the Mass sung but not all as required in a true High or Sung Mass.
So, my recommendation is that if one has a low Mass, it is a low Mass, but maybe hymns can be sung a the beginning and end and at communion time and as the collection is taken but the spoken Introit, Offertory and Communion antiphons cannot be removed.
The High Mass is the Sung Mass, no hymns, but the Official Introit, all the priest's parts and other parts and a motet in addition to the Offertory antiphon as well the Communion Antiphon may be sung.
Then state clearly what instruments are to be admitted, starting with no instrumentation, then the organ and certain brass, string and woodwind instruments, out law guitar, banjo, tambourines and piano.