Thursday, November 29, 2012

PAPAL PONTIFICAL SOLEMN SUNG MASS FOR CORONATION

Go to minute 2:50 of this video which needs restoration to say the least, both in style of papal Mass and quality of video, and watch what could have been rather elegant and quite moving in terms of ceremony and pageantry even at the consecration and see how the Master of Ceremonies messes it up with his movements and his barking of orders at the Holy Father picked up on the television mikes--this is what needed to be cleaned up and I can see why Sacrosanctum Concilium recommended noble simplicity! As John Nolan writes, "In the old days, you would see MCs move ministers around and snap their fingers at servers. This did nothing for the dignity of the Rite. Then, as now, the key word is rehearsal."

And this is the Rite of Holy Communion with the wonderful Sign of Peace in its normal place which so many seem to despise! But note how the Holy Father receives Holy Communion, not at the altar by his hands but at the Throne at the hands of others!

Because of the complexity of this Pontifical Solemn Sung Mass for the Holy Father, I doubt seriously that Pope Benedict will celebrate this form of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form ever, not that I am clairvoyant. But could you hear the utter outcry from all the usual places?

At the same time, I can see a need for reform here, but of course I was trained in a liberal seminary! :)

11 comments:

Henry Edwards said...

"but of course I was trained in a liberal seminary!"

And, as they say (slightly paraphrased) here in the East Tennessee mountains . . . You can take the priest out of the Novus, but you can't take the Novus out of the priest. :)

Henry Edwards said...

I have never heard of anyone who "despises" or even disapproves of the traditional Rite of Peace--in which the celebrant first offers the peace of Christ now present on the altar to the sacred ministers, who then pass it on to the other clerics in the sanctuary, who in turn pass it on to others, etc.

Thus the flow of Christ's peace is one way--from Christ on the altar to the celebrant to the sacred ministers to clerics to others. This is an essential part of the Mass, and cannot be omitted.

In total contrast to a sappy happy-slappy handshaking exchange of human good wishes back and forth between folks who are largely oblivious to the presence of Christ, and indeed has nothing to do with Him. This is what many rightly and truly despise, for it denigrates the presence of Christ on the altar. I prefer to attend OF Masses where this optional (and detracting) stuff is omitted.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

In my previous parish, when I arrived as pastor in 1991, the custom there and apparently since the Vatican II changes was for the priest to offer the sign of peace to the altar boys and then they would go down the asile offering it to the first person at the end of the pew who would then pass it down.

I did not, of course, realize that this was an adaptation of what occurred in the Solemn Sung Mass, although totally clerical.

So I did away with it, not the sign of peace, but the handing of it on--should it be recovered?

Henry Edwards said...

I believe that restoration of the passing of the Pax from priest to servers to person to person--rather than any sappy exchange of any mushy feelings--which is still practiced in some of the Eastern rites, could contribute to a renewed awareness of the presence of Christ.

John Nolan said...

A couple of years ago, at a Pontifical High Mass celebrated by Bishop Athanasius Schneider in Downside Abbey, I was singing in the schola (we were in choir dress but not actually in the sanctuary). The MC came down from the altar to offer the Pax which we duly passed on. It was of course the correct liturgical Pax and not the "holy handshake".

ytc said...

The liturgy in those videos is so deliciously Catholic I can hardly stand it!

John Nolan said...

The Roman Rite, as opposed to those of the Eastern churches, was always reckoned to be somewhat austere. The Dominican Rite which predates Trent by three centuries is in many ways simpler than the familiar Tridentine Rite; the Use of Sarum was quite a bit more complicated in its ceremonial. Local customs survived into the twentieth century in parts of France, including Paris, and to some extent still survive.

No-one suggested a uniform western liturgy until after Vatican II. But people knew what they were doing; they were not presented with a bewildering variety of options; they were unified by a single liturgical language, Latin. To do what we are asked to do now, which is to recover, in both the OF and EF a common liturgical culture when it was deliberately destroyed in the 1960s, is a hard task indeed.

John Nolan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry Edwards said...

John, you meant the "unholy" handshake"

Jacob said...

The Pope communicates by way of a golden tube called a fistula. The water and wine is on a credence table in three different chalices, only one is used on the altar. This is to thwart a poisoner from attemptting to kill the Pope since he won't know which one the Pope will actually use.



ytc said...

That poisoner ceremony is called the pregustatio and can be used at a Mass celebrated by a bishop.