Saturday, June 8, 2013
POPE PIUS XI TOLD LAY CATHOLICS TO PARTICIPATE MORE ACTIVELY IN DIVINE WORSHIP, NOT AS MUTE SPECTATORS--1928 AD!
Published on December 20, 1928, the Apostolic Constitution Divini Cultus Sanctitem of Pope Pius XI contained this comment on music in Mass:
“In order that the faithful may participate more actively in divine worship, Gregorian Chant in that which pertains to the people should be restored to their use. It is quite necessary that the faithful, not as visitors or mute spectators, but as worshippers thoroughly imbued with the beauty of the liturgy, should take part in the sacred ceremonies. . . .so that they may alternate in singing with the priests or the scholae, according to prescribed norms.”
And the Benedictines from Collegeville, ultra progressive even in 1938, promoted this teaching of the Holy Father with a series of booklets for the laity to sing the Mass entitled, "Popular Liturgical Library." Series III, #9 was "The Mass of the Angels" selected from the Parish Kyriale, printed in 1938.
There is a paragraph at the end of the booklet that writes the following:
The singing of the Responses and the Common of the Mass by the congregation is in itself an act of worship. It is not an adornment added to worship. When people sing in common the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei and chant the responses, they are offering to God a prayer that is the most glorious in all the world. According to the mind of the Church they are then taking an official part of their own in the celebration of the Solemn Sacrifice.
In this church we are trying to restore the religious motive for singing. Keep that motive in mind. Your participation in singing the Mass will be the best prayer you can offer to God.
Folks who love the 1962 missal take heed. You are not to be mute spectators or visitors at Mass relying on others to do for you what you must do at Mass when it is sung or spoken! Sing and speak "in order that the faithful may participate more actively in divine worship!"
Listen to the congregational singing for this Extraordinary Form of the Mass in the Roman Catholic Parish of St. Nicholas of Chardonnet in Paris, France. If only we had focused on celebrating the 1962 Missal this way and not tinkered with its order or beauty, I wonder what kind of a Church we would be today! The Mass begins at minute 2:03. The congregational singing, very robust, begins at minute 4:07!
MY FINAL COMMENT: If the Mass had remained in Latin all of us would feel at home in the Church at Mass no matter what country we were in. Those of us who participate in the EF Mass feel as comfortable in this Catholic Church in Paris and in Macon when celebrating this form of the Mass!