Monday, June 3, 2013
THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS AS IT COULD HAVE BEEN AND STILL COULD BE AND WITHOUT TOO MUCH TINKERING
Although our parish did not have an outdoor Eucharistic Procession for Corpus Christi (we had a marvelous one in 2009 thanks to our then parochial vicar, Fr. Justin Ferguson who organized it)we did have a Eucharistic Process after the Prayer after Holy Communion with adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament at both our 9:30 AM and 12:10 PM Masses. The adoration after the 12:10 PM Mass continued until 4:00 PM when we concluded with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament in the midst of a summer deluge and severe thunderstorm.
But I would like to offer reflections on our 12:10 PM Mass. We normally have a High Mass in the Extraordinary Form the first Sunday of each month at 2:00 PM. However since our parochial vicar is on vacation, I was alone Sunday with four Sunday Masses and it would be illicit (already is with four) for me to celebrate a 5th (Mass that is).
So we added more Latin to our 12:10 PM Mass which we celebrate ad orientem for the past year for the Liturgy of the Eucharist (the Introductory and Concluding Rites are from the chair as is normal for the Ordinary Form).
What we did I think is a template for how the Ordinary Form Mass should be mandated to be celebrated, without changing the Order of the Ordinary Form of the Mass one bit or ridding it of lay ministries open to men and women that are allowed for the Ordinary Form, despite the fact that those who love the EF Mass would like to see eliminated altogether.
If only the Ordinary Form had been mandated this way (and it could still be with powerful leadership from bishops especially the Bishop of Rome).
Entrance Processional congregational Hymn: "Alleluia Sing to Jesus"
When the priest arrives at the foot of the altar, the hymn ends and the official Latin Introit is chanted in Latin by the Men's Schola. We choose the EF's form of the Introit for Corpus Christi. As soon as this is begun, the priest ascends to the altar, kisses it, and incenses it and goes to the chair.
The Mass begins in English with the Sign of the Cross, greeting and the very brief intro to the Penitential Act without any ad libbing or additional words to introduce the theme of the Mass (this is still going on today, elaborate words to introduce the theme of the Mass--it needs to cease!)
Then the Confiteor was prayed, followed by the absolution and then the Mass of the Angels Kyrie was chanted, the nine fold, with the congregation joining in the last half of each strophe.
The Gloria was the Jubilatio Deo Gloria in Latin, which I introduced--the congregation did marvelously in chanting it with the schola.
The Collect was chanted in English.
The Liturgy of the Word
We celebrated the Liturgy of the Word as we normally do with our two regularly scheduled lectors which happened to be two women.
However, we omitted the chanting of the Responsorial Psalm and the schola chanted in Latin the Extraordinary Form's Gradual for Corpus Christi. It was lovely.
After the Epistle Reading, the Alleluia was chanted as we normally do in the OF with the English verse.
After the Homily we chanted Credo III in Latin which I introduced and again the congregation did a marvelous job joining in.
The Universal Prayer was chanted by the cantor and me.
The Liturgy of the Eucharist
The schola chanted the EF's Offertory Antiphon and then a Latin Chant for Corpus Christi.
The Offerings were prepared ad orientem, and incensed, as well as the crucifix, altar, priest and congregation.
I turned to the congregation for the "Pray Brethren" in English, waiting until their complete response before turning full circle back to the altar.
The Prayer over the Offerings was chanted in English.
I chanted the Preface Dialogue in Latin, but English would have been fine too, the Preface was chanted in English. The Sanctus was the "Orbis Factor" I used the Roman Canon but chanted the part from the Epiclesis through the consecration of the Precious Blood and Mystery of Faith in Latin.
I chanted the Per Ipsum in Latin with the simple chanted "Amen."
The Rite of Holy Communion
The Pater Noster was chanted in Latin, except for the Embolism. The Doxology was in Latin.
I turned to the congregation for the "Pax Domini" and the deacon's "Let us offer the Sign of Peace." The Sign of Peace was exchanged as usual for the Ordinary Form.
I turned back to the altar for the "Fraction" (or Breaking of the Bread) as the schola chanted the Mass of the Angels Agnus Dei.
I turned to the congregation for the "Ecce Agnus Dei"(first half Latin, second half English) and their response in English and then back to the altar to receive the Most Precious Body and Blood of Christ.
We offer at all our Ordinary Form Masses Holy Communion under both Forms. This of course means Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion for the six chalices used and two others for the two Host stations at the side aisles. The deacon and I distributed the Sacred Host at the center aisle.
We provide kneelers for those who choose the exception to the USA norm of standing for Holy Communion and choose to kneel. This option works very well and is not divisive in the least. It is quite easy to distribute Holy Communion to those standing (the majority) over the kneeler, either on the palm or on the tongue.
Prior to the silence after Holy Communion, the schola concluded with the EF's Communion antiphon chanted of course in Latin.
The Post Communion Rite
The Post Communion Prayer was prayed from the Chair.
After very brief announcements, because of our in-church Eucharistic Procession, I asked all to kneel, the deacon went to the tabernacle, placed the Eucharist in the monstrance on the altar. I incensed it and received the humeral veil and we went in procession around the church returning the altar and placed the Most Blessed Sacrament on the altar, incensed it once again, remained in adoration briefly and the ministers departed quietly behind the altar to the sacristies.
MY FINAL COMMENTS: Bishops and Priests my age and older will have a phobia about ad orientem including the Bishop of Rome. Pope Benedict was the rare exception and had the nerve to promote it to his brother bishops and priests who snickered behind is pre-Vatican II back. (As you know,pre-Vatican II to many of these characters is a four letter word!)
The compromise of having the crucifix dead center with the Benedictine altar arrangement is good for the time being until my generation dies out, which we are.
Apart for Ad Orientem for the Liturgy of the Eucharist in the Ordinary Form, if only one other change were mandated, that of kneeling for Holy Communion with the only option for the Precious Blood being intinction. Our diocesan policy for the Precious Blood is the chalice in contraindication of what is clearly allowed in the USA version of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal as a legitimate option. I'm not clear why this option is not allowed as no other option in the Roman Missal is not permitted by diocesan policy. But in humility I embrace diocesan norms.
It won't happen under the current papacy unless Pope Francis surprises us all of which he is quite capable, but I would suggest the following mandated for the Ordinary Form Mass:
The chanting of the propers in Latin mandated as we did for Corpus Christi.
The chanting of the Kyrie (Greek) Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Pater Noster and Agnus Dei in Latin.
The clear option of ad orientem or the Benedictine altar arrangement for the Liturgy of the Eucharist for the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
Kneeling to receive Holy Communion and on the tongue, with intinction the only option for the Precious Blood.
This was last year's (2012) Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist which fell on a Sunday and was celebrated very similar to how we celebrated the 12:10 PM Corpus Christi Mass yesterday except we did not have the EF's Asperges as a prelude yesterday,which I still contend is not illicit (having the EF's Asgerges as a prelude since it is clearly not a part of this Ordinary Form's Mass, but precisely a prelude as indicated by vesture of the celebrant: (2013):