Friday, March 28, 2014
WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF THE ORDINARY FORM OF THE MASS AND IT'S REFINEMENT?
This is a part of the comment that John Nolan who lives in London made about our recent EF Solemn High Mass:
I liked the altar arrangement. The large candlesticks either side of the altar are ideal for versus populum celebration, but your noble free-standing altar can easily take six candles and a central crucifix when celebrating ad orientem. The vestments were great; the difference between the dalmatic and tunicle (rarely seen in Roman sets) was evident.
The Mass itself was a mixture of EF and OF. I was surprised to see the Asperges - this is reserved for Sundays. During the incensations the celebrant and ministers should all genuflect when passing the centre of the altar. The deacon, when handing things to the priest and receiving them back should kiss the object and the priest's hand (except in Requiem Masses); these osculations were only removed in 1965. The Deo Gratias after the Epistle and the Laus tibi Christe after the Gospel are NOT sung in the EF. Nor does the priest sit while the deacon prepares the altar at the Offertory - this is OF practice. At the Offertory everyone is incensed in order; the priest, clergy in choir and the subdeacon by the deacon, who is himself incensed by the thurifer, who then incenses the people.
The ministers were not familiar with the EF - aside from the subdeacon not holding the paten in a humeral veil, a practice which again was not suppressed until 1965, the deacon is supposed to remove and replace the chalice pall before and after the consecration. What happened to the Kiss of Peace? It wasn't in the video.
The chant switched from Mass VIII (Kyrie and Gloria) to Mass XI (Sanctus and Agnus Dei). Nothing wrong with that, of course, although I suspect the congregation would have been more familiar with the latter two items in the Mass VIII setting.
Even on my computer I could hear every word of the Canon. Again, this is pandering to OF expectations. The Mass was beautifully done, but I would prefer an entirely Latin OF Mass to something which falls between too stools. You could keep the Roman Canon, omit the Prayer of the Faithful and congregational sign of peace, give Communion in one kind only, dispense with the extraordinary monsters and serviettes and still stay within the rules. The chant is identical.
MY COMMENTS: So he didn't miss the things that I simply think should be optional in the EF Mass except for one thing, none of the clergy wore birettas. The kissing of objects and the hands of the priest and the scrupulosity of where the thurifer incenses the elevations and the pecking order of who gets incensed and how make for fine trivia but not very good liturgy.
Yet, how many rank and file Catholics, even those well imbued with the celebration of the EF Mass would have noticed these omissions or alterations?
However, when we speak of the Ordinary Form of the Mass, we find way to much simplicity and laxness in rubrics. While it might be wise to uncomplicate the EF Mass's Solemn High Form it would also be wise to re-complicate the Ordinary Form's Mass.
John Nolan seems to think that most people prefer the Latin. I would disagree. If I celebrated the EF Mass in the video below exactly the way it is celebrated but entirely in English, I could get away with it this Sunday (although most of our congregation does know the Jubliatio Deo Mass parts in Latin which we sing during Lent).
I would be rounded criticized if I celebrated an OF Mass entirely in Latin at a normal Sunday Mass, without warning the people weeks ahead of time!
Our current 12:10 PM Mass is celebrated Ad Orientem for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. During Lent it is, as are all our Sunday Masses, a mix of Latin and English.
The question is not how many more parishes can we get to celebrate the EF Mass, but how many more parishes can we get to celebrate the OF Mass with true solemnity and in continuity with the EF Mass but by following the rubrics of the OF Mass?
That is the million dollar question and where the new liturgical movement should be moving.