Tuesday, July 8, 2014

DAILY MASS AT SAINT MARY OF THE 7 SORROWS, DOWNTOWN NASHVILLE

I am in Nashville for a priesthood conference with the Dominicans of the New York Province. I went to a 12:10 daily Mass at St. Mary's downtown. It is original as it always was and the altar and altar railing in tact with no added freestanding altar.

It was an Ordinary Form Mass in English with the Introductory and Concluding Rites at the Chair and the Liturgy of the Eucharist ad orientem at the historic altar. Holy Communion was kneeling at the railing. Some chose to stand, some knelt and received in the hand. The priest processed to each communicant, a true Communion Procession. The laity went to the railing when they wanted not in an orderly lock step and it worked well! You couldn't tell who went and did not go Communion with this method.

About 75 people mostly men who work downtown were at Mass.

I could not but lament that if this style of the Ordinary Form of the Mass had been celebrated this way universally after Vatican II and without wreckovating older churches and creating monstrosities with modern churches how much stronger and in continuity the Church would be with the Church prior to Vatican II. There would have been no liturgy wars, and Catholic identity in all areas of the Church's Faith and Morals would have been preserved!




15 comments:

Anonymous said...

You saw 75. I see 6. I'll take your word.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

My camera angle! Optical illusion !

Flavius Hesychius said...

Two questions:

First, why do older (or old) churches have multiple altars?

Second, how does one take photos during Mass?

quicumquevult said...

How I wish a Mass like this would come to my parish!

JBS said...

You should meet a Patrick R. (abbreviated for privacy) while you're there.

Joseph Johnson said...

This is the bare essentials of how the OF Mass COULD be/SHOULD be celebrated. You're right, Father, if this had been the basic norm we probably wouldn't have had the "liturgy wars."

Things being as they are, though, this should explain one major reason why I see the need for more liberal availability of the EF in more parishes--to influence the way the OF is celebrated so that it becomes more like what you are seeing Nashville.

Anonymous said...

Great post! How funny that I should check your blog today--this is the church my husband and I started going to a few months ago now. We had to go to the Musica Sacra conference in St. Louis to even learn that Mass was celebrated here in our diocese ad orientem (learned it from someone who came from Memphis, to boot). (And speaking of music conferences, I was at the one at your parish in Macon a year and a half ago, and that's how I know about this blog!)

Marc said...

Father, there's an SSPX chapel just south of Nashville. You should go to Mass there, and you'll truly get a sense of how things could've been without the so-called "liturgy wars."

Anonymous said...

I like the kneeling at the altar rail experience - it's sort of another 'sign of peace' in that we're all lined up as 'equals' side by side in anticipation of receiving Our Lord (vs. one by one in line).

Another thing I've noticed about the Latin Mass is that it tends to provide 'gainful employment' to about 4-6 altar servers, it's very much altar server oriented which sort of makes sense (and explains why the bells were needed to alert the general audience of what's going on and when to pay more attention).

We do know there's a direct connection between boys serving Mass and discerning religious, priestly and deaconate vocations...

But beyond that, it remains - at least for me - that the Latin leaves too much out. The translated prayers are beautiful but reading them is not quite the same thing as hearing them read aloud in the vernacular. If only we could hear the beautiful prayers uttered in a language we all knew!

I think we could combine the best of both Latin and current and get a 'mix' that really touched everyone's buttons.

Anonymous said...

So glad you were able to go to St. Mary's of the Seven Sorrows in Nashville!!!!

Plus..now I know others in this little blog group have been drawn there too!

If you get to meet the the Cantor/Music Director Heather..tell her Hello from me.
I gave her my business card..trust me she'll remember and make the connection..and be thrilled to meet you!

She holds down a full time job, plus serves at St. Mary's many, many hours as a volunteer.

She graciously gave me a personal tour when I stopped by on a mid-day and she saw me in the parking lot. She is just that kind of a generous person who is on fire for the Faith..and quite orthodox.

You may have experienced Mass celebrated by a Father of Mercy (filling in for the pastor while he is in Rome)

Enjoy your time in Nashville!

Sheila

JBS said...

When spoken, I never know if someone's telling me he's going to be in Nashville, or in Asheville. I live betwixt the two.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I attended Sunday Mass at this Church when we were traveling. We enjoyed it very much and I was thankful that if I wanted to kneel for Holy Communion I was allowed to. People who wanted to stand were allowed to do that as well; plenty of non-liberal tolerance. I recall the sermon too. It was on the different words for love in Greek. Our limited English translation is what causes our misunderstanding about the story of when Christ asks Peter if he loves him. It was very instructional. If priests would offer these kinds of insights rather than guitar strumming maybe people wouldn't say they learn nothing at Mass. This Church is one of the reasons I would consider moving to Nashville once I escape the overtaxed toilet known as Illinois. Although the Rockford diocese has come a long way and I would miss it. Thanks for the post. I have fond memories.
Mike

Gary Stewart said...

I am so happy that I stumbled on this post! I attend Saint Mary's in Nashville regularly and have done so for several years. Since I live only 4 blocks from the Church in downtown Nashville, I am able to walk to and from Mass. I love the old cathedral and the customs. It was not too long ago that the free standing altar was removed and Mass began at the rear altar. It was at the request of a new priest who was saying his first Mass. St Mary's (unlike the Cathedral) was built with the rear altar facing east. After that Mass Fr. Baker decided to keep the new (old) arrangement. I am a convert (16 years) just as Fr. Baker!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I love Nashville and would love being pastor there!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I love the "new" cathedral too but the sanctuary needs to be restored in its original unified look. The wooden altar, Ambo and chair simply don't work and look like tacky Tonnini catalogue stuff. The beautiful marble statues of Mary and Joseph placed at the rear of the cathedral on either side of the baptismal font need to be returned to their original position too.