Sunday, November 2, 2014

A DIFFERENT KIND OF BLACK MASS, THE REQUIEM FOR ALL SOULS AT SAINT JOSEPH CHURCH!

From a couple of years ago:

We did video our absolutely glorious Faure's Requiem in the Ordinary Form for Sunday, All Souls Day at our normal ad orientem Sunday Mass.

In a couple of weeks I will post the video. I want to thank Nelda Chapman our music director and our assistant organist Harold McManus and our combined choirs and men's schola. It was marvelous.

Let me offer some heartfelt reflections. Of course we can't do a concert Mass each Sunday, but this ad orientem Latin Mass in the Ordinary Form with Extraordinary Form sensibilities is what I would call authentic liturgical renewal. If only the Ordinary Form Mass could be like this each Sunday and in every Catholic parish throughout the world and beginning in 1969! I doubt that we would be in the liturgical crisis we are experiencing if this type of authentic post-Vatican II liturgical renewal had taken place instead of what did.

The Mass was entirely in Latin except for the Collect, Prayer over the Offerings and Post Communion Prayer. We chanted the Latin greetings though. The readings were from the modern lectionary except we chanted the Requiem Gradual, the Dies Irae after the Epistle and the Tract as the Gospel Acclamation. Apart from the chants in Latin, the Scriptures were in English with Latin conclusions.

The Preface dialogue was in Latin but the preface, the first one in the OF Mass of the Dead was chanted in English.

The Roman Canon was prayed aloud, although praying it in Latin only at the EF Mass caused me to want to use the "mystical sign" language with hands for various blessings and the double genuflections.It seem so natural to do so, but I didn't. I followed the rubrics of the OF Mass!

Now for the response from some of the parishioners and visitors present for this Mass. We had a number of our regular visitors and parishioners present who normally attend our First Sunday of the month EF High Mass. They were blown away that an OF Mass could be celebrated the way we did. They experienced the same mystery and reverence with awe that they normally experience at the EF.

I had one mother with a seven year old daughter tell me that her daughter was enthralled and fascinated with the entire Mass in a way she had not experience her daughter's attention to the Mass before. I know I was always fascinated with the ancient Latin Mass when I was a child too!

Others were crying during the Mass, grieving for loved ones they were commending to God's love and purifying fire of Divine Mercy. One was clutching pictures of loved ones throughout the Mass!

I had a couple from Columbus, Georgia 100 miles away say they were blown away by the congregational participation of the Latin when we did Gregorian Chant, especially with Credo III, the Latin parts we chanted such as the Pater Noster apart from Faure's Requiem itself.

While this parish and most parishes couldn't provide a concert Mass each Sunday, most of us can do Gregorian Chant and celebrate the OF Mass with EF sensibilities.

My clairvoyance tells me that true liturgical renewal of the future will be what we celebrated today!

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

A "Black Mass" sounds kind of Satanic to me. Just sayin'....

I like a "Celebration of Life".

John Nolan said...

I'm looking forward to seeing the video. The traditional sung Propers for the Requiem Mass are so familiar as to almost constitute an Ordinary. Chanting the Collect, Super Oblata, Preface and Postcommunion in the vernacular is now viable since they are properly translated (a pity it took forty years).

This is surely what the Council Fathers had in mind when they recommended a wider use of the vernacular while preserving the Latin liturgy.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous says that he likes "a celebration of life" but he has rather missed the point of the Requiem Mass. What the Holy Souls in Purgatory are waiting for is the time when they can finally enter their heavenly home, where the celebration will then take place.

For that to happen the Holy Souls in Purgatory are of course entirely reliant on the Masses offered and our prayers so that the punishment due to sins committed by them in this life will finally be expunged. In our charity we can never do too much to help them as they can do nothing for themselves, as Father well knows and the reason he offered this Mass and other Masses for the Holy Souls.

It sounds like a beautiful Mass, Father, especially as it brought tears to the eye of some. Your congregation are very blessed indeed to have a priest restoring things as they should be.

Jan

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I took two EF Sensibilities with this Mass for which I could be severely criticized. Since the Faure Requiem's Introit and Kyrie are one piece and rather long, after the procession reached the altar and I incensed it, the deacon and subdeacon joined me at the chair and I began the Mass quietly with them, had the greeting with them and the Penitential Act using the Confiteor and absolution. As blessings would have it as soon as I finished the absolution, the Introit began the Kyrie! After the Kyrie portion of the Introit was completed I did another EF thing, I greeted the congregation with the chanted "Dominus Vobiscum" with their strong response and then chanted "Oremus" and chanted the Collect in English.

The other EF thing I did was with the Sanctus which was relatively long. The people were instructed in the program to kneel at the Sanctus, I spoke the Sanctus quietly to myself and continued quietly with the Roman Canon pausing at the Epiclesis for the Sanctus to be completed by the choir and resumed the Roman Canon in an audible voice for the Epiclesis and consecrations. The Mystery of Faith was chanted by all in Latin and I completed the Roman Canon in an audible voice.

Henry said...

Sounds wonderful. My only acceptable loca choice yesterday was to attend an EF high Mass of the 21st Sunday after Pentecost. I would have preferred the opportunity to attend this OF Mass of All Souls.

Anonymous said...

Father, Mass was beautiful, truly edifying and, I believe, honored its status as Source and Summit. Thank you and all those who assisted for making it available. It was exciting to watch my young son look up to the acolytes. They play such an important role in vocations!

I eagerly await December's High Mass. Regarding the Confiteor, I was curious whether it was expected of the faithful to say the Confiteor privately along with you under the OF.

Prayers for you and St. Joseph's.

Steven

Anonymous said...

Think I prefer the "Anglican Ordinariate", adjusted Book of Common Prayer. I don't have an issue with a "back altar" (I can understand the point of us all facing God instead of the awkward priest facing congregation today), as the Eastern Orthodox too, but as the EO also do, the liturgy in the vernacular and communion in both species. But certainly there should be options like you have at 830 Poplar Street---uniformity in doctrine need not mean uniformity in worship.

Henry said...

May I suggest, Father McDonald, that this might make an excellent contributed post at the PrayTell blog, where it might elicit interesting discussion of "authentic liturgical renewal".

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Now that they don't have Benedict's theology of liturgy to rail against PT is a mere shadow of its former self! But those same old commenters keep turning and churning their cynical comments and the same ones for years now!
The really interesting commenters like me have long left!