Sunday, November 9, 2014

THE ORDINARY FORM ALL SOULS' REQUIEM AT SAINT JOSEPH CHURCH, MACON, GEORGIA, WITH EXTRAORDINARY FORM SENSIBILITIES

Last Sunday at our normal 12:10 PM Sunday Mass we celebrated the All Souls Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with our choir singing Faure's Requiem.  Here it is! I thank our former parishioner, Mr. Lovel Miguel of Houston, Texas who digitized our video for broadcast! There is a prelude chanting of the names of the Faithful Departed who died in the past year from the parish. Their names are inscribed on the scroll hanging in Our Lady's Chapel to the right of the altar. Below the video are my comments on the Mass, the liberties I took with it that could raise some eyebrows and the glitches:

Our 12:10 PM Mass is just like all our other Sunday vernacular Ordinary Form Masses except The Liturgy of the Eucharist is celebrated ad orientem. But apart from that it has the same music and chants as the others; there are male and female altar servers, male and female lectors and male and female Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, although recently we stopped the drinking from the common chalice for the Precious Blood as this presents too great of a health risk and the spreading of contagion that can be deadly for the elderly and those with immunity deficiencies.

At the All Souls' Requiem last week however, we made some adjustments. The 12:10 PM Mass was primarily in Latin with some English. We used the Altar Servers (mostly adult men) that we use for the EF High Mass once a month. Our seminarian Patrick Tunnell who is an installed lector and acolyte as well as having formally received "candidacy" for the priesthood was the lector and assisted in distributing Holy Communion.

The following are the EF sensibilities incorporated into this thoroughly Ordinary Form Requiem Mass for All Souls Day. There are  only two things that were done that could raise eyebrows:

1. The Introductory Rite was done quietly by the celebrant, deacon and subdeacon, meaning that as the choir sang the Introit and Kyrie which in Faure's Requiem form a unity, are not separated, I began with the Sign of the Cross, Greeting, Penitential Act using the Confiteor and concluded with the absolution. As blessings would have it all this coincided with the Kyrie part of the Introit following immediately after the absolution. Unfortunately our administrator who videoed the Mass thought it more important to video the choir at this point, so completely missing is our wonderful procession into the Church and the liberty I took with the Introductory Rite, which was at the chair, not at the foot of the altar. I'm not sure why he thought videoing the choir at this point during our grand, and it was grand, procession was more important. Oh well! Also, I greeted the congregation in Latin prior to the Collect as is done in the EF (since I had already done the Introductory rite quietly at the chair).

2. The readings were readings from the modern Lectionary and the ones chosen were the ones selected by the company that prints our missalettes. However, we substituted the Responsorial Psalm with the EF Requiem's Gradual, chanted in complex Gregorian Chant. After the Epistle reading the men's schola chants the Dies Irae followed by the Tract that acts as the Gospel acclamation.

3. The Roman Canon is prayed quietly as the choir sings the Sanctus. I spoke the Sanctus to myself and prayed the first part of the canon quietly until the Epiclesis. Then I waited for the choir to end the sanctus and prayed the rest of the Roman Canon in a loud voice but in Latin. Apart from the minor adjustment for the consecration of the Precious Blood to allow for the "Mystery of Faith" acclamation, the EF's Roman Canon and OF's Roman Canon are identical, although the rubrics are not of course.

4. The Final Commendation is as it normally is in the Ordinary Form although using the "Song of Farewell" from the EF's Rite of Absolution of the Body "Libera Me" from Faure's Requiem with its In Paradisum as the Recessional.

There were three major glitches that you might or might not detect:

1. Apart from the one filming the video and not showing the procession and Introductory Rite of the Mass (which I really, really wanted shown for this post) there is a gap between the reading of the Epistle and the chanting of the Dies Irae. Wires got cross with the cantor and schola at this point, but the recovery was good.

2. After the choir sings the Agnus Dei, the organist continues to play. Of course I have my back to the congregation and had no idea the reason the organist continued to play was to allow for the choir to leave the loft and gather in the asile for their Holy Communion. I thought what he was playing was a continuation of the Agnus Dei and the choir would sing something to conclude it. So after a terribly long time, an eternity to me, I realized that he was just playing and so I turned to the congregation for the Ecce Agnus Dei over his playing. This was truly a pregnant pause and way too long!

3. I wish I had read the announcements at the end of the homily as one does in the EF. It completely broke the prayer of the Mass at this point and distracted me. I was to have changed after the announcements into the cope for the Final Commendation but completely forgot to do so. I was also distracted by the altar servers delay in coming out and standing before the catafalque.  I was distressed that the Holy Water and incense were not ready for me when I needed them.

Apart from these glitches I thank our choirs under the direction of Ms. Nelda Chapman our Music Director and Mr. Harold McManus our Assistant Organist. It was splendid!

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

It seems like a beautiful Mass, Father, and it would have been nice to have seen the procession - perhaps someone in the congregation will have videoed this.

The only comment I have is - why not just have the EF Latin mass? I know that normally when All Souls Day falls on a week day (although it should really have been transferred as is the case in the Old Calendar, shouldn't it?) you say the Requiem EF Latin Mass. Why not on a Sunday? Is it that the EF Latin Mass is not generally accepted by your Sunday parishioners?

Jan

Anonymous said...

Still have "altar girlettes" and female lectors most unfortnate.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Here is where traditionalist get into trouble. The Church now allows the celebration of the EF Mass with its laws and ecclesiology. I wholeheartedly endorse this and believe that where there is a legitimate desire for the Extraordinary Form of the Mass it should be allowed to flourish. I have no problems with a separate parish in various cities exclusively for the EF way of Catholicism.

Those who have no affinity for this form of the Mass or Church should not stand in the way of those who desire it. But the same is true of traditionalist and their attitude toward the OF Mass.

It is permissible within the laws that govern the OF Mass currently as well as its ecclesiology for there to be men and women lectors and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (not so in the EF) as well as girls and boys being altar servers (no so in the EF). It is also permissible for the chalice to be given to the laity either directly or by intinction as per the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. It is the norm to stand to receive Holy Communion but kneeling is allowed as a legitimate exception.

The two liturgies with their own laws to govern them and their own theology of ecclesiology can coexist if there is mutual respect for what is allowed. I'm not talking about abuses here, but what the law allows through the legitimate authority of the pope and bishops in union with him and local bishops.

If the EF communities want respect from the OF communities there has to be a two way street of respect, tolerance and acceptance!

quicumquevult said...

For what it's worth and with due respect, Father, the OF never "intended" to have girl servers...they were forbidden in 1970 by Blessed Paul VI and again in 1980 by St. John Paul II, and only allowed in the 1990's, two and a half decades after Vatican II's changes were promulgated. So there's nothing "intrinsic" to the OF that should allow female servers. Indeed, seeing as the practice was begun and eventually conceded to because of dissident Catholics, if we want to be truly obedient to the mind of the Church, we would do well not to employ them.

quicumquevult said...

And so that I don't seem too negative...this WAS a beautiful Mass, and God bless you for offering it. Your parish is truly a model of what more parishes should be!

Anonymous said...

Somebody said that 88% of Catholics don't attend Sunday Mass.

Bringing back this tedious l o n g kind of liturgy is probably a good way to go for 98%. Times have changed culture has changed people have changed. This may have been suitable "back then"....not now.

Henry said...

Is it your position, Father, that all permissible options are equally appropriate to employ?

It is my opinion that this position--that all permitted options are equally good--is responsible for the fact that the OF Mass in ordinary parish practice falls so dismally short of the potential and beauty of the OF Roman missal--its propers and prefaces generally superior (in Latin and now in the glorious new English translation) to those of the EF missal.

Such a shame that pastors are not diligent in judging which options to take and which to leave aside.

In my present parish, for instance, overuse of EHMC's at OF Masses has never been necessary because we have never had communion in both kinds except on special occasions. I believe this single fact has contributed to a more sacral atmosphere than in any parish I've seen where the chalice is regularly offered.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

To 88% yo 98%, tell that to the 100% who go out of their way to attend and are some of the most highly motivated CATHOLICS we have! People drove over 150 miles to attend and others shifted the time of mass to be at this Mass. Your stereotypeing of CATHOLICS is extremely prejudicial and wron.

JBS said...

Father MacDonald,

I wonder how the younger members of your parish respond to a celebration like this. Do you receive negative response from those in their twenties? Do young parishioners responding positively prefer a more traditional (e.g. as you describe here) Ordinary Form Mass to a more modern (e.g. congregational singing) Extraordinary Form one?

I think we need to develop some means of evaluating young adult responses to our liturgical celebrations.

Anonymous said...

Yes...100% of the people who attended, attended. If you think that 100% of all Catholics will attend Masses like this one, have at it. What percentage of your parish attended this Mass? The few shots that I saw of the congregation (very few) seemed to show lots of empty seats. It is clear from this blog that there are a few VERY dedicated folks like you, but that's just a small, small fraction of total Catholics.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

JBS the ones who prefer this Mass are the 20 and 30 something's. It is the old ideological fogies my age and older who just don't get it.

To 100% those who were there wanted to be there. We don't do concert Masses but once or twice a year. We have 5 weekend Masses. This was our 12:10 which is not our principal Mass. It is in the vernacular every weekend but always ad orientem. It is the only one ad ORIENTEM.

JBS we did have some teenagers present not expect ion it and a couple of the football players and their girl friends said it was awesome, quite a compliment!

There were university students there I had not seen before, all of them blown away!

David J. Wesson said...

How is such experimentation "saying the black and doing the red?" I mean we may agree with what was done here but how is this different than a hippy priest doing his own thing?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Just remember, I am a seminarian of the. 1970 's and a product of a radical so mary! Insightful comment to say the least!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Damn auto spell check! Radical seminary!

Gene said...

Fr, if you really wanted to be innovative, you would have one TLM every Sunday. Everything else, though nice and well-done, is just dancing around the issue.
Your ambivalence and trepidation just scream out…

Jdj said...

Gene, for heaven's sake, give Fr. a break here. To my knowledge, he is the only priest outside of Savannah offering the TLM in the Diocese! You should be SO grateful...we are so envious.

Joe Potillor said...

While I'm not at the parish, the 20 somethings are a mixed bag...you'll find that some like traditional like this...and some like rockband TM style.

Beautiful Mass though...

Gene said...

jdj, I believe what Fr. is doing is great, and I love the way he celebrates all Masses. I am merely addressing his obvious ambivalence and his inconsistencies. I believe he should just make one of the regular Masses on Sunday the TLM and be done with it. Let the chips fall where they may. Just do it…no announcements, no explanations or apologies. The 2 PM once a month is a weird hour and the infrequency does not really attract people.
Then, there is his mental game of Twister defending this Pope which clashes with his obvious conservatism and love of the TLM and the Church. It is frustrating.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Bill I will not post any more of your comments with the battle flag of the Confederacy attached a symbol of racism and offensive to many people rightly or wrongly. That war ended in 1864 and the south lost but actually won since we would be a third world country now if the Confederacy won.

Gene said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Father, I think that the rancour built up over the years is that the OF Mass was enforced on many Catholics against their will. It will take a lot to undo the prejudice that came about because of that.

Then of course the OF of the Mass has been badly celebrated in most parishes for decades. It will take a lot to undo the prejudice against the OF of the Mass because of that.

Also I think the rancour among traditionalists is because the Traditional Mass is still opposed by most bishops who make attending the Mass extremely difficult. If the EF of the Mass was allowed to co-exist then I think the prejudice against the OF of the mass would die away.

There is often the argument made: oh we couldn't impose the EF Mass on everyone. It would cause an uproar. But nobody cared about the uproar that was caused when the OF Mass was imposed on everyone in the 70s did they, so why is it different now?

I read recently an Anglican rite Mass was advertised. It was described as akin to a Traditional Mass except in English. I have nothing against the Anglican rite being allowed to have their Mass but it raised my heckles to think of how loyal Catholics who wished to retain their patrimony were treated so abysmally and yet others can walk in off the street and immediately be allowed to have the Mass of their choice - the OF is not imposed on them.

So, if you think that Traditionalists are hard and bitter then there is good reason for them to be, as they have been very poorly treated over the years. I never have seen charity extended to them, except by St John Paul The Great with the Indult he granted and the kindness of Benedict XVI who made traditional Catholics feel human again. I am not even a member of the SSPX but I have seen a lot directed against faithful Catholics who are still the ones remaining in the Church and after being called "nutters" for years (to which I replied that all Christians are regarded as nutters so what is one more insult). However, soon the traditional Catholics will be the only ones left in the churches and, boy, will they be courted then.

Jan

Gene said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I had just written a letter to the editor concerning Bill Cummings, of course I meant Gene, but yes, I have begun to delete comments that have symbols that some find offensive.

Anonymous said...

Some find the symbol "Gene" offensive! They should go, too!

Marc said...

This blog is a joke.

John Nolan said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again - these 'glitches' would be avoided if you had a competent MC. With all those adult male servers, surely one of them could be persuaded to learn the role.

Regarding Jan's comment about the EF Latin Mass, the short answer is that in the EF Calendar All Souls cannot be celebrated on a Sunday; it must be transferred to the Monday. A TLM celebrated on 2 Nov this year would have to be that of the 21st Sunday after Pentecost.

David Wesson (above) is positing a false equivalence. To use the legitimate options of the Novus Ordo to make it conform more closely to the Roman Rite is something encouraged by Benedict XVI and practised by the Oratorians for forty-odd years. In fact, since the rubrics of the NO are descriptive rather than prescriptive as well as being often vague and non-specific, they need 'filling-in' by reference to older custom. This is the opposite of 'experimentation'.

Henry said...

John Nolan: “since the rubrics of the NO are descriptive rather than prescriptive”

Like when at the USCCB meeting to approve the GIRM, before voting on the “standing for communion” norm, the dubious bishops were assured that the norm was intended to bedescriptive rather than prescriptive—that no one would ever be required to stand rather than kneel? And then later the tawdry spectacle of photos showing brutish priests yanking people to their feet.

Marie said...

Father,
What a beautiful Mass! I'm sure many Holy Souls were most grateful for it.
[I can understand the tiny gap between the Epistle reading and the Sequence. Dies Irae is a new one for an OF choir, although Pope BXVI has advocated in the past that it be retained in the OF.] God bless you for your work in fostering reverence and beauty in your liturgical celebrations.

Jan,
Thank you for your post on the EF; you hit the nail on the head.
BTW, in the Extraordinary Form, the Requiem Mass cannot be celebrated on a Sunday, that's why Old Soul's Day had to be moved to the following Monday.

As to the question of "girl altar- boys," Pope St. JP II did approve of their use [no doubt after lobbying by American bishops and nuns.]

In my parish, girl altar-boys may carry processional candles up to the time the Gospel is proclaimed, but they have to leave the sanctuary during the Canon of the Mass. Fair enough.

Anonymous said...

"They have to leave the sanctuary during the Canon of the Mass."

Wow...

John Nolan said...

Marie, it is a popular misconception that the EF Requiem Mass cannot be celebrated on a Sunday. Last Sunday (Remembrance Sunday in the UK) I sang at one which included the Absolutions. This is a long-standing custom.

The rubrics (up to and including 1962) say that the Commemoration of All Souls cannot replace the Sunday, even though it is only a II Class 'green' Sunday.

Corey said...

Father,
Beautiful Mass & post! As a seminarian who has felt called due to beautiful Liturgies I assisted in growing up, I always enjoy reading your thoughts! I did have a question about the use of a Catafalque and priests wearing dalmatics? Is this still permitted by the rubrics for the Novus Ordo? Would the priests just wear their stole like a priest instead of a deacon underneath? Or is it just one of the things, not expressively mentioned, rather it can just "happen?" Thank-you so much for your devotion and love of the Church's liturgy. It inspires many of us!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I took some EF liberties with this Mass. In terms of a priest dressing in dalmatic and a deacon in a subdeacons tunic, I think this can be done since the rubrics of the Ordinary Form have no rubrics or general instructions. Keep in mind there are no subdeacons mentioned for the Ordinary Form but are present in the EF. This is what I would call an EF recovery for the OF of something that should not have been suppressed to start with.

But yes, I could be criticized for these minor restorations.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Keep in mind, though, a priest and a bishop are still deacons.

Corey said...

Of course! Once a deacon, always a deacon. (I always thought the idea of "transitional deacons" didn't make sense word wise to the faithful who don't understand the levels of Holy Orders. I see what you mean with liberties with the EF. I was always taught growing up that when the Ordinary Form has a blank or something isn't prescribed we look to the former for an answer. (ie. the locations of the priest's hands during Mass (on the breast, folded, etc. not just hanging by his sides.)) Thanks for the response!