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!