Monday, April 6, 2015
THE EXTRAORDINARY AMONGST THE ORDINARY
Easter Sunday we had five Solemn Mass, all of these sung. One out of the five was Extraordinary. It was sung as well, not the Solemn High version, with deacons and subdeacons, but a simple High Mass.
Let me comment on the beauty of our High Mass in the Extraordinary Form at 1:00 PM on Easter Sunday.
1. The congregation sang "Jesus Christ is Risen Today" in English as the procession came down the center aisle from the entrance of the church.
2. At the Foot of the altar and wearing a golden cope, I waited for the hymn to conclude and began the chanted "Vidi Aquam" as the schola continued it and I sprinkled the altar, ministers and congregation. I concluded the Vidi in chant and then changed from cope to chasuble (oddly enough, as I type this, it is only now and quite embarrassingly, that I realize that I completely forgot the maniple! I did not wear it at all and only now realize it! If anyone attended this Mass reading this, noted that I omitted the maniple, please let me know by a comment. I must admit I find the maniple to be a bit of a nuance and can understand why it was eliminated so quickly after Vatican II!).
3. Then vested in chasuble, I returned to the Foot of the Altar for the PATFOTA said quietly as the schola chanted the introit and in a most lovely Gregorian chanted setting, one of my favorite settings.
4. Then I ascended the altar to kiss and incense it. The choir began the Kyrie (Jubilatio) as I read the introit and returned to the center of the altar for the choir and congregation to complete the Kyrie. Then I intoned the Jubilatio "Gloria" which everyone sung with gusto!
5. I chanted the first reading in Latin. The schola chanted the Graudal with its alleluia and then marvelously chanted the Easter Sequence. I chanted the Gospel in Latin--closely following the norm although ad libbing here and there with how I chanted it.
6. After my stunning extraordinary form homily, we chanted the Credo III in Latin of course after I intoned it.
7. The Mass continued with the offertory and the schola chanting its Proper and then singing an appropriate anthem as I completed the offertory, incensed the offerings, altar and paschal candle (not sure if one does this in the EF Mass, I simply turned toward it at the ambo to incense it (our ambo is on the Gospel side of the altar), if anyone knows let me know if one incenses the Paschal Candle during an EF High Mass and if so where does the priest stand?).
8. I chanted the Preface flawlessly and as I began the quiet praying of the Roman Canon after my recitation of the Sanctus while the choir and congregation chanted the "Orbis Factor" Sanctus which covered the Roman Canon until I got to the Easter "Hanc Igitur." Then as all fell quiet, the bells rang out as I outstretched hands over offerings.
9. Following the Canon, I chanted the first part of the Pater Noster and again absolutely flawlessly and the schola and congregation the final sentence.
10. As I began the Lamb of God quietly to myself, the schola and congregation chanted the Orbis Factor Agnus Dei which covered all of the quiet prayers the priest prays prior to his "Lord I am not worthy" said three times to the accompaniment of bells.
11. I'd say we had about 150 attending this Mass which was well advertized to the parish. Communion went flawlessly and quickly at our new altar railing. Our permanent deacon who helped serve this Mass in cassock and surplice, placed his deacon stole on to assist me with distributing Holy Communion. I don't know if this is kosher or not, but it is our custom at St. Joseph.
12. The choir sang a communion anthem in Latin and concluded with chanting the Communion antiphon as I did the ablutions.
13. After chanting the Prayer after Holy Communion, I turned to the congregation to chant the proper "Ite Missa Est, Alleluia" as it is meant to be sung. Since I can't have the notes in front of me as I do this, and even though I could do it from memory properly, I blanked out and some other melody entered my head and I had to just do a plain chant alleluia. Sad!
14. After I read the Last Gospel, we all departed as the Congregation sang from our English hymnal "Regina Caeli" in English.
It was a perfect celebration and many people who had never experienced the EF Mass told me afterward how reverent and inspiring the Mass was for them!