Ecce Agnus Dei!
Mass was beautiful, Father. Thank you. I know you and many others went to great effort to ensure Mass was reverent and proper worship to the glory of God. We certainly found it so. The homily was edifying yet succinct, the choir was uplifting, and the servers were disciplined. May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Steven VoynichColumbus
Great black vestments Father, black vestments can be quite stunning!! And your birettas!
Black vestments are in fact very stunning and don't have to indicate a morbid attitude about death, only a realistic one about grieving. We give our laity a choice for funeral Masses in the Ordinary Form, black, white or violet. We've had black chosen by family members a couple of times and I think the more people see these, the more they will appreciate black as an appropriator color for grief not only liturgically but in the secular realm as well.
Father, I am sure white vestments are chosen by families for Funeral Masses 90% of the time. I say that because EVERY Catholic Funeral I can remember, the priest wore white. Frankly, I thought white was supposed to be for Funeral Masses of baptized children, before reaching the age of reason. And black was the vestment color for all other funeral Masses, including unbaptized children. I have heard that violet is worn, primarily in certain parts of the world (parts of Europe and Africa). How accurate are my statements? Also, rough percentage...how often is black, violet or white worn for Funeral Masses at St. Joseph? Last question...how often, if ever, have you celebrated an EF Requiem as a parishioner's Funeral Mass?
Seems like a lot of assistants/altar boys (in the picture)---are that many needed to do an EF Mass? Or was it just because of All Souls Day? Are those two deacons at the back (to the father's left and right)? Also, in the pre-Vatican 2 days, was there such a thing as a concelebrated Mass?
In order to offer a Missa Solemnis, which this was, a good number of servers is required. I don't see that there is anyone extraneous in this picture. In fact, there are far less servers here than we have at our parish's normal Sunday High Mass.The Missa Solemnis requires a priest, a deacon, and a subdeacon.There was no such thing as a concelebrated Mass prior to the liturgical revolution following Vatican II.
Yes, we had six torches, deacon (who was a priest, but wore deacon vestments and biretta, subdeaon who is actually a deacon, who wore biretta). We had a visiting priest who dressed in choir dress (no concelebrating in this Mass) and he too wore his biretta and assisted me in distributing Holy Communion. That was a point of discussion before the Mass, since the deacon was actually a priest, could he or even the subdeacon as he was actually a deacon assisted me in distributing Holy Communion? We settled on the one who actually presented himself as a priest and not a deacon or subdeaon, the visiting priest. We also had an MC and crucifer, thurifer and boat. It was lovely.
Father, we have transitional deacons at the Missa Solemnis at my parish -- the deacon at the Mass will assist in distributing Communion. On the Sundays when the deacons aren't there, another priest comes from the Confessional to assist in distributing Communion.We are at an FSSP parish, for what it's worth.
Father, thank you so much for your explanation on liturgy, not just with the EF Mass but other aspects. My "deacon" question arose out of a requiem Eucharist held last Sunday (for all Saints Day) at Atlanta's Episcopal Cathedral (St Philips, of course just up the street from the Catholic one, Christ the King). At their Eucharist (parts of which were sung in Latin, believe it or not!), there was a priest in a chasuble who celebrated the Eucharist, and another priest dressed in a dalmatic who read the Gospel and assisted with the distribution of communion at their altar rail. I had never seen a priest (whether Catholic or Episcopal) in a dalmatic before---I assumed it was just for deacons. I was wondering if there really can be only 1 celebrant---in other words, if the priest (as we believe) is an image of Christ, then how can there be several celebrants (Christs) on the same altar?
Father, I am sure white vestments are chosen by families for Funeral Masses 90% of the time. I say that because EVERY Catholic Funeral I can remember, the priest wore white. Frankly, I thought white was supposed to be for Funeral Masses of baptized children, before reaching the age of reason. And black was the vestment color for all other funeral Masses, including unbaptized children. I have heard that violet is worn, primarily in certain parts of the world (parts of Europe and Africa). How accurate are my statements? Also, rough percentage...how often is black, violet or white worn for Funeral Masses at St. Joseph?
Anonymous - There can be concelebrants, each an alter Christus, in the same way that there can be three Persons in one God. That there may be multiple celebrants does not detract from the unicity of Christ any more than three persons detracts from the unicity of God.
In terms of Funeral or Requiem Masses, in the EF what you write is true of the colors and it is prescribed. I'm not sure about Europe in the EF times if violet could have been a substitute, but for baptized children prior to the age of reason, yes white vestments.In the Ordinary Form the rubrics state quite clearly that white, black or violet may be used. White seem to be mandated erroneously after Vatican II and the other colors prohibited by consensus not by liturgical law. Yes, in the OF Mass, I would say 99% of the time it is white. Our funeral vestment for the OF while predominately white has a violet and black inlay.
I make it a point to attend this every year (not difficult, since St Joseph's is my parish and I don't live far from the Church.) To you, Father Mcdonald, and all who made this possible, who helped put it together, and participated in it-thanks.
GIRM 346 (Latin original) says in section (d) that violet can be worn (assumi potest) at Offices and Masses of the dead and in section (e) that black can be used (adhiberi potest) where it is the custom (ubi mos est). No mention of white for funerals.The GIRM for England and Wales states that white may also be used in its dioceses. This is an additional sentence in section 346 (a) on the use of white vestments. The US version rewrites section (e) to say that besides the colour violet, white or black may be used. It would therefore seem that violet is the default setting for the Novus Ordo, with black as an option everywhere, and white permitted on a local basis if the bishops have asked for it. It should be borne in mind that after Vatican II the liturgy of the dead was thoroughly deconstructed and bowdlerized (compare, for example, the Collect beginning 'Deus, cui proprium est misereri semper et parcere' in the traditional and modern versions) with a plethora of options which can be assembled to suit. Catholic-lite or Protestant-lite? Take your pick.The fashion for violet vestments at funerals predates the Novus Ordo by a few years, and when the Good Friday colour changed to red a lot of parishes ditched their black sets. However, in England at least, black is by no means rare on All Souls and the Requiem Mass which is customary on Remembrance Sunday (next Sunday in fact). And there is always the option of using the traditional sung Propers, including the Dies Irae. The best option of all, however, is to use the classic Roman Rite in its entirety, as found in the Liber Usualis.
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