Friday, January 15, 2016


Our 12:10 PM Mass is our experimental pre-Vatican II style Mass. By that, I mean we celebrate the Mass as an OF Mass is celebrated and by the Missal and its rubrics. For the Liturgy of the Eucharist, though, we face "ad Deum" or "ad orientem" toward God or toward the East. I prefer toward the East, the liturgical East, as the symbolism isn't so much "toward God" since God is everywhere. Ad orientem is symbolic of the rising of the sun in the sky and that Jesus will return to earth at the end of time from the east, from the rising of the sun position. It is symbolic to be sure but a powerful image.

At our 12:10 PM Mass we distribute Holy Communion to communicants kneeling at the full length of our restored altar railing. It only takes two to do this faster than four "communion stations" at fixed locations. People do not have to kneel, though most do, one can easily stand next to someone kneeling and some do stand without interference or difficulty.

We average about 300 or so people for the 12:10 PM Mass. The last Sunday of the month we make it an Extraordinary Form Mass. We make sure everyone has the order of the EF Mass with its English translation side by side with the Latin and we provide the English propers and Scriptures for that particular Mass. I have tried to catechize this group about the differences in style and spirituality and how best to participate in this Mass in an actual way which is properly understood as a combination of interior and exterior participation as in the OF tradition. I also explain the reason for the soft voice Roman Canon as a sign of silence in the awesome presence of God and speaking to Him in prayer in humble hushed tones, a kind of iconostasis of silence, entering the Holy of Holies as it were.

Not one complaint from anyone about it. Not one!

So now we have more than 300 participating in our monthly EF Mass compared to the 40 to 60 number we had at 2 PM once a month.

No complaints from anyone thus far.


Anonymous said...

Just goes to show that, as others have said, there is really no resistance to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass when it is implemented properly, approved by the parish priest and is scheduled at a reasonable time. The non-attendance at the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is usually due to the fact it is normally offered at the most inconvenient of times and and not in parish churches but in far flung chapels, although many of the churches sit empty on Sundays. In many instances the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is not allowed to be advertised. I have found that those who have a resistance to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass are mainly older priests and older lay people, who are not compelled to attend anyway so why do they stand in the way of those who would like to attend?

The priests in my diocese apparently were told by our retired bishop that they were not allowed to offer the Extraordinary Form of the Mass on Sundays and so far the new bishop is following suit even in this year of mercy. This means the only alternative is to attend Pius X chapels or travel two hours to another diocese. We are told our numbers are too small. Despite that, every other language group in the Diocese, including some very new immigrants, have a Sunday Mass in their language with very small numbers attending. We don't even have a Latin Mass in the Ordinary Form. We have been requesting a Sunday Mass since the publication of Summorum Pontificum and have at least three priests in our Diocese who have been trained to offer the Extraordinary Form. Despite Pope Francis saying that bishops and priests need to be pastoral and smell of their sheep, and the fact that our diocese prints virtually everything Pope Francis says, apparently what Pope Francis says about being pastoral doesn't extend to Catholics who like the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. At the moment the Extraordinary Form of the Mass in our diocese is celebrated on Wednesdays, at 6.00pm in a chapel that has been declared an earthquake risk, which we and the priest who offers the Mass enter at our own risk. I ask: how pastoral is that and how obedient is the bishop being to Pope Francis and Summorum Pontificum?

FelixXVIII said...

Father, I was wondering if you were using the 1965 Missal with your congregation? And if so, did you seek/need an indult or permission from your bishop?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

No, I use the 1962 Missal. I would love to use the 1965 Missal and I have a mint edition of it. SP only referred to the 1962 edition but I think it could be disputed that the 1965 edition is the 1962 edition just with some vernacular and minor rubrical adjustments that make good sense.

For our Midnight Mass which looked completely like an EF Mass from start to finish, I used the Vernacular Ordinary Form Missal although we did chant the Kyrie in Greek, Gloria and Credo in Latin. I am awaiting a digital copy of our video of that mass and will post it as soon as I get it. The Ordinariate Missal's allowance of EF sensibilities but applied to our Ordinary Form Missal would basically be a 1965 Missal, although completely in the vernacular with Latin only at the discretion of the priest.