Sunday, March 27, 2016
CONFLICTED AT EASTER
We are fortunate to have a music program where we can have cantors chant the passion of Palm Sunday and Good Friday.
Our Easter Vigil was 2 and a half hours long. We baptized four adults, three children and received into the full communion of the Church 14 other adults. I felt our Easter Vigil went very well. Our PV, Fr. Vernon chanted the Exultet beautifully. And a day of rain gave way to sunshine prior to the Vigil and our ability to begin outdoors for the Blessing of the Paschal Fire, Candle and procession into the darkened Church.
We read four Old Testament readings, the Epistle and Gospel. It was a completely OF Easter Vigil but quite solemn and traditional as the OF in the vernacular can be. The music was wonderful.
Our 9:30 AM Mass was standing room only and people were in the vestibule and outside under the portico. It was a completely OF Mass, with choir, organ, timpani and trumpet, very upbeat and very OF but in a powerful way.
Then our 12:10 PM EF High Mass was packed but enough room for all to be seated. Our mixed schola was magnificent. We began with the "Vidi Aquam" and all was traditional. For many, it was the first time they had participated in an EF Mass and for others who were visitors (we are in the midst of our International Cherry Blossom Festival and we are on Interstate 75) many older Catholics told me that they had not been to a Mass like that in over 50 years--they had tears in their eyes.
Our organist said they she felt more people in the congregation were chanting the Latin parts of the Mass with gusto than the 9:30 English Mass did. The congregational EF singing was more robust!!!!!! This is properly Sacrosanctum Concilium's theology of actual participation affecting the EF Mass as it should.
I wore my biretta and I had so many kids ask me about it, both girls and boys. And the parents of the younger children told me that the Latin Mass kept their children's attention and that they were fascinated by it! (I was too as a pre-elementary school child!)
As reverent as our OF Masses are; there is something more reverent about the EF Mass and more mystical, less cerebral and more engaging and reverent. It feels more Catholic to me; I feel more Catholic; I feel more like a PRIEST!
There is no doubt in my mind that the EF Mass properly celebrated as it was in my parish today could well turn around the Church in her decline if implemented from the Vatican on down. It would lead to the new evangelization and a new springtime for the Church!