Wednesday, August 4, 2010
A REVERENTLY CELEBRATED ORDINARY FORM MASS
What does a well celebrated Ordinary Form of the Mass look like? In this regard, I am speaking about the Sung form of this Mass.
1. All participants arrive early, greet each other in a human fashion in the narthex or outside, enter the nave and pray private prayers in preparation for the sacred mysteries. There is hushed, reverent silence before Mass, conducive for private devotions and contemplation or just good old peace and quiet, a sanctuary from our noisy world.
2. The procession begins, all stand. A good metrical hymn of strong Christological focus is sung by all. As the priest approaches to incense the altar, the choir effortlessly transitions to the official introit of the day sung in a uplifting chant in English or Latin.
3. The priest begins the Mass by singing the "Sign or the Cross" and greeting, briefly invites everyone to enter the mercy of God and one of the options for the penitential rite is said or sung, always with the Kyrie being sung in English or Greek. If the Rite of Sprinkling is chosen, Asperges Me is sung or Vidi Aquam during the Easter Season. After the penitential rite the priest intones the Gloria which is sung by all in a robust way.
4. The Opening Collect is sung by the priest and sit for the Liturgy of the Word.
5. The lectors approach the altar, and go to the ambo. After the first reading, the first lector returns to his/her seat and a moment of silent reflection occurs lasting about the lenght of an "Our Father."
6. The cantor and/or choir sings the Responsorial Psalm. It is a good chant mode or even Anglican chant, no glitzy Broadway tunes. The congregation has an easy chant refrain to sing.
7. The second reading occurs and this lector return to the congregation. After another silent period, the Gospel acclamation is chanted with the Gospel procession and use of incense.
8. An inspirational, Bible based homily is preached lasting no more than 8 minutes with a period of silent contemplation following the rousing homily.
9. The Credo is chanted in either English or Latin.
10. The General Intercessions follow.
11. The collection and preparation of the altar begin, first by the chanting of the official preparation antiphon by the choir and some other fitting motet to cover the action of the collection and incensations.
12. The people stand and the Orate Frates is said with the singing of the Prayer over the Gifts.
13. The Preface Dialogue and preface are sung as well as a strong Sanctus, Mystery of Faith and Great Amen. If the celebrant is able he sings the words of institution and the Doxology.
14. The Pater Noster is chanted in English or Latin with its embolism.
15. The greeting is chanted and a sober sign of peace begins
16. The Agnus Dei is sung follow by the Dominus Non Sum Dignus and Holy Communion.
17. The official Communion antiphon is chanted as the priest receives Holy Communion and a appropriate Communion Procession anthems are sung as the congregation receives Holy Communion.
18. After Holy Communion there is a good period of silence
19. Then the Prayer After Holy Communion is chanted, brief announcements made if necessary and the final blessing is sung with the dismissal.
20. All leave to either a strong instrumental or a good recessional hymn.
21. The congregation departs silently as others who desire drop to their knees to say a private prayer of thanksgiving. There is robust fellowship in the narthex, parish hall or outside the nave.
Is this possible or am I living in Neverland?