Thursday, April 26, 2012
LIGHT BULB MOMENT DURING MASS THIS MORNING
The more I think about it, the more I realize that the Holy Father and his successors will more than likely make some changes to the OF Mass so that it does not portray a major rupture as a reform of the Mass that we now call the Extraordinary Form or the Ordinary Form of the Mass until the 1962 Roman Missal.
I don't think subsequent reforms will be all that dramatic, but my light bulb moment this morning has to do with what I wrote in another post earlier this week. The Penitential Act should clearly be seen as a "prelude" to the actual Mass, but integral as a prelude and it should be seen precisely as penitential in order to acknowledge our sins so as to celebrate the sacred mysteries. Before we enter into the Holy of Holies which is where the altar is and also in terms of the Sacred Mysteries, the Mass itself, everyone, clergy, ministers and other laity should seek God's purification of the taint of sin and seek God's merciful cleansing. Only then should we enter into the Holy of Holies, that is, where the altar is and the actual Mass itself. Therefore, the priest should not approach the altar to kiss it and incense it (if used) until the Penitential Act is complete.
So before one makes any minor change to the Mass such as mandating ad orientem or mandating Holy Communion by intinction and kneeling, we need to make a couple of subtle changes to the order of the Ordinary Form of the Mass itself, which is actually more radical than ad orientem and kneeling for Holy Communion.
These are my humble recommendations:
1. The Penitential Act become the Penitential Prelude at the Foot of the Altar which would begin with the priest making the Sign of the Cross and skipping the greeting and going directly to the introduction to the Penitential Act and using exclusively the Confiteor as he bows and all others kneel. After the absolution he ascends the altar, kisses it (and incenses it if used) and afterwards goes to his chair. If a choir or cantor is present, the Introit is sung as the priest approaches the altar to kiss and incense it. Or if a spoken Mass, a lector could lead the Introit or the priest could recite it at his chair after kissing the altar.
2. Then the Kyrie is said or sung
3. Then the Gloria is said or sung if prescribed.
4. Then the Greeting
5. Then the Collect
In a sung Mass, a good, doctrinally sound hymn that ties into the Mass of the Day or the Scripture readings could accompany the procession to the altar but it would conclude after the priest arrives so that he might lead the Penitential Prelude at the Foot of the Altar. The Introit would always be the official Introit for the Mass and chanted in Gregorian or Polyphony modes, simple or complex. In other words, the laity don't necessarily have to sing it unless they are able to do so, therefore, they are not forbidden to chant it with the cantor or choir.
Making the simple change in the Order of the Ordinary Form of the Mass as I suggest above will solve a multitude of problems.
Please remember in your prayers Father Cody Unterseher, an Anglican Priest, who contributed at the Praytell Blog who died as a result of an aneurism he had over a week ago. He had commented on this blog a couple of times and responded to me at Praytell in very kind ways. Eternal Rest grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. Comfort his family and friends. Amen. These are two photos taken from his hospital website and tell you something about the Anglican Liturgy that we Catholics should recover. Can you name them: