Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Henry on the post below this commented on his Holy Ghost Mass in the Ordinary Form this morning. Well, he would have felt home at ours with yours truly as celebrant.

Prior to the Marian Processional Hymn, "Hail Holy Queen" the cantor chanted the official Introit from the Roman Missal.

There was organist and cantor, no deacon, two lay readers, five extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion (one host and four chalices).

At the chair, I began by chanting the "Sign of the Cross" as well as the simple Greeting and the official introduction to the Penitential Act. After a moment of silence we all recited the Confiteor. I chanted the absolution and the Cantor led the Kyrie in English follow by me intoning the Gloria and all robustly chanting it followed by my chanting the Collect.

As is normal at all our Sunday Masses, the cantor chants "The Word of the Lord" following both readings with all responding with a chanted, "Thanks be to God."

The Responsorial Psalm was chanted in plain chant.

I chanted the Gospel, including the introduction and conclusion.

Of course I gave a stunning homily.

Then we all said the Credo bowing at the appropriate place.

Then the Universal Prayer was spoken.

The Offertory Antiphon was chanted by the cantor and then an organ interlude during the collection and presentation of the offerings.

The Offertory Prayers were prayed quietly as the organ interlude continued.

After the washing of the hands, and the Orate Fratres, the Prayer over the Offerings was chanted.

Then the Preface dialogue and preface was chanted and the Sanctus was sung.

The Roman Canon was used, including all the saints and martyrs, but the additional "Through Christ our Lord" was omitted. Mea culpa!

Beginning with the Epiclesis and continuing through both consecrations, I chanted this part of the Canon as well as the The Mystery of Faith and its chanted response.

The Pater Noster in English was chanted, along with the embolism and doxology and what follows through the "Let us offer each other the Sign of Peace."

The Lamb of God was chanted

The official Communion Antiphon was chanted

The Post Communion Prayer was chanted.

The Solemn Blessing for the Beginning of the New Year was chanted

The Blessing and dismissal was chanted

The Recessional was "Immaculate Mary"


George said...

I was there. It was as you said. It all went well.

Mary, Mother of God

The Sun, which sustains life on earth without which it would not exist, has two natures,heat and light which are bound together and which we receive as one.
The Son of God who likewise sustains us through His Body and Blood, also has two natures, human and Divine which are bound in an inseparable unity comprising one person. This is why we honor The Blessed Virgin as Mother of God, as one who gave birth to this one Person. It is right that we venerate her because in doing so, we give honor and glory to God. This is why we honor The Blessed Virgin as Mother of God, as one who gave birth to this one Person. It is right that we venerate her because in doing so, we give honor and glory to God. In this way we please Him and so also the Holy Virgin, bound spiritually to God in a special way, is likewise pleased.

John said...

Merry Christmas, Father!

By the way, if you have any additional videos of the beautiful liturgies at your parish, please post them! They are such a blessing.

The Saint Joseph's Mass video is excellent and I have a link to it posted on one of my blog pages:

Thank you for all that you do to promote the true, the good and the beautiful.


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Thanks Wendell. I hope to video our 12:10 PM Sunday Mass where we celebrate the Liturgy of the Eucharist ad orientem in the near future. I wanted to video our midnight Mass, but alas didn't get anyone to do it.

John Nolan said...

Why isn't this done in all parishes? A sung Mass doesn't need vast musical resources. The only things I might change would be:
1. Chant the Introit AFTER the processional hymn, stopping the latter when the celebrant has reached the altar steps. This is because the hymn is not part of the Mass, whereas the Introit most definitely is.
2. Sing the Credo, preferably in Latin (it is a great sign of unity, and even the French can do it). Americans sometimes need to be reminded that Catholicism does exist outside the USA. If you really must do it in English, the Missal chant (Credo I) fits the English words and has the advantage of the original Gregorian melody. The familiar Credo III is a 17th century composition in C Major.
3. Chant the first two readings. This is breaking the habit of fifty years, and even the stupendous London Oratory doesn't do it in OF Masses. However, ICEL is encouraging the practice, and gives full instructions on its website. If there are three readings, the first one has a distinctive tone with the drop of a fifth on the cadence; the second uses the traditional and beautiful epistle tone. I've done it myself and it's really not difficult.

Above all, keep up the good work! Your example may be slow to spread, but spread it surely will. A happy Hew Year!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Yes, we need to swap the order of the Introit. When we first began to do this, we did do it after the processional hymn, but often the priest forgot to allow the cantor to do it (including me) and launched into the Sign of the Cross after the hymn was concluded. Another New Year's resolution is that we are going to start chanting the simple Latin version of "Salve Regina" following the Dismissal and prior to the recessional and will chant the Regina Caeli during the Easter Season in the same fashion.

We will learn the Credo III in English for our 9:30 AM choir Mass.

Henry said...

"Why isn't this done in all parishes? A sung Mass doesn't need vast musical resources."

Let me refine this to say that an entirely sung Mass really requires NO MUSICAL RESOURCES WHATSOEVER, as such. Indeed, the vernacular plainchant tones of the Roman Missal 3/e work better without musical accompaniment, and preferably (in my opinion) with no cantor.

And any parish can pick it up by ear without difficulty or elaborate instruction, just from doing it Sunday after Sunday till everyone's pretty much in the groove. All that's required is a good priest to get the ball rolling, leading by example--if the priest chants, won't the people naturally follow suit? The parish whose nice vernacular Mass I described yesterday--just an ordinary Mass with no choir, organ or cantor (though Holy Ghost does have a fancier principal Sunday Mass), surely not as polished as Fr. McDonald's Mass, just a probably largely blue-collar congregation chanting fairly well in unison (the fancier university folks in Knoxville mostly attend other parishes) but making no big deal of it--is about as far removed culturally and socially from the "stupendous London Oratory" as one can get (and perhaps even from the genteel folks at St. Mary's in Macon).

John Nolan said...

I don't think Credo III works in English, but that's probably because the Latin version is so ingrained that it feels perverse and awkward (as well as being pointless) to sing it in any other language.

Some years ago it was ruled that even if Catholics sang nothing else in Latin they must be able to sing Credo III and Pater Noster. I have been to some pretty dodgy liturgies in France and Germany, but congregations can sing both in Latin. And German, unlike English, has few Latin cognates.

Singing the appropriate Marian "antiphon" in the simple form after Mass is a laudable custom. It would be a pity, however, if Alma Redemptoris Mater (Advent to Candlemas) and Ave Regina Caelorum (Candlemas to Easter) were to be excluded. They are easy to sing and easily learnt.

Henry said...

I wonder whether Fr. McDonald meant they would learn the plainchant English Credo that's in new English translation Roman Missal, rather than "Credo III in English". (I'm tone-deaf and chant illiterate, and know Credo III only from chanting it in Latin every Sunday, except when a polyphonic credo is sung).

In any event, I have developed mixed feelings about English versus (real) Latin Gregorian chant for congregations. On the one hand, the fact that I attend a sung TLM every Sunday might be assumed to speak for itself. And my visceral reaction to any whiff of a vernacular ordinary (especially Italian) in a papal Mass is pure disgust. Up until recently, I generally advocated a simple Latin ordinary (e.g., Missa de Angelis) for ordinary OF Masses (however rarely I ever heard one in typical local parish practice),

And I personally am the odd sort of person who at a vernacular OF Mass always follows the Latin in my hand missal as I hear the texts sung or recited in English, For instance, when this morning I had for the first time (in recognition of St. Basil's memorial today) the opportunity of following EP IV in Latin as I heard its new English translation recited at Mass.

However, with recent English chant Mass experience, I find myself losing the ability to argue convincingly--as I once did, even when to no avail--that ordinary U.S. congregations could and therefore should learn to chant in Latin, a language that essentially no one in a local congregation here has any experience with or feeling for, and where virtually no one is going to travel to France or Germany to hear it. Perhaps someone like John Nolan can explain it to me afresh. But don't bother telling me how easy it is. I spend several hours every day reciting the entire Liturgy of the Hours in Latin, studying the day's Mass texts in Latin, following Mass in Latin, etc.

But ease of accessibility is surely not the real point. The question is Why? I can argue the Latin foundation of our culture and heritage ad nauseam, how the Church learned to think in Latin, how Latin veils the traditional Mass in beauty and mystery, how it carried the faith for almost two millenia, but, really, what has all that got to do with the typical pew Catholic in (say) the rural U.S. south in this third millennium? As opposed to a whole congregation fully engaged and prayerfully participating in the one language which they share and in which they naturally pray.

Can someone help me with this? What really is the point?

John Nolan said...

Henry, I agree that the vernacular missal chants are better sung unaccompanied. Whether congregations would want to sing Gloria XV (in either English or Latin) week in, week out, is a different matter. It is in chant terms very simple and is undoubtedly ancient (you can tell the Amen was a later addition) but it is in Mode IV which sounds 'foreign' to modern ears and lacks the melodic interest of the still-popular Gloria VIII, which despite its more complex melody is firmly in the major mode. Recent chant settings by Aristotle Esguerra and others take the English text as a starting point and are simple, timeless, and effective. In fact, we may be at the start of a new age of English Catholic plainchant.

I don't think many people prayed in Latin before V2, and the majority were never taught it as such, but they had a basic repertoire of Latin hymns and chants - this was a shared language, and a universal one at that. They prayed "Hail Holy Queen" after every Low Mass, but sang "Salve Regina" at Benediction. That was before the days of mass travel. I would have thought that in the 21st century the unifying effect of a modicum of Latin was more important, rather than less.