Sunday, February 16, 2014


I like it and looking at it you'd think you are in America. I especially love how the "Benedictine" altar arrangement looks, which is the pre-Vatican II altar arrangement, but with low candles that allow for a clearer view of the actions of the Mass when facing the congregation. The tabernacle is centered directly behind the altar:


Anonymous said...

Typical Italians, a total lack of Faith. The MBS right there and they are dressed like slobs with their backs to God waiting for a man. A real Catholic would be seated and patiently praying until the pope arrived. Vatican II "Catholic" in all their vain glory.

Anonymous said...

"... but with low candles that allow for a clearer view of the actions of the Mass when facing the congregation."

But, good Father, is not the point of the Benedictine Arrangement to "hide" the priest, so that we're not overly focused on him?

Luke said...

From every pastoral visit I've see of Pope Francis so far, the liturgy in Rome is a joke. More like a campfire sing-along than the Holy Sacrifice. I could never imagine the patriarchs of Moscow or Constantinople celebrating a liturgy like this.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

That's Roma and Pope Benedict experienced the same in his pastoral visits around town. It has a distinctive Italian flair that is better suited in its slurpiness for devotions rather than the Mass.

John Nolan said...

I remember the occasion two years ago when HE Cardinal Burke celebrated Mass on St Philip's Day at the London Oratory. He processed in wearing cappa magna to the strains of 'Ecce Sacerdos Magnus'. He then went to the sacristy to vest and for ten minutes there was absolute silence throughout that vast church. Mind you, we Brits are more restrained than those volatile Italians (God bless them!)

Henry said...

"That's Roma and Pope Benedict experienced the same in his pastoral visits around town."

Equally egregious in the cases of both popes, both afflicted with the "Church of niceness" that has prevented popes and bishops from playing their sworn roles to admonish in the faith.

While he reigned more gloriously than any pope in recent memory, Pope Benedict was probably afflicted more than any with this "niceness", so deep was his personal sense of humility. Pope Francis, by contrast, is sufficiently headstrong that he surely is not hesitant to admonish when he thinks it needed.

John Nolan said...

I did notice that everyone received Communion on the tongue. Apart from that, it wasn't much different from your average parish Sunday Mass in England.

I also noticed that the congregation stood after the elevation of the Chalice. This practice should be observed at an EF sung Mass, but hardly ever is.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The custom in Italy is to kneel after at the Epiclesis bell and then to stand after the consecrations for the Mystery of Faith. And then no other kneeling.

In the USA the norm in most places is to kneel immediately following the Sanctus through the Great Amen and then to kneel again for the "Lord I am not worthy" and remain kneeling after receiving Holy Communion until all have done so and the Blessed Sacrament is reposed and the celebrant sits. Some places have made certain adaptions on this but most are as I describe.

The booklet we use for the congregation for the EF Mass has slightly different "rubrics" for the laity for the high and low Mass. Typically people kneel for a low Mass from the Entrance through the Gradual, Stand for the Gospel and then kneel for the rest of the Mass (except if there is a Gloria or Creed) starting with the Offertory Antiphon.
However, at the Low EF Masses I celebrate I ask all to sit for the Epistle and Gradual.

Православный физик said...

The rubrics at low Mass provided in the book make no sense to me...sitting at the Epistle and Gradual makes sense.

John Nolan said...

There are of course no directions in the EF for the posture of the congregation and the Low Mass custom, frequently carried over to the Sung/High Mass is in England what it was before the reform, viz. to kneel for the PATFOTA, sit for the Epistle, stand for the Gospel and Credo, sit from the Offertory to the Sanctus, and kneel thereafter, only sitting again when the tabernacle door is closed after Communion; kneeling for the blessing and standing for the last Gospel.

But is this right? I read an interesting essay the other day (I wish I could remember where) which suggested that the postures usually adopted at the OF are more or less correct for EF Sung Mass. For example:
1. The PATFOTA do not concern the congregation who should remain standing for the sung Introit, Kyrie and Gloria, which is what pertains to them, even if some or all of the singing is delegated to the choir and/or schola. In long settings of the Kyrie and Gloria they sit when the clergy do, but it is desirable that when a Gregorian setting is used, the people remain standing and join in the singing.
2. They should stand (or remain standing) for the Collect (at the Dominus vobiscum) since it is their role to sing the responses.
3. They should sit for the Epistle and remain seated for the Gradual, which is usually a fairly elaborate setting, more conducive to meditation than participation, but if they join in the Alleluia, they should stand and remain standing for the Gospel.
4. When the people are singing the Credo they remain standing, kneeling for the Et incarnatus est, not genuflecting with the priest, and not sitting when the clergy sit. They should be standing for the Dominus vobiscum which precedes the Offertory, for which they sit.
5. They should stand from the Preface dialogue to the conclusion of the Sanctus, kneel for the Consecration, but stand after the elevation of the Chalice until the priest's Communion.
6. They should stand for the Postcommunion (again at the Dominus vobiscum) and remain standing, kneeling only for the blessing.

If these rules are followed, the people are standing for all their sung responses (their proper liturgical role) and again when they are singing those parts of the Ordinary that pertain to them.
Now, since the Sung Mass is the norm, should these rules also apply to the Low Mass? Arguably they should, although this would require a culture shift. I also believe the people should (if practicable) recite, with the priest, everything that they would sing at a High Mass. This would NOT include the PATFOTA, the Deo Gratias after the Epistle, the Laus tibi Christe after the Gospel or the Suscipiat which are best left to the server. The triple Domine non sum dignus before the people's Communion should be said by all EXCEPT the priest - he has already communicated.

The congregation at an EF Sung Mass these days either treat it as a Low Mass and kneel for most of the time, or adopt the postures of the OF. The second group is, in my opinion, acting more in the spirit of the liturgy. (An example of the OF enriching the EF?)