Tuesday, February 25, 2014
WHAT ARE YOUR PRE-RATIONAL RECOLLECTIONS OF THE MASS AS A CHILD EITHER THE PRE-VATICAN II MASS OR THE MASS AFTER VATICAN II
As everyone knows I appreciate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass but precisely as extraordinary. It is wonderful to have it as an option for people to experience in it what has never changed over the centuries of the Church including to this day with the Ordinary Form: the Real Presence of Jesus Christ, His redeeming sacrificial offering to His Heavenly Father and the Father's acceptance of His act of love in the Sacrifice of the Cross for our redemption. The Father return the Son and His offering to us for our salvation and nourishment as we make our pilgrimage to heaven.
Every Mass, no matter the form, also calls us to live our Faith and Morals in the world and to show love and compassion to everyone especially the poor.
As children most of us are like the anaweem. We must rely upon everyone else for our survival and we accept everything at face value. I can remember as a young child what my impressions were of the pre-Vatican II Mass and what struck me the most. I certainly did not understand the theological or doctrinal aspects of the Mass, I understood one thing only: God was present at Mass, He was "up there" at the altar, both during Mass and after Mass in the tabernacle. That captured my spiritual imagination.
My other simple understanding of the Mass was based upon what I witnessed in the congregation and the different levels of piety. At times I found the Mass boring until the bells. The bells raised my awareness that God was up there.
I remember people going to the altar railing, but one thing that struck me the most was the choir coming down from the choir loft and people going to the altar railing as the priest was receiving his Holy Communion. People would be standing in the aisle while others were kneeling at the railing and everyone else kneeling in their pews. Then the priest would turn for the Ecce Agnus Dei and the people's response and everyone standing in the aisle would fall to their knees on the hard floor. I knew that Someone important was there for people to do that.
I was also fascinated by how people acted after receiving Holy Communion and how they buried their heads and faces in their hands or laid their head on the pew in front of them as they knelt.
Our family went primarily to the Low Sunday Mass, so music doesn't really stand out in my mind. We did go on important feasts to a High Mass, but my father preferred the Low Mass. He preferred simplicity.
I wonder what people who are adults now remember about the Mass of the post-Vatican II Church as children, and by that I mean 4 years of age to about second grade. What were your first impressions and what captured your religious imagination?
And of course the dinosaurs out there who remember the pre-Vatican II Mass as a young child also should offer their initial understanding of the Mass especially prior to their First Holy Communion.