Thursday, March 27, 2014


I thank Mr. Steve Mastrangelo, administrator of our parish who videoed the Mass and former parishioner, now living in Houston, Mr. Lovel Miguel who formatted for YouTube and my blog.

This is our Extraordinary Form Solemn Sung Mass for the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Father Dawid Kwiatkowski, parochial vicar, is the deacon and Deacon Donald Coates is the Subdeacon. Mr. Beau Palmer is the cantor, with our schola and choir under the direction of Ms. Nelda Chapman, Director of Music.

Just a point of interest, at least for me, the matching set of vestments have been here at St. Joseph since the late 1950's at least. I was stationed at St. Peter Claver as a transitional deacon from January 1980 through August of that year. When it was time for my priestly ordination on June 7, 1980, Bishop Raymond Lessard asked that I bring this set of vestments to our Savannah's cathedral so these could be used by him and the two permanent deacons for the Ordination Mass. How cool is that? I was ordained with two others, Father John Lyons and the late, Fr. Tom Campbell who spent time as a parochial vicar here.


Anonymous said...

Father, were there any people who were around before Vatican II at this Mass? I always wonder what people who were alive before the changes think upon seeing this Mass again (though I suppose at your church, the jump between pre-and-post-Vatican II liturgical celebration isn't incredibly drastic). :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, and one more question, Father.....did you have a microphone during the Canon? Because I just notice it was much easier to hear you here than at the church where I go to the EF, where the Canon is virtually silent. Honestly, I do like being able to hear it just slightly, as in this video...But I don't like the "loud voice" Canon of the Novus Ordo.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I am wearing a microphone and while I do pray the Canon in a low voice, it is able to be heard as a low voice over the sound system.

No one has mentioned any comparisons to their pre-Vatican II experience and today's experience except people today want to verbally participate, especially the older people who loved the transition from being quiet to more verbal participation.

John Nolan said...

I liked the altar arrangement. The large candlesticks either side of the altar are ideal for versus populum celebration, but your noble free-standing altar can easily take six candles and a central crucifix when celebrating ad orientem. The vestments were great; the difference between the dalmatic and tunicle (rarely seen in Roman sets) was evident.

The Mass itself was a mixture of EF and OF. I was surprised to see the Asperges - this is reserved for Sundays. During the incensations the celebrant and ministers should all genuflect when passing the centre of the altar. The deacon, when handing things to the priest and receiving them back should kiss the object and the priest's hand (except in Requiem Masses); these osculations were only removed in 1965. The Deo Gratias after the Epistle and the Laus tibi Christe after the Gospel are NOT sung in the EF. Nor does the priest sit while the deacon prepares the altar at the Offertory - this is OF practice. At the Offertory everyone is incensed in order; the priest, clergy in choir and the subdeacon by the deacon, who is himself incensed by the thurifer, who then incenses the people.

The ministers were not familiar with the EF - aside from the subdeacon not holding the paten in a humeral veil, a practice which again was not suppressed until 1965, the deacon is supposed to remove and replace the chalice pall before and after the consecration. What happened to the Kiss of Peace? It wasn't in the video.

The chant switched from Mass VIII (Kyrie and Gloria) to Mass XI (Sanctus and Agnus Dei). Nothing wrong with that, of course, although I suspect the congregation would have been more familiar with the latter two items in the Mass VIII setting.

Even on my computer I could hear every word of the Canon. Again, this is pandering to OF expectations. The Mass was beautifully done, but I would prefer an entirely Latin OF Mass to something which falls between too stools. You could keep the Roman Canon, omit the Prayer of the Faithful and congregational sign of peace, give Communion in one kind only, dispense with the extraordinary monsters and serviettes and still stay within the rules. The chant is identical.

Or present your senior server with a copy of Fortescue and tell him he's now an MC.

Anonymous said...

John, I'm surprised you didn't mention the major matter of the thurifer at the center OF style for the incensing of the elevated Host and Chalice, whereas the Ritus servandus specifies clearly that (in English translation) "The thurifer, kneeling on the Epistle side, incenses the Host when it is elevated, and likewise the Chalice."

Seriously, it is not strictly necessary that the clerical ministers be familiar with the solemn EF Mass. In our community we cannot always assume this when we occasionally have substitute ministers, so we provide an MC whose familiarity with the EF includes a detailed knowledge of Fortescue, and whose job it is to correctly direct the ministers. (Here again, it seems to be a Novus Ordo thing that priests decide for themselves how to do it.)

Veritas said...

You've pointed out the painful truth John.....Priests interpret SP to allow them to say the EF Mass as if it were some sort of hybrid OF/EF and not strictly according to the MR62 as authorized. When you get right down to it, the approach is no different than folks interpretting V2 to mean what they wanted it to mean when it came to Liturgy.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The mutual enrichment of both forms of the Mass is something that I deeply appreciate hearing from Pope Benedict. Certainly he would approve of the thurifer at the center rather than the Epistle side to short that continuity.

John Nolan said...

Henry, I think Fr MacDonald does a fantastic job, but since the OF rubrics are fairly flexible, one can have a Solemn Mass in Latin, with all the Ordinary and Proper chants, plus the Roman Canon, without people like you or I finding fault.

Too many people think OF equals vernacular and EF equals Latin. I confess that I have certain reservations about the Novus Ordo, and on balance prefer the classic Roman Rite, but provided one takes it on its own terms the OF is not per se objectionable. I doubt if it will still be around in 200 years time, but that's not my problem.

Anonymous said...

John, for either an OF or an EF Mass to be celebrated well, it should be celebrated in complete obedience to the rubrics for its own form. (And it is not within the province of anyone, pope or otherwise, to "approve" violation of validly legislated rubrics.)

I don't really have reservations about the Novus Ordo, and I would much rather see an OF Mass celebrated well than a TLM celebrated not celebrated well. This is why, despite my personal commitment of time and resources to the TLM for years, I do not advocate its celebration by priests who, however well intentioned, are not properly trained to celebrate it well. (So, for instance, I never have and would never encourage a priest to celebrate an EF Mass who is not enthusiastic about doing so.)

The rubrics for the EF do not admit of "mutual enrichment" by their violation. The rubrics of the OF are (for better or worse) sufficiently flexible to admit of much mutual enrichment, from the EF and otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Henry...."(And it is not within the province of anyone, pope or otherwise, to "approve" violation of validly legislated rubrics.)"

Pope Pius XII seems to say otherwise in Mediator Dei paragraph 58, "It follows from this that the Sovereign Pontiff alone enjoys the right to recognize and establish any practice touching the worship of God, to introduce and approve new rites, as also to modify those he judges to require modification."

John Nolan said...

Anonymous, Pius XII in MD 58 is not suggesting that the pope can change the rites on an arbitrary and ad hoc basis, or disregard or alter rubrics as he sees fit. What he is saying is that any changes in liturgical law must be approved by the Sovereign Pontiff.

Anonymous said...

Of course, Anonymous, the Sovereign Pontiff ALONE (which was the point to this statement in Mediator Dei) has the power of final approval (as supreme legislator} of liturgical practices.

But he does so only in a proper fashion as legislator not by vague implication or personal introduction of innovations on the fly.

Be all this as it may, let me add that Fr. McDonald is surely in the top 1/10 of one percent of all U.S. priests in liturgical practice and fidelity. And whatever any pope may think, I personally regard whether the thurifer is at center or epistle is the least important issue I can imagine. If only the elevated Host and Chalice were incensed from somewhere or anywhere at every OF Mass where incense is used at all, who could complain?

Anonymous said...

John Nolan...what is your basis for your statement? Is there some context from MD that I am missing? It seems to me that MD is saying that when the Pope wants to change something in the Liturgy, all he has to do is change it...I am unclear about where all the stipulations you bring in come from. I would be grateful for the cause of your understanding of that line.

John Nolan said...


In MD Pius XII pays tribute to the work of the Liturgical Movement, but condemns those who make changes to the liturgy on their own authority, and reprobates the tendency to regard early liturgical practices as somehow being more authentic than later developments (so-called 'archaeologism'). He also warns against restoring elements that have fallen into desuetude simply because they are ancient. These tendencies were already evident in 1947, and were allowed more or less free reign in the 1960s.

This is the context in which MD 58 needs to be read. Pius XII did indeed authorize changes in the liturgy, particularly as regards Holy Week, with not altogether happy results. But they came about as the result of legislation, and not arbitrary deviation from existing norms. This, I assume was Henry's original point.