Sunday, December 24, 2017



John Nolan said...

For some years now, BBC TV has transmitted Midnight Mass from a Catholic venue, and Christmas Day Eucharist from an Anglican one. It was interesting this year to compare the two.

Midnight Mass was from Leeds Cathedral and was celebrated by the newish (2014) and youngish (b. 1961) bishop, Marcus Stock. It followed the usual formula for these occasions, which are time-constrained and have to appeal to a non-Catholic audience - carols replacing the Propers, a decent setting of the Gloria, Sanctus and Agnus Dei (Haydn), Credo III. The choir is large and predominately young, and they sang well. The bishop prayed the Roman Canon, in a reverent manner without omissions, and since I rarely hear it in English, I was struck by the elevated and grown-up language of the new translation.

The Anglican service was from a fairly 'high' church in Fulham. A good choir (Mozart setting), even more carols. The celebrant was female and like most of her ilk, reminded one of a primary school teacher addressing a class of nine-year-olds. The outline of the service followed the Roman Mass (including a version of EP II) but the language was a throwback to the bad old days of the obsolete ICEL/ICET version which PrayTellers still hanker after.

Bishop Stock upset Tablet readers in November by celebrating an EF Pontifical High Mass in his cathedral (it was a Requiem for his deceased predecessors). He had spent some months taking instruction in the rubrics and said he believed it to be his duty as a bishop to care for all his flock, including those attached to the older rite. One Tablet reader found this almost unbearably sad. What's wrong with these people? A bishop in another diocese celebrates Mass on a single occasion in a manner approved by the Church, and it ruins their day.

John Nolan said...

The Pope's Mass last night indicated how much the music in St Peter's has improved in the last twenty years. I have a recording of JP II celebrating the Missa in Nocte sometime in the 1990s and it is excruciatingly awful. A pity, however, that they don't sing the Proper chants for the Gradual and Alleluia. I have to fast-forward to avoid some would-be Pavarotti performing, in Italian, an operatic version of the Responsorial Psalm.

And the polyglot Bidding Prayers are a waste of time and an embarrassment. There might be a point to them, but it eludes me. We know the Church is universal, which is why on these occasions the universal language, Latin, is used.

Mark Thomas said...

Peace and good health to you, as well as your family (I pray, in particular, for the eternal rest of your great mother and father, who raised a holy man in you), Father McDonald.

Peace and good health to each person who reads Father's wonderful blog.

Father McDonald, thank you for having allowed me to participate here.

In 2018 A.D., may each Catholic everywhere submit to Pope Francis' God-given authority to teach, govern, and sanctify the Holy People of God. In that way, Holy Mother Church will enjoy worldwide holy success throughout the new year.


Mark Thomas

Please pray for our persecuted sister in Jesus Christ, Asia Bibi.

Rood Screen said...

John Nolan,

If I may attempt an answer to your question, I'd suggest that because the weekly Bidding Prayers were introduced by SC as part of the cautious nod to the vernacular, it is fitting that an international congregation hear them announced in various languages. I, for one, would be very content with a Latin Ordinary and a multi-tongued Proper, at least in preference to what we have now in the OF Mass as usually celebrated.

As for the objection in your second post, it seems pointless to apply a rational approach to understanding those who oppose the persistent existence of the Roman Mass in its extraordinary form. It seems increasingly clear to me that their battle against the EF is driven by some irrational fear, if not some darker force from below.