Monday, January 10, 2022



At Praytell on a very good post by Deacon Fritz Bauerschmidt with many good comments not eliminated or derided by any moderator, Paul Innwood declares that the Eucharistic Prayer is too long and boring and needs more acclamations inserted into it to keep the congregation engaged. 

He points to one of the children’s Eucharistic Prayers that has multiple acclamations to keep the kiddies engaged. Oh my!   Please God, No!

For the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord, our parish used “Year C” readings (optional) and I used the Blessing and Sprinking of Holy Water to include the blessing of salt added to it.

Let me speak about the Rite of Sprinkling. I think having a long prayer to bless the Holy Water prior to Sprinkling it is boring and needlessly time consuming. Use water already blessed, and after the Greeting, do the older Asperges (in Latin or English). That would shorten it and make it more engaging. 

The Responsorial Psalm for “Year C” has way, way, way, way, too many verses. And thus, way, way, way, way, too many refrains. Talk about being wordy! The Gradual is so much more succinct and engaging because of its brevity. 

But all the refrains to the way, way, way too many verses of the Psalm reminded me of Innwood’s suggestion that more acclamations be inserted into the Eucharistic Prayer. Why? To make it even longer and more boring? To make it seem even more interminable? 

Let’s look at the style of the Roman Canon in the Antecedent Mass. That’s the key, a low voice canon prayed very quietly (low voice) with all the extra blessings and bodily gestures stripped from it in the late 1960’s. These gestures where a kind of “sign or body” language and sadly removed. 

Facing the congregation while the priest prays this, but in a very low voice but with all the hand and bodily gestures would make it more engaging and emphasize the contemplative aspect of the Canon which is lost with the proclamation form of it today. We need to teach people once again about “contemplative” Prayer during Mass especially during “active” silences when there is actually quiet formal prayer taking place not just dead silence for the sake of dead silence, what is really just a “pregnant” pause!

With the very low voice Canon, it could be prayed in Latin and thus follow what Vatican II actually said we must do, maintain Latin! 

But modern liturgists and musicians like Paul Innwood simply don’t get the transcendent aspect of the Mass and the Liturgy of the Eucharist in particular. It is all horizontal and performance oriented and far from prayer and contemplation, far from transcendence, mystery, wonder and awe! Far from giving God beautiful worship, which is pleasing to Him, like incense rising to Him like a pleasing fragrance. 


Fr Martin Fox said...

Mr. Inwood and his ilk, the now-grizzald veterans of the Great War for the As-Yet-Not-Fully-Discovered Spirit of Vatican II, remind me of the famous (but perhaps apocryphal) quote by Tallyrand, about the Bourbons: "They have learned nothing and forgotten nothing."

They always go back and try the same thing over and over again. More of the same, please! It's bound to work eventually!

TJM said...

Father Fox,

Well said. Now I am wondering if the CDW flat out lied or made up the “evidence” to restrict the EF? After all the Vatican was pretty good at suppressing the truth concerning the clerical sex scandals.

John Nolan said...

Fr McDonald

I hope you're not suggesting that inaudibility is a precondition for praying in Latin! Seriously, if you're going to use the older Asperges, it should precede the Introit and greeting (the rubrics are not clear as to when the Mass actually starts). It doesn't replace the Penitential Act.

The response in the RP can be omitted when it is not sung, but the Gradual with its verse, if sung according to the Graduale Romanum usually takes longer than the sung RP.

At Oxford the Fathers of the Oratory use the older Asperges rite at the Solemn Latin OF Sunday Mass (which effectively does away with the 'entrance procession') and have dropped the so-called Universal Prayer altogether. It was always a tiresome interlude and is not missed. So apart from the readings (and the Gospel is often sung) everything is in Latin apart from a hymn after the end of Mass. Such fripperies as the 'offertory procession' have also been discarded.

I have always found the English Mass a colossal bore; it's like being treated to an hour-long lecture by a poor lecturer with no Q&A session afterwards. And the music is usually crap.