Sunday, December 3, 2023


I still think, despite those younger priests who want to go backwards, that the celebrant’s chair has a liturgical significance in the Modern Mass that it did not have in the TLM. To impose the TLM’s sedalia purpose on the chair in the Modern Mass is incorrect and does not acknowledge the development of liturgical theology that has occurred with the Modern Mass Chair. 

The liturgical development concerning the Celebrant’s Chair in the past 50 years means that the chair is used for the Liturgy and given a prominence it did not have in the TLM’s sedalia. That prominence is in the style of the chair (which shouldn’t be throne like in appearance, which has occurred unfortunately, nor placed as it was in the TLM). It should have a prominent location as it had at St. Anne’s in Richmond Hill and at St. Gregory’s in the photos with this post! 

But this might be a happy compromise born of necessity.

St. Gregory the Great Church in Bluffton, South Carolina (Diocese of Charleston) where I assist on Sundays, since the pandemic has had the Roman Missal on the altar from start to finish. The Mass begins and ends at the chair with this exception which I like:

The Introductory Rite begins at the Chair but after the Gloria, the Priest says or chants “Let us pray” and then proceed to the altar to pray the Collect. Then he returns to the chair for the Liturgy of the Word.

At the end of Holy Communion, once the Hosts are returned to the tabernacle and as the deacon finishes the “ablutions” the priest sits at the chair. After the appropriate silence, he stands, says or chants “Let us pray” and proceeds to the altar for the Prayer after Holy Communion, the blessing and dismissal. 

What I like about that is that it brings liturgical movement to these parts of the Mass which is a “take” on the liturgical movement that happens at the altar in the TLM. 

As I have said before, the TLM is Liturgical Dance and there is no need to impose dance on that Mass. The liturgical dancing of the TLM was horribly deformed in the revised Mass, so adding some liturgical dance as I described above isn’t a bad idea for the MRM!

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