Monday, September 26, 2011

Missa Lecta in full Dialogue with Music on the Feast of Christ the King

Update: We are very pleased that over 75 people attended the Mass at St. Mary Immaculate.

If we fully implemented the desire of St. Pius X and the liturgical documents of his successors Pius XI, Pius XII and Benedict XV, what would the Missa Lecta, the Read Mass more commonly referred to as the Low Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite look like?

The norm for celebrating the Mass is to be Solemn (Missa Solemnis) with Deacon and Subdeacon. If this is not possible then a Sung Mass (Missa Cantata) is the exception and if no music is available it is a Missa Lecta or Read Mass, more unfortunately referred to as "Low" Mass, as if any Divine Worship could ever be considered, "low."

Between 1903 and 1958 significant liturgical documents were issued in harmony with the great Saint's desire to see the laity take full and conscious actual and active participation in the liturgy to develop their own personal holiness. This participation is to be internal and external and involves understanding not only the words of the liturgy through our translations in the Missal but what they mean and what each liturgical actions signifies. The "spectator" role of the Catholic in the pew was to come to an end. While the rosary and devotionals are important, their place in the Mass was not correct. "Don't pray at Mass, pray the Mass...Don't sing at Mass, sing the Mass!' These were the words of St. Pius X!"

There was an ignoring of the documents issued by the Sacred Congregation of Rites and the Popes who agreed with the Liturgical Movement to change not the Mass, but how we approached the Mass. I believe that the consistent lack of obedience to Rome lead to the direct takeover of the liturgical extremists who have wreaked havoc on the Church's patrimony for the last 45 years, an extremism which is only know dissipating.

Some devotees of the traditional liturgy will accuse what you will read below as heresy or an abuse or some improper influence of the Novus Ordo on the Usus Antiquior.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Roman Missal of 1962 was issued with the addition of St. Joseph to the Canon, the elimination of the Confiteor before Communion (where in place, it could continued) a change in the Good Friday prayer and some other minor changes some modification and simplification of the rubrics.

Most parishes did not purchase a new 1962 Altar Missal, they simply wrote in the name St. Joseph and taped over the old, the new Prayer for the Jewish People; in fact, I have one of these. By the time they might have gotten around to actually obtaining a new 1962 Roman Missal, the 1965 edition was issued which was necessary to purchase and a few years later, the Novus Ordo was promulgated and the opportunity for true liturgical development to the Usus Antiquior lay hidden and virtually unknown, until now.

While the desire to "sing the Mass" clearly included the Gregorian chant Propers and the entire Ordinary as this is the fullest expression of the liturgy (as it is also in the Novus Ordo Missae) this was not and is not always possible. Many priests and parishes may wish to move forward and include the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite as a regularly scheduled Mass in the weekly schedule. The ability to undertake the Mass in all its ceremonial and musical completeness may not be possible. This represents an optional along hte way.

According to the 1962 rubrics and the more recent Universae Ecclesiae, here is what you will experience at this Mass in the Extraordinary Form:

  • Organ: Prelude & Fugue in D Minor -- J.S. Bach
  • Processional Hymn: CROWN HIM WITH MANY CROWNS
  • Prayers at the Foot of the Altar (All)
  • Introit: Dignus est Agnus (Priest)
  • Kyrie from Gregorian Mass VIII--Missa de Angelis (sung by all)
  • Gloria (recited by all)
  • Epistle in English with the response by all, Deo Gratias
  • Graduale: Dominabitur (Priest)
  • Alleluia: Postestas eius (Priest)
  • Gospel in English with all responding in Latin to its introduction and conclusion, Laud tibi, Christe
  • Homily
  • Creed (recited by all)
  • Offertory: Postula (Priest)
  • Hymn: LORD, ACCEPT THE GIFTS WE OFFER
  • Sanctus from Gregorian Mass VIII--Missa de Angelis (sung by all)
  • Pater Noster (recited by all)
  • Agnus Dei from Gregorian Mass VIII--Missa de Angelis (sung by all)
  • Jesu Rex Admirabilis -- G.P. da Palestina
  • Hymn: LET ALL MORTAL FLESH KEEP SILENCE
  • Communion Antiphon: Sedebit (Priest)
  • Last Gospel responses
  • Recessional Hymn: TO JESUS CHRIST OUR SOVERIGN KING
  • Organ Postlude: Te Deum -- M.A. Charpentier

St. Mary Immaculate, Richmond Hill
Yonge Street
Sunday, October 29, 2011
Pre-Mass talk on the rubrics 6:30 PM
Holy Mass at 7:00 PM

1 comment:

  1. I would LOVE it if this were really true. However, sources I have read imply that (bizarre as it may seen) only NON-liturgical music/hymns may be sung at Low Mass. I thought that singing the Propers or Ordinary (during the corresponding parts) was forbidden. For example:

    http://www.musicasacra.com/pdf/lowmass.pdf


    If this is not true, I would love that (it certainly would make "fuller" Masses that nevertheless can't reach the level of a Sung Mass more feasible!)

    I would also point out the implication that IF the Propers and/or Ordinary ARE allowed to be sung ("extra-liturgically" by the congregation or whatever) during a Low or Read Mass, then the jump to singing them ("extra-liturgically") in the VERNACULAR (as if they were just English hymns) would by the same logic be allowed too (which might be a way to, essentially, create an English Old Rite Mass by layering "unofficial" English propers and ordinary "over" a Latin Low Mass, which might be a way to "ease people into" traditional liturgy who are used to the Novus Ordo and vernacular).

    But, alas, I have my doubts whether this is true. If you could find a source that proves it is, I'd be very happy to see it.

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