Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Guide for the Faithful at Missa Cantata

I am someone who really pushes hard for those who are not familiar with the ancient form of the Roman Rite or who are interested but have never been able to attend to go to Sung Masses. I believe the Sung Mass, if not the full and proper Solemn Mass, is the best way to introduce most Catholics who primarily attend the modern rite. But I keep hearing (*ahem, ma famille*) that people will just be confused and not know what to do. OK, there are the ubiquitous "red books" printed by the Coalition in Support of "Ecclesia Dei." But they don't contain the Propers for 364 days of the year, since the books use as a model the Mass of Trinity Sunday. They also place the rubrics for High Mass (Sung Mass is often called High Mass, which can get confused with Solemn Mass...) and Low Mass next to each other, and that's not very helpful.

So I decided to put together a document in PDF that explains the gestures of the faithful on a single page that can be used as a more lengthy explanation that accompanies a printed order of service. I believe this is the way to go. It cuts down on getting one's nose lost in the "red book," which is almost a guaranteed event when first assisting at the traditional Mass (I was there six years or so ago...). One can provide the translations, though the printed ordo will have to be a bit long and creative. The "red books" or a solid hymnal-for either form, though preferably with chant notation- should provide the music and text for the Ordinary. OK, that's one more hurdle, chant notation. I generally figured it out by sight, which is sufficient for  the Gloria of Missa de Angelis in particular, but I think we should get people as used to it as possible because chant is much harder with modern notation. (And no, the sheet should not in the format-generously provided, however- of the Una Voce Orange County sheets: there's no room for anything else, and one should be flexible with translations and such.).

I'm relatively certain that this is applicable to all Sung Masses and Solemn Masses, excepting Requiem Masses. And I know it's not as useful on the Continent and other places where the proper posture for the Canon is followed...but it is a good start, I think.

Please read the introductory paragraph, then feel free to offer any comments on the listed practices (so I especially need feedback from those who have been to diocesan, clerical society, or monastic liturgies in at least a few places). And please share it! Just please attribute my name and blog with a link...I know people have put these things online before but it's not useful as a web document to take to Mass. It is mighty useful, however, as a PDF document for someone to reproduce or to print. I put it in Google Drive, and I will also place this under my Useful Info page.

1 comment:

  1. Matt, nice work. You might want to add the Asperges which occurs first before a High Mass actually begins. People stand throughout the Asperges and then sit at the conclusion while the celebrant changes his vestments.