Saturday, November 15, 2008

Brain Dead


I have had a busy day, tomorrow is going to be worst, though there is a nice quiet start with Mass at 10.30, just a couple of people to see beforehand, then the 45 minutes or hour or so afterwards is a bit hectic chatting to parishioners, signing forms, arranging appointments. Some of us normally end up going for a quick drink in one of the pubs which are all around us here. A sandwich for lunch, normal for a Sunday, then a baptism, the party, I have to go to, then the 5 o'clock Mass, then Mass in the Extraordinary Form at 6pm. This is my first public TLM, say a prayer I am rather nervous. The last few days I have been going over and over this, many thanks to the good Canons of St John Cantius, making sure I am facing the right direction for the Dominus Vobiscums, and learning the prayers I need to know by heart and getting the formula for Holy Communion right, I know it, but the problem is God likes to teach priests humility in public. The Canons are pre '62 here.
When I get tired my brain goes dead, I remember once being slightly distracted at a funeral and I couldn't remember what came after, "Forgive us our trespasses".
I have got to the stage where nothing else will go in.

I am a bit worried about my Latin pronunciation, I have only said a public Mass once or twice in Latin in the last eight years, before that I used to be sent along weekly to the nuns at St Cecelia's on the Isle of Wight to sing Mass for them in Latin in the Ordinary Form. Singing somehow is easier it gives rhythm and structure.

For those who come, it is going to take a little longer than normal, I can't see how priests did it in 15/20 minutes.

22 comments:

lms rep said...

You are in my prayers, Father, as you were when you announced you were going to learn the rubrics of the TLM.

Rachel Gray said...

"God likes to teach priests humility in public."

Haha! Another reason to pray for priests. I've already prayed that your TLM tomorrow will go smoothly.

Victoria said...

I can't see how priests did it in 15/20 minutes.

They didn't. It's one of those myths which have been repeated so often that it is accepted as truth.

A bit like 'the church was full of people saying the rosary'. Rubbish - the church was full of people following the Mass reverently from their missals. Weekday Masses were shorter of course than Sunday Masses because there was no homily or creed but in my saying of the English with the priest saying the Latin I was never conscious of him gabbling pages ahead of me. I am sure that most people would say the same. Sunday Masses were never under an hour; now our Sunday Mass is done and dusted in 40 minutes max and this is with everyone going to Holy Communion.

C said...

this comment brings with it the requested prayers. God Bless you Father - Cappadocian sister

Anonymous IV said...

Dominus tecum.

fr paul harrison said...

You will be in my prayers at 6pm. My last Low ( wwekday ) Mass took over 30 mins!.

I'm sure my pronunciation of the Latin is worse then your so don't worry about it. As our local LMS rep said, she was just pleased that EF is being said.

Ttony said...

Father, you are my prayers today.

GeorgeM said...

Victoria is dead right. Myths abound about the TLM, perpetuated by those who didn't/don't like it, never bothered to immerse themselves deeply in it, or were not properly taught about the Mass in school. Plus ca change.
Sunday Mass with the Epistle and Gospel said in Latin, then repeated in English, with just the celebrant giving out Holy Communion (one kind only) and prayers at the foot of the altar at the end would take not much under an hour.
Weekdays were different. It was a "straight through" Mass, with no repeat in English of the Epistle and Gospel and no sermon. It could be done in 20 minutes without rushing and there were, of course, far fewer communicants.
I am sure all our prayers will carry you through this evening, Father, and everyone will be busy learning/relearning the Mass of Ages, with the aid of helpful hints in their missals - and thanking God for the blessed silence.

Volpius Leonius said...

God loves a trier Father ;)

Praying that God blesses your efforts with abundant good fruit.

gemoftheocean said...

"I can't see how priests did it in 15/20 minutes" My mom and I thought Fr. "Speedy Gonzales" Fromholtzer, skipped half of it and mumbled the rest. Only his server knew for sure.

Seriously, hope it all goes fine for you. Such a nice present for yourself! :-D

Don't worry too much. The Sainted Father S., now 80, tells me in his last year in seminary they used to go over and over "dry masses" the better part of his last year.

Victoria, it's NOT "one of those myths" my mother clocked Fr. Fromholtzer at 17 minutes flat one Sunday. He didn't give a sermon at the first Mass of the day. But if you look in the St. Joseph's hand missal for the people [and others] the intro to the book mentioned "a half hour" for Sunday Mass as a "norm." Cut out that 10 minute sermon and you are down to 20 minutes, speed up your speech or be in a sunday without a gloria (advent, for instance) and voila, there's your 17 minutes - EASY.

Dads liked it because if you went early, they could take a nap again before watching NFL football.

A lot of people went to the early Masses with no singing on a Sunday AND it *was* very common to see a lot of elderly ladies in the front pews clacking their rosaries. And I DID confirm my own memory of that with Fr. S (who is 80 and said a Latin Mass for 10 years) -- it drove him to distress because they were NOT following the Mass. For that reason alone he was glad they changed it to English. Yes. Many people DID use hand missals - but don't think everyone there was "reverently following the Mass." Maybe in their own way, but as far as the rosary ladies were concerned, he could have been saying Mass backwards and they wouldn't ahve caught it. And frankly, if your Sunday Mass WAS "an hour" you must have gone to the high Mass, which most people avoided like the plague, because "It takes so long."

And I might remind "Georgem" that another priest from the rectory (they had two priests then at least in most parishes - in the US anyway, sometimes 3 or 4) - would come over to help with communion.

And I don't not like the Latin Mass - it's wonderful for those who take the time to learn it.

I'm sure Fr. Ray will make a fine account. And of course I'll pray for him that all goes well.

PeterHWright said...

Father shouldn't worry about forgetting the odd bit here and there, not with the Missal in front of him. Just do the red and say the black (and having an experienced altar server helps).

As to forgetting familiar things, I more than once have seen priests lose their place halfway through the Creed (in English), lose count of the Hail Marys when leading the Rosary, and suddenly grind to a halt when reciting the Leonine prayers after Mass.

Nothing like having the texts to hand, just in case !

With a prayer.

umblepie said...

God bless Father, everything will be fine - 'Dominus vobiscum'.......

Mac McLernon said...

Will be praying for you, Father.

Just remember this... pronunciation doesn't matter... most of the Mass is said silently!!!
;-)

George said...

Fr Ray you'll be just fine and your parishioners will be all the 'richer' in their spiritual formation because of your efforts with the TLM. I'm sure Brighton will be a Holier place this evening too. You are in our prayers.

God Bless.

In partibus infidelium said...

I certainly pray for you, your blog is such an example of good sense and Christian charity.

dillydaydream said...

I went to an EF Mass this morning. all that was going through my mind was:
Is 27th after Pentecost in 1962 missal equal to 5th or 6th Sunday after Epiphany in my 1955 one? (Found out thanks to the intelligent sermon)
Which bits do we sing twice in the Kyrie - I only know the Missa de Angelis, and I cant make out if that's an asterisk.
Is that the pre-gospel Alleluia, or have I lost my place? Should I stand during it (like some of the congregation) or at the end of it, like the others?
Is it time to kneel yet, or wait for the collection to finish?
Why am I the only one wearing a mantilla - last time I was the only one not wearing a hat - am I being a precieuse ?
Should we be singing the Pater Noster? It's not in bold - but the man next to me is singing away.

We were caught unawares several times, and my son got his feet caught under the kneeler at one point (which he bore with fortitude).


So I didn't have a chance to see if the priest was makng any mistakes....and I'm sure your congregation will feel exactly the same.

It was a beautiful experience, and next time I'll know a bit more, and the time after that....
Rome wasn't rebuilt in a day.

Moretben said...

I was discussing western pernicketiness with a fellow Orthodox convert after Divine Liturgy the other week, and noticed our deacon tuning into the conversation: "...whereas here" he beamed, "we do it so badly you can't even get to used to our mistakes".

I hope all went well, Father ;0)

Rachel Gray said...

Amen, dillydaydream! I had to go to a TLM four or five times before my distraction from all the details decreased enough for me to feel I was actually worshiping God.

Now that I know the TLM pretty well I find it an amazing experience, which seems effortlessly to lift me up to Him.

miss book said...

Lots of prayers for you Fr., I hope that we, the laity, don't underestimate the extra effort that may be involved when our priests prepare to offer the TLM.Thanks to you and all priests who are willing to do so.
Can't help wishing I lived a bit closer...

Georgem said...

I was there. And Father done good.

nickbris said...

Very well done Father,didn't exactly take me back half a century but it will eventually.

When one of the local monks came to St Swithins they did get it done in 20 mins,that's why we loved them and the queue to serve was a mile long;well a couple of yards anyway.

We loved it.

Richard said...

15/20 minutes? The Old Rite certainly is slow in that case. When I was at school one priest could say the early morning New Rite Mass in under 7 minutes.