Wednesday, February 16, 2011
The Liturgy: My Way
I'm a Benedictine arrangement sort of chap, we put out more candles (six) on Sundays and Solemnities compared to two on weekday ferias, I am told that is just my eccentricity, the neighbours generally just have two.
And take the elevation; I am a two handed man myself, I raise the host and chalice above my head but some of my neighbours do it one handed and raise the host to chin level, all we are told to do is to "show it to the people". I admit it, I am over the top, a few inches would suffice.
I tend to follow the preferred option and say the Offertory prayers silently, in most parishes that is unknown.
There are other things; I use a chalice veil and a burse. The chalice veil is "praiseworthy" but not mandatory, the burse, like the maniple, isn't mentioned but then there is rubric about "preparing the altar" at the Offertory, it keeps the corporal tidy, I spread it at the Offertory and refold it after purifying the the vessels, I do that at the altar, one of the options, though many priests do it at the credence table, or even leave it to deputed laypeople.
At Holy Communion we use a Communion Plate because its use "should be retained" which is what Red. Sac. tells us, I think I might be the only person in my diocese who does use one.
Fr Hunwicke draws attention to rubrics being either "substantial, because they prescribe the form or matter of a Sacrament; or accidental when they do not prescribe form or matter." He also remind us that they can also be preceptive, directive or facultative added into the mix we can add custom and also a certain confusion over rubrics, for example many dioceses in the UK would argue Ex Mins of H. Comm. may purify the sacred vessels because it has been customary and is done everywhere, etc. etc. There is also confusion; there are, once one has entered the sanctuary, three genuflections by the celebrant after the elevations and before the Ecce Agnus Dei but then we are also told about incidental genuflexions when entering and leaving the sanctuary and when passing before the tabernacle if one is not in a procession; some texts tells us they should happen and others they shouldn't. I have always understood those that tell us shouldn't happen stem from the time the presumption was that the Blessed Sacrament was reserved in fitting and noble chapel apart from the sanctuary.
Fr Tim recently published an article on mutual enrichment, again there is confusion, the Pope himself uses elements from the Traditional Mass. The former Secretary to the CDW happily celebrated the Novus Ordo using many of the rubrics of the Traditional Mass - I can't find a link to this at the moment. If you celebrate the TLM it is difficult not to do odd things in the Novus Ordo, I don't but I want to genuflect before and after each elevation, and after uncovering or covering the chalice, and there are time I have to struggle with a passion to kiss the altar. Now, I can't help but bowing by head at the mention of the Holy Name, the name of the Blessed Virgin and the doxology, which of course in both forms one is supposed to do but it tends to be only those who celebrate the TLM that tend to do it.
Another issue that might be worth raising here, just for devilment really, is the question of microphones. The Eucharistic Prayer is supposed to be vox clara but there is no mention anywhere of vox clara plus amplification in most churches it makes little difference but in a huge basillica its absence would render even the most stentorian of voices sotto voce would it be so wrong to reproduce that effect in a parish church?
Posted by Fr Ray Blake