Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jubilee Comments and "Presidency"

photo courtesy of Mac

Yesterday was a wondeful day, lots of cards, emails of congratultion, and from many of you lots of nice compliments in the combox, even rabid old priests like me like a bit of "affirmation".
Lots of my parishioners turned up; for many, some of the priests included, it was their first experience of the Traditional Rite.

I was interested in what people had to say, my parishioners are kind people, so they were all complimentary, even the few negative comments were preceeded or followed by something positive:

"It was lovely Father, can't we do it every Sunday..."
"It was lovely Father but I am glad we don't have it every Sunday."
"It was a bit like Glynebourne..., I wanted to clap"
A priest said, "I loved the music but I hated all that bobbing up and down."
"I wept all the way through it, it was like heaven."
"Convinces me how much I hate Latin."
"I liked it but I didn't feel I was participating."
A priest who had never been to a Traditional Rite Mass said, "It was incredible, the silences were pregnant".
"I was the first time I found I was praying at Mass."
"It was so majestic, just so different from Mass in my parish".
A man in his thirties said, "When I was younger it had always been rubbished by priests, and at school, and treated as a joke, thirty five mortal sins before you got your vestments on, a language you can't understand, that sort of stuff but it was wonderful... "
Another young man asked if he could learn to serve it.

For my self, I loved being able to pray during Mass, to be a priest, rather than a "presider". All the stress is on the director of music and the MC. The priest's interaction with the people is strictly controlled, the texts of his private prayer direct him continually to God. From the priest's point of view he is one who prays, who performs the ritual, yes, he celebrates, but I am not sure he "presides". I don't know how we translate this to the Missal of Paul VI, which continually uses the term "President".

After 25 years of priesthood, I am convinced I am called to be a priest, I am equally convinced I have serious difficulty with "Presidency", I want to be the servant of the liturgy, and of Christ, and of his Church, and of his people. I think the term is at odds with the Gospel.

In the Traditional Liturgy, the "bobbing about", I suspect indicates Christ Presides.
This video is the beginning of Mass, the sound quality isn't particularly brilliant. The organ pipes are right next to Nick who took the vid, but our schola were half the Church away.


Dorothy B said...

Gloucestershire is a bit too far to have travelled for the occasion, but it is a great pleasure for me and, I'm sure, for many others, to see the pictures of such a wonderful occasion, and to feel we have joined in the event from a distance. Many congratulations.

Time flies, but it was not so long ago that you were writing in your blog of your nervousness at the prospect of offering Mass at all in the Extraordinary Form; and now here you are, doing brilliantly and providing this joy for your flock. Splendid!

Pastor in Monte said...

Wise words, Father. It was a privilege to have taken part. Dat Deus incrementum.

Mulier Fortis said...

Thank you for your reflections on the Mass from a priest's point of view.

As a lay woman, I have to say that the usus antiquior is hard work, because we are all so used to having to do things or say things... becoming accustomed to praying silently (especially at Low Mass) and internalising what is happening on the sanctuary takes time and effort. It is, however, well worth the effort, and now I can hardly bear to sit through a novus ordo Mass, I find it so "wordy"!!

Once again, thank you for this wonderful Mass, and for all your years as a priest!

gemoftheocean said...

Mac, if priests just DID the NO *as written* instead of adding, pardon the expression, all the extras "crap" to it, it would be fine. But Noooooooo....they've got to extemporize. Too many just want to "wing it" to make it more *personal*. I don't mind if we pray for Mrs. Murphy's heartbreak of psoriasis operation at what you call the "bidding prayers" [and we on my side of the pond call "The prayer of the faithful." But I REALLY don't want to ALSO pray for Mrs. Murphy's big toe at the beginning of Mass [Let us gather to gether to remember blah, blah, blah and Mrs. Murphy's little toe....and oh, by the way let's eventually actually START the Mass] [Are we allowed to shoot anyone who says "gathering song?" I think we should get a "gimmee" on that one.]

And then I don't want to pray for Mrs. Murphy's gall bladder after the memorial acclaimation, and I don't want the final words to include a prompt for me to remember Mrs. Murphy's left elbow.

It's the PRIESTS at the NO masses who *can* be "Too wordy."

Oh, to be able to throw a seat cushion at my own pastor and scream "oh, for crying out loud, do I have to pull a gun on you to get you to read what's THERE and ONLY what's there?" But I don't want to "pull focus" as I am the one serving the Mass. *sigh*

And don't suggest I go elsewhere for Sunday Mass. I'm the one who makes sure ALL the Precious Blood gets consummed right after Communion, rather than languish, forelone, FORGOTTEN on the Credence table...where the deacon would have it otherwise....

Crux Fidelis said...

I do love the old rite but I feel it is a selfish pleasure and have some difficulties with it. My problems with the usus antiquior
are these: If everyone, including the celebrant, is saying his or her own private prayers how is that a communion; the majority of people do not know Latin so how are they to hear the Word proclaimed in Holy Scripture?

PS How does one do italics?

Annie said...

I find the EF just the opposite of a selfish pleasure, crux fidelis! I find it more inclusive if anything. How many people at the OF are always on the same page, or concentrating on the same thing? I do think not knowing Latin is a bit of a red herring, everything's dual text, and the gospel is read in English before the homily. You can always look up the readings before hand or afterwards anyway. You can follow what the priest is saying and doing in your missal, you can pray along with him. Or not, sometimes I just want to focus on one thing.
Like Mac says, it's different, and takes a bit of effort, but what's wrong with that? I love the silences, I love being able to just 'be'.

Richard said...

Interesting that a priest complained about the "bobbing up and down" in the Old Rite, because the bobbing about is precisely what I, as a layman, dislike about the New Rite.

Being able to just kneel and pray throughout the central part of the Mass, without having to jump up and recite a prayer or shake someone's hand every few minutes, is one of the best things about the old Mass.

I'm sorry it's not that way for the clergy; perhaps that's a consequence of the underlining of the different roles in the Old Rite.

Crux Fidelis said...

I take your points about the silences, Annie, but I think that we should hear and listen to the Word of God proclaimed during the liturgy as an integral part of it -not read from a missal before or after mass. That is fine for preparation or revision but should never be a substitute.

Crux Fidelis said...

Today is the Silver Jubilee of the episcopal ordination of the Rt Rev John Mone, Bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Paisley. The occasion will be marked this evening by a Mass in the cathedral. It is expected that most of the bishops of Scotland, including His Eminence Cardinal O'Brien, will be in attendance together with many of the priests of the diocese and the Bishop's brother, Fr Willie Mone. Please pray for this kind and holy man who has served (and continues to serve) the people of Paisley so well.

GOR said...

Beautifully done Father, and congratulations on your anniversary!

Yes, one hopes to see less of the 'presider' and more of the 'celebrant' going forward. As the Holy Father has pointed out we should not be a "self-enclosed circle" but the whole congregation looking together "towards the Lord".

Ad multos annos!

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