Thursday, April 07, 2011

Wouldn't it be a good idea...

Reading the Gospel of John at Mass seems to hammer home Jesus is God in a way that that the Synoptic Gospel - Matthew, Mark and Luke - do not.
Whenever I prepare anyone for reception into the Church I get them to try grasp what John is saying in the Prologue to the Gospel in order to get them to understand the rudiments of the Trinity and Christology. I try to set converts to be overwhelmed by the significance of what is being said. Recently I was doing the same with a lady who had been distanced from the Church for some years. She did have her mind blown by St John's Prologue and I couldn't help smiling when  she told me she had learnt it by heart then said, "Wouldn't it be a good idea if the beginning of John's Gospel was read at every Mass?" She was amazed when I said that in the Traditional Mass it was read at the end of practically every Mass.
Then she asked, "Didn't it have a negative effect on priest when it was dropped?"

Interesting thought, eh?


The Bones said...

Yes and everybody genuflects at at 'and was made flesh and dwelt among us'. St John's Gospel really is very effective at communicating Christ's Divinity at the end of Mass.

Also, however, why were the prayers at the Foot of the Altar at the end of the Mass, the Hail Mary's, Prayer to St Michael etc dropped with the final prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus ("Have mercy on us") all dropped as well.

The TLM does a LOT of teaching.

Manuel said...

Interesting indeed. Hard to understand how so many people in charge of souls fail to see the damage being inflicted on sincere believers, the faith being lost. How can a father give snakes if the kids are in need of bread?

I read a comment by Fr. de Cacqueray, he propose an answer I believe that is very sad and dramatic, but I fear true and prophetic

(apologize if quoting from this site was not allowed)

Anagnostis said...

In former times, catechumens were not permitted to hear the Gospel of St John at all (which is why it is read only after Pascha in the Eastern rites). They mystery of the Trinity does not properly belong to the public proclamation of the Gospel, but - together with the sacramental mysteries and the Holy Theotokos - to the "inner life" of the Church. It was not thought right or appropriate to introduce these things to those unillumined in baptism.

Sixupman said...

Truly the great exposition of The Faith, but all too often hurried.

My negative assessment of the promoters of the New Mass is based, inter alia, upon their excission of the Leonine Prayers and the Last Gospel, et al. What damage they have perpetrated!

B flat said...

Thank you for sharing this very perceptive remark of your convert.
Ex os infantium... holds true.

I recall, that one thing the fresh air of the Council was to dispel, was clericalism. That clerical control kept the laity instructed, and the clergy themselves, loaded with great responsibility for those entrusted to them. This was replaced by false informality and intimacies, growing from disrespect and negligence.

Moreover, a perverted form of clericalism has succeeded, using every means of power to deprive the people of what was once universally available and encouraged. Tradition nourished spiritual life, in the real hope for eventual union with God by following the Saints of centuries. The prelates and priests who will not enter, but are intent that others should not be allowed to do so, are doing the devil's work. They can claim no apostolic succession if they do not believe and pass on the patrimony transmitted by their predecessors.

santoeusebio said...

For me the Last Gospel has always been the finest piece of prose ever written. It is a tragedy that it is no longer said at the end of Mass.

The prayer to St Michael is also an essential reminder that when we leave the Church after Mass we will be confronted by the wickedness and snares of the devil.

Nicolas Bellord

Anagnostis said...

A pedant writes: the Leonine prayers were never part of the liturgical texts. You won't find them in any edition of the Missale Romanum. They were an extra-liturgical addition, and as such, I can't see any reason why they couldn't be resumed.

georgem said...

"For me the Last Gospel has always been the finest piece of prose ever written. It is a tragedy that it is no longer said at the end of Mass."
Hear, hear!
It was one of the first to be kicked into touch in the spirit of V2.
And those mean little bows which replaced the genuflection in the Credo don't even happen any more, even among some priests.
The prayers at the foot of the altar were (someone correct me if I'm mistaken) specifically for the conversion of Russia from about 1917 onwards. Even though they disappeared in the NO, they seem to have done the job.

epsilon said...

"The prayers at the foot of the altar... for the conversion of Russia... Even though they disappeared in the NO, they seem to have done the job."


You must be joking! Russia has the highest abortion rates in the world. They have sex and violence plastered over their state television day and night, hugh levels of adultery, etc. and still we Catholics don't see any need to pray for the conversion of Russia

gemoftheocean said...

Swell, I quote from Jungmann, and you just ditch it. Whatever.

georgem said...

Well, I could have put it better.
In the sense that the prayers for the conversion of Russia were intercessions for the collapse of Communism and for the revivification of the Christian church, they did work.
The secular excesses, which are mirrored in most western countries of Christian inheritance, are grievous sins which one hopes the Orthodox Church will make a better job of opposing than the churches of the west.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I haven't had a comment from you for ages.

Anita Moore said...

For me the Last Gospel has always been the finest piece of prose ever written. It is a tragedy that it is no longer said at the end of Mass.

But it is still said at the end of the Extraordinary Form.

And I know of at least one priest who does the Leonine Prayers at the end of the Novus Ordo.

No doubt the "technical" reason for getting rid of the Leonine Prayers is that they are to be said at the end of Low Mass, and there is no Low Mass in the Ordinary Form.

Gigi said...

I always thought the Leonine Prayers added a beautiful solemnity after Mass. I haven't heard them at service since I was at convent school and at retreat. I was of the impression that Pope Pius introduced them as non-compulsory prayers for good intention and that's certainly how they were said at retreat.
I think St John's gospel is so beloved because it is so emphatically gentle. The prose itself is gorgeous, but it's also full of love, passion and certainty. It's like confort reading for the soul.

The Lord’s descent into the underworld

At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...