Monday, May 30, 2011

The Mass that Hurts

Here is picture from Arundel and Brighton Latin Mass Society after last Saturday's High Mass at West Grinstead, seven of us went over to serve and sing taking with us a extra few friends.
Today I made a rather lame excuse to Sean from Juventutem not to assist as deacon at their forthcoming High Mass in London, my thighs ache, it is all that genuflecting, today and Sunday I found it really painful to genuflect. I know, the only cure is to go into strict training; jogging round the streets of Brighton, cantering over the Downs, gym membership (maybe not), all for the Sacred Liturgy.
The deacon at High Mass genuflects almost twice as much as the celebrant, and you have to be quick otherwise you genuflect in vain. I wonder if this is why older priests seem to dislike the Usus Antiquior.

Discussion point: were priests before the Novus Ordo fitter, does the newer form contribute to clerical obesity etc.?


Gigi said...

Stay away from gyms Father Ray, I fear they may be the work of dark forces. You need to try yoga: excellent for the thighs, knees and general balance. Kick boxing also good, although not as meditative and possible very difficult in a soutane. :)

Sadie Vacantist said...

Judging from the photo, there are certainly some fit looking chicks in the A&B LMS!

RAnn said...

What was more common back in the day, the high mass or the low mass? Did the low mass require as much genuflection?

Anita Moore said...

I have often thought that the fact that the usus antiquior is more physically demanding may be one reason so many priests are opposed to it -- and not just the older ones.

I bet priests did get more exercise in the old days, and not just because of the form of the Mass: before the wide availability of cars, no doubt they did a lot of walking and/or horseback riding to make sick calls. But I'm not sure that necessarily translated to being in better shape than priests today: there were also poorer nutrition and medical care.

Richard Collins said...

They do say, Father, that the best form of exercise is to touch the ground regularly with your knees :)

leutgeb said...


That would be our Schola who are from A&B, Southwark and Westminster.

Nice to see you again, Father.

Anagnostis said...

Sadie, you're incorrigible!

Father: "Lord have mercy" x 50 touching the ground every time!

nickbris said...

Genuflecting gets more difficult with age,probably why the new system became as popular as it is.Some of it does seem a bit unnecessary and a lot of the bobbing & bowing can bring ridicule to the proceedings.

gemoftheocean said...

I think in some ways the subdeacon really has a terrible lot having to hold up the patten in front of his face for an inordinate amount of time in complete stillness. It's like some flunky ticked off the pope eons ago and the pope said 'okay, buster, from now on you'll stand directly behind the deacon with the paten in such a way you'll wish you'd never been born.'

As for the NO itself contributing to obesity? No. Not unless they've been adding HFCS to the bread and wine. That's still a no-no, but God alone knows what the hippies in LA add to their recipes.

Pastor in Monte said...

Fr Ray is right; the deacon definitely gets the worst of it. Not only more than double the number of the celebrant's genuflections, but he has to do them unsupported, whereas the celebrant can hang onto the altar.

santoeusebio said...

If we are to receive Communion on our knees (which I welcome) then for crumblies like myself altar rails should be compulsory as a matter of Health & Safety unless you want us keeling over!

Bob K. said...

Were priests before the Novus Ordo fitter. Not according to this video.

I'm going to create a Nintendo WI Liturgical Dance video game to help you keep fit. Build some muscle in those thighs. He He!!

Nathan said...

Father, I think the solution is obvious. Become a bishop, then you will have two assistant priests and two deacons to help with all your genuflexions.

Seriously, it does seem that the rubrics for High Mass assume that the deacon and subdeacon are younger than the celebrant.

In Christ,

Gertrude said...

A friend of mine finds that when borrowing vestments of some age when celebrating EF, and the genuflections make a little more than his knees ache - given the weight of said vestments!

kiwiinamerica said...

Actually Father, jogging won't help much.

The muscles which you need to work on are your quadriceps on the front of your upper leg. I suggest a few squats from time to time.

If you really want to shape up then you could even do some jumping jacks! The latter would likely enable you to say three EF Masses on a Sunday and would give you quads like a Tour de France cyclist on steroids!

Mundabor said...

Walking and gardening should do the trick, I suppose.

In my experience, gyms do not really help, as daily but gentle exercise helps more than a tour de force twice a week.


Physiocrat said...

Try stretching exercises in the privacy of your bedroom.

Gigi said...

Irish dancing.... I forgot about this. I would swear by Irish dancing as God's gift to humanity for strong and supple thighs. Possibly a good reason why folk are more inclined to genuflect properly and spontaneously throughout Ireland. But do keep your arms by your sides; non of that Riverdance waving and pointing stuff. And try not to be too excessive with the costumery.

Pablo the Mexican said...

"... I fear they may be the work of dark forces. You need to try yoga:..."

Yoga is a form of satanism.

Catholics are forbidden from yoga.


Pablo the Mexican said...

Priests were a lot tougher before.

They had no problemo issuing a slap down.

My Priest and Confessor's grandfather fought with a Padre, a fistfight over taking the kids to Mass.

He won, no Mass, ever.

Padre won, Mass every Sunday.

The old man lived up to his word after getting the starch knocked out of him by the Padre.

The result?

Two grandchildren are Traditional Latin Mass Missionary Priests.

The family is a Catholic one, with eight to twelve children per marriage.

Pray for the Holy Father and all his Priests and Religious.

Please say a Hail Mary for that tough as nails fist fighting Padre, and that man that kept his word.


Juventutem London said...

Thank you for agreeing to come and sit in choir though Father! Fr Sean Finnegan will be deaconing.

Gigi said...

@ Saint Michael Come To Our Defence: Catholics are forbidden from yoga??
I admit I was being sarcastic about gyms as I have never actually been to a gym. I can see that yoga in the tantric style would be frowned upon by the church, but as a form of stretching exercise, sometimes combined with mild meditation? Jesus meditated, so surely nothing wrong there. I am not embracing the Hindu faith, but I like to be a strong and healthy Catholic. I'm sure God wants that for me too! Grownig up in a Catholic family, I learned ballet and Irish dancing. I'm aware of the Celtic "pagan" origins of Irish dance, but it's a beautiful tradition and hobby for thousands of Catholic school children in Ireland.
Anyone else feel that no-mess-no-frills (or indeed thrills) yoga is satanic?

Pablo the Mexican said...

Miss Gigi,

I have placed a yoga article here that has been translated from Mexican.

You should be able to get the article even if the English is not the Queen's.

God be with you.


Gigi said...

@St Michael Come To Our Defence: well, I admit I was dismayed when I looked at the article. I have been a Catholic from birth and have attended yoga and ballet classes as a child and an adult. Some of the yoga classes were either run by or housed in Catholic church halls! I was not being facetious with you; many of my friends are Catholic and they have never suggested my stretching exercises were extending me towards the dark side.
Due to practicalities and financial restrictions, I do my stretching at home now, listening to beautiful music and within the cosiness of my plants and photos and little icon collection. My "yoga" is probably greatly adapted now and I would feel uncomfortable in a large class.
When I "meditate", I feel I am contemplating how I can be stronger, better, wiser; and I truly believe only God can help me to achieve that. You've shaken me a bit SMCTOD! If Father Raymond has any guidance on this,(I don't believe he has no opinion on it!) then I would appreciate it.
Thank you, God be with you too!

Pablo the Mexican said...

Miss Gigi,

I gave you the 'soft' version of yoga.

Good idea to exercise in your home... but throw away the yoga mat.

Use something else if you need a soft surface.

It always is good to have a Padre bless your home even if it is an apartment or a barn.

Pray for those that have fallen into Satan's trap of yoga.

The worst attacks against Christ come from within the Church. Don't be surprised yoga is taught by Catholics to Catholics in some instances.

That's why we need to keep our opinions to ourselves and listen to the Padres and the teachings of Holy Mother Church.

I learned about yoga from sitting after Mass listening to the Padre's catechism.

Pray for the Holy Father and all his Priests and Religious.


Gigi said...

@Saint Michael CTOD: I have now read a few articles about yoga which have further troubled me! I will continue to do my rather personalised stretching exercises while listening to Puccini, but I do understand your concerns, sincerely. My "mat" is actually an old rug and strategically placed cushion, so I'm pretty safe there! You know, I haven't yet had my home blessed so maybe I will approach Father Raymond, armed with chocolate biscuits. It's not quite a barn although I have a lot of work to do on it: hence the stretching exercises!
Thank you, God bless.

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