|The Tower of Babel - at a Dialogue Mass|
Saturday, 20 August 2011
There is an interesting series of posts, starting with Rorate Caeli and continuing on the LMS Chairman's Blog, on the subject of
audience participation participation of the faithful at low Mass.
I guess that what really focuses our minds is the dreaded dialogue Mass where the congregation mumble latin responses woodenly and in the style of a primary school class.
I remember its introduction well (although not the year). I was still a regular altar server and was thrown into a state of utter confusion by the babble coming from the rear. It's rather like what happens at a large Corpus Christi procession, the front half is singing verse 6 of Ave Maria while the rear end is still on verse 2 - mayhem!
Joseph Shaw posts about the impossibility of the faithful reciting the 'Suscipiat Dominus' prayer before the Preface and that is the case except that, this is the one prayer in a dialogue Mass that the congregation tend to leave well alone. Why?
Ah......even some (or quite a few actually) EF altar servers get this part wrong and give the response as soon as the priest has completed the 'Orate fratres' prayer.
What should happen is that the priest slowly returns to face the altar still reciting the prayer; the server gives him a count of 10 to finish and then comes in with the 'Suscipiat'.
Now congregations in a dialogue Mass always appear flummoxed at this point and, apart from the server, all are silent - good, it should be that way all through the Mass.
The dialogue concept is an aberration and one that should not, under any circumstances be revived. It distracts, it prevents the server from picking up on important signals, it sounds painful and drawn out and it prevents decent and reverent participation in the form of prayer and meditation.
Sadly, according to Rorate Caeli, it is legal and all set to be encouraged.
Is nothing sacred?