Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Celebrating the Latin Mass is easy!

Actually, it would be more accurate to state that celebrating the Latin Mass is not difficult, "easy" is, perhaps, not the right word to use.

To those who have never witnessed a Latin Mass I urge them to watch the video clip below; to those who maintain that the Novus Ordo is the Mass for them - again, watch the video clip.

As an altar server I have been privileged to witness at close quarters, the intimacy between the celebrant priest and the Body and Blood of Christ.
The complex and detailed moves of the priest's hands, the blessings and reverent actions that weave themselves throughout the fabric of what is truly an Extraordinary Form of Mass. The whispered prayers, the sense that God is truly present.

These are missing in the new Mass, the Ordinary Form of Mass. As Father Baker of Downham Market used to say: "They have put the liturgy into a boiler suit".
 I can find no finer way of expressing the change from the Mass in the sacred Latin form to the bland and indifferent vernacular.

I was brought up to serve the Dominican Rite of the Latin Mass - now, alas gone from my memory. But for those who have converted to the faith within the past 40 years or so there is no need for alarm. If I remember correctly, there are no major differences between the rites, a few tweaks at the prayers at the foot of the altar is all that those in the pew might notice. Both are holy and both are good and I would dearly like to attend a Dominican Mass once more.

Two elements are wrong in this Mass. Can you spot them? Answers in the comments box please.


  1. Richard:

    I was interested to see that you grew up serving the Dominican rite. A question: do you know if such things exists as Dominican rite Hand Missals, and if so where one could be acquired? (even the normal title wording would be helpful, for searching!)

    Thanks in advance,

    God bless you!

  2. AP - I am sure they exist but have no idea as to where. Possibly an enquiry to the Godzdogz blog may be of some help.

  3. I'm tempted to say that the 'wrong' elements are the US flag and the american voice over! However, as wrong as an american voice over is, I think the errors must be the flag (as it appears to be on the altar) and the card obstructing the doors of the tabernacle. I've only been to a couple of EF Masses and never anywhere near the sanctuary so these are just guesses but, hopefully, not a million miles away..?

  4. Quite right Malvenu, at least regarding the flag. My other "wrong" is the polyester modern chasuble, ugh!

  5. Chapter 18 of How to Serve by Dom Matthew Britt OSB outlines for a server familiar with the Roman rite how to serve Dominican Low Mass. It suggests that with the exception of the preparation of the Chalice at the beginning of Mass rather than at the Offertory, a different form of the Confiteor and the other prayers at the foot of the Altar, and the lighting of an elevation candle, the differences are minor.

  6. Should there not be at least one candle in view?

  7. Jennifer, with a great deal of effort and squinting, you can just make out the Gospel candle. The Epistle one is out of picture.

  8. Thanks Ttony - you have reassured me that my memory is OK if a little vague.