Thursday, June 30, 2011

Archdiocese's Mass handbook

I have a sample of the booklet the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is printing up to make available to parishes this fall, in anticipation of the improved translation of the Mass prayers which will take effect later this fall.

It is very good.

The booklet is 32 pages, handy size, which will easily fit in pew bookracks.

It begins right away with the Order of Mass, so anyone and everyone can easily follow along from the Sign of the Cross. The prayers are notated for singing in what I believe will be the chant notation that appears in the Missal itself; encouraging priests and the faithful to sing the Mass.

The Kyrie, Sanctus, Pater Noster and Agnus Dei are all provided both in English and in Latin, again, set to a simple chant setting. The Gloria is also set to simple chant setting--as is the Credo! This is the first time I've ever seen a chant for the Creed in English.

All this should serve, let us hope, to clarify that singing the Mass, and using Latin prayers as part of Mass, are not a special agenda of particular priests or music directors, but really are what the Church is calling us to do. When you have a publication of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati taking this approach, I think you can say this is now mainstream.

It's all laid out very well, and there are even notes reminding us to strike our breast at the Confiteor and to bow at the words, "and became man" in the Creed.

Then the second half has four other settings for the Mass. I am not the best one to evaluate these, but they all seem pretty straightforward; one, the Community Mass by Richard Proulx is already familiar; I think it's a pretty good setting. Of course, everyone will have different opinions about such things, but none of these strike me as weird or extravagant settings that distort the prayers.

The book is $1, which is a reasonable price. My music director tells me he has folks ready to donate to cover the cost. I've ordered enough for both parishes plus our chapel. I really hope all the parishes of the archdiocese use them, as they will provide a very good base-line for the common celebration of the sacred liturgy in the Archdiocese.


Wayne said...

Great review, Father. I think I'm going to send this over to my pastor in case he was waiting for such an endorsement.

Angelika said...

Wow! that is a great deal compared with LTP's $4.00

Anonymous said...

"The Kyrie, Sanctus, Pater Noster and Agnus Dei are all provided both in English and in Latin..."

The Kyrie is Greek, no?

Simon said...

I hope my Archdiocese will put out something like this. We're getting close—T-minus 140 days!—and it seems as though little has been given to parishioners who haven't looked into it on their own initiative.

Fr Martin Fox said...


Heh, yes, the Kyrie is Greek--there's the problem of writing these posts on the fly.