Friday, October 31, 2014

All Saints, ad orientem -- Updated

Tonight was special -- we had a "high Mass" for the Vigil of All Saints, but with a twist: I offered Mass toward the Lord. We had a nice crowd, considering it isn't obligatory, and it was a nasty night.

One of the great things my predecessor bequeathed to me was a corps of young men who love to serve Holy Mass! They are eager, motivated, reverent, they know what they are doing, and they have fun doing it. It is a joy.

Big brother Luke brought along younger brother Max, who is growing in his skills and confidence. Don't tell me kids can't do it; they can and they will, if you challenge them, and the parents support it.

Some people think this is extraordinary; it's not. Is the ordinary form of the Mass, celebrated as the Second Vatican Council intended.

Update, November 4...

I wanted to add a little more about the Mass we had last Friday, on the vigil of All Saints. As mentioned, in addition to the Mass being sung and with incense, I also offered Mass "toward the Lord."

As I was at the altar, it occurred to me just how perfect ad orientem was for this feast day: All Saints. There is a very profound meaning in the way we have adorned our churches all these centuries, with the saints arrayed on either side of the tabernacle: it accurately reflects the relationship of the saints with the Lord. They are not only his friends and his collaborators; they are in perfect union with him. This is why the objection of our Protestant brothers and sisters, to praying to the saints, is so off-base. They will often argue that praying to the saints turns us away from the Lord. But Saint Peter, in Sacred Scripture, tells us that we become "partakers of divine nature"; and Jesus himself says, many times, that his goal is that we are to be "one" with him. Is this not what our life in Christ is all about? Is this not what the sacraments, particularly the Eucharist, are about? To be a saint is to arrive at the completion of that "divinization."

I wish I had arranged for someone to take a photo or a video, because you would have been edified, I think, by the reverence of our corps of servers, all in cassock and surplice, and gloves, eagerly and prayerfully assisting at Holy Mass.

And this isn't a once-a-year thing; they serve at 9 am Mass every Sunday!

As far as ad orientem, I'll do that again -- with the ordinary form of Mass -- on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12. But for the extraordinary form, I have that every Wednesday morning at 5:45 am; and on First Fridays at 7 pm. (I.e., this coming Friday.) It's a low Mass, however; I have not yet learned how to do a Missa cantata, let alone a true "Solemn High Mass" in the older form.


ndspinelli said...

I don't know how the Church views on it; but while I first found the Mexican, Day of the Dead celebration creepy, I now find it endearing.

My parents would let us 4 kids sleep in, but that meant having to go to the 10am high mass. I would be waking up my siblings @ 8:30 to avoid that epic. Sorry padre, I liked the Cape Cod Masses we would go to in August. The priest knew everyone was on vacation. He showed his appreciation for attending by getting us outta there in 20 minutes. It sounded like an auction! As Howard Cosell would, I'm just "Telling it like it is."

Jennifer said...

That sounds wonderful. It must be very gratifying on so many levels to have good altar servers. :)

Trooper York said...

It sounds great Father. I wish I could have been there.

rcg said...

Brilliant! Have you compared notes with Fr Allan McDonald of Southern Order blog? He has been doing this as well. I need to come visit Russia to see how you do it.

Sara said...

This is one of the many reasons I drive 25 minutes to go to Mass in Russia!