Friday, September 07, 2007

Low Masses with Music, and the Missa Cantata

There is a fascinating discussion going on over at WDTPRS regarding the proper way(s) to incorporate music--either vernacular hymns or the appropriate chants--into the Extraordinary Form Low Mass and the Missa Cantata. Fr Z explains:

A Missa cantata without sacred ministers can be done in two ways, a simpler and a more solemn form.

In the first case, you pretty much follow the rubrics for low Mass. The priest sings all that is sung at a Solemn Mass, including the Gospel and the Ite, etc. He can sit while the choir sings the Gloria or Sequence or Creed. A server who is a cleric in surplice could sing the Epistle and then the priest would not say it himself but only listen. The choir could sing pretty much everything they would sing at a Solemn Mass. There wouldn’t be incense but there could be torchbearers.

The fancier form is like the above, but… well… fancier. This would be the form that was often used in places instead of a Solemn Mass.
High Mass, and even a full-blown Missa Cantata can be a lot for a simple parish to handle at this point, so such rubrical explorations are extremely important right now, in order to give the Mass as much musical and ceremonial beauty as possible within the relatively limited resources of a mainstream parish, which might be expanded further upon (additional servers, incense) as interest grows, and which also might bleed over into the equivalent ordinary form celebrations of a parish, as such a simple Missa Cantata is about equivalent to the normal parish mass today. So, definitely worth discussing.

One more thing. Combox liturgical discussion is increasingly becoming a bloodsport, so if you say anything over there, be nice. This is not to say "don't criticize." In the South (where half my ancestors hail from, and where I was born and raised), we can say anything we want about someone, so long as we follow up with, "Bless his heart."

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