Monday, March 17, 2008

A Potential Processional Application to the Sequence in the Ordinary Form

Fr. John Szada, pastor of St. Vincent's Church in Hanover, PA (where I was baptized), has written me with a possible way to treat the Sequence as a processional even with its being sung before the Gospel.

He says in response to last week's post on sequences:

I wanted to let you know that your ideas brought back memories of something I actually did at my first Mass, which was April 8, 1978. In place of the Alleluia and verse, we did the hymn (in English) "Ye Sons and Daughters" with it's many verses. The deacon, after receiving the blessing from me, processed down the side aisle, across the back, and up the opposite aisle, going from the priest's chair to the ambo. My liturgy professor was the homilist that day, and he said he was impressed, but not sure he would have done something like that. Anyway, it shows exactly how a sequence can be done today. Following the US Bishops' order of Mass, it could be timed so that the deacon reaches the ambo right at the time of the beginning of the Alleluia. Just a few memories that I share with you.

Fr. Szada, who celebrates both the Roman Rite and the Byzantine (or is it Ruthenian?) Rite, has done much to improve the liturgical life of his parish. Just off the top of my head, these are things that have been accomplished: the Stations of the Cross were painted, a beautiful new altar with a lovely depiction of the Last Supper was installed and blessed by Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Harrisburg (himself a dear friend of traditional liturgical praxis), the sanctuary was repainted to include some angelic figures, et al, and last but not least, Fr. Szada celebrated a Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite this past December, and it was quite well-attended.

Allow me to add here that Fr. Szada's 30th anniversary as a priest is coming up on April 8, and he plans to mark the occasion by celebrating a Mass in the Extraordinary Form that evening. I'm sure he'd be delighted to have you attend.

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