Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mass at My Parish

Today I would like to share with you some videos of the Missa cantata in the Extraordinary Form we had last Sunday for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross at my parish church in Berlin. Now, this is - Deo gratias! - nothing too special anymore since Summorum Pontificum, and in terms of ceremonial, musical and architectural splendour this cannot, of course, compare with most Masses we are reporting here, and I am afraid the quality of the video is not too great either, but I still thought some of you might be interested. When we began our monthly EF Masses last Advent, this is what I wrote about it:

Today we had the first usus antiquior Mass in our parish in southwest Berlin (Schlachtensee), Holy Twelve Apostles. We are happy to report that it was a great success.

We had a missa cantata, with the parish's own schola singing. The Church was built in 1954, thus for ad orientem celebration, but with a freestanding altar. Therefore, there never were any wreckovations, and we only had to carry away the ambo, put the sedilia were they belong, and redecorate the altar for ad orientem with the original Cross and six candlesticks. The altar cards had been given to us by the transitional deacon of our parish, who was obviously very supportive.

We had proceeded as foreseen by Summorum Pontificum. Two other young Catholics from our parish and myself had begun to collect signatures for an usus extraordinarius Mass in our Parish after September 14th. The list lay ready for signature after the Masses of one Sunday, and without being properly announced at all of them (we have a subsidiary priest who is very opposed to the TLM and is more of a "spirit of Vatican II" man), we got 40 signatures from parishioners only. In sight of this, our parish priest, a very pious Salesian, but who was himself ordained in the early 1970s, without being personally in favor of it, but being a true pastor of souls, granted the Mass.

Since we wanted to demonstrate that the TLM is not something for elderly people only, we looked for a young priest to celebrate it, and found it in the chaplain ("Kaplan") of the neighboring parish (his blog here), who had for a long time been drawn to the traditional rite, and learned it with the Institute of St. Philip Neri.

We had printed leaflets and distributed them after Mass last Sunday. But since the German Bishops ruled that the TLM may not replace a regularly scheduled novus ordo Mass (which has of course no base in Summorum Pontificum), we had to choose the early morning, 8:30 a.m., and feared this might deter some people from attending.

However, when entering the Church this morning for the Asperges, there were, together with the servers in the schola, 120 people, which is, for this time of morning in a suburban (i.e. not central by any means), quite a lot. Everything went very well, and everyone was delighted afterwards. There were old and young people who had been waiting for this a long time, as well as young and middle aged people who experienced the TLM for the first time and liked it very much. This was the first public Sunday TLM in a parish Church in Berlin since 1969.

Here are the first two videos and the video of the Canon of last Sunday. From them, you will find links to the other parts.

Your humble correspondent is the acolyte on the Gospel side. I am aware that I am putting ourselves at your mercy regarding the comments, so please, if you find fault with anything, do it charitably.

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