Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bring Back the High Mass (to regular parishes)

Many observers of the progress of the restored Extraordinary Form, in places where it has not been previously offered, are concerned that most of the Masses newly in place are Low Masses. This is a fine thing but there is much that needs to be done to progress toward the full sung Mass in the Extraordinary Form in a setting that reaches all Catholics.

This is why the CMAA has looked to two great masters--Fr. Scott Haynes of St. John Cantius and Scott Turkington of the Stamford Schola Gregoriana--to lead a workshop for celebrants in the Sung Extraordinary Form. The dates are April 28-30, and it takes place in Stamford, Connecticut.

No prior experience in singing the Mass or even knowing the Extraordinary Form is necessary!

Some people might think this is too soon. Masses according to the 1962 Missal are just getting off the ground. Why push so hard for the High Mass? Because it is important to start things off right from the outset. The pervasiveness of the Low Mass in the preconciliar times led to the impression that the laity are excluded (I know this is wrong but that's the impression) and it also led to "four-hymn sandwich" and prepared the ground for some of the biggest liturgical problems we have today. In the Extraordinary Form of our times, we need to have higher ambitions, to make it right from the very beginning, so the full glory of the Roman Rite can be there for everyone.

There is still room for more registrations. I urged you to let priests know about this wonderful opportunity.

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