Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mass in the Medieval Carmelite Use

Before the NLM is deluged with photographs of Holy Week celebrations, I thought I would share some final images from Lent. These were taken on March 7, the third Sunday of Lent, at the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Valparaiso, Nebraska, very close to the F.S.S.P.'s seminary in Denton; the Mass was celebrated by members of the Carmel of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Powell, Wyoming. Both of these institutions are very much dedicated to the contemplative side of the Carmelite tradition. The women's house in Valparaiso follows the liturgical traditions of the 16th-century Discalced Reform in utroque usu; the men's house in Wyoming, however, uses the ancient Carmelite liturgy, adopted by the friars from the Latin-rite Canons of the Holy Sepulcher at the time of the Crusades. The men who served as deacon and subdeacon are studying for the priesthood at OLG; they were both ordained deacon the previous day by His Excellency Arthur Seratelli, Bishop of Paterson, N.J. It is greatly encouraging to see a young religious order striving to maintain the liturgical customs proper to its own tradition.

The Carmel of Jesus Mary and Joseph. The dome of the church and the top of the bell tower were originally copper-colored, but have turned black in the snowy Nebraska winter, to pleasing effect.
A bit of rehearsal, before the lights in the church are turned on.
The Collect. Note that the deacon is bowing to the celebrant as he says “Dominus vobiscum”. The acolytes often stand at the altar with the major ministers, similar to the custom of the Ambrosian Rite.
The burse, corporal and chalice are brought to the altar, and the latter is filled with wine and water, during the Mass of the Catechumens. Here one can see the celebrant blessing the water while the deacon moves the Missal, just prior to singing the Gospel.
The celebrant listens to the Gospel, as in the Roman Rite. The burse is on the altar, the corporal spread; the filled chalice is covered with the pall and chalice veil.
The Offertory is of course shorter and simpler than that of the Roman Use, since the chalice is already prepared. As the major ministers double the Sanctus, an acolyte brings the humeral veil for the subdeacon. Also notice the acolytes kneeling with their candles in hand before the altar, as is so often seen in medieval pictures of the Mass.
The subdeacon, kneeling on the predella, receives the paten, as the priest begins the Canon of the Mass.
Right before the Consecration. Notice that the deacon remains on the priest’s left side, while the subdeacon comes up and kneels on his right.
“Ejusdem Christi Filii tui tam beatae Passionis.” As in many medieval uses, the priest extends his hands in imitation of Christ on the Cross immediately after the Consecration of the Chalice.
The Peace is given without turning away from the Sacred Species on the Altar.

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