Tuesday, October 06, 2015

“You Have the Rite to Remain Silent” - Discovering Silence in Praying the Mass

Kudos to Kevin DiCamillo, both for this very nice article published a few days ago on National Catholic Register, and the clever pun in the title. He recounts his discovery of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, and the virtue of silence within it. You can read the whole article over there at the link given above: note that he was born in 1970, and came to the EF purely by happenstance, with no axes to grind against the OF, and not from any sense of mere nostalgia. (Cited from NCR/EWTN).
Having never been to a “Low Tridentine Mass“ ”, I had no idea what to expect. It was, in a sense, like getting contemplative bends: instead of barking out “Amen“ ” (this chapel does not do the “dialogue Mass”), or the Confiteor or the Kyrie or ... anything, there was just silence. And more silence. Even the responses from the server were so muted it was almost impossible to tell (without a 1962 Missal which mercifully I had, as a gift from my late grandmother) what was going on.
What was going on was an “active contemplation”: I was very much a neophyte that night, but the twenty or so souls around me were edifying to see: the women wore mantillas, the men even had on neckties. There was no musical fillip, no “Let’s-try-to-sing-Holy-God-We-Praise-Thy-Name-acapella“ ”. Just ... silence. And still more silence. A pure, nearly unbroken sacred quiet. ...
...in a world where we each have more email, voicemail, texts, meetings, and Skype-chats than we could possibly digest in a lifetime, the Tridentine Mass offers a complete contemplative oasis. You have the right to be silent when you pray.

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