CELEBRANT ORIENTATION IN THE MASS
I got a phone call the other day from someone who complimented the way Mass was celebrated. However she wondered why Father was celebrating Mass "with his back turned to the people". In all actuality, Father Bucci is not turning his back to the people, but facing in a direction known as "ad orientem", that is, "to the East", that is, the "liturgical East", or "facing the Lord", just as we, the congregation prays "facing the Lord". This has a much more prayerful effect than the "facing the people" orientation, where it appears to be more of a dialog. "Ad orientem" is the required orientation in the Traditional Latin Mass (which we will begin celebrating at 12:30 PM on First Sundays beginning January 5). In the current Missal, "ad orientem" was never eliminated, but "versus populum" is an option.
In the same phone call, that person expressed (very politely) that she couldn't really hear Father when he's "ad orientem". On the most part, going back to the Traditional Latin Mass, much of that Mass is whispered, and (in High Masses) often sung over by the choir. So, if Father sounds faint, fret not. The cues at which the congregation makes their responses are often audible, and in other cases, even visible.
EXTRAORDINARY FORM vs. ORDINARY FORM
Another question I overheard before one Mass by someone reading the bulletin: What is "Mass in the Extraordinary Form?"
Pope Benedict XVI, in his Moto Proprio Summorum Pontificum, gave permission for widespread use of the Traditional Latin Mass, that is, Mass according to the Roman Missal of 1962. This form of the Mass was designated by Pope Benedict as the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. The Mass according to the Roman Missal of 2011 (which we celebrate usually) was designated as the Ordinary Form of the Mass. Sounds similar to the current Episcopalian Book of Common Prayer, in which their Eucharist and Office of the Hours are given in Rite I (traditional texts) and Rite II (modern texts).
Currently, all of our Masses are in the Ordinary Form. However, beginning on January 5, 2020, we will have Mass in the Extraordinary Form, that is, the Traditional Latin Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal, on the first Sunday of each month at 12:30 PM.
No, the subtitle does not mean we're "finally getting to do eulogies". I mean "finally", as in "last, but not least." I'm going to be as diplomatic as I can possibly be.
The Roman Missal does not allow for eulogies at funeral Masses. The General Instruction forbids it, regardless of how many neighboring parishes may allow for them. We at Sacred Heart, do not. There is no place for it at Mass. At the wake, yes. At the coalition after the burial, yes. At Holy Mass, absolutely not. Not after Communion, nor as a "prelude" to a reading. Nor should the Prayer of the Faithful be written like a eulogy.
I've been an organist for 38-1/2 years, 8-1/2 of those years here at Sacred Heart. I've seen firsthand my share of abuse in eulogies. I once covered a funeral at a church that is now closed. At this funeral, everything went smooth --- that is, until I intoned the first five notes of the standard recessional, In Paradisum. Suddenly, the undertakers scrambled over to the celebrant, "Wait! You forgot the eulogy!" Now I've seen everything. So, the priest allowed it, and here come these two ladies putting up a 15-minute standup comic routine, at the expense of the souls who were just nourished by the Blessed Sacrament, talking about how the deceased told them they had too much to drink. Mass is not the place for this kind of abuse.
Holy Mass isn't to celebrate the life of a deceased loved one. That's what the wake is for, or the gathering after the funeral. The funeral Mass is where we pray for the deceased - for his/her sins be forgiven, and to be welcomed to heaven. After all, Mass is supposed to help lead us to heaven, not bring heaven to us. Remember this next time you get a "no" answer when asking for a eulogy.
MUSIC FOR HOLY MASS
Ordinary of the Mass:
- Mass XVII (Kyrie/Sanctus/Agnus)
- Mortem Tuam (Memorial)
- Amen, adapted from Sanctus VIII
Entrance hymn: On Jordan's Bank (Maroon hymnal, #10)
Psalm 146: Lord, come and save us (BMP) (PDF)
Alleluia "Conditor Alme" (BMP; Mode IV) (PDF)
Offertory hymn: Hark! a thrilling voice is sounding (Maroon hymnal, #9)
- (11:15) Magnificat (Tone 8g; Ciro Grassi)
- (all others): Isaiah 35 - Say to the faint of heart, "Be strong, fear not; behold the Lord will come, and he will save us" (BMP) (PDF)
Meditation hymn: The King shall come when morning dawns (Maroon hymnal, #11)
Recessional hymn: O come, O come, Emmanuel (Maroon hymnal, #2)
Quod scripsi, scripsi!
PS: Save the liturgy, save the world!
PS: Save the liturgy, save the world!