I'm still reveling with joy from last night.
We had our first Solemn High mass in the older form for midnight mass, and I served as one of the torchbearers at the elevations. It had been raining on and off all day, and I expected low attendance.
It was practically packed.
It began with organ improvisations on the tune to "Hark, the herald angels sing" during the procession to the creche from the sacristy, and blessing of the crib. I got to feel the floor rumbling from the organ's 32'Tromba and 16'Pousaune from on the other end of the church. "Hark, the herald" was the entrance hymn.
The mass ordinary was Hans Leo Hassler's Missa Secunda , (Sample I, Sample II) except for the credo which was credo III, and all the propers were sung by the men of the choir.
The vestments were an old, old high mass set. Cloth of gold lined with red silk ,with raised gold work embroidery. Probably very expensive. Actually, they were identical to this set from St. Clems. Did we borrow or something?
We sang "Adeste Fideles" during the offertory and some motets by Praetorius, Schubert and another composer whose name I can't remember during the long communion period.(Communion took longer than usual, because there weren't any other priests to work the rails. )
"Joy To the World" was the recessional with the full organ and a choir descant at the last verse. More floor rumbling. We all received the celebrant's blessing kneeling in the narthex after the recessional.
Apparently, this could become a tradition. I should hope so!
Very soon I'll be back at the church to serve as thurifer for the sung mass of Christmas day.
I'm back. It was pretty good. A good turnout considering what we had for midnight mass, and the chasuble from last night's high mass set. Missa de Angelis, some good hymns, propers were sung. Fr. Brennan, my favorite old-school Jesuit who still wears a cassock and biretta preached/celebrated. To top mit off, I wore my good surplice. You know, the one trimmed with a bit of lace. It smells of incense now.
I'm sure you've heard hundreds of sermons on how the incarnation expresses itself in catholic Christianity, and so have I, but I got another.