Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ritual Notes.

(This was the 12:15 English Mass)
Procession: Our Lady of Mercy, sweet and pure
Mass setting (Minus gloria and agnus dei) A community mass, Richard Proulx
Gloria: mass in b flat 'Orgelmesse', F.J. Haydn.
Agnus dei: Holy Cross mass, David Isele
Sequence: Plaudat Agmen Captivorum, mode VII
Alleluia Ave Maria, mode I
Creed: Credo III
Offertory: Ave, verum corpus, W.A.Mozart
Hymn:Mother of Mercy, day by day
Hymn:Maria, mater gratiae
Motet: Ave Maria, Jacques Arcadelt
Recessional: This is the feast of victory
Postlude: Dialogue sur les Grandes Joux, Clerambault (Yes, really!)

Minus the rain, today was an excellent day. Besides being Mercy Day, the external solemnity of the feast of Our Lady of Mercy,the mass celebrated at the parish was wonderful. In a way, and I mean this as an extreme compliment, it seemed almost like an anglo-catholic rather than Roman Catholic mass.

Yours truly ended up in the procession rather than in the choir today, because I'm one of the postulants, and all the postulants, priests, and brothers were in the procession. We got the 'Bar Song' during the procession. (I call that hymn the Bar Song because, despite having lovely lyrics, it was written in the 30's, and the music relfects that. It sounds rather like an old bar song than a hymn to Our Lady, but the parishioners love it and they refuse to sing the text to any other tune. (And yes, that means they've tried.) There were a crucifer and two acolytes, thurifer, and four torches at the elevation.
The vestments were the gold gothic set with the tudor rose pattern that gets taken out on feast days (It's the one used at 40 hours and the one that's always used at the Easter vigil) The M.C. wore a surplice made entirely of lace (As in, no actual fabric. And it was'nt the sort that's made out of embroidered nylon, the kind that was popular in the 1940's. This is completely made of knit lace, which if it was'nt/is'nt an abuse, it ought to be.*)

The mass was celebrated ad orientem as well. The opening versicles of the mass were sung. rather than simply being said, and all the responses and prayers (including the final blessing and dismissal) were sung.As noted above, the Mercedarians have special sequences for the feast of Our holy Father, S.Peter Nolasco, and Our holy Mother and foundress, Our Lady of Mercy.
After the sermon (A good rousing one on secularism, islamic extremism, and the power and intercession of Our Lady, as well as the importance of devotion to her (The rosary, scapular, chaplets and novenas, etc.) the brothers renewed their vows, and then the creed was sung.

At the offertory, the missal was removed from the altar during the incensation, which is is now the common practice. Then, the celebrant, concelebrants,M.C., and then the people were incensed. At the sanctus, the thurifer and torchbearers came into the sanctuary, genuflected, and knelt. The sacred host and the chalice were incensed at the elevation, and the torchbearers and thurifer left after the amen at the end of the canon. (The Roman Canon was used.)

Communion was given standing, but with the M.C. and one of the taller servers holding the communion patens for the people's communion.

At the end of mass, we all recessed to the narthex for the versicle, response and blessing. ('Prosit', etc.) The organist then played Clerambault's lovely dialogue, which is an od coincidence. (I was just talking about it not too long ago.) It was lovely to hear the 16' pedal reeds in use with the 32' contre Bourdonne. It's a lovely sound, and gets you the sound of the 32' reeds but without the shaking of the windows near the organ loft.

Pretzels and water ice were in the parish hall after mass.

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