Saturday, September 15, 2007

Sep. 14

went to Assumption Grotto last night for their first TLM. pretty cool. I saw a few people I know. Wore my mantilla :-)
I still hate the same things about the TLM that I've hated the other two times I went.
particularly, WHY can't I hear what the priest is saying? Am I actually not supposed to be able to?
And...I spend my professional life trying to make SURE that what is going on in the choir loft is perfectly coordinated with what is going on at the altar ("And so we join the choirs of angels..." "wait for it, wait for it...") and maybe it's just that I don't understand how connected everything actually is in the TLM (I honestly don't know whether it is or not,) but it actually upsets me, when the choir is singing away, "Kyrie eleison..." and then five minutes later the priest is like, "Kyrie eleison..." and I'm like wha? where the heck are we? Which is it?! (the friend I drove with tells me she just follows along with the priest and then it makes sense, and with that it would seem that the choir is just entertainment for the congregation while the priest is muttering, but I want so badly to know what the choir is doing and to have it make sense and be connected with the rest of the Mass!) so I guess that is what irritates me...

oh yes, and for those who have always wanted to know what i look like.... check out the pix at . I'm towards the front on the far left in the white jacket and black mantilla. :-)


Lisa Joy said...

Mara, I felt the same way the first few times I heard a TLM. However, the more times I went, I was able to follow along much better. Also, I was reading a book that isn't really about the TLM, but I found this quote in it, and had an "Aha" moment, when suddenly, the Mass, at least more of it than before, made sense! It really was incredible. Anyways, the book is called "By What Authority" and it is by Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson. It is about England during the time of Elizabeth I, and in this particular passage a young woman who was raised Protestant is hearing her first Mass. It explains your questions much better than I ever could:

"Public worship to her had meant hitherto one of two things - either sitting under a minister and have the word applied to her soul in the sacrament of the pulpit; or else the saying of prayers by the minister aloud and distinctly and with expression, so that the intellect could follow the words, and assent with a hearty Amen. The minister was a minister to man of the Word of God, an interpreter of His Gospel to man.

But here was a worship unlike all this in almost every detail. The priest was addressing God, not man; therefore he did so in a low voice, and in a tongue as Campion had said on the scaffold, "that they both understood." It was comparitively unimportant whether man followed it word for word, for (and here the second radical difference lay) the point of the worship for the people lay, not in an intellectual apprehension of the words, but in a voluntary assent to and participation in the supreme act to which the words were indeed necessary but subordinate. It was the thing that was done; not the words that were said, that was mighty with God. Here, as these Catholics round Isabel at any rate understood it, and as she, too, began to perceive it, too, though dimly and obscurely, was the sublime mystery of the Cross presented to God. As He looked down well pleased into the silence and darkness of Calvary, and saw there the act accomplished by which the world was redeemed, so here (this handful of disciples believed) He looked down into the silence and twilight of this little lobby, and saw that same mystery accomlished at the hands of one who, in virtue of his participation in the priesthood of the Son of God, was empowered to pronounce these heart-shaking words by which the Body that hung on Calvary, and the Blood that dripped from there, were again spread before His eyes under the forms of bread and wine."

Sorry about the length of this comment, but I hope it helps :)

Anonymous said...

My irritation with the extraordinary form is just as you said, that the choir's role is merely that of providing "atmosphere". Many will disagree, but the priest recites the propers. Why is the choir needed to sing them if the priest is reciting them? In fact, one of the first revisions of the liturgy after Vatican 2 was to eliminate the priest's recitation of the propers. It is indeed, as you mentioned, supposed to be disjointed like that. I've been studying how to do music at the ex. form, in case my boss has one, and that seems to be the gist of it. In fact, I remember a comment at Fr. Z's website where someone mentioned how confusing it is when trying to bow during the credo - do you do it while the priest says "et incarnatus" or when the choir sings it? Apparently the rule is when the priest does it. I don't know about you, but that gives ME a message of how important the choir is...


Scelata said...

Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow, Lisa Joy, that is superbly put.

I have to get that book (what can I say? I'm not needy, but I'm wanty...)

Gavin, not positive, but I think you don't bow at all... you fall to your knees.

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

Janet said...

How about some of the great pictures showing what you look like from the colloquium? See:

janet said...

oops... it cut off the rest of the address: the end should look like:
... #166816196 look on pages 4 and 7 of the gallery...