Monday, October 15, 2012


Recently we had the opportunity to attend Mass at one of the COOLEST churches in the country... Saint John Cantius in Chicago!
And it was every bit as neat as I remembered! The last time I had been there was almost exactly 4 years ago, with a VERY random assortment of friends, and we took at 1-day road trip there for their All Souls Mass.

So this time, (due to our schedule,) we attended the Latin Novus Ordo Mass, which was sung by a male schola. VERY beautiful. I love how they do the procession at SJC, it was exactly like how I had envisioned the procession for my own wedding (which unfortunately didn't turn out like that at all, sigh...)
The schola sang all the propers and ordinaries in Latin and the proper chant; the readings, prayers of the faithful and homily were all in English.

Interesting things I noticed (and am not sure how I feel about) include the fact that the congregation sat at times like they would in the EF, when the priest sat, while the choir sang the Gloria and Credo. It is my understanding that the Credo is one of the parts that "belong to the people," and therefore they should always participate in singing or speaking it.
The priest sang the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer (he used II) but then barely-audibly spoke the rest after the consecration.
And also, it was amazing to me how little organ music there was! One point that I noticed it, in contrast to the directives from the GIRM, was after communion. Unfortunately, I didn't make note of what the schola sang after they were done with the communion proper (throughout the rest of communion), but my understanding of the rubrics is that if there is not a congregational song after communion, that there should be silence; instead, there was a brief organ solo.
In the grand scale of liturgical "abuses," that is next-to-nothing, but I found it interesting.

It was really wonderful to be at a Mass in Latin where much of it was sung and where the congregation heartily sang the responses. Unfortunately, our experience was marred by the fact that some of the people we were with left at various points in the liturgy.

It really breaks my heart. THIS is the state of American ROMAN Catholicism?! Catholics who can't or won't even sit through a whole Mass, just because it is in LATIN?! That is the language of our church! I personally do not think that the Mass in Latin is the ideal, but I think it is something good that Catholics should be familiar with - for many reasons, but especially b/c of how it ties us together as Roman Catholics. You can go to Mass anywhere in the world and know what's going on if it's in Latin!

I really wanted to stay and look around a bit, but due to the situation above, we had to leave right after Mass. But overall, it was soooo beautiful, and soooo inspiring, and I am sooooo glad that we got to go!


Luke said...

I may be wrong but I thought the rule of only a congregational song after communion was just a Diocese of Cleveland thing. I don't think the GIRM prohibits that. Too bad your friends left in the middle! What bad sports

Luke said...

Oh yes it does mention it
"When the distribution of Communion is finished, as circumstances suggest, the priest and
faithful spend some time praying privately. If desired, a psalm or other canticle of praise or a
hymn may also be sung by the entire congregation."
but does that prohibit organ or choir music?

Mara Joy said...

By my reading (and I am sure this is where Cleveland gets their explicit prohibition,) #88 is an either/or thing:
EITHER "pray quietly," OR something sung "by the whole congregation."

*Perhaps* it could be argued that people can pray quietly while choral singing or instrumental music is occurring, but I think a literal reading of the GIRM doesn't leave that as an option, since it doesn't mention it. (The GIRM doesn't list every single thing that we are not supposed to do, because that would obviously be an infinite list - it just gives the things and options that we are supposed to do.)

Mr. C said...

But there is another component in GIRM, I believe #45, that mandates silence after Communication and the deposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the Tabernacle, before the Communion collect, yes?

Mara Joy said...

#45 states "designated times," and lists Communion as one of those places, which leads me to think that we look to #88 to expound on that. (#88 does the "designating" here.) #88 explicitly says, "if appropriate," regarding silence there. So, by my reading, silence here is optional, but if it is not silent, then whatever is sung should be sung by the whole congregation.