Tuesday greetings from Chicago, where it is in the thirties and sunny, but not for long. The forecast is for rain and wet snow later today into tonight!
I want to thank those of you who responded to yesterday's post about the Mass in the extraordinary form. Many of you suggested that I attend a high Mass at Saint John Cantius here in Chicago; at 12:30 on Sundays. Well, in fact, that is where I went on Sunday and I did attend the 12:30 Mass and what I described is exactly what happened.
My "view from the pew" on Sunday:
My suspicion is that there was a shift in scheduling because it seems that the new pipe organ was dedicated and blessed some time during the weekend, with Cardinal George in attendance; perhaps there was an earlier high Mass and things were shifted around.
In yesterday's post, I asked for your assistance in helping me to understand the Mass in the extraordinary form. Thank you for sharing your own experiences and pieces of advice.
I did wonder why there was a bump in the number of hits on the blog yesterday and my analytic tools pointed to my friends over at Musica Sacra Forum. One of the risks that I (and anyone who writes anything for public consumption) take is that I am sharing my experience publicly. I have developed pretty thick skin over the years, although I do have my moments of vulnerability. I appreciate the civility with which those of you who chose to comment here on this blog showed. A very few others over at Musica Sacra were not so civil. Frankly, this is what makes me want to not attend another Mass in the extraordinary form. But people like Adam Wood balance things out for me. Thanks, Adam, for your kind words and call to civility.
One of the things that I have always told the people I am privileged to lead here at World Library Publications is that we embrace a mission to serve the needs of the singing, praying, and initiating Church. And they have heard me time and again say something like: "And that really means serving the needs of the entire Church, not some 'progressive' part of the Church with which my preference and experience resound; not some 'conservative' part of the Church with which my preference and experience resound; not some 'progressive' part of the Church with which my preference and experience have no resonance; not some 'conservative' part of the Church with which my preference and experience have no resonance. We serve the Church."
One of the reasons for my decision to attend the extraordinary form of the Mass on Sunday was to broaden my experience and understanding of that entire Church. Up until Sunday, as I mentioned yesterday, I would only refer to the pre-conciliar Mass in a kind of sweeping historical remembrance. I wanted an experience of the Mass in that pre-conciliar form so that I could share that experience with others. Sunday's was one experience of that form. And from what you shared on this blog, it probably wasn't the best (low Mass) first taste for one who is searching for meaning.
I have two things to say. First, the low Mass is celebrated with frequency. Many of you said that this is not the ideal. To quote one comment yesterday, "You happened to end up in a bad situation, but at Cantius you'll find what the rest of us love." Is it generally felt among those who prefer the extraordinary form that the low Mass is to be avoided?
Second, I will do my very best over the next several weeks to try the 12:30 P.M. high Mass at Saint John Cantius here in Chicago; it is less than a five minute drive from my home.
Tomorrow, I would like to talk about what "fully conscious and active participation" means. What, if any, influence does paragraph 14 of Sacrosanctum Concilium have when it comes to the celebration of Mass in the extraordinary form?
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.