Sunday, May 08, 2011

Full, Active Participation When You Least Expect It

It was a lovely spring morning today. The crows thought so too and were out screeching in the tree nearest my window at about 5:30-ish. As long as I was at least partially awake, I took the opportunity to trundle out of bed, make myself presentable and drive to the 7:00 a.m. Mass at the Polish center for the first time since Fr Oppenheimer and the C.R.N.J. moved to their new digs in West Virginia.

Alas, the chanted High Mass is no more. Not in itself a bad thing; a quiet low Mass in the early morning can be a deeply moving experience. But, no. We got the ghastly "Dialogue Mass" of unhappy memory. And not just the Kyrie, Gloria, et cum spiritu tuo, and so forth sort of thing, which if mildly annoying, it at least an historically justifiably archaeologism. This was the full-bore, deluxe version with all the options, including psalm 42, the confiteor, and those other bits that were always proper to the priest and the sacred ministers and never the people's parts.

It also happened that the Epistle and Gospel in Latin turned out to be surplus to requirements. We only got them in English. (Thankfully, the New American Bible was not read in any of its various incarnations.) Yes, I know there is a permission out there for that. But there's no requirement that I have to like it.

A few days ago I said on this very blog that you can't ruin the old rite. Well, you can't. And this didn't. It was still streets ahead of the Bugnini thing. It was still worth getting up at oh dark thirty. But that doesn't mean people can't make it less wonderful than it ought to be.