Monday, 16 August 2010

Low Mass of the Assumption

As a treat, we went to the Cathedral for a Low Mass (Extraordinary Form) for the feast of the Assumption.

It's a long while since we've been to a Low Mass in the traditional form: the Cathedral Masses are generally sung. I was struck afresh by the prayerfulness, the focus, the silence, the dignity and the simplicity of the ceremonies.

I love Sung Masses (if they sing proper liturgical music - chant or sacred polyphony) but there is something special about the humility, almost the poverty of a Low Mass. The priest is almost invisible to us, just his back visible at the altar, as he leads us into the mystery, and in the Person of Christ, makes the Word-made-flesh present for us in the sacred sacrifice.

The children all love the Latin Mass, as well. We normally go to the English Mass locally, so the trip to the Cathedral (an hour away) could be a bit of a bore: but actually they respond to the beauty, the music, the silence, and the fact that they need to work a little harder, pay a little more attention.

Our Lady's statue was of course surrounded by flowers and candles for the Feast, so in many ways, she took centre stage, rather than the priest: surely an appropriate set of priorities: particularly as she always points us to her Son: 'Do whatever He tells you...'

2 comments:

Dorothy said...

" ... they respond to the beauty, the music, the silence, and the fact that they need to work a little harder, pay a little more attention." Well said, those children!

For me, there is nothing second-best or "poor relation" about the EF Low Mass. It has its own quiet beauty and intensity. It is a joy to be able to attend.

The Guild Master said...

"Quiet beauty and intensity", well said that Dorothy!

If one bears in mind the monastic roots of the Low Mass, it's sort of logical really. The monk just out of his cell and straight to the side altar, and off he goes.