Friday, May 23, 2008

Mass coram Sanctissimo

As is the custom at the Pro., after Adoration all afternoon, tonight our Corpus Christi Missa Cantata was sung before the Blessed Sacrament exposed, with Procession and Benediction (accompanied with the Pange lingua of course) immediately afterward. Quartessence gave us Byrd's Mass for four voices (but with Kyrie in plainchant, Credo III sung by all, and only the last invocation of the Agnus Dei in polyphony, so as not to hold up communion), together with the rest of the Gregorian Proper (but for psalm-toning the Gradual and Alleluia to save time by reason of the long Sequence), an Offertory Motet - Cantate Domino (Ps 95:1-3) by Hassler, quite my favourite - and two Communion Motets: Panis angelicus and O sacrum convivium. To conclude, we sang St Alphonsus' "O Bread of heaven" (see an earlier posting of this).

I had forgotten that this special day the Mass is said coram Sanctissimo, and was delighted to have this privilege. Again, after Lauds, Prime and Terce before work, Sext at lunch, and None after finishing up for the day, I was able to come to the church in time to be shriven, and then say Matins (out of order) and Vespers before Our Lord in the monstance upon the exposition throne, and to pray the Canon for Holy Communion (of which a version is linked to here) as part preparation for so great a Guest. As Fr Rowe said at the end of his sermon, Aquinas tells us that the effect of the Sacrament is the transformation of men into God, and as St Thérèse said, Our Lord does not descend from heaven to dwell in a golden ciborium, but rather to dwell in another heaven, the faithful heart. To make some thanksgiving, I used the Byzantine prayers after Holy Communion.

A friend and visitor to this blog, Peter from Bunbury, has come up for a while, and was at Mass; afterward, he and I had dinner with Fr Rowe and watched his DVD of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Peter will not be with us much longer: he flies to the States on the 15th of June to join the Carmelite Monks in Wyoming.


Anonymous said...

How does Mass before the Blessed Sacrament work?

Joshua said...

There are more genuflexions, and many of them are double genuflexions. Also, when the priest turns to say Dominus vobiscum, etc., he moves as he turns somewhat to the Gospel side, and doesn't turn completely around, so as never to have his back to the Bl. Sacrament - for the same reason, he doesn't make a complete turn at the Orate fratres, but instead turns back the way he came.

Anonymous said...

Thank you; I was quite curious!