Wednesday, December 24, 2008

24th December: Mass in the Morning

Serving Mass at Carmel again this Christmas brings back happy memories - for I've done so for many years, on and off.  Fr is obviously a recollected priest, given that he not only recited the vesting prayers before Mass, and at Mass joins his hands juxta rubricas (something most priests, being lazy, don't bother with), but conjoins his thumb and forefinger from the Consecration to the ablutions (as Fr Mannes does).  If this is the Novus Ordo, I must say I don't mind it...   

I enquired after Mass, would he like me to bring wine as well as water for the ablutions?  Yes, he replied.  This all reminds me of what was said of the more conservative clergy when the 1549 B.C.P. was brought in: that they kept as much of the old ceremonial as they dared, and celebrated at side altars "Holy Communion of Our Lady" or "of the Apostles" just as if they were still offering up their accustomed Votives.  (BTW, "Our Lady" is, or rather ought be, a  title for the Blessed Virgin perfectly acceptable even to Anglicans, since the Book of Common Prayer, in its table of "Lessons Proper for Holy-Days", refers to the "Annunciation of our Lady" - let Protestants take note!)

In any event, Fr preached inter alia on the sense of eager expectation that Advent ought have enkindled in our hearts, that we might arise and awake early as the Prophet tells us in the lessons from Isaias read in the Office, and be as it were bursting with longing for Christmas and the Christ Child to come - he adduced how little children love getting up early, especially at Christmas, not always to the delight of their parents (amusement), and caused more titters from the sisters when he praised them for doing the same so joyfully! - for we needs must have that childlike sense of wonder and awe at even the natural order, at the rising sun at dawn, at each new day, given to us gratis, that helps feed our even greater amaze at beholding things supernatural, above all God's great Gift of Himself incarnate for us at Christmas.

No comments: