What a joy to celebrate All Saints with the Mass of all the ages!
As usual, I've enjoyed the hospitality of my good friends Ben and Jane; and, as usual, I went over to St Canice a good deal before the Mass, first to pray and then to practice the chant with our choir. Tony does a good job of marshalling our disparate forces, thrown together for the occasion. Luckily, at my last practice with the Riverside schola, we had gone over the Introit for All Saints, so that went well...
Gaudeamus omnes in Domino, diem festum celebrantes sub honore Sanctorum omnium: de quorum solemnitate gaudent Angeli, et collaudant Filium Dei.Exsultate justi in Domino: rectos decet collaudatio.Gaudeamus...Gloria Patri... Sicut erat...Gaudeamus...
We sang Missa de Angelis and Credo III, so together with the congregation (of about 45) we had a full-throated roar of singing for the Ordinary. The evocation of the heavenly Liturgy in the assembly of the elect, pictured in the Epistle, and the Beatitudes declared in the Gospel, well taught us what our goal is, and how to attain it - by grace to gain glory evermore.
To-day's feast is the solemnity of All the Saints, when we especially recall that article of the Creed: Credo in... sanctorum communionem: the fellowship of the Saints, established by the communion of the Holy Things - the Sacraments, above all the Eucharist, which makes the Church and makes the Saints. We also recall that it is in the Holy Catholic Church, the assembly of those called and chosen (Ecclesia) to be holy and to be one in the unchanging Catholic Faith down all the ages, that we can hope to win through to heaven.
As mentioned previously, Fr Quinn, an excellent and holy priest, only has the opportunity (in this behind-the-times archdiocese) to say the Latin Mass once a month, so he doesn't have the sure pace that comes with constant practice. That said, it will be understood why we sang several motets at both Offertory and Communion: for the former, the Adoro te devote, then Dona nobis pacem (as a round in three parts); for the latter, a setting of Anima Christi in parts, then the Ave verum (one of my favourite prayers, so tender and right: I say it to myself at the Elevation).
Despite this, when we finished the Communion itself and the following items, Fr was only just beginning the ablutions. (I made the choirmaster laugh by suggesting that next time we could sing the Dies Iræ at Communion to fill up the long pause!)
Mass ended, we then sang the Litany of the Saints as a proper conclusion to the festal worship of this holy day; having started the Introit just after 11.30 am, we finished our last devotions just before 1 pm.
Afterwards, we said our prayers, mingled with our friends, and then (in my case) had a pleasant lunch with Ben and Jane, Yvonne, Wayne, and two priests also.
Then, back in the car for the long drive home... I've just returned, and six o'clock has just run on the town clock.