Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Birthday

To-day, the First Sunday of Advent, 2009, we held a belated birthday party...

No, we weren't wishing "happy birthday, Novus Ordo!" - for the 40th anniversary of the unhappy day of its foolish introduction on the First of Advent is strictly speaking to-morrow - but, after another Missa Cantata courtesy of Fr Popplewell (ere he return to Canberra), we had a shindig at the Greeners' residence for Simon's 50th.

(The Novus Ordo is obviously entering upon a mid-life crisis, as are all those who put their trust in it; and wickedly I suggested we sing Felix nativitas ad te, Nove Ordo, as an Offertory Motet, but this was turned down.)

"The Mass that wouldn't die" is alive and well: again, we had a sung Mass, at 10.30 am at St Canice; we had a choir of five - I was able to join in this time - and seven servers in the sanctuary, plus about fifty or sixty in the pews, both locals and the large number of friends and relatives from Canberra (Fr's parish) and Sydney who were in town for yesterday's nuptials.

I enjoyed singing Mass XVII (Deus Genitor alme), and the uplifting Propers (Ad te levavi et al.). For Offertory, we sang Creator alme siderum, and at Communion, Adoro te and Ave verum; Mass ended, we appended the simple Alma Redemptoris Mater. (It being Advent, there was no organ.) Fr Popplewell customarily offers the old Mass, which meant that it all flowed beautifully, lasting just over an hour, and he sings well, making the liturgy an improvement over the best efforts of dear Fr Quinn, who is only able to monotone his parts, and, only saying it once a month, is rather slow, as he has to read the rubrics as he goes.

After Mass, we had a great celebration together, as noted above; but all good things - except God - come to an end; so I had perforce to turn the car for points north, and head back to Launceston, arriving back home at a quarter to seven. 600 km driven this weekend since I drove out to the airport on Friday evening!


antipodes said...

It is a pity you choose to diss Fr Gerald Quinn. He is a humble saintly man and the Tasmanian Catholic community is blessed to have him. Perhaps it might be better to dwell on the positives of his presence here.

Joshua said...

Of course I know that!

It is not to disrespect someone if one mentions that they are unable to do something.

Could you not refer to "the Tasmanian Catholic community"? This savours of liberalism and modernism: we are Catholics of the Archdiocese of Hobart.

He is by far the most orthodox and saintly priest around, and converts souls.

But unfortunately he can't sing other than in a monotone and the Latin Mass takes ages for him to say: which makes it less than ideal.

We can't deny these facts. I don't dislike him for these two reasons, but I do know that the Missa cantata would be better, quicker, and frankly more attractive to Massgoers if he could sing and say Mass a bit more expeditiously. Also, he doesn't preach very well.

Having lived on the Mainland, and having known excellent priests and bishops here and elsewhere, I have a broader perspective and expect more perhaps.

Anonymous said...

A better Latin, I think, would be: "Felicem nativitatem tibi..."

Louise said...

Really, Joshua, it begins to look as though nothing can please the traddies. A *holy* priest isn't good enough?

I'd be more inclined to spend time with traddies if they were generally more welcoming and a bit more humble to be honest.

Joshua said...

He is holy, and I do like him very much!

But there is a difference between profound respect and ostrich-like behaviour. I'm not a member of Opus Dei, LOL!

Don't think I am picking on Fr Q at all - for that matter, my P.P. in Perth, the estimable Fr Rowe, despite being a very good preacher and an excellently experienced rubricist, has unfortunately a difficult Latin accent, because he learnt it so late in life. One gets used to it, but it does sound strange at first. Ditto for dear Fr Rizzo - being from New York, he pronounces the Latin in a most distinctive manner that to Australians can be unintentionally hilarious.

Do I disrespect either of these priests by mentioning these things? Of course not; they're just facts that both would humbly acknowledge, just as Fr Q. would be the first to admit that the Latin Mass, being unfamiliar to him, takes longer for him to say, and he's not up to chanting the lessons or the preface.

I am used to a Missa Cantata with all its bits sung, rather than monotoned, and one said with expedition, so of course I'm going to state the obvious and say Fr Popplewell's Mass was great.

Mass is Mass - even the Novus Ordo is valid, even if celebrated wretchedly - but of course we would all prefer Mass to be done as well as possible. This is not mere aestheticism, but the ideal toward which we should strive.

You mustn't misinterpret me!

Louise said...

Sorry, Joshua, I certainly ought to interpret your remarks more generously. It was more a reaction to much of the unnecessary (though understandable) snarkiness from traddies I've heard recently.

I do heartily wish for a return to good liturgy (and yes, the EF especially).

As a very general reflection, if traddies wish to grow quickly in number, they would do very well to pull their collective heads out of the sand regarding their own behaviour. Undoubtedly this applies to all Catholics as a general rule.