Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hobart Missa Cantata: the Postcommunion

To-day I’ve been down to Hobart and back, for to M.C. at our monthly Traditional Latin Mass, the one and only permitted in the Archdiocese (whatever a certain Supreme Pontiff may have decreed).

(This began as a comment on David Schütz's blog, but I've decided to save time and cross-post it here on my own.)

In any case, not to belly-ache but to celebrate, I was indeed uniquely privileged to stand at the priest’s side throughout the Liturgy (but for the prayers at the foot of the altar, the Consecration and my own Communion, naturally), and doing so made me suddenly aware (as I pointed it out for Father in the Missal) that the Postcommunion of to-day, the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost in the Extraordinary Form is – that of this selfsame Sunday in the Ordinary Form, the 33rd Sunday per annum!

It is actually quite rare to find any prayer or chant occurring in both forms of the Roman Rite on the same day, so my curiosity was piqued.

The first thing to note is an important change of address made by the revisers: in the traditional Missal, the Postcommunion is as follows:

Súmpsimus, Dómine, sacri dona mystérii, humíliter deprecántes, ut, quæ in tui commemoratiónem nos * fácere præcépisti, in nostræ profíciant infirmitátis auxílium. Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre…

I have highlighted the words subsequently changed, and inserted an asterisk where two new words were inserted in the reform – obviously, the prayer was redirected, so as to address God the Father rather than God the Son (and if I recall correctly that was itself a change made centuries earlier, from the initial almost total address of all such orations to the Father, to also addressing the Son if the prayer seemed to better suit it):

Súmpsimus, Dómine, sacri dona mystérii, humíliter deprecántes, ut, quæ in sui commemoratiónem nos *Fílius tuus* fácere praecépit, in nostræ profíciant caritátis augméntum. Per Christum…

The other interesting, and, I am afraid, all too predictable modification was that made to the intention of the prayer: no longer do we pray for aid for our weakness, but for an increase of charity. Now, both intentions are good and orthodox, but unfortunately the semi-Pelagian feel of “Gaudium et Spes” (to quote the current Pope when commenting when yet a priest on the Council documents!) has here made itself manifest: we do not confess our weakness, but perhaps too complacently ask for a boost to our lovingkindness.

In other news from today’s Mass, the choir was without its usual director, and the threat of having only a Low Mass was upon us – but, perhaps high-handedly and selfishly preferring a  Missa cantata (mea culpa), I reminded Simon, as locum tenens of the choir director, that as a bare minimum the Propers could simply be monotoned, advised him to sing the most familiar setting of the Ordinary (Missa VIII – de Angelis – and Credo III), and suggested that any other Latin ditties he knew could be sung to fill in the time at Offertory and Communion, so the good old Salve and Adoro te devote saved the day.

Before Mass and afterward, I reminded him that such was the practice over in Perth, W.A.,  whenever Fr Rowe wanted a sung Mass at the drop of a hat on a weekday (it brings back memories of a week's retreat, at which myself as the one chorister, and Aaron as the one server, had to provide him with a sung Mass between us daily).

We even sang “Faith of our Fathers” as a fitting recessional. Best of all (as we Catholics say) Mass was a bit faster than usual, taking just an hour.

Deo gratias et Mariæ!


John F H H said...

Something not quite right with this posting. I like the Roman type-face, but grey on black?? Probably needs to be bold white.
Kind regards
John U.K.

Joshua said...

Something went wrong! I have, I think, fixed the problem now... let me know if it's still awry.