Friday, March 9, 2012

Pugin Bicentennial Mass

While in Hobart we made do without incense at our Missa cantata last Sunday (making my duties as M.C. a bit easier, be it noted), over at Colebrook they had a bishop to sing Mass, a choir to chant the chant and sing polyphony, and - our thurifer!  The church there was packed, thanks be to God.

The Pugin Foundation website provides many useful details about their glorious bicentennial celebrations, centred on a holy Mass celebrated in honour of, and not least to pray for the repose of the soul of Pugin, that great church architect; and Bishop Jarrett's sterling homily may be read there also.

Apparently the solemn service was filmed, and will be broadcast in September.

(It was a pity to miss my former parish priest, now Bishop of Lismore and Apostolic Administrator of Brisbane, but every man must do his duty, and sometimes important events do clash.)

5 comments:

odunbarr said...

Thank for the link. There are photos there now too which look great. I have two queries - there is no such thing as Pontifical Missa Cantata (which the photos seem to show) - a bishop can only celebrate a low or Solemn Mass in the EF. I wonder how they got around that. Secondly, no organ playing is allowed in Lent (except on Feasts e.g. Assumption and Laetare). Yet there is an organist for the Mass in the programme, an organ was shipped from Launceston, and there is (from reading the programme) an organ postlude - again not allowed by the rubrics of the Mass for the Lenten season. Again, I wonder how they justified that?

Joshua said...

1. One can only do what one can do - there were neither the clergy nor the expertise available to mount a Pontifical Mass, and were the people to have to make do with Low Mass simply because the only willing and able celebrant was a visiting bishop?(It would have been perverse indeed to disallow a sung Mass, but instead do as was done in the Baroque period and after, by singing polyphonic motets throughout a Pontifical Low Mass!) I think it should be obvious that this is an extraordinary situation not foreseen by the rubrics. In an archdiocese where the Latin Mass is severely restricted (despite Papal pronouncements), with few if any willing and able to celebrate it, the situation is obviously very different from that envisioned by rubricians of old. I rather suspect that the only reason the Mass was permitted at all was that a bishop was coming to sing it, and thus our dear Archbishop here was unable to forbid it as he would otherwise have wished to do!

2. As to the organ - certainly organ music is permitted in Lent "to sustain the chant"; but it does seem rather unliturgical to have an organ postlude. Presumably the extraordinary nature of the celebration was urged as a motive for doing so? I must agree with you that it was incorrect to have such a postlude...

odunbarr said...

Perhaps it was just bad planning and organization rather than an "extraordinary situation". An AP, D, SD could surely have been brought in from interstate for such a big occasion - at considerably less expense than bringing in a whole choir - that would've been putting liturgical considerations first, rather than musical ones.

I think its a dangerous practise to second-guess the minds of those who wrote the rubrics as a justification for breaking them. Surely wiser to simply trust the mind of the Church and follow them out of a sense of humility and obedience. Having said that, the overall cultural programme for the bicentenary looked excellent and I'm glad it was such a success.

Joshua said...

Hmmm...

While, yes, I suppose the necessary three clergymen could have been flown in, I think it is easy to sit back and criticise; may I enquire, do you (as I do) drive 200 km each way in order to act as M.C. for a priest who finds the rubrics of High Mass confusing? or otherwise yourself aid in the restoration of the traditional worship of Holy Church, in this dark and godless age? Not to point the moral, but I expect that those who arranged this Mass, in all good faith, would be quite angry with such carping criticism. Let me be frank: I wasn't able to attend the Mass (being busy as M.C.), nor know I anything of the whys and wherefores behind it, other than my own plausible surmises. I suggest you respectfully submit your queries and ideas for improvements to the Pugin Foundation, together perhaps with a donation toward their good works. I hope I do not appall you by stating that the monthly Latin Mass in Lismore (at the Carmel there) is most likely (a) a Missa cantata and (b) sung by His Lordship - again, for want of available trained clergy. You may wish to remind him of the relevant rubrics; but please do not come across as too disrespectful...

In Christ,

Joshua.

Kate said...

Indeed Joshua, I'm with you. This carping negative mentality is what gives traditionalists a bad name.

This was a great thing to celebrate, and one must adapt as best one can.