A great success – this year, the Hobart Latin Mass Community celebrated the Triduum and Easter for the first time since the liturgical changes in the nineteen-sixties.
Fr Mannes, a Dominican currently based in Sydney, very kindly came down to Hobart to officiate – he is an excellent singer, and rendered the Exultet extremely well. The choir also performed admirably (no mean effort, singing all the chant, plus motets, at the liturgies for four days in a row), as did the servers; the only real mishap resulted from yours truly, as M.C., managing to step on and break the incense boat, while manoeuvring the umbella into place at the start of the procession to the altar of repose on Holy Thursday evening (I had driven down from Launceston after work, so arguably I was a little distracted). Several appreciative comments about every other aspect of the liturgies were received: I still can't believe we did it! (The incense boat will be repaired in due course…)
In order to be ready for the special rites, we practiced from 6:30 pm onwards on Holy Thursday, and on Good Friday from after Stations till the afternoon Liturgy, with a break for a penitential lunch, while on Holy Saturday we practised from about 6 pm onwards. On Easter Monday it took us till nearly 11 am to get everything packed up. The Archdiocese very kindly lent us several old vestments and a chalice for the liturgies, as the sacristy at St Canice wasn't fully equipped for the many ceremonies carried out.
Our timetable was as follows:
- 7:30 pm Holy Thursday: Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, sung and with incense as usual (no footwashing this year), followed by the procession to the altar of repose, then the stripping of the altars and Compline (90 minutes all told); adoration at the altar of repose continued till midnight;
- 10:30 am Good Friday: Stations of the Cross (half an hour);
- 3:00 pm Good Friday: Solemn Afternoon Liturgy (only 75 minutes - the Passion was read, not sung, and there were less than our usual Sunday numbers present);
- 7:30 pm Holy Saturday: Easter Vigil (2 and a quarter hours - the church has no font so all that part of the service was omitted);
- 10:30 am Easter Sunday: Missa cantata, with Vidi aquam beforehand (70 minutes);
- 9:00 am Easter Monday: Low Mass, with the Ordinary sung (40 minutes).
On Good Friday evening at 8 pm, I went with a friend and Fr Mannes to attend the Greeks' service of Matins, with procession of the epitaphion; it was good to see, and I met up with several whom I know, but I found it a very long three hours, so I decided to turn down the invitation to come back the next evening after our own Vigil! Having stayed in Hobart for four nights, I've now returned home on a cold, wet autumn afternoon.
Next year, who knows? With a sufficiently augmented choir, we could even attempt Tenebræ… it would be shorter than the equivalent Byzantine Rite service that I attended.