Chrism Mass

Southwark Diocese still has the Chrism Mass on the proper day so it was a chance to catch up with some priest friends today before the Mass. The priests were all given a prayer card with Our Lady of Trust and a quotation from Pope Benedict's address at the Major Roman Seminary. (see the post "Look at your Mother and do not be afraid")

To be honest, I do not really enjoy the Mass itself and regard it as something of a penance at the end of Lent. As with many large concelebrations, I could not actually see the altar, let alone the bread and wine I was supposed to be consecrating. There was a CCTV monitor but if that counts, I might as well concelebrate with the Pope via EWTN. I wonder whether the current time of liturgical rethinking might be a good opportunity to explore the possibility of attending in choro. I think that many clergy (not necessarily only "traditionalists") might be in favour of having the option to do so. You might argue that we do have the option de iure but it's best to try to get agreement.

The music is always a pot pourri of styles - "The Church's One Foundation", the "Lourdes Gloria", bits of David Haas, Marty Haugen's Mass of Creation etc. Oddly, Anne Quigley's "Jesus Lamb of God..." was executed with the Agnus Dei from Mass XVIII being sung in the background. The low point was a hymn after Holy Communion by Marty Haugen which began "Thanks be to God when people care" and then morphed into a hearty rendition of "We will overcome". I found it really quite bizarre.

It struck me after Mass that whereas these complaints might be dismissed as personal gripes of a grumpy traditionalist, we did not in fact do what the Novus Ordo liturgists are constantly urging, namely sing the texts of the Mass. The Introit is:
Jesus Christ has made us a kingdom of priests to serve his God and Father: glory and kingship be his for ever and ever. Amen.
and the communion is:
For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord; I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
but neither of these actually featured as sung texts.

Although the Cathedral authorities make a generous provision of hot food, they can only cater for the clergy (quite understandably) and I usually arrange to meet some of the laity after Mass. A few of us repaired to the Three Stags pub afterwards which has had the benefit of an overhaul since last year. Pubs, like Churches, can get wreckovated by these well-meaning makeovers but this one seems to have been improved.

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