Sunday, December 20, 2009

After the snowstorm: walking to the nearest Mass
YF as mystery worshipper. Things are about what I expected: Pope Benedict’s revival is slowly coming in (note the crucifix and candles on the altar; the rail’s waiting to be used again and there is a nice loud sanctus bell) but there are still ’70s leftovers (such as the arm-waving cantrix at the Alleluia and the 30-year-old attempt to soft-sell WO with that, an altar girl — thanks for the help, JPII — and a lay assistant helping give Communion). Recognisably Catholic but not as high (yet?) as even the American Missal. The Pope’s new translation and a tightening of the rubrics can fix all of the problems. Novus Ordo Low Mass by the book isn’t that bad; even the attempt at singing at the Alleluia (other than that it was Low Mass) wasn’t. Arguably there’s a place for a very pared-down, austere version of the Roman Rite which this is. Two things about it I like, which fit the legit liturgical movement: the congregation reciting a verse each for the Introit and Communion. Attendance: about 25? Father (the pastor?) walks with a stick. The sermon tied into the snowstorm: ‘chill’, slow down and look all around you. Which I did yesterday. But not with a literal chill: I’m wearing enough wool to make sure of that.

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