Reviewed by James Spencer
By reprinting this two-volume set, PCP is promoting wider use of the Extraordinary Form (EF) of Mass throughout the English-speaking world. These books contain, in great detail, all the rubrics necessary for each participant in the various EF episcopal ceremonies, that is, the ceremonies in which one or more Bishops, Arch-Bishops, Abbots, or Cardinals participate. Proper rubrics are almost transparent to most people in the congregation. Improper rubrics are a distraction and sometimes an embarrassment. Ideally, each person in the sanctuary should do his job so smoothly and should interact with the others so precisely that, collectively, they seem to perform like a well-coached, well-coordinated athletic team. Together they should make the entire ceremony so beautiful, so inspiring, that the congregation never realizes how extensive and detailed the rubrics are for each “player.”
Who are the “players”? Well, depending on the ceremony, they may include one or more Bishops (Abbots, Arch-Bishops, and/or Cardinals), an Assistant Priest, a Deacon, one or more Assistant Deacons, a Subdeacon, a Master of Ceremonies, a Choir, a Book-Bearer, a Candle-Bearer, a Staff-Bearer, a Miter-Bearer, a Thurifer, several Acolytes, a Gremial-Bearer, a Train-Bearer, a Cross-Bearer, plus “Other Ministers”! Clearly, with so many folks moving about within the sanctuary, each one must do his individual job precisely and in proper coordination with all other participants. Otherwise, the ceremony would quickly become pandemonium, with people running into one another, tripping one another, and so on. Without good rubrics and participants well-trained therein, sanctuary space might have to be allocated for emergency medical personnel!
Happily, this two-volume set presents all of the sometimes complex rubrics for each participant in each ceremony in great but easily understood detail. Therefore, with this book and a reasonable amount of training and practice, those involved in any of these ceremonies can perform faultlessly and so transparently that God will be properly adored and the congregation will be properly edified.
What ceremonies are covered? Volume I contains rubrics for “Ordinary Episcopal Ceremonies,” which are: Pontifical Mass at the Throne; Pontifical Mass at the Throne for the Dead; Pontifical Mass at the Faldstool; Pontifical Mass at the Faldstool for the Dead; Solemn Mass in the Presence of the Ordinary, Cardinal, Papal Legate, or Metropolitan; Solemn Mass in the Presence of the Ordinary in Cappa Magna and Biretta; Solemn Mass in the Presence of the Ordinary when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed; Solemn Mass for the Dead in the Presence of the Ordinary; Solemn Mass in the Presence of the Ordinary in Rochet and Mozetta; Low Mass in the Presence of the Ordinary, a Cardinal, Papal Legate, or Metropolitan; Low Mass celebrated by a Bishop; Confirmation; Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament when a Bishop officiates; and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in the Presence of the Ordinary. Volume I also contains detailed instructions on the rubrics for Incensation and the Pax, and for the choir at Pontifical Mass.
Volume II contains rubrics for “Occasional Episcopal Ceremonies,” which are: Pontifical Vespers at the throne; Pontifical Vespers at the Faldstool; Vespers in the presence of the Ordinary, a Cardinal, Papal Legate, or Metropolitan; Pontifical Vespers for the Dead; Pontifical Compline; Pontifical Matins and Lauds on Solemn Feasts; Pontifical Matins and Lauds for the Dead; Annual Episcopal Ceremonies (Candlemas Day, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Tenebrae, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Rogation Days, Corpus Christi); Holy Orders (Ordination); and the Investiture of a Monsignor.
WOW! What an array of ceremonies! About all I couldn’t find in these two books is what to do during a non-episcopal church ceremony if a Bishop, Abbot, Arch-Bishop, or Cardinal happens to drive by on his way to the airport or wherever. Perhaps I just didn’t look closely enough. I wouldn’t bet it isn’t in there somewhere.
These two volumes are a reprint of the 1961 edition of this classic rubrical text, which is the edition that applies to the 1962 liturgical books. Every Bishop, Abbot, Arch-Bishop, and Cardinal who intends to participate in EF liturgies should have a copy. So should parishes, chapels, and monasteries where these episcopal ceremonies are likely to take place. It’s another PCP reprint of an old, out-of-print treasure that has again become relevant since the publication of Summorum Pontificum in 2007. For more such reprints, go to the PCP website.
Novus Ordo Liturgy Change
Pope Benedict XVI Considering Moving the Sign of Peace ('bout time)
Associated Press foreign, Sunday November 23 2008
VATICAN CITY (AP) - A high-ranking Vatican official says Pope Benedict XVI is considering introducing a change to the Mass liturgy.
Cardinal Francis Arinze, who heads the Vatican office for sacraments, says pope may move the placement of the sign of peace, where congregation members shake hands or hug.
Arinze told the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano in an interview published Friday that the pope has asked bishops to express their opinions and will then decide.
Under the change, the sign of peace, which now takes place moments before the reception of communion, would come earlier. Arinze said the change might help create a more solemn atmosphere as the faithful are preparing to receive communion.
Blast from the Past Picture:
Our Lady of Guadalupe Appears to Juan Diego
On Dec. 9, 1531, the Virgin appeared on a hill named Tepeyac to a Chichimec neophyte named Juan Diego, born with the name Cuauhtlatoatzin, which means “the talking eagle.”According to traditional Catholic accounts of the Guadalupan apparitions, during a walk from his village to the city on the early morning of December 9, 1531, Juan Diego saw a vision of the Virgin - a young girl of fourteen to sixteen, dark skinned and black haired, surrounded by light- at the Hill of Tepeyac.
Speaking in Nahuatl, imploring him in the diminutive case, the Lady asked for a church to be built at that site in her honor. After much hand wringing and imploring for release of such a responsibility, Juan Diego spoke to the Spanish bishop, Fray Juan de Zumárraga, the bishop asked him for a miraculous sign to prove his claim.
The Virgin asked Juan Diego to gather some flowers at the top of the hill, even though it was winter when no flowers bloomed. He found there Castilian roses, gathered them, and the Virgin herself re-arranged them in his tilma. When Juan Diego presented the roses to Zumárraga, the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe miraculously appeared imprinted on the cloth of Diego's tilma.
I remember marveling at this story because the Blessed Virgin appeared dark skinned ...which was comforting to me (as well as the poor oppressed natives in 1531) because in the early 60's our families still had to sit in the back of the church.
For a most wonderful telling of this story please follow this link to catholicism.org
The Collect is both a short, general prayer, also part of the Proper. In the Middle Ages, the prayer was referred to in Latin as collectio, but in the more ancient sources, as oratio. In English, and in this usage, "collect" is pronounced with the stress on the first syllable.
Traditionally, the liturgical collect was a dialog between the celebrant and the people. It followed a hymn of praise (such as the "in Excelsis Deo", if used) after the opening of the service, with a greeting by the celebrant "The Lord be with you", to which the people respond "And with your spirit." The celebrant invites all to pray with "Let us pray". In the more ancient practice, an invitation to kneel was given, and the people spend some short time in silent prayer, after which they were invited to stand.
Tip O' the Hat to the Monterey Traditional Mass Blog
A: The Ordinary refers to the parts of the Mass that are generally repeated in each liturgy. These include the introductory and penitential rites, the Preface dialogue, the communion rite, and the concluding rites. The sung Ordinary refers to the five principal Ordinary chants, which are identified by their opening word(s): Kyrie (Lord have mercy), Gloria (Glory to God), Credo (Creed), Sanctus and Benedictus (Holy, holy), and Agnus Dei (Lamb of God). Traditional polyphonic Mass settings consist of these five movements.
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