Sunday, 7 June 2009

Ember Saturday...

We were privileged to have our usual monthly Missa Cantata on Saturday, with our visiting schola. It was Ember Saturday in the Octave of Pentecost, and so there were five readings before the Gospel... it seems that, traditionally, men would have been ordained to various ministries: doorkeepers, acolytes, exorcists, deacons and subdeacons among them... 

We didn't have any ordinations, but one of our servers was acting as MC for the first time, so I took the opportunity to take a few photos. I was impressed to see that, despite several of our usual servers being away, we were still able to field four torch-bearers for the Canon...

I'm not quite sure what happened to the lighting levels in that last photo...

6 comments:

gemoftheocean said...

Well, you could have probably had SIX torchbearers, but certain parties seem to have a gentleman's agreement never to give girls the "golden handshake" in the UA form.

I enjoy attending the UA Masses, but this is one thing I find distasteful about it. My own knees wouldn't be up to serving at such a Mass now, but few women will EVER be as comfortable at a UA Mass as men are, because, frankly, I doubt one girl/woman in 10 could do the responses by heart as the boys would be required to learn, because frankly, no one cares if they really know the responses or not. They're just supposed to sit there in their lace burquas.

Mac McLernon said...

Actually, Karen, none of the servers *have* to know the prayers off by heart... though this is preferable. We have cards with the words on them, which can be used as an aide memoire.

We have a Latin class on Saturday mornings for the servers at which Fr. Tim is going through the responses and what they mean.

The server who was MC on Saturday (he did Round 2 on Sunday morning) didn't know the responses off by heart the week before, but, after the lesson, he went and learned them. He was word-perfect by Saturday. The other boys may be slower at learning the responses, but they are working on it...

The sisters of the altar servers are also welcome at the Latin lessons. They don't "have" to learn anything off by heart... but they can usually be seen following the prayers in the Mass book, which has both Latin and English side-by-side.

gemoftheocean said...

? The boys serving use cheat sheets? [Not all but some?]

I think I'm probably just irked more than usual because there's this woman that attneds a lot of the daily Masses that I attend. She's got two kids close in age, the girl slighty older. Each have missals. Daughter sits their aimlessly flipping, trying to be in the right spot...she could be on the moon. Mom has arms cradled around dear son, making sure he knows EXACTLY where they are.

Are the girls invited to learn to pronounce the latin corredtly as well?

Mac McLernon said...

Yes, the servers have "cheat sheets" in case they can't remember the words. Fr. Tim has them too, in case he suddenly goes blank. Hey, I've gone blank when reciting the Our Father in English... it can happen to anyone, no matter how well you know something. The cards are printed out and laminated, and usually left on the step (Low Mass at the Lady Altar) or on the credence table (Missa Cantata).

Yes, the girls (if interested) get to say the words in class too. The emphasis is making the responses in unison and understanding what they mean.

Amanda said...

Thanks Mac, I am so comforted that someone else goes blank in the middle of something as familiar and precious as the Our Father. I always feel awful....it normally happens to me when I'm saying the Rosary with a friend!
I've never been to a Latin Mass, I converted 12 yrs ago and have only reacently started reading about this kind of old "traditional" Catholicism (I've always felt drawn to the more traditional ideas)....I have discovered that a church not too far away has a fortnightly Latin Mass but feel a bit nervous of "making a fool of myself" as I know no latin at all. I've ordered the comic book "Know your Mass" that Fr Tim mentioned on his blog....any other suggestions as to how to prepare??

Mac McLernon said...

Amanda - glad I have made someone feel less inadequate by confessing my own foibles!!

Remember that "Latin Mass" may apply to a Novus Ordo Mass too...

...however, assuming that it's the Extraordinary Form (usus antiquior) then you need to be aware that you don't need to worry.

The important thing is internal participation, in whatever way you are comfortable. So, you could just kneel down and think about the life, death and resurrection of Christ while the sacrifice of the Mass is offered by the priest. A good way to help meditation of this sort is to pray the rosary (John Paul II used to pray the Rosary during Mass).

Watch what happens. The important bits (the beginning of the Canon, the Consecration and the priest's communion) are all signalled by the ringing of a bell, so you can't miss them.

You can follow in a missal if you want, but I would recommend just kneeling quietly in prayer while you get used to the various parts.

You might want to get a hat, beret, scarf or mantilla if it's advertised as a trad Mass, as many women will wear something, but it is in no way compulsory, and no-one will kick you out if you decide not to wear anything on your head.

The Old Mass does take time to get used to, so don't write it off immediately if you don't "get it" straight away.

Good luck... let me know how you get on.

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