Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Another Mass For You...

During the school holidays, I have the opportunity to attend weekday Mass in the parish. Because of the smaller numbers attending these Masses, I have been a little wary of taking photos - I don't want to disturb anyone. However, Sunday's experiments with the monopod demonstrated that I can leave the camera relatively low down, and in front of me, so it's not in the way...

So, this morning I settled down to capture a typical example of weekday Mass at Blackfen. Although it is as reverent as it can possibly be, because the Mass is being celebrated versus populum, it doesn't draw the eye in in quite the same way, which means that it is simply less photogenic. If you watch carefully, you'll see that Fr. Tim practically disappears behind the altar when he genuflects, and the Deacon is "missing" for the whole of the Consecration...

It's also noticeable that one can't help looking at the face of the priest during the Elevation when he celebrates versus populum: human beings are "hard-wired," biologically speaking, to focus on movement and faces, and especially on eyes. (Just watch a baby being held by its mother, and see it seek to make eye contact...)

UPDATE: I originally set the slide show to a track from Enya, but, on listening to it again, I decided that maybe it didn't work as well as I'd first thought. So, new music (I want people to watch the video, after all) and this time I picked Minuit, Chrétiens! by Adam, sung by Roberto Alagna, from the album Sanctus...


11 comments:

Miss Ellen E. said...

I see what you mean about the 'disappearing priest'! :-)

Catholic Mom of 10 said...

Mac I'm not being funny but a couple of points! Firstly pleeeze tell Fr T that just could NOT possibly be a Church & a sanctuary! I can't relate to it at all..OK so I'm in the O Parish but is it really a Church & not a hall or summat?
Now Mac! brace yourself are you playing Enya to fr t's Mass? Only I didn't dare press play!

Let's go for a 3rd..are there no evening weekday Masses? But then I spose if Fr T's on his own & says morning Mass that's understandable coz I'm quite sure he isn't inside watching the X factor whilst you do the service for him.

Now Mac coming back to Mass..how's about we some of what you get up to apart from sitting in that pew?

I think that was no 4!

No 5 come bak at me & tell me to mind my own..soz it just came over me!

gemoftheocean said...

I'd disagree. Movement is strong and you're going to look at the Host.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Hate your choice of muzak.

I am normally the other side of altars, it is a terrible distraction to have both priest and deacon disappear after the consecration.
I forgot we did that.
It must be quite strange for children.

Michael Anthony said...

Pax Deorum??? Peace of the godS??? Mac! You've gone pagan on us!!! Booooooooooooooooooooo hisssssssssssssssss! :)

Another great slideshow. Thanks for these little peeks into Blackfen!

Mac McLernon said...

I like Enya, but, ok, in retrospect, perhaps it wasn't the best track to put alongside a slideshow of the Mass.

I've done another one now, but it might take a while before You Tube uploads the new version...

Patricius said...

I think, in all fairness, it has to be said that the low camera angle exacerbates the "disappearing priest" phenomenon nevertheless the new rite is visually less satisfactory. While the old rite/extraordinary form was arguably largely either inaudible or incomprehensible it was visually articulate, consistent and clear. I have long suspected that the new mass was devised by men who were visually illiterate.

Mac McLernon said...

Patricius - trust me, I'm quite tall, and I'm sitting upright at this point... and Fr. Tim actually does disappear from view (apart from his bald patch at the top of his head)...

Jane said...

I heard the French music and enjoyed it. I refuse to be critical because I couldn't even begin to do anything like this, and you did warn us about the 'Fr-Tim-in-the-box' effect. Fr Tim's elevations of Host and Chalice are the most beautiful thing I've seen since last going to the EF!

Thank you and God bless.

Patricius: Agree with you about the visual illiteracy of the Bugninites.

Rubricarius said...

It is interesting to compare the series of three photo sets.

The last really does look odd in comparison to the other two. There is something fundamentally not right about versus populum celebration and the altar becoming a sort of barrier between the celebrant and the people.

gemoftheocean said...

Oh, Mac. Fr. Tim "disappears" because dear Fr. Tim is maybe all of 5'5' if he jumps up and down a bit. [Okay, maybe he's taller, I seem to see picture of him alongside Fr. Stretch Boyle, and Fr. Blake and Fr. Sean F. so maybe he just seems like a more compact fella than perhaps he is in real life!]

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