Friday, September 28, 2007

The Preparation & the Introit

The Preparation is actually not a part of the Mass liturgy. If it the custom of the parish to use a separate Confessional Service before Mass, it need not be included.

The Introit is the beginning of the Mass liturgy. According to the historic Western use, the Introit is not begun until the celebrant and ministers have come to the altar. Having made the customary reverence - the celebrant kisses the alter at the midst, and the deacon where he stands at the right of the celebrant - the celebrant (or Kantor, or choir) intones the Introit of the day.

Although local customs may vary, beginning the Introit only after the ministers arrive at the altar is to be preferred, especially if it is customary to incense the altar during the Introit. Everyone will already be in place, able to complete the incensing while the Introit is being sung.


Brian P Westgate said...

So the deacon kisses the Altar as well, but not the subdeacon? I hadn't heard before of the deacon kissing the Altar, but if he's ordained, that makes sense.
What do you think of Luther's idea of lengthening the INtroit to a full Psalm, as it was in the earliest days?

Dcn. Muehlenbruch said...

I am guilty of confusing the historic rite and the Novus Ordo. In the historic rite, the deacon does not kiss the altar as the celebrant does.
In the latter case, the sub-deacon is not mentioned; because the sub-deaconate has been suppressed.

Re. Luther and the Introit: There are times then the entire Psalm would be suitable; especially when Mass is begun directly with the Introit (the Preparation and opening hymn having been excluded). These occasions might be the dedication of a church, the installation of a pastor, and other times when the bishop, local clergy and choirs might assist in the service. These services might contain a lengthy procession, and the Psalm could be chanted during the procession.

Otherwise, I prefer to retain the use of the historic (short) Introit. It has served well in this form for centuries. I quess that I just have something against "repristination."

Past Elder said...

As long as we don't have any goof balls walking up the aisle holding the Lectionary over their heads I'll be OK with it!

Dcn. Muehlenbruch said...

Past Elder, although your comment seems to be a non sequitur, there are two way for the deacon to carry the Gospel book in a procession.

The most common (and often most exaggerated) way is to hold the book with both hands and hold it vertically at chest hight. The deacon should be able to see over the top of the book.

Another, older, way is to hold the book with the right hand and to couch it in the crook of the left arm. This is a more comfortable posture. This also removes the temptation to "hold the book over the head."

Past Elder said...

It might be helpful to mention that I now watch my church body, LCMS, recover liturgical integrity as one who began in a church body, RC, which rejected it.

I served probably thousands of what is now called the Tridentine Mass, including before the 1962 texts, and continued through the piecemeal conversion during the Council up through the promulgation of the bogus, er, novus ordo.

The comment was light-hearted, thinking of the "processions" one often sees in local parishes these days, with someone holding the book over his (which is generic indeed, as "his" gramatically may be female or male) head. My point being Vatican II for Lutherans drives me nuts.

Dcn. Muehlenbruch said...

If I remember correctly, in the 1960's it seemed like Lutherans were attempting to rescue the content and ceremony of the historic rite that Rome was tossing out. Then, when Vatican II gained speed, everything new was being adopted and adapted by Lutherans and protestants alike.

What is a confessional Lutheran (whose Confessions state that the historic liturgy and ceremonial has been retained) to do?

Past Elder said...

I think a confessional Lutheran is to do this: "historic" does not mean 1960s Rome.

When Vatican II gained speed, I was still RC. It amused me no end to see the Protestants (among which at the time I included Lutherans) fall into step like ducklings behind their mother -- demonstrating once again that Rome is the true mother church and these others have merit, but that merit is in what of the Catholic faith they retained.

At this point, the novus ordo and its lectionary, with adaptations, is pretty much the common property of all mainline denominations with a liturgical tradition, all of which have distanced themselves from their former identities.

Besides then the fact that the novus ordo is not the historic liturgy but a 1960s recast of it, that recast is now firmly associated with all heterodox liturgical churches.

These are not two reasons not to do it, but rather two examples of how doing it is not true to the liturgical aims of the Lutheran Reformation you quote.

Nor is the Tridentine Mass our point of reference either. That as well is antecedent to the historic liturgy of which the confessions speak. We need to realise we are not some sort of Lutheran SSPX any more than we are Vatican II on the Mississippi rather than the Tiber.

We have to date in a way anticipated the recent Motu: we offer both the novus ordo, Lutheran edition, and our previous Common Service along with others on historic Lutheran precedent, really no different than offering "traditional" and "contemporary" services except in the sources for contemporary.

The Lutheran retention of the historic liturgy needs to be freed from both Vatican II and Trent as it originally was.

Past Elder said...

It's late and I'm doing laundry. Clarification -- I meant to say our retention of the historic liturgy is antecedent to the Tridentine Rite, therefore neither it nor the novus ordo are our point of reference.