17 April 2011

Holy Silence

I asked one of the priests - the youngest, actually - I serve for in the EF why he didn't allow a dialogue Mass.  Quite a few of those who attend know the responses and were keen to join in but he has stopped them.  His answer illuminates another of the problems with the OF.  He wants people to pray the Mass, to unite themselves with what he is doing at the altar, and not to be constantly doing things, or preparing to do things, or to be working out when they'll next have to do things.  "That's what the server's for."

Even to say the people's part at my own pace instead of at the slow unison pace of the loud people is enough to get flashed black glares.  Unison is somehow believed to be next to holiness, even if it ruins the sense of what's being said:

Our Father
Who Art in Heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name
Thy Kingdom Come
Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven ...

Deeper than that, though, is the problem that if I'm saying those words it's unlikely that my mind can continue whatever meditiation it was pursuing during the Canon of the Mass.  The price of spending large parts of the Mass saying things is a two dimensional "participation" that forces me to do one thing, the same thing as everybody else, and not to do anything else.

This is another of those things that has radically changed the relationship between Catholics and the Mass, and not, I fear, for the better.

1 comment:

Anagnostis said...

The post above fits neatly alongside this one, I think: