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  #1  
Old Sep 13, '09, 8:54 pm
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ljubim ljubim is offline
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Default High Mass vs Low Mass

Hello! I've been reading some apologetics books and they mention High Mass vs Low Mass... Could anybody describe the difference to me? And possibly suggest some further reading if you know.

(BTW the author was a convert... sometimes it seems they know more about Catholicism than we do)
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  #2  
Old Sep 13, '09, 10:25 pm
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corsair corsair is offline
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Default Re: High Mass vs Low Mass

if you could watch a video of High Mass and low Mass would that intrigue you?

If so then go to www.sanctamissa.org/en/. I think you'll find all your questions answered there
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  #3  
Old Sep 13, '09, 10:33 pm
thunderballs75 thunderballs75 is offline
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Default Re: High Mass vs Low Mass

High Mass and Low Mass will seem radically different in externals. I prefer the High Mass, but the unadorned simplicity of the Low Mass can be equally attractive at times. The High Mass is more beautiful and complex with singing/chanting, incense, more standing, and other things. The Low Mass is completely spoken, with usually no singing, and it is also shorter. But it is simple, quiet, and extremely reverent. They are both good forms. If it were available, I'd go to Low Mass during the week and High Mass on Sundays.
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  #4  
Old Sep 14, '09, 12:44 pm
Cluny Cluny is offline
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Default Re: High Mass vs Low Mass

In the Extraordinary Form, at least, the High Mass (because it's said in a "high voice" or chanted, called a Missa Solemnis in Latin) is the norm, where there is singing, incense, and the Priest is assisted by a Deacon and Sub-deacon, as well as lesser ministers.

The Low Mass (because it's said in a "low voice" or spoken) is a simplification of this, to allow the priest to celebrate when he doesn't have all the ministers and assistants needed. In Latin it's called a "Missa Privata"--that is, a mass "deprived" of its ceremonies.

However to the man in the pew, the Low Mass seems to be the norm because it's less common, and the High Mass is seen as an elaborated form, though, as I have said, the opposite is true.
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  #5  
Old Sep 14, '09, 1:24 pm
otjm otjm is offline
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Default Re: High Mass vs Low Mass

Prior to Vatican 2, a High Mass was simply a Mass with various parts sung. A Low Mass might have hymns or not, but it was not a sung Mass. And there was no incense; there would be incense at a funeral Mass, and there was an abundance of incense at a Solemn High Mass, but none at a high Mass. Additionally at our Parish, there were two smaller candles by the tabernacle which were lit during a Low Mass; during the High Mass they were not lit but 6 tall candles across the back of the altar were lit. And that was the distinguishing factors.
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  #6  
Old Sep 14, '09, 1:31 pm
malphono malphono is online now
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Default Re: High Mass vs Low Mass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cluny View Post
The Low Mass (because it's said in a "low voice" or spoken) is a simplification of this, to allow the priest to celebrate when he doesn't have all the ministers and assistants needed. In Latin it's called a "Missa Privata"--that is, a mass "deprived" of its ceremonies.
I don't argue what you say about the term "missa privata" but "deprived" also means deprived of a congregation, so it's not strictly the difference in ceremony. FWIW, I avoid that term unless a congregation is not present.

In any case, Low Mass is normally referred to as missa lecta (read Mass), even in the general instruction.

As well, there is the missa cantata (sung Mass, which is often popularly called "High Mass" even though it isn't strictly speaking) and the missa recitata which is Low Mass where the congregation takes the server's part and is also known as the "dialogue Mass."
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  #7  
Old Sep 14, '09, 1:35 pm
malphono malphono is online now
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Default Re: High Mass vs Low Mass

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Originally Posted by otjm View Post
Prior to Vatican 2, a High Mass was simply a Mass with various parts sung. A Low Mass might have hymns or not, but it was not a sung Mass. And there was no incense; there would be incense at a funeral Mass, and there was an abundance of incense at a Solemn High Mass, but none at a high Mass. Additionally at our Parish, there were two smaller candles by the tabernacle which were lit during a Low Mass; during the High Mass they were not lit but 6 tall candles across the back of the altar were lit. And that was the distinguishing factors.
Sorry, not quite true. Both a missa solemnis and missa cantata take 6 lighted candles, whereas a missa lecta or missa recitata takes only two.

Further, incense at a missa cantata was, until the 1950s, allowed by episcopal indult which was normally granted. From the then on, incense was allowed without indult.
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Old Sep 14, '09, 1:48 pm
otjm otjm is offline
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Default Re: High Mass vs Low Mass

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Originally Posted by malphono View Post
Sorry, not quite true. Both a missa solemnis and missa cantata take 6 lighted candles, whereas a missa lecta or missa recitata takes only two.

Further, incense at a missa cantata was, until the 1950s, allowed by episcopal indult which was normally granted. From the then on, incense was allowed without indult.
Well, as to the candles, I only spoke to the High Mass, not the Solemn High; we had candle bearers - 6 of them - with candles lit as they processed in; candles they carried (in addition to those on the altar) so there were 12. Those carried were put out once they were in the sanctuary, until after the Creed; then lit again.

As to the incense, thank you for the note; it was, however, not used out here in the West to my recollection.

Maybe it was just due to the fact that out here we had much less history, so much less time to accumulate funds, and funds being scarce, they were not used for incense...
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  #9  
Old Sep 14, '09, 7:51 pm
Cluny Cluny is offline
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Default Re: High Mass vs Low Mass

Well, as to the candles, I only spoke to the High Mass, not the Solemn High;

"Solemn High" is like saying "wet water." The two terms are equivalent.

The MISSA CANTATA is a simplification of the High Mass where only one sacred minister--the Priest--is available.

As someone else has already mentioned, this frequently got called "High Mass," but this is a solecismic misnomer.
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  #10  
Old Sep 14, '09, 9:04 pm
Walden Walden is offline
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Default Re: High Mass vs Low Mass

Wait a minute...would it be more correct to say that a Missa Cantata is a simplified High Mass or a "gussied up" Low Mass? Strange question I know...kind of like the chicken or the egg I guess.
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  #11  
Old Sep 15, '09, 1:59 am
Kasey1 Kasey1 is offline
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Default Re: High Mass vs Low Mass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cluny View Post
In the Extraordinary Form, at least, the High Mass (because it's said in a "high voice" or chanted, called a Missa Solemnis in Latin) is the norm, where there is singing, incense, and the Priest is assisted by a Deacon and Sub-deacon, as well as lesser ministers.

The Low Mass (because it's said in a "low voice" or spoken) is a simplification of this, to allow the priest to celebrate when he doesn't have all the ministers and assistants needed. In Latin it's called a "Missa Privata"--that is, a mass "deprived" of its ceremonies.

However to the man in the pew, the Low Mass seems to be the norm because it's less common, and the High Mass is seen as an elaborated form, though, as I have said, the opposite is true.
Nice work--thank you for sharing-
Thanks so much for this. I appreciate the effort. It really helps a lot.
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  #12  
Old Sep 16, '09, 5:32 pm
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GilChrist77 GilChrist77 is offline
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Default Re: High Mass vs Low Mass

The way I understand it is that the High Mass is said on non-feast day Sundays and the Low Mass is said daily.

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  #13  
Old Sep 16, '09, 6:08 pm
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Default Re: High Mass vs Low Mass

Wow, thanks for all of the answers I definitely understand it better now!
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  #14  
Old Sep 17, '09, 9:17 am
otjm otjm is offline
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Default Re: High Mass vs Low Mass

Quote:
Originally Posted by GilChrist77 View Post
The way I understand it is that the High Mass is said on non-feast day Sundays and the Low Mass is said daily.

JMJ+
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Totus tuus Maria!
What a specific parish is doing now I can't say, but before Vatican 2, we had Low Masses on Sunday (also) with the exception of one, which was a High Mass.
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  #15  
Old Sep 17, '09, 9:36 am
malphono malphono is online now
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Default Re: High Mass vs Low Mass

Quote:
Originally Posted by otjm View Post
What a specific parish is doing now I can't say, but before Vatican 2, we had Low Masses on Sunday (also) with the exception of one, which was a High Mass.
I believe the custom was (and remains in the EF) that only one High Mass (missa solemnis) be offered in a particular church on a given day. By extension, and while I am not 100% certain, I think the same applies to missa cantata. If other Masses are offered in the same church, they should be "Low Mass" (whether missa lecta or missa recitata).
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