I attended my first AO mass last night. It was absolutely wonderful. In many ways it was what the OF can be, as celebrated in very traditional parishes, but rarely is. Of course the texts and prayers are somewhat different from both the EF and OF, but the overall structure is still thoroughly Western / Latin. Some observations:
- The church had a rood screen! Gives it almost an Eastern feel (though obviously not as elaborate as the iconostasis of a Byzantine temple).
- The mass was advertised as a “low mass” but it was still partly chanted / sung. I believe in the EF a low mass is completely spoken?
- The AO calendar seems to be more closely aligned to the EF / pre-Vatican II calendar…they were in “pre-lent” already with purple vestments, no Gloria, and no Alleluia.
- Lots, lots, lots, lot, lots of kneeling.
- Kneeling at the altar rail to receive Our Lord - which I do come across in OF masses (it is the norm at the Cathedral in Vancouver for example), but very rarely.
- Ad orientem - an option in the OF but I’ve never come across it.
- Warm, welcoming priest who made a point to chat with me for 15-20 minutes after mass.