Bits of 't'radition

Bit by bit, the pastor at my parish reintroduces bits of 't’radition into our liturgical celebrations!!
This is an OF midnight mass at our parish during the prep of the gifts.

http://forums.catholic.com/picture.php?albumid=2389&pictureid=16219

Next year he is thinking of incorporating the office of readings into the celebration!
Such a great spirit in the heart of my pastor!

I’ve wondered about this dude sitting on the altar when I attend the Tridentine Mass.
It looks cool, but what is his function?

beautiful! im glad that there are more and more priests who are finally celebrating the Novus Ordo mass the way it is supposed to be celebrated. at our church, the priest wears the cassock, fiddle back chasuble, and faces east while saying mass, but it is still mostly in english (save the credo, pater noster, and other prayers)

Which ‘dude’? The one seated here, wearing a biretta? That’s the priest celebrant. The man at the altar in the picture is the deacon, recognized by his dalmatic, a vestment that looks like a chasuble with sleeves.

At the Mass I attend, the priest (?) wearing the biretta sits in a chair reading and does not appear to assist the celebrant with the Mass at all.

There must be some sort of visual guide for vestment recognition. Some people are just too good at it.

Yes, likely he is sitting in choir, and not the celebrant. Does the priest you mention wear a chasuble, as in the above picture, or does he simply wear cassock and surplice? My guess would be the latter, which means that he is not the celebrant. He also would not be sitting so close to the altar as the priest in the picture.

It seems you are speaking of a priest who is “sitting in choir”. This means that the priest sits on the side, often with a kneeler and chair of his own, and simply sits in for the mass.

In the case of the picture given in the OP of this thread, however, the priest is the celebrant.

Sitting in Choir seems to describe it. What does it mean?

I told you:

actually, you’ve explained nothing :shrug:

Well, then, perhaps you can enlighten us with your obviously superior knowledge. :shrug:

sitting in choir means “sits on the side, often with a kneeler and chair of his own, and simply sits in for the mass.”

I guess I was just wondering if there was special symbolism attached to it.

No, if he ‘sits in choir’ he’s just attending Mass. His other option would be to concelebrate, In which case he’d wear at least alb & stole but often a chasuble too and approach the altar for the Eucharistic Prayer, part of which he would read out loud, and he would extend his hands over the bread and wine at Consecration.

There ain’t no “dude” sitting "on " the Altar. I see the priest sitting in the Sanctuary but not ON the Altar. :rotfl:

our new pastor is slowly changing things as well … it is great to see, he is changing the mindset and teaching at the same time…

one discussion we had with him we asked why he doesn’t go quicker, his answer was astute and well thought out

he said the people in the parish are good people, doing what they think is right, to upset the apple cart too much may chase some good people away, and the job of the church and the pastor is to lead, teach and bring people closer to Jesus

I found that answer to be quite humbling, as I was always clamouring for change, and never realized at times I was thinking people were wrong …it’s not so much wrong as misguided, and people attending mass is growing so it is working

he also has a habit of quoting Pope Francis and PBXVI quite often as in “as our Holy Father asks”

The younger priests in this area seem to be all very tuned in to the reform of the reform that Benedict talked about … it bodes well for the future, at least around here, and we currently have close to 30 seminarians in our diocese, after years of 3 and 4…

Very similar to the pastor pictured above! He is young, but wise beyond his years. We are blessed to have him!

I’d like to clarify “Sitting in Choir,” since there have been several explanations that overlap.

Defining Choir
First thing to know is that the use of the word “Choir” refers to an architectural part of the traditional layout of a Catholic church. As you can see in the diagram below, the choir is the part of the church between the nave (where the people sit, to the left of the highlighted portion in the diagram), and the altar (where the Sacrifice of the Mass is offered, to the right of the highlighted portion of the diagram). When a bishop, priest, deacon, or seminarian “sits in choir,” they sit in this part of the church, usually on special benches called “choir stalls.”

© University of Pittsburg

Why Would a Person Sit in Choir?
The next portion is defining the purpose of someone sitting in choir. Historically, the clergy would sit in this area to say the responses, and chant the antiphons for the Mass, since they were able to read the appropriate texts. Eventually, this became the duty of a choir as we think of it today — a group of laymen who usually occupy the back of the church, and chant antiphons or sing hymns for the Mass.
Despite this evolution, clerics still sat in the choir section of the Church. This is still common in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, because concelebration is not permitted. Since only one priest could offer the sacrifice of the Mass, other priests sit in choir to make the responses (along with the servers). These priests may assist with distributing Holy Communion by donning a stole over their surplice.
Deacons can also sit in choir when they are not acting as Sacred Minister for the Mass.
Seminarians also can sit in choir, and this can be a valuable experience for them to better learn the Mass, including the actions of the priest.

Is Sitting in Choir Allowed in the Mass of Paul VI?
Shortly: Yes. Several Vatican Documents recognize the validity of the option of sitting in choir, while also recognizing that concelebration is allowed. There are many reasons for this.
Firstly, as bishops cannot concelebrate when a priest is celebrating, a bishop will sit in choir when attending a Mass. This is common when a bishop visits a parish, and the pastor still celebrates the Mass. While sitting in choir, a bishop still presides over the celebration, and will sometimes address the faithful, or give the final blessing.
Priests will sometimes refrain from concelebrating due to various reasons, including them being mindful of the maximum number of Masses they may celebrate a day (which is dictated by Canon Law); or their being mindful that they are in a state of mortal sin, and they do not wish to unnecessarily receive the Eucharist when they are lacking a state of grace.
Deacons and seminarians will sometimes sit in choir to assist, or to show their presence, especially at more solemn liturgies.

I hope that was clear, if anyone has anything to add, please do so.

Thank you! That was a very succinct and accurate explanation.

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