Excessive amplification is one of the most annoying things… In my schools chapel, built in the 1930s, the acoustics are AMAZING. you can say something in a slightly louder than conversational tone and clearly hear it in the choir loft. it sits 300. But, for some reason, we have to use excessive amplification, to the point where it’s jarring and off-putting
I have good hearing, but there is something wrong with the amplifiers and speakers at the parish church. I have a hard time understanding, the way it bounces around.
The church building was finished in 1901, before it would have been electrified at all- the priest ought to turn off the speakers in my view and project his voice. That’s what the building was designed for.
Exactly. In newer churches designed with amplification in mind, its fine. In older chapels, it’s a mess
I think it can be done in older buildings, but it can’t be done on the cheap. If you have a good sound man, know whether to place and adjust the speakers, it can work out fine. But if you just buy the speakers and plug them in, it isn’t very effective.
The one thing I can’t stand honestly are new churches built with the tabernacle not even in the center. I don’t like these new layouts at all. I’ve been to churches that don’t even have kneelers. I don’t understand why altars with kneelers and railings were ever done away with either. I’ve been to churches where the altar is in the middle and pews surrounding it.
I must say the pre Vatican 2 churches are how I think it should be. I don’t understand some of the newer layouts.
I understand that. But apparently there were many who despised contemplative prayer and wanted to amplify the Mass and make it more transparent.
Consider what Dom Prosper Gueranger, founder of the Benedictine Congregation of France and first abbot of Solesmes after the French revolution, predicted in 1840:
“Hatred for the Latin language is inborn in the hearts of all the enemies of Rome. They recognize it as the bond among Catholics throughout the universe, as the arsenal of orthodoxy against all the subtleties of the sectarian spirit. . . . The spirit of rebellion which drives them to confide the universal prayer to the idiom of each people, of each province, of each century, has for the rest produced its fruits, and the reformed themselves constantly perceive that the Catholic people, in spite of their Latin prayers, relish better and accomplish with more zeal the duties of the cult than most do the Protestant people. At every hour of the day, divine worship takes place in Catholic churches. The faithful Catholic, who assists, leaves his mother tongue at the door. Apart form the sermons, he hears nothing but mysterious words which, even so, are not heard in the most solemn moment of the Canon of the Mass. Nevertheless, this mystery charms him in such a way that he is not jealous of the lot of the Protestant, even though the ear of the latter doesn’t hear a single sound without perceiving its meaning .… . . . We must admit it is a master blow of Protestantism to have declared war on the sacred language. If it should ever succeed in ever destroying it, it would be well on the way to victory. Exposed to profane gaze, like a virgin who has been violated, from that moment on the Liturgy has lost much of its sacred character, and very soon people find that it is not worthwhile putting aside one’s work or pleasure in order to go and listen to what is being said in the way one speaks on the marketplace. . . .”
Sure. But the faithful really avoided the High Masses back in the day- making all of the masses “high” might not have been as popular as the vernacular Masses.
EF for me. I am sacristan and head server for the diocesan EF in my area.
Thanks for sharing, @ProVobis!
I love the Latin language, especially when used in the context of the Mass! However, when others claim that the Latin Mass is more ‘reverent’, more ‘traditional’, and it ‘lifts my heart up to God more’ than the Novus Ordo, it makes me think how much of the liturgical norms and elements they really understand along with understanding the language that is used. That is all.
100% agreed! That I will never understand! As Venerable Fulton Sheen remarked along with Saint Mary Magdalene in reference to the tabernacle moved to the side, “Where have they put my Lord?”. No one should ever have to go looking for the tabernacle, ever.
Like non-spanish speaking poeple who would not want to go to a mass in Spanish because they don’t speak the language, not that they do not understand the mass or that their mass obligation is not fulfilled.
Really not problematic? Would you prefer a mass in a language you do not understand or one that you understand?
IDK, but I know many people today would not want to attend a mass in a language they do not speak, e.g. an English speaking person would prefer an English mass instead of going to the Italian one.
There are a few advantages to this. Everyone is closer to the altar and everyone can see and hear better. The lighting is also often better because these types of churches often have big windows admitting a lot of light.
I tend to prefer the historic, traditional churches also, but from a practical standpoint it’s sort of like “theater in the round” as opposed to the classic design with a stage at one end and rows of seats getting progressively further away.
Exactly! I went to a Mass in Spanish in the Dominican Republic three years ago; yes, it was beautiful, and reverent etc. But, I did not understand anything being said and there was not a translation guide, also.
Liturgical words and the proper understanding of them have deep meaning for me, not solely their actions. I hang on to every word, especially in the Liturgy of the Eucharist. It is the understanding of the words and the actions that lifts my heart up to God.
I went to a mass in Hanoi, Vietnam, in one of those oversea trips. It was a beautiful church, a building from the French colonial era, but the mass was said in Vietnamese. Boy, I don’t know whether you know Vietnamese, but it was completely alien to me. I could not follow, even the Hail Mary in the Rosary which they said after the mass. The experience was good though and I was thankful to be able to attend mass in a foriegn land but coming out of it you had strange feeling unlike when you attend a mass in a language that you understand.
There are many churches today that are designed with greater width or even round in shape to faciliate the pews being nearer to the altar, rather than the more traditional narrow design where you have something like twenty rows of pews. And with many pair of pillars in the middle.
The former gives the feeling of nearer to the alter while the latter perhaps giving a sense of greater reverence. I notice that there are Catholics who like to sit at the back while others, right at the front.
I’ve never attended an EF mass, I need to since they offer a latin mass here in Omaha but it’s a bit of a drive for me. I attend a parish that solely does OF and I find myself wishing we’d do ‘ad orientem’ and incorporate more latin in the mass. I have nothing against OF, but it can be done better and we should move in that direction.
I was reading Dr. Kwasnewski’s “Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness” and he mentioned something that made me think about transparency.
Here, "Liturgy that is totally transparent is invisible and thus ignored, because it does not catch our attention at the very point where the invisible God becomes visible in otherworldly signs and symbols, like light becoming narrative in a stained glass window. Liturgy that is totally accessible is boring, because it is too easy. . . the traditional liturgies (i.e. EF, Byzantine, Divine Liturgy) are not readily intelligible but opaque, multilayered, cosmic in scope, rich in paradox, proclaiming the ineffable divine sacrifice; they are not transparent. . .not readily accessible but exacting, requiring self-discipline, demanding our conversion to something objective, outside of us, prior to us, higher than us, and normative of us. "
Was it truly an innovation? What about further back? Maybe a couple hundred years or even before the Council of Trent? I know little of the history of the Latin Rite, but it seems to me likely that hundreds of years ago, the people did actually participate more. I feel fairly certain that the people did not sit silently while the priest greeted them, expecting altar servers to answer on their behalf. It seems such a strange development that the priest would greet the people, “Peace be with you,” as Jesus greeted his disciples, that the people would remain silent. Perhaps it came with the development of the Low Mass, which was itself an innovation.