Memorial acclamation question

This question needs a brief preface:
I entered the Church in the Extraordinary Form of Mass. In my studies I understood that the Canon (Eucharistic Prayer) was (obviously) said only by the priest. I thought the end of the prayer was the ‘great amen’ as we were taught in the Anglican church. So therefore we should remain quiet until the ‘great amen’.

Well after a number of years I had to return to the Ordinary Form of Mass. I joined in the Memorial Acclamation until one day the folk choir had a youngster with a drum. At this solemn moment there was a loud ‘bang’ to finish the Acclamation.

That’s what made me stop and think about the appropriateness of saying anything before the Amen.

I’m guessing that I’m mistaken about not joining in the Memorial Acclamation.
Considering the fact that I come from a very traditional viewpoint and that I know that the Canon is the exclusive territory of the Celebrant, please help me understand why I should welcome the Memorial Acclamation before the amen.

Thanks in advance for your help,
Reggie.

Here’s an example of thinking on the topic, which I hope you’ll find instructive even if you don’t agree with it all (as I don’t).

In antiquity, the Eucharistic Prayer was considered to begin with the Preface Dialogue (or else with the Preface following the dialogue). I am referring to “The Lord be with you… Lift up your hearts… Let us give thanks…”

In the traditional Roman liturgy, the only verbal acclamation by the congregation after the Dialogue is the chanting of the Sanctus in between the Preface and the Te Igitur (the beginning of the Canon).

However, in many Eastern liturgies, the Eucharistic Prayer is “punctuated” by responses by the congregation. (cf. Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, scroll down to “It is proper and right”.)

The “Memorial Acclamation” in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite was perhaps seen by those who wrote up the new Missal as an element “which … suffered injury through accidents of history” and was thus “restored to the vigor which [it] had in the days of the holy Fathers,” apparently because it “seem[ed] useful or necessary.” (Sacrosanctum Concilium 50) Time will tell.

Personally, I think the Benedictus (“Blessed is He Who comes…”) would be the best acclamation to make after the Consecration, which is sometimes what happens in the Extraordinary Form, when an elaborate setting for the Sanctus is sung and it cannot be completed before the priest has reached the words of Consecration!

Final note: the current English translation purports that the “Memorial Acclamation” we pronounce is “the mystery of faith”, because the priest says, “Let us proclaim the mystery of faith.” But the traditional meaning of those words in the Canon (when they were still attached to the Chalice) was that it pertained to the mystical making-present of the Body and Blood of the Lord and the salvation won for us by that Blood. The new English translation of the modern Roman Missal translates “mysterium fidei” as just “The mystery of faith” (sort of like “The Word of the Lord” or “The Body of Christ”). The “acclamation” afterwards is our response to that mystery, not a statement of the mystery.

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