Questions on the Extraordinary Form

A few questions (in no particular order) on the Extraordinary Form:

  1. Has anyone ever seen the EF celebrated versus populem? Will this be done in the future?

  2. Is the altar (or priest) ever “miked” so that the congregation can hear the words of the Mass? Will this be done in the future?

  3. Does the congregation join the Altar Servers in their responses to the priest or do they remain completely silent throughout Mass? Will the EF become a “dialogue” Mass?

  4. In churches without altar rails does the congregation receive standing or kneeling or both?

  5. Can extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion be used? (I realize they probably are not, but can they be?)

I realize in most of these questions I am asking two things:

How are things done currently?

And

What is permissible?

I think that’s about it. Thanks in advance for your responses.

  1. Has anyone ever seen the EF celebrated versus populem? Will this be done in the future?

I have never seen it, and I hope it does not become versus populem. I much prefer Ad Orientem, where the people and priest together face God towards the East, the direction from which Christ shall one day return in glory.

“… When a general leads his troops into battle does he face them? When a representative of the people approaches the Ruler on their behalf does he face them? When a priest is going to the Lord on behalf of his people should he face them? When the priest is acting as the intermediary between the people and God he faces the Altar. When he is dispensing the gifts of God, or speaking to the people, he faces the people.”

  1. Does the congregation join the Altar Servers in their responses to the priest or do they remain completely silent throughout Mass? Will the EF become a “dialogue” Mass?

I have seen Low Masses where the congregation says the words with the altar servers.
Source: Fr. Joseph Santos of the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island

  1. In churches without altar rails does the congregation receive standing or kneeling or both?

Even in the absense of a rail, I have seen the congregation always kneel.

  1. Can extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion be used? (I realize they probably are not, but can they be?)

No. I don’t support the use of EMHC in either Form of the Mass. Traditionally, servers could not even touch the chalice or the sacred vessels. Mindful of this tradition, I will only carry the chalice or paten by the use of a veil of purificator. How much more precious is Our Lord in the Eucharist!

acatholiclife.blogspot.com/2007/07/mission-restore-eucharistic-reverence.html

Kind of. I’ve seen NO celebrated entirely in Latin

  1. Is the altar (or priest) ever “miked” so that the congregation can hear the words of the Mass? Will this be done in the future?

I would hope not. That’s not really compatible with the dignity of the consecration.

  1. Does the congregation join the Altar Servers in their responses to the priest or do they remain completely silent throughout Mass? Will the EF become a “dialogue” Mass?

Yes. WE have this at our old rite Mass.

  1. In churches without altar rails does the congregation receive standing or kneeling or both?

Kneeling. In practise it is always possible to rig up a rail with a kneeler, but you can kneel on the fllor if needs be.

  1. Can extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion be used? (I realize they probably are not, but can they be?)

Now that the Pope has permitted the practise, I suppose an extraordinary minister could distribute communion in the extraordinary circumstance of the priest being physically incapable of doing so. It is difficult to see how that could arise. Normally very sick priests are not well enough to celebrate Mass publicly in any case.

I realize in most of these questions I am asking two things:

How are things done currently?

And

What is permissible?

I think that’s about it. Thanks in advance for your responses.

I’d like to answer the second question: on what is permissible

This is permissible in certain situations according to the rubrics.

sanctamissa.org/EN/rubrics/rubrics-05.html

See number 3.

I have seen *pictures *of it from the 1940’s and 50’s.

  1. Is the altar (or priest) ever “miked” so that the congregation can hear the words of the Mass? Will this be done in the future?

The rubrics say that certain things have to eb said secretly. The definition given before the 1962 rubrics was the middle voice should be heard by the servers and the secret voice by the priest alone. Having a mic would kind of spoil this- though they could always turn it off, I suppose.

  1. Does the congregation join the Altar Servers in their responses to the priest or do they remain completely silent throughout Mass? Will the EF become a “dialogue” Mass?

It is permissible though I don’t know how widespread it will become. Some people like only the server to respond and the silence entailed by a low Mass.

  1. In churches without altar rails does the congregation receive standing or kneeling or both?

Kneeling is the posture. Strictly speaking the Rituale infers this for the laity because it speaks of the minister kneeling and the clerics kneeling for reception. Likewise kneeling is prescribed for clerics in choir during the communion by the missal.

This is also mentioned or presumed in liturgical decisions of the Congregation of Rites.

  1. Can extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion be used? (I realize they probably are not, but can they be?)

It would render a lot of the gestures and things such as the humeral veil pointless. Likewise the ordination rites (in which is mention the ability to touch the sacred vessels) , the reception on the tongue, etc.

This is helpful. Thanks.

In the OF of the Mass there are words said quietly by the priest and even though the priest is miked you don’t hear it (perhaps they just whisper very softly or turn off the mike). It seems to me that it would be very good for the congregation to hear the words that the servers hear especially if they are pronouncing the server’s responses along with them. Has anyone ever heard a priest say the EF with some sort of microphone?

No, I have not. Also, at the OF Masses I’ve been to the priest always says the concencration prayers out loud with the microphone on, not once did he turn it off or speak in a lower voice.

I don’t have any reference books, but I have been to a couple of High Masses recently and a few Low Masses during weekday evenings. Yes, we can hear every word that the priest says, and during Low Mass the congregation says Hail Mary’s along with the Priest. During the High Mass there is no Hail Mary’s, but the congregation prays along with the priest in English similar to the NO Mass, but only in after the Gospel and Homily are finished. Some laypeople sing in Latin along with the choir.

The ritual with the priest is no big deal, but it’s a beautiful and sight. During the Gregorian Chants the Holy Spirit is moving through the church, and people are being healed and ministered to. When the Priest and Choir sing back and forth, the Spirit is really moving then.

Hope this helps. You don’t have to know anything. Just go and listen to what God is telling your heart.

That’s my take after only two High Masses.

Richard

Well, I can answer another of your questions: During the High Mass last Sunday only the Pastor of the church helped the Priest with communion. You must kneel up at the rail, and remember to put your hands under the table cloth. Don’t touch anything. Then, return to your pew, and remain keeling until communion is over.

That is the sacrifice portion of the Mass, but like I described in an earlier post, every tiny bit the Mass is also a Revelation from God. In the 2nd and 3rd Chapters of the Book of Revelation each of the seven churches have this passage in their letter, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches:” (Revelation 2: 17)

I have never seen it live but I have seen video of St. Padre Pio doing it. That practice however has long been outdated, it is part of the “Novus Ordo Development” so to say. Today with the EF the “Ad orientum” posture is what is done. The documents from Rome say it can be celebrated facing the people, but I see it very hard to do, especially for Solemn Mass. This may be an actual concession to those who want the TLM at their parish and it being impossible to have the priest face the same direction as the people. However those who want the TLM do not want the priest to face the people.

At Mater Ecclesiae there is a flat microphone on the altar. There was also a time that our former pastor wore the wireless microphone when celebrating the TLM at the Diocesean Cathedral- he jokingly left it on when vesting to have the people hear his vesting prayers. There is nothing wrong with a microphone, as long as it is not visible and does not pick up the words of consecration to be heard by the congregation.

“Traditionally” the congregation does not respond to the prayers at the foot of the altar. Doing so makes it a “dialogue Mass”, something we traditionalists want to avoid happening. However the people are welcome to respond after the prayers at the foot of the altar with the exception of the “Sucipe” response given at the offertory.

The congregation receives kneeling either in the front pews or at the foot of the altar on the floor. It is nice to have long cushions but if there are none, and no front pew with kneelers then it is on the hard floor you kneel. Communion is not received while standing.

No, they are strictly forbidden at the ER.

You will have to attend a local chapel where the current Indult Mass is being offered and seek knowledge there. Get in touch with me via private email and I can give you the low down on everything. I used to be PR director for my parish that is 100 percent ER.

Ken

I was at the 6:00 PM Low Mass this evening, and I tried to observe some of your questions. I usually meditate from deep within my soul, so my mental notes are spotty at best. The alter has 6 candles ( 3 on each side) and when all six candles are lit it will be a High Mass, and when only the center candle on each side is lit is will be Low Mass. The Priest will carry another candle from the right side and place it on the alter.

I assume that you are used to the NO Mass where the congregation participates with the priest in English, so I took special notice of what was happening after communion. The prayers after Low Mass will be separate in the back of the Missal. We Kneeled when the priest knelt before the alter while facing the alter. (East) Then we said 3 Hail Mary’s with the priest. Then, we all said the Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy prayer together in English. Then the priest prayed in English for intercession. Then we all prayed in English the Saint Michael the Archangel prayer. Tridentine Missals are in short supply, so if you bring a Bible you will be able to read in English while the priest reads the Last Gospel in Latin. It will be John 1:1 while standing.

Sorry, but during High Mass I didn’t take notes. Charismatics can sing along with the choir in their Spiritual Tongue and it sounds exactly like Latin. It puts me in a trance. “He who hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;” (Revelation 2: 17)

What’s wrong with a dialogue Mass? In my 1962 Missal it indicates a dialogue Mass is perfectly appropriate and includes the congregation saying all the servers response plus the Gloria and the Credo. I’m a traditionalist and think a dialogue Mass is better. It will encourage people to learn the Mass.

God Bless

If some of the congregation speak Latin and some don’t, it can show up the uneducated in a rather embarrassing way.

If some of the congregation speak Latin and some don’t, it can show up the uneducated in a rather embarrassing way.

I can assure you that at any Mass, including TLM, no one is sitting in the pews or standing in the back, taking notes as to who is responding and who is not.

Every dialogue TLM that I have ever attended in my life (thousands) included many who responded and many who did not. There is nothing unsusual about that and there is no embarrassment, no class warfare, no envy, etc. Dialogue Masses are strongly encouraged.

In some very old churches with round structure ad orientam and ad populum are the same thing. This is also the case with Masses celebrated at St. Peter’s.

But, no, I don’t think you will see it ad populum as it is done in the ordinary use.

I went to 6 PM Mass again tonight thinking that it would be a Low Mass, and it turned out to be a High Mass for Immaculate Heart of Mary. It was toned down a little compared with the Sunday High Masses. The priest didn’t do everything that he does during the Sunday High Mass. Again, like the other 2 High Masses the congregation only prayed in English for a few short passages. It will take me a long time to catch on to what is going on up there at the alter.

The patron saint is Saint Margaret Mary, and as you probably know, her vision changed the Western Catholic thinking about Grace back in 1647. Her vision restored a sense of indwelling of the Holy Spirit, similar to what the modern Charismatics like myself have. It’s like a personal devotion to the Heart of Jesus.

Anyway, as a Charismatic I am tuned in on that spiritual channel and I can sense the Spirit moving during the mass. Maybe I don’t need the other sacraments according to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque’s vision? Big things are happening in that church.

I doubt if you will notice any of the fine details in your post. I found that just keeping the Missal abreast with what is going on up at the alter is a full time job. It’s not an easy Mass to follow unless you can understand Latin.

My answers in bold.

  1. Has anyone ever seen the EF celebrated versus populem? Will this be done in the future?

Actually it was a fad during the pre-Vatican II liturgical movement.

  1. Does the congregation join the Altar Servers in their responses to the priest or do they remain completely silent throughout Mass? Will the EF become a “dialogue” Mass?

Dialogue Mass is allowed, not mandatory.

http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/9308/ellard3vj6.jpg

http://img244.imageshack.us/my.php?image=1940jk9.jpg

Thanks for the replies, all.

There are some mixed responses here. For instance, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion would seem to be permissible since they are permitted in Latin rite Masses and the extraordinary form is a Latin rite Mass. Can anyone give any reference that would show they are not permitted?

Again the response to the posture for Communion, some have said “never standing” is that indicated in the 1962 Missal or is that just a personal preference. Also, if standing is permitted in the Latin rite, then shouldn’t it also be permitted in the extraordinary form.

Please note, I am not lobbying for these 2 things merely trying to find whether they are permissible.

One last thing, I’m glad to hear about the mic’s being used (except for the silent parts of course). It makes sense and aids “active participation” since actually hearing the words can help one to follow them and understand their meaning.

There are some mixed responses here. For instance, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion would seem to be permissible since they are permitted in Latin rite Masses and the extraordinary form is a Latin rite Mass. Can anyone give any reference that would show they are not permitted?

If they are allowed in the TLM, the motu proprio will have been issued in vain. The SSPX will only continue to grow and many people would leave the indult orders. I would even support them leaving if the practice of EMHC is allowed to infiltrate the Tridentine Latin Mass.

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