[quote="YoungTradCath, post:15, topic:336623"]
Because there are all sorts of contingencies that arise if we consider this the beginning of Mass.
What if a hymn is sung, then the proper Introit is sung in its rightful place? Which one fulfills the "Entrance Chant?" If the EC is the beginning of Mass, if I miss the hymn, but I am there for the Introit, do I really miss part of Mass?
Or what if there is a nice, meditative Ave Maria sung as the procession begins, then two seconds later the "real" EC begins? Who is to say which song, in a juridical sense, is the EC? Could the case not be made that, regardless of intention, the Ave Maria is technically the EC, since it accompanies the procession, even for only a short bit?
In the EF, at Low Mass, the Introit is recited after the Sign of the Cross. Since there is no "liturgical rupture," or there isn't supposed to be, what do we make of this scenario?
Unless there is a juridical rule that says the EC must be the Proper Introit, or more clearly, unless the EC is strictly defined, which in the OF it is anything but that, then it cannot be argued effectively that this or that song is the EC, unless there is only one song. Adding songs compounds the confusion. Therefore, it is difficult to argue, in the OF, that the EC is the beginning of Mass.
I agree in some vague sense that it is cosmically wrong to not be present for the EC. But unless the EC is strictly defined, it is difficult to argue that the EC is the beginning of Mass because of the myriad contingent cases. Whereas, in the EF, it is easy to argue that the EC is the beginning of sung Mass--although I don't think a lot of people do argue it--because the EC is strictly defined as the Proper Introit. Nothing can replace it in a sung Mass. Yes, you can have a hymn accompany the procession, but the Introit must be sung after it. In the OF, nearly anything can be used at the procession. In the EF Low Mass, the first act is the Sign of the Cross, so that begins Mass in that case.
I am basically saying that, because the definition of "Entrance Chant" in the Ordinary Form is so amorphous and loose, we can't determine what is in fact the Entrance Chant at any given Mass if there is more than one song during the Procession. Tradition dictates that there is not more than one "Entrance Chant" strictly speaking, so if we've got an OF Mass on Sunday with two songs during the procession, which one is the Entrance Chant?
Since this is all so ambiguous, at least in the OF, the easiest demarcation is the Sign of the Cross.
Those are good points.
As I've said my focus is to discover why other people hold their view. I don't want to set the thread off on a tangent where a discussion starts on what's the exact start of Mass.
That being said, it wasn't the music that I had in mind. It was the Entrance Procession itself. There are various options regarding music: sing something, music only but no singing, silence. The priest, deacon and acolytes (ooops slipped into a parallel universe); I mean when the priest and servers walk from the sacristy do the Sanctuary is that Procession part of the Mass? If it is, good because that's the view I take. If that procession occurs prior to Mass, why is it apart from the Mass?
I'm interested in hearing your views. I just find it difficult to grasp that the procession from Sacristy to Sanctuary, priest and ministers bow to altar, priest kisses altar and the altar is censed it outwith the Mass.