In my dealings with Eastern Catholic & Orthodox Churches I have noticed that they have not the existence of a “low mass”. The high solemn sung liturgy appears to have continuously dominated their history to the point that they show great suspicion towards a “low mass”.
I share this suspicion that the low mass may be a grave mistake made by the Latin Churches in its’ liturgical development.
To my fellow servants of God I ask that you please do your best to defend the Latin Churches tradition of low mass. The main way to do this is to share with me during which region(s) and centuries low mass came into existence and what reasons it was seen as necessary to exist. Also why did concelebration “become in the early Middle Ages replaced by separate private celebrations” (temporarily).
Low Mass originated in the early Middle Ages as a shortened or simplified form of Solemn Mass. Catholic practice had been that there was (at most) one Mass in a monastery or parish church each day. However, over time it became necessary for a variety of reasons to celebrate more than one on the same day. It also became customary for monasteries to ordain most of their monks, though originally monks were almost all laymen, and for every priest to say a daily Mass. For a while, concelebration, whereby several priests took a full priestly part in offering Mass, provided all with the possibility to celebrate Mass each day, but this custom died out. Low Mass is considered to be a necessity that falls short of the ideal, which is Solemn Mass.
The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913 describes the result as follows:
… concelebration was in the early Middle Ages replaced by separate private celebrations. No doubt the custom of offering each Mass for a special intention helped to bring about this change. The separate celebrations then involved the building of many altars in one church and the reduction of the ritual to the simplest possible form. The deacon and subdeacon were in this case dispensed with; the celebrant took their part as well as his own. One server took the part of the choir and of all the other ministers, everything was said instead of being sung, the incense and kiss of peace were omitted. So we have the well-known rite of low Mass (missa privata). This then reacted on high Mass (missa solemnis), so that at high Mass too the celebrant himself recites everything, even though it be also sung by the deacon, subdeacon, or choir.
My last request. Do not move this to the eastern churches section. It is not for them, it is for YOU and myself - the west.