Friday, March 21, 2008

Maundy Thursday 2008: Vigil Mass and Procession

Last night was the Holy Thursday vigil Mass and procession to the locum repositionis, or "place of repose".

This first photo is a picture of the crotalus, more commonly referred to as the "clapper". At the Gloria in excelsis, the servers rang small bells. After that point, the organ fell silent and the bells gave way to the crotalus until the Gloria of the Easter vigil. More on the bells at Sancta Missa.

A rare look at the beautiful Tabernacle doors which are draped throughout the year and exposed here on Holy Thursday. At the end of this post is a photo of the empty Tabernacle.

Items ready for washing the feet of the "viri selecti". Fr. Zuhlsdorf has posted on how this is reserved to males only based on the translation of that latin (recall how many problems have been initiated by really bad translations). It has generated considerable debate. I'm just so glad to be in a parish where a long-standing tradition using males only, as Christ did, has not been broken.

Fr. Perrone and an altar boy as the Blessed Sacrament is being removed and put into a safe place.

Mass begins

You are seeing the priests with their black birettas soon after the beginning of the Gloria. In the next shot, you see the priests remove their birettas as the choir sings the part, "Iesu Christe". It is common to see priests and altar boys in a meditative mode, with eyes closed. You realize they are not sleeping when the priests tip their biretta and nod their heads along with the altar boys if the homilist says the name of Jesus.

Fr. Perrone looks on as the Epistle is read (seein the next photo).

Fr. Paul Ward delivering an excellent sermon. If I find it on his website, I'll come back and link to it.

The Master of Ceremonies standing behind the pulpit as Fr. Ward gives his sermon. The MC is holding Fr. Ward's maniple (more on this later).

The only photo I could get of the washing of the feet. I had too many obstructions.

Fr. Perrone removes a special apron used for the foot washing and washes his hands.

The Offertory begins. The sub-deacon is wearing a humeral veil. The Catholic Encyclopedia explains: solemn high Mass, by the subdeacon, who holds the paten with it from the close of the Offertory until after the Pater Noster ("Ritus celebr.", vii, 9, in "Missale Rom." ; "Cærem. Episc." 1. I, c. x, n. 6; II, viii, 60);

The Lavabo: a time when the priest prays psalm 25. I want to come back to this another time in a later post devoted to it. There is such depth of spirituality visible in the extraordinary form, or Traditional Latin Mass (TLM). Once you understand the Lavabo as it is done in the extraordinary form, you will appreciate what is happening in the ordinary form, even though the prayers don't convey all that is happening.

My Lord and my God!

The celebrant drinks from the Chalice as the deacon and sub-deacon bow in either corner of the top step of the altar. Preceding Fr. Perrone's Communion, you may have noticed that the crotalus sounded out three times, with a certain spacing. We normally here the bells ring three times at this point. This is when the celebrant bows and prays the Domine non sum dignus himself before he consumes the Sacred Host.

Ecce Angus Dei...

Fr. Perrone, having already consumed the large Consecrated Host during the Communion of the priest, holds up one of the smaller Hosts and the people respond three times, while striking the breast with their right hand, "Domine non sum dignus..."

Three candle-bearing altar boys on either side of the altar at the lower steps of the sanctuary stare straight ahead as Communion is being distributed. Fr. Perrone empahsized all after noon during the altar boy rehearsal where their eyes should be at such times. These kinds of small detail add to the solemnity and majesty of the Mass.

This next photo was taken during the ablution prayers at which time the vessels are being purified. The prayers said here by the priest are very beautiful.

Grant, O Lord, that what we have taken with our mouth we may receive with a pure mind; and that from a temporal gift it may become for us an eternal remedy.

Next, the server ordinarily pours a small quantity of wine into the chalice, which the priest drinks and he continues to pray:

May Thy Body, O Lord, which I have received, and Thy Blood which I have drunk, cleave to my heart; and grant that no stain of sin may remain with me, whom Thy pure and holy sacraments have refreshed; Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

Once again, when you understand the depth of spirituality, that which is taking place as the vessels are purified in the extraordinary form, it will be easier to understand why the purification of vessels by lay people (EMHC's) during the ordinary form has been a very touchy subject. The USCCB sought an extension of an Indult which permitted lay people to assist with this task where needed. The Holy See recently withdrew this Indult on purification of vessels in the ordinary form and now this must be done by appropriate ministers - namely the priests or deacons.

Photos will appear quite dark now because the lights were turned out. I did the best I could on these. As dark as it was, I am glad they turned out at least this good. The procession took place as the pange lingua was sung.

Assumption Grotto's Deacon, Rev. Mr. Jim Wilder kneels at the altar of repose as we see Fr. Perrone approaching with the Blessed Sacrament under the baldacchino or canopy.

At the altar of repose, Fr. Paul Ward - the deacon, places Our Lord in the Tabernacle. The priests briefly pause in adoration.

The priests leave and head back to the sanctuary with altar boys were a few of them will remain for the ceremony involved with the stripping of the altar.

Unlike the past when the Sanctuary was stripped completely free of anything not bolted down, only the altars were stripped of the minimum required items in a rather beautiful and humble manner. It occured as Fr. Perrone prayed at the foot of the altar. In the book, Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described by Fortescue, O'Connell, and Reid, is the following:

The celebrant bows to the altar whilst the others genuflect. The celebrant, standing, says aloud th antiphon Dividunt an the opening words of Psalm 21. The clergy (seated) continue the psalm until the stripping ends. If there are no clergy in choir, the celebrant recites the Antiphon and the first verse only of Psalm 21. The sacred ministers go up to the atlar and carry out the stripping, assisted by the MC's and acolytes....

Unfortunately, I have no still photographs of Fr. Perrone at the center because I was shooting video and having difficulties due to the darkness.

This was a picture taken during the chanting of Compline (night prayer of the Divine Office). It followed stripping of the altars. There was some confusion on the part of the laity when it began as people thought they were to stand, kneel, etc., along with the priests and acolytes chanting. However, it was intended to take place as the laity were in silent adoration - something that will likely be explained ahead of time next year.

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