Dominican Rite Mass in Latin
Following our practice of last year, we will have a Dominican Rite low mass on the Mondays of Lent. Pope Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio opened up for us this opportunity of becoming acquainted with the older and deeper traditions of the Church. We can experience how our ancestors worshiped through many centuries.
Some of this form of the mass might feel initially unusual, because it requires a different mode of participation from what we now know: for example, the Eucharistic Prayer is said silently by the priest, allowing the faithful to participate with their own prayers while following the prayers of the mass. In other words: since the priest is not addressing them as much, the people are required to be more active in their own participation. At the same time, this is a time for quiet and contemplative prayer, appropriate for the season of Lent, as we renew our baptismal relationship with our Lord who went for us through his passion, death and resurrection.
This form of the liturgy emphasizes the mystery and presence of God: the priest, together with the faithful, is turned towards God, i.e., facing the altar/tabernacle (we will use the high altar). In this rite, the priest is therefore also less prominent: since he is facing in the same direction as everyone else, one rarely sees his face; it could be any priest, and what he does is what every priest does in this rite. It has been said that, by comparison with the new mass, this form is “rite-centered” rather than “priest-centered.” This helps us to see that the liturgy is not something we make, but something greater into which we enter; it is like the greater life of God and like the larger Church and its older traditions, in which we participate.
Jesus said of his death and resurrection: “A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me” (Jn 16:16). As we prepare for his passion, we can see in the ancient liturgy a similar “hide and seek:” veils are covering things, but also removed at times. Even the priest standing in front of the altar sometimes covers what is going on, but at times also shows it (at the elevations, for example). In high masses, there is the veil of incense, which hides, yet allows us to see anyway. Latin as the sacred, official and universal language of the Church also is a veiled language: while it is not as easy to follow as English, we can still come to understand it as we already know and learn many of its expressions (e.g., the Agnus Dei), and as translations will we be available for you. This “hide and seek” allows us to appreciate the mystery of the Eucharist and God’s presence among us.
The Dominican Rite in particular emphasizes the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist: things are handled with great care, the priest does not open his fingers after touching the Eucharist, he never turns his back on the tabernacle, a special candle is lit after the Sanctus until the purification of the chalice, we receive communion kneeling (if possible) at the communion rail, which is covered with a linen cloth – all of which makes us aware of the preciousness of what Jesus instituted at the Last Supper, which we will remember on Holy Thursday.
So we hope that this can be a journey into the mystery, as we prepare to celebrate the most central mystery of our faith during Holy Week and Easter.
|Date||Monday, March 11, 2019|
|Time||5:30 PM - 6:10 PM|
|Setup||5:20 PM - 5:30 PM|
|Cleanup||6:10 PM - 6:15 PM|