La messe basse (The Low Mass)
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    My husband recently discovered this this captivating video of a Low Mass celebrated at a traditional seminary in Flavigny, France. This is the only demonstration we have ever seen of the EF Mass said exactly as prescribed in Nos. 31-34 of De Musica Sacra, and as far as we can tell this is the exact paradigm of the Low Mass envisioned by the preconciliar Popes and the original early Liturgical Movement.

    31. A final method of participation, and the most perfect form, is for the congregation to make the liturgical responses to the prayers of the priest, thus holding a sort of dialogue with him, and reciting aloud the parts which properly belong to them.

    There are four degrees or stages of this participation:

    a) First, the congregation may make the easier liturgical responses to the prayers of the priest: Amen; Et cum spiritu tuo; Deo gratias; Gloria tibi Domine; Laus tibi, Christe; Habemus ad Dominum; Dignum et justum est; Sed libera nos a malo;
    b) Secondly, the congregation may also say prayers, which, according to the rubrics, are said by the server, including the Confiteor, and the triple Domine non sum dignus before the faithful receive Holy Communion;
    c) Thirdly, the congregation may say aloud with the celebrant parts of the Ordinary of the Mass: Gloria in excelsis Deo; Credo; Sanctus-Benedictus; Agnus Dei;
    d) Fourthly, the congregation may also recite with the priest parts of the Proper of the Mass: Introit, Gradual, Offertory, Communion. Only more advanced groups who have been well trained will be able to participate with becoming dignity in this manner.

    34. Where the rubrics prescribe the clara voce, the celebrant must recite the prayers loud enough so that the faithful can properly, and conveniently follow the sacred rites. This must be given special attention in a large church, and before a large congregation.

    - See more at: http://www.adoremus.org/1958Intro-sac-mus.html#anchor36280371


    This is a model demonstration of the "dialogue Mass" and you can see how the priest in the video follows #34 exactly, saying the prayers in a clear voice and an unhurried manner so the faithful can respond properly. The congregation recites all the prayers said by the servers, including the Confiteor.

    CAUTIONARY NOTE: this was filmed at the SSPX Seminary in Flavigny, France. I do not in any way advocate, promote or encourage membership in the SSPX; I am not a member of the SSPX and have no intention of ever joining them, but I applaud their careful attention to the liturgical laws of the Church in the old rite and admire profoundly the aesthetically, spiritually and emotionally satisfying way in which SSPX France celebrates the Mass, and in this limited area, I believe everyone in the Church can learn from SSPX France how to bring to life the goals of the early original Liturgical Movement and the often expressed desires of Popes Pius X, XI and XII as regards the liturgy.

    One can only wonder what might have been if after 1958, the Church on a wide scale had celebrated the dialogue Mass as presented in this video and faithfully implemented the Instructions for "More Perfect Worship" in Chapter III of De Musica Sacra.
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,076
    Given the history of the French Church, it is absolutely amazing to see all of the goings on of the conservative movement. It is a testimony of remarkable virtue.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,325
    It is a testimony of remarkable virtue.

    I don't think there is anything at all virtuous about schism. Rather, it's damnable, even if adorned by the finest French lace.
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  • Father Krisman,

    As you know, the society was not founded in schism, nor is it currently -- canonically -- in schism. I am not defending the society, but I do think accuracy matters here.

    Do you take the opportunity to speak well of our Protestant (heretical and schismatic ) brethren and sistern? They are, self-evidently, in a worse position in regard to the possibility of damnation, because they reject more teachings of the Church.

    What do you have against French lace?

    God bless,

    Chris

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  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,325
    Who said I have anything against French lace?
  • Fr. Krisman,

    I took the tone of your dismissal of the French Catholics (even if adorned with the finest French lace) as a disapproval of either French or lace on vestments.

    God bless,

    Chris
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,325
    Chris,

    Please go back and re-read my first comment. I was responding to Kevin in Kentucky's bon mot for the "conservative movement" in the French Church. Nothing more than that. I love the French, love the language, love vacationing in France, love Parisian street crepes, love canard and Armagnac.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,765
    For canards, I know where to get them!

    Thanks, JulieColl, for giving credit where it's due.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    Cher Monsieur L'Abbe Krisman,

    I think we have to be honest enough to admit that Chris has a very good point about how some in the clergy speak of our separated brethren with the greatest care and diplomacy, generally focusing on what unites, rather than what divides us, and, for the most part, never, ever raising the spectre of eternal damnation.

    And yet, when it is pointed out how, even though none of us are members of the SSPX or are endorsing their irregular canonical status in the least, when we merely point out that they are doing something profoundly right in this specific area: celebrating the Low Mass according to the wishes of the preconciliar Popes, the preconciliar Liturgical Movement and according to Vatican II's Constitution on the Liturgy---when this is merely pointed out that perhaps in this one narrow aspect, that there is perhaps something they are doing which we can emulate, then all of a sudden we hear the words:

    Caveamus! Danger! Heretics and schismatics! Damnable schism!

    Not only that, when this admirable example of real and active participation in the Latin Mass (something that is difficult to find from approved American sources), is pointed out, I find it very interesting how certain folks who, ironically, have been talking to us for the last 50 years about the importance of active participation, all of a sudden go silent and have nothing good to say when an example of this calibre is staring them right in the face.

    So please excuse me if I respectfully state that I don't think those type of comments are helpful from a liturgical, pastoral, and ecumenical point of view.

    Or, to put it one last way, why the automatic liturgical and ecumenical stiff arm for SSPX, when we've all been conditioned to smoke ecumenical peace pipes with Taoists, snake worshipers, Buddhists, Confucianists, and, I might add, enjoy long convivial lunches with Pentecostalists?

    Meanwhile, SSPX France gets the ecumenical shaft and is ignored and reviled when they are setting a masterful liturgical example for the rest of the Church to follow.

    But all that aside, I'm sure that if my husband and I could ever meet you at a little French cafe over a good bottle of wine and bread and cheese, we could hash this out in a very jolly manner.

    Hope you have a wonderful day, Father.
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,076
    While I do not support the SSPX, the conservative movement inside the Church in France and the SSPX provide us with incredible examples of participation, activism and continuity.

    My reference to the virtues of the Church inside France refer to the history of the Church AFTER the revolution. Read the history after the revolution, 1801 Concordat, the Dreyfuss affair, the 1906 statements, the removal of all the monks and other religious, the post-WW1 decimation of the population. It is remarkable all that they have been through and still stand. And that the strength of the French Church lies not within the mainstream, but the conservatives, and if you want to go outside the lines, even to the SSPX. Visit St. Nicolas du Chardonnet (warning: schism there) in Paris or St. Eugene (Schola St. Cecile, not schism there). I cannot tell you the how ALIVE the faith is there.

    Fr. Krisman, we have no history like theirs.
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  • rogue63
    Posts: 405
    ...and meanwhile, the entire Christian East looks at us and yells, "Heretics! There is no double procession!" We're all heretics, we're all betrayers of Christ, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Better to keep our heads bowed down in prayer, than to look up with envy at other liturgical practices.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,325
    Julie, ma chère,

    I'm sure that you, your husband, and I could have a great time together at that little French cafe. I hope we can do that.

    While there, I would really like to discuss what seems to be a defensiveness on your part about les choses SSPX. Specifically, why do you issue a disclaimer every time you post a video from an SSPX celebration, saying that you are not an SSPX member, do not endorse their irregular canonical status, etc.? Simply post the video and leave it at that.>

    And why do you feel the need to be the defender of SSPX right now (in your previous comment)? And, BTW, your comment about "when we've all been conditioned to smoke ecumenical peace pipes with Taoists, snake worshipers, Buddhists, Confucianists, and, I might add, enjoy long convivial lunches with Pentecostalists" confuses interfaith and ecumenical dialogue.
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  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,325
    For canards, I know where to get them!

    Gotta love those juicy French doubles entendres!
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    L'Abbe K.,

    If you're ever in Paris, you ought to drop in at St. Nicholas du Chardonnet or Ste. Eugene-Ste. Cecile and report back to us.

    To be frank, the reason I've learned to put up qualifiers with SSPX videos is precisely because of reactions like yours. You won't believe the things I've been accused of otherwise (though not so much on this forum.)

    But I'll make a deal with you: I'll dial things down from DefCon 1 to Defcon 4 as regards the SSPX and will stop posting disclaimers when I talk about them. However, if I get any flak, do I have your permission to say, "Fr. Ron said it was okay if I put up SSPX videos on the forum without the usual disclaimer." ? : )
  • Dauphin35
    Posts: 31
    My first encounter with the Catholic liturgical/musical tradition was a video of a Solemn High Mass posted on Youtube by the SSPX.

    Whatever else can be said about them, I'm deeply grateful for the work they've done preserving our tradition. Without them, I might not even know what Kyrie Eleison means, or what an Introit is. It's hard for me to hate people who have given me so much, even though it sometimes seems like we're obliged to in order to prevent suspicions of "crypto-lefebvrianism".
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,224
    Fascinating. Thank you for sharing this!
  • I don't think there is anything at all virtuous about schism. Rather, it's damnable, even if adorned by the finest French lace.


    Having shared the lunch and supper table for a few weeks in the 1960's with the man so many have reviled, it is very, very hard to consider in any way that the founder had anything but love for the church.

    There were benefits to working, living and even eating in a parish on the poor east side of NYC with many outstanding priests who chose to lodge their when town rather that the Chancery. Probably safer, as the former army chaplain priest returned from duty in the far east with an M1 he kept under his bed.
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  • dad29
    Posts: 1,713
    Julie, your dialogue with Pere K proves that one does not have to go to France to witness sanctimonious snobbery. It's worth recalling that not one lay attendee of SSPX Masses is in schism by that attendance alone.

    And it is significant that only their priests and Bishops have 'irregular' status or worse. C'est non?

    [Please let's dial back the name-calling. Only mild name-calling, please! :-) --admin]
    Thanked by 2gregp JulieColl