Semi-noob question about the Asperges and St. John Cantius
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,495
    I was at St. John Cantius in Chicago yesterday for the choral EF Mass (I have been to the mountain...) and was surprised to hear no Asperges in a Sunday Mass. I assume there was a reason, and meant to ask Fr. Haynes about it, but I didn't get the chance. Is it a Solemn High thing, or is the Asperges in fact optional?
  • It's possible it wasn't the "Principal Sunday Mass". I read somewhere that the Asperges only happens one Mass a weekend? Someone may correct me if I'm wrong.
  • That is correct, Casavant. Asperges is before the principal Mass only on Sunday.
  • Another reason it might have been omitted is if the Blessed Sacrament was exposed...
  • madorganist
    Posts: 512
    The 11:00 novus ordo Mass there is considered the principal Sunday parochial Mass. In the traditional rite, the Asperges or Vidi aquam is done only once on Sunday, before the principal Mass. In the novus ordo, it can be done at any Sunday Mass including those anticipated on Saturday evening. With that said, they could probably justify doing the Asperges before 12:30 Mass if they really wanted to on the grounds that it's the principal Sunday Mass for the community of the faithful attached to the traditional rite.
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,495
    OK, thanks... as I said, I was sure there was a reason. I don't think I've served anywhere there was more than one EF Mass. (or could an OF Mass be considered the "principal Mass" so that there would NEVER be an Asperges?)
  • madorganist
    Posts: 512
    Yes.
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,495
    Who would make that decision? And why? (that last question is in part rhetorical)
  • My understanding was that decision is the prerogative of the pastor of the church, but I may be mistaken. The principal Mass could be a Low Mass - it is not required to be an elevated form (Missa Cantata / High / etc.). The church I am currently at as the director for the Latin Mass choir has an OF for the early Mass and the EF for the later Mass. Years ago, the pastor opted not to have the Asperges. (My impression is that this was less a nod to the OF as the principal Mass - although had he been aware of the distinction would likely have considered that to be the case - and more for lack of familiarity on the part of the rotating priests who offered the EF weekly). With a change of pastor, we now do the Asperges weekly. I'm uncertain whether the current pastor would view the EF as the "principal" Mass (although that seems likely - it is typically double the attendance of the OF) or whether - as MO points out above - they could consider it the principal Mass for the EF portion of the congregation. But this has borne out what I've seen in other locations - that the pastor typically makes that decision.

    I did speak with one liturgist who felt that "principal" Mass was actually intended for the diocese, not the parish - although Fortescue is clear in referring to the "chief" or "principal" Mass of the church in question.
  • madorganist
    Posts: 512
    Ideally the parochial Mass would be the best attended Sunday Mass and would normally be celebrated by the pastor or rector with as much solemnity as possible and offered pro populo. Practically the situation is often otherwise in churches where both TLM and novus ordo are offered. As Incardination said above, designating a particular Mass as the parochial Mass would be the prerogative of the pastor or rector unless the ordinary (or perhaps the religious superior) directed otherwise.
    Thanked by 1Incardination