Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mass
  • SWM
    Posts: 25
    I am the organist for a Mass of the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary according to the Roman Missal of 1962 this coming February 2. The Mass will be preceded by the Blessing and Distribution of Candles and a Procession. I have some initial questions (and might have more to come).


    1.) The Roman Missal says "Festum Purificationis beatae Mariae Virginis habetur tamquam festum Domini." or "The Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated as a Feast of the Lord.".

    a.) Given a choice of the following two, which Mass ordinary would be more appropriate--Missa VIII (De Angelis) or Missa IX (Cum Jubilo)? If the rubric above were to be applied to the Mass ordinary, then Missa de Angelis would be appropriate, as this is a II Class Feast and Missa de Angelis is appointed for II Class Feasts. But I have seen some examples of Masses on YouTube that use Missa VIII (De Angelis) and some that use Missa IX (Cum Jubilo). Before I saw the rubric, I had planned to use Missa Cum Jubilo myself, as the title of the day suggests that it is a Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary even though the Collect and the Secret reference only Jesus.

    b.) Some videos of Masses that occurred on February 2, 2014--a Sunday--use Missa XI (Orbis Factor) as the Mass ordinary. Is the "Sundays throughout the Year" suggestion for Missa XI really intended to indicate that it should be used on all Sundays after Epiphany or Pentecost even if the Mass of some other feast day is celebrated?

    c.) If the rubric is not taken to apply to the Mass ordinary, then to what does it apply?


    2.) Regarding candles, the rubric for the Mass says "Candelae in manibus tenentur ad Evangelium et toto Canone." or "Candles are held in hands for the Gospel and the whole canon.". Assuming that this rubric indicates that the candles are to be lit at those times (it doesn't say that) and assuming that "hands" refers to the hands of members of the congregation and not just the hands of the Celebrant and ministers (it doesn't say that),

    a.) Are the candles to be extinguished at some point after the Procession and before the chanting of the Gospel? If so, when and how?

    b.) If the answer to a.) is "yes", when and how are the candles to be relit prior to the chanting of the Gospel? And when and how should they be extinguished afterwards?

    c.) When and how are the candles to be relit prior to the Canon? And when and how should they be extinguished afterwards?


    I apologize for the number and detail of the questions, but it is our first time celebrating this Mass as a Traditional Catholic parish this year, and I would like to get it as close to correct as possible unless all of these matters are purely subject to interpretation.
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,809
    My two cents [although I'm sure some Fortescue devotee will come along and blow my reasoning out of the water] -

    The short answer is: all of these matters are purely subject to interpretation. I've seen it done lots of different ways in different places. Trads don't like to let this on, but - rubrics are nowhere near as universally observed the same way as they'd like to think they are. My point of reference in my time spent in the seminary.

    1.

    a.) Go with your gut: Missa cum Jubilo. It's a Feast of Our Lady, as well as Our Lord.

    b.) If you're singing the mass of the Sunday [with commemorations], then Missa Orbis Factor would be the 'proper' choice. But if it's of the Purification, then see above.

    c.) Unclear what you mean by this question?

    2.

    a.) Yes. If memory serves, at seminary they were relit by the altar servers retiring briefly to the sacristy, lighting their candles, then returning to pass the flame through the sanctuary choir and, if need be, to the faithful.

    b.) They were lit during the singing of the Gradual/Alleluia (or Tract) and extinguished immediately after the Gospel

    c.) Same procedure as above, only lit during the Preface (or, if the priest is a speed demon, during the Offertory) and extinguished after the great Amen, prior to the Lord's Prayer.

    Regarding 2b & 2c, the same procedure was also observed during All Souls' Day for the Conventual Requiem Mass.
    Thanked by 1SWM
  • CharlesSA
    Posts: 150
    1.

    a) I would not at all say Mass VIII "de Angelis" is not appropriate; however, I would suggest that Mass IX "cum Jubilo" is possibly more appropriate, given the Marian title of the feast. But a perhaps more solid reasoning for using Mass IX for me is that in the Office of the day, there is an instruction to use the hymn melody and doxology that is used for all other Marian feasts. Which would mean that also in the Office the Marian "Benedicamus Domino" at the end would be used (matches the Benedicamus Domino given in the Graduale/Liber for Mass IX).

    b) The use of chant Mass ordinaries varies based on local custom or perhaps even more simply, on the ability/capability of the choir which is singing; and furthermore, strictly speaking, any of the chant ordinaries can be used - even different chants mixed with chants from different ordinaries - at any Mass. However, to the best of my knowledge, those with the resources (schola/ability) and commitment to the recommendations given (in the graduale/liber) regarding which ordinary to sing on which liturgical days would almost certainly sing Mass IX on whatever day the Purification is celebrated - Sunday or not. If strictly following these recommendations, Mass XI is reserved for those Sundays per Annum (between Epiphany and Septuagesima and after Pentecost until Advent) on which the liturgy of the Sunday is celebrated.

    c) My best guess is that the rubric was included since it would have implications on its liturgical ranking - i.e. if it were considered only a feast of our Lady rubrically, it could not be celebrated on a Sunday according to 1962 rubrics. It being celebrated as a feast of our Lord does allow it to be celebrated on a Sunday according to 1962 (except maybe if Feb. 2 is Septuagesima Sunday...not sure). But again, that is just my guess - however, I am fairly certain that the rubric does not exist to dictate which chant Mass ordinary is sung.

    2.

    Nothing further to add to Stimson's reply.
    Thanked by 1SWM
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,888
    For question (1b): a rubric in the Graduale Romanum (1961 edition), immediately after Credo VI (that is, on page "74*"), states that it is permitted to substitute any of the Mass ordinary chants in place of another one, except on ferias. Hence Mass XI, VIII, IX, and several others are all permitted.

    Also note that Mass X has a recommendation for Marian feasts, similar to Mass IX.

    Thanked by 3tomjaw SWM CHGiffen
  • If your parish hasn't beaten Missa de Angelis to death because it was the Mass all your 1950's-era youth fondly remember Sister teaching to them, and IFyou can play it in such a manner that doesn't make it sound more like a merry go round than a Mass Ordinary,....... I can see a rationale for using it. Personally, I like Missa Cum Jubilo, but I can imagine that, sung poorly, it would grow tiresome.

    Chonak's right that the rubrics foresee not the application of a hard and fast rule, but a collection of good choices. Ideally, your good choir (and congregation) can sing all the Mass Ordinaries.


    2.) Regarding candles, the rubric for the Mass says "Candelae in manibus tenentur ad Evangelium et toto Canone." or "Candles are held in hands for the Gospel and the whole canon.". Assuming that this rubric indicates that the candles are to be lit at those times (it doesn't say that) and assuming that "hands" refers to the hands of members of the congregation and not just the hands of the Celebrant and ministers (it doesn't say that),

    a.) Are the candles to be extinguished at some point after the Procession and before the chanting of the Gospel? If so, when and how?

    b.) If the answer to a.) is "yes", when and how are the candles to be relit prior to the chanting of the Gospel? And when and how should they be extinguished afterwards?

    c.) When and how are the candles to be relit prior to the Canon? And when and how should they be extinguished afterwards?


    I suggest you let someone who's not already busy with a schola and an organ cope with these questions, unless they directly relate to a cue you're supposed to follow.
    Thanked by 1SWM
  • Typically, where a parish has a detailed customary, it has lots of extra stuff to do on Candlemas. A highlight is the several lightings of the people's candles, handled by two or four acolytes heading down the center aisle, with one acolyte per side going halfway down the aisle and lighting the first person's candle from halfway to the west end, and the other on the same side lighting from the front to halfway. The person on the aisle who gets the fire from the acolyte passes it carefully to the next person, etc. The lightings are for the procession, the Gospel, and maybe one or two other times? Fortescue will have details, as will the parish customary if any. The lighting process is worth a walkthrough by those who will take part (the acolytes). When the people should extinguish candles is pretty straightforward...it's when the event is over during which they were being held, so at the end of the procession, end of the Gospel, etc.
    Thanked by 1SWM
  • SWM
    Posts: 25
    Thank you, all. This has been informative. Here are some follow-up questions and comments.

    StimsonInRehab: Thank you for your responses. CharlesSA understood what I meant in Question 1c.), so maybe the meaning is more apparent after you read his comments. If you would still like me to clarify, l can. Let me know. You mention the use of candles during an All Souls' Day conventual Mass. Was this just a local custom? I don't see that in any rubrics in any of the relevant liturgical books.

    CharlesSA: Thank you for your responses, especially to Question 1c.). I had a feeling that a rubric in the Missale Romanum would not be there for the purpose of suggesting music, but I couldn't think of any reason for it other than to suggest that a Votive Mass of a mystery of the Lord could not be celebrated on this day. In reviewing the Table of Liturgical Days Arranged According to Order of Precedence, it seems obvious that the rubric is needed to make sure the Feast takes precedence over the II Class Sundays after Epiphany and Sundays of Septuagesima.

    chonak: Thank you. I had known you could chant any ordinary for any purpose and even use parts of different Gregorian ordinaries in the same Mass. I personally prefer to be a bit more consistent in my choices so that members of the congregation can expect and associate certain ordinaries with certain liturgical seasons or days. That's why I wanted to establish this year the chant ordinary that I would want to use in future years. Some members of the congregation actually sing the ordinary along with the schola, including the alternatim parts indicated to them for the Kyrie, Gloria, and Creed. We hope to use Missa X (Alme Pater) in the future, but for our first year we're trying to stick to a few foundational Masses that will see us through the liturgical year for most purposes: I (Lux et Origo), VIII (De Angelis), IX (Cum Jubilo), XI (Orbis Factor), XVI, XVII, XVIII, the Requiem Mass, and Credos I, III, and IV.

    Chris Garton-Zavesky: Thank you. I am definitely occupied with organ and schola duties, but I also try to get on top of the other liturgical peculiarities well in advance of a Mass I play so that I can alert the appropriate parties to them.

    ScottKChicago: Thank you. Your plan for lighting the candles is a good one. My questions about extinguishing them are not related so much to the appropriate moment to extinguish them but how to indicate to those in the congregation that the appropriate moment has arrived. I'm sure you've been at an Easter Vigil Mass where it is forgotten to tell the congregation to extinguish their candles after the Exsultet. And people who aren't thinking much about it tend to hold their lit candles until someone tells them to extinguish them. Meanwhile, wax is dripping all over the place, the flames begin to get dangerously close to hands, etc. Because the Traditional Latin Mass is generally free of the constant announcements and instructions coming from the Celebrant in many Novus Ordo Masses, I am wondering how to clearly and non-verbally indicate to the people in the pews that they should extinguish their candles when it is time to extinguish them. Do you have any ideas about how to accomplish that?

    Thanked by 1chonak