A brief walkthrough of the Mass: Introit, Kyrie, Gloria, Collect(s)

In the ordinary form of the Mass, the prayers which follow are typically intoned or read from the presider’s chair, if they are read at all. In the traditional Latin Mass, they are intoned or prayed from the altar: the Introit and Collect from the epistle (right-hand) side of the altar, the Kyrie and Gloria from the center. One cannot help but be impressed, then, by the fact that the action of the traditional Latin Mass is glued to the altar in a way that it often isn’t in the reformed Mass. Absolutely nothing in the traditional Latin Mass is done which is not, in some way, visibly ordered toward the offering of the sacrifice on Calvary. This is something that goes much deeper than the mere orientation of the priest: it has to do with the orientation of the liturgical action itself. Continue reading

A brief walkthrough of the Mass: The Prayers at the Foot of the Altar

Structurally speaking, the ordinary form of the Mass follows the traditional Latin Mass in most respects, with most of the differences being the elimination of features unique to the latter. One of those eliminated features are the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, which (in the Low Mass) immediately precede the reading of the Introit or (in a sung Mass) are altogether subdued and inaudible by the schola’s chanting of the Introit. The initial reform of 1965 saw the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar reduced, with the elimination of the Psalm Judica Me; the final reform of 1970 saw them completely eliminated, with only an amputated form of the Confiteor escaping the reformers’ red pens.

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