Sunday, 28 October 2012

The First Mass I never said

When we were in seminary all those years ago, we had to 'do' a dry Mass, and we were marked on it.

Thankfully our examiner was a terribly sensible chap and never bothered too much if our hands were held in a traditional manner or in the more expansive manner, which was in vogue for a while.

I mention this today on the Feast of Christ the King not because I said my dry Mass on this Feast, but because my practice Mass was a votive Mass of Christ the King. It is funny really how these things stay in your mind.

I remember being quite touched by the 'newness' of the texts, as an added layer on the liturgy of the Church and indeed I still am. Having just offered this Mass, the preface especially stands out.

If only I had my own preface, I could have done anything
I have a bit of a thing about prefaces, and look with an unfeigned lack of expectation at the prospect of new prefaces in the Extra-ordinary Form of Mass. Yes it would be nice for Advent to have its own preface (but I have yet to have met Advent in a bar late at night crying into his fourth sherry opining 'If only I had had my own preface, life would have been so much better') - but it will just be awful.

I know because I say and sing these things in Latin all the time. They don't flow in Latin, they are a jumble, they don't end properly. I get to the end and the organist suddenly has to realise that this isn't a preface that ends with 'et ideo' and the proper chants.

I'd be much happier (and yes I know that the world doesn't revolve around my happiness, because if it did there'd be much more said about polyester) if when they came, the prefaces imitated the preface of Christ the King and had a proper ending which, as Tom Lehrer said, 'the people could huuuum'.

1 min 35 seconds in

Enough already. Happy Christ the King.
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