11 June 2009


As ever, a fine Corpus Christ Mass at Pusey House. How good it is, on Ascension Day and Corpus Christi, not to be in full communion with the See of Westminster.

Even the finest Novus Ordo celebrations seem to me to have an awkwardness built into the centre of them. Fine music is sung (and at PH it really is very fine; particularly one of the female voices) which includes Sanctus and Benedictus sung while the celebrant stands mute at the Altar before consecrating. We really do need to put in place a Custom whereby the first part of the Canon Romanus is said during the Sanctus, and the Benedictus is sung after the Consecration. The canon doesn't have to be said sotto voce; it could be said in a normal speaking voice while the singing went on.

There would be a spin-off advantage: the congregation might not hear who was - or was not - named in the Te igitur.


austin said...

Couldn't agree more. When a long mass setting is used, one stands for an interminable time during Sanctus and Benedictus, and then the Canon (in flat modern English) comes as a rather dreary anticlimax. Not the effect one wants at all. But most priests seem to see the canon as their party piece and are reluctant to have it sung over. They should be obliged to watch a recording of their mass to get something of what the people experience.

Chris said...

My personal feeling is that the canon should never be said aloud at a sung mass - if not silent, then sing the whole thing.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Sanctus before the elevations Benedictus after. It's a beautiful thing, especially with the whispered canon. The silence gives the laity opportunity to offer their unique prayers, uniting these with "so great a sacrifice."