20 November 2019

Solemn

Father Zed is, as always, right. Having looked at that lovely video of the Mass of the Americas, I share his observations that
(1) 'solemn' doesn't have to mean 'It needs to take a long time'; and
(2) liturgical things can happen simultaneously, in a very natural sort of way.

I would myself tentatively add
(3) Processions do not have to happen slowly.

It would certainly be dreadful if everybody, as in Dryden's comment on Ovid's hexameters, went "at the hand-gallop". But processions should go at the normal relaxed but business-like human pace in which people move who are not in a tearing hurry but simply need to get from point A to point B.

Slow processions are so pompously Anglican, so embarrassingly clericalist; so terribly "look at me".

I mean this next bit seriously:

Liturgical organisers should have experience of the Byzantine Rite. Not ... Heaven forbid ... so that they will 'byzantinise', but to help them to understand the distinctions between Solemnity and Pomposity.

3 comments:

Banshee said...

I have been to the basilica, and it has concealed traffic problems. See, the big events have everyone vesting downstairs in the crypt church, which is fine, but then they line up to go upstairs -- and not everyone can go up the ramp very fast.

David said...

I would second the comment about the Byzantine practices. We go to an Eastern Catholic Byzantine church in Albuquerque, NM. Our priest is from the Ukraine. His liturgical gestures are meaningful without the least bit ostentatious, his pace at processions is purposeful, his liturgical chant maintains the proper pace for the overall Divine Liturgy. I do think Roman catholic priests could derive much profit from watching the liturgical actions and pacing of the Eastern rite. This is especially true for the TLM where a tradition has been broken and in the process of restoring, odd practices and ideas have cropped up (many parishioners seem to think that the sacred has to proceed at pace usually found in cases of rigor mortis). When I'm at our Eastern rite church, I see the results of a continuous unbroken tradition in authentic proper liturgical practices. These are transferable.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

ABS is in complete agreement with your advice about The Byzantine Catholics for he occasionally goes to a Greek Melkite Catholic Church.

Their processions within the Divine and Holy Liturgy are beautifully paced and solemn.

The procession you noted earlier is like the pace of a man who has been asked by his wife to go to the closet and get that Nehru Jacket he still owns so the guest can be amused as they abuse his clothing choices of the past.