11 June 2022

Eric Lionel Mascall ... and the Trinitytide Ordinations

Today is the Anniversary of the Ordination to the Sacred Priesthood on Trinity Sunday (June 11 in 1933) of the Reverend Professor Canon Dr Eric Mascall, Thomist, Theologian, Canon of the Cathedral Church of Christ in Oxford, Sacrae Theologiae Professor, singled out by Fr Aidan Nichols as Magister Catholicae Veritatis.

He was ordained in Southwark Anglican Cathedral; two days later, on the Dedication Festival of his Title Church of S Andrew's Stockwell, he sang his First Holy Mass. "It was a High Mass and took place early in the morning, for in those days evening masses were, of course, unthinkable. There was a large congregation and it was a joyful and rumbustious occasion. ... I left the sanctuary to the triumphant notes of the pseudo-Purcellian Trumpet voluntary, and I felt that none of the young men who had been launched on the priesthood that Trinitytide had been given as encouraging a start as I had ... ". S Andrew's was "remarkably loyal to the 1662 Prayer Book", even to the point of having the Lord's Prayer and the Gloria in excelsis ... sung in the 'Prayer Book place' [i.e. after  Communion and before the Blessing].

But of course, "Most of the canon of the Roman mass was recited, but entirely silently". That goes without saying. PF might possibly have called it "laughing at God".

When this form of Liturgy was used, the problem arose of when to 'take' the Ablutions. Consistent Tridentinisers claimed to TARP (Take Ablutions in Right Place ... i.e. directly after the Communion of priest and people). But the Prayer Book itself prescribes taking the Ablutions after the Blessing (somebody once told me that the Usus deterior allows this).

Moi, I rather thought it was edifying to say or sing the Gloria in excelsis Deo coram Sanctissimo that is, in the very presence of the Most Holy. You just had to remember, when it came to the Blessing, to follow Fortescue/O'Connell: "... he turns ... not quite in the middle, but a little towards the Gospel side, and does not fully turn round facing the people, so as not to turn his back to the Sanctissimum."

Ah, the happy days of proper priestcraft ...

1 comment:

David J Critchley said...

An important reason for keeping the Gloria in its traditional place, if the Mass is the recapitulation of the saving action of Christ in history, is that the Gloria follows the Introit, which expresses the yearning of the people of the Old Law for the Christ, with the Song of the Shepherds, which announces the entry of Christ into the world from the womb of the Virgin. It is then a natural progression to the Epistle, Gospel, and Homily, which take up the teaching of the incarnate Christ.