By William Oddie
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Recently it was, for various reasons, not possible for my wife and me to get to Mass on Sunday, so we looked around for a Saturday evening vigil Mass. Our nearest happened to be the weekly Sunday Mass of the Oxford area ordinariate.
We went to that. I had never attended an ordinariate Mass and was looking forward to experiencing the new ordinariate liturgy. I was therefore a little disappointed that, since the newly authorised liturgy was still being carefully rolled out, what was actually still being celebrated was the Novus Ordo in English. I sometimes have a certain sense of being flattened by this liturgy, even in the new translation. I know the Mass is the Mass; all the same, I am used to the Novus Ordo in the form of the Latin High Mass at the Oxford Oratory: enough said.
One of the things that often irritates me about the Novus Ordo in English as a sung Mass is the way so many parishes sing it to a setting cooked up by some member of the congregation (who has often written nothing else), rather than to a more widely used and recognisable setting. This seems to me to be (literally) the most blatant congregationalism; it’s a most un-Catholic practice. Why not to a plainsong setting? Cradle Catholics have the extraordinary notion that plainsong can only be sung in Latin, that only Latin fits the notes. But there are plenty of notes, and Anglo-Catholics have known for years that most plainsong settings can be fitted to English translations perfectly well.
Anyway, the new ordinariate liturgy is being gradually introduced, I learned, during the week, and in Oxford the first Sunday Mass for which it will be used will be Advent Sunday. I will certainly be there: not only because the new liturgy itself (of which more anon) seems to me potentially thrilling. It is because of the way I know it will be celebrated: with the same care and reverence and great beauty that the Novus Ordo was celebrated when I went to the ordinariate Mass earlier this month...
Read the entire post in The Catholic Herald.
Hat tip to Mary Ann Mueller.