Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Mass at CARYANA

At the Caryana Lay Monastic Comunity, a community that follows the Rule of St. Benedict, the "Work of God," the Liturgy, is of the utmost importance. St. Benedict stressed, quoting St. Augustine, that in any spiritual renewal there must be order. And that order must begin with the Liturgy or with prayer in general. It is in this spirit that years before the Motu Proprio of Pope Benedict XVI, the Mass in this community has been celebrated in the manner which His Holiness desires the whole Catholic world to go back to observing.

The Mass Proper, i.e. the Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Offertory and Post Communion are all sung in Gregorian chant; also the Common of the Mass, i.e. the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and the Agnus Dei.

While the Proper of the Mass is sung by the monastic choir, the Common of the Mass is sung alternately with the congregation who by this time had already memorized the melodies.

While all the Gregorian Chant, versicles and responses by the congregation are in Latin, the Collect and the three readings are in English. The Gospel is followed by a homily based on the writings of the Fathers of the Church.

Whereas before, the Canon was recited in English, now with the Motu Proprio of Pope Benedict, the congregation participate in singing all those parts that His Holiness wants recited or sung, in Latin.

During the Communion of the faithful, the Sacred Host is received kneeling down on the Communion rail, and on the tongue, while the monastic choir sings sacred Renaissance songs of Palestrina, Vittoria, Gabrielli, DiLassus, Tallis, Dufay, etc.

The Post Communion prayer is in English, but the rest, up to the Dismissal, is sung in Latin with the congregation responding. After Mass, the prayer to St. Michael is recited, followed by a seasonal hymn to the Blessed Virgin sung by all as the exit hymn. Then the Thanksgiving Prayer after Mass is entoned and joined in by the congregation, followed by the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be, all recited in Latin so to enable the congregation to memorize them as the Holy Father has encouraged the faithful to do so from the first year of His Pontificate.

Just as the congregation has been instructed to wear proper clothes during Mass, including the wearing of veils, at the end of the Mass the congregation is encouraged to proceed home quietly avoiding all forms of socializing.

With the Motu Propio, the entire Canon of the 1962 Mass shall be recited and sung in Latin starting Sept 14. (Photo is a bishop celebrating Mass on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.)