Monday, October 22, 2007

It’s not on YouTube yet, but...

...yesterday at noon, at the Parish of Saint John the Beloved in McLean, Virginia, the regular celebration of the Sung Mass according to the classical Roman liturgy (1962 Missale Romanum) was inaugurated. The Rev Franklyn Martin McAfee, DD, was the celebrant. I had the unique privilege of serving as First Master of Ceremonies to the good Father. I was ably assisted by Mr Carl Selzer as Second Master of Ceremonies, with the further assistance of the young Knights of the Altar who have already pledged their service to this fine parish. Last but not least, the parish Sacristan, Mrs Ann Thunder, left no detail untended.

The musical setting was the Missa Te Deum Laudamus by Guy Ropartz, under the direction of Mr David Lang. The assembly at Holy Mass sang Credo III with suitable vigor. As permitted by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, the faithful also joined the priest in the singing of the Pater Noster.

It is truly humbling to stand within proximity of the man, who himself must stand "in persona Christi" to offer the Great Sacrifice. I had never experienced anything like that before. The weeks of preparation, of reading, research, and meetings that left no stone unturned, all came down to the climactic moment, one where St Augustine once said that a priest momentarily stopped aging. To be a Catholic is to consider such possibilities, and to believe with "the eyes of Faith" in the magnitude of the action being witnessed -- beyond the present moment, as the singular event in all human history is "channeled" through a mere mortal.

Under the circumstances, I was too preoccupied to take photographs. But I managed to discover the one featured here at The Hermeneutic of Continuity. That which is featured above, is how I imagined the Mass would have appeared to those present.

I might be embellishing things just a bit.

1 comment:

Anagnostis said...

That's Benediction. ;o)