Live and Learn

In getting ready for the solemn requiem mass of Father Davis this week, I was tasked with compiling the bulletin. And as this bulletin has the entire mass in it, essentially this meant I was in charge of the order of worship. I used as a template an older requiem booklet Fr. Davis had made, but then Father Kelley and I began noticing some oddities as compared with the American Missal. A prayer missing here, some synonymns changed there. Sometimes some outright additions.

Then I began comparing the ritual of what has been done here in the past to what should be done in the future (ala Fortescue and Lamburn).  Like any parish, different circumstances in some point in time required Father to make this change or that. And then Father leaves or dies, and the new Father comes in and does the same, and so on. I recognized this same pattern in the liturgical life of my seminary, Nashotah House, where no place else celebrates quite like they do, nor does anyone else have quite the same calendar.

But at some point it stops being quaint or "pastoral" and it becomes madness. In trying to prevent madness from ensuing here (unlike Nashotah House where my suggestions were ridiculed as "over the top" or "antiquated"), I find myself constantly consulting Fortescue and Lamburn. And of course, the standard rubrics of the Missal itself, particularly (since we're adhering to a hermeneutic of continuity, after all), The Rubrics of the Missale Romanum 1962, since the American Missal is indeed in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, Anglican Use.

Here are the rubrics for the solemn requiem mass:

What we practiced last night didn't include all of this, as I'm a liturgical novice, and our Maestro has gone to be with the Lord. But hopefully we can ammend as we go and communicate this to the MC and alcolytes.

Now I've got to change the requiem mass booklet template to be completely in line with the American Missal, and need to learn the correct ritual very well, so that next time we can do it exactly right. I hope. But we live and learn.


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