Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Mass of Questions

Was it wise to get me started again? Today I have a question. A question that returns to trouble me when I stray beyond my accustomed paths of worship for whatever reason - or sometimes when I'm in my familiar environment and find myself profoundly grateful for what I find there.

So: the question. Why do Roman Catholics sound so perfunctory in the celebration of the Mass? The rapid delivery - so rapid that anyone unfamiliar with it can't make it out, microphones notwithstanding (yes, I know - the rapid mutter of the Mass is a cliché, but it's one that would be well abandoned), the perfunctory prayers, the almost apologetic readings ... I'm not even going to mention the music; I suppose that's something that rather depends on what you've got. But why make the holy mysteries sound so very matter-of-fact?

You can tell from this that I've had a recent experience. And I noticed one difference from the last time. They said "Amen" in the way I'm accustomed to, rather than with the stress on the second syllable with the "Ah" said as "Ae". Who brought this about? Was it part of the upheaval that took the liturgy back to the language of the Prayer Book?

So come on, good people. I want to know.

1 comment:

  1. I can't answer your question, but I have to say this is not my experience of the Catholic Masses I have attended this year, while on holiday in Catholic areas of Europe. (I'm an Anglican.) In the village church in Austria where I attend Mass at least once a year the priest does not gabble rapidly at all - even with my limited German I can usually understand the main bits of the service spoken reverently with meaning. Also the music is superb!