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Hello everyone,

Perhaps some of you can help me out with this.

Three months ago, me and a few others asked our priest if he would be willing to offer a monthly Traditional Latin Mass at my parish.  He agreed to do so enthusiastically, and was quickly granted permission by the Bishop!  Since no one in the parish had any experience in serving the TLM, I sought the help of a priest who offers the Latin Mass regularly who taught me how to serve Low Mass (I am a 25 year old lay person and the Masses will all be Low Masses for the foreseeable future, as we do not have a schola and currently only have one server).  I have served both the TLM's that have been offered at my parish.  As we approach the third TLM this coming Sunday, I was hoping to create a handout of some sort to provide to the congregation as they come into the chapel.  Ideally, this handout would describe the proper posture for the laity, as well as the responses. 

The first two TLMs were definitely learning experiences for everyone involved.  The priest is very elderly and had not offered the TLM in many years.  Of the 50 or so laity present, I would venture to guess that perhaps a handful had ever previously attended a TLM.  I was content with my performance as a server, but I hope to improve as the Mass becomes more familiar.  Inevitably, the laity would respond, in the best Latin they could, to every prayer much like they would at a NO Mass (many even read the altar server's responses to the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar along with me).  The priest read the Canon aloud (except for the Words of Consecration, during which he lowered his voice slightly but not enough so that the congregation could not here him).  There was general confusion about when to sit, stand, and kneel.

All that said, now that the TLM is to be offered for the third time, I feel that our "period of grace" for learning the Mass should becoming to and end and we should seriously consider perfecting the rubrics. That is why I feel a "hand out" is necessary for the congregation to help them understand their role at the Mass and how the concept of "active participation" should be perceived.  Does anyone have somewhere they could direct me to find something like this "pre-made"?  If not, can any of you provide me with suggestions of what to include?  I do not want to come across as condescending or as "scolding" the congregation, but at the same time I would like to make sure that we do things the correct way.  Also, is it my place to ask the priest to perhaps re-familiarize himself with the rubrics?  Like could I flat out just say, "Hey Father, the Canon should be said silently?", or am I over stepping?  Lastly, is their any general advice that any of you could offer me?  For example, have any of you been in a similar situation and learned something helpful along the way that you could share?


I look forward to hearing your advice!

God bless!
Have you seen this page on the main FishEaters site?
These are the standard of Latin Mass parishes: the "red booklet".  http://www.ecclesiadei.org/Booklet%20Missals.htm  Otherwise the link given above is a wonderful resource I reference all the time.

As for correcting Father, only do so if you feel you have such a relationship with him that he would be receptive to it, and only if you yourself are confident in what you are saying.  Even then reference something else rather than your own authority.  For example, "Father, I was reading X and it seems to say that the Canon should be said silently.  Do you know about this?"

I'm happy to answer any and all questions you or Father might have, as a liturgist and seasoned M.C.  And I'm sure others here would make the same offer. :)
The red booklet is pretty much the standard everywhere I've been. I think I went to one in Washington D.C. that didn't have them (can't remember), but otherwise I went to one in Florida, California, and of course the ones I go to in New York, all had the red booklet.

If you can get the red booklets, then all you need to do is print out the changing parts of the Mass each week and you're good to go.
(07-08-2015, 01:45 PM)dcmaccabees Wrote: [ -> ]Have you seen this page on the main FishEaters site?

I have now, thanks!

(07-08-2015, 02:54 PM)Steven Wrote: [ -> ]These are the standard of Latin Mass parishes: the "red booklet".  http://www.ecclesiadei.org/Booklet%20Missals.htm  Otherwise the link given above is a wonderful resource I reference all the time.

As for correcting Father, only do so if you feel you have such a relationship with him that he would be receptive to it, and only if you yourself are confident in what you are saying.  Even then reference something else rather than your own authority.  For example, "Father, I was reading X and it seems to say that the Canon should be said silently.  Do you know about this?"

I'm happy to answer any and all questions you or Father might have, as a liturgist and seasoned M.C.  And I'm sure others here would make the same offer. :)

(07-08-2015, 04:14 PM)GangGreen Wrote: [ -> ]The red booklet is pretty much the standard everywhere I've been. I think I went to one in Washington D.C. that didn't have them (can't remember), but otherwise I went to one in Florida, California, and of course the ones I go to in New York, all had the red booklet.

If you can get the red booklets, then all you need to do is print out the changing parts of the Mass each week and you're good to go.

Thanks to you both!  We actually do have those exact Red Booklets.  The problem is, the congregation still seems to be having trouble.  I am going to specify that they need to follow the rubrics marked "Low Mass" in the margins, as well as perhaps provide an insert on why the congregation customarily remains silent and allows the altar servers to make the responses.  Hopefully, that should take care of the major issues.

As for speaking with Father, I think your suggestion of "I read somewhere that _____" is a good idea and may be the best way to address the issue without seeming overbearing or like a "know-it-all".

And Steven, I'll make sure to come to you with any other question I may have.  Thanks for that offer!
I don't see the big deal if the people respond with the server. I know some people seem to be against this, but i don't see an issue. The server responses are supposed to be on behalf of the people. If the people know the responses, then why not respond as well? For many people, they may feel more connected to the Mass in that way. I personally say the responses in a whisper to myself.
(07-08-2015, 10:44 PM)GangGreen Wrote: [ -> ]I don't see the big deal if the people respond with the server. I know some people seem to be against this, but i don't see an issue. The server responses are supposed to be on behalf of the people. If the people know the responses, then why not respond as well? For many people, they may feel more connected to the Mass in that way. I personally say the responses in a whisper to myself.

That's a good question.  In the English speaking world "Dialog Masses" (Missa dialogata) are relatively uncommon, but they are fairly prevalent in French and German trad Masses (French Organ Masses and German Singmesses are both examples, set to highly stylized music).  There's nothing wrong with them, but there are a few "rules", taken from The Decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites of 1922:

1) A first degree of “Missa dialogata” consists in responding aloud with the server.

2) A second degree (which deserves properly the name of “Missa recitata”) adds to the first degree the recitation with the celebrant of all the prayers which are sung by the people at Missa Cantata, the Gloria (Et in terra, etc.), the Credo (Patrem omnipotentem, etc.), the Sanctus, and the Agnus Dei.

3) Moreover, before Holy Communion, we should say not only the Confiteor with the server, but the Domine non sum dignus, which the priest says at that moment on our behalf, may also be said three times with him.