Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Why Does Fr. Hardesty Do That?! Part 4

After a brief homily today, I addressed another topic concerning the celebration of Mass.  This time on the use of the low or quiet voice during the Ordinary Form (“new form”) of the Mass.  I’m not going to be very detailed regarding the various types of voice traditionally used.  So this is all off the top of my head.

Question: What is Fr. Hardesty whispering at various times of the Mass?

Answer: The Mass is one extended prayer to the Father.  Most of this prayer is said in a loud voice, audible to the congregation.  There are also some prayers said in dialogue with the congregation to facilitate their active participation in the liturgy according to the reforms of Sacrosanctum Concilium of Vatican II.  Sometimes though, there are prayers said only between the priest and God.  In the prior translation of the Ordinary Form (“new form”)missal, the rubric was mistranslated to indicate that these prayers are said “silently.”  Therefore, most priests pray these prayers interiorly.  With an eye toward celebrating the O.F. in continuity with the Extraordinary Form (E.F. or “old form”) of the Mass though, we know that prayers that makeup the content of the Mass are never said simply interiorly.  If so, how could we verify that these prayers were said at all?  Therefore when the translation of the Missal of the O.F. was revised, this rubric was correctly translated to indicate that the private prayers are said “quietly” or in a “low voice".  This better conveys that they should be at least vocalized, namely with a whisper.  It also paces the Mass well when you have to pause to vocalize these rather than saying them interiorly on top of another action.  Note that Deacons should whisper their own private prayers of the Mass too.  I find these to be very personally edifying.  You can pray these interiorly with the priest if you have a Daily Roman Missal or a Magnificat to follow along with.

For your edification, here are the private prayers of the Ordinary Form of the Mass:

Before the Deacon proclaims the Gospel, the priest blesses him saying:
”May the Lord be in your heart and on your lips, that you may proclaim his Gospel worthily and well, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”

If the priest proclaims the Gospel himself, he bows before the altar and says:
”Cleanse my heart and my lips, almighty God, that I may worthily proclaim your holy Gospel”

After proclaiming the Gospel, the priest or the deacon says the following:
”Through the words of the Gospel may our sins be wiped away”

In preparing the altar and the offerings, after offering the paten the priest or deacon pours a little water into the chalice and says:
”By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity”

After offering the chalice the priest bows profoundly and says:
”With humble spirit and contrite heart may we be accepted by you, O Lord, and my our sacrifice in your sight this day be pleasing to you, Lord God”

Then while washing his hands the priest says:
”Wash me, O Lord, from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin”

After the Sign of Peace, while the Lamb of God is being chanted, the priest beaks off a small piece from the Host and drops it into the chalice saying:
"May this mingling of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring eternal life to us who receive it”

Before the “Behold the Lamb of God…” the priest prepares himself for Communion saying one of two options:
”Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who, by the will of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit, through your Death gave life to the world, free me by this, your most holy Body and Blood, from all my sins and from every evil; keep me always faithful to your commandments, and never let me be parted from you.”


“May the receiving of your Body and Blood, Lord Jesus Christ, not bring me to judgment and condemnation, but through your loving mercy be for me protection in mind and body and a healing remedy.”

Before consuming the Host the priest says:
”May the Body of Christ keep me safe for eternal life”
Before consuming the Precious Blood he says:
”May the Blood of Christ keep me safe for eternal life”

Finally, during the purification of the chalice and paten, the priest or deacon says:
”What has passed our lips as food, O Lord, may we possess in purity of heart, that what has been given to us in time may be our healing for eternity.”

Those are all of the private prayers of the Mass.  I do say a few interior prayers though that don’t make up the content of the Mass.  First, as I sign my forehead, lips, and heart before the proclamation of the Gospel I pray “May the Word of God be in my mind, on my lips, and in my heart.”  Second, either during the petitions, before the Preface, or during the times set forth in Eucharistic Prayer I, I call to mind the intention of the Mass.  Lastly, after consecrating the Host and the Chalice I say during the elevation of each, “My Lord and my God” – an indulgenced prayer.  Sometimes when I genuflect I’ll pray “You are great and I am small.”


Anonymous said...

I like "You are great and I am small"thing, quite true and childishly simple.

Angelo Cardinal Fratelli said...

This is amazing.