A Facebook post to members of the Sodality of Mary, Mother of priests, 28th November 2020:
Dear Mothers, Fathers, friends, The final day of an extraordinary liturgical year in which so many of God’s faithful have been deprived of the sacraments. Much is made of the deprivation from communion, but I think also of those who have been deprived of the comfort of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, especially at the point of death; and those who have not received viaticum, food for the journey, as they make the journey to eternal life. I think it is an appropriate time to offer Masses for the Dead more frequently and especially as we can celebrate in public once again. The beginning of a new liturgical year is also a good time to refresh our own liturgical practice and a good point to re-read the two fundamental documents of western liturgy, the General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours and the General instruction on the Roman Missal.
Msgr Elliott’s book: “Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite” is also essential reading. If these three texts are our common liturgical literature they will help us to celebrate in a standard way when we are together again, God willing, one day. Working on the Liturgy of the Hours it occurred to me to put together the imprecatory or cursing verses that are omitted from the psalter of the Divine Office / Breviary/ LOTH in a little booklet which is available below. It could be used to add them back in or just to reflect on. I often talk of teaching the beginning of Psalm 93/94 to children and of one young man leaving a police station having been stopped and searched and whispering its opening verse to me as we left: “O Lord, avenging God, avenging God appear.” We need to be able to express our anger when we feel we have been treated unjustly. It is human. May the praying of the liturgy bring you deep consolation and the the experience of your soul in communion with God: Abyssus abyssum invocat. (Psalm 41:8) With my love, as always, in the Two Hearts,and every possible blessing for a joyful and consoling Advent, Richard
Apologies for not having much time for explanation, here is the current use. A number of Mass settings (all Latin) all but three from the Graduale Romanum, one from Dom Gregory Murray his 1957 People’s Mass, and two simple Latin settings (Mass XIX and Mass XX) from Dom Alan Rees which may be found in the Belmont Abbet An English Gradual, from which the Introit and Pots-Communion chants are taken each day.
CW Eucharistic Prayers A, B, C, D, E, F and G and H are included along with the Canon Romanus (for Solemnities). Extended Prefaces on separate cards. Entire musical settings of CR, B and H.
Music from Gelineau, Crawley Down (CSWG) or Tamié at the Offertory and more more CSWG at the Communion rite.
All prepared for the new Oratory (of St Joseph ready for the move to Oxford, hence OSJ).
We are a few weeks into the live-streaming now. I am deeply grateful to those who join me or watch later in the day and am much encouraged by your gratitude. It is nothing other than a privilege to offer intercession at the altar for the many names received.
Regular visitors will see that I have been experimenting with the chant a little, using more traditional plainsong (with English texts) as well as the material from the English Gradual. I have also added in a chanted version of Psalm 42 (43) as a transition from the Liturgy of the Word to the Liturgy of the Sacrament), almost a ‘prayers at the foot of the altar’. The experiment with seasonal insertions to Prayer H didn’t really work, getting the grammar right to lead into “on the nigh he was …’ is too complicated and needed insertions in two different places. With the new chant at the Offertory – using a Gelineau tone which I like to do – may mean that I omit a seasonal chant after the post-communion prayer and just use the Sodality Anthem to Mary, Mother of Priests.
Apart from that the rite, and especially the way in which I have tried to include those watching and unable to receive Communion seems to work. The changes and a couple of typos corrected are in this version of the booklet:
Eucharist: no change except that I trying out using seasonal inserts into Eucharistic Prayer H, based on the Short Prefaces in Common Worship and inserted before the institution narrative.
It has been really good to experiment with live-streaming worship in Holy Week and the Octave of Easter.
During the continuing lockdown I shall live stream the Eucharist at 6:30am BST each day and Compline at 7pm. After the opening verse I will read a poem. I probably won’t choose this until just before the Office but will try and Tweet it when I have done so.
I have been experimenting with the way to livestream through one fixed camera in a very small space. The layout of the Oratory has changed a little and I have tried to include those watching in a meaningful and non-trite way without intruding myself too much, I hope.
Here are the forms I shall be using for the time being:
It is pretty much as before although the introduction I have devised for those watching just didn’t work and I have removed it, as also the post-Communion prayer. I have extended the Prayer over the Gifts to include mention of ‘lockdown’ and extended the intercessions with more material on the pandemic. There is a ‘statement’ (not really a prayer) before receiving communion to include those watching and not receiving communion. I am not sure about it but will give it a go.
In communion with those who cannot receive communion,
with all who watch this Eucharist
and with all the faithful in every time and place, in heaven and on earth:
The bread of heaven in Christ Jesus. Amen.
The cup of life in Christ Jesus. Amen.
The readings are from the Daily Eucharistic Lectionary – I read them in the Jerusalem Bible version mainly because that means I can use the monthly Magnificat booklet which is easier to juggle with everything else on the legilium.
For the Introit and Concluding Chants I am using Abbot Alan Rees’s music published by Belmont Abbey in An English Gradual, it is really good. I will use one chant at each point for a whole week (except on feasts). It is only £7:50. A real ‘must-buy’. Which you can do here). Each refrain is provided with verses from the psalms (Grail psalter),
The responsorial psalmody is by Fr Anthony Ruff OSB (St John’s, Collegeville) Responsorial Psalms for Weekday Mass in the Seasons. They are very simple modal chants and work really well. All the texts are those set in the lectionary but it should be noted that they are the ICEL texts not those in British liturgical books.
I have also added the texts and music from the monastery at Crawley Down (Community of the Servants of the Will of God) to greet and give thanks for the Gospel. It just seems a bit ‘naked’ without something.
I aim to have longer silences after the gospel and after Communion. I have been a bit cautious so far when live-streaming given that many people just ‘dip in’. But now that we are out of the high seasons will go for it.
Again this is pretty straightforward. The English Anthem to the BVM is a version by Aelred Seton Shanley Obl. OSB Cam. an English hermit who lived in the Unites States for many years and died in the mid 1990s. I very much like his material, including Office hymns and these anthems to Our Lady. A few of the hymns have been published here. I am grateful to have been given a copy of the whole Office. The Antiphon on the psalms at Compline is the 8-fold alleluia that was popular when I was a teenager and will make many groan. I don’t know whether it will wear singing every night but thought I would try it.
On Saturdays and Sundays I will sing Compline in Latin.
It is such a joy to have people praying with me even though remotely, I am profoundly grateful for the prayerful support that offers and it is wonderful to be able to pray so many prayer intentions. There is a very real sense of communion and ‘inter-being’. I could not be more grateful.
So I did it. After many requests. And after seeing the wonderful efforts so many others have made to provide Christian worship in this time of pandemic. I live streamed the Eucharist in the little Oratory which I’ve turned a lean-to on the side of the house into.
Some rooky errors: apparently FaceBook live stream won’t film in landscape on my iPhone so the whole thing was at right angles; despite Kate Bottley’s very helpful advice I didn’t place the phone high enough up which gives the whole thing a rather odd look. I shall improve on both of those tomorrow
It was my friend and brother Sodalist Fr John-Francis Friendship who made the point to me (on the phone) and publicly on Facebook that perhaps we need to make some greater acknowledgement of the viewer in these online broadcasts. I think he is right.
At the beginning of the liturgy I will say:
Wherever we are we meet in the name of Christ who is present in every time and place as our friend and brother:
The Lord be with you: And also with you.
At the offertory I will pray this prayer adapted from Common Worship:
Be present, be present, Lord Jesus Christ, our risen high priest, make yourself known to us; though we are separated unite us in faith; though we are apart grant us the communion of the Holy Spirit. Amen
At the intercessions I will add:
Remember us, separated by pandemic, but united by faith in the body of Christ; may all who see this celebration of the Eucharist know the presence of Christ in their hearts and in their lives. Strengthen our communion that we may be strengthened in the service of others.
At the moment of Communion I will turn towards the camera holding the consecrated hosts nd chalice and say:
Christ is in or midst. He is and always will be.
I will make the sign of the cross with the host before turning back to receive communion.
I am working on a suitable post communion prayer. I would appreciate any help on this:
Almighty God, we thank you for feeding us by your holy Word and by our fellowship in the body of Christ. United with him and with all the baptised in every time and place we offer you our souls and bodies to be a living sacrifice. Sustain us in our isolation by the power of your Spirit, that we may live in peace, and free from all anxiety, to your praise and glory.
Finally, I love singing. Praying by singing has a whole different effect on me. It used parts of my brain I don’t use when reciting prayers. Sadly I am not the great singer I would love to be. I thought about not singing in the live streamed liturgies but I am going to carry on. Sorry!
The form of the Eucharistic liturgy I use is adapted slightly from Common Worship and I use Eucharistic Prayer H with intercession inserted. Here it is with the prayers above added for live streaming.
Please do continue to send me names of people you would like to be prayed for. I will pray aloud for everyone by first name only. I don’t mind if it takes me half an hour or more!
NOTE: I have come in recent years through my educational/pedagogical work to believe that repetition is more important in learning than novelty and total coverage. Applying that to the liturgy I suspect that one year lectionaries are better than the multi-year cycles that have been developed in the last 60 years or so. Thus, I am using the BCP Sunday lectionary, repeating those readings on weekdays unless there is a saint’s day. On saints’ days and in seasons – such as Lent – where there is daily provision the readings from the old western rite are used as found in the 1958 edition of the English Missal. These are taken from the Authorised Version.
Underneath the large church at Taizé is the crypt. A door from there leads to a corridor and the Orthodox chapel. Every day, before Morning Prayer, Brother Pierre-Yves Emery of the community celebrates the Eucharist with the one or two people who turn up.
It is the simplest possible form of Eucharist but one of the richest experiences in my life of celebrating Mass. When I am at Taizé I am privileged to concelebrate this Eucharist. When I first did so I was terrified. Pierre-Yves, a Reformed pastor, does not use any books but extemporises the Collect and the Eucharistic Prayer (using the typical Hyppolitan structure of contemporary liturgies). He speaks no English and we communicate in liturgical latin and my weak French. Pierre Yves divides the Eucharistic Prayer up and I pray my bits in English, always dividing the consecration of the bread or wine between us, one of us getting the anamnesis, the intercessions, the epiclesis and so on. Praying, as an international ecumenical community not for a local bishop but for the Archbishop of Canterbury, the ecumenical Patriarch, the bishop of Rome, the Secretary General of the World Council of Churches, and the leaders and pastors of all the churches.
Beginning in silence, in the dark, after greeting the assembly we sing a three fold Kyrie before Pierre-Yves extemporises a Collect, often on some theme from the gospel of the day. The Liturgy of the Word is read, with a psalm chanted simply and three Alleluias before and after the gospel. After a long period of silence we all go and stand around the altar in the small sanctuary area beyond the iconsostasis. The chalice and paten already have the bread and wine in them. After the Eucharistic Prayer we pray the Lord’s Prayer, sing a simple Agnus and are invited to receive. The paten and then the chalice are passed around the small circle. An extemporised prayer follows communion before a dismissal. It is very beautiful indeed.
In the Lord’s Prayer we pray that God will give us ‘our daily bread’. For many Christians this has been read as an invitation to celebrate the Eucharist daily. For Anglo-Catholics the daily celebration of Mass was an essential part of the tradition for many. The spiritual writer Henri Nouwen made a point of celebrating Mass each day wherever he was, always carrying a supply of hosts with him.
I think the diminution of the daily Mass in many Anglo-Catholic parishes is one of the signs and causes of our diminishment as a movement, and I do everything I can to encourage my sister and brother priests to restore daily celebration.
It is my great joy to celebrate every day. I carry a travelling kit with me and when staying with friends and colleagues will often celebrate simply at a coffee or dining table. I love to celebrate with family and friends at the dinner table using a little of the wine and bread that will be eaten as part of the meal afterwards. I also, at home, have the joy of a little Oratory in an old tool shed attached to the house, the altar consecrated by the diocesan bishop.
The following two attachments are my current practice for celebrating the Eucharist daily. The longer document printed and in an A5 folder on the altar and the other a people’s card for those who join me.
If I am joined by someone who sings I like to use the very simple musical setting of EP H. On days when there is a Proper Preface I tend to use one of the other Eucharistic Prayers. The collection of Eucharistic Prefaces translated by Fr Alan Griffiths for the Ambrosian rite is a rich resource (We Give you Thanks And Praise). The prayers are enriched with intercession as suggested here. I normally begin and end with a Taizé chant. In this Kingdom season “The Kingdom of God is justice and peace…” is especially suitable.