A group at my parish is planning on approaching our pastor to request Mass in the Extraordinary Form. I would like to be prepared to answer his questions about the “mechanics” of putting on this Mass: training the altar servers; providing for the expense of additional altar “equipment” that the parish may need, such as patens, bells, etc. The most important question: what do we need to do about placement of the tabernacle? Ours is off to one side on a side altar in the sanctuary, not on the main central altar. I have not been able to find an answer to this question on-line. Thank you for your help.
I applaud your desire to request Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form.
The Supreme Pontiff’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum says (my translation):
Art. 5, § 1. In parishes, where there is stably present a group of the faithful attached to the previous liturgical tradition, let the pastor willingly receive their petitions that Mass be celebrated according to the Rite of the Missale Romanum issued in 1962. Let him see to it that the good of these faithful be harmoniously brought into accord with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish, under the governance of the Bishop according to canon 392, by avoiding discord and by fostering the unity of the whole Church.
I think your answer to any questions from the pastor about the “mechanics” must be this:
Father, don’t worry about a thing. We will do everything. We will set up for every Mass. We will train the servers, though if you would pop in once in a while that would be great! We will form the schola cantorum and we will pay from our pockets any musicians or singers we need. We will purchase for you right away a beautiful edition of the Missale Romanum: just pick the one you desire (Fr. Z reviewed two great editions here). We will take care of printing any sheets people in the pews might need. We will do all the scheduling for the lay people who will be involved. We will unlock and lock the church and clean it up. Perhaps you, Father, could suggest the names of a few priests we can contact on your behalf if you need a substitute. We will, when necessary, provide him some transportation if he desires and also pay his stipend. If you, Father, need any training materials, just say the word and we will order everything for you immediately. We will also take care of taking up the collection during Mass and making sure you get it right away. Is there anything else you can think of, Father, that we can do to make this easy for you? Do you want some Roman-style vestments? Just tell us the colors. Do you have a biretta? We will get you one right away. What is your hat size? Don’t know? I have a tape measure in my pocket. Would you like a new cassock? Do we need sacred vessels? We can sit with a catalog and you can indicate which you will prefer for these Masses. We would also be happy to pay to have the whole sanctuary tidied up. We would be pleased to pay to get rid of the carpet and return the main altar to its prominence by removing the free-standing altar and putting the tabernacle back in the center. No, Father! Really, we mean that. You chuckle, but just say the word. We will handle anything you point us at! We will make due with the tabernacle to the side… until you are ready to move it. Then we will pay for it. Furthermore, after Mass the servers will kneel by the tabernacle when everything is put in its place and say a prayer for you, our pastor, and the bishop.
There. That should do it.