From a reader…
Your post of Archbishop Sample’s remarks and the subsequent discussion in the remarks section rekindled an interest I have in the liturgical reforms instituted by Pope Pius XII, specifically encouragement of the dialogue Mass when Low Mass is celebrated. I remember there was a lot of discussion about this in the early ’60 while the Council was in session. I’d be curious to know how prevalent this practice is in communities that celebrate the Extraordinary Form.
First, let’s review. In a nutshell here are the degrees permitted.
The parts that could be said or sung by the congregation were of two kinds: the parts to be sung at High Mass (Pontifical, Solemn, Sung), and the parts which are responses of the ministers or the server at Low Mass. The 1958 document Musica sacra divides dialogue Masses into four degrees of outward, vocal expression. In a nutshell,
- The congregation makes the shorter responses such as the Amen, Deo gratias, Et cum spiritu tuo along with the servers.
- Same as above but adding all the responses of the servers, including the prayers at the foot of the altar, Second Confiteor where used, etc..
- Same as above adding the Ordinary (e.g. Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, etc.) together with the priest and/or choir.
- Same as above adding even the Propers (Introit, etc.) with the priest and/or choir.
Certain texts of the Mass are reserved to the priest, and should never be said aloud by the faithful. Period.
Of course there is the tricky dynamic of congregations comprised of those who want to respond while others do not. Sometimes the priest (wrongly, in my view) wants no responses but the congregation does.
Each community should find their way in this regard, always under the prudent and well-informed suggestions of the priest.
As far as how prevalent “dialogue” versus “silent” Masses are, I am not sure. Most of the places were I have been (quite a few) there is “dialogue”. People respond both speaking and singing.
Maybe some of you can chime in?
I’ll turn the moderation queue and let some comments pile up before releasing them. That way you can all jump in without jumping on, if you get me.
Meanwhile, let’s have a poll. If I did this right, you can choose two answers.