READER FEEDBACK to post: Why we Say The Black and Do The Red

The other day I posted an excerpt from an offering by Peter Kwasniewski at NLM, under my title:  “Why we Say The Black and Do The Red“.  In a nutshell, the traditional manner of proclaiming or chanting the readings during Holy Mass makes of those readings a manifest act of worship over an above their didactic utility.

A long time reader here sent this:

I was in attendance last evening at a low mass for the Feast of the great witness of Portugal and Doctor of Evangelization, Saint Anthony. It was the first traditional mass I have attended since your post, ” Why we Say The Black and Do The Red”on 11 June. I read what Professor Peter Kwasniewski wrote at NLM and it occurred to me that there’s another piece of this excellent notion that wasn’t mentioned but that became immediately evident to me as I listened to the reading.

Where the celebrant reads the Lection, and how he is oriented makes so much sense. It is now a more settled given for me that the priest is not only reading the Lection, but lifting it up, offering it back to God; however, how much more does this now make sense that the book is upon the altar. It seems to me the Lection is another offering, and that it being offered from the altar, in itself having a deep meaning shading light upon the vertical communication between priest and God. The Lection is an offering from the altar of sacrifice. I don’t think I recall every having had that thought or read that before! It also becomes clear that in the re-reading from the ambo that the second reading is subsidiary to, and in service pointing back to, the first.

While I have been attending and praying this mass irregularly for over ten years, this insight and deeper meaning only came from the observation begun by saying we need to stick to the older way, and what the reason is behind that. If an adaptation were made now, so much of the subtle but deeply spiritual meaning is completely lost – obviously the noble point.

Thanks as always for helping us all to draw closer to Him and His Eucharistic presence

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Hugh9 says:

    A few years ago a visiting priest offered the weekend Masses. Although American, he had a mission center in Mexico and used his northern Ohio visits to raise funds for the mission. He tended to treat the Liturgy as “his show” and making changes to already selected music, interrupting the Lectors, skipping the Gloria and a few other bizarre things. I serve the parish as the music director but didn’t have any contact with him until one Sunday morning. After meeting him, he started rattling off the changes he planned to make when I stopped him. “Read the black, do the red, Father, and we’ll be fine, ok?” He seemed puzzled by this but from the start of Mass until the end, he wasn’t quite the innovator or showman. Maybe he took this quote to heart!

  2. LongIslandTrad says:

    Maybe this is slightly off-topic, [more than slightly…] but how does one deal with newcomers turning a formerly silent low Mass into a Dialogue Mass? [With great care and charity and patience.] I’m all for parishioners singing the responses along with our choir during a Missa Cantata, but now I’m finding more and more people are yelling the servers’ responses during low Mass too. Our previous celebrant would occasionally mention that the responses are not to be said by the congregation, but our newer priests are barely holding on to the TLM itself – I’m not sure they’d even be comfortable making an announcement like that. It’s incredibly distracting and it’s turning a peaceful time into a NO atmosphere. HELP. [This is something to leave to the priests. Don’t be aggressive with these newcomers.]

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