Monday, August 19, 2002

Mozarabic Rite
Two of the priests here have faculties in the Mozarabic Rite. This is the ancient western rite proper to the Cathedral of Toledo. It was not suppressed after Trent, nor is it today. It was celebrated faithfully by the Catholics during the Muslim occupation of Spain. Right now it is still said in Latin at the cathedral, but a vernacular translation has been made, with the hopes that its use will spread throughout Spain. They have also revised it in accordance with Sacrosanctum Concilium but I don't know the details on that.
I've been to two celebrations of it. One was a ferial day, and so was somewhat simple. It still feature beautiful Latin chant from a Mozarabic choir from Chicago. The other was on the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross, which is one of the biggest feasts on their calendar. It is celebrated in the Spring some time, but I can't remember exactly what day.
The emphasis of the rite is on the Cross. There is a significant difference in all parts of the Mass. For instance, the Mass begins abruptly with an opening prayer and the Liturgy of the Word without any preliminaries. The Our Father is said by the priest one petition at a time. After each petition the people respond "Amen." There is a very large section of petitions at the Offeratory similar to our Good Friday service. They also have a much stronger sense of the presbyterium (sanctuary) than we do in our post-Vatican II liturgy (something I hope we can regain).
Sure is nice to pray the Mass in Latin.

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