Monday, August 29, 2011

Reform of the Reform in Austria...?

Greetings! This is my first post here in Trumau, Austria, where I have now settled in to my continued studies at the International Theological Institute, after having arrived on Saturday (buy coffee to support a starving student and his family!).

Notably, the principle liturgy on campus is the Byzantine Divine Liturgy. I attended a Mass in the Roman rite this evening for the first time since arriving, at the local parish kirche. That it was a parish priest, not formally affiliated with the Institute, is what made my experience so interesting.

Mass was in German, of course. However, Pater led the closing prayers of the rosary from the foot of the altar, prior to the beginning of Mass. Mass went on as normal (presumably, as I haven't yet learned German) until the Liturgy of the Eucharist. At that point, Pater started to chant in Latin the Dominus Vobiscum. He sung the preface, in Latin. The congregation (small-ish, and about 50% students) sung the parts of the Jubilate Deo settings.

Now, here's an interesting bit: he used the Second Eucharistic Prayer, which he sang in Latin. That one threw me off a bit, but I think it was very good to hear him doing so.

As far as I'm aware, Pater doesn't celebrate the EF, so I thought it was very nice indeed to see that he doesn't equate praying the Canon in Latin with it necessitating the use of the Roman Canon (even though that is my personal preference).

Also, the servers rang the bells not dissimilarly from the Extraordinary Form-- to a certain extent (and, I think they were local parishioners, but I can't be sure).

Just as I think that I have it all figured out, they sing the Pater Noster, in German!

Finally, it was very nice to notice that, after the consecration of the host, Pater held his thumbs and forefingers together until after the purification, which he of course held over the chalice as the server poured water into it.

After Mass, we sang the Salve Regina.

All in all, it was a lovely Mass, in a beautiful kirche. I thought that the particular variations from the Ordinary Form were very simple, and very easy to implement. Considering that I don't speak German at all just yet, it was very nice, personally, to be able to participate in Mass using the language of the Church, and to more fully, actively, and consciously participate!

Be on the lookout for more postings on the subject of liturgy in Austria, as Heiligenkreuz Abbey is only about 20 or so minutes away, and there is an FSSP parish in Wien, as well.

(Sorry for no pictures, my camera equipment is still packed up.)

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