A beautiful day today, warm Autumn sunshine, breezy enough to dry two full loads from the washing machine...a day for simple domesticity.
The following conversation was had between DH and myself, he was ironing and I was cleaning:
DH: I wonder if those women will be singing the Mass tomorrow?
Me: Well it's not the week for the folk Mass is it...it could be anything. I'm sorry but it drives me nuts, all these different flavours of Mass. What is it all about? You remember before Vatican II, this is all new isn't it?
DH: Not exactly, you have to remember, there were Masses to suit all types each Sunday. the 6:30 am for the workers and yours truly as server, then there was the 8:30 which was a little grander. Then there was the kiddies Mass at 10am.
DH: That is the one the children went to. Heaven help you if you weren't there. You were made to stand up in class on Monday and say why you weren't there. You didn't sit with your family, you were with your teacher, you sat in your classes.....After that Mass was the solemn sung high Mass if that was more your bag then there was the Sunday evening Mass, I'm not quite sure who that was for...But there were lots of priests so they were able to accommodate all these different tastes and needs. Now, there is just one priest and he is trying to please everyone...folk Mass one week, squeaky high female choir the next, organ the next and so on. Maybe it isn't as different from the past as we think.
Me: What do you think has been the biggest change?
DH: Lent. It used to be really, really hard. I was away from the Church for a few years and came back and all the old lenten hymns had gone, there was no talk of suffering, there was no blood, no wounding...the symbolism, imagery and meditation were all missing. This was worse for me than the change from Latin to English, though we lost so many as a result of that.
Me: Was it worth it?
DH: We never really understood the Latin so I suppose it had to happen. It was just too quick, too wholesale and too radical, overnight the Latin Mass was considered wrong. That was in the days when people put priests on a pedestal, they believed them. They believed the Latin Mass was wrong because their priest/Bishop said so...
Me: Come off it. You might not have understood all the words in the Mass, but you knew you had to be properly prepared for it and you knew what was happening at the Consecration.
DH: Oh yes! The bells were so important then....The sixties have so much to answer for, you can not divorce what was happening in the world from what was happening in the Church... my generation have a lot to answer for.
Me: Your generation were not pulling the strings....
DH starts singing bits of the Missa De Angelis whilst he irons my shirts. Nice.