Pray Tell is running a series on the liturgical history of Collegeville. The sub-series “From the Archives” reprints some of the Liturgy Committee meeting minutes from 1963 to 1969. This sub-series is a behind-the-scenes look at liturgy in Collegeville during and immediately after the Second Vatican Council.
The next record from the Liturgy Committee:
Minutes of the Liturgy Committee
October 15, 1963
Present were Fathers John, Daniel, Michael, Gerard, Aelred, Camillus, Wenceslaus, Leon, Fr. Adam, and Bro. Gerard.
Father John opened the meeting by stating Father Abbot’s view of the opus Dei committee; the latter will discuss the place of the opus Dei in our monastic life and will complement the liturgy committee.
As to the papers being prepared to serve as discussion material for a community gathering on Oct. 22, Father Aelred, who had been put in charge of these papers by the liturgy committee, said that the finished product would be one paper of two pages dealing with direct and indirect participation; by situating the problem in the context of the sing of participation, the paper would deal with such topics as Eucharistic participation, etc. On the question of direct and indirect participation Father Michael restated the principle that the High Mass is the highest liturgical form; however, even though there can be no doubt about this principle, yet as Father Loew commented in Worship, indirect participation is often more meaningful than direct participation because it is in the vernacular.
The committee discussed the possibility of singing the Gloria in English at solemnized Low Mass on Sundays, but Father Aelred pointed out that most liturgists feel that there is too much emphasis on the entrance ceremony if the Gloria is sung, and hence the readings come too short. His alternative suggestion was that during the Gloria we sing a doxology, which is the equivalent of the Gloria, since it is never convincing to recite a Gloria. When Father Camillus arrived, after having been detained earlier in the evening, he thought that the singing of a doxology would be undesirable at the present because the students are used to reciting it now, and every change provokes a barrage of questions that lead to time-consuming answers.
The committee agreed on the following proposals to be suggested to Father Abbot: 1. The community should sit at the Epistle, since this is the proper posture for listening to the Epistle, and remain seated until the priest goes to the Gospel side; at this time they should stand in order to have the proper liturgical posture in which to receive the priest’s greeting. 2. The celebrant should enter the sanctuary to begin Mass only at the end of the last response to the Office of Terce. 3. The Gospel should be sung from the throne at the end of Matins, and when it is to be read by the Prior or Subprior, it could be read from a designated position in front of the altar.
The question of having our acolytes wear their hoods on top of their surplices when they serve during liturgical functions found the committee somewhat divided, with the majority of the members not in favor of adopting this practice. One major reason against adopting this practice was that our hoods do not lend themselves to being worn over the surplice; further, if the acolytes were to wear them, so should the celebrant; lastly, since there is no such thing as a “Benedictine Mass,” neither should there be the practice of wearing the hood to distinguish the “Benedictine” acolytes form other acolytes.