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[CATHOLIC CAUCUS] The Mass in Slow Motion The Procession and Entrance Song
Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 4/22/2009 | Msgr Charles Pope

Posted on 08/19/2010 6:13:35 PM PDT by markomalley

entranceprocession_jpg              I’d like to begin a series on the Mass explaining the meaning and history of what we do each Sunday. It is amazing how little Catholics know about or reflect upon what we do every Sunday. This is an attempt to add insight and understanding to our celebration of the Sacred liturgy.

The Procession and entrance song -  Something very remarkable happens at the beginning of every Mass. It is so normal to us that we hardly think of it. As the priest is ready in the back of Church to begin the Mass the congregation suddenly comes to its feet and sings a hymn of praise as the priest walks down the aisle. What is this? Surely they are not just welcoming “Father Smith” are they? No indeed. The congregation is welcoming Jesus who has taught that when two or three gather in his name that he is there in the midst of them. The priest represents Jesus and acts in the person of Christ. Therefore, through his Holy Orders the priest is configured to Christ and is a sacramental sign of the presence of Jesus. Jesus Christ is walking our aisle and we welcome him with a hymn of praise! It is quite fitting to recognize Christ who, robed in priestly vestments, arrives to minister to us in Word and Sacrament. So, don’t just see “Father Smith” see, rather, Jesus and let him minister to you.

Here is a little historical background to the development of the Entrance procession and music associated with it:

In the earliest days of the Church, and in the small, ruder buildings of the primitive Church under persecution, there could hardly have been much thought or possibility of formal processions. But by the 4thcentury after the persecutions against the Church ended, larger, and even sometimes large ecclesiastical structures arose. The sacristies (the place of preparation for the Clergy et al.) were usually located near the entrance of the buildings. This meant that the procession to the altar was now much longer and thus took on added significance and importance. Such a procession could hardly be conducted in absolute silence. Hence the addition of music was natural. But the organ had not been invented and instruments of any kind were generally not allowed due to their connection with pagan rituals. Music in the early Church was left entirely to the human voice and, hence, singing alone gave color to this entrance procession. The texts for these songs were taken essentially from the psalms. The verses of the psalm selected would be sung antiphonally during the procession to the altar. It often happened that an introductory verse (or antiphon) would be sung by one or a few voices to introduce the psalm. Gradually the Antiphons came to overshadow the psalm itself. The Antiphons became more and more complex and were increasingly given over to be sung by a specially skilled choir called the “schola cantorum” with only the psalm verses being sung by the people. There developed a practice of shortening the psalm to correspond to the arrival of the members of the procession in the sanctuary. Once they were in place the psalmodywas brought to an end with the Gloria Patri (Glory Be). Over time there was a reducing of the Entrance song to the following elements: An antiphon, drawn usually from scripture, only one verse of a psalm, a Glory Be and a repetition of the antiphon. Today there exists the option of: Singing this Entrance Antiphon, singing a hymn appropriate to the Liturgy or the season, or in the absence of song the Entrance Antiphon is used as a spoken or recited text.

The following video gives and example of the sound of the the Entrance antiphon (also called the Introit) as is was sung in the ancient Church and up to about 1965. It is Gregorian Chant and the text is

Gaudeamus Omnes in Dominino. Diem festum celebrantes sub honore Mariae Virginis de cujus solemnitate gaudant angeli et colaudant Filium Dei. Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum, et dico ego opera mea regi. Gloria Patri, et Filio et Spiritui Sancto Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper, et in saecula saeculorum Amen.

(Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a feast in honor of the Virgin Mary concerning whose solemnity the angels rejoice and praise the Son of God. Psalm: My heart pours forth a good word and to the King I sepak my work. Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy SPirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen)

Today this form of singing is replaced by an opening hymn in most parishes although the singing of such Introits is still encouraged and permitted.


TOPICS: Catholic
KEYWORDS: entrancesong; heprocession; mass; msgrcharlespope; procession; processionsong; song; themass; theprocession

1 posted on 08/19/2010 6:13:38 PM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley

Is there a source somewhere online to read more about what each part of mass means? I’m a Protestant currently considering converting to Catholicism, and I would like to know more about mass.


2 posted on 08/19/2010 6:21:08 PM PDT by jhigh
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To: jhigh
Is there a source somewhere online to read more about what each part of mass means? I’m a Protestant currently considering converting to Catholicism, and I would like to know more about mass.

Well, I will be starting to post this as a series and it goes through a lot of it.

http://www.fisheaters.com has a lot of really good solid Catholic information.

And if you have questions, I'm sure one or two Catholics would be happy to respond!

So are you starting RCIA this fall? Or are you still at the point of just thinking about it?

3 posted on 08/19/2010 6:26:24 PM PDT by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: markomalley

I’ve been told that I’m more Catholic than most Catholics, so I’m definitely going to do it. I just emailed the priest of a parish that I’ve been to once or twice about RCIA but haven’t heard back yet. I’ve actually read through the Catechism once, and I’m picking my way through it again.


4 posted on 08/19/2010 6:28:43 PM PDT by jhigh
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To: jhigh

Well, the other advice I would give is if there are multiple parishes in your city/town, go to a few of them. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a degreed theologian to see where the mass is celebrated reverently or where it is celebrated in a lackadaisical fashion.

lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi

as we pray, so we believe, and so we live.

In other words, if you find a parish that celebrates the liturgy with precision and reverence, that parish is likely to be orthodox...and alive.


5 posted on 08/19/2010 6:43:15 PM PDT by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: jhigh
I've got lots of links for you to explore.

[CATHOLIC CAUCUS] The Mass in Slow Motion – The Procession and Entrance Song
Milwaukee priests lament more accurate Roman Missal translation; ‘salt in the wounds’ (Catholic Cau)
[CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS] Clergy to convene, discuss Catholic missal changes (waah alert)

Sacrosanctum Concilium Meant Mass Ad Orientem and in Latin
The Catholic Mass in 155 A.D.
Different Kinds of Silence at Mass
The Priest's Preparation and Thanksgiving for Mass
Vatican official: "The new Mass is a passing phase. In 50 years, that will be entirely clear."
New English Mass Translation from 2011 Advent
Catholic Caucus: New Roman Missal of the Mass
“And With Your Spirit” – It’s Not What You Think
Catholics reach back to church tradition
Truth in the New Translation Series # 4: The Hanc Igitur of the Roman Canon

Bishop Tobin: Get Ready – The Mass is About to Change
The Introductory Rites: No mere greeting
The New Missal: Disaster or Opportunity?
Truth in the New Translation Series #3: The Communicantes of the Roman Canon
The New Missal: Disaster or Opportunity?
Blue Liturgical Vestments (and more on Paschal Candles)
The Future Liturgy of an Anglican Ordinariate: Why not Sarum?
Worship: Entertainment vs. Liturgy (open)
More Reflections on Liturgical Language [Anglo-Catholic Perspective on Latin vs Vernacular Debate]
Helping American Catholics Learn the New Missal

Pope receives copy of complete English translation of Roman Missal
[Catholic Caucus] Prayer and Belief [Pope Benedict targets abuses in the liturgy]
Pope hopes English translation of Missal will be 'springboard for a renewal'
New Mass Translation Given Rome's Approval
Prayer, Magic, Superstition and the Mediaeval Liturgy
The Old Mass Returns
Live Thread: Pontifical High Mass, National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (Ecumenical)
The Coptic Orthodox Divine Liturgy (for those interested in comparative liturgies)
Card. Castrillon-Hoyos Out At Latin Mass - Breaking
44% of Germans Want the Old Mass

Pope Benedict uses older ritual for his private Mass
Interesting Liturgical Commentaries from the Office for Liturgical Celebrations of Supreme Pontiff
Putting Flesh on the Word “Catholic” — Easter Mass in Bali, Indonesia
Easter Mass becomes papal pep rally in Rome
Catholic Mass revisions launch war of words
"Let Us Live With Him! Let Us Learn >From Him!" (Pope's homily at the Mass of the Lord's Supper)
THE PRIEST IN THE COMMUNION RITES - Liturgy Prepares for Reception of the Eucharist
All Should Offer Their Bodies and Blood at Mass (Father Cantalamessa) [Catholic Caucus]
Can't the Holy Father Just Make the Liturgical Reform Happen?
Pope wants crucifix at the centre of ALL westward-facing altars during Mass

Benedict XVI's "Novel" Traditions
Telling Time By the Catholic Church
Good Hymns, Bad Hymns
Order of the Mass (New Translation Catechesis Part I)(Catholic Caucus)
Open Ears, Open Heart (Preparing to Receive the Liturgy of the Word each Sunday)
Effort to stop new liturgical translations at USCCB meeting fails
Church Awaits Word on Liturgical Reform
Vatican Denies Liturgical Reform Reports
(Cardinal) Newman on Rites and Ceremonies
Explains The Supreme Importance Of The Liturgy

Altar Card for the Modern Roman Liturgy
Slating the Chairs (USCCB prepares for its November plenary session)
Mass appeal: "It's like Jolt Cola for the Soul" [Catholic Caucus]
All Four Pending Liturgical Items Pass; Work On The Translation Of The New Roman Missal Continues
WHERE THE PRIEST SHOULD BEGIN MASS
GUIDELINES FOR THE PUBLICATION OF LITURGICAL BOOKS [New Missal] (Long)
AND WITH YOUR SPIRIT, Et cum spiritu tuo, (New Missal liturgical translations)
The New Missal - Historic Moment in Liturgical Renewal [Bishop Serratelli]
Know Him in the Breaking of Bread - A Guide to the Mass
Vatican liturgical official makes new plea for 'reform of the reform'

Liturgical Vestments (and prayers the priest says while vesting for Mass)
Vestments… Tools of the Liturgical Trade! [Ecumenical]
The (Catholic) Mass (as explained by a youth for Evangelical friends) [Ecumenical]
What the Catholic Mass means to converts
The "Old" Liturgical Movement: 1947 "Benedictine" Arrangement [Catholic Caucus]
Good News for the [Catholic] Liturgy
'An Ordinance Forever' - The Biblical Origins of the Mass [Ecumenical]
The Sacrifice of the Mass: Liturgical Vestments
What Do You See at (Catholic) Mass?
Purification of Sacred Vessels in U.S. (and more on the Purification of our Lord)

Tyranny of Words (Catholic liturgy - NO vs. TLM)
Mass should be enlightening and elevating, not a cookie cutter ritual
What You {Catholics} Need to Know: Mass (Sacred Liturgy) [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
"The Catholic Mass ... Revealed"
The Battle Over the Mass [Catholic Caucus]
Scriptural Basis of the Mass as Sacrifice (Where is that in the Bible?)
Giving to God in Mass [Liturgy of the Eucharist]
Liturgy, Learning and the Language of the Catholic Faith
Cardinal Arinze's Mass Etiquette 101
Prostration and Vestments on Good Friday And More on the Precious Blood

Catholic Liturgy - Funeral Masses for a Suicide And More on Confession for RCIA Candidates
The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass - A Primer for Clueless Catholics (Part 1)
The Orthodox Divine Liturgy, the Roman Catholic Mass and the Anglican Eucharist...
Catholic Liturgy - Dramatic Readings at Mass (And More on Processions, and Extra Hosts)
Catholic Liturgy - Mass Intentions
Catholic Liturgy - Pre-recorded Music at Mass And More on Communion Services
Vatican: Matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist (April 23, 2004)
POPE ISSUES APOSTOLIC LETTER ON THE SACRED LITURGY
Liturgy: Are Glass Chalices OK for Mass?
EUCHARIST: HOLY MEAL

6 posted on 08/21/2010 7:49:20 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: markomalley

**In other words, if you find a parish that celebrates the liturgy with precision and reverence, that parish is likely to be orthodox...and alive.**

I know this is true in our parish where a Novus Ordo is celebrated. Our priest is very strick — wants Gregorian chant next.


7 posted on 08/21/2010 7:51:06 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: markomalley

Monsignior Pope could be confusing.


8 posted on 08/27/2010 11:27:17 AM PDT by FrdmLvr ( VIVA la SB 1070!)
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