Until today, I overlooked the post at PrayTell on singing daily Mass. Songs and hymns at entrance and ending are default in many places. But when I arrived at my parish, the Gospel and Eucharistic acclamations were also in place. I had hopes for the psalm, but unless I lead it, it remains in the realm of the spoken word.
One commentator there disagreed with the whole idea of singing at daily Mass, and wrote:
The low Mass, in either form, permits the congregant to become one with his or her innermost thoughts.
No. At least that’s not the point of Mass. Unity with one’s inner thoughts is accomplished better through things that are designed for it: centering prayer, lectio divina, yoga, Eucharistic adoration, or other forms of prayer.
Part of the point–and genius–of Vatican II liturgical reform was to relieve us of the idea of the Low Mass. The modern Roman Missal may have flaws in translation and in the execution of its celebration. But essentially every liturgy is meant to be a sung High Mass on some level. Please: let’s not bring back the Low Mass. And perhaps it would be good to phase out the 1962 Missal unless it were a sung Mass.
While I know there are busy, modern people used to one-stop shopping. I get that. I purchase fresh produce, prescription medicine, cat litter, and furnace filters at the same store.
I wonder about the impulse to try to cram in everything churchy on a Sunday morning: Mass, religious ed for children, parish meetings and meet-ups, and quiet prayer. Especially the latter. And where small children are concerned, I’ve long thought it fruitless to attempt to introduce church behavior when there are dozens to hundreds of people in the room. Kids fuss before the hour is up at Mass? It’s probably because they haven’t been schooled in behavior in an empty and quiet church in increments during the week.
I understand the impulse to be silent and such in God’s presence. But it is a challenge, at least for me, to pray as an individual in a room of three-hundred. Or even thirty. I think we’re better off singing when it’s two or more of us with the Lord. Taking the extra time to contemplate God seems more respectful to me.