Solemn High Mass at our Church
Low Mass, in past times, meant a Mass without music. High Mass meant a Mass with Music. A Solemn High Mass meant a special Mass with the full ceremonial of the Eucharistic Liturgy. These are all degrees of progressive solemnity within our liturgical tradition.
Now that we are returning to Communion under both species at our parish, we are also reintroducing Solemn High Masses as well. At these special liturgies, we will not only offer Communion from the Cup, but also use incense and sing more parts of the Mass as well.
This is part of our parish celebration of the National Eucharistic Revival in our country. Eventually we will return more opportunities for Communion from the Cup at other Masses. But, for now, we will do so at these Solemn High Masses at our church.
Solemn High Mass, at Saint Dennis Church, will be celebrated by the Pastor, with the following ritual components for greater solemnity:
- Incense is used during the Opening Hymn, before the usual opening prayers of the Mass.
- The Opening Hymn continues until the priest is standing at the altar or at the chair, ready to begin.
- The Gloria is sung at these Masses (in Advent and Lent, the Kyrie is sung instead of the Gloria).
- The Gospel Book is used for the Gospel Reading (the Lectionary is taken to the side table after the second reading).
- The altar servers may hold candles at either side of the Ambo for the Gospel reading.
- There may be an Offertory Procession from the table located in front of the first pew.
- Incense is used at the Offertory of the Mass. The hymn concludes when the priest washes his hands.
- The Preface Dialogue is sung, along with the Lord’s Prayer and its conclusion (For the kingdom . . .).
- The Lamb of God begins after the priest completes the Fraction Rite of the Host over the Chalice.
- The Communion Servers come to the altar when the priest recites the Communion Antiphon.
- Communion is distributed under both species, with the north and south ministers holding chalices.
- The Communion Hymn begins immediately after the Communion Antiphon recited by the priest.
- A second Communion Hymn may be necessary, but there is no hymn after Communion time is over.
- After the Communion Hymn(s), the musicians receive Communion under one species from a Communion Server.
- Quiet instrumental music continues while the priest purifies the sacred vessels after Communion.
- The quiet instrumental music concludes when the priest is ready to begin the closing prayer.
- The closing hymn is sung as the priest and the congregation departs from the church to the narthex.
- After the closing hymn, people are asked to socialize in the narthex, so that others may pray in church after Mass.
The following times for these Solemn High Masses will be published ahead of time in the parish bulletin and announced from the pulpit:
- Feast of the Transfiguration: Saturday, August 5, at 4:30 p.m.
- Feast of the Assumption: Tuesday, August 15, at 7:00 p.m.
- Feast of All Saints: Wednesday, November 1, at 7:00 p.m.
- Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, November 23, at 9:00 a.m.
- Feast of Christ the King: Sunday, November 26, at the Pastor’s Mass (TBD)
- Feast of the Immaculate Conception: Friday, December 8, at 7:00 p.m.
- Christmas Eve: Sunday, December 24, at 7:30 p.m.
- New Year’s Day: Monday, January 1, at 9:00 a.m.
- Feast of the Epiphany: Sunday, January 7, at the Pastor’s Mass (TBD)
- First Sunday of Lent: Sunday, February 18, at the Pastor’s Mass (TBD)
- Holy Thursday: Thursday, March 28, at 7:00 p.m.
- Easter Vigil: Saturday, March 30, at 7:00 p.m.
- Feast of Divine Mercy: Sunday, April 7, at the Pastor’s Mass (TBD)
- Feast of the Ascension: Sunday, May 12, at the Pastor’s Mass (TBD)
- Feast of Pentecost: Sunday, May 19, at the Pastor’s Mass (TBD)
- Feast of the Holy Trinity: Sunday, May 26, at the Pastor’s Mass (TBD)
- Feast of Corpus Christi: Sunday, June 2, at 11:30 a.m., followed by a Eucharistic Procession