Friday 12 August 2005

Tridentine Mass

Tomorrow, I'm singing at the the Tridentine Mass at St. Mary's Church, Cadogan Street. St. Mary's is the Roman Catholic Church where I sing at Latin mass on Sundays. This mass is according to the modern, Latin rite but once a year we do a mass according to the older Tridentine Rite. This is the format of service which was standard up until the reorganisations after the 2nd Vatican Council. More information is available at the website of the Latin Mass Society.

The major difference between this older form and the modern mass is that the older form is more elaborate and the priest is by and large inaudible, standing with his back to the congregation. The result is that more emphasis is placed on the choir and we usually have a substantial amount of plainchant to sing in addition to the mass setting. This year, I think we are doing Palestrina's Aeterna Christi Munera mass, a regular in our repertoire but one of my favourites. I think it was the first Palestrina mass that I ever sang at St. Mary's, and probably my first Palestrina mass ever.

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