Friday 16 May 2014

The Missa Lecta

FIUV Position Paper 18 is now available

The Missa recitata or Dialogue Mass, in which the Faithful are encouraged to make the servers’ responses and sometimes to say aloud other texts, was introduced in the early 20th century, and continues to be practised in some parts of the world. There is evidence of the Faithful joining in the responses in Southern Europe in the 16th century, but not elsewhere or later. The rationale of the 20th century practice is to encourage a deeper participation in the Mass; the purpose of this paper is to explore the rationale of hearing Low Mass without dialoguing, against the presumption that dialoguing is necessarily better. The value of silent participation of the Faithful is in fact defended by Pope Pius XII and Blessed Pope John Paul II, and should be seen as a form of contemplative prayer, which the Catechism of the Catholic Church links to the liturgy and calls the ‘most intense time of prayer.’