Feature of the week: Low, Sung and Solemn Mass Distinctions


Basic Differences between Low, Sung and Solemn Mass

Source: Shawn Tribe, New Liturgical Movement (http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/)

One of our readers wrote in to ask the following: “…would you perhaps be able to describe in layman’s terms in a post on The New Liturgical Movement the difference between a Low Mass, a High Mass and a “Missa Cantata” in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite?”

With that in mind, here are some of the basic differences.

Low Mass

– no music for the ordinary or propers of the Mass

– no deacon or subdeacon

– two candles are lit upon the altar

– no incense

– one or two servers

Missa Cantata (“Sung Mass”)

– the Ordinary and Propers are chanted (i.e. the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, the Epistle and Gospel, introit, gradual, etc.)

– no deacon or subdeacon

– incense may be used

– more servers permitted; e.g. two acolytes (candles), thurifer (censer), torchbearers (for consecration), Master of Ceremonies

– Rite of Asperges may be done (the sprinkling rite prior to Mass)

– four or six candles lit

Solemn Mass

– musically the same as a Missa Cantata

– incense is used

– Deacon and Subdeacon present

– six candles lit

– subdeacon chants epistle; deacon chants gospel

– the ceremonial passing of the Kiss of Peace is present in the ceremonial

– acolytes, thurifer, torchbearers used

– Rite of Asperges may be done

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