Now, I don’t go to Mass at our Cathedral very often – mostly on holy days – in fact, I usually end up there on holy days because they have a noon Mass, and none of the parishes closer to me do. (And you know…There may be four parishes between my house and the Cathedral, but it’s no more than three miles away. So it’s not like it’s a long journey.)
I understand they have a good choir, but the only time I’ve heard it was this past Good Friday, when I attended and the music was quite good. Most of the time when I go, the music has been 4-hymn sandwich, accomaniament organ and/or piano, with the Last-Gasp Sunday night Mass being guitar.
Well, I went to Mass there yesterday. It was 4-hymn sandwich, organ/piano, the Marian hymns you’d expect, well-done. The celebrant chanted much of his part (except the Eucharistic Prayer), gave a good homily. Typical diverse downtown congregation, which always gives me so much to gratefully contemplate.
But the part that made me sit up came at the end. Because the fourth piece of the sandwich was not where you’d expect. After the (considerable) period of silence after Communion, the cantor rose, and said, “Let us sing our hymn of thanksgiving” – which was Hail, Holy Queen. Followed by the chanted closing rite and…an organ piece while the priest and servers processed out.
No “closing hymn” or “recessional hymn.” Because, you know…there isn’t one in the rite. There just isn’t. There is a Communion song allowed, there is a hymn of praise after Communion mentioned, but in the books, after “Thanks be to God..” that’s it.
A minor point? Perhaps. But to me, it’s a sign that someone is actually reading and thinking about what the rite calls for. In, you know, the books.
What could be next?