Fr. John Z. shows us one of the many reasons why the Tridentine mass was changed at Vatican II. He doesn’t intend to, of course. He thinks it all makes perfect sense.
- STAND for the Gloria and the Credo, but SIT when the priest does.
- STAND for the Preface (and the dialogue preceding it)
- KNEEL for the Canon.
- STAND for the Pater Noster.
I direct your attention to the first item in this list. “STAND for the Gloria and the Credo, but SIT when the priest does.” If you haven’t been to a Tridentine high mass (one where the texts of the mass are sung–something not always done), you might not get this point. The congregation stands for the Gloria and the Credo, which the choir sings, but halfway through the priest sits down–while the choir continues to sing the Gloria and the Credo. The congregation is expected to sit, too (even if they are singing). It makes no sense, does it?
Well, you have to realize that what the choir (and congregation) is doing doesn’t matter. It is irrelevant. It is a nice frill, but doesn’t have to be there. Oh, the Gloria and the Credo must be said–but what you didn’t notice is that the priest already said it, quietly, to himself, while standing at the altar. He sat down because he was done with it. He’s just now waiting for the choir (and congregation) to be quiet so that he can say the Collect.
One of the main objectives of the reforms was to eliminate this kind of pretense. In authentic liturgy, what each person does should matter. This could be resolved simply for the devotees of the Tridentine mass–the priest could just sing along with everyone else. That would make sense. It wouldn’t be difficult. It would take no more time. But they seem to want to preserve the specialness that is the priest’s alone. That’s called clericalism, and it is very much a part of Catholic culture.