Good feedback from Cathedral Vigil

To the diocesan newspaper

THE EDITOR: This is for the relatively few who attended the first Easter Vigil at the Cathedral since reopening, from the short fat boy who sang loudly in the back, as if competing with the feedback from the sound system.

I really meant “amen” when the end of its longest sounding coincided with the prayer after the fifth (I think) of all seven readings [1] – a first for me even if the second was shortened and the third ended like any other [2].

[1] In all, then, of course there were nine readings.

[2] See the last Q&A here.

Granted, some of the difficulty in the liturgy of the word could have been alleviated if, after “the Deacon [placed] the paschal candle…lights [were] lit throughout the church”, thus forswearing neo-trad practice. (Mother always says not to read in the dark.)

Perhaps this description would surprise some who know me, but since I use it to distinguish from what is recommended, such as Latin in the “Hosanna” we joined the Angels in, I would only seal the deal on what is long apparent: you‘ve never known me.

Speaking of surprises, however, there is not much to say: I reached a little over an hour in advance and took in some of the sights, especially the inscriptions. So I knew most of what the glorious choir would sing, including the Sanctus, right down to the Peace song [3].

[3] Yes, “the Peace song”…because they did not see my notification.
I repeat that it is “[better] to keep a rule that is smaller
than to break one of any size.” Here, I mean: make a rule!

But the accidental mysticality of the very real Church (i.e. us in liturgical action) [4] – and here I think too of His Grace who could not be heard, partly over the feedback that also cut his mic, partly because he just did not use it – so moved me that I actually murmured Jesus, celebrate between handshakes.

[4] Here again, I thought of The Spirit of the Liturgy,
where – if I remember correctly – (Cdl) Ratzinger pointed out
the original sense of “Mystical” and “Real” when applied to the Body of Christ.

In the end, despite Mother’s concern, I reached home at one o’clock glad to have taken the risk of travelling for the first time at night to town for this. I hope to do it again, but Mother’s concern will remain, so in thanks I console her by not reading in the dark.


I’m trying out a different way to present my notes, which make me think of director’s remarks for a DVD release, until I would probably find that there was a normal way of doing it.

I also wanted to explain somewhat and within the text “neo-trad” – if “neo” isn’t enough to suggest that it is bad for “trad” – by citing this ZENIT liturgy answer (three pgphs before “Follow-up”) from Fr McNamara, LC; but that would have qualified the citation from the Missal, which should always stand on its own (as I always try to point out), even when no argument is published in favour of its rubrics.

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