My SSPX chapel recently began the occasional practice of inviting the faithful to join the priest in reciting the liturgical office of Compline.
At first, I was excited about the opportunity, so I went the first time I was invited.
I guess I thought there must be some visiting priests or seminarians or something, but didn't give it much thought.
But when we got there, we realized there was nobody in the sanctuary.
The priest then took a seat in the pews, and alternated responses with the faithful (half of whom were women) in making the responses.
I know the faithful are perfectly able to pray the Divine Office, and since the priest was in the pews, not the sanctuary, I do not think this would be considered a public public liturgical action (?), but it really caught me off guard to hear women making the responses, and now I am not sure I want to participate at future opportunities.
I do not want to speculate on the priest's motives, which are presumed to be good and straightforward (i.e., He may just have thought, why not invite the faithful?), but with all this movement towards Rome, changing of rubrics for the faithful in many places, debates about women singing in choir or not, and whether active participation is good or modernist, I could not help wondering whether this new practice (i.e., I am not aware of this priest ever having done this prior to a month ago, and he has been here for a few years), I just wondered if anyone knowledgeable on the rules (if there are any rules) could opine whether there is anything untraditional about this?
Is it just myself who is uneasy about making the responses with women in the Church from the pews (not sanctuary)?