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)?
Incidentally, this same Academy/chapel had its graduation celebration down the road at the local Novus Ordo church’s hall this past summer, which was attended by several District priests and officials (the justification being that it was a non-liturgical event, close, and large enough to accommodate; apparently they couldn’t just rent a tent or find any of the other nearby halls for rent).
Today it is announced in the bulletin and from the pulpit that the chapel’s talent show will be held “at the location listed in the bulletin.”
Ok, so what place is that?
The bulletin lists an address, but no name of the place.
But upon Googling the address, we learn that the location is St. Croix Lutheran School.
The priest went out of his way not to mention that detail in either the bulletin or in his sermon announcement which addressed it.
Keep in mind this is the same chapel in which the priest a couple weeks ago sent an email to Academy parents announcing some Dialogue Masses in which he emphasized in bold print that the faithful are expected to make the responses, and that parents should instruct their families accordingly.
And this is also the same chapel which 1.5 years ago changed the “rubrics” or postures of the faithful to have them standing at the Sung Mass when the priest ascends the altar, when he is incensed, during the Sanctus, and during the Agnus Dei (and where the altar boys now pronounce the “domine non sum dignus” aloud with the priest, as is done in the French indultarian Benedictine monasteries).
I don’t suspect anything though.
I’m sure the Minneapolis metro area has had every other possible hall rented for several months, and we are only having the talent show at a Lutheran venue out of necessity.
I sure would like to be a fly inside the car windows as the faithful begin to arrive at the Lutheran school.
“Well, after all, its not like we’re praying with them.”