Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 21, 2008
Ottawa archbishop celebrates old Mass
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
Canadian Catholic News
Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast celebrated the traditional Latin Mass for his first time during a visit to St. Clement's, a parish that has had a special waiver or indult from the Vatican to celebrate the Tridentine Rite since 1988.
"I had never celebrated the 1962 Mass as I had been ordained in 1972 and we were in a new liturgical era then," Prendergast said in an email interview.
As a former teacher of Latin and Greek, he did not need help with the language, but he did need assistance with the rubrics of the Mass, such as the prescribed order for the incensing.
On the Thursday preceding his Jan. 12-13 visit, Prendergast did a reconnaissance mission to examine the layout of the church.
"The priests reassured me that they and the servers would make sure it all went well," he said. "I think it did."
"Before my arrival the fathers loaned me the Latin ritual books to brush up on my rubrics for this beautiful and reverent liturgy," Prendergast said.
"Even though it was his first time celebrating the traditional Mass, we in the congregation could not have known it from watching and listening," said parishioner Desideria Desjardins Caron.
"We were all delighted that he came to St. Clement''s and that he wanted not just to visit us, but to celebrate Mass as well."
As comfortable with modern praise songs accompanied by electric guitars as he is with more traditional forms of worship, Prendergast has encouraged the use of some Latin in familiar prayers and hymns in response to the pope's apostolic exhortation last spring to bring back more reverence to the celebration of the liturgy, including the use of Gregorian Chant.