Holy Week is a very difficult week for traditional Catholic priests, like myself, who are trying to do all the Triduum from the Latin 1962 Missal for the first time. Many of us are alone in our parishes and cannot do the solemn high ceremonies. We are also busy hearing many confessions and doing other parochial duties. So we attempted to do the Holy Week Triduum with:
1) God’s grace.
2) Out of love for God.
3) Out of Love for God’s People.
4) In a non-perfectionist way.
5) And with fear and trepidation.
We do our best we can to do the low liturgies. I will be the first to admit that I may have this all wrong. But I think I did everything that was required.
I have done before the Holy Thursday Latin Mass, followed by Eucharistic procession to the Altar of Repose and the stripping of the altar.
I have also done the Easter Sunday Mass. But I had never done the Good Friday liturgy or Holy Saturday Vigil Mass before. So, trying my very best to be a good traditional Catholic priest, I did the Good Friday and Holy Saturday Liturgies. (I was too busy trying to learn the ceremony to remember to ask someone to take photos).
And this is how I did them.
1) I went over my simple Roman Missal for the laity and made an outline with the rubrics and things I would need. (I put this on my blog as I completed them). I did not have time to put on my blog Holy Saturday Vigil.
2) I looked up on Youtube the Rites and watched them.
3) I went over the “Ordo Hebdomadae Sanctae Instauratus” which is the small Missal with just the Triduum in it. I familiarized myself with it and tried to be sure I was doing everything included in the rites.
4) I got my friend to schedule the altar boys and time to practice with them. We spent over an 1 hour practicing the rites each day with the altar boys.
5) I prepared by myself, ahead of time, all the vestments, the missal, the candles, water, oils, chairs, coverings and crucifixes and everything else and put them in their place for the the celebrations. I also got what ever help I could get to get the things still needed.
6) The Master of Ceremonies and myself looked at the positions of the priest and altar boys from the scheme from the St. Pius X Society’s Altar Guild web site. We used that during practice.
7) We would practice and learn at the same time. We went over and over it the best we could till time ran out.
8) When time ran out and it was time for the Liturgy, I just went ahead and did the liturgy the best I could, even if it was not done perfectly. With prayer and good will we began.
(I only chanted the parts that I could by myself and said the other parts). We did not have a schola or organist available. They were doing the Novus Ordo masses in the big church.
For us traditional Catholic priest who are trying our best to learn and offer the best to God and His people, we just need to go ahead and be faithful to the rubrics. If, out of ignorance, we make some mistakes, I hope and pray God will forgive us.
I know for myself, if I had waited till I knew everything perfectly before I started offering the Latin Mass, I probably would never have done it. Again it is all so difficult, but so worth while. So for you priests, and people who help us, keep on doing the best you can to plan ahead for different Holy Days and then just do.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.