Last summer, for the first time since I was 7, I attended a Latin Mass. Fr. Sean was visiting, and I knew he was going to say this form of the Mass and I didn't want to miss out. And in the last month, since St. Anne's parish has been given to the EF form, and I've been "doing extra" for Lent, and some of the daily Mass times are convenient for me to attend and still get to work, I've been going occasionally.
I've been disappointed in the silent Canon...we're supposed to "pray along" but "they" [rubrics Nazis] seem insistent on not caring if the lay people know _Exactly where_ the priest is. If you bag the correct seat or two, where you can see the priest's hand movements, etc., you can be "in the ballpark" but not necessarily right on.
The ONE part of the canon that WAS said out loud were these three weensie words. I mean, if you're going to say SOMETHING out loud during the canon, you'd think it would be something major like "Hoc est enim Corpus meum." [This is my Body.] Nah. But WHY, I wondered, get the congregants to stir by saying aloud "Nobis quoque peccatoribus...?" [...to us, sinners also ...]
I figured it was something arcane. And it was. But I didn't know quite how arcane. I looked it up in my copy of Jungmann's "Mass of the Roman Rite." Here's what it says:
"In the Roman Ordines of the seventh century the plan supposed that the subdeacons, who, at the start of the preface, had ranged themselves in a row opposite the celebrant of the other side of the free-standing altar, and who during the canon bowed profoundly, would straighten up at the Nobis quoque and go to their assigned places so they might be ready to assist in the fraction of the bread as soon as the canon was over. This rule, which naturally had no meaning except at the grand pontifical services, was retained even when, at the end of the eight century, it became customary to recite the canon in a low tone. So, to give the subdeacons the signal when the time came, the celebrant had to say these words tin an audible voice. [etc.]"
Then the practise of having the subdeacons help in this way fell by the wayside over the centuries.
Great. So now these few words are said out loud to allow the now non-existant subdeacons a chance to help do stuff they aren't going to do because they stopped doing in centuries ago...Brilliant. But ask a little favor like "speak up so we can follow along in the missal" can't be accomodated. Sheesh.
[On another note I notice a friend of Fr. Sean's have a hissy fit over on "Z"s blog [even Z wasn't too upset about it] over a female substituting "Domine, non sum digna" [the female form] over "Domine, non sum dignus." I think I'll start saying the "digna" bit too just to tick off Fr. Sean's friend, should he be dancing in attendence.]