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Video of Solemn Mass in the Rite of Lyon

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The Fraternity of St Peter’s apostolate in Lyon, France, has just posted to its YouTube channel a video of the solemn Mass celebrated on Sunday, June 28th, in the Rite of Lyon for the feast of St Irenaeus. We have previously published articles on the Rite of Lyon, and featured some celebrations of it, but this was the first time the Mass was done solemnly within recent memory. Below the video, I have written a few notes (not comprehensive!) on some of the particular features of the rite, which the video also displays very nicely. For those who care to follow along, the following link from the apostolate’s website gives the full Ordo Missae of Lyon in Latin and French:

Once again, we offer our congratulations to the clergy and servers of the church of St Just for their efforts to maintain and preserve this beautiful part of the Church’s liturgical patrimony.

There is no Master of Ceremonies; the acolytes wear full albs, and keep their hands crossed over their chests when not carrying something. The thurifer and chief acolyte wears a garment called an “orfrois de tunique – the orphrey of a tunicle”, since it looks like the decorative bands of a tunicle, which in the Middle Ages was very often worn by acolytes on solemn feasts. The subdeacon’s “default” position, so to speak, for the first part of the Mass is in the first choir stall on the Epistle side; he does not stay with the priest as the deacon does.

The altar is not incensed at the beginning of the Mass (as also in the Dominican Rite). During the Gloria, at “Suscipe deprecationem nostram”, the clergy kneel in front of the altar. The subdeacon takes the lectionary from the credence behind the altar, which is itself in the form of a smaller altar, and goes with it back to his place in the choir to sing it; the tone of the Epistle is quite different from the Roman one. When finishes, he brings it to the deacon. In the meantime, the deacon takes the missal and its stand to the credence; then he and the thurifer bring the book to the celebrant for the silent reading of the Epistle, Gradual etc. The Mass has a Sequence, during which the deacon, subdeacon and thurifer go to the credence behind the altar for the preparation of the chalice. (Parts of the prepration of the chalice were done at this point in many medieval Uses, including those of the Dominicans and Carmelites.) The missal is placed back on the altar, and the Gospel procession forms. A homily was delivered, but is not included in the video.

For the second part of the Mass, the subdeacon’s default position is at the credence behind the altar. During the Creed, a genuflection is made at “simul adoratur.” When it is finished, the first thing brought to the altar (by the subdeacon) is the pax brede. The priest washes his fingers immediately, after which the subdeacon brings the chalice to the altar, and the offertory prayers are said. The Lyonaise Mass traditionally uses a very large corporal, the back section of which is pulled up and over the chalice to cover it, rather than a pall. Incense is imposed, and the priest incenses the altar unaccompanied, after which there is a second lavabo. The deacon is incensed, but no one else is. At the start of the Canon, the subdeacon, who was previously standing at the credence with the paten, moves to the Epistle side of the altar; notice that the veil under which he holds it is not a humeral veil.

At the Unde et memores, the priest extends his hands outwards in the form of a cross, a custom found in nearly every medieval Use of the Roman Rite, apart from that of Rome itself. The subdeacon brings the paten back to the credence. At the Per ipsum, the priest keeps the Host in his hands, and holds it over the chalice during the Lord’s Prayer, elevating both the Host and Chalice at “sicut in caelo”, then laying down the Host and covering the Calice at “panem nostrum…” The Embolism is sung outloud. The pax is given with the brede. (It is not clear from the video if anyone else kisses it after the priest and deacon.) The deacon does not turn to face the people for “Ite, missa est.”


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