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Active Participation of the Faithful in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass:

In the EF Mass, do the people sing or say the prayers with the priest?

At a High Mass the choir sings the Ordinary (unchanging prayers of the Mass) and the Proper (changing prayers of the Mass), the people are encouraged to sing the responses - Amen, Et cum spiritu tuo, Dignum et justum est. and if possible, the Ordinary - Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei. At a Low Mass the people can sing hymns with the choir, but unless it is a Dialogue Mass, the people do not respond with the servers.

The silence experienced during the Canon of the Mass is a hushed awe. The faithful offer thanksgiving to God the Father for the mystery of Christ’s sacrifice made present again at the Altar. Through the silence of the Mass we can enter into a contemplative and sacred silence, pointing toward eternity.

The Priest offers the Mass facing the same direction as the people, not because he is excluding them, rather he is offering the Mass in Christ’s name and in His person, in persona Christi. He is leading the people, Ad Orientem “toward the east”, the rising sun.

Why does the Priest not face the people during the celebration of the EF Mass?

In the EF Mass, why does the priest pray in a quiet voice?

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