I shall be at the church of St Magnus the Martyr near London Bridge tomorrow evening, at 6:30pm, for Solemn Vespers of the Dead and Funeral Sentences - an opportunity to sample something other than the Roman Eucharistic Liturgy, and some grand music. Now that I think about it, I don't think I have ever experienced the Office of the Dead - private recitation doesn't count. I have been to countless Requiem Masses in the Old Rite (and sadly, also, the '62 Rite) since I was 15, but nothing else. Alas, alas for the Roman Church. I must say that the modern Requiem Mass is crap, for want of a better expression, and hardly fitting to send any of our loved ones off with. The reformers' zeal to do away with every Medieval accretion (some of it worked, Mass coram Sanctissimo is quite ridiculous, and was rightly abolished in 1967 - see Eucharisticum Mysterium) went too far in this instance, and like everything else, was rather selective. What needed to happen, in my opinion (sed haudquaquam sum peritus), was a change in attitude rather than text- and have the Prayers sung standing or something, a way of orienting the attitude of prayer upwards in hope of the Resurrection (although the texts themselves imply this hope anyway). Simply abolishing prayers, or relegating them to the Office of Readings or whatever, achieves nothing but violence.
Anyway, I hope to see some of you at St Magnus tomorrow.