On Good Friday morning the altar is bare except for six candlesticks bearing candles of unbleached wax and the altar Cross veiled in black (preferably)or violet.
The Little Hours are chanted exactly as yesterday morning, the only difference being that Mortem autem crucis is added to Christus factus est and the altar candles are not lit.
After None the Hebdomadarius and ministers enter choir for the 'Mass of the Pre-Sanctified'. The celebrant wears black stole, maniple and chasuble; the deacon black stole, maniple and folded chasuble; and, the subdeacon black maniple and folded chasuble. The ministers prostrate before the altar (for the time of a Miserere according to the best authors).
(The photograph above, and others below, are from Marc Coleman's fine collection of photographs of magnificent services at St. Clement's Church, Philadelphia used with kind permission of the Rector.)
During this prostration the acolytes spread a single cloth on the altar mensa folded longitudinally back on itself so that at first it does not cover the front part of the mensa. The missal is placed at the Epistle corner. The celebrant and ministers rise and the celebrant kisses the altar and goes to the Epistle corner where he reads a prophecy from Osee whilst this is chanted by a lector in choir. This is followed by a Tract. After the Tract the celebrant, at the altar, chants Oremus, the deacon Flectamus genua and the subdeacon Levate.
The celebrant then sings the collect Deus, a quo et Judas. Then, just as at High Mass, the subdeacon removes his folded chasuble and sings an 'Epistle' whilst the celebrant reads it at the altar. A second Tract is then sung. This is followed by the Passion of St. John. This is sung as on Palm Sunday and Tuesday and Wednesday by three Deacons of the Passion. Today they wear black stoles and use uncovered lecterns.
(The above photograph is of the beginning of the Passion according to St. John from the Chronista volume from a set of Passion Books in this blogger's collection printed in Rome, 1860. The rather beautiful chant is ascribed to Palestrina and Guidetti. It is slightly more difficult to sing than the more familiar 'modern' form but well worth the effort.)
Towards the end of the Passion the deacon takes off his chasuble and folds it over his shoulder or dons the 'broad stole'. The ceremonies for the Gospel take place as at High Mass except today no blessing is asked, there is no incense and the acolytes do not carry lights. One of the better restorations of the early twentieth century was an ancient tone for the Gospels of the Passions.
This rather sublime music and haunting music was suppressed, like so much else, in the 'restoration' of 1956. After the Gospel the ministers go to the Epistle corner and there the Solemn Prayers are sung, the ministers behind the celebrant as at a normal High Mass.
Note the deacon above wearing the 'broad stole'.
After Oremus sung by the celebrant the deacon chants Flectamus genua and the subdeacon Levate. After the series of prayers the ministers return to the sedilia where the celebrant and subdeacon remove their chausbles. Meanwhile a violet carpet is laid from the altar steps and a cushion edged with gold and covered by a veil is laid to receive the Cross.
The celebrant and subdeacon stand before the Epistle side of the altar, in plano, facing the people. The deacon takes the altar Cross and brings it to the celebrant. The celebrant unveils the upper portion of the Cross and sings Ecce lignum crucis. The choir responds Venite adoremus and kneels. This is repeated twice until the whole Cross is unveiled and the celebrant is on the footpace at the centre of the altar.
The celebrant then carries the Cross to the cushion, then genuflects and returns to the sedilia where he is met by the ministers. The minsisters then take off their maniples and shoes. Meanwhile all other crosses are unveiled, but not the other images. Veneration of the Cross follows with the celebrant making three prostrations before the Cross as he approaches it, then kissing the Cross, genuflecting and returning to his place.
At the sedilia the celebrant resumes his shoes, maniple and chasuble. The deacon and subdeacon then make their Veneration followed by the choir and people. After the unveiling of the Cross it is genuflected to by all in actu functionis and Choir reverences cease until None tomorrow. At the sedilia the ministers read the 'Reproaches' with the celebrant whilst they are sung by the choir. Of note is the use of the Greek Trisagion interolated with Popule meus. The Crucem tuam and then Crux fidelis interpolated with Pange, lingua, gloriosi Lauream. Towards the end of the Veneration acolytes light the altar candles and the candles they will carry. At the end of the Veneration the celebrant gives the Cross to the kneeling deacon who then returns it to the altar.
A procession is then formed and goes to the altar of repose where two thuribles have been prepared. The deacon opens the capsula and incense is put on the thuribles but not blessed. The reserved Sacrament is censed kneeling. The celebrant then puts on the humeral veil and is given the Sacrament by the deacon.
The party then processes back to the choir altar and the superb Vexilla regis is sung. Where resources permit a second subdeacon, in black folded chasuble carries the Processional Cross. In Cathedral and Collegiate Churches eight canons, in black copes, each hold a shaft of the large canopy held over the Sacrament. There is something very striking about the white humeral veil over the black chasuble as can be seen (just about) below:
At the choir altar the deacon takes the chalice from the celebrant and places it on the altar and unties the ribbon. More incense is put on and the Sacrament censed again the ministers kneel. The ministers go up to the altar the Host is slipped onto the paten. Acolytes bring up cruets although water is not blessed and the chalice made as at High Mass. The 'gifts' are then censed as at High Mass and the celebrant washes his hands as at Mass coram Sanctissimo. The celebrant then comes to the centre and says the prayer In spiritu humilitatis then turning to the Gospel side to say Orate, fratres turning back without making a circle. No answer is made.
The celebrant then sings the Pater noster in the ferial tone followed by Libera nos. The celebrant then slips the paten under the Host. The Host is then elevated in his right hand whilst the left holds the paten. The Host is then held over the chalice and broken as at Mass. the fraction being placed in the cup. There is neither Pax nor Agnus Dei. The celebrant says Perceptio Corporis tuis, Panem caelestem, Domine non sum dignus and Corpus Domini before consuming the Host and contents of the Chalice. The ablutions follow and the celebrant says Quod ore the ministers reverence the altar and return, in silence, to the sacristy.
Vespers are now chanted to a monotone. The antiphons are the same as yesterday for the psalms but the antiphon on the Magnificat is Cum accepisset acetum. After the repitition of the antiphon Christus factus est, Pater, Miserere and Respice. After Vespers the candles are exstinguished.
The 'liturgical books of 1962' are particularly ghastly today. The ancient title of the day, Feria VI in Parasceve, is cast aside and the day re-branded Feria VI in Passione et Morte Domini. The altar has nothing at all on it, no candlesticks, no Cross. Mattins and Lauds are sung in the morning. For the 'Solemn Afternoon Liturgical Action' the ministers enter in albs and stoles only, no maniple or chasubles or dalmatics. The photographs below are from aFSSP celebration in Reading by the FSSP from Dr. Joseph Shaw's collection.
The Gospel ceremony is lost. Much of the service takes place at the sedilia (a forerunner of the cult of the 'chair'). For the Solemn Collects the celebrant puts on a black cope and stands at the middle of the altar assisted by ministers in dalmatic and tunicle. Of course traditionally the collects were always sung at the Epistle corner.
For the Veneration the Cross a Cross is brought from the sacristy by the deacon. There are no longer prostrations or the 'Creeping to the Cross' but three simple genuflections from the ministers, one by everyone else. The ministers listen to the reproaches. For the Communion service the ministers change from their black vestments and put on violet chausble, dalmatic and tunicle. The deacon brings the reserved sacrament back from the Altar of Repose. The singing of the Vexilla regis is suppressed (except when John XXIII insisted on having it sung) and three new antiphons are sung.
The Mass of the Pre-Sanctified is suppressed. At the altar the celebrant sing the invitation Oremus. Praeceptis salutaribus monitietc and in response the entire congregation recites, not sings, the Pater noster. The celebrant says Perceptio, Domine non sum dignus and Corpus Domini and communicates himself. Meanwhile the deacon sings the Confiteor (the only day allowed by the 1962 books) and then after the absolutions the celebrant communicates everyone else.
Three prayers are then sung from the middle of the altar. Vespers are omitted entirely.
What has started to appear on the Blogosphere are images of where some of the novelties are being tweaked to give an impression of the traditional praxis of Mass of the Pre-Sanctified. Tweaked or more 'what the vicar likes' it would be preferable if people just got on with the 'real thing'.
The above comes from the website of the FSSP in Rome. Note how the ministers are standing as they would in the Old Rite. Note also that the collects are being sung from the Epistle corner rather than at the centre of the altar as prescribed by the 1962 books. Compare with the photograph from their colleagues in Reading above.
The photograph below from the St. Hugh of Cluny blog shows a celebration in the USA last year. The variation this time can be seen that although the collects are being sung at the centre the ministers are not standing on either side of the celebrant but behind him. At this celebration the change into violet was also ignored. Further perusals of these, and other, sites will show many deviations from the 1962 books.
After the celebration of Good Friday in Durham one year Dr. Glover was asked why he didn't celebrate the Pacelli novelties. His answer was pure Dr. Glover at his very best: "I would rather get drunk in a brothel than celebrate that crap."
In many other Latin rites in the past, and indeed in some places in the world such as Poland to this day, the Cross was buried in the 'Easter Sepulchre' until it raising at Paschal Mattins. The question of these rites of 'depositio' and corresponding 'elevatio' is complex and will be discussed at at later date. Post Dr. Glover's retirement an 'Easter Sepulchre' was created at Durham. If I were the vicar I would certainly be liking it:
[The Cross is resting on a veil and cushion as prescribed in the Caeremoniale Episcoporum Lib. II, Cap. XXV, 3 & 24 for the Veneration. After Vespers the Cross has been carried in procession and ritually 'entombed' in the Sepulchre following local custom, albeit with a hiatus in praxis of a few centuries! Following the older practice only the Cross is entombed, the single reserved Host was consumed by the celebrant that morning. Durham, 1997]