21 July 2011

The Carthusian Mass

The Chartreuse has always had its own rite, different from the Roman rite, and most of its songs have been borrowed from the 11th century Church of Grenoble. Following Vatican II, the Carthusian Order, whilst modifying some of its ceremonies in order to return to a greater simplicity, has retained some of the particularities of its ancient rite: for example, the formula and gesture of offering the bread and wine at the offertory, the celebrant extending his arms in the form of a cross during the Eucharistic prayer, and the absence of a blessing at the end of Mass.

Mass can only be concelebrated on days which are marked by a communal character: Sundays, important feasts, special events in the life of the monastery. On other days, according to ancient custom, in conformity with the eremitical life, one priest celebrates the conventual Mass in which the community participates by singing and interior prayer; the other priests celebrate the Eucharist in their solitary chapels.

-Saint Bruno and the Carthusians-