This spiritual conference was given by Mgr Andrew Wadsworth before the celebration of a Solemn Mass for the dead, in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. The Mass was organised by Juventutem DC, a group of young adults who seek to encourage their peers in the faith and to build a relationship with Jesus Christ through the older form of the liturgy of the Church. The Mass was celebrated at St Thomas Apostle, the home of a new Community-in-Formation for the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri:
Given that this morning of recollection has been sponsored by the newly-formed chapter of Juventutem DC, I thought it might be appropriate to offer a few thoughts on the name ‘Juventutem’ and its obvious reference to Psalm 42 which is ot be found in the prayers at the foot of the altar that occur in the Traditional Latin Mass. In most Masses in the Extraordinary Form, Psalm 42 is said in its entirety. In almost all Masses at least verse 4 of this psalm is said. In Sung Masses, it is not heard as the prayers at the foot of the altar coincide with the singing of the introit and the kyrie. In Masses during Passiontide and in Requiem Masses (such as this morning’s Requiem Mass for All Souls), the psalm is omitted but the antiphon retained.
Although commentators often disagree in their explanation of the origins of certain features of the liturgy, it would seem that historically, this penitential act has occupied its place at the beginning of Mass, at the foot of the altar, from the time when the Roman liturgy was spreading into Gall-Frankish territory. The psalm did not gain an entrance into many rites of Mass, however, even through the later Middle Ages and for a considerable time after. In the liturgies of religious orders such as the Carthusians and Dominicans Psalm 42 did not appear in their rite of Mass when these orders were established in the 13th century. Even when it was inserted, only a single verse was recited, Introibo ad altare Dei. Even when the psalm itself is omitted, the antiphon is said once.