Saturday, January 30, 2010

St. Albertus Church To Hold Its First Solemn High Mass

Tridentine Community News (January 24, 2010):
On Sunday, February 7 at noon, St. Albertus Church will hold its first Solemn High Tridentine Mass in over 40 years. The celebrant will be Fr. Wolfgang Seitz, the deacon will be Deacon Richard Bloomfield, and the Subdeacon will be Deacon Gerard Charette. Deacon Charette is a recently ordained Permanent Deacon for the Diocese of London, Ontario who studied at Detroit’s Sacred Heart Seminary and regularly attends the Tridentine Mass at Windsor’s Assumption Church.

St. Albertus has the broadest and deepest sanctuary of all of the churches in this area which host Tridentine Masses. Its high altar platform is also larger than the others’. Most likely this is because St. Albertus was the site for major ceremonies of Ss. Cyril & Methodius Seminary and the Felician Sisters’ Motherhouse, both of which were originally located across from St. Albertus. Solemn High and Pontifical Masses were likely a common occurrence in the parish’s early days. It is therefore only appropriate that the most solemn form of the Extraordinary Form Mass that a priest may celebrate is returning to this fitting locale.

Restoration work continues on St. Albertus’ tower bells. Those who attended the previous Tridentine Mass heard them ring out for the first time in many years. Many thanks to Dr. Steven Ball and his team of volunteers who have undertaken this repair task.

The Houseling Cloth

During the Christmas season, enthusiastic decorators at Assumption Church attached a large garland to the Communion Rail. After testing various ways of distributing Holy Communion around this object, it was decided that, in the interest of safety for those approaching the rail, communicants would temporarily kneel before a Houseling Cloth at the center opening of the rail.

Used in churches where there is no Altar Rail, the Houseling Cloth (from the Old English word “Housel”, or Host) is a sheet held by two altar servers in the position where a Communion Rail would be. Like the rail, it can catch any Particles of the Host that might fall. It also serves as a point of demarcation between the sacred (the sanctuary) and the profane or secular (the nave). The below photo shows a Houseling Cloth in use at the 2006 C.I.E.L. convention in Oxford, England. Note that the server on the left holding the cloth is Windsor’s own Brother John Berchmanns of the Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem.

Papal Master of Ceremonies Defends Sound Liturgy

One of the most important speeches in recent memory was delivered on January 6 by Msgr. Guido Marini, our Holy Father’s right-hand man in charge of papal liturgies, to those attending the Year for Priests Clergy Conference in Rome. It was in fact so noteworthy that it will be reproduced in its entirety over several future editions of this column. Topics addressed included ad oriéntem celebration; Communion on the tongue while kneeling; and the use of Latin, Gregorian Chant, and suitable music.

Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments Defends Sound Liturgy

Not to be outdone by Msgr. Marini, a scant three days later, on January 9, Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera granted an interview to the Italian publication Il Foglio in which he, too, articulated similar areas of focus. This interview was conducted on the same day that His Eminence celebrated a Pontifical Tridentine Mass at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran. Interestingly for someone in charge of the Vatican congregation that oversees the Ordinary Form Liturgy, Cardinal Cañizares is a regular celebrant of the Extraordinary Form, something unthinkable in Rome prior to Summórum Pontíficum.

Clearly there is a theme being promoted at the Vatican. Whether this is a calculated PR campaign orchestrated by the Holy Father, or simply individuals of their own accord explaining the direction in which the Holy Father wishes to take the Church, does not really matter. What does matter is that intelligent arguments are being posited for the restoration of liturgical practices that are in continuity with the Church’s tradition.
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Josaphat bulletin insert for January 24, 2010. Hat tip to A.B.]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh snap! That is the first time I have seen one of those cloths since I left seminary in La Reja! As acolytes, however, we would have to hold it kneeling, and it would be used for the Holy Communion of seminarians at the altar. The name for it in Spanish escapes me now.