Sunday, January 29, 2012

254 Bishops Have Celebrated the EF Since 2007

Tridentine Community News (January 29, 2012):
An interesting synopsis was published by the Spanish blog Acción Litúrgica and translated into English by The Eponymous Flower blog: A listing of all of the Bishops and Cardinals known to have celebrated the Extraordinary Form since the effective date of the Motu Proprio Summórum Pontíficum in September, 2007. 254 Bishops in total, including Detroit’s Auxiliary Bishop Francis Reiss, Lansing’s Bishop Earl Boyea, Marquette’s Bishop Alexander Sample, Ottawa’s Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, and while he was Bishop of Oakland, California, current Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron.

The complete list is at:

While we don’t have statistics, this seems to be a significant increase, around a doubling, of the number of Bishops who did so prior to Summórum Pontíficum. Another reason why our Holy Father deserves prayers of gratitude for issuing this document which has had such far-reaching positive effects in so many areas of the Church.

Welcome Bishop Reiss

Speaking of Bishop Reiss, don’t be surprised if you see him around the grounds of St. Josaphat: His Excellency has moved into the St. Josaphat Rectory and has already celebrated one Extraordinary Form Mass since his arrival. Not only are there obvious liturgical benefits to his presence, but he is also doing a service to the parish by occupying this important building.

In light of the above study, it would be interesting to know how many other Bishops reside on the property of parishes which offer the Extraordinary Form.

Blessing of Candles on the Feast of the Purification

A reminder that this Thursday brings the annual High Mass for the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also known as Candlemas. Candles are blessed before Mass, and a procession with the candles precedes the Mass. This symbolism recognizes our Lord as the “Light for the revelation of the Gentiles.” If you are unable to go, it may nevertheless interest you to view the Propers Handout for the Feast on our web site and read the prayers for the Blessing of Candles.

The Sign of Peace and the Pax Brede

At a Solemn High Tridentine Mass, after the first of the three Prayers Before Holy Communion, the celebrant offers the Sign of Peace to the Deacon, after which it is passed on to the Subdeacon, the Master of Ceremonies, the Thurifer, and the Acolytes. Unlike in the Ordinary Form, the Sign of Peace is not passed on to the congregation; it is a formal process reflecting the Peace of Christ being given from one to another, as our Lord commanded, with little relationship to the notion of secular friendship.

The “giver” and the “receiver” approach one another with palms together and bow to one another. The giver places his palms on the receiver’s shoulders, while the receiver places his palms under the giver’s elbows. Both nod their heads to the right of the other as the giver says “Pax tecum” [Peace be with you]. The receiver replies “Et cum spíritu tuo” [And with your spirit]. Both join their hands as at the beginning, bow to one another, and depart.

When Holy Mass is celebrated by a priest in the presence of a Greater Prelate (i.e. a Bishop or higher), an different version of the ceremony may be performed. An object alternatively known as a Pax Brede, [simply] a Pax, or an Osculatórium, is held by a server in front of the receiver. This object resembles a larger reliquary, often with a handle on the back. In the absence of a proper Pax Brede, a priest’s paten may be used instead. The receiver kisses the Pax Brede, then the server wipes it with a linen cloth and presents it to the next receiver. The first receiver is always the celebrant and the second the Prelate. This version of the rite places emphasis on the peace that comes from the presence of and reverence towards Christ.

After 28 years of attending Tridentine Masses, this writer only recalls seeing a Pax Brede used once, at Merton College Chapel at Oxford University during the C.I.E.L. [International Centre for Liturgical Studies] 2006 Conference. One might logically ask whether they are still being manufactured. The answer is no as a catalog item, but yes as a custom piece: Holy Rosary Church in Portland, Oregon had some made several years ago.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

Mon. 01/30 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Martina, Virgin & Martyr)

Tue. 01/31 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (St. John Bosco, Confessor)

Thu. 02/02 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Josaphat (Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary – with Blessing of Candles and Procession)

Sun. 02/05 1:00 PM: High Mass at St. Hyacinth (Septuagesima Sunday) – Continuation of Tridentine Masses at St. Hyacinth depends in part on the level of attendance at this Mass [Editor's comment: Want to see the interior of a magnificent Catholic church and experience a beautiful Extraordinary Form Mass while you're at it? Take a hint!]
[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 29, 2012. Hat tip to A.B.]


Tancred said...

Comprehensive stats from Germany to support the "going up" bit:

I am not Spartacus said...


48. For this reason, whenever there was question of defining a truth revealed by God, the Sovereign Pontiff and the Councils in their recourse to the "theological sources," as they are called, have not seldom drawn many an argument from this sacred science of the liturgy. For an example in point, Our predecessor of immortal memory, Pius IX, so argued when he proclaimed the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. Similarly during the discussion of a doubtful or controversial truth, the Church and the Holy Fathers have not failed to look to the age-old and age-honored sacred rites for enlightenment. Hence the well-known and venerable maxim, "Legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi" - let the rule for prayer determine the rule of belief.[45] The sacred liturgy, consequently, does not decide or determine independently and of itself what is of Catholic faith. More properly, since the liturgy is also a profession of eternal truths, and subject, as such, to the supreme teaching authority of the Church, it can supply proofs and testimony, quite clearly, of no little value, towards the determination of a particular point of Christian doctrine. But if one desires to differentiate and describe the relationship between faith and the sacred liturgy in absolute and general terms, it is perfectly correct to say, "Lex credendi legem statuat supplicandi" - let the rule of belief determine the rule of prayer.

If the Catholic Church now has different doctrinal beliefs (counter syllabus, adios Limbo, ecumenism, no conversion for Jews, new liturgy etc etc) then it seems an easy prediction to make that the 1962 Roman Missal will be "pruned" by the New Theology Ecclesiastical Scissorhands of Ecumenical Experts and those of us who have pitched their spiritual tent on the tiny Traditional Island are about to see the Holy See put the 1962 Roman Missal to the knife and then the chaos and confusion will be truly captious.

I live in the temporal land of fear and dread when it comes to the 1962 Roman Missal. I am convinced it will be "reformed" and one, unstated, reason for its resurrection - in addition to the public reason of its having been resurrected as an act of tolerance - is to subject it to the long knives of the Liturgists.

The only countervailing bit of hope I have is my remarkably poor record of predictions.

cyrillist said...

One forlorn hope: Before Summorum Pontificum, a lot of trads used to muse that the Tridentine Rite had been effectively frozen in amber after Vatican II, such that the post-VatII abuses were all visited on the Novus Ordo instead. Now, if the 1962 Missal gets eviscerated, well, that still has Bugnini's fingerprints all over Holy Week - it's the 1955 Missal that we really want to keep untouched, right?

But the 1955 is on practically nobody's radar nowadays, since the motu proprio homed in on the 1962 as the standard. Like I say, forlorn.